L.I.F.E. Community and Christian Physician Formation Leadership

Amy Hayton, MD, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs and Wellness

Amy Hayton, MD, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs and Wellness

Director, L.I.F.E. Communities
Co-Director, Christian Physician Formation

 

I am from the San Francisco Bay Area (San Jose and Pleasanton) but have lived in Southern California since I was 18. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Azusa Pacific University. I took a year before medical school to serve in Nigeria as a teacher of children's ministry in a Bible College. I completed medical school and Internal Medicine Residency at Loma Linda University where I met my husband Andy (currently practicing psychiatry). I completed a chief year at the VA Hospital where I fell in love with medical education. Twin girls and a little boy came shortly after (quickly as we had all three in less than 2 years!). I practice clinically at the VA where I enjoy continuity with my veteran patients in primary care. I held the position of clerkship director for Internal Medicine for five years. I have served as a dean since 2019, currently in the capacity of Associate Dean of Physician Formation and Wholeness, and enjoy mentoring and advising students as well as changing curriculum to meet the current needs of students. My academic interests include reflection, resilience skills, and mentoring. When I am not working clinically, I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids (ages 14, 14, and 12), running (2 marathons under my belt), serving in my church, hosting groups of friends in my home, and playing with our dog Coco. I hope the L.I.F.E. Community program will support your growth as you become a physician and I look forward to getting to know each of you!

Zane Yi, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Religion

Zane Yi, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Religion

Co-Director, Christian Physician Formation
 

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. I attended Southern Adventist University, where I studied theology, and then went on to complete graduate studies in both theology and philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Loyola Marymount University, and Fordham University. I joined the School of Religion faculty at Loma Linda University in 2013, where I currently serve as the associate dean. I love conversations with students about the explore philosophical, theological (and spiritual) questions about medicine and how to stay connected to the “whys” that brought them to graduate school. For fun, I enjoy making for (and eating pizza with) my spouse and daughter, who is 8 years old.

Mentors

Deena Bengiamin, MD  - Emergency Medicine

Deena Bengiamin, MD - Emergency Medicine

LIFE Communities Group 20 - Goldenrod

I was born in Egypt, grew up in Oman and came to the US when I was 15 years old. I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, medical school and residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Irvine (Go Anteaters!). I completed a fellowship in medical education at University of California San Francisco Fresno and stayed on as faculty along with my husband who is also an Emergency Medicine physician. I joined the Loma Linda faculty in 2018 and have loved being here. My academic interests include medical education, mentorship, and simulation. When I am not working clinically, I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids, traveling, baking, crocheting and going to Disneyland. I am excited to continue being a part of the learning community family and getting to know my community group!

Thomas Bravo, MD -Neurology

Thomas Bravo, MD -Neurology

LIFE Communities Group 8 - Teal 

I grew up just outside of Lake Arrowhead, CA in the San Bernardino Mountains here in the Inland Empire.  I went to undergrad at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and graduated from medical school here at LLU in 2010.  I attended residency in Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ in Neurology at the Mayo Clinic and completed a fellowship in headache medicine there.  I was happy to return to take a position as assistant professor in Neurology in 2015.  I split my clinical life between treating those with headache disorders, as an attending on our hospital Neurology service and as Program Director for our Neurology Residency.  I’m happily married and have 3 young kids and live in Rancho Cucamonga.  My biggest hobby has become playing with my kids and watching them grow.  I enjoy jogging and hiking when I can and being engaged in medical education.  I love being a part of the learning community program and sharing in the joys and challenges of medical school from the other side.

Kelsey Bullock, MD - Psychiatry

Kelsey Bullock, MD - Psychiatry

LIFE Communities Group 9 - Forest

I was born and raised in the rural Pacific Northwest, with a significant part of my life spent on dairy farms.  I started my college years at a local public junior college then transitioned to Andrews University in Michigan to finish my pre-med experience.  I came to Loma Linda for medical school and haven't looked back.  I love Southern California and the sunshine makes me truly happy to live here!  I continued on with Loma Linda for my residency and new career in psychiatry, hoping to make an impact on access to high quality care for the Inland Empire.  My husband, AJ, is in the business world and he helps keep my focus on the big picture - not just the daily stressors of being a physician.  AJ and I got married not too long ago at the San Diego Safari Park, which may be a hint that I love animals!  Our dog, Chiari, brings so much joy to my life.  My hope is to help facilitate the development of a calm spirit and clear mind for the students I work with, despite the pressure of medical school.

Sigrid Burruss, MD-  Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care

Sigrid Burruss, MD- Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care

LIFE Communities Group 4 - Coral

I am a California native having completed my medical school at UCSF, General Surgery residency at UCLA and Trauma/Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UCSD.  I am fortunate to be at Loma Linda and focus much of my time on resident and medical student education.  I also direct our trauma intervention and prevention efforts to address the root causes of trauma.  I have two children and we enjoy spending our time hiking or when it’s too hot playing Legos or board games.  I am excited to continue being a part of the Learning Community and working more closely with the medical students throughout their training.

Molly Estes, MD - Emergency Medicine

Molly Estes, MD - Emergency Medicine

LIFE Communities Group 17 - Sand

I grew up in Victorville, CA (North of Loma Linda in the High Desert).  I attended Azusa Pacific University for my undergraduate work and Loma Linda University for medical school.  After graduating LLU in 2013, I then went to Stanford University where I completed my residency training in Emergency Medicine and spent an extra year completing a fellowship in Medical Education.  I joined the Emergency Medicine faculty at LLU in 2017 and currently serve as Clerkship Director.  I love teaching, getting learners excited about the application of medical knowledge, and enjoy working on anything that pushes medical education to the next level.  I've traveled internationally to a variety of places and worked clinically in Myanmar and Malawi.  One of my all-time favorite places I've been was Giant's Causeway in Ireland.  My hidden talents include playing piano, volleyball, softball, and making amazing chocolate chip cookies.  I enjoy attending Market Night in downtown Redlands, hiking, and hanging out getting to know people better.  I am looking forward to getting to know the students in my LIFE community and learning and growing with them!

Stephanie Fegale, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Stephanie Fegale, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

LIFE Communities Group 11 - Turquoise


Although I was born in New York, I was Florida raised and fully embrace the Salt Life. I went to Southern Adventist University for college before heading out to LLUSM for medical school. I met my husband, Benjamin, through a mutual friend at LLUSM and we got married the same weekend we graduated from medical school. After graduation, I went to Phoenix, AZ for residency at what is now Creighton University OBGYN. After residency, I moved back to SoCal to live with my husband and our 2 dogs, Honeybear and Chewy, while he finished his General Surgery residency. I've recently moved to Long Beach for my husband's vascular surgery fellowship but will continue to work at LLUMC because I love working with the medical students and residents! During my free time, I love going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, occasional surfing and exploring new restaurants. I'm a huge fan of documentaries and expanding my life experiences. I hope through the Life Community program, that I can be a sounding board and safe place for those going through this challenging but exciting period of life. 

Morgan Green, MD Pediatrics

Morgan Green, MD Pediatrics

LIFE Communities Group 6 - Citrus

“Welcome to team avatar and beginning your first steps with Airbending”

Dr. Morgan Green completed his undergraduate degree at Oakwood University in Huntsville Alabama before receiving his medical degree at Loma Linda University. He then finished his pediatric residency at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (still lovingly referred to as CHO). During residency he took part in the joint PLUS program with UCSF main campus. Through PLUS (pediatric leaders advancing health equity) he was able to enhance his knowledge in system-based thinking alongside his medical foundation during residency.

He works as a Pediatric Hospitalist at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital (LLCH) and Riverside University Health (RUHS). His best moments in the hospital include teaching students and residents the magic within passing out stickers during rounds. He is also excited for his roles through the Dean’s office with Life Communities Coaching and directing the interprofessional education curriculum for the school of medicine. He is eager to contribute towards Loma Linda’s noble mission of making our community whole, supporting the residents through their training and offer an awesome clinical experience for the medical students he will supervise. For free time he enjoys watching TV with his wife Tedean Green (we are currently watching Madam Secretary), playing video games (Genshin Impact and Final Fantasy 14- SMN main), swimming and escape rooms among many other social events that allow him to talk a lot. 

Nephtali Gomez, MD - Surgery

Nephtali Gomez, MD - Surgery

LIFE Communities Group 16 - Sky

A local from San Bernardino with a little life experience growing up in a “Rancho” near Guadalajara, Mexico.  I did undergraduate school at La Sierra University, Medical school and General Surgery residency here at LLU, and fellowship in Endocrine Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. My favorite part of any day is operating and sharing my operative experience with residents and medical students. Outside of work I enjoy just about any outdoor activity and going on surgical mission trips around the world.  At home I love to work on my yard, transplanting trees, picking oranges and avocadoes, and getting myself and my kids into all kinds of trouble by worrying their mother about any given project we may take on (DIY Zip Line, giant tree swings, etc.).  I have been married for 24 years and enjoy the wonderful time I get to spend with my son, daughter, and wife at home or anywhere else we may happen to be.  Home is where the heart is!

Leanna Lee, MD  - Med/Peds

Leanna Lee, MD - Med/Peds

LIFE Communities Group 2 - Magenta

I am originally from Northern California where I grew up in a family of 5 kids. I came to the Inland Empire for college at UC Riverside and subsequently stayed to do medical school through the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program. After medical school, I came to Loma Linda for my Med-Peds residency and then stayed on as faculty here.  Some of my academic interests include mental health in primary care and spiritual care in medicine. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, Disneyland, and musicals. I love mentoring and am excited to journey with all of you!

Kristyn Mannoia, MD  - Vascular Surgery

Kristyn Mannoia, MD - Vascular Surgery

LIFE Communities Group 1 - Purple

I grew up in the Inland Empire as the oldest of three kids (classic first born, right here!)  My dad was in the ministry and my mom was a teacher, and growing up we spent a lot of time road-tripping around the country during summer breaks.  As a result, I feel lucky to be very close to my family who all live in the area.  I trained in Southern California as well: Azusa Pacific University for college, Loma Linda for medical school (Stell was my study spot!) and UC Riverside for General Surgery residency.  I branched out and went to Baylor University in Dallas for Vascular Surgery fellowship, but the pull of being close to family brought us back to Loma Linda (read: needed grandparents to babysit :)  I am excited to be part of the faculty in the Surgery Department and to be involved with teaching everyone from med students to fellows.  When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband (an ED doc) and our young daughters, Maia and Naomi (future veterinarian and Olympic swimmer, respectively.)  We like to travel, play outside and take our Great Dane Ruthie for hikes!

Derek McCalla, MD - Pediatrics

Derek McCalla, MD - Pediatrics

LIFE Communities Group 7 - Brick

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, but my family is from the Caribbean. I chose to go to Oakwood University for undergraduate school, came to Loma Linda for medical school and stayed for both my transitional year and my pediatrics residency. After my chief residency year, I stayed at Loma Linda as faculty because I appreciate the mission and vision of Loma Linda to build passionate and competent Christian physicians. I love helping learners realize their full potential and stay balanced during the rigors of medical training. When I’m not at work, I spend a lot of time with my wife and two young children. I enjoy playing multiple instruments, singing, traveling, playing/watching basketball, listening to podcasts and reading manga!

Jim McMillan, MD - Nephrology

Jim McMillan, MD - Nephrology

LIFE Communities Group 10 - Lavender

One thing I like to do is introduce a student or resident to a patient I know well and tell them a little about each other. The privilege of connecting people is not something I started out enjoying. I was a strong introvert as a kid growing up in Loma Linda, I would watch my friends whose parents were doctors and I determined I would never be a physician. I shrank away from meeting so many people! I also didn’t want my kids to grow up like my friends who rarely saw their physician dad or mom. My choice was changed by a professor in Germany, with whom I worked while I was in college. He encouraged me to apply my scientific interests to a medical career so I could benefit humanity. I have not regretted choosing medicine. During medical school, here at Loma Linda, I met and married my wife, Kathy, a nursing student. We moved to San Francisco for my fellowship in Nephrology at UCSF and there we had our twins, Lisa and Mark. Despite being a physician, I have found ways to spend time with my wife and children. After fellowship we moved back to Loma Linda where I count it a privilege to be on faculty at a university where faith is considered integral to what I do. I do my clinical work and teaching at the VA Hospital. Kathy and I have a big garden and grow a lot of the food we eat. I also write poems. These poems are ways I reflect on my patients or life experiences. They help me deal with my emotions and they help me connect with God

Laura Nist, MD -  Neurology

Laura Nist, MD - Neurology

LIFE Communities Group 15 - Lime

I am from a rural town in northern California (Auburn) where my love of science started, encouraged by teachers. I went to Point Loma Nazarene University, then LLUSOM and graduated in 1995. I did neurology residency at LLUMC and then EMG/Neuromuscular fellowship at University of Virginia. California is home, so we returned and I have been on the neurology faculty since 2000. I have devoted half of my time to education as residency and fellowship director, and half of my time focusing on compassionate care of neurology patients. My current work focus is on growth and mentorship of trainees and having an inclusive work environment.  I am married and have 3 “kids” ages 20, 18, and 14, who are fantastic young adults. I love spending time with my husband and 2 dogs, hiking, and reading.

Jeff Olson, MD - Meds/Peds

Jeff Olson, MD - Meds/Peds

LIFE Communities Group 3 - Red

I was born in Birmingham, AL and raised in Dalton, GA. So I consider my Southern roots to be pretty deep despite no longer having a southern drawl to show for it. Ever since I could remember my life revolved around a love for sports, music, and a desire to be a doctor (both father and maternal grandfather were doctors). A fun fact about me is that my wife and I welcomed our first child (Hayes Taylor Olson) into the world on June 2nd, 2020. I did my undergraduate training at several different universities during which I did a year of student missionary work in the Marshall Islands and studied one semester abroad in Australia. I did both my medical school education and residency training here at Loma Linda University where I fell in love with the institution. Upon completing my residency in 2016 here at Loma Linda I decided to stay on as faculty where I practice both inpatient and outpatient medicine for both internal medicine and pediatric medicine. I love this job because not only does it provide me with opportunities to teach and mentor learners, it provides endless opportunities for me to grow in all realms of life (academically, professionally, and personally). I was blessed enough to have had inspiring mentors during the difficult times of medical training/education and I hope to provide the same for the students with my involvement in the learning communities program. 

Eugene Pak, MD - Pain Management

Eugene Pak, MD - Pain Management

LIFE Communities Group 19 - Yellow

I was born and raised in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois for my medical education with interest in neuroscience.  After a Neurology residency then Neuromuscular fellowship I worked as an attending Neurologist for several years in Texas. I have practiced both academically and in private practice.  I decided on a career change into Pain Management in 2016 when I completed a fellowship. I am currently practicing Interventional Pain Medicine at Loma Linda and feel blessed to not only work with my colleagues, but to also have a chance to learn and grow with the students who are training at our School of Medicine.  I have 2 young children and live in Riverside.  I enjoy running and tennis for fun.  I find meaning and motivation in guiding the next generation of physicians.

John Shin, MD -  Hematology-Oncology

John Shin, MD - Hematology-Oncology

LIFE Communities Group 14 - Plum

Dr. John Shin graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2014 and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Hematology/Medical Oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Following this, he was awarded the 2020 SITC/NCI Immunotherapy Fellowship and spent a year at the National Cancer Institute focusing on cancer immunotherapy clinical trial development.  While there, Dr. Shin designed the NCI’s first intramural decentralized clinical trial called the EDEN Study investigating the effects of a high fiber, plant-based diet and exercise on the gut microbiome and response to immunotherapy in melanoma patients.  Dr. Shin’s research focus is on the effects of lifestyle factors on cancer immunotherapy, and he specializes in genitourinary malignancies. He has a burden to share Christ with cancer patients, and he wants to encourage medical students to keep their faith through medical training, so these factors have brought him back to Loma Linda.

Brian Savino, MD - Emergency Medicine

Brian Savino, MD - Emergency Medicine

LIFE Communities Group  - Sunset

I was born at St. Bernardine's Medical Center, a true Inland Empire native. Since then I have lived all over the US but ultimately couldn’t stay away! I went to medical school at Loma Linda and completed my residency in emergency medicine at Michigan State University in Kalamazoo, MI. I went on to do a fellowship in EMS at UCSF in San Francisco and obtained my MPH at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) with an emphasis in epidemiology before coming back to LLU to join the Emergency Medicine faculty. My passion is for prehospital care, teaching and evidence-based medicine. I currently am the program director for the LLU EMS fellowship and the Medical Director for the Colton Fire Department (riding in ambulances is FUN!) I’m married to an amazing woman and have an 8-year-old son who is already the biggest Star Wars/Pokémon/Sonic the Hedgehog fan in history. We also have a 2-year-old daughter who is adorable and perfect and can already out-run me. When not at work I enjoy all things guitar and try and go to as many live concerts as possible. I’m excited to be a learning community mentor and I’m expecting to learn more than I teach!

Andrew Wai, MD - Med/Peds

Andrew Wai, MD - Med/Peds

LIFE Communities Group 12 - Navy

I grew up in Orange County before heading off to UCLA where I majored in civil engineering and history (for some reason I love doing things in pairs). I did medical school and public health school at Loma Linda followed by residency training in combined internal medicine and pediatrics AKA Med-Peds (another awesome pair of specialties!) also at Loma Linda. Some of my highlights during my time here at Loma Linda include being involved with the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) fellowship group as well as being involved with an organization that taught me how to integrate my faith with my practice of medicine. I also had the chance to train under wonderful mentors and grew in my love for teaching. I currently practice as a primary care doc and pediatrics inpatient physician while also serving as the pediatrics clerkship director (another pairing of clinical care and medical education!). It's been a blessing to be a part of training Christian physicians and I look forward to journeying with you all! I also enjoy being a volume photographer, playing board games, traveling, hiking, and learning new things!

Thad Wilson, MD  - Physical Medicine & Rehab

Thad Wilson, MD - Physical Medicine & Rehab

LIFE Communities Group 18 - Bronze 

I am a Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine specialist.  Most people give me a blank stare when I say what I do.  I work primarily with children with chronic physical disabilities in order to maximize their comfort, performance, and ease of care. These children have suffered from brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, congenital deformities, and other traumatic injuries.   I went to Loma Linda University for both medical school and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  I then moved back home to live with my parents in Missouri, for a fellowship in Pediatric Rehab in Kansas City.  Upon graduation from fellowship, I worked at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA.  I returned to become member of the Loma Linda University Health team in August 2014.   My favorite things to do usually have to do with acceleration. I used to race motocross but I still ride my motorcycle.  I like fast cars, snowboarding, waterskiing, off-roading, and mountain biking.  I run for exercise.  I have 3 children who are as extroverted as my wife and me.  I find meaning and motivation in teaching medical students and residents.  My mission here includes helping to train compassionate and spiritually-inclined physicians. 

Andrew Yoo, MD - Pediatrics

Andrew Yoo, MD - Pediatrics

LIFE Communities Group 13 - Stone 

My hometown is Arcadia, California. I have been raised in Southern California my entire life, being born in Glendale. I received my Biology degree from La Sierra University and completed medical school at Loma Linda University. Due to my love for pediatrics I finished my pediatric residency training at Loma Linda as well. I value mentorship and coaching others through the different stages of each of our journeys. I love to play basketball (Go Lakers!), watch movies, and hitting up the gym at Drayson Center. I am looking forward to being a part of the Learning Community Program and just getting to know you all.