January 2016 Newsletter
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Bi-Annual Student and Alumni Newsletter

January 2016


ATSU-NWRPCA's Class of 2018


During orientation, the Class of 2018 experienced an authentic Northwest afternoon with a hike through Portland’s Forrest Park and lunch at the historic Pittock Mansion. Dr. William Robinson, Assistant Professor of Anatomy at ATSU-SOMA’s Mesa, AZ campus, joined the day’s activities.


Experiences of a lifetime in Alaska

Summer in the Alaska Interior - A medical student’s experience in rural Alaska

Jamie Viterna, Class of 2017

If I could describe the best adventure imaginable in medical school, it would be travelling to Alaska for a rotation in a remote village of the Interior. Thanks to the NWRPCA, Alaska’s AHEC, and ATSU-SOMA, I was provided this extraordinary experience. I worked with Dr. Tamara Huntington, a family doctor practicing in Galena (population of 480, and only accessible by boat, SnoGo, or plane). She is the only doctor serving the six villages in the Galena area, where she travels by plane or SnoGo every 6 months to see patients with complex medical conditions. The need for physicians is overwhelming, and it was a powerful experience for me to work with a doctor that helps these remote communities every day.


As a visitor, I found that everyone in the community was extremely welcoming, and everyone is treated like family in the Interior. During my rotation, I lived with different families, house-sat, went boating on the Yukon River, participated in a charity game and raffle night to help a local family with medical expenses, and attended a wedding where everyone danced to the “Indian Rock‘N’Roll” written by an Alaskan Native from Huslia (look the song up on YouTube!). This rotation solidified my desires to help a community in a rural and underserved area, and I am so thankful for this opportunity I was given with ATSU-SOMA-NWRPCA.

Local wedding reception in Galena, AK where locals dance to “Indian Rock’n’Roll”.



3rd year student, Jamie Viterna on a day hike during her family medicine rotation at Edgar Nollner Community Health Center in Galena, Alaska.


Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. The health center is designed to look like the inside of a tree, and incorporates Native Alaskan artwork throughout.



3rd year student, Joshua Ostrue enjoys scenic Kodiak, Alaska during his family medicine rotation at Kodiak Community Health Center.

3rd year student, Jose Sanchez with preceptors, Drs. Paul Zimmer, Emmy Nakasu Davison, and Curtis Mortenson at the Kodiak Community Heath Center in Kodiak, Alaska.


Alumni Insider


The Hardest Year of Your Medical Career

Martin Peters, DO, Class of 2013

In my experience, the advisors told me, “The hardest part of medical school is getting in.” In medical school, they say, “Step I of the boards is the hardest test of your life.” Then, it was about the challenge getting into a residency program. There is a theme here, and it never ends.

For some reason I find this comforting, it’s just the way it is. These “hardest ever” moments are not just things to get through, but opportunities to experiment and seek work-life balance in the most challenging circumstances. Viewing these challenges as opportunity will prepare you for a life-long career in medicine, because there is always a next hurdle on the horizon (fellowship, family, faculty).


Martin Peters with partner, Crystal Lebeda and son, August Peters.


Intern year is arguably the hardest year of your medical career. You are responsible for all data pertaining to your patients, you will be writing orders and working for the first time with indirect supervision. Success, in my opinion, comes from “to-do” lists and anticipation.

The chief surgical resident told me my intern year, that, “there are two types of interns. Those

that write stuff down and those that forget.” You will be a decent intern if all you do is make

check boxes with patient needs on paper, complete the tasks and check the “checky box”.

In modern medicine, there is a critical amount of data and reviewing all of this data on a patient “is the responsibility of the intern” as your senior resident and attending will tell you. Anticipation is the most important skill in medicine, and will make data collection more focused. Anticipate what key data is needed on the patient, anticipate what questions the senior or attending will ask you, and anticipate what complications your patients may have.

Your intern year is the hardest year of your medical career. That is until your second year of residency where you will be responsible for managing interns…


A word from Regional Director of Medical Education, Dr. Lee Herskowitz

Congratulations Dr. Watts! We are proud to announce our own Portland based faculty person, Lisa Watts, DO has a new leadership position at ATSU/SOMA. After being at the NWRPCA campus since its inception seven years ago, she has served not only as Regional Director of Medical Education, but also as Director of Medical Education for the Wright Center/ATSU CHC based multisite Family Medicine residency. She has been an outstanding leader amongst the faculty and is highly respected by the faculty on the CHC campuses, as well as the Mesa based faculty group.

Her new position is Assistant Dean of Clinical Services, Assessment and Outcomes, and Director of Graduate Medical Education. She will continue to provide leadership in development, management, assessment and review of outcomes related to SOMA Clinical Clerkship curriculum. She will also supervise the Clinical Education Department and represent SOMA to community campuses and affiliates as Assistant Dean. We know she is as excited about this new opportunity, as we are for being appointed to it.

Interns in Family Medicine at Orcas Family Health Center

3rd year medical student, Jessica Sallstrom is featured in the Islands' Sounder on her family medicine rotation at Orcas Family Health Center in Orcas, WA. Read the Islands' Sounder article here.


Left to right: Ruth Lewinski, Dr. David Shinstrom, and Jessica Sallstrom.

Image Credit - The Islands' Sounder, Contributed Photo


Career Center: Family Medicine Positions in Region X


Position: Family Medicine Physician

Organization: Kodiak Area Native Association, Kodiak, AK

The Kodiak Area Native Association, located in beautiful Kodiak, Alaska, issearching for an adventurous, highly motivated physician to join our team that is committed to patient-centered care, customer service, quality improvement, and stewardship. KANAis celebrating its 50th year of providing excellent patient and family focused health care and social services to Alaska Natives and other Beneficiaries throughout Kodiak Island. KANA’s award winning medical staff is comprised of four physicians who work in conjunction with four mid-level providers, dedicated nurse case managers, and ancillary staff to deliver the highest quality, team based health care to an active user population of 3000 patients. Our patient centered medical home model incorporates collaborative Behavioral Health, Dental, and Pharmacy services within the primary care setting to facilitate an advanced support system that ensures our patients’ needs are met. Our Providers travel monthly by small plane to our six rural village clinics to provide services in collaboration with the Community Health Aides and Behavioral Health Aides. They also provide inpatient and OB services at the local hospital with a 1:4 call ratio. KANA also offers Child Services and Youth Prevention Projects; Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program; Vocational Rehabilitation; Employment and Training programs; Early Childhood program; Infant Learning Program, and a full service Fitness Center.

Alaska’s Emerald Isle awaits you!

To learn more about how you can start your adventure of a lifetime, visit our website atwww.kanaweb.org,call us at 907-486-9880, or contact HR athr@kanaweb.org.


How to Apply / Contact

To learn more, visit our website atwww.kanaweb.org,call us at 907-486-9880, or contact HR athr@kanaweb.org.



Position: Family Practice Physician with OB

Organization: Family Health Services, Burley, ID

Under indirect supervision, provides and manages direct health care for a specified patient population. May supervise physician assistants and/or nurse practitioners.

A current medical licensing from the State of Idaho or ability to obtain.. The medical license must be free of restriction and no litigation or disciplinary actions may be pending against the incumbent.

How to Apply / Contact

Please send letter of interest and CV to: cphillips@fhsid.org


Position: Physician

Organization: Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the development of a fully integrated primary care home in Sweet Home Oregon. Become part of a multi-disciplinary team providing patient centered primary care in an integrated model of service delivery. CHC is a growing Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with clinic sites in Corvallis, Monroe, Alsea, and Lebanon, Oregon. This position is for a new site in Sweet Home. The applicant must have a strong interest in working with diverse populations. Board certification or eligibility is required.Bilingual English/Spanish applicants are encouraged to apply. Regular clinic hours are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday – Friday and select evening hours until 8 pm. Successful applicant is required to pass a background investigation with hiring contingent on passing the investigation.

Sweet Home offers a unique and livable location for people who enjoy the small-town lifestyle. It provides the best of both worlds for it is far enough off the beaten path (I-5 corridor) to be a truly rustic rural community. Yet the people from this beautiful area can drive less than sixty miles to access two major universities, two metropolitan areas with all of their cultural and shopping opportunities, the state capitol, and endless recreational opportunities.
Sweet Home attracts visitors year round to its hidden beauty. In winter, the snow-capped Cascade Mountains boast both downhill and cross-country skiing. There is excellent deer and elk hunting in the fall. During the spring and summer, water sport enthusiasts enjoy sailing, water skiing fishing, and camping on Green Peter and Foster Lakes.


How to Apply / Contact

To apply, copy and paste this link:




For questions regarding the Primary Care Physician opportunity, please contact Sherlyn Dahl, Community Health Center Executive Director: 541-766-2131



Position: PediatricianFamily Medicine Physician

Organization: Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, Yakima and Sunnyside, WA

Yakima Neighborhood Health Services needs another great Pediatrician! Join four talented and committed pediatricians in beautiful Central Washington State, in a new state of the art Community Health Center practice.


We have five sites providing primary medical/behavioral health care, and three of them currently offer dental services. Our Sunnyside office, which is 35 miles south of our 8thStreet clinic, has recently undergone a major expansion, adding 10,000 square feet to the existing 6,000 square feet, which added additional medical exam rooms, dental operatories, an in-house pharmacy, and our first vision center. The other three satellites – all located in Yakima, cater to special needs populations like the homeless, mentally ill, and elderly. Using evidence-based, team-based care, our philosophy is to serve patients in settings they can access and feel most comfortable.


We are looking for providers who are mission-oriented, and wanting to work with a multi-disciplined health team to get patients the care they need. Our team includes pharmacists, behavioral health counselors, public health nurses, nutritionists, outreach workers, housing specialists, case managers, access (eligibility) specialists, dentists, dental hygienists, and a cadre of support staff. Together, our goal is to create a quality comprehensive system of care that is simple for our patients to navigate.


YNHS offers a competitive compensation package, inclusive of malpractice coverage , paid leave , CME, retirement / life / disability.


If you look at our website atwww.ynhs.orgyou will see breadth in our services and diversity in our staff. We are committed to hiring individuals who share a sense of compassion for the underserved, and passion for quality.


How to Apply / Contact

Send CV to rhonda.hauff@ynhs.org



For more details on these positions and many others in Region X, visit the NWRPCA Career Center

Register for the 2016 Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health

February 24-26 in Portland, OR

The Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health is an annual conference bringing together health professionals from migrant and community health centers and allied organizations for the purposes of education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development. Read more about Western Forum history.

Participate in our newsletters and conferences! Please contact Katie Siri, ATSU-NWRPCA Rotations Specialist for opportunities to contribute to our newsletters, campus events, and conferences. kmsiri@atsu.edu, 503-504-1014




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