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Kaweah Health graduates class of 44 resident physicians and 2 fellowship-trained physicians

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  • Written By: Maria Rodriguez Ornelas
Kaweah Health graduates class of 44 resident physicians and 2 fellowship-trained physicians

Kaweah Health graduates class of 44 resident physicians and 2 fellowship-trained physicians

An average of 42 percent of program graduates stay in the Central Valley to practice medicine.

VISALIA, CA – Thanks to the Graduate Medical Education Program at Kaweah Health, more doctors are practicing in the Central Valley. This year, Kaweah Health is excited to announce the graduation of 45 resident doctors, representing six specialty areas of study, and two fellow doctors (doctors seeking advanced medical training) in Ultrasound Fellowship and Administrative Fellowship in Health Equity. Since the program began ten years ago, Kaweah Health has graduated 148 resident physicians, with an average of 42 percent of those doctors staying in the Central Valley to practice.

“It’s a bittersweet moment, because they have become part of our Kaweah Health family and our community. They’ve had an indelible impact in our organization, and through their commitment to excellent service, they have helped improve the health of patients in Tulare County,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Health’s Chief Executive Officer.

This year’s winner of the Frank and Teresa Kleist Award was given to Brian Chu MD. The Kleist award recognizes a graduating resident physician who best exemplifies humanitarian compassion in the care of patients. The award was donated by a local book club honoring Dr. Frank Kleist, a retired member of Kaweah Health’s medical staff and faculty emeritus of Kaweah Health’s Psychiatry Residency Program.

“Graduating a GME program is not a simple accomplishment. It is the culmination of years of rigorous study, many sleepless nights, and endless exams. These graduates have chosen a profession that requires compassion, empathy, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge,” said Lori Winston, MD FACEP, Chief Medical Education Officer and Designated Institutional Official.

Kaweah Health’s Graduate Medical Education Program began in 2013 and now offers residency programs in emergency medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, surgery, anesthesiology, and transitional year. The first class of physicians graduated in June 2016.

Admission into the program is very competitive. This year, Kaweah Health received more than 4,200 applications and interviewed more than 700 candidates for 49 openings. With close to half of its graduating doctors staying in the Central Valley to practice, the program is making important strides in bringing a steady flow of new doctors into the region.

The 2023 Graduating Class


Tawny Ann Louie, DO

Garrett Morgan, DO

Sang Mun Park, DO

Van Nancy Trinh, DO

Emergency Medicine

Elvin Kenneth Diaz, DO

Inbal Sarah Epstein, MD

Jorge Garcia, MD

Jessi C. Hill, MPH, DO

Nancy Huynh, DO

Richard Jong Hyun Nho, DO

Tamy Yesi Rojas, DO

Preya S. Sheth, MD

Brian Carter Strain, DO

Aaron Justin Thurman Wille, MD

Rachelle M. Yellin, DO

Family Medicine

Anuoluwapo I. Adediji, MD

Armando Jesus Cervantes, MD

Ivana Choudhury, DO

Mark Safwat Said, MD

Reshma Shiwdin, DO

Roxanne Talamayan-Pascua, MD

Catherine Julee Whitlach, MD


Matthew Bonn, DO

Gursimran Singh Kehal, DO

Jeri Lynn Watson, DO

Reza John Emami, MD

Luis Cyrus Montes De Oca, DO

Sarah Lee, DO


Brian Sang Chu, MD

Chih Cheng Lee, MD

Joshua Michael Szynkowski, MD

Rukia Isabel Yosuf, MD (Prelim Year 1)

Transitional Year

Rosalie Cynda Ellis, DO

Nathaniel Adam Heldt, MD

Shubhika Jain, MD

Michael Corbin Lethin, DO

Kendra Q. Lian, MD

Katherine Miotke, DO

Victoria Nguyen, DO

Jared Lee Olson, DO

James Quang Pham, MD

Vivek Attri Sharma, DO

Ethan Zee Sy, DO

Teagan Quyen Tran, DO


Ultrasound Fellowship

Michael Niechayev, MD

Administrative Fellowship in Health Equity

Alfredo Guerrero, DO