Class of 2014
Class of 2014 Mission Statement
"We the class of 2014 come together from diverse backgrounds and are honored and humbled to join the community of Rochester. It is our mission to deliver excellent and evidence-based, holistic, patient-centered care with compassion and honesty, fostering the health of our patients and community. We will act with courage and integrity, knowing and pushing our limits, respecting all members of the health care interaction, and creating opportunities to serve, teach, learn and advocate. We will support each other in these efforts in an atmosphere of respect and camaraderie, maintaining our own health and wellness. We pledge this today the 15th of June 2011."
Sophina M. Calderon, M.D.
University of Rochester
Sophina grew up just outside of Tuba City, Arizona on the Southwestern tip of the Navajo Nation. Her first real off-reservation exposure was when she attended a math and science program for minority high school students at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for three consecutive summers. It was there that she realized the potential for a rich education. Sophina attended Dartmouth College studying Mathematics and Religion and became fluent in Spanish through their study-abroad program in Puebla, Mexico. Tutoring various courses in college, she found teaching to be a real passion. She taught in various capacities after college and through her Postbaccalaureate Program at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Sophina returned home to Tuba City and taught high school mathematics while preparing for medical school. She eventually attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry with a promise to return home one day to help her people as a Family Physician. Her medical school activities include working with migrant patients through a migrant health care program in Sodus, NY and organizing various Native American heritage activities with a large focus on Native American health. Sophina's research experience includes Navajo colorectal cancer screening awareness on the Navajo Nation and mental illness perspectives among Karen and Cuban refugees in Rochester. During medical school, Sophina married a great guy from Mexico City and became a mother to a beautiful boy.
Francesca I. Decker, M.D., M.P.H.
State University of New York, Downstate Medical
Francesca grew up in a log cabin on a horse farm outside Ithaca, NY. After attending Cornell for undergrad majoring in Biology and Society, she took a year off, interned at the NIH, studied Spanish and traveled through Peru before confirming her decision to apply to medical school. She completed an MD/MPH at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn - a subtle change from the rural upstate life! Brooklyn was amazing, and Francesca loved living in NYC, but she’s excited to be returning upstate for the Urban Track residency and for the unique and well-organized opportunities in health policy, global health and women's health that Rochester offers, as well as the enthusiastic faculty that she’ll get to work with.
Francesca loves to travel and ended medical school with a 6-week elective in Thailand, and she hopes to return someday to explore more of Thailand and Southeast Asia. Her career interests include health policy/research, sexual health, nutrition, preventive medicine and end of life care. She loves to read, talk, debate, hike and eat. Francesca’s boyfriend couples matched in IM at Rochester with her, and he is a phenomenal cook (lucky for her), so they are both very excited about having the super-Wegmans nearby! Francesca thinks family medicine is the most exciting field in medicine, and is a passionate advocate for primary care in the U.S., so she’s looking forward to being part of this amazing community!
Katherine Eisenberg, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Kate and her husband both grew up in Ithaca, NY before migrating the two hours northeast to Rochester in 2003 so she could attend the University of Rochester’s Medical Scientist Training Program. Kate received her PhD in Epidemiology in 2009 after researching exposure to lead among refugee populations in Rochester and in several other states. During her time in medical and graduate school she was able to participate in a number of research and clinical opportunities, including investigating the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in young children, determining the distribution of HIV/TB coinfection in a primary care population in South Africa, and serving on the steering committee of UR Well, the University of Rochester’s medical student-run free clinic. Before medical school she studied ecology at Princeton, then completed a year-long fellowship in Emerging Infections at the Wadsworth Center, the public health laboratory of the New York State Department of Health in Albany, NY. Kate is interested in population health and preventive medicine, and she thinks Family Medicine is an excellent fit for these interests. She and her husband live in the City or Rochester with their two children, born in 2006 and 2009, and one large brown labradoodle named Snuffleupagus.
Thomas R. Gregg, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Thomas grew up in central Illinois in the 1970s and '80s, in the Springfield area, in a supportive community and family environment. He fished and hiked with my dad and sister and had an interest in science. Thomas has always enjoyed working together as a team with others, and meeting new people. He went to college in a small town in Iowa. Because he was interested in the study of people and cultures, he majored in psychology. In 1996, he was accepted to a neuroscience graduate program at a university in an urban underserved community. Wanting to help meet the needs of the community, Thomas got involved in activist groups and community-based volunteer work such as mentoring. He then realized that if he became a doctor, he could have a positive impact on a community, while caring for individuals. After finishing the neuroscience degree, he applied to medical school and at the age of 34 started medical school at Rochester. Thomas hopes to work in Haiti in the future, is married, and completed 2 years of a general surgery residency. As far as career goals go, Thomas is also interested in practices that welcome people of diverse cultures as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Jennette E. Hathorn, D.O.
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jennette is an Upstate New Yorker to the core! She was born and raised in Rochester’s inner city. When her parents moved to Ithaca NY after Jennette graduated from high-school she decided to go with them and enjoy the “gorges” small town with it’s many delights. Jennette did my undergrad at SUNY Upstate in nursing. After working as an RN for a few years in both Syracuse and Ithaca, she felt called to go to medical school. Jennette choose an Osteopathic school, The University of New England, in southern Maine because of their emphasis on primary care and rural medicine. She is very excited to be back in Rochester and to be near her siblings and 5 amazing nieces and nephews who live in the area. Jennette went into medical school knowing that she wanted to be a family doctor, and that hasn’t changed at all! She's interested in obstetrics, global health and pediatrics. Outside of medicine, Jennette loves to run (even if it’s slow), cook, and read. She is active in her church and loves the Boston Red Sox!
Matthew D. Mack, M.D.
State University of New York, Buffalo
I am passionate about helping individuals in struggling communities find health, purpose, healing, and meaning for their lives. I have had many wonderful mentors who have born and grown this passion within me (many of them selfless family physicians who serve whole-heartedly). After I started my Family Medicine training through UR’s wonderful program in 2006, I began to feel that my role was best suited as a mental health counselor, and decided to leave residency after 2 years to pursue a Masters in mental health counseling. At that time I also began working alongside a community family physician in one of Rochester’s most underserved areas. After 3 years of working as a general practitioner at this clinic that serves the needs of all aspects of a person, my passion to provide the full spectrum of care provided by family medicine was reborn. I am fascinated and so grateful to have come to a full understanding of the transforming role a family physician has in the lives of his or her patients when trust is built through the meeting of real physical needs, and doors are opened to the interior of a patient’s heart. It is a truly unique role that cannot be approximated by any other field of human work. I am very glad to be rejoining the UR Family Medicine family so that I can complete my training, and fully join with family physicians to bring this healing to hurting communities
Jillian M. Moore, M.D.
Albany Medical College
Jillian M. Moore is very excited to be returning to Western New York after spending the past eight years in Albany. She was born in Buffalo and grew up in Orchard Park, NY. After graduating high school, Moore was accepted into an eight year program with Siena College and Albany Medical College. While at Siena, she was able to duel major in Biology and Spanish, experience time abroad in Spain and Mexico, and discover her love for community service. At Albany Medical College, she was immediately drawn to Family Medicine after her first clinical clerkship in her third year. Family Medicine allows her to continue helping the underserved, of any age. Its physicians have a unique role and responsibility in knowing, incorporating and anticipating all aspects of an individual’s health, in the context of their family and community. Moore’s interests within Family Med include Global Health, becoming fluent in medical Spanish, and maternal/child health.
Outside of medicine, Moore enjoys spending time with her husband, Craig, and their friends and family. She loves to cook and eat, especially with a chef for a husband! She hopes to get into a volleyball or softball league while in Rochester, and is looking forward to traveling again to Honduras through the Global Health track.
Quang H. Nguyen, M.D.
Quang’s nuclear family translocated to the United States from Vietnam when he was six years old. Twenty years have passed, twenty long winters, and how much has passed in that brief span! Quang has been blessed in his life to walk in solidarity with the people of this Earth: the moments of friendship and lucidity that are the fabric of fond memories. He looks forward to his future in Family Medicine, and to be able to repay humanity for its profound acts of kindness and of love.
Brendan C. O'Connor, M.D., M.P.H.
State University of New York, Upstate Medical
Brendan was born in Hammondsport NY, the third of 5 children. His father is a family physician and his mother was president of the school board and now works as secretary for the local Catholic parish. Brendan spent his junior year of high school as an exchange student in Kanazawa, Japan. He transferred to the University of Notre Dame after one year at SUNY Geneseo; there he studied Biology and Public Policy. Brendan got his Masters in Public Health at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn and spent a brief but interesting period interning in the NYC Mayors office. He became active in health care reform advocacy, specifically the single payer movement, and sustained that interest while attending SUNY Upstate, first in Syracuse and then at the Binghamton campus. Brendan was an active member of the American Medical Student Association. He enjoys Swing and Salsa dancing, likes reading fantasy and science fiction novels, and is trying to get back in the habit of jogging. His girlfriend, Sarah, lives in Rochester and grew up in nearby Avon, NY. Needless to say, she is as thrilled as Brendan that he matched at Highland Family Medicine.
Manjeet Prewal, M.D.
Manjeet grew up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He completed his Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences at The University of Western Ontario. From there he attended Saba University School of Medicine and was lucky enough to do a lot of his clinical rotations in Houma, Louisiana. During his fourth year he married his wonderful wife Simran who is also a Family Physician. It was during his medical training he transformed his own lifestyle and continued his deep interest in spirituality that led him to decide on Family Medicine. The University of Rochester is the perfect choice because he will be able to pursue his interest in global health as well as a holistic approach to medicine. Both he and his wife are teachers of meditation and enjoy sharing it with others. Manjeet loves to run, do yoga, and play sports. He also cooks and reads whenever he gets the chance. He is really excited to be in Rochester.
Sophia A. Purekal, M.D.
University of Washington
Sophia’s parents immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s and she was born and raised in Yonkers, NY. She studied history and anthropology at Columbia University. It was due to community service both during and after college that Sophia decided what she really wanted to do is to take care of underserved communities holistically. Without knowing it, she was destined to be a Family Practice doctor before even starting medical school! For school, Sophia made the big change of moving to the west coast to attend the University of Washington, in Seattle. UW was a great place for her, both for its support of primary care (especially family medicine!) and for the variety of experiences it afforded in working in both urban and rural underserved communities.
Sophia is now really happy to be returning to New York – albeit to a part of the state that is yet another unexplored territory for her! – and training in a program that is devoted to caring for immigrant and other underserved communities and offers unique training in sustainable global health work. Over the next few years, she also looks forward to the possibility of learning to play her new guitar, and to getting to know beautiful Rochester and the Finger Lakes and Adirondack Mountain regions.
Natercia R. Rodrigues, M.D.
University of Connecticut
Rooted in Hartford, Connecticut, Natercia is looking forward to venturing outside of New England. Her academic passions have always been evenly split across the sciences and humanities--she graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a double major in Biochemistry and French. While in medical school at the University of Connecticut she continued to write and paint and even speak French. One summer, she WWOOFed (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in France, building a stone-wall alongside a river and riding bikes through Champagne and Aveyron. Back at home she continues her interests in farming and the outdoors by planting, hiking, and cooking delicious meals from farmer’s market finds with her partner, Arn (a Rochester native).
Her interests in medicine include women’s reproductive health, political advocacy and hospice/palliative care. She is looking forward to pursuing these passions and discovering many more.
Yukiko Simoneaux, M.B.
Hyogo Medical University
Yukiko was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan and graduated from Hyogo College of Medicine in 2004. During a two-year general rotation after graduation, she attended a lecture on family medicine which significantly influenced her and, since then, she has been pursuing a career in this field. She later joined Mie University Hospital, one of the facilities providing family medicine program in Japan. While there, she had an opportunity to do an observership at a general practitioner’s clinic in Sydney for four weeks, and in Dubbo in the outback in Australia for three weeks. While in Australia, she was given the opportunity to accompany a female physician, who flew to even more remote areas in Australia in order to offer both women’s and mental health to females there. For the past year, she has worked at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) doing vigorous rotations while also playing a role as liaison between local Japanese hospitals and USNHO. She says the exposure to Western medicine and culture she gained while working there deeply enriched her carrier and life. Yukiko is very excited to be a part of Family Medicine residency at the University of Rochester and is looking forward to finding her niche in family medicine.Outside of work, she loves traveling, communicating with local people and exploring local foods. She also enjoys swimming, snorkeling, dancing and singing old songs at karaoke. Yukiko is looking forward to exploring Rochester with her husband, Steve.