Class of 2020
Timothy Hutton, MD
Medical College of Georgia
Tim hails from Athens, Georgia. He is a proud double-dawg, obtaining his B.S. and MD from the University of Georgia. Interests include: agriculture, behavioral health, cycling, playing with Henry the Goldendoodle, primary care advocacy, rural/underserved medicine, and the usual outdoor CO activities.
(Note: not a reindeer. This is Herman my family's donkey)
Tara Iyer, MD
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Hello and welcome! I could not be happier to be working alongside the wonderful people at St. Joe’s and can’t wait to share a little more about the program and how I got here. I was born and raised in Southern New Jersey. I traveled to Washington, D.C. for college, studying at Georgetown University. While I was always interested in medicine, it was as an undergrad that I developed interests in global health, public health, and social justice. While on the hilltop, I worked for a year completing health and epidemiology projects for the D.C. Department of Health. After college, I moved to NYC to work at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), where I further developed my interests in international health and community medicine. I left Manhattan after a year to attend Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In medical school I was fortunate enough to complete several global health rotations, working in places like Argentina and Northern India. I also developed an interest in reproductive health, completing several rotations in Women’s Health and Family Planning.
Following my third year of medical school, after spending my whole life on the east coast, I decided to take a year off from medical school and move to Denver to work at the Colorado Department for Public Health and Environment. My work there focused on improving youth and young adult health. During that year, I really fell in love with Denver. This city is full of incredible nature, amazing people, and even more amazing beer! Upon returning to medical school, I quickly realized that family medicine was the only specialty that would allow me the flexibility to pursue all my interests, while simultaneously helping some of the most vulnerable patient populations. When I opened my envelope on match day, I was thrilled to find out that I would be able to return to one of my favorite cities in the world and continue exploring my passions for global health, public health, women’s reproductive health, and adolescent medicine, while learning full-spectrum Family Medicine. The fact that my colleagues here at St. Joe’s are some of the most amazing people I have ever met, is just icing on the cake!
Outside of medicine, I really enjoy traveling, getting out in nature as much as I can, spending time with friends and family, and discovering all the incredible breweries here in Colorado. I also enjoy exploring the music scene here. There is nothing quite like seeing a concert at Red Rocks. All in all, I’m so happy to be living and working in Denver!
Matthew Robert Martin, MD
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Hi everyone! My name is Rob Martin, and I’m excited to be starting this journey with the team here at St. Joseph’s. I grew up in rural New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and medical school. I started with a strong interest in linguistics which led to studies in Spain and Austria. My desire to do primary care fused with my language skills into a passion for working with Spanish-speaking underserved from Albuquerque to México to Peru. I’m nearly fluent in Spanish, and I enjoy having patients teach me new words! In medical school, both my parents were diagnosed with cancer, and my journey with them through illness and the healthcare system shaped the way I view myself and our role as healers more than I could have imagined. This fostered an interest in physician and patient wellness, integrative medicine, palliative care, and humanism in medicine above all. I’m so glad I am training with St. Joe’s because I’ll be able to serve a community I’m passionate about in a rigorous yet very supportive and fun environment. Outside of work, I love traveling, eating greasy street food, yoga, meditation, cooking spicy food, hiking with Charlie, our rescue dog, and playing board games with Kyle, my partner. We all love Denver and the fast friends we’re making at St. Joe’s!
Shannon Mentock, MD
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Hello! I spent the majority of my life on the East Coast in North Carolina. I studied Nutrition and French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After college, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mountains of Cameroon. A lot of my Peace Corps projects were related to nutrition and chronic disease, like diabetes. This training in preventive care and holistic approaches to health helped me decide that Family Medicine is where I can make the biggest impact for my patients. I returned to NC for medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Then I ended up in Denver for residency and I am so happy to be here!
I am not sure what kind of practice I will have after residency, so I wanted a program where I could train in just about everything. I look forward to learning more about complementary forms of medicine through our Integrative Medicine track. I love that our program provides strong OB training. We have a large Spanish speaking population and I am already getting better at speaking Spanish.
Since arriving here in June, it is obvious how committed everyone at St. Joe's is to providing a supportive environment and caring for the underserved.
Nicole Oberfoell, MD
University of Queensland, Ochsner Hospital
I was ecstatic to be welcomed into the Saint Joseph's family because it's a place I feel inspired by and confident that I will grow into my own type of well-prepared, fantastic Family Physician. There's a balance of having autonomy and guidance, feeling challenged and supported, being friends and colleagues, and taking on the world intently as well as playfully.
I was born/raised in Los Angeles where I did a lot of rollerblading and sitting in public school buses. I was lured to the east coast to attend Swarthmore, a small liberal arts college that expanded my take on the world, concepts of health, and let me captain the soccer team. I stayed a number of years in West Philadelphia managing clinical research studies at the University of Pennsylvania by day and taking free classes at night. I dabbled in public health, the arts, and community organizing until I was inspired to apply for a Fulbright on the use of telemedicine to bring better healthcare to geographically isolated, resource-limited communities in the Philippines. I got to meet/work with family I had only known from photographs, and see where hand-me-down clothes had gone for all the years. Martial arts belts were fashioned into machete holsters!
For medical school I spent the first two years at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia where I got to appreciate a different healthcare system, work within the strategies of a different telemedicine system, and learn different pronunciations of medical jargon. My second half of medical school was at Ochsner in New Orleans, which was an enlightening juxtaposition.
I am very excited to be a family medicine physician and take on this uniquely therapeutic role to respond to front-line community issues, and make substantial, inter-generational changes. I find the program at Saint Joseph's cultivates these ideals and inspires collaboration. Oh, and we're really fun and get down.
Ashleigh Patrick (Garton), DO
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! I am a Colorado native who grew up Pueblo where I also attended undergrad at Colorado State University-Pueblo. I have known for quite some time that medicine was my passion and that medical school would someday be in my future. After graduating with my Bachelors degree, I spent one year working at an ambulatory surgery center followed by another year working as an orthopedic technician for an orthopedic surgeon. As an orthopedic technician, I was able to do so many amazing things, including minor office procedures and assisting during surgery. During that year, my passion for medicine and patient care only intensified, and I became determined to pursue a career as a doctor.
The following year I started as a 1st year medical student at Rocky Vista University. During my time there, I was able strengthen my interests all areas of medicine, hone in some of my osteopathic manipulative medicine skills and meet some amazing lifelong girlfriends. It was also during my time here, especially during my rotations, that I realized how strongly I felt about lifestyle and preventative medicine. Although initially considering a surgical career, I felt that I kept getting pushed in a direction that allowed me to work longitudinally with patients to find their healthiest lives possible. And thus, family medicine was the specialty for me.
Once settling on family medicine, deciding on St Joseph’s was easy. This program offered everything I could ever dream of, including outstanding OB rotations, OMT training and an integrative medicine track all within a wonderful, supporting environment with amazing staff and co-residents. Additionally, I was able to stay in beautiful Colorado, where my husband, Kurt, and I grew up. On the weekends, you can find us hiking, camping, paddle boarding, trying out a new brewery, spending time with family or enjoying as many Rockies games as we can fit in! I couldn’t be happier at such an important time in my career!
If you have any questions about St Joseph’s or Colorado, please feel free to email me!
Ryan Dean Peterson, MD
University of Arizona, Tucson
Hello! I am so excited to be able to call Saint Joseph and Colorado my new home! Growing up my family moved around quite a bit. Starting in Dallas, Texas where I was born, our moves included Albuquerque New Mexico, Fort Worth Texas, Kansas City Kansas, Glendale Arizona, and London England, until we finally landed in Phoenix Arizona where I completed High School. From there I headed two hours south to the University of Arizona – Tucson where I completed my Bachelors of Science in General Biology with a minor in Chemistry. While doing that I married my High School sweetheart, Courtland. She was also studying as an undergraduate at The University of Arizona where she studied both Dance and Education. After finishing our undergraduate degrees we headed back to Phoenix where I worked for Maricopa County Department of Environmental Health as an Environmental Health Specialist, and Courtland worked as a Dance Teacher at Greenway High School. While working in Phoenix I completed a Masters Degree in Public Health, also at the University of Arizona, with an emphasis in Public Health Practice. While in Phoenix Courtland became pregnant, twice! We now have two beautiful little girls, Brooklynn 7, and Ryland 4. When Brooklynn was 3 and Ryland was six months, we all headed back to Tucson and the University of Arizona for medical school.
We are all now elated to be here in Denver, Colorado for residency at Saint Joseph Hospital. This program certainly stood out from the others in my mind as a place where I could learn to practice full spectrum family medicine in an urban community environment. Outside of the hospital I love spending time with my family. We have made it our goal to explore as much of beautiful Colorado as we can! We love to get outside to go hiking, camping, tubing, biking, barbecuing, and picnicking. All of course with our two boxers, Macy and Dempsey, along for the ride!
Madeleine Roberts, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
Hello, everyone! I am so proud to be at St. Joseph's Hospital for my residency training. I was born and raised in Minnesota before heading to Washington DC for my undergraduate education at American University. I spent a year in San Diego before starting medical school at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I spent a year in a longitudinal rural program which fueled my love of full spectrum family practice.
I am passionate about inpatient medicine and hope to continue practicing in the hospital setting after graduation, so I was drawn to St. Joe's for their extremely strong inpatient curriculum, as well as the full spectrum culture of training in Colorado. To me, St. Joe's is perfect for the person who loves everything family medicine has to offer and isn't ready to choose. They offer so many opportunities to solidify your skills across the board, from OB to clinic to pediatrics to sports medicine.
I love skiing, hiking, large dogs, and craft beer (Denver is clearly perfect for me!). I am extremely close to my family and friends and am passionate about political action and healthcare policy. I am so happy to be at St. Joe's, and every day I'm here I become more confident that this is the right place for me! I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about our program and our city.
Lauren Jane Thomas, MD
University of Colorado Medical School
Class of 2019
Claire Bovet, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Hello, and thanks for visiting this page to learn more about the Family Medicine residents at Saint Joseph Hospital! I love this program and its people, and can't wait to tell you more about us. For starters, I'm a Colorado native who grew up on a farm in the Longmont area. I moved to Middlebury, Vermont for college and spent a semester living abroad in France. My next step was to come back to my favorite state for medical school at the University of Colorado, where I developed a passion for primary care. My third-year rotations at St. Joe's convinced me that the community here provides great patient care and also great education. When I finished my fourth year sub-I, I knew that these were my people, and that feeling has stayed strong ever since. I am so honored and thrilled to be working in this incredible environment, and I absolutely love my St Joe's family! When I'm not at the hospital, you can find me exploring the outdoors, perfecting a new recipe in my kitchen, or sampling some of Denver's many cool restaurants and breweries with my husband Tucker. If you have any questions about residency, life in Denver, or which beers and hikes should make your must-try list while visiting Colorado, please get in touch!
Craig Erickson, MD
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Hello and welcome! I spent most of my early years in Northern New Jersey, started undergrad studying percussion performance at Rutgers, and finished my degree in music industry at Drexel University. After spending a few years working in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York, I served with the Peace Corps for two years in rural Spring Village, Jamaica. My work was focused on youth development, with emphasis on adolescent health, education, and music. While there, my interest in community health matured into a plan to pursue a career in medicine. After returning, I spent a year obtaining my science requirements and volunteering in a family medicine-run HIV clinic in Baltimore. For medical school, I headed to Brown University, where I pursued interests in global and community health, health disparities, care of incarcerated populations, and medical education.
Now in my first year at St Joe's, I couldn't be happier to be here learning full-spectrum family medicine! As residents, we are able to serve a diverse urban population, regardless of insurance status, while still building the skill set needed to work in the most rural and low-resource environments. The obstetrics training is particularly strong in this respect. There is a highly supportive culture here that enables us to explore nearly any clinical or academic interest we might have, while also encouraging us to enjoy the city, the mountains, and our lives outside of work. And there is a lot to enjoy here in Denver! Best of all, we all get to work every day with a remarkably talented group of co-residents, faculty, and staff that are equally inspiring and fun.
Thanks for your interest in St. Joe's Family Medicine Residency program! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, and I will be happy to respond.
Joshua Farley, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and enlisted into the Army straight out of high school where I served as a paratrooper. My experience in Iraq and Afghanistan dealing with traumatic wounds and providing assistance to rural villages gave me the desire to become a physician. I spent my undergrad years studying neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and then stayed on for their medical school. My passion for family medicine came about when I realized I loved everything about medicine including clinic, inpatient, procedures, kids, geriatrics, everything. And the specialty that satisfied all those interests was far and away family medicine. So when I opened up my Match letter and saw I was going to be a resident at St. Joseph’s I was ecstatic because I knew they thoroughly taught their residents to handle any medical problem that comes up and prepare them to practice in any environment. Plus Denver is just a great place to live. Outside of medicine, I enjoy trying out new beers (Denver is amazing for that!!!), spending time with my girlfriend, running, Netflix binging, playing with my cat Archie, and spending time with my awesome co-residents.
Alexandra McCarty, MD
University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Hi everyone! I am so grateful to be welcomed into the Saint Joseph Family Medicine Program. I was born outside of New Orleans before making a move to Jackson, Mississippi where I spent the majority of my life. I attended college at Mississippi State University where I majored in Microbiology, then traveled back down to Jackson for medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. During medical school I reconnected with an old college acquaintance that soon became my husband. While my husband John Paul finished his studies at the University Of Mississippi School of law, I focused my attention on my interests within medicine. My love for fostering relationships with patients and interest in underserved care are what drew me to Family Medicine.
Having grown up in the South, I knew residency was an opportunity to experience a different part of the country. Full spectrum training and a genuine focus on underserved care were two priorities for me when deciding on where to train. I am so happy to say that Saint Joseph has proven to be an incredible program that fulfills all I wanted and more. We have the opportunity to work with so many engaging faculty and co-residents, all with various passions from global health to obstetrics to sports medicine. I feel confident that over the next three years Saint Joseph’s full spectrum training will shape me to be the best physician for my future patients.
Outside of work my husband and I are enjoying exploring the great state of Colorado, hiking, running and traveling. If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to email me!
Emily Rand, MD
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Hello there! I spent my first two decades in Arizona (born on the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, later moved to Flagstaff, went to undergrad in Tucson). After college I moved to California and worked at NASA in the south bay, then went to medical school at UC San Diego. While Denver doesn’t have the beach and burrito scene that I loved in SD, it more than makes up for it with the mountains, parks, and breweries!
My photo is from match day (s/p happy tears) when I found out I was going to be able to do my family medicine training at St. Joes! On my interview, I loved the family feel of St. Joes. I loved the commitment to the underserved. I loved the snazzy new hospital with wonderful teaching facilities. I loved the collaborative relationship with the other specialties. Have I said the word love enough? I think you get the idea.
Bonnie Smith, DO
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
It seems like just yesterday I was trying to narrow down the almost 500 family medicine residencies to a reasonable number of applications, and now I’m writing my bio for Saint Joe’s. I’ve been in Denver for about a month and I already love the dry heat and proximity to the mountains. I grew up in the rolling hills of northern California, completed my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz on the central CA coast, and completed my MPH in Community Health Sciences at UCLA. From there, I moved to Brooklyn, NY, where I worked in public health research in both the fields of reproductive health and family planning as well as child and adolescent mental health. While I was living in New York, I did my 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training at Yoga to the People. Six years after graduating from college, I started medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
From the time I was a sophomore in college until the end of my third year of medical school, I was sure I wanted to pursue a career in Ob/Gyn. My last rotation of my third year was an elective at a community clinic in Zuni, New Mexico. I hadn’t spent much time in the southwest, but I quickly fell in love with the dessert, the mountains and family medicine. I’m still very interested in women’s health, Ob and family planning, but I love the idea of treating the whole person (and their family). When I began narrowing down family medicine programs, I primarily looked at places out west where I could do full spectrum practice and get a good Ob experience—Saint Joe’s very much fit the bill. Throughout medical school, I taught yoga, both on campus and in a community studio. I even taught yoga while I was on the reservation in Zuni. Having this outlet was invaluable to me during the past six years, and I hope to continue to teach yoga during residency—to patients and providers alike, if I can!
My challenge in residency will be narrowing down my very broad interests in family medicine—Ob, family planning, adolescent medicine, addiction, global and rural health, integrative medicine, wilderness medicine—the list goes on. In the meantime, I’m enjoying getting to know the amazing people at Saint Joe’s, settling into my house in Five Points, and exploring this beautiful new place with my girlfriend, who is an intern in family medicine at Saint Anthony’s.
Charla Sperring, DO
University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hey y’all! I am Texas bred and Texas raised and like so many other Texans I have migrated to the great state of Colorado! I attended University of Oklahoma for undergrad where I studied Health Exercise Science and played varsity soccer for the Sooners. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field but my decision to pursue a career as a physician did not happen until my senior year at OU after I spent a summer with a rural family medicine doctor. After graduating, I still had prerequisites to complete and needed a change of scenery as well as a little adventure. Off I went to Portland, Oregon where I finished my prerequisites and then spent a summer in Alaska. After my pacific northwest adventure I returned home to Fort Worth to attend University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Being a former athlete I have recovered from my fair share of injuries. Feeling I needed to pay it forward for all of those who have helped heal me, I became interested in sports medicine. I then went to Haiti for a medical mission trip sparking an interest for international medicine. At the end of 4 years I fell in love with broad spectrum health care, continuity of care and the challenges family medicine offered. When looking for the ideal family medicine residency I wanted one that offered a community health care focus, board spectrum family medicine, sports medicine and global medicine. Not only did Saint Joe’s have the diversity I was looking for, they also had an energetic, passionate, fun environment. I knew this program would push me to become a great doctor preparing me to practice in every possible setting as a family medicine physician.
Growing up my family vacationed in Colorado frequently and my now husband, Trey, proposed at the top of Steamboat. Needless to say this state has a special place in my heart. There are days we have to pinch ourselves that we really are living in Denver. In our free time we are either headed to the mountains to enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and hunting or we are around Denver trying out some of the great coffee and foodie spots. We have two fur children, Addi and Gus. Addi is a German Shorthaired Pointer who is my ride or die and she has built in all-paw drive making her an excellent hiking buddy. Gus is a basset, you can find us taking him for a stroll in city park, his little legs make hiking difficult but he sure is a good looking pup. And if f it is a Saturday in the fall you will find these two proud Oklahoma alums cheering on our Sooners!
If you have any questions about St. Joe’s, residency, Colorado or any life questions just email me.
Laura Wade, MD
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and only went as far as Tucson for my undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona. I continued my career as a Wildcat by attending the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix. During my third year rotations I finally realized how great family medicine is as a specialty and since then I haven’t looked back. I am excited to train as a family physician so that I can provide continuous, comprehensive care to my patients. I am particularly interested in caring for women and children so I knew I needed a program with strong obstetrics and pediatrics. As I was interviewing for residency I was looking for a place that could provide that broad spectrum training in a supportive, positive atmosphere and I found the perfect fit here at Saint Joseph. All the staff, faculty and residents here are great! Plus we get to work with a diverse urban underserved patient population in a beautiful city. I love the desert (and I still think Arizona has some of the best sunsets) but I am super excited to be here in Denver for residency.
Outside of medicine I like to go hiking, camping and skiing and I am looking forward to exploring all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer. I also enjoy reading, knitting, spending time with friends and family and now trying out new restaurants and breweries!
If you have any questions please feel free to ask!
Elise Yerelian, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Hello! I now call Colorado home, but that wasn’t always the case. I originally grew up on the beaches of southern California where I loved to play all types of sports, but soccer was the one that stuck. I did the SoCal-NorCal flip for college and went to University of California, Berkeley. There I got my degree in biology but also started to really love hiking and getting outdoors. I found my way to Colorado after falling in love with CU medical school. At the same time that I was pursuing my dream of becoming a physician, I began to understand why people love Colorado. I have found that Summer is my favorite season in Colorado. Out in the mountains the hiking, backpacking, trail running, and camping are all limitless.I am so thankful to be continuing my medical education and development as a doctor at St. Joe’s. What struck me most about the program is the camaraderie of the resident classes and the intelligent, light hearted and hilarious personalities of the faculty. I am excited to be at an institution that has a community feel, but practices very evidenced based and up to date medicine. I am incredibly confident that the training I will get here will prepare me to practice any type of family medicine in any location.
Oh and that’s my cute, but at times incredibly sassy, pup Olive.
Class of 2018
Julie Bemski, DO
Nova Southeastern University
Hi all! I have lived in Denver since I was 4 years old and love it here. I've spent time for college and medical school in Oregon and Florida, but my husband, Brett, and I both decided that Colorado is where we want to start our professional lives and eventually start a family so we were eager to move back for residency. I love being a Family Medicine Resident for the broad spectrum of training we receive and the feeling that I could be dropped anywhere in Colorado and feel totally prepared to take on whatever comes my way. Ultimately I hope to do a fellowship in Hospice/Palliative Care.
I'm so happy to be a resident at Saint Joe's for many reasons. I found an amazing group of forever friends in my classmates who are always down for Colorado adventuring. I love our population of patients at Bruner FM Clinic that have their own set of challenges and rewards. I learn something new every single day, and most days way more than one new thing. The attendings and other residents here are fully supportive and engaged in my journey through residency whether its answering my late night questions or having a glass of wine at Jazz in the Park on Sundays.
Outside of medicine my husband and I love spending time in the beautiful Colorado mountains, getting our butts kicked at Crossfit, hanging out with family and our sweet rescue pup Bella, and checking out all the cool new restaurants in Denver.
Spencer Cooperman, DO
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi everyone! I am so excited to be a part of the Saint Joseph Family Medicine Residency Program. I was born and raised just south of Denver and could not be more excited to be back home. I attended Colgate University for undergrad to pursue a dream of playing Division One lacrosse, and that is where I met my wife Katie. From there we moved to Chicago where I took a post-bac year, then attended the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and Katie attended the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While at CCOM, I fell in love with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and was lucky enough to be selected for the OMM Teaching Fellowship. My other professional interests include sports medicine and full-spectrum family medicine.
After experiencing Chicago for six years, Katie and I decided that we wanted a change, and Denver was at the top of our list. There are many great family medicine programs in Denver, but St. Joe’s was where I felt the most at home, and that was because of the amazing faculty and residents here. I know that Saint Joseph will train me to be the best doctor that I can be, and will prepare me for every patient and every opportunity in the future
Outside of work I like to run, bike, hike, ski, and spend time with family, friends, and our dog Jack. If you have any questions about the program please feel free to email me!
Stephanie Karozos, MD
University of Indiana
Hi there! I grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, which is just south of Indianapolis. During my undergraduate career at Purdue University, I studied Biology with an emphasis on Neurobiology and Physiology. I also worked in a Parasitology research lab at Purdue, where I learned of many communicable diseases that could be controlled or eradicated in afflicted communities with the introduction of basic water sanitation measures. This helped me develop a passion for social justice that I have carried with me throughout my medical education. I also grew to love Integrative Medicine and acupuncture during this time, and hope to use both in the future.
During my time at Indiana University School of Medicine, I found joy in working with underserved patients at a clinic in our local homeless shelter. I loved my Family Medicine rotations because I felt that the physicians’ highest priority was the patient. When I interviewed at St. Joe’s, I was impressed by the quality of teaching here and the program’s dedication to underserved populations. My experience at the residency dinner, chatting with the residents and faculty, was the most fun I had on the interview trail. I am so excited to be a part of the St. Joe’s team and to work alongside such intelligent, supportive, and fun folks.
I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains on a wilderness trip in high school, and I always told myself I would come back to live here someday. After four great years at home in Indianapolis, my new fiancé (Drake) and I are so excited to be in Denver and to explore our new home. I plan to spend my free time doing what I love: yoga, running, hiking, eating and cooking delicious food, reading, spending time with loved ones, and learning how to ski!
Jessica Wong-Ward, DO
Hi Everyone! While I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, I always knew I wanted to travel west and live near the beautiful Rocky Mountains. So when my college years approached, I left my Midwestern roots and enjoyed life by the flatirons studying psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder. At CU, my passion for medicine took off while working as an HIV tester at my campus’ Community Health Center and flourished while learning about international health on the study abroad program, Semester at Sea. While sailing the globe on Semester at Sea, I also met my permanent travel buddy and now husband, who has kept the two of us traveling the world ever since.
After college, I enjoyed working in reproductive and women’s health before making the move even farther west for medical school at Touro University in California. In medical school, I was continually drawn to the broad scope of family medicine. I knew I needed a residency program where I would be challenged while learning full spectrum family medicine, working in a diverse community and exploring opportunities for OB focus, all alongside AMAZING residents and faculty. Saint Joseph was the perfect fit! It was clear as soon as I visited Saint Joseph Family Medicine that it was time to journey back to the mountains and join the incredible St. Joe’s family.
Outside of medicine, you’ll find me hiking and snowboarding through the Rockies, pursuing my lifelong passion for dance, relaxing on my yoga mat, trying to cook international dishes, and traveling with family and friends!
Makenzie Lewis, DO
Des Moines University
Hello! I grew up in Evergreen, CO, just 40 minutes west of Denver. I went to undergrad at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and participated in research in Neuroscience and chronic pain. After 18 years in Colorado, I decided to branch out to Des Moines, Iowa for medical school at Des Moines University. While I loved my time in Des Moines, I am thrilled to be home for residency at St. Joe’s! I was lucky to spend my 4th year of medical school rotating at various locations in Denver and I knew during my sub-I with St. Joe’s, that it would be a fantastic place to spend my next 3 years of training. I found that the residents and staff alike were committed to providing excellent care to each and every patient they encountered. St. Joe’s is a busy hospital with a very diverse population that will foster a truly well rounded Family Medicine education.
Outside of medicine, I love being outside in the mountains. I love skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping! Though I do appreciate a good lazy day, hanging on the couch watching TV or movies. I also really enjoy cooking and baking and I like to entertain! I’m really looking forward to getting to know my new resident family! Feel free and contact me if you have any questions about St. Joe’s or Colorado or life in general!
Camri McGinn, MD
University of Colorado
I grew up in a tiny Midwestern town in Illinois, surrounded by all of my extended family and friends; the kind of town with no stoplights, no grocery store, and the place where people really do drive their tractors to school. The local family doctor there cared for many of my family and friends and I began to love the idea of that type of medicine. I went to undergrad at St. Ambrose University, in Davenport Iowa, not too far from my home. There, I became more interested in medicine, especially Family Medicine, after completing an undergrad internship at the local family medicine residency program there. I then made the big move out to Colorado for medical school, searching for that true full-spectrum family medicine training that can be found in the west. After spending 4 years of medical school at CU in Denver, meeting my amazing husband, and falling in love with the city, I knew I wanted to stay and complete my training in Colorado. For me, St. Joe’s stood out from the pack – here we have excellent attendings, other specialty training programs on site to learn from, and great OB training (a big plus in my opinion)! I feel so lucky to have matched at St. Joe’s and I am thrilled to join such a great group of people. Outside of medicine, my husband and I enjoy spending time together with our dog, going to jazz in the park, hiking, concerts, sampling restaurants and breweries, and skiing. Please email me if you have questions about the program, about Denver, or anything at all.
Sarah Ashley Robbins, MD
Florida State University
Hi! I was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL. I attended Florida State University (Go Noles!) for my undergraduate and medical school. I quickly learned in med school that I enjoyed taking care of people of all ages and stages which led me to eventually choose family medicine. I was fortunate to attend a medical mission trip to Nicaragua and saw first hand how family medicine prepared a physician for a broad range of medical issues even when resources are scarce. When it came time to apply for interviews, I decided I wanted to go out west to get the true full-spectrum training I was interested in. I had only been to Colorado once for a family vacation before interviewing for residency but instantly fell in love with the climate and mountains. St. Joe's stood out to me for how friendly and warm everyone was on my interview day. The busy, urban location with emphasis on an underserved community was also attractive. I couldn't be more excited about joining the St. Joe's family! I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have two rescue dogs. In my free time I like to bike, spend time with friends, read and hike. I'm excited to explore all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer and find some new hobbies, too.
Stephanie Sandhu, MD
University of Colorado
Even though I left for undergrad to the fabulous University of Miami, I always knew I wanted to return home to beautiful Colorado. My family is everything to me— And I am lucky enough to have my parents, sister, brother and fiancé right here with me. While our competitive spirit can sometimes wrap us up in a intense family board game we also love to get out and enjoy Colorado’s glorious sunshine. Sometimes that means hiking the flatirons or biking along the creek- other times that means being lazy and enjoying some chips and guacamole on a patio. I have also been blessed to find a brilliant social justice community in Denver and organizing on criminal justice issues has helped me stay energized and committed to fighting against structural inequality.
I love my St. Joe's family. Everyone I work with- the amazing Bruner clinic and residency staff, the hilarious and brilliant attendings and my supportive fellow residents love what they do. They are committed to providing the best healthcare possible to our diverse patient population and their good spirits are contagious. Practicing medicine is an incredible privilege and I feel so blessed to work at a place where I get to serve patients who may not have access elsewhere. (P.S. Yes, that is my little brother sneaking around behind the big shrub)