Tasneem Alaqzam, MD
Hometown: Qatif, Saudi Arabia
Bio: I am a Saudi woman, born and raised in Saudi Arabia. In high school, I decided to be a doctor. Getting into medical school in Saudi Arabia was not easy, but I worked hard to achieve my dream. I earned my medical degree at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I decided to continue my education in the USA. In 2008, I got a scholarship from my home country. After that, my very supportive husband, 14-month-old daughter and I moved to US. Family medicine was my choice. I completed a residency in family medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Amarillo, Texas. I had a special interest in adolescent medicine for which I pursued a fellowship in adolescent medicine at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin. Besides that, I am a wife and mother to 3 beautiful young kids.
Clinical interest:Adolescent Medicine, Pediatric and adolescent gynecology, Women’s health, teaching
Passions: Spending time with my Family (my husband, Malik, my daughters, Fatima and Leena, and my son, Faris. Photography, traveling, cooking, watching movies, painting and decorating.
Favorite quotes: “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible” - Helen Keller
“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King Jr. .
Patrick Allen, MD
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Undergraduate: Texas A&M University
Medical School: University of Texas – Houston
Bio: After graduating from VCFM in 2014, I stayed on for the International Family Medicine Fellowship. There I served an incredibly challenging and beautiful 5 months in Niger with one of my best friends Dr. Nick Tomsen. I spent 2 years as a hospitalist here at Via Christi, which I loved. In 2017 I decided to pursue my long-term passion for teaching and joined faculty at KU / Via Christi.
Family Medicine is the most patient-centered specialty. Our expertise adapts to the needs of the people and the populations we find ourselves entrusted with. Knowing people, communicating compassion and value to them, and investing in that doctor-patient relationship in order to fight and prevent disease is what we do well. I love the complexities of navigating and breaking down the barriers (pathologic, systems based, psychosocial, and spiritual) that keep our patients from abundant living – and equipping other docs to do the same.
Why Via Christi? Via Christi had the excellent, broad, deep, thorough, resident-driven, ambitious training that I was searching for - including unbeatable Obstetrics and Global Health training. What most set Via Christi apart was the culture and stated desire to train physicians in character, compassion, and humility. I was blown away to find a place that would invest in my character as well as my clinical skills.
Clinical interest: Inpatient medicine, POCUS, global health, HIV, palliative and end of life care.
Passions: Piano, bass guitar in the faculty band, running, travel, the enneagram, trying new foods, ultimate frisbee.
Favorite Books: Bruchko. Schlingensiepen’s Bonhoeffer biography.
Favorite Podcast: Planet Money
Jeff Beekhuizen, DO
Hometown: Orange City, IA
Undergraduate: Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa)
Medical School/Graduate School: Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center
Why Via Christi? I was drawn to Via Christi initially for residency because I wanted training in full spectrum Family Medicine (this has served me well). After residency I fulfilled my NHSC commitment in New Mexico with the Indian Health Service. Next I moved to Memphis, TN and practiced at an FQHC. After Memphis, I moved to Africa where I spent six years learning language, practicing medicine, and teaching students, interns, and residents. On my return to the US I was drawn back to Ascension Via Christi because I knew the culture of the residency program and because I find the most enjoyment in medicine while walking with residents and students in their medical training.
Clinical interests: International medicine, care for the underserved.
General interests: Cycling, Hiking, Travel, Cooking/Baking, exploring new restaurants and trying new foods.
Favorite Books: Lord of the Rings, historical fiction (in general), books by Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, etc), Factfulness, Outliers, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis.
Podcasts: Revisionist History, The Curbsiders IM Podcast, The Inquiry (BBC)
Advice for Medical Students: When you stick a knife into an abscess or other collection of fluid that could be under pressure, keep your mouth closed (and wear eye protection; masks are good too). Also... we often focus too much on preparing for a destination and fail to enjoy the journey. Often the journey is the destination. Focus on the present and don't miss the journey.
Favorite Quotes: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot.
Dee Ann Bragg, MD
Hometown: Richmond, Indiana
Undergraduate: Wheaton College
Medical School: Indiana University
Bio: I was born and raised in eastern Indiana, and it was there that I fell in love with Family Medicine — largely as a result of observing firsthand the interconnectedness of health, generations, community, agriculture, and belief. Through a series of fortunate events, I ended up in Wichita in 2007 to attend what I considered to be (still do!) the best Family Medicine residency in the country. A few years, one FQHC, one marriage, two children, and one small business later, I’m thankful I still get to be a little part of a pretty remarkable place.
Why Via Christi? I was initially drawn here by the high-volume OB experience, but I without a doubt have stayed because of the people. Our residents and faculty inspire me on a daily basis to be a better human and physician.
Clinical interests: Hepatitis C Treatment (https://youtu.be/rw_fnTuPtDU), Healthcare in Low-Resource Settings, Women’s Health including Colposcopy/LEEPs, Prenatal and Obstetric Care
Passions: My husband owns a dessert shop, so ... ;) Also, faith, my family, music, trees, poetry, and outings with my kids.
Favorite Books: Way too many to count! Compassion by Henri Nouwen, The Grapes of Wrath, The Kite Runner, Theirs is the Kingdom, The Way of the Pilgrim, Give Dust a Tongue, The Brothers Karamazov, An Altogether Different Language, and a bunch more.
“…So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it….”
Advice: Be faithful in the ordinary. Small things are sometimes the best things.
Paul Cleland, MD
Hometown: Wichita, KS
Undergraduate: Newman University
Medical school: KU SOM - Wichita
Bio: I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and haven't moved around much. I completed residency and then the Sports Medicine Fellowship here at Via Christi. My wife and I met in high school, and she hated me. I have been blessed as she eventually came around, and we now have a daughter. I didn't always know that I wanted to be a doctor, and I didn't initially know that I liked Sports Medicine. But they both happened, and I love what I get to do every day as a Sport Medicine faculty.
Clinical interests: Sports medicine
Passions/hobbies: My relationship with God, spending time with my family and friends, golf, bowling, watching sports, smoking meat. I also completed training in Natural Family Planning and offer this care to my patients.
Favorite quote? "Tell me I can't and I will." Anything from Seinfeld.
Advice for medical students: Sometimes life takes you in directions you wouldn't have imagined. Try to make the best of each situation and remember that something can be learned from each experience – even if it's not until years later.
Amy Curry, MD
Home town: Ulysses, Kansas
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Bio: I am a wife, mother and doctor who teaches, and I enjoy flower gardening, cooking and watching HGTV. I graduated from VCFM in 1999 and joined the faculty in 2009 after practicing full spectrum Family Medicine in Wichita.
Why Via Christi? The people, the place and the opportunities. The first Family Medicine residency in the nation was started right here in Wichita, and our specialty continues to be valued here in our community and among other specialties. This welcoming environment opens many doors for full spectrum training and as such, attracts residents called to work with underserved populations. On any given day, I might help a resident deliver a baby, admit an overdose to the ICU, discuss hospice in a family meeting or perform a bedside paracentesis.
Clinical interests: Hepatitis C, colposcopy and dysplasia clinic, breastfeeding
Passions: Spending time with my family, flower gardening, servant leadership, physician self-care
Favorite quote: “Be worthy to serve the suffering.”
Philip Dooley, MD
Hometown: Brevard County, Florida (home of Kennedy Space Center)
Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Chemical Engineering
Medical school: University of Michigan
Bio: Like many of our residents who have arrived in Wichita from all over the world, I had never lived in Kansas until I started working at Via Christi. After medical school I spent 7 years on active duty in the Air Force (residency + four years of full-time faculty) before joining the core faculty at Via in the summer of 2014. I stayed in the Air Force Reserve for 3 years as a Flight Surgeon and Chief of Aerospace Medicine but gave that up after taking on the program director role in January 2016. My wife and I have three kids, and I’m the only non-Canadian citizen in our home. Go Blue!
Why Via Christi? Short Answer: The people who live and work here.
Long answer: One of my faculty during residency and two of my teaching colleagues were graduates from Via Christi. They were pretty amazing physicians and told me that if I wanted to keep teaching full scope Family Medicine in the civilian world I needed to look at Wichita. I'll admit that the idea of moving to Kansas did not thrill us at first, but from our first visit to interview we were sold on the program and the city.
Clinical Interests: Cardiovascular disease, practical applications of evidence-based medicine, international medical education. Passions/Hobbies: Geocaching, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, riding bikes, board games, or anything else that my wife and kids enjoy doing together.
Favorite Books: Freak- and SuperFreakonomics. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail -- But Some Don't.
Favorite Quotes: "Don't go to war by e-mail." – Colonel (ret) Dr. James Haynes.
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…." – Colossians 3:24.
Favorite Podcasts: BS Medicine, Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast, Exploring my Strange Bible Advice for medical students: Look at the residents and see if they are developing into the kind of person and physician that you want to become. You're going to spend a lot of time with your fellow residents for the next three years, and some of them might just end up as your faculty.
Jeff Doolittle, MD
Hometown: Prairie City, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Northern Iowa
Medical school: University of Iowa
Bio:After finishing my training in Iowa, I practiced at a National Health Service Corp site in Missouri for three years. My family and I then moved to a rural site in Iowa where I practiced from 2007-2015. I was the typical small-town physician, delivering babies (including C-sections), inpatient work, clinic, ER, hospice medical director, nursing home medical director, and engaged in teaching medical students. During this time I took a number of short term medical trips overseas. Of all the things I did at work, the one that I enjoyed the most was teaching. After prayerfully considering a change with my wife, we ventured out and joined Via Christi faculty in 2015.
Why Via Christi?When I felt called to teach, I only wanted to teach at a place that believes in full spectrum training. After finishing my interview at Via Christi, I stopped looking anywhere else. The drawing factor was the people in the program. The residents were a diverse group from all over the country, and they are passionate. The faculty brought a variety of perspectives and experiences into the job, but all of them care about the residents and want to see them thrive. Initially Kansas had no draw, but the people at Via Christi provided that in a big way.
Clinical Interests: Rural family practice, inpatient medicine, emergency medicine, procedures.
Passions: Family, Coffee, Cycling
Maurice Duggins, MD
Hometown: The island of St. Kitts
Undergraduate: Sterling College
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine
Why Via Christi? I spent two years working at Primary Care Center of Wichita, and then started working with the underserved in Wichita. While volunteering to teach students and residents as a Clinical Instructor with KU, I realized I loved it and decided to do teaching full time. I still love it.
Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, outpatient procedures
Passions: Hanging with my kids, wife, and friends
Favorite Books: Bible, Strength to Love
Favorite Quote: "...but the greatest of these is love."
Natalie R. Gadbois, PharmD, MPA
Hometown: Oakdale, Minnesota
Pharmacy School: Drake University
Residency: Pharmacy Practice at Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Fellowship: Academic and Ambulatory Care at Purdue University
Bio: : I started at KU as a joint faculty member in the School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine in 2019. Prior to that I spent the past couple of years living in different Midwestern states. After growing up in Minnesota I traveled Drake University in Iowa for pharmacy school and to complete a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. I then went on to pursue an Academic and Ambulatory Care Fellowship at Purdue University in Indiana, which not only advanced my clinical skills but also provided me exposure to teaching and research. After completing post-graduate training in both in-patient and out-patient settings I discovered my passion for transitions-of-care, and the importance of capturing patients at these pivotal moments. I believe in a holistic approach to providing care, including addressing social and economic considerations that may impact a patient’s health. In my practice I enjoy utilizing motivational interviewing strategies and patient-centered communication to empower patients to meet their individual health needs and goals. Both in and out of the classroom, I strive to integrate concepts and create significant learning experiences for students and trainees. My goal is to develop lifelong learners who have the requisite skills and attitudes to continually pursue their passion as they enter the healthcare workforce.
Why Ascension Via Christi? It is wonderful to have the opportunity to practice at a site that is focused on learning and developing health care practitioners. This provides a dynamic environment for interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration.
Clinical Interests: Asthma, COPD, and smoking cessation, along with general chronic disease state and medication management
Hobbies: Running, Yoga, Drinking Coffee, Watching Hockey
Favorite Book: Tuesdays With Morrie
- “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
- “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
Lisa Gilbert, MD
Undergraduate: Missouri State University
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern
Bio: Although born in America, I was raised in Africa and returned to the US for university. Taking a gap-year during college allowed me to volunteer at an HIV orphanage in South Africa, and those experiences were formative in my desire to pursue medicine. I realized I wanted a full-spectrum family medicine perspective to be well-rounded and chose Via Christi, followed by Via Christi's International Family Medicine Fellowship. I then practiced in rural southwest Kansas for several years and also volunteered in Niger, Cameroon and Liberia (during the Ebola crisis) before returning to Wichita to join faculty. I continue to be passionate about bioethics and global health, as well as improving rural health and healthcare systems. Ever a bit of a gypsy, I love a good cup of tea, a quiet conversation, but most of all a plane ticket to new adventures.
Clinical Interests: Fertility Awareness Based Methods and NaProTechnology, Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Rural Health, Palliative Care and Hospice, Health Systems Management, Medical Ethics
Favorite Food: Anything with curry!
Favorite Medical Podcasts: Best Science Medicine, Emergency M Cases, Essential Evidence Plus, Bioethics on Air (NCBC), Catholic Health USA, WIHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement)
Karissa Gilchrist, MD
Hometown: Rose Hill, KS
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical School: University of Kansas - Wichita
Bio: I was born in rural Oklahoma. I moved to the Wichita area with my family when I was young and have been here ever since! I decided to stay in Wichita for undergrad at Wichita State University (Go Shox!!), for medical school at KU-Wichita, then again for residency at Via Christi and couldn’t be happier with my decisions. I have dreamed of a life in medicine for as long as I can remember, and I love the support for Family Medicine here in Wichita.
Why Ascension Via Christi? The people! Via Christi is a program that feels like family, and I look forward to going to work every day. I wanted to be part of a program that values comprehensive patient care with obstetrics.
Clinical Interests: Critical care medicine, women’s health, palliative care/hospice medicine, domestic violence, prenatal and obstetrical care
Passions: Going to the lake in the summer and snow skiing in the winter, playing the piano, boxing, my family and my dog - Chief. I also love a good cup of coffee!
Favorite Books: Complications by Atul Gawande, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Favorite Podcast: Curbsiders, EMCrit, Dr. Death, Stuff You Should Know
Advice: Find your passion and go for it whole-heartedly
Sarah Houssayni, MD
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon (not really a town)
Undergraduate: American University of Beirut
Medical school: American University of Beirut
Residency: Pediatrics; University of Kansas School Of Medicine Wichita
Bio: I am a Lebanese born and raised woman. I chose Pediatrics because I (no, not because I love kids. I do love kids, but that is not why I chose Pediatrics. I mean think about it, I could have become a preschool teacher, THAT is what people who love kids do) believe in being a child and adolescent advocate while practicing medicine and wanting to come back to work every day. I have not regretted that choice. Put Pediatrics and teaching in an underserved setting together, and you make my life semi-complete. What makes it complete is that I have an amazing family (that I want to adopt out at times, but who doesn't?!) and great friends and that Wichita after 16 years is home. Underserved medicine is my passion, underserved Pediatrics is what gets me out of bed every morning (and my dog Red and my cat Socks and sometimes my sons). I am also interested in story, narrative, writing, poetry and all prose relevant to the human experience. All my best to you if you are checking our program out, it is worth it!
Why Via Christi? One of the better aspects of this residency program is getting two pediatricians to help teach the residents Pediatrics (If I say so myself!). In the setting of Family Medicine, we have inpatient, outpatient and newborn pediatrics, and my colleague and I aim at graduating family physicians who are fully competent and capable of managing office and general inpatient pediatrics.
Clinical Interests: LGBTQ health, asthma and the social determinants of health.
Passions/hobbies: (1) Sunshine (yes sunshine is a legit hobby, it means you like to dwell in it while doing various activities); (2) Writing; (3) Any coastal activity or lakeside activity (please refer to passion #1); (4) Eating watermelon (this goes under passions); (5) Laughter (I try to make it an exercise); (6) Meeting strangers
Favorite Book: "Fall Down on Your Knees" by Ann Marie McDonald
Favorite Quote: "And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." – Aeschylus
Rex Keith, MD
Undergraduate: University of Kansas
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine
Bio: I am a lifelong KS resident. Grew up in Leawood. Lawrence for 4 years (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) where I majored in Chemistry, my first love in the sciences. I have lived in Wichita since 1985 (Go Shockers!). Might even die here, but no plans on that yet. After residency at St Francis, I did some ER, locum tenens, and urgent care before coming back and joining residency faculty.
Why Via Christi? I love it, the people, the opportunities, and the culture. VCFM Rocks!
Clinical Interests: OB/GYN ultrasound, other POCUS skills, Quality Improvement and patient safety. Ask me how a medical error almost killed two of my family members.
Passions/Hobbies: Scouting: Hey, “being prepared” and “doing a good turn daily” aren’t always easy! Building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness are valuable goals for everyone.
Outdoor Activities: Cycling, hiking, camping, canoeing, and flying a kite – all hopefully in good weather.
Food and Drink: Cooking, collecting and reading cookbooks, thinking about and eating good food, collecting and drinking wine and brown spirits, exploring new beers – don’t forget cheese!
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine: Backyard chickens, horses (Quarter Horse and Appaloosa French warmblood mix), raising Holland Lops for show, miscellaneous rodents and fish in the past, and of course the obligatory cats and dogs.
Wife & Children: Happily married, 98% of the time, to Kristine Ann. I have 3 girls and a boy – Erin, Ainsley, Lauren, and Jaden (still mix up the girls) – all the same age. No, they are not two sets of twins; they are quadruplets (aka ABC&D). I have practical expertise in the care and feeding of higher order multiples.
God: Faith in Jesus, being part of the body, spiritual formation, serving as a sender. Romans 12:2 – being transformed is painful.
Tim McVay, DO
Hometown: Alto Pass, Illinois (pop. 376)
Undergraduate: University of Missouri-Kansas City (B.A. Political Science)
Medical School: Des Moines University
Bio: Although my wife of 30 years and I are from the Land of Lincoln, we consider ourselves Kansans now. Our journey with our four kids has taken us to many nations across the Middle East and North Africa over the last 15 years. My journey in medicine in the United States allowed me to experience group practice and private practice including a lot of locums emergency department work. My desire early on was to eventually teach medicine. After a fortuitous meeting with Dr. Stringfield in an airport, I soon found a home as a faculty member at Ascension Via Christi in 2010 where I worked until 2013. From 2013-2020 my family and I had the distinct honor of serving in two different nations in the Middle East and most recently as Program Director of a residency in Arizona. We've now returned to our home in Kansas and to my professional 'home' at Ascension Via Christi.
Why Via Christi? Historically, Ascension Via Christi attracts some of the finest residents, I believe, in the country. Coupled with excellent faculty mentors and a robust curriculum, your three years with us will be foundational for the rest of your professional life.
Clinical Interests: Besides enjoying the gamut of medicine encompassed in the curriculum here, I really enjoy POCUS (point of care ultrasound), which has catalyzed my interest in clinical medicine.
Passions: specialty farming
Favorite Book: The Bible is #1 by far. Anything by David McCullough.
"I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..." (Philippians 3:10). "Take anything free, even if it kills you." (Grandpa George)
Advice: Humble yourself.
Cynthia Nash, MD
Undergraduate: University of Mary Washington
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Bio: I was born in Colorado and raised in Virginia, but love living in Kansas! In addition to being a physician and teacher, I am a wife and mother to three awesome boys. I practiced for nine years in broad-spectrum Family Medicine in Wichita, and have also served at Via Christi Immediate Care. My volunteer activities have included medical ministry at Choices Medical Center, Embrace, and the Good Samaritan Clinic. My favorite activities include reading, camping, spending time with my family, cooking, enjoying nature, and serving in my church wherever they need me.
Why Via Christi? It’s the place that taught me the art as well as the science of medicine. I love the holistic approach that Via Christi offers to the people they serve and the enthusiasm of those I work with.
Clinical Interests: Bioethics, Palliative Care, and improving the quality of life of the people we serve. .
Passions/Hobbies: Watching people grow in their abilities and confidence as they discover their gifts and talents and use them. And yes, I’m not afraid to challenge them to do so! I also have a passion for care of the vulnerable at all stages of life.
Favorite Books: So many favorite books – My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, anything from Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, Dickens, Shakespeare or Tennyson.
Favorite Quote: So many favorite quotes, but one of my favorites now is from D.L. Moody: “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.”
Tara Neil, MD
Hometown: Fort Scott, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas SOM
Residency: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Fellowship: Maternal Child Health Fellowship PCC Wellness Oak Park, Illinois
Bio: After training I tried my hand at private practice for several years in rural Kansas before returning to KU on faculty with Via Christi.
Clinical Interests: OB, Women’s Health including LARC’s, menopause, colposcopy, LEEP. Rural Healthcare. Physician wellness. Clinic process and improvement. Access to care and racial disparity, especially in women’s health and OB care.
Passions: My kids, photography, reading, cooking, gardening. Someday – fly fishing.
Favorite Book: Harry Potter, Game of Thrones (will R.R. Martin give us another one?) and anything by Barbara Kingsolver
Advice: Plan your next vacation at the end of the current one!
Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD, MPA, MA, CPH
Hometown: Ghana, Kansas (oh, wait, there is no Ghana in Kansas). Dunkwa-on-Offin in Ghana.
Bio: I grew up in a small city in Ghana called Dunkwa-on-Offin where I completed my primary and senior high school education. I later moved to the United States where I obtained my undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees all from the Wichita State University. I consider Wichita my second home. Go Shox!
Why Via Christi? The mission of training physicians who provide primary care where it’s needed most. My primary role at the University of Kansas School of Medicine is to facilitate quality improvement and research activities of faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students. Please reach out to me if you’re interested in clinical research or scholarly work.
Research Interests: My research experience is varied. My earlier research projects were community-oriented and focused on how effective programs impact the needs and abilities of people of all ages. More recently I have focused on translational research in the clinical setting, including patients and provider behaviors and communication, physician and non-physician well-being, and medical learners’ professional development.
Passions: Bike ride with our son, Jonathan. Jogging with my family. I value social interaction with people from different backgrounds to learn more about their cultural practices and beliefs.
Favorite Book: The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren
Favorite Quote: "Out of many, one."
Advice: Be kind to yourself and others!
Devin Penny, DO
Hometown: Blue Springs, Missouri
Undergraduate: Drake University
Medical school: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Bio: I was born in Blue Springs, Missouri, to a set of hardworking parents who eventually put each other through nursing school. I spent years 3 – 14 in California, moving 10 times and eventually settling back to Blue Springs, where I feel like I did a lot of my growing up (though some argue that never actually happened). I was recruited to play football at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, as an outside linebacker. It was there I met my future wife, Melissa, and we got married just before starting medical school at what was then the UHS (University of Health Sciences) - the osteopathic school in Kansas City. We had two children before graduation. Melissa managed a deferment on her HPSP military scholarship, allowing us both to interview for the best Family Medicine program in the country. We were gracious accepted to Via Christi where we completed our residency training in 2010. For the next five years, we worked at Eglin AFB in Florida – Melissa as Active Duty and myself also teaching in the residency program as a civilian contractor.
After that we looked for a final home both in and out of the country, feeling particularly drawn to the Spanish speaking population. After many trips to places both within the United States, as well as Guatemala, Ecuador, and Honduras, we felt our hearts drawn to the population of south Wichita. It is considered a "medical desert" and is at least 50 percent Spanish-speaking. We found kindred spirits in the medical team ministering in south Wichita who moved their families to the impoverished area to live out the Gospel... "What you have done for the least of these, you have done for me."
Why Via Christi? This is one of a limited number of programs in the country that offers such a broad training base making options for work or ministry open to any family medicine practice. What continues to strike me about the program is, despite its large size, no other program I have visited had the depth of fellowship and community support from residents and faculty. The culture is deliberate, and the love is real. I desire authenticity and that is what I find.
Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, POCUS, OMT
Passions: If I do it, chances are I am passionate about it. Playing sports (not watching); being active with my wife and family; worship (I play guitar... not very well); video editing; theater; board games (Catan, Ticket-to-Ride, Shadows over Camelot, Coup...); Dance Central and Rock band (the game… and the faculty band)
Favorite Books? The Gospel of Mark; Enders Game; The Space Trilogy (C.S.Lewis)... really anything by C.S. Lewis; Andromeda strain; State of Fear (Michael Crichton)... ok, anything by Michael Crichton as well.
Favorite Quotes? “I see you after... sooner rather than later I hope.” – Braveheart
Ephesians 4:29 ~"Encourage or shut up"; Proverbs 10:19 ~"...shut up...; Proverbs 12:18 ~"...I said shut up..."
1 John 3:16-18 "This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need and does not take pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."
Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself."
"I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART... I want to believe..." – Braveheart
Melissa Penny, DO
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Undergraduate: Drake University
Medical school: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Bio: I grew up in Iowa, but most recently lived in Florida, having served a 4 year commitment to the Air Force as a teaching faculty with the Eglin Family Medicine Residency (the second best Family Medicine residency in the nation). Despite being able to walk out our front door and down to the water to kayak out to the gulf, Devin and I felt compelled to move back to the Midwest, having heard about a group of doctors moving into underserved communities and trying to “love their neighbors.” We had actually been looking at overseas opportunities, as well as Chicago and New Orleans, only to find that there were people doing what we had been desiring to do, right in the city we did our training! We built a house (as in, we actually hammered nails and built our own house… and it is still standing!!) in Planeview and moved in with our three kids in 2016, then adopted twins in September of that year. We also finished up a job with a safety net clinic here in town and then worked as hospitalists while trying to survive the sleepless nights of the newborn phase. I felt really blessed when an opportunity to work with Via Christi opened up in early 2017, especially given the chance to job share with my hubby. We loved our time at Via Christi in residency, and are honored to be back, especially working with the staff we hold in such high regard.
Why Via Christi? I came here as a resident (2007-2010) with my hubby, drawn by three things: the insane amount of procedures that were built into the program, the amazing residents we met with that genuinely seemed to care about one another, and the faculty who were somehow both super professional and wise, but could also be found crowd surfing. I came back seven years later, as a full-fledged grown up doctor because of the people.
Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, OMT, Women’s Health
Passions: I enjoy cooking, playing the guitar and sipping wine. I love having quiet moments playing my guitar and worshiping the Lord amidst the chaos of my crazy life with five kids all pulling me in different directions.
Favorite Books? The Bible by God, The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss, The Torn Veil by Gulshan Esther
Favorite Quotes? "Do today's work today," and "Seek first to understand," both from Dr. Robert (Bob) Persons "It's all about relationships." - Dr. James Haynes
Advice: Whatever program you are considering - always look at the senior residents. Are they practicing the kind of medicine you want to practice and are they the kind of people you want to be?
Andrew Porter, DO
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Medical school: Des Moines University
Bio: I grew up in Cedar Rapids, IA, and attended Linn-Mar High School. I then attended undergraduate at the University of Iowa where I met my wife, Mandy. Medical School followed at Des Moines University. We then came to Wichita for Family Medicine Residency at Via Christi from 2004 – 2007 and stayed on for another year with the Sports Medicine Fellowship. We then moved back to Iowa to a small rural town called Bloomfield. I practiced full spectrum Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in Bloomfield from 2008-2011. I also had the honor of serving with the US Army as a Field Surgeon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and with the Iowa Army National Guard Medical Command. Mandy and I have been married over 18 years and feel truly blessed. God has given us seven awesome children and many opportunities to serve and for great life experiences.
Why Via Christi? I initially chose Via Christi for Family Medicine Residency and Sports Medicine Fellowship because of the quality & character of the residents and faculty, the full spectrum training, and the mission of Via Christi to care for all people in "the way of Christ." Faculty work with Via Christi gives me the opportunity to teach and mentor, be a part of a great team, and be involved with Sports Medicine and Family Medicine. It also gives me the balance in life between my family and medicine that I desire.
Clinical Interests: Sports medicine, OMT
Passions: Serving God, my family, my patients and country. Traveling. Reading. Sports. Ironman Triathlons. Marathons.
Favorite Books: The Bible, The Count of Monte Cristo, A River Runs Through It, Mere Christianity, and Fearless.
Favorite Quote: "God has made us for Himself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him." – St. Augustine
Jared Regehr, MD
Hometown: Halstead, KS
Undergraduate: Bethel College
Medical school: University of Kansas – Wichita
Bio: I come from a family of teachers and nurses. My parents showed my brothers and me what it meant to live a genuine life of love and service. I grew up just outside of Halstead and spent as much time with my brothers as possible. I followed most of my family members’ footsteps and attended Bethel College where I developed lifelong friendships that continue to be very important to me. Fortunately, my time in residency at Via Christi also provided the foundation for many more relationships that I look forward to continuing after residency. I try to live a simple life that includes loving God, loving others, and working hard.
Why Via Christi? I came to Via Christi as a resident because the faculty and residents were people I wanted to be like. I chose to pursue a faculty position at Via Christi because that statement remains truer than ever. Working with outstanding people that pursue excellence in medicine is important to me, and this position certainly fulfills that criteria. I cannot imagine having better mentors than those I have had at Via Christi and KU-SOM Wichita; I look forward to trying to do my part to continue that tradition.
Clinical Interests: Teaching, learning, and critical care medicine.
Passions/hobbies: My free time is spent with my niece/nephews and I am a huge Jayhawks basketball fan. Other hobbies include woodworking, running, construction projects with my dad and brothers, reading, and spending time outside with friends.
Favorite Books: Unbroken; Love Does; If Grace is True
Favorite Podcast: Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite Quote: " What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Advice for medical studentsNever pass up a learning opportunity. Stay humble and curious.
Amy Seery, MD
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics; Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine
Bio: I have always had a strong interest in life sciences, so I am just as happy to discuss woody plant encroachment of the tall grass prairies, or maternal feeding behavior in bison, or why canned food helped Napoleon conquer much of Europe. Medicine allows me to live each day as a scientist, examining the world around me with a sense of curiosity and appreciation, yet as a physician I can give back to my community through service and advocacy. As a pediatrician I also thrive off the joy and playfulness and resilience of my young patients. Teaching allows me to share in my love of learning. My heart will always be in clinical care, but I have been amazed at the leadership and advocacy opportunities that have come up in my career.
Why Via Christi? I basically grew up in this program. If you want the goods on older faculty members I have stories to share!
Clinical Interests: Childhood obesity, dermatology, dental health, health advocacy, cyberbullying, bed bugs, and media communications
Passions: CrossFit, traveling (especially in Europe), the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Favorite Books: Sapiens- A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari; just about anything by Terry Pratchett and Mercedes Lackey
Favorite Quote: "If you trust in yourself... and believe in your dreams... and follow your star... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. " – Granny Weatherwax
Favorite Podcast: Radiolab by WNYC
Advice: Be authentically you.
Tiffany Shin, PharmD
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Undergraduate: Ohio State University
Pharmacy School: Ohio State University
Residency: Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
Clinical Interests: diabetes, nutrition
Advice: First of all, take advantage of being in a wonderful environment where one of our main goals, in addition to patient care, is to teach and educate. You may never be in an environment like this again. Learn as much as you can from the faculty and your preceptors. Remember that it is part of our job to teach you! Second, the bond you form with your co-residents is like nothing else. I continue to be great friends with my co-residents even though we live in different parts of the country, and we've successfully had a reunion of some sort every year so far! Third, remember to have fun and relax! Residency is a lot of work, but it is important to have time to de-stress and recharge.
Todd Stephens, MD
Hometown: I grew up the fourth of 4 boys in Minneola, Kansas, a rural community in SW Kansas. I was steeped in a rich tradition of Family Medicine as my father was the family physician for the town. He is the finest doctor I have ever known personally (really!) and loved going to work which made it easy for me to consider medicine as a career. What’s more, my uncle, Gayle, was also a family physician who was instrumental in helping to launch Family Medicine as a specialty. My brother and cousin are family physicians. It’s in my blood…
Undergraduate: I attended two small Christian liberal arts colleges in Kansas and Illinois respectively that shaped and shepherded me well.
Medical School: University of Kansas (go ‘Hawks) SOM
Bio: As a medical student, I envisioned staying in Kansas and pursuing a career in OB. However, I took the advice of a mentor to pursue an international elective during my 4th year. Somewhat surreally, I found myself descending through the clouds over Kigali, Rwanda, on 2-month rotation at a remote medical mission hospital that “ruined” me and forever changed my focus and trajectory. I realized this incredible gift of medicine was not given to me by God for my own self interests; it was given to me to be poured out for others. I pursued Family Medicine because I was convinced it is the best tool for serving the least of these. I moved to Olathe, Kansas to work for a couple of years to relieve med school debt and gain some practical experience. Then, following a year of French language study in Quebec, Canada, and 6-months of Tropical Medicine in Belgium, we had the privilege of serving for 6 years in Kenya and Rwanda. These were some of the most fulfilling years of my life, in remote missions hospitals, caring for so many, way over my head clinically, but dependent on God for help and healing.
Why Via Christi? In 2007, we were pursuing another country of service when Via Christi Family Medicine Residency contacted me with an ‘idea’ of starting a global health fellowship. Not ready to stay in the States, we wrestled with this for nearly a year but sensed a confirmation to come and join the residency and help launch the Via Christi International Family Medicine Fellowship program in 2008. Though global health/medical missions makes my heart beat, I also love the community of Via Christi FMR. It is an incredible place to live, learn and grow. My faculty colleagues are excellent, with areas of expertise that add strength and flavor to our residency! Our community specialist attendings are brilliant and approachable. We recruit some of the brightest and most committed residents in the country and are privileged to sit in the shadow of UKSM-W which is one of the finest medical schools in the country for promoting Family Medicine. There is an ethos of providing excellence patient care, both medically and spiritually, while supporting each other at the same time. We train and send out family physicians who can go anywhere in rural, urban, or inner-city America, or to the darkest corners of the world and provide excellent and compassionate care, impacting the lives and health of nations. We train world changers here!
Clinical Interests: rural Family Medicine, endoscopy, tropical medicine, OB
Passions: I love my family most of all and just being with them! I have an amazing wife, Dawnita, and 5 above average children! I love my church family in Planeview. I love the mountains and grew up snow-skiing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, and backpacking in them; just being in them is therapy for me. I enjoy bike riding but am having trouble recruiting family members to ride with me. I enjoy travel; anywhere! Honestly, I enjoy most things; I am an enneagram type 7….
Favorite Books: “The Land of the Blue Burqas” Kate McCord. “The Signature of Jesus” Brennan Manning.
Favorite Quote: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Jesus, Luke 4
Scott Stringfield, MD
Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas. Actually, I was a military kid, so we moved all over from Taiwan to California to Colorado, Iowa, and Oklahoma, eventually landing in Kansas.
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas SOM
I have been on the faculty for 19 years and have the pleasure of being in charge of the recruitment process for the residency. It seems to fit my style of what I like to do in that I am allowed the privilege of meeting so many new students, some of whom become our residents and my friends. I have become convinced that my primary role here is not to teach, administrate, or even to see patients, although that is much of what I do. My primary role or calling here is to INFLUENCE and MENTOR residents and students to grow and change and see all that they can be both for themselves and for others.
Why Via Christi? They allowed me to come and be a faculty member who could freely mentor, influence and emphasize my passions with the residents.
Clinical Interests: Supporting families through unplanned pregnancies, Perinatal Hospice, OB Ultrasound, Inpatient Medicine, POCUS, Life Outside of Medicine, Spiritual Growth and Development (Discipleship)
Passions: My faith in Christ - this is my primary desire and passion, although I fail often at keeping this foremost in my life. Nevertheless, it is my goal to be clearly a Christian in my interactions with others. My life verse is Genesis 6:9 - "This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." This is my hope - to live rightly with others in accordance with what I believe, to be blameless among others (even those who may not like what I believe) and treat them as they desire, and in doing so honor my Lord and God. In addition, I desire to be walking with my God in all things (although as I said before, this is a weak area for me).
Favorite Books: The Bible - top of the list (I try to read it through every other year). Margin - Richard Swenson - the most profound and impactful book I have read other than the scriptures. It changed my life's direction and how I have chosen to live. I highly recommend it. Mere Christianity - CS Lewis - So simple and yet so profound.
Favorite Quote: "Real success is when those who know you the best, love you the most." – John Maxwell
Looking Back: My residency experience was very different than residency now. I am of a different generation and style, and yet I believe that those choosing Family Medicine want to pursue their dreams professionally and line that up with their passions to serve others as well. This discipline lends itself well to broad training, broad populations to serve, variety in life, and contentment in knowing that I can make a difference in the lives of others (physically, emotionally, familially, maritally, physiologically, philosophically, and spiritually). What other specialty allows such latitude in practice? I love it!
Advice: Pursue a place where your passions are validated, your heart is confirmed, your mind is embraced and stretched, and your needs for fellowship, friendship, and accountability are met.
Bonnie Tibbe, MD
Hometown: El Reno, Oklahoma
Undergraduate: Oklahoma Baptist University
Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Bio: I grew up in rural Oklahoma on a federal prison where my dad worked (not as a prisoner). Blissful days were spent in homeschooling, playing in the wheat trucks, and jumping out of the tree house onto the trampoline. After a trip to Peru in high school, I decided that doctoring was for me. Family Medicine was a natural choice for me because I enjoy getting to know my patients and learning about every aspect in medicine. Teaching at Via Christi has been a dream job. I daily learn from very talented faculty and residents. I especially enjoy encouraging the young women residents as they go through our program. My sweet husband is an MD as well and we have one daughter.
Clinical Interests: Women's Health, Home Visits, Community Medicine
Passions/Hobbies: Being outside, hiking, playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, reading
Favorite Books: Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Advice: Choose a program with faculty and co-residents that you want to imitate. When you are struggling, find someone else who is struggling and do something to cheer them up. It will make you feel better.
Tracy Williams, MD
Hometown: Montezuma, Kansas. I’m a small-town girl (graduation class size 18!)
Undergraduate: Kansas State University - Nutrition and Exercise Science
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine - I still cheer for KSU despite having given KU more of my money
Bio: I completed my Family Medicine residency at Via Christi. My husband is also a physician. Our training took us to North Carolina where he did an Endocrinology fellowship while I did an OB & Women's Health fellowship. Our first child, Ruby, was born during our fellowships. I lovingly refer to her as my family medicine "honors project." I now coordinate the OB and Women's Health Rotations at Via Christi. My goal is for every resident to feel like they have done an OB fellowship by the time they graduate.
Why Via Christi? The Midwest is still the "wild west" for Family Medicine. My residents never say, "I don't need to know that, because I am a family doc." Instead they want to learn it BECAUSE they are a family doc. They value the depth and breadth of care they can provide their patients as a family physician. This is especially evident in their attitude about learning to do obstetrics.
Clinical Interests: OB (infant mortality, PNC for the underserved, diabetes in pregnancy), Women's Health (colposcopy, domestic violence).
Passions: Family (my husband and kids)
Hobbies: Photography, Tandem bicycling (AKA marriage tester), watching movies, reading (I'm in a book club), playing with my kids (Ruby and William)