ZSFG Primary Care Track: Our People - Faculty


Affiliated Faculty & Other Preceptors in the Richard H. Fine People’s Clinic


Joan Addington-White

Joan Addington-White, MD
Professor of Medicine
SFPC Program Director

Academic interestsI am interested in residency education, advocacy, and mentorship. I am a practicing general internist with a strong focus on vulnerable populations and those who are or have been incarcerated. My goal as a program director is to graduate well-rounded general internists who have the leadership and research skills to improve our delivery of care to underserved patients and communities. 

Other interestsI grew up in the Midwest and have four nearly grown children who are an ongoing source of joy and fascination. I love reading and hiking, and with all of the book stores and beautiful places to explore in San Francisco, I am finding San Francisco to be a slice of paradise. ​​​​​​

Soraya Azari

Soraya Azari, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: I am interested in resident education, substance use disorders, chronic pain, safe opioid prescribing, and HIV medicine.

Other interestsI have two small children who take up most of my time in incredibly fulfilling yet exhausting ways. When I’m not with them, I like to listen to podcasts, go on beautiful hikes, and shop in ethnic grocery stores for ingredients I can’t find in other places.

Jessica Beaman

Jessica Beaman, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: I am interested in women’s health, specifically on comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning training and services for patients. I am involved in research projects exploring training opportunities for primary care providers in medication abortion and access to family planning and abortion services in under-resourced settings. I enjoy teaching our residents in their primary care clinic here at ZSFG and help to train providers in trauma-informed care and interpersonal violence throughout the local health network.

Other interestsOriginally from the Midwest, I love being on the West Coast where I can be outside year-round. I have had fun exploring great day hikes and weekend outdoor adventures in the Bay area that are dog and kid-friendly.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS
Professor of Medicine, Lee Goldman, MD, Endowed Chair in Medicine;
Professor and Chair, Epidemiology & Biostatistics;
Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity

Academic interests: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease with a particular interest in the development of chronic disease in young adults. Her work focuses on racial, ethnic and income differences in manifestations of chronic disease and effective clinical, public health, and policy interventions aimed at prevention. 

Other interestsI’m still a basketball mom at heart, and in my free time, I enjoy watching and attending games, particularly if my son is playing (he is a professional player in Europe!).

Andrew Bindman

Andrew Bindman, MD
Professor of Medicine, Health Policy, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Academic interests: I have a long-standing interest in health policy informed by my many years at Zuckerberg San Francisco General where I was Chief of the Division for 15 years. I conduct health services research and have had the opportunity to apply it through multiple roles I have played within the federal government. I was a health policy fellow on the staff of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee where I contributed to the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I subsequently worked for several years to implement the ACA as a senior adviser within the Department of Health and Human Services, and in 2016, I was appointed as the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). President Trump saw to the end of that.

Other interests:  I am an avid bike commuter and love to downhill ski.

Robert Brody

Robert V. Brody, MD
Professor of Medicine and Family & Community Medicine
Attending physician Medicine and Pain Services, Medicine and Pain Clinics, ZSFG
Medical Director, Health at Home, SF DPH

Academic interests: End of life care, bioethics, pain management

Other interestsGrandchildren and making mobiles – see samples of work in DGIM suite’s kitchen and hallway

Maria Chao

Maria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA 
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Director for Health Equity & Diversity
Associate Director of Research, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Academic interests: My overarching goal is to investigate how complementary and integrative health approaches can advance health equity and improve quality of life among underserved populations. My current program of research focuses on improving pain management through group-based models of integrative medicine and acupuncture in conventional healthcare settings serving diverse patients.

Other interestsI enjoy time by the ocean with my family (including my 14 year old and 3-1/2 year old). I’m a wannabe surfer who has settled on the joys of boogie boarding and stand up paddle boarding. Sleep is also an elusive though very cherished pastime.

Alice Chen

Alice Chen, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Director for the San Francisco Health Network (SFHN)

Academic interests: My primary interest is in issues of healthcare access, particularly in how poverty, race/ethnicity, and policy intersect with healthcare delivery systems to produce barriers to care. My work focuses on creating policies and programs to improve access to and quality of care for underserved communities.

Other interestsHiking, yoga, reading, gardening, community service, but mostly my 13-year-old twins

Dr. Chen has been appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom as Deputy Secretary for Policy and Planning and Chief of Clinical Affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency since September 2019.

Anna Chodos

Anna Chodos, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: I am interested in how we care for older adults in the safety net, how we integrate primary care and geriatrics, how we address self-neglect in older people, and how we improve dementia care in a safety net primary care setting.

Other interestsI enjoy food finds, hikes in the incomparable beauty of our immediate surroundings, and walk-and-talks with my incredible colleagues.

Alicia Fernandez

Alicia Fernandez, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, LATINX Center of Excellence

Academic interests: Health care disparities/language barriers/ health communication/diabetes care/obesity prevention/Latin America General Internal Medicine/patient-centered outcomes research

Other interestsI love to talk about novels, politics, and my daughter. Sometimes in that order.

Valy Fontil

Valy Fontil, MD, MAS, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: Valy is a John A. Watson Scholar with particular interest in developing, implementing, and evaluating health system interventions to improve hypertension and reduce cardiovascular risk in underserved populations that receive care in healthcare safety-net institutions. His ongoing work includes use of microsimulation modeling and implementation of a large health system intervention for hypertension treatment in 12 adult primary care clinics in the San Francisco Health Network, and adapting digital health technology innovations for real-world implementation in underserved vulnerable populations.

Other interestsI enjoy Latin music and jazz, and aspire to be a gourmet chef.

Liz Goldman

Liz Goldman, MD, MAS
Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My academic interests are care of complex patients in the safety net health systems and quality of care evaluation. I am the medical lead for the Emergency Department Case Management Program, and the Director of Research and Evaluation Analytics DPH Office Health Informatics. I'm highly familiar with the array of case management, mental health, substance use, and care coordination programs across the city, and how to get data from DPH for QI and Research. Come ask!

Other interestsI love spending time with my two sons and husband hiking, camping, running along the ocean, and eating yummy food in SF.

Reena Gupta

Reena Gupta MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Chief of Value-based Care, SF Health Network

Academic interests: Health systems transformation, safety net innovation, Medicaid policy, primary care redesign, and improving care delivery for vulnerable populations in the US and abroad

Other interestsRoad‐biking and hiking, yoga ‐ ask me about fun trails in the bay and good local food and coffee options

Margaret Handley

Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Academic interests: Dr. Handley has a public health background and has worked in local and state health departments prior to coming to UCSF. She co-directs the Training Program in Implementation Science, which focuses on the art and science of translating evidence into practice, policy and public health. Her areas of interest are public health and primary care interventions to address health disparities, implementation and dissemination sciences, chronic disease prevention and self-management in safety net settings, public health literacy, migration and health/trans-national health, and reduction of the burden of global TB. 

Claire Horton

Claire Horton, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine 
Chief Medical Officer, San Francisco Health Network (SFHN), SF DPH

Academic interests: Co-directing the QIPSL (Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leadership) curriculum for SFPC residents.  Academic topics of interest:  Women's reproductive health, health of Latino immigrant communities, health systems transformation, leadership development in medical professionals.

Other interestsBackpacking (have lots of gear to lend!) and reading (and books to lend too) and theater (have lots of suggestions about theaters around town.)

Elaine Khoong

Elaine Khoong, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: Leveraging informatics and implementation science to operationalize interventions to reduce health inequities in diverse populations

Other interests Eating, participating in book clubs where only 10% of the books are read / 10% of the people read the book, rollerblading, proudly representing my Chicago roots through my “accent”, listening to podcasts at 1.5x as my primary form of news

Leigh Kimberg

Leigh Kimberg, MD
Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US); 
Coordinator, Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programs, SF DPH

Academic interests: Mission‐driven and equitable medical education, healing-centered and trauma‐informed care, interpersonal violence prevention, building university-community partnerships to prevent violence and promote health equity and social justice.

Other interestsNow that our grown children have migrated to NY and Boston, my partner Melissa and I need to find new hobbies (or, rediscover old ones!) So far, we are enjoying walking on the beach with our dog and I am reveling in occasional gardening and weekly yoga classes. I am always happy to treat people to meals and check in about your journey.

Margot Kushel

Margot Kushel, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG
Director, UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative

Academic interests: I study homelessness: causes, consequences, and solutions especially in older adults and medically complicated individuals. My research, funded by the NIH and various foundations, provides an evidence base for policy‐makers and program planners to end homelessness and mitigate the negative health effects.

Other interestsWhen not working, I like to swim outdoors, go for walks, read, support my favorite political candidates, and hang out with my family (husband and 17 year old twins). 

Kate Lupton

Kate Lupton, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Clerkship Director, SPAN (Specialty Practice Ambulatory sub-iNternship)

Academic interests: Resident education, ambulatory education, how to best train students and residents to work with vulnerable populations, diversity, equity and inclusion in medicine and medical education.

Other interestsI can usually be found spending time with my family, including my 3 small kids who love to make messes, explore the variety of parks and playgrounds around SF and the Bay Area, and make us laugh.

Courtney Lyles

Courtney Lyles, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: Patient-provider communication for chronic disease management; Health technology user-centered design and intervention development (including work on patient portals, texting, and tablets in the waiting room at ZSFG); Implementation science.

Other interestsI spend most non-working hours chasing my children around various San Francisco public parks (can give detailed reviews of playgrounds upon request), and hope to get back to regular hiking and camping once they sleep through the night.

Lisa Ochoa-Frongia

Lisa Ochoa-Frongia, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Medical Director for Resident Education, Richard Fine People’s Clinic

Academic interests: My academic and clinical interests include: primary care of vulnerable and under-resourced populations, graduate medical education, clinical systems improvement and practice transformation, primary care‐behavioral health integration and evidence‐based treatment of depression and other common mental health conditions in primary care.

Other interestsI love spending time with my husband and 8 month-old son Alexander, hiking and exploring the astonishingly beautiful Bay Area and enjoying Karl the Fog (or occasionally wishing he would take a hike).

Nynikka Palmer

Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Urology and Radiation Oncology
Helen Diller Family Chair in Community Education and Outreach for Urologic Cancer

Academic interests: As a cancer disparities researcher, I am dedicated to unraveling the mechanisms of prostate cancer disparities and inequities, with a depth of knowledge in cultural influence and patient-centered communication. My work aims to identify, develop, and implement strategies to enhance the delivery of high-quality prostate cancer care – including utilizing peer support and navigation – to ultimately eliminate disparities. Fundamental to my ability to make a meaningful difference in cancer disparities is community engagement and diversity training.

Other interestsIn my free time, I enjoy bowling for fun (not competition), traveling to new places, and spa retreats (yes, I have recommendations). 

Needa Ratanawongsa

Neda Ratanawongsa, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Informatics Officer for SFDPH
Interim Chief, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG

Academic interests: I am strategizing how innovations in health IT / EHR design, implementation, and policy can support compassionate, effective health care for diverse patients and sustainability among their care teams.

Other interestsI work on my negotiating skills with my twins Rosie & Tessa and their older brother Benji. We love hiking, rock climbing, and singing musicals together.

Anne Rosenthal

Anne Rosenthal, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Richard Fine People’s Clinic

Academic interests: I’m a primary care provider who has been practicing in the Bay Area safety net for nearly 30 years. I’m interested in health equity, healthcare systems improvement, clinical quality improvement, and developing the public health primary care pipeline. My goal for RFPC is to integrate mental health and substance use treatment into a truly team-based model of care. Clinically, I have a current interest in medical care for patients with serious mental illness.

Other interestsI live in SF with my partner, a tween, a teen, and a new kitten. I love hiking, camping, road tripping, running, gardening and, new since the pandemic, bike riding on the less crowded Bay Area roads. 

Urmimala Sakar

Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Director, UCSF Primary Care Research Fellowship
Associate Director, Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG

Academic interests: I study how digital tools, including social media, can improve outpatient safety and quality, especially for diverse patients whom we care for in safety-net health systems.

Other interestsI love to receive book, recipe, and restaurant recommendations, will work for coffee and chocolate, and enjoy hearing and sharing the most colorful ZSFG stories out there. I spend most of my time on my “ongoing fellowship projects,” my son Nikaash and daughter Mika.

Dean Schillinger

Dean Schillinger, MD
Professor of Medicine in Residence

Academic interests:  Dr. Schillinger carries out research related to healthcare for vulnerable populations and is an internationally recognized expert in health communication science. His work focuses on literacy, health communication, and chronic disease prevention and management. Dr. Schillinger is the founding director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and is currently the director of the center’s Health Communications Program. CVP’s mission is to carry out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic disease in populations for whom social conditions often conspire to both promote chronic disease and make its management more challenging. 

Other interestsI swim in SF Bay (nearly) every day.

Hilary Seligman

Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, UCSF National Clinician Scholars Program

Academic interests: I am a health disparities researcher who studies food insecurity and food policy as they relate to the development and management of chronic disease in the US. My expertise is in federal nutrition programs (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the charitable feeding system, food affordability and access, and income-related drivers of food choice.  I direct the Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program at the Center for Vulnerable Populations and direct the CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network, known as NOPREN. My team at ZSFG runs EatSF, a healthy fruit and vegetable voucher program for low-income residents of San Francisco. I direct UCSF’s National Clinician Scholars Program.

Other interestsI live in San Francisco with my husband, three daughters, and a very large dog. I am always up for a conversation about books you are reading, especially fiction.

Wagahta Semere

Wagahta Semere, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My main academic interest is developing strategies to improve communication between culturally and linguistically diverse older patients, their caregivers, and providers to manage chronic disease. I also enjoy having the chance to work with residents and students. 

Other interestsI love playing sports and having impromptu dance parties with my daughter (1yr old), sons (3 and 5yrs old), and husband. 

Christy Soran

Christy Soran, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, OBIC Substance Use Clinic
SFPC Associate Program Director

Academic interests: I love being a primary care clinician for patients in the safety net setting. My academic interests include integration of substance use treatment into primary care, the overlap of chronic pain and substance use, and resident education. I am particularly drawn to how we empower and communicate with patients who engage in traditionally stigmatized health behaviors..

Other interestsThese days I get much joy listening to my toddler’s jokes and infant’s belly laughs. I find pleasure in crunching leaves and the smell of fresh cut cucumbers.  I love exploring the outdoors through hiking, kayaking, camping, biking on flat-ish ground, and Minnesota lake sports.

Scott Steiger

Scott Steiger, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine and Psychiatry
Deputy Medical Director, Opiate Treatment Outpatient Program

Academic interests: My main academic interest is improving the health of patients with substance use disorders, particularly through integrating medical treatment into substance use treatment (and vice versa).  I also focus a lot of my energy on teaching students, residents, and providers in practice about addiction and addiction treatment.

Other interestsMy fave activity combines time outside, cooking, family and friends: mushroom foraging

Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of PRIME and QIP, SFHIN

Academic interests: I oversee two Medicaid value based payment programs that tie funding to the achievement of diverse health outcomes for the San Francisco Health Network. My interest is in safety net quality and systems improvement, value-based care and teaching learners who love the safety net how to make it work better. Some other interests in no particular order 1) health equity 2) heart failure readmissions 3) helping learners figure out what they want to be when they grow up. 

Other interestsI spend as much time as I can outside - hiking, biking, and running slowly. Most weekends you can find my husband, my almost one-year old and I exploring bay area nature.

Vanessa Thompson

Vanessa Thompson, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Internal Medicine Residency Associate Program Director
UCSF SOM Bridges Curriculum Coach

Academic interests: Medical Education, Coaching and Advising, Support for Struggling Learners, Women’s Leadership Development, Women’s Health, Gender Equity, Health Disparities, Primary Care Transformation 

Other interestsI love spending time with my 3 kids and husband in San Francisco and the surrounding area. Anything to do with water is a big hit and favorite spots include Pacifica Beach for surfing, Sebastopol, CA for swimming and the Potomac River in Maryland for canoeing and kayaking. I hate to cook so finding creative solutions to feeding a family of 5 is a part‐time hobby. 

Maya Vijayaraghavan

Maya Vijayaraghavan, MD, MAS
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My interests lie in studying tobacco use in vulnerable populations, with an emphasis on individuals experiencing homelessness. My work has included the development of tobacco control interventions, and the evaluation of tobacco control policies in low income populations.

Other interestsI like to garden and have my 2 kids help me with gardening.

Margaret Wheeler

Margaret Wheeler, MD
Professor of Medicine
Site Director, Internal Medicine Student Clerkships ZSFG
Co-director MODEL SFGH
Director Emerita, SFPC

Academic interests: Care of the underserved; teaching care of the underserved; immigrant care

Other interestsRead, hike, open water swimming; bird-watch....

Affiliated Faculty & Other Preceptors

Susan Buchbinder

Susan Buchbinder, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director, Bridge HIV, SF DPH

Academic interests: HIV prevention including vaccines, PrEP, microbicides, home testing, combination prevention, addressing disparities, Getting to Zero SF

Other interestsTennis, dancing, hiking, reading great books!

Sophia Chang

Sophia Chang, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, Clover Health

Academic interests: Complex care, population health, health informatics

Other interestsCooking, long walks, and great food 

Beth Harleman

Beth Harleman, MD
Professor of Medicine
Associate Chair for Faculty Experience, Department of Medicine
Vice Chief, Medical Service at ZSFG

Academic interests: Dr. Harleman has extensive experience developing and delivering curricula to a wide range of learners. Her focus in medical education is on the development of the physician identity, particularly at transition points in training. She co-created and ran the highly-rated UCSF School of Medicine capstone course, Coda, for nine years. As former APD for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, Beth oversaw all formal curricula and program evaluation and improvement. She has mentored hundreds of residents and students and previously held a role as an Advisory College Mentor for the UCSF School of Medicine. In her role as Associate Chair for the UCSF Department of Medicine, Beth has championed leadership development, meeting optimization and workplace engagement initiatives. She is particularly interested in diversifying the UCSF DOM physician workforce and in achieving greater effectiveness in leadership through integrating one’s unique personal strengths into daily work.

Other interestsLong bicycle rides, experimental cooking, and playing on the beach with my three kids and dog.

Albert Liu

Albert Liu, MD, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Clinical Research Director, Bridge HIV, SF DPH

Academic interests: HIV prevention, PrEP, microbicides, HIV testing, combination prevention, mobile health, technology, LGBT health, Getting to Zero SF

Other interestsSwimming, music, cooking, playdates with my 5 year old son ☺

Ben Lui

Ben Lui, MD, MPH
Chief of Community Primary Care, SF Dept of Public Health
Director of Community Integrated Health Care, SFHN
Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF DGIM-ZSFG

Academic interests: I believe healthcare is a right and not a privilege, and feel honored to work in the safety net to help those patients most in need.  I am passionate about creating a patient-centered community health home which provides timely access and whole person care for patients, and is fully engaged in improving the health of the community.  As Director of Community Integrated Health Care at San Francisco Health Network, I aim to elevate social determinants of health (SDoH) in the overall care of our patients.  I lead and support clinical informatics work as it relates to SDoH toward SFHN’s continuing evolution into a high functioning community-integrated health care system which optimizes both population and community health outcomes, in partnership with public health and community organizations.  

Other interestsOutside of work, most of the time you’ll find me horsing around with my 6 and 9 year-olds at various locales.  I’ve also been known to keep up with player developments from all 30 major league teams in hopes of winning my fantasy baseball league.  Occasionally you’ll find me at a café reading a good book.

Emily Wistar

Emily Wistar, MD
Primary Care Provider, Potrero Hill Health Center, San Francisco Health Network, SF DPH

Academic interests: Safety net systems transformation, especially around care transitions from the inpatient to outpatient setting, improving advance care knowledge and planning for underserved populations, creating patient-centered models of primary care delivery

Other interestsI enjoy long-distance running, thrift shopping, fancy coffee, and hiking in the redwoods with my husband, baby girl, and dog.

Dan Wlodarczyk

Dan Wlodarczyk, MD
Professor of Medicine
Attending Physician, Positive Health Clinic at ZSFG Ward 86
Street Outreach Services and SF Homeless Outreach Team Van Physician

Academic interests: Providing care to homeless persons, trying to connect with difficult-to-reach vulnerable populations, providing low-barrier care

Other interestsHiking and art