GISELLE ARGENTO-BERRIO, MD - FIRST HILL
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
I was born in the lively, beautiful Caribbean city of Barranquilla, Colombia. Home to the second largest carnival in the world I carry that spirit of fun every day. I immigrated as a child to the Chicago suburbs where I graduated from Elgin High School. After high school, I taught English in Longjiang, China and worked in an HIV project in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I returned to college at the University of Illinois at Chicago for a degree in Sociology.
Driven to discover my culture's African roots and using the privilege of my education for community empowerment, I completed my undergraduate thesis traveling across Ghana and worked in Capetown, South Africa after college. Stateside, I fell in love with public health after 8 years as a diabetes clinical researcher at Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago. I worked as a health educator in various cities and later became a birth doula. Witnessing the unjust, even inhumane treatment of families inside our broken system called me to further my education.
I completed graduate certificate in public health from the University of Nebraska. Then worked as an advisor to Latino students in an under-served high school interested in health. I'm deeply committed to mentoring those following my footsteps. I hope someday our healthcare workforce mirrors that of our ever diverse country.
I attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. I have a passion for working with families affected by incarceration and mental health. The harsh nature of medical training makes mental health needs equally great among colleagues as it does patients. As a medical student, I shared my personal story on national radio to bring awareness to this issue. As a doctor, I try to remember my own humanity in my practice of medicine every day.
Never a one-job kinda gal. I started a business in medical school, Konnéctate!, helping small businesses with social media. Then put my love of dancing and fitness together to become a WERQ instructor. I enjoy spending time with my husband, meditation, yoga and preparing for my new venture as foster mother in Washington State.
MALLORY DAVIS, MD - FIRST HILL
Before I had any inkling I would pursue a career in medicine, back when I was rocking a bowl cut and pulling around my old Radio Flyer filled with Childrens books at my local library, I imagined someday becoming a National Geographic journalist, or maybe a photographer, or a librarian moonlighting as a singer—I found excitement in observation, narrative, and creativity. I have always been a sponge, soaking in the information and spaces around me, daydreaming from my Midwestern upbringing about far off places and far off people I could learn from. I moved from Indiana to Chicago to attend DePaul University as an “undeclared” freshman, medicine still far from my mind; however, within a few weeks I became drawn to the sciences, discovering how they satisfied my desire for artistry and adventure.
I continued my education at Rush University Medical College, fortunate to work within the vibrant communities of Chicago’s South and West sides. I had the privilege of completing half my training at Cook County Hospital, further motivating me to pursue a career in primary care and advocate for patients vulnerable to inherent flaws in our healthcare system. I was also a part of Rush’s Family Medicine Leadership Program where I got additional training in community health and leadership. In hopes of better communicating with my largely Spanish-speaking patient population, I sought out training in medical Spanish through an immersive language education program in Riobamba, Ecuador. As a Schweitzer Fellow, I developed an urban community garden in efforts to increase access to healthy produce and provide a few more families with knowledge about the role of nutrition and wellness in chronic disease prevention and management.
I was attracted to Swedish First Hill for its social justice-based curriculum as well as the breadth of training in full-spectrum family medicine. My clinical interests are broad, but I am particularly interested in women’s health, HIV medicine, addiction medicine, and community health.
When I am not practicing medicine, I can be found at the park with all 100 lbs. of my lanky pup (Quito), attending an amateur pottery class, sweating in a kickboxing class, woodworking with my partner, or sipping a flight of hoppy brews at a local brewery with a good book.
AMELIA GALLAHER, MD - FIRST HILL
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Born and raised in Seattle, I went over the Cascades to Eastern Washington to study Biology and Spanish at Whitman College. After graduation, curiosity about east-coast living and biomedical research led me to Washington DC to work at the National Institutes of Health, where I investigated HIV-associated viral cancers. Although medical science fascinated me, I came to realize that I wanted more direct human impact in my work. I began volunteering as a hotline counselor with a peer-run outreach organization supporting underserved communities in DC. This work first introduced me to the concept of harm reduction, and piqued my interest in preventative and community health care.
The natural beauty of the PNW eventually drew me back to Seattle where I worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital in clinical research before starting medical school at the University of Washington. During medical school, I continued to volunteer with the LGBTQ community and individuals affected by homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. My decision to specialize in family medicine was inspired by these experiences and by observing the important role that family doctors play in reducing health inequities.
I am thrilled to stay in my home town and serve the Seattle community through my residency at Swedish First Hill. I’m especially interested in reproductive health, LGBTQ+ health, and addiction medicine. Outside of work, I enjoy Ultimate Frisbee, hot coffee, a good book, and a funny story.
MITCHELL HUSTAD, MD - BALLARD VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH
A native Wisconsinite, I was raised in a small village outside of Madison and reared on cheese and Packers football. I ventured to the northwoods for college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where I studied chemistry.
After graduation, I felt an itch to move and gain some real world experience. I enrolled in AmeriCorps and moved to the Pacific Northwest. After serving two years at the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington in Vancouver I stayed at the clinic and coordinated services for Project Access Clark County for two more years. In my various roles at the Free Clinic I was challenged to take on different roles and collaborate with many different disciplines. I felt most at home spending time learning from patients and fighting for their care. I was fortunate to gain mentorship from the physicians at the clinic who showed me the impact a family physician can have on individual patients and on a community as a whole. These experiences drove me to take night classes at Portland Community College and to pursue a medical degree.
Although I never thought I would leave the Pacific Northwest, my partner moved back to Wisconsin to attend law school. Too smitten to stay away, I made the trek back to my homeland. While in Milwaukee I worked as a therapist for children on the autism spectrum and volunteered at the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative, driving a moving truck and gathering donated furniture to set up homes for local homeless vets.
I then moved to Richmond, Virginia to attend medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University. I enrolled in a dual admissions program, fmSTAT (Family Medicine Scholars Training and Admission Track) that provided me with an amazing family medicine community in Richmond.
Interested in full spectrum family medicine, addiction medicine, and palliative care, I could not be more delighted to have the opportunity to train at Swedish First Hill. My wife and I are over the moon to move to Seattle and enjoy the rain, mountains, and reuniting with friends and family in Washington and Oregon.
In my free time I am often drinking a beer or reading a book, usually while listening to music. At home I feel most comfortable in the kitchen cooking, baking or experimenting with various methods of fermentation.
APARNA KRISHNAN, MD - DFM JOHNS HOPKINS
I was born in India but my parents and I soon immigrated to San Diego, CA, where we lived for nine years. From there, we made the (painful, as some would call) move to New Haven, Connecticut, where we lived until I moved to Baltimore to start my undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University. My decision to apply to medical school stemmed from working in hospice care, both in India and Baltimore, and developing intimate, though sometimes brief, relationships with patients and their families. It was also during this period that I began to develop an interest in public health and global health, and began critically questioning the inequities and injustices faced by millions around the world who sought basic health care.
I made the decision to defer my medical school acceptance and spent a year living in rural India and working for a community-based primary health care non-profit called the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed. It was there that I learned that just how far primary health care could go in improving the health and wellness of individuals and their communities. I committed to the belief that health and development are two sides of the same coin. After living among a cadre of village health workers who formed the backbone of the mini-primary health care system, I knew that I would pursue a profession which concentrates so wholeheartedly on healing patients and their families by being mindful to their stories and treating them clinically within the context of their social, cultural, religious and linguistic experiences.
I returned to medical school at Johns Hopkins and found my calling within a variety of primary care initiatives and projects. Some of these were: serving as a patient navigator for newly arrived refugees with special health needs and their families, working on a community-based project with the International Rescue Committee to develop life-skills workshops for refugee families, and participating in a national Hotspotting program. I was also able to advocate for primary care exposure for medical students at Hopkins and took part in developing the medical school's first Primary Care Leadership Track. I ended up taking a nontraditional route through medical school and paused my medical education for two years, the first of which I spent in Hanoi, Vietnam conducting community-based participatory research centered on Photovoice and HIV prevention among MSM, and the second of which I earned my MPH at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Ultimately, I could not choose any other field but Family Medicine- a field which necessitates taking a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to patient care and aims to understand community needs through compassion and longitudinal care. Like most other family medicine physicians, my interests are broad, but my primary passions include immigrant and refugee health, global health, community-based participatory research and medical education.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Swedish First Hill family and join a community of family physician-advocates dedicated to social justice and individual and community health and empowerment. Furthermore, I cannot wait to work with the patients and staff at the Downtown Family Medicine clinic through King Count Dept. of Public Health. In my free time, I can be found running one of many trails through Seattle, climbing mountains, nurturing my hobby of photography or reading a book. I am excited to make Seattle and the Pacific Northwest my new home!
ELLIE MEYER, MD - DFM
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
I grew up moving up the East Coast, ending up in Massachusetts for high school with my parents who both work in education, and my two younger siblings. After spending my summers at sleep-away camp in the woods of New Hampshire, I was ready to explore a new area again, so I went to Wake Forest University in North Carolina for college. At Wake (Go Deacs!), I studied Spanish and the sciences. I knew that I wanted to combine my passions for helping people with my interests in problem solving and science, so I explored the idea of medicine.
Through my Spanish studies, I further realized my love for travel and connecting with people of different cultures and backgrounds, especially through service. After college, I taught at a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Then, I worked as a medical scribe at a rural Family Medicine Clinic in central MA. My deep respect for primary care was planted during this time between college and medical school; I learned of the deep connection possible between physicians and their patients, and that good primary care requires advocacy and teaching from its providers.
When I was accepted to University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, it was one of the best days of my life! Worcester is a refugee city, so I was not only given the opportunity for a great medical education, but I was also able to further nourish my interests in different cultures and advocacy. I was selected as a Rural Scholar at UMass, allowing me to explore full-spectrum primary care, which is somewhat rare in MA.
I was attracted to Swedish First Hill for so many reasons. I was impressed by its commitment to serving a diverse patient population, with a focus on patient-centered care and social justice. I felt connected to the faculty and residents, and really believe that my interests will be fostered and able to grow here! (It was also such a bonus to have the opportunity to live in beautiful Seattle.) My partner, Conor, who is a physical therapist, moved across the country with me. We (+our dog, Stark) are so excited to explore the all of the coffee, trails, and beaches that Seattle has to offer!
ACTON PIFER, MD - DFM
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
I grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I am the son of two veterinarians and proud older brother of two smart-mouthed, teenage siblings that I hope will one day consider me cool. After a mediocre career as a college wrestler at Appalachian State University, I quickly realized that I was much better at coaching and explaining the sport than actually doing it. After graduating, I spent time as both a collegiate and youth wrestling coach while getting to explore western North Carolina and Zambia as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Ultimately, I decided to stray away from the family business and pursue a life of caring for two legged animals.
I found my way to the sunshine state and land of infinite Publix for medical school. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends, classmates, and mentors at Florida State University College of Medicine. I was involved in several community engagement organizations, co-founded our school’s White Coats for Black Lives Chapter and helped organize a curriculum for raising awareness on racism in medical education, served various roles within the Florida and American Academies of Family Physicians, and volunteered for a child and adolescent bereavement group. I was drawn to Family Medicine because it specializes in caring for the whole person while providing a skill set that allows for one to rise to meet the needs of our communities. It is a specialty permeated with individuals who embrace the not so subtle fact that true health and equity extend beyond the walls of our clinics and, as such, so must our responsibilities as physicians.
I feel so fortunate to continue my training in Seattle among a group of amazing peers, faculty, and staff at First Hill. My clinical interests include the connections between medicine and social justice, mindfulness and humanism in medicine, teaching, adolescent medicine, and addiction medicine. I also enjoy trying to be funny, any and all things related to wrestling, outdoor activities, eating good food with friends, and sampling any craft beer put in front of me.
MAYA SIEGEL, MD - BALLARD
I grew up in San Diego, California where I loved the weather and the beach. I left the good weather behind and went to Brandeis University where I studied Psychology with minors in Art History and Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies.
After Brandeis I moved to Prague, Czech Republic where I worked as an English teacher for adults seeking to learn another language, and also worked as a ghost tour guide in my spare time.
During my first year at Hopkins I worked as an HIV counselor, providing risk reduction and contraceptive counseling to adolescents at a primary care clinic. I loved working with underserved communities and saw the way primary care can help people’s lives across many ages. Throughout the rest of my medical school career I worked within the reproductive justice community in Baltimore, work that I hope to continue throughout my medical career.
Between my third and fourth year of medical school I took a leave of absence to pursue a Masters in Evidence Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from the University of Oxford. My research there focused on a systematic review of the differences in contraceptive choices and uptake among users when contraception was provided at no or minimal cost.
I am excited to begin my Family Medicine residency at Swedish First Hill and love the full spectrum training provided. My medical interests include family planning, adolescent medicine, preventative medicine, and the intersection of health, community, and justice. I am also interested in how we as physicians, and especially family medicine, can work towards health equity by addressing the other systems of power that exist in our society.
In my free time I love to make people laugh. I primarily perform improvisational comedy and have started to do a bit of stand-up comedy as well. I also enjoy baking, cooking, hiking, attempting to sing karaoke, and hanging out with friends.
HEATHER STEVENS, MD - FIRST HILL UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Life started when I was born at the wonderful Swedish First Hill Hospital! I then grew up in Ballard, and attended Ballard high school (go Beavers!). During college I studied biology at Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon. After college I move to Ecuador for a year and had the privilege of teaching health, science and English at an elementary school. While in Ecuador I volunteered several days a week at a local hospital, and during this time my passion for medicine blossomed.
After I moved back to Seattle I began working at Sea Mar community health center, a primary care clinic for under served populations. For three years before medical school I worked as both a cancer screening program coordinator and a health educator, and found I had a passion for educating and supporting patient while they worked to better their health. I had the privilege of working alongside talented family medicine physicians, and was able to witness the beautiful long term relationships they formed as they cared for entire families.
After deciding on my career in medicine I attended University of Washington Medical School. During medical school I was heavily involved in the student run free clinics, holding various clinical and leadership roles throughout all four years. Providing primary care to under served populations, and non-English speaking patients are special interests of mine.
I am overjoyed to be returning to my roots at the First Hill Hospital, and I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to train alongside such amazing physicians. I look forward to continuing to learn from and serve my community.
ANH TA, MD - FIRST HILL SAINT LOUIS
I was born in Saigon, Vietnam and have lived in the Seattle area since the age of seven. Growing up in Seattle, my family’s medical care was provided by Swedish. I can still remember sleeping over at First Hill after my mom delivered my twin sisters. I have wanted to be a doctor at Swedish ever since I planned on being a doctor.
I attended the University of Washington and studied bio-engineering, fascinated by the science that made our world possible. During college, my love for technology and its ability to improve lives led me to pursue medicine. Starting medical school at Saint Louis University, I was sure that I would be a physician-scientist, researching a drug or designing medical technology.
However this changed during my first year, when I was chosen to be a lead for our student-run clinic. Here I met people who were struggling to put food on the table, never felt safe in their own homes, or have fallen through the safety net. Their health often took a back seat to other pressing issues. These patients taught me that the majority of the things affecting their health were not found in a doctor’s office, designed in a lab, or sold in a drugstore. My relationships with these patients led me to Family Medicine. I am proud to pursue a specialty that through strong relationships, takes care of both the whole person and their community.
I am interested in advancing health equity, improving communication in the care of immigrants and refugees, implementing public health policy, destigmatizing mental illness (especially in my own community), and increasing the efficacy of medical education.
Outside of medicine, my favorite hike is Lake Serene, favorite restaurant is Tamarind Tree (favorite secret restaurant is That’s Amore), favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption, and favorite person is my fiance Linh-Ai, who will be next door at Harborview. After being away in medical school for four years, I am indescribably excited to come back to her and also to serve the city that I love.
GABRIELA YAO-COHEN, MD - FIRST HILL
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up I spent time in my father’s medical practice where I witnessed firsthand the importance of primary care. At the time, I did not know that I wanted to be a doctor and was initially drawn to environmental conservation based upon my love for the outdoors. While majoring in Ecology and Forestry at UC Berkeley and working in the environmental field after college, I could not shake the feeling that something was missing. Seeking deeper connections with the individuals and community that I was serving, I decided to explore the health care and medical field.
Prior to beginning medical school, I volunteered with a mobile health van to provide basic primary care for the homeless of San Francisco and served as an AmeriCorps member with LifeLong Medical Care, a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in the East Bay. Both of these opportunities allowed me to listen and learn from those individuals who struggle to access necessary health care on a daily basis. I attended medical school at Temple University, the safety-net hospital committed to providing care to the severely underserved population of North Philadelphia. I feel fortunate to have learned and trained in a hospital with a strong commitment to community engagement and service, allowing me to further develop my passion for providing high quality care to patients in need. I cannot wait to join the Swedish First Hill family to continue to learn from wonderful patients and compassionate, caring physicians.
During undergrad, I had the pleasure of spending a quarter in the San Juan Islands where I absolutely fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. I am thrilled to finally be able to call Seattle home. Outside of work, you can find me hiking, scuba diving, frequenting my local farmers market, rooting for the Warriors (Go Dubs!), reading Reese Witherspoon’s latest book club rec, and posing as a cheese and ice cream connoisseur.