Class of 2012 Mission Statement
"Our mission is to become excellent clinicians, learners and educators while serving diverse communities and caring for our patients, loved ones, and each other."
Zachary Borus, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
After growing up in West Hartford, CT, I studied History and Biochemistry at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. While at Bowdoin, I led health education programs on eating disorders and sexual violence prevention, spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa, and met my wife, Kate Mendenhall. After college, I spent a year in Boston doing sociology research and working at Mass General; spent seven months in Colorado working on a dude ranch and hiking in the Rockies; and then traveled around the world for five months working on organic farms with Kate, who now works as the Executive Director of a statewide organic farming nonprofit. I then spent a year as an Americorps volunteer at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco prior to moving to Rochester for medical school. At the U of R, I served as the Clinic Director and Homeless Outreach Director of UR Well, the school's student-run free clinic project. I also took a year off between my third and fourth years to get my MPH, studying environmental health, epidemiology, and qualitative and community-based participatory research methods. I am thrilled to have chosen to stay in Rochester for residency, and participated in the Global Health, Advocacy, and OB tracks. I plan to practice full-spectrum Family Medicine for the underserved and do community-based research, and currently am a Maternal and Child Health Fellow in the Department of Family Medicine. Kate and I are passionate about local, sustainably grown food, love to garden and cook, and get outside whenever we can. We live in the South Wedge with our three backyard chickens and our big black dog, Mochi. Email Zachary.
Anne Corbett, M.D.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
I was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Bethesda, MD. I attended college at Tulane University in Northern Louisiana and took a year off before finishing my BS in biochemistry at UMD. During and after college, I held a variety of jobs, including real estate, focus groups on transportation safety and military re-enlistment, and as an ER scribe. I went to medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, where I helped to found a student-run clinic for the uninsured. I also volunteered internationally, as an HIV educator in Belize and with a medical brigade in Honduras. My interests include micropractice, chronic care management, obstetrics, international health, and working with underserved communities. In my free time, I enjoy reading, crochet, and handspinning. During medical school, I met my partner, Samantha, a writer, at knitting/crocheting group. Our home is full of yarn and books, but our latest project is our garden, where we hope soon to be growing our own vegetables. Currently I am looking forward to joining a practice at a community health center in rural upstate New York.
Lisa Downing, M.D., M.P.H.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
I was born in Canada and moved to Buffalo, NY, when I was 12 years old. After Kenmore East High School, I attended Cornell University, where I studied human development. I moved to Los Angeles, California, and spent three years as a high school teacher before returning to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Public Health at UCLA. I enjoyed working as a health educator and program manager for a short time before completing my MD at the Charles Drew University/UCLA, where I focused my efforts on providing services for underserved communities. I hope to continue my interests in teaching and community service. Email Lisa.
Jennifer Frese, M.D.
Dartmouth Medical School
I was raised in Harrisburg, PA, and then discovered wonderful New England through college at Bowdoin, 5 years developing blood gas analyzers in Boston, and then medical school at Dartmouth. My husband Zak and I moved with our twin boys to Rochester for a medicine internship. Although we miss the Red Sox fanatics, Rochester is wonderful. We love the hiking, farms, neighborhood playgrounds, and Lake Ontario beaches. After a year of Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester, I found I loved primary care and adult medicine more than ever. However, I greatly missed women's health, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Transferring to Family Medicine was a perfect fit! Currently I am working with my classmate, Erin Lineman, as a fourth year Co-Chief Resident. Email Jennifer.
Melanie Gnazzo, M.D.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine
I grew up in a small town near Hartford, Connecticut, with the distinction of living in the same house from birth until I moved to Philadelphia, PA, to attend the University of Pennsylvania. There, I studied bioengineering. However, after graduation and a dreary year of working in a lab, I realized I could create a vocation of my passions—health, food production and eliminating disparities in access to these basic needs. I traveled to Central America, where I volunteered with medical clinics in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras for a little over one year. I also continued an interest in gardening with youth, which sprouted while I was in Philadelphia. In Central America, it occurred to me that medicine embodies the advocacy work I seek while utilizing the science that interests me. So I returned to Hartford, CT, to attend the University of Connecticut School of Medicine via the National Health Service Corps. I feel very lucky to have come to Rochester, where I discovered excellent clinical education with strong models of providing for the underserved that I can take with me in future practice. My husband, Victor, and I found the city a vibrant and a delightful place to live. Currently I am working at a community health center in New Haven, Connecticut.
Elizabeth Helm, M.D.
State University of New York University at Buffalo School of Medicine
Although I was born in Missouri, I spent most of my life in Western New York—growing up in and around Buffalo. I received a BS in Biological Sciences, a BA in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish at SUNY Buffalo in May 2005. As part of an eight-year program, I then attended SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. With a growing interest in public health and policy, I am now in the five-year combined Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine residency program at the University of Rochester. Eventually, I hope to pursue a career in public health and medical missions. Coupling these interests, I am part of both the Global Health and Political Advocacy Tracks. Participating in global health and relief work has always been a dream of mine; during college and medical school, I was able to go on several short trips to Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador with my church. These experiences showed me that, as an American, I have been blessed beyond measure and have a responsibility to carry those blessings abroad. That said, medicine is not the largest part of me. I enjoy writing, playing piano, attempting to play bass guitar, cooking, kickboxing, reading/genre hopping, snowboarding, rollerblading, and Pilates. Currently I am completing the two year Preventive Medicine portion of my residency. Email Elizabeth.
Edith Hui, M.D.
Saba University School of Medicine
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and obtained my undergraduate degree in honors physiology and Bachelor of Medical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario in London. I then attended medical school at Saba University School of Medicine on Saba, Netherland-Antilles. It’s a tiny island (five square miles) with a population of 1,500 people. Among my hobbies and interests are softball, tennis, and karaoke. I have moved back to Toronto to be close to family and begin my career in primary care.
Rebecca Irvine, M.D.
School of Medicine
I grew up in the small town of Brockville, Ontario, Canada, situated on the St. Lawrence River/1000 islands. While completing an honors degree in Life Science nearby in Kingston, Ontario, I spent many afternoons volunteering at the nearby hospital. It was during this time, talking to pre-op patients & comforting children going through chemotherapy that I decided to go into medicine. Although not an easy decision, moving to the remote island known as Saba for medical school was an experience I will never forget, forming many long-lasting friendships. Outside of medicine, my passion has always been equestrian show-jumping, in which I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout North America and Europe, representing Canada on many national teams. Enjoying all aspects of medicine, I am especially drawn to global health projects and preventative medicine. Since graduation I've returned to Brockville to begin my practice.
Audra Laing, MBChB
University of Auckland
I was born in Wheeling, WV, and moved to New Zealand with my parents when I was 6 years old. I was schooled at the University of Auckland and then went on to serve as a General Practitioner in one of the poorest rural areas of the city. My ex-husband and I moved to Rochester with our two children. I stayed home with our children for two years and then spent the next three years working with patients as a care technician and medical assistant while obtaining my US medical license. I am joining a practice in suburban/rural upstate New York. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my children and fiance, camping, hiking, and horseback riding.
Erin Lineman, M.D.
State University of New York at Syracuse College of Medicine
I grew up in the beautiful state of New Jersey (stop laughing all you New Yorkers). I became a full-fledged Upstate New Yorker, however, when my family moved to Corning. I was a freshman in high school at the time. I stayed in Upstate New York and went to Houghton College for undergrad and majored in Biology with a Missions minor. When I entered college, I thought that I would most likely be a teacher, maybe a science teacher, but quite possibly a kindergarten teacher. While at Houghton, I was able to participate in two semesters abroad, one in Tanzania and one in Morocco. It was during that time that my love for travel really developed. I thrived in these environments and really felt so much more at home while away than I often do in the US. I was also able to visit some of the rural clinics in these areas, and I was drawn to the idea of practicing medicine oversees in a clinic setting. I saw such a great need in these places, and slowly my ideas of teaching began to fade. I went to Upstate Medical University and, for a long time, thought that I would be a pediatrician (that whole kindergarten teacher thing was still a big part of me), but when I thought of what I would need for a clinic setting overseas, I thought I really should learn a little bit about everything. Family Medicine seemed like the perfect fit. Currently I am working with my fellow classmate, Jif Frese, as fourth year Co-Chief Resident in the Department of Family Medicine. When I am not working, I love to paint, read, and spend time in the great outdoors doing just about anything. Most of all, however, I want my life to be about serving others and honoring God through my work. Email Erin.