ALICIA ASHBY, MD - DFM
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Northern lights, dog mushing, frozen eyelashes, endless summer days, and long river trips were all features of my childhood growing up in rural Alaska. I left Alaska for the wonders of Powell’s Books and city buses to study Biology at Reed College in Portland. I was fortunate to find work that I loved in the health field and never turned back. I worked for five years in public health/health care coordination with families working in agriculture near Portland, followed by three years abroad in Bolivia and Panama working in social services and public health. Through countless lessons in the realities of severe poverty and health disparities, I developed a passion for social justice in medicine. What an amazing journey; along which I learned that my husband and I can thrive in an 18 x 14 foot home on stilts, and that Family Medicine is the best way for me to combine the direct service work that I love with my efforts in public health. My husband and I moved to Seattle, where I worked as a Spanish medical interpreter before starting medical school at UW. During medical school I worked with the day laborer and homeless communities, collaborated with a multidisciplinary group to start a local chapter of Primary Care Progress, and engaged with the extremely organized, motivated, and transformative Family Medicine community in Seattle. I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be at Swedish First Hill FM, an inspirational group that I know will support my interests in broad-spectrum family medicine, serving vulnerable populations, working with children, and innovations in primary care.
Outside of work, I love to explore the amazing mountains and bodies of water in close proximity to Seattle with my husband (or go on urban hikes when time is short), dance (Salsa and West African), garden, and spend time with family.
BOB COOK, MD - BALLARD
BROWN MEDICAL SCHOOL
I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island and escaped first to the hilly farmlands of Western NY for my undergraduate education in Literature and Philosophy, and then to the much flatter farmlands of East-Central Illinois for my graduate education in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Feeling that the notion of getting paid to read books to be rather worthwhile, I set myself on the path toward becoming an English Professor. However, after completing a Masters degree and starting PhD work, I decided that, while still very worthwhile, the Academy did not quite fit my interests and skills. Seeking something as different as possible from Literature, I started a job programming websites. I also started practicing yoga and discovered a passion for the human body and all of its complexity and beauty. I signed up for some Anatomy and Physiology classes at the local community college, but after meeting a friend who was at that time working through nursing school, I decided to dive deeper into the body and the study of health and disease. I moved to Amherst, Massachusetts and started a second-bachelors program in Nursing, then began work as an ED nurse in the Springfield MA trauma center.
My time as a nurse in the ED allowed me to witness the crises facing US healthcare at ground zero. It taught me three things: first, in order to truly have a meaningful impact on the lives and health of my patients, I would have to work on the larger systemic problems preventing people from accessing care before coming to the ED. Second, I would also have to find ways to provide such innovative and comprehensive care so that they (hopefully) would not need to visit the ED in the first place. And third, it showed me that the current systems of healthcare heavily favor the “haves” over the “have-nots.” My desire to work on achieving social justice in healthcare, as well as to innovate in the delivery of primary care first led me to pursue my medical degree at Brown University, as well as a scholarship in the National Health Service Corps. Now, to my great delight, it has led me to the Swedish Ballard Clinic, where I have the ability to provide care to those in need while embedded in an agile clinic at the cutting edge of primary care innovation.
When not in the clinic I can be found arguing politics, philosophy, and healthcare innovation while sipping the latest tasty beverages at Chucks Hop Shop; sweeping people off their feet waltzing, contra, and blues dancing; watching (and then discussing) old films; winning at Euro-style strategy board games at Mox Boarding House; pounding the streets of Seattle while simultaneously listening to a novel; pursuing birds (with binoculars) as I rollick through the lush forests of the Pacific NW.
KIM CULLEN, MD - FIRST HILL
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
I grew up in the greater Boston area in the town of Natick, Massachusetts, which spans miles 8-12 of the Boston Marathon route and is fondly referred to as the “Home of Champions!” After the grueling winter of 2015 in Boston, I could not be more delighted to be moving to Seattle where it won’t be necessary to own a shovel—I hope! I knew First Hill and Seattle was the place for me after completing a sub-I and being blown away by the camaraderie within the residency, the quality of the teaching, and dedication to training full spectrum family doctors. I attended Fairfield University for my undergraduate degree in Biology and International Studies, and between undergrad and medical school I tried to apply my degree in a variety of ways. Ultimately, the most formative experience in my life/career, and largely what was behind my decision to pursue medicine, was the four years that I spent on the Haiti team at Partners in Health. My role evolved over my time there, from a research coordinator to the senior aide to the chief of mission after the devastating earthquake. After being interviewed by Swedish First Hill’s own Megan Curtis (small world!), I was accepted to and attended University of Massachusetts Medical School where I was first introduced to the incredible field of Family Medicine!
My interests in Family Medicine include women’s health, underserved populations in the US and abroad, and health policy. Outside of medicine I can be found enjoying time with family and friends, in a coffee shop near you, exploring the city, running, attempting to surf, dreaming of a next travel destination, seeking out live music and convincing friends to go with me, and trying every restaurant with a decent Yelp review.
TOM HUTCH, MD - FIRST HILL
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO
Born in the Midwest but with a heart that tends to remain with all the places in which I've lived and traveled, my journey toward Family Medicine began during college in Chicago. There, my love for teaching, scientific inquiry, and social justice combined to form the foundations of what I hope will become a career of medical passion and community engagement. In order to more effectively advocate for those lacking access to health care and to strengthen my ability to communicate across languages and cultures, I was lucky to have the opportunity to develop health care delivery systems for an NGO in rural Honduras for two years after school. Through challenging and rewarding projects with patients, students, and community health workers, I gained a true appreciation for the importance of primary and preventive care, as well as an understanding of the consequences of their absence. It’s also there that I met Jennifer, my epidemiology mentor and co-investigator, who, after researching health access issues with me in Ghana and Bolivia, accepted the additional position of lifelong partner here in Seattle.
The strong leadership at Swedish First Hill provides me with the incredible opportunity to learn broad-spectrum Family Medicine from excellent clinicians who dedicate their careers to serving diverse populations with challenging backgrounds, which inspires me to pursue my own fields of interest of migrant health, reproductive health, addiction medicine, and resident education. When away from my pager, I can be found rock climbing, camping in the mountains, and polishing my salsa skills with my groovy co-residents.
ELIZA HUTCHINSON, MD - DFM
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Born in suburban Detroit, I ventured to the Atlantic for college in Maine before spending five years working in Boston, actively avoiding applying to medical school. However, through an array of experiences, including street outreach with Boston’s homeless youth, health education with sex workers in Guatemala, public health research, and ultimately clinical research in child psychiatry, I realized that I constantly gravitated toward people providing healthcare to vulnerable populations. I thus trudged through a post-bac program and soon found myself on an airplane toward the other ocean, raincoat in hand, headed to my dream medical school in Seattle along with my Australian husband, destined for his dream job at Boeing. During medical school, I focused on medical education and curriculum design as well as student efforts to serve the community, including helping to run a student-run HIV testing clinic and a dermatology clinic at a homeless shelter. Always intrigued by the social determinants of health, I have come to realize that medicine is a tremendously powerful tool with which to work toward social justice. It is among family physicians that I found a community that shares this core belief.
Despite the occasional longing to jaywalk and the rare encounter with the Seattle Freeze, my husband and I have fallen in love with Seattle enough to make it our home (turns out that it doesn’t rain here nearly as much as they say – this is just a secret to keep it from getting too crowded here, shhh). To top it off, Seattle is full of active, cohesive, and visionary family physicians – a community I could not be more thrilled and honored to join.
Non-medically speaking, I can generally be found salsa dancing (some might say obsessively), eating amazing dinners cooked by my impossibly supportive husband, enjoying Seattle’s many cafes, as well as biking, running, triathloning, hiking, picnicking, or anything else that involves fresh air. Word of warning: I will most definitely attempt to convince you to do a triathlon and come salsa dancing, so be prepared with your enthusiasm or excuse.
KAELEY KAPLAN, MD - FIRST HILL
OREGON HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY
My childhood was spent either in a suburb of Portland or on my grandparent’s cattle ranch in southern Oregon. My love of the outdoors (especially skiing) inspired a move to Colorado Springs for my undergraduate studies. There I attended Colorado College and majored in neuroscience (and met my future husband, Josh). I convinced him to move to Portland after graduation, and we both ended up attending Oregon Health and Science University, Josh for his PhD in behavioral neuroscience and me for medical school.
After my second year of medical school I opted to spend a year in the pathology department as a student fellow. That year gave me a much deeper understanding of states like inflammation and cancer and allowed me the time to complete a research project on the pathologic effects of irradiation in breast cancer. Ultimately, however, I was drawn away from the microscope and towards primary care. I believe in the healing power of the patient-physician relationship, and I believe that family medicine represents the best that medicine has to offer: true full-spectrum care from the beginning to the end of life.
We will miss Portland and all of her hipsters and quirks but are anticipating many new adventures in Seattle. I enjoy hiking, traveling, reading, cooking, Netflixing and running. Josh spends much of his free time running long distances and eating my cooking.
DAVID KENNEDY, MD - DFM
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
Originally from the tranquil Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, I’ve lived and studied in Chapel Hill at UNC for the last ten years, a place that will always be near and dear to my heart. You’ll see me representing my Tar Heels hard, especially during basketball season. Apologies ahead of time if it gets annoying. It’s due time, though, to migrate west, and I’m thrilled to spend the next 3+ years exploring Seattle and its surroundings!
I’m especially excited about caring for a diverse, underserved patient population at the Downtown clinic. For a long time I’ve had a keen interest in global (public) health, which led me to pursue an internship, and later employment, with the World Heart Federation. This work extended into my MPH year and culminated with a thesis project in which I worked with stakeholders in Nepal to develop a national rheumatic heart disease prevention plan. After residency, it would be wonderful to remain engaged in policy development and health systems strengthening initiatives, likely on the global scale. Disease prevention is also a passion of mine, as I believe people not only have a right to receive health care when sick, but to live in a world conducive to maintaining good health.
With free time, I travel anywhere and everywhere I can. At home, I’m always looking to play soccer, whether pick-up or on a team. Next year I’m excited to cheer on the Sounders! I also enjoy strumming chords on the guitar, posting up at local coffee shops or breweries, going to concerts, reading nerdy fantasy novels and venturing into the great outdoors.
EUNICE KO, MD - FIRST HILL
OREGON HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY
I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Hawaii. My international background inspired an appreciation for the uniqueness of individuals as well as the commonalities that connect all of us. I completed a degree in Neuroscience at Amherst College before finishing my medical training at Oregon Health and Science University. I am thrilled to be joining the renowned healing culture of Swedish Medical Center and to be staying in the northwest. My interests in medicine include reproductive health, geriatrics, and preventative health. I enjoy cooking, tending to my succulent plant collection, and spending time outdoors with my boyfriend and my dog.
AKIRA KOBAYASHI, MD - FIRST HILL
LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY
My parents immigrated from Japan to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I spent my first 17 years. After high school, I got my associate’s degree in liberal arts and rodent extermination at Deep Springs, a small college on an alfalfa and cattle ranch on the California-Nevada border.
In my first try through undergrad, I dropped out. It seemed silly to me to spend so much money on learning when you can learn anything you want on YouTube for free. Well, one blazing hot afternoon, working as a day laborer, I was clearing out the stones from an alfalfa field for seven bucks an hour. My employer drove by in a four-wheeler and said, “Sure makes you want to go back to school, doesn’t it, Kobayashi?” The next semester I was enrolled at U.W. Madison, where I earned a degree in philosophy. After four years I got my M.D. at Loma Linda University. There, I met my wife, Emily, who is now an intern in Swedish’s General Surgery program. We have a passion for international medicine and hope to work abroad in a resource-poor setting.
I’m super excited, privileged, and blessed to be working with such talented people here at Swedish!
ASHLIN MOUNTJOY, MD - BALLARD
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
I am a proud California native but thrilled to be embarking on this Pacific Northwest adventure. I'm from Santa Cruz, CA. I went to college at Boston University where I studied biology and public health. I discovered my passion for medicine (and public health) while studying and volunteering abroad in Geneva and Senegal. I subsequently completed medical school at UC San Diego where I was part of the PRIME Health Equity program focused on addressing health disparities. As part of this training program, I completed my Masters in Public Health at Harvard with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Science. My medical interests revolve around the intersection of primary care and public health and how we can work better to create healthier environments. I'm also interested in systems innovation, adolescent medicine, reproductive planning, and palliative care, and eliminating disparities (and the policy and public health issues that come with them). I am excited to train at Swedish First Hill (and especially Ballard clinic) because of how well this program incorporates these interests in the context of a strong emphasis on education.
I am also excited about being in Seattle for the trees and mountains! In my attempts to keep a balanced life, I love biking, hiking, farmers markets, cooking, and exploring new places.
RAEANNA SIMCOE, MD - FIRST HILL
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
I was born and raised in a small town just west of New Orleans. My youth was shaped by the region's rich culture, friendly faces, great music, and delicious food. In 2008 I obtained my bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering and mathematics from Tulane University. A longtime passion for education led me to teach high school engineering and physics, but healthcare was always on my radar. After 3 years of teaching I matriculated at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. While attending medical school I continued to pursue educational avenues, most notably by co-founding the Tiger Cubs Mentoring Program for underserved children interested in health professions.
I value the incredible opportunity that I have as a physician to educate patients. As a family medicine resident I use my passion for primary care and prevention to empower patients to become managers of their own health. I'm thrilled to continue my training at Swedish First Hill, where a rigorous curriculum supported by a well-rounded faculty will prepare me to be a leader in full-spectrum family medicine.
I never leave a rock unturned when exploring the wonderful experiences the Seattle area has to offer. I particularly enjoy hiking, camping, and snowboarding. I also like to cook and bake, and I look forward to making dinner with my husband, Clark, as often as our schedules allow.