2021 DOM Star Achievement Awardees

Congratulations to the DOM staff recipients of the UCSF STAR Program Achievement Award! The award recognizes staff members' significant contributions and sustained exceptional performance over time. 

Cyrus Ahalt
Associate Director, Amend at UCSF, Division of Geriatrics

Cyrus AhaltCyrus Ahalt embodies all of the best attributes of UCSF.  He is dedicated to continuous learning for his team, a steadfast proponent for equity and inclusion, and has led the nation in creating transformative partnerships both in the United States and abroad. Cyrus led a team in the creation of a binational documentary film-based training program that draws on an online educational platform he and his team created with virtual small group sessions in 4 months. This program was attended for 9 weeks by over 150 government leaders, community leaders, public health experts, and frontline correctional staff across 5 states.

Rachel Belieu
Program Manager, HEAL Initiative, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Rachel BelieuRachel Belieu’s work in this past year has exemplified UCSF Pride values in her contributions to her team and the fellow community. Over the past year, Rachel learned a new software to process invoices with our UCSF contract sites, as well as providing monthly financial and data analytics essential to program delivery. She has served as the interim financial manager for over 8 months, alongside her full-time job, and has trained two new employees over the past year. Rachel runs analytics monthly that has been critical to allowing for precision management of her department.

Brooksley Bigart
Executive Analyst, ZSFG Central Administration

Renate FerreiraBrooks Bigart has committed to PRIDE Values by both voluntarily expanding her scope of projects in her department during this busy time in the past year as well as in her work related to serving the larger UCSF community. At the ZSFG DOM location, Brooks voluntarily stepped up to project manage the launch of the TAO (the faculty onboarding tool) within the 14 divisions, a role above and beyond her position as an executive analyst to the Chief of the Medicine. Brooks has also continued coordinating to provide meals to frontline faculty and staff over the past year during the Covid pandemic.

Michelle Cai
Quality Improvement Specialist, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Michelle CaiMichelle has gone above and beyond supporting the Division of Hospital Medicine's faculty at the forefront of the division’s efforts related to Covid in addition to maintaining her regular work with a high degree of professionalism. Over the past year, Michelle has taken on additional roles including serving as one of DHM’s engagement ambassadors, being the dedicated note-taker for all the UCSF Covid Town Halls, serving as the administrative lead on other Covid projects including the DHM Clinical Operations group, serving on the DHM COVID Planning Task Force, and the DHM Patient & Family Advisory Council.

Michael Chang
Operations Manager, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Michael ChangIn the past year, Michael has gone above and beyond his role as Operations Manager for St. Mary’s Hospital Medicine Services to ensure that services were staffed and scheduling issues were handled. Michael is the face of his group at SMMC and during the pandemic, he has continued to go into the office once a week to make sure that he can continue to support his team with the same high level. He has taken on additional projects researching and revamping the structure of the St. Mary’s daily multidisciplinary rounds (MDR) and contributing a research project looking at patient satisfaction.

Zachary Concepcion
Administrative Coordinator, DOM Chair's Office

Zachary ConcepcionZac shows continuous learning and development while taking on new projects outside of his original role as the DOM Central Admin team’s administrative coordinator. Soon after being hired, Zac expressed interest in various projects that have broadened his knowledge of digital communications, web management, and process improvement while helping to maintain 70+ department websites. He has updated our daily Covid-19 news coverage and is committed to diversity through his efforts of searching for panelists who are underrepresented in medicine for the DOM Grand Rounds.  

Chesa Cox
Communications Analyst, Division of HIV, ID and Global Medicine, ZSFG

Chesa Cox continues to provide invaluable administrative support for the faculty and staff as a Communications analyst, especially for her team’s Covid‐19 response. She has stepped up as the technical editor for the Covid‐19 ID Cross‐Campus Digest, which provides accessible information on recent scientific developments twice weekly through email and social media. Chesa has continued to be a strong resource to both the COVID‐19 testing that UCSF has led in both the Mission and Bayview districts via Unidos en Salud (UES) while continuing to handle her current job’s demands.

Jay Dwyer
Ambulatory Care Patient Manager, Division of HIV, ID and Global Medicine, ZSFG

Jay Dwyer is the study coordinator and head research nurse for the ACTG & HHRC clinical research units in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at ZSFG, which typically focuses on outpatient HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD research. With the onslaught of Covid, his unit had to pivot entirely to take on Covid therapeutic and vaccine research. This represented an enormous amount of hard work, coordination, and problem-solving under incredibly trying circumstances. Jay handled these challenges with remarkable dedication to advancing Covid science to turn the epidemic around.

Anjali Garg
Assistant Director, Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Anjali demonstrates leadership skills while advancing the goals of the Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research (CLIIR) as the Assistant Director. She is critical to the daily operations of the Center and oversees the functions regarding strategic planning, finances, management, and recruiting. She also manages large research projects and other strategic efforts undertaken by CLIIR. In January, Anjali was recruited to serve as Program Manager of a newly established CDPH Covid Modeling Consortium, to study the impact that the pandemic has had on California.

Gato Gourley
Division Manager, Center for Vulnerable Populations, ZSFG

As Division Manager, Gato Gourley has grown the Center for Vulnerable Populations from a small program within our General Internal Medicine division into a large, research division during Covid-19, recruiting employees that have experienced being homeless themselves. The division received a generous donation to establish the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative—a new initiative dedicated to research and policy translation to prevent and end homelessness. Gato also facilitated the United in Health’s Covid testing events in June and October 2020, to offer free COVID testing to the homeless.

Nancy Huynh
Finance Manager, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Nancy HuynhAs a finance manager, Nancy’s role is split between managing the division’s finances and providing post-award financial management to the division’s PIs. Nancy has spent countless hours in the past working with a programmer to make sure her team’s policies and formulas for calculating support were translated into the new system and then testing the new sheet to make sure it was working correctly. With her diligent and patient management style, her team members have made great strides in job performance and her leadership supports the Chancellor’s priority of continuous learning.

Lawrence Khuu
Applications Programmer, DOM Chair's Office

Lawrence, an Applications Programmer in the DOM Chair’s Office, has played a significant role in the success of the DOM Portals, such as the Fellowship Administrators’ Board, the DOM Academic Renewals program, the Faculty Annual review portal, and the TAO portal. He has also stepped up to learn systems that were developed by other programmers and took the time to study and adapt to the code, building out lots of functionalities that will help DOM users excel in what they do. He listens intently, asks great questions, and is an excellent team player.

Kim Koenigsberger
Administrative Director, Education, Central Administration

Over the past year, Kim’s work resulted in the creation of the Fellowship Administrator Board (FAB) portal to track the many processes and deadlines. To get to this result, Kim first conducted surveys to gain a better understanding of the staff and faculty needed before constructing new processes for co-creating solutions for the needs of her very busy team. She has established key relationships with other departments and institutions that are trying to solve similar challenges in the administrative needs of the educational enterprise. Her team trusts, respects, and genuinely adores her.

Gayle Kojimoto-Hume
Program Manager, MERI Center, Division of Palliative Medicine, UCSF Health 

Gayle has elevated our commitment and work for anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion through the establishment of the Division of Palliative Medicine's (DPM) Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) while supporting the Covid surge at the same time. In addition to her valuable work as coordinator of the MERI Center for Palliative Care Education, she was also asked to co-chair our ARTF. The ARTF group meets monthly and has established a forum for all members of the DPM to find a common language and safe space.

Christine Lam
Administrative Analyst, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Christine LamChristine is the scheduler for the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF Health. In the early days of the pandemic, Christine worked to make sure all schedules were staffed, as the division rapidly created new roles to adjust to Covid patients. Following the initial influx of new workflows, hospital volumes fell dramatically last spring as patients seemed to want to avoid the hospital. Christine worked with division leadership to make sure that faculty were reallocated and that we were using our resources carefully. Her excellent work to provide support to faculty requires superb attention to detail and she never misses anything.

Jennifer Lee
Fellowship Coordinator, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Jen is the glue that holds the Clinical Informatics Fellowship (CIF) Program together, keeping everyone reminded of deadlines and triaging as appropriate. She is responsible for providing programming support in professional development and learning opportunities for the fellows. While Jen also supports the Academic Hospitalist Medicine Fellowship Program, CIF is where Jen shines because CIF is a relatively new program that is constantly working to make improvements. It is different from most other fellowships in that it is not focused on any clinical subspecialty, so the competencies to complete the fellowship are different from traditional fellowships.

Connie Li
Clinical Assistant, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Connie is the first Clinical Assistant for the Division of Hospital Medicine, providing administrative support to physicians and patients on the Goldman Medicine Service. When Connie joined the division in June, we knew that we needed her to help support our providers so that they could spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time focusing on patient care. She started shadowing one provider, and then every week, would add more providers to shadow. This process helped her understand what was needed to excel in the role, offer new ideas, and take the initiative to go above and beyond.

Assistant Division Manager, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Katherine Li Kat leads Women in Technology @ UCSF ([email protected]), which was launched in January 2019 to support women, who are underrepresented in technology. She was instrumental in growing our membership (355 members to date) during the pandemic, despite the challenge of a major shift in how we work together. WIT has members from all campuses, including Fresno. Kat has modeled leadership and has represented women technologists and the Department of Medicine well. Her hard work around WIT communication efforts, willingness to collaborate, and create and do something beyond her work scope is truly impressive.

Nancy Li
Project Analyst, Education, Central Administration

Nancy is, in short, a total superstar administrator, single-handedly revising and innovating the administrative side of her team's virtual recruitment process for nearly 300 applicants to our Internal Medicine Residency this year. Thanks to her tech-savvy skills and ability to develop efficient processes, many of the fellowships plan to adopt some of her inventions into their next recruitment cycle. Nancy also migrated her team's documents to Microsoft Teams, then patiently taught her team how to use the tool. Nancy continues to be an incredibly valued member of the education team going above and beyond in all her work.

Natalia Loaiza
Administrative Officer, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Natalia Loaiza Natalia brings energy to every zoom meeting as if she is in the same room with you. Together in partnership, she has been leading the launch of an antiracist faculty and staff development series in the DHM across all sites at UCSF called the Tea House Series. As the Faculty Development Coordinator, Global Health Bootcamp Coordinator, Credentialing and Onboarding Specialist for faculty/Health, Equity, Action, & Leadership fellows (HEAL), She elevates others and provides opportunities for equity. Her actions in this example highlight her professionalism, her responsibility, integrity, diversity, and excellence.

Lena Loo
Administrative Officer, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Lena Loo Hard-working, detail-oriented, and forward-thinking, Lena is the Administrative Officer, Clinical Scheduler, Medicine Restructuring Taskforce Project Manager, as well as the Executive Assistant to Andy Auerbach and is also assigned to 20 other faculty who she supports. In her role as the Medicine Restructuring Taskforce Project Manager, she helps create the optimal service structure for both faculty and residents and ensures our residents are not working above duty hours. This past year, she was asked to manage several new projects: the DHM monthly newsletter, managing the division’s Twitter account, and HemeBMT/NHS/AHF faculty hire recruitment.

Justin Vang-Moore
Division Manager, Division of Experimental Medicine, ZSFG

Justin Moore Every activity in which Justin engages includes his thoughtfulness of how his decisions and actions impact everyone involved. In May 2020, Justin volunteered to pilot the TAO platform for the entire Department, which included extensive testing and feedback. In October 2020, as the TAO project advanced, Justin pivoted his support for the platform and participated in several demonstrations for his colleagues. In addition to group meeting support, Justin provided one-on-one tutorials and brainstorming sessions for 13 other divisions at ZSFG to help them create a vision for their division’s TAO platform.

Sarah Ngo
Research Programs Specialist, Division of Geriatrics

Sarah is currently the Research Programs Specialist in the Division of Geriatrics and administrator of the UCSF Pepper Center. Since 2016, Sarah has been continuously promoted because she kept meeting and exceeding the ever-growing needs of the Division of Geriatrics. She is part of the Women in Tech ([email protected]) Leadership Team and has a strong interest in not only how we can use technology to optimize workflow processes, but also better connect us. Sarah developed and organized our Zoom research conference that is superior to our previous in-person conference and virtual attendance is nearly 3 times larger than our prior in-person conference.

Kristan Olazo
Research Data Analyst, Center for Vulnerable Populations, ZSFG

As a team player, Kristan elevates the work of her entire group and delivers excellence at every phase of a project. She successfully orchestrated the PRISM Health Symposium that convened experts and learners across the country to advance innovative methods for using social media in health research. Due to her thorough research, precise coordination, thoughtful staffing, and creativity in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kristan culminated a year’s worth of planning with a pitch-perfect event. Attendees were truly amazed that the virtual symposium was executed without a flaw.

Lucia Pacca
Research Data Analyst, Center for Vulnerable Populations, Division of General Internal Medicine, ZSFG

Lucia PaccaLucia is the go-to person at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations since April 2019, implementing research of health systems-based strategies to improve hypertension control in underserved populations and to UCSF overall. She masterfully administered the curriculum and educational experience for students as part of the internship programs and coursework for digital health technology development for vulnerable populations. Students participated in real-world market research for digital health products in safety-net clinics and Medicaid populations and presented shark-tank-style demos to advisors and potential investors.

Ilona Paredes
Academic Coordinator, DOM Chair's Office

Ilona Paredes Ilona coordinates nationwide academic searches to recruit senior leaders, mostly chiefs, to join UCSF and the Department of Medicine. Ilona is thoughtful, meticulous, and efficient in her work, producing several important products such as our department’s Research Newsletter, which reaches thousands of people every month with a high degree of visibility. She is also a team player and goes out of her way to review the weekly Covid Grand Rounds announcements. Roughly 4,600 recipients receive the correct weekly zoom link to attend our Medical Grand Rounds, which has garnered 1.7M views on YouTube since the start of the pandemic.

Jana Powell
Program Manager, PREPARE, Division of Geriatrics

Jana is Program Manager of the PREPARE program, providing hundreds of thousands of people across the country with access to easy-to-understand advance care planning information, where no prior easy-to-read advance directive in multiple languages had existed previously. Jana helped secure a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant to update the California advance directive to meet the legal requirements for all U.S. states and Washington D.C. in English and Spanish. With state laws changing every year, Jana has created databases that allow us to act upon these legal changes and feedback efficiently.


Natalie Rivadeneira
Research Data Analyst, Division of General Internal Medicine, ZSFG

Natalie RivaderneiraNatalie is the lead staff of the Safety Promotion Action Research and Knowledge Network (SPARKNet), an innovative collaboration with five publicly funded health systems in California. She developed and fostered relationships with all sites to obtain the data, troubleshot with data managers to understand and clean the data, ultimately analyzing to generate an unprecedented understanding of safety issues in California’s public health systems. Her persistence and dedication have enabled this research program to make a state-wide impact on patient safety and health equity.


Sam Santiago
Clinical Project Manager, DOM Chair's Office

Sam Santiago Sam serves as Administrative Officer in the Chair's Office, a front-facing role where she is involved in almost every project, communication, planning effort, and strategic initiative. Sam brilliantly executes her role, committing many of her hours to get the job done. She also willingly accepted a second complete set of duties as our Chair's interim Executive Assistant after the unexpected departure of a recent hire. Covid launched our Chair, Dr. Wachter, to the forefront of the media on many fronts. Sam calmly and competently pitched in, managing his calendar, and was the primary point of contact for national policy leaders, medicine thought leaders, and journalists.

David Scarbeary-Simmons
Division Manager, Division of Prevention Science, UCSF Health

David has contributed several improvements to the way that faculty are oriented to DOM and their divisions. He improved the list of onboarding requirements, as well as a checklist of to-do items for both new faculty hires and staff members managing the process. He is also actively involved at the division level in anti-racism efforts, including facilitating a book club organized by the Office of Diversity and Outreach. David has deepened his research administration through his continued work with NCURA and recently submitted an article to NCURA's research publication that is set to be published in the coming months.

Joseph Scarpelli
Program Manager, HEAL Initiative, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Joseph Scarpelli Joseph has shown exceptional leadership during this past year when the pandemic was hitting our partner sites in Navajo Nation very hard, and the Nation requested our program to help provide additional support. Joseph took on dramatic and responsive leadership: working mornings, evenings, weekends to communicate with 4 departments in 5 hospitals - 20 departments in total, to understand the rapidly changing needs of our partners, and use those needs to guide the UCSF/HEAL response. The team provided the largest Solidarity Team to the Navajo Nation of any non-US government entity.

Lila Sheira
Research Data Analyst, Division of HIV, Infectious Disease & Global Medicine, ZSFG

Lila Sheira Lila is responsible for data analysis and management for 6 active grants (4 NIH-funded). Over the past year, Lila continues to independently perform a range of key analytic and study functions with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the statistical procedures and data sets. She has continued to take on a leadership role in long-term planning and helped draft manuscript sections for her supervisors, and other students and fellows. In addition, Lila does an outstanding job in supporting grant submissions, helping very substantively on several R-01 grants and a D43 grant that was recently funded.

Aaron Tabacco
Staff Experience Specialist, DOM Chair's Office

Aaron tacbacco As the Staff Experience Specialist for DOM, Aaron commits to the development and mentoring of our staff and Division Managers. He worked diligently to gather feedback from the administrative staff and managers in DOM on how to address employee engagement and retention issues while also implementing a mentorship program in the DOM. Aaron's work in the DOM Insider newsletter provides continuous learning and inclusion in our community. Aaron has also hosted several faculty and staff support events to help the community get through this unprecedented time of remote work and to help us all connect better./span>

Alyssa Tecklenburg
Manager of Strategic & Administrative Initiatives, DOM Chair's Office

Alyssa Tecklenburg In addition to space planning, Alyssa co-facilitates the work of the UCSF Women in Tech (WIT) group, co-creating several campus-based events and presentations by/for the WIT group to the benefit of the entire UCSF community. Her many contributions include mentoring, role modeling, and problem-solving in the steering committee, as well as connecting meaningfully and graciously with WIT leaders across many institutions and industries. Alyssa was integral in the production of the Covid Medicine Grand Rounds, bringing some of the most sought-after educational broadcasts about the pandemic to a virtual audience.

Robert Thombley
Lead Data Architect, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Robert Thombley Robert is the Lead Data Scientist and Head of the analytics team at the Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research (CLIIR) within DOM. Robert is a natural leader and people person that connects with people throughout the university to effectively accomplish his work in the context of CLIIR. He works to understand organizational and technical details to help projects progress successfully‚ often with highly sensitive data and is very focused on adhering to internal and external policies, many of which are complex, outdated, and not designed for the type of work that we do.

Lisa Tran
Director of Communications, DOM Chair's Office

Lisa Tran As Director of Communications for DOM, Lisa interacts with many staff and faculty daily, managing over 70 websites for all DOM divisions. Lisa has worked late nights and weekends to ensure Covid-19 projects are completed efficiently and on time. She, along with 2 other team members of DOM, have been producing the department's weekly special Grand Rounds on Covid-19, which is posted on YouTube and has received over 1.7million views. Additionally, Lisa conducts monthly website training to share her expertise on content strategy and editing with all DOM staff, as well as meeting weekly with the UCSF web services team to enhance features on DOM websites.

Nancy Tran
Kidney Transplant Unit Administrative Officer, Division of Nephrology, UCSF Health

Nancy Tran Nancy is the Administrative Officer III for the Kidney Transplant Unit (KTU), assisting the KTU in many of the aspects of our administrative work so the team can focus on the clinical work. She also led the UCPath transition to make sure that all required data is manually inputted for all the KTU faculty. It looked seamless; little did one know that Nancy had been toiling tirelessly in the background to make sure it was as painless as possible for the faculty. Nancy is a truly valued addition to our organization and UCSF.

Meg Tremblay
Program Officer, HEAL Initiative, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Meg Tremblay This past year amidst the challenges with Covid, Meg's commitment to diversity, integrity, and professionalism has been outstanding. Back in May/June when our partner colleagues in Navajo Nation were hit very hard by Covid, Meg offered to travel to Navajo Nation and take on a second job for over a month - building the local indigenous contact tracing network to support the containment of Covid on the vulnerable Navajo Nation. In the evenings, she did her day HEAL job, for nearly 4 weeks.

Sangeeta Tripathi
Managing Director, HEAL Initiative, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Sangeeta Tripathi Sangeeta's work as the Director of Strategy and Operations for the HEAL Initiative in the past year to support marginalized patients across the world has been nothing short of inspiring. Sangeeta took on an additional project of enormous magnitude when she led the HEAL Initiative to organize a group of 40 UCSF physicians and nurses to be redeployed to Navajo Nation as they dealt with a huge surge of Covid cases, an already under-resourced setting. Her understanding of equity and justice helped facilitate conversations about power, privilege, and oppression and helped developed our mission and vision for social medicine efforts.

Alma Yates
Division Analyst, Center for Vulnerable Populations, ZSFG

Alma Yates Over the past year, Alma has demonstrated a deep commitment to UCSF, CVP, and BHHI through her support of multiple Covid testing events for San Francisco's homeless populations. Only 5 days after she started in June 2020, CVP and BHHI conducted a massive Covid-19 community testing event for unhoused individuals who lived in District 10 / Bayview Hunters Point of San Francisco. Alma took on the highly complex task of organizing supplies and logistics for the event without skipping a beat. She started her time at CVP/BHHI working 12-hour days and then worked 15-hour days over the weekend on her first week. She was the glue that held the events together.

Rosemary Yau
Administrative Analyst, Division of Hospital Medicine, UCSF Health

Rosemary Yau This past year, Rosemary was the administrative leader for the DHM Diversity Recruitment Taskforce. She was the perfect person to support this work, given her expertise in fellow and faculty recruitment. In addition to her current work, Rosemary has sought out resources and drove efforts to help us cope with the impact of the pandemic, providing childcare solutions, self-care resources, and ways to keep the division connected through happy hours, weekly emails, and activity ideas during shelter-in-place. Rosemary has gone above and beyond to make these resources available so that everyone feels supported.