Pediatrics

Class Of:

Chiefs

Jodie Amschler, MD

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Jodie Amschler, MD

Chiefs

Medical School

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

My wonderful childhood memories took place in my hometown of Perryville, MO. Growing up, I always wanted to become a pediatrician, so I was so excited to begin my premed journey at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. During my time at SEMO, I also obtained a Child Life minor. Following undergrad, I moved to Kansas City and attended the University of MO-Kansas City Medical School. On my interview day at Helen Devos, there was a soft snowfall, which made the hospital feel like a snow globe during our tour. I instantly fell in love with the warm hearts of the all those at the hospital. I am so happy and feel so blessed to be completing my pediatric residency dream in Michigan!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

On my time away from the hospital, I love any type of adventure. Outside, I love to run, play volleyball, rock climb, bike ride, or just go for walks. Inside, I love to do crafts, play games, and listen to music. I have been very blessed to have five nieces and four nephews to keep my life full of laughter! At the end of any day, I can always find a smile because of the wonderful love and support I have received from my family, friends, and fiance, John.

Undergraduate

Southeast Missouri State University

Professional Interests

My favorite passion is global health. I have traveled to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti on many medical trips. I am also interested in growing as a teacher to medical students and fellow residents. My long term plans in medicine are still to be determined, but Helen Devos has exposed me to so many wonderful specialties!

Sarah Burke, MD

University of Minnesota

Sarah Burke, MD

Chiefs

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

College of St. Benedict

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

When I was interviewing for residency programs, I was very impressed by the sense of comradery at GRMEP. The residents were all very warm and welcoming. I also appreciated the ability to interact closely with attendings. I was very impressed by the town of Grand Rapids when I came here. It is an active community with many great and diverse activities.

Hometown

Morris, MN

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my time off, I enjoy cooking and baking. I also like spending time with my family and friends. I have loved exploring the state of Michigan and spending time at the lake. I enjoy traveling and am hoping to have a chance to continue to travel during my residency training.

2020

Deirdre Bartlett, MD

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Deirdre Bartlett, MD

2020

Undergraduate

University of Notre Dame

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

My interview day! The enthusiasm of the residents and the supportive atmosphere was evident over the course of the day through easy discussions with residents and faculty. I appreciated the emphasis on resident education, the strong academics, the ability to teach medical students, and the multitude of opportunities available to residents. Staying in Michigan and going to a medium sized program with a strong resident community was important to me - Grand Rapids fit the bill perfectly.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love spending my free time in Northern Michigan sailing, going to the beach, and skiing (winter is my favorite season) with my family and friends. Music and art are also a big part of my life. I love playing violin, speaking french, attending concerts, trying new restaurants, and going to any sporting event! Looking forward to discovering everything Grand Rapids has to offer!

Hometown

Midland, MI

Professional Interests

My professional interests include cardiology, especially the study of congenital heart disease, and intensive care. I hope to remain involved in advocacy and medical student education.

Natalie Brenders, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Natalie Brenders, MD

2020

Undergraduate

University of South Carolina

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I really enjoyed Grand Rapids as a medical student here. The friendly residents, great training and wonderful environment at HDVCH were a huge draw for me to stay. Also, the city itself is so great, there is so much to do!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy cooking, traveling, and Barre classes. I am definitely a foodie and love being social.

Hometown

Rochester Hills, MI

Professional Interests

I am interested in primary care, wellness, and nutrition (for patients and my colleagues!). I love to be involved in quality improvement projects working to find solutions for systems in healthcare.

Elayna Dush-Bryant, MD

University of Louisville School of Medicine

Elayna Dush-Bryant, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Saginaw Valley State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids because of the family-like atmosphere of the Pediatrics program and also for the lifestyle perks of outdoor adventures, craft beer and Lake Michigan beaches!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

My husband and I have two lively dogs and a cat and we love to run, bike, hike, camp, boat and beach!

Hometown

Sanford, MI

Professional Interests

I am interested in General Pediatrics with a focus in sports medicine, exercise/wellness and nutrition.

Stephen Gunnink, DO

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

Stephen Gunnink, DO

2020

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After doing an away rotation in the PICU at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital I knew it was the residency program that I wanted to train at. All of the faculty, residents, and nurses were very friendly and welcoming. They took the time to teach while also putting the patient's interest first. Aside from that, Spectrum Health checked off all the other boxes including being a free standing children's hospital, a medium size program, a large referral center with beautiful facilities, and being located in West Michigan was the icing on the cake.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy almost anything outdoors including hiking, biking, camping, taking my Labrador to the dog park, and going to the beach.

Hometown

Littleton, CO

Professional Interests

I am still figuring out what I want to do within pediatrics but I have strong interests in pediatric hospitalist, pediatric ER, and PICU.

Caroline Hawes, MD

Baylor College of Medicine

Caroline Hawes, MD

2020

Undergraduate

University of Notre Dame

Hometown

Cleveland, Ohio

Amy Herbig, MD

The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Amy Herbig, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Sarah Lawrence College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I immediately felt at home here. I liked the size of the program, the respectful and supportive academic environment and the opportunity to learn in a free-standing children’s hospital. I also enjoyed Grand Rapids’ many cultural offerings, tempting local restaurants and proximity to outdoor adventures.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Hiking, cycling, camping, illustration, reading, cooking, gardening, woodworking, banjo

Hometown

Monterey, CA

Professional Interests

I am interested in general pediatrics and working with underserved populations.

Amina Jaji, MD

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford

Amina Jaji, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose this amazing program because it truly felt like home. From the very second I stepped into the hospital, the atmosphere and the people I met were very welcoming. Each person I interacted with, from the faculty to staff to residents, were all genuinely happy to be here. You could tell there was a knack for teaching and the residents were eager to learn and help each other. The program is diverse yet closely knit throughout and the support given to residents is phenomenal. I was interested in a free-standing children’s hospital with a large patient population where I would get exposed to a lot of pathology and this institution hit the mark - plus more! I look forward to exploring a new city and learning from some phenomenal physicians!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Cooking/baking, traveling, music and spending time with family/friends. I love exploring new places and consider myself a “foodie” so I enjoy tasting local foods when I travel. I one day hope to see all the wonders of the world and I enjoy trying daring activities.

Hometown

Chicago, IL

Professional Interests

I am interested in Neonatology, Global Health and working with underserved communities both locally and internationally.

Aarti Kamat, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Aarti Kamat, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Dartmouth College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I am usually a very logical, rational person who makes mental pro-con lists for every decision. When it came to choosing a residency, however, I went the uncharacteristic route and decided to choose based on my gut feelings about the programs. Having come from a medical school class of 300 students, I wanted a program where I could not only recognize and name everyone, but I could feel supported and close to the rest of my colleagues. From just the interview dinner alone, I could tell Helen Devos would give me that closeness that I craved. The residents seemed so warm and friendly, and importantly seemed to genuinely like each other. This feeling only strengthened when I met and observed more of the residents and faculty through out the rest of the interview activities. I left feeling excited about Grand Rapids, and I knew in my gut was telling me this was the right place for me.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to watch Disney movies, bake, dance, do henna tattoos, and play with other people's dogs!

Hometown

Northville, Michigan

Professional Interests

I am currently considering a fellowship in heme/onc. I would love to work with underserved and refugee populations.

Cameron Kasmai, MD

Meharry Medical College

Cameron Kasmai, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Christian Brothers University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

This program really has something about it that makes you feel like you belong. My interview day started off a little bit rocky, to say the least. I missed the hotel shuttle to HDVCH, so I decided that I would just walk there. This was a mistake. Grand Rapids had a fairly large snow the day before I arrived, so everything was pretty icy. I actually fell down while trying to make my way up the hill to HDVCH. (Tip: Leather-bottom dress shoes do not work on ice.) I finally made my way to the main lobby, when I noticed that Cara, one of our chief residents, was calling me. I explained what happened, and she immediately came down to meet me. I admit I was expecting to get some sort of reprimand for being late, but she was so incredibly nice and, actually, apologized for what had happened. That was my first notion that this was the place for me. The pleasant faces and nice conversation continued throughout the day, and after the tour of the amazing facilities at HDVCH, I knew this was the program for me. The most important thing for me when choosing a program was the people, and these people made me feel like family from the start.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

My three very favorite activities are golfing, cooking, and spending time with my dog, Mae, and girlfriend, Ellen. All of these things help me unwind and allow me to take my mind off of medicine for a little while.

Hometown

Memphis, TN

Professional Interests

I am currently interested in pursuing fellowships in Peds Hematology and Oncology or Peds Critical Care.

Baila Litwak Harris, MD

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Baila Litwak Harris, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Yeshiva University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids because the program felt like a great fit. Everyone I met was friendly and happy, the hospital is beautiful and fun, and I saw right away how much the program cares for its residents and how much effort they put in to teaching. Grand Rapids is also close to my heart because my in-laws live here and I love the area.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I keep busy outside of work with yoga, hiking, and exploring my new city.

Hometown

Montebello, NY

Professional Interests

As of now, I am planning on pursuing a career in Developmental Pediatrics.

Leanne Mansfield, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Leanne Mansfield, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Michigan State University

Hometown

Hastings, MI

Jenna Millstead, MD

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Jenna Millstead, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Michigan State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

When I started interviewing for residency programs, I honestly wasn't sure what I was looking for. When I came to interview at HDVCH, it became the benchmark against which I started comparing all other interviews. Nowhere else did I see this incredible balance between academic rigor and humanity. The residents were so genuinely happy, but they were also so confident in their level of preparedness for their future careers. Throw in an awesome city and I was more than sold!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I'm a travel addict and go through spurts of crafting as well. I'll also admit to occasional "Netflix binges" and loving to try out new breweries.

Hometown

Farmington Hills, MI

Professional Interests

I'm still an open book! I am drawn to a few different sub-specialties but could also see myself starting a business in the realm of general practice.

Christopher Monson, MD

New York Medical College

Christopher Monson, MD

2020

Undergraduate

UC Santa Barbara

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was really pleasantly surprised by my residency interview visit. Coming from a big city, I wasn't expecting the exceptional quality and expansive size of the hospital and other facilities in this much smaller city. After meeting the staff, current residents, and my faculty interviewers, I was sold on the notion that I could both be very happy and receive a great education in Grand Rapids.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I like to write, to read, to go to the movies, to bowl, to do crossword puzzles, to play video and board games, and, occasionally, to sleep. I keep active by riding my bike, playing ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and generally exploring wherever I'm living.

Hometown

Santa Barbara, CA

Professional Interests

I'm interested in hospital based care, perhaps in the PICU or as a hospitalist.

Ann Novosel, MD

University of Kansas School of Medicine

Ann Novosel, MD

2020

Undergraduate

University of Kansas

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids because the residency program was a perfect fit with what I was looking for in my residency training. I wanted to train at a children's hospital with access to all specialties, a diverse patient population, and strong academics. In addition to these things, I loved the people here! Grand Rapids/West Michigan is a fun place that I look forward to exploring!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to cook, do crafts projects, scrapbook, do jigsaw puzzles, cheer on the University of Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Kansas City Royals, and most importantly, hang out with my husband, Chris.

Hometown

Tonganoxie, KS (15 miles north of Lawrence, KS)

Professional Interests

Preventative Medicine

Cory Schmidt, MD

The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Cory Schmidt, MD

2020

Undergraduate

Hope College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I had heard great things about HDVCH from my early years in undergrad at Hope College and always kept them in the back of my mind as a great place to end up. After rotating there in medical school I knew that was where I wanted to train. The size of the program is small enough that you aren't just a number, but the hospital and patient population is large enough for broad high-level training. As a bonus, we will be living near my wife's hometown and family so we're all happy!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

The majority of my time outside of work is spent with my wife and baby girl born just before the start of residency! We love going to our grandparents' cottages to visit family especially in the summer. I love to golf, snow and water ski, and I am a huge Detroit Tigers and Lions fan. I also like to keep track of the Hope baseball team after pitching there in undergrad.

Hometown

Milan, OH

Professional Interests

I enjoy the acuity and problem solving of inpatient medicine so I am interested in PICU but I also like the idea of continuity with patients long term, so I am staying open to most of the sub-specialties heading into residency.

Sheila Waslawski, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Sheila Waslawski, MD

2020

Undergraduate

University of Michigan

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was able to do a rotation at HDVCH during my fourth year of medical school. During this rotation, I witnessed both the congenial atmosphere of the program and the diverse pathology experienced at HDVCH. Ultimately, I chose this program because of its size, location, diverse pathology, exposure to subspecialties, and its genuine interest in teaching and training remarkable pediatricians.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and dog, visiting Lake Michigan & the Traverse City area as much as possible, running, and trying new restaurants!

Hometown

Grand Rapids, MI

Professional Interests

My professional interests include international medical relief work, global health curriculum development, and pediatric emergency medicine.

Marissa Watson, MD

The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Marissa Watson, MD

2020

Undergraduate

The University of Akron

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids for countless reasons. The children's hospital is breathtaking and the most beautiful facility I have ever seen. Everyone I met was unforgettable in their genuine kindness and exceptional performance in treating their patients. The support staff and teams all had such amazing backgrounds and showed such a desire to teach the residents to be the best trained, highly compassionate physicians. Coming from the Midwest, I was excited to explore another beautiful state that is filled with endless outdoor activities and all four seasons. Lake Michigan, sand dunes, apple orchards, and many more unique things make West Michigan such an exciting place to live and explore.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to sing and have been a part of choir/a capella groups since high school. Being outside is also a huge passion of mine. I enjoy running, roller blading, fishing, snowboarding, and knee boarding. Traveling is another important part of my life as I find much enjoyment going to different countries and being immersed in various cultures, tasting new food, and seeing beautiful historic sights.

Hometown

Lexington, Ohio

Professional Interests

I enjoy conducting clinical research and developing new tools that can make clinical work easier and more efficient. At this time, I have an interested in specializing in pediatric emergency medicine.

2019

Kseniya Bezpalko, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Kseniya Bezpalko, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Oakland University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was looking for a program that offered adequate exposure to pediatric subspecialties without diminishing the emphasis on primary care and found the program at HDVCH fits just that description. As the program provides a balance between academic and community medicine, I felt confident I would graduate as a well-balanced and well-trained pediatrician. I had an amazing time with the residents during my pre-interview dinner and felt welcome by absolutely everyone I met on interview day, which helped solidify my decision to choose this program. I also heard that Grand Rapids is a fun city and the fact that I’ll still be close to my family and friends is an added bonus.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Play with my cat Nala, try new recipes, take photos with my film camera, spend time outdoors, go on walks, watch movies, catch up on TV shows, read fiction and nonfiction, enjoy coffee & conversation.

Hometown

Macomb, MI

Professional Interests

Currently, I am interested in everything the field of pediatrics has to offer! I have not ruled out pursuing primary care or a subspecialty at this point but am excited to discover my niche during my training.

Meredith Close, MD

University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson

Meredith Close, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Mount Holyoke College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose GRMEP because I was blown away during my interview by the residents, staff, and facility. I had never been to Grand Rapids before and I'm looking forward to exploring a new city and experiencing seasons after several years in Arizona.

Hometown

Sycamore, OH

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

In my spare time, I love to eat out and run (it's all about balance).

Cecilia Dietrich, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Cecilia Dietrich, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Hope College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

My husband and I grew up in West Michigan. We've called Grand Rapids our home for the past 5 years. We fell in love with the city and all it has to offer but also love the ability to be surrounded by nature with just a short drive. I completed medical school training in Grand Rapids. During this time, I was thoroughly impressed with the GRMEP program and all of the residents and faculty at HDVCH. Everyone is kind, welcoming and always ready to teach. As a free-standing children's hospital serving a large area of Michigan, HDVCH offers a large diversity and volume of patients that will challenge me to become an excellent physician. I'm looking forward to starting my career in pediatrics at this wonderful hospital, surrounded by incredible faculty and residents! Furthermore, my husband and I are thrilled to continue to raise our son in this area.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time I enjoy getting outdoors with my husband and son. As a family we love to camp, hike, and just be outdoors as much as possible. Our favorite place to vacation is the Upper Peninsula where we spend our time hiking, exploring and enjoying the homemade jerky and fudge.

Hometown

Gobles, MI

Professional Interests

I have an interest in general pediatrics and would love to continue my career in Michigan.

Emily Disbrow, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Emily Disbrow, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Michigan State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I completed a subinternship at HDVCH during my fourth year of medical school to pursue an experience in a large freestanding children's hospital. Everyone, including the office staff, residents, and faculty, was welcoming and supportive, and the patient experiences were diverse. I most appreciated the emphasis on education that drove each day's activities. As a medium-sized program, I felt like HDVCH was the perfect blend of the academic opportunities of a large program and the close-knit feel of a small program. Also, after spending the last eight years in Michigan as a Spartan, being able to stay for residency was a huge plus! I can't wait to explore GR and all the fun it has to offer!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

My husband and I are all about sports - football, basketball, baseball, you name it, we are probably following it and planning the next game-watching party. I'm a former softball umpire and still like to play when I get the chance. I also play the piano! Whenever I can, I like to spend time with friends and family, head to my favorite vacation destination in northern Michigan to relax, or travel to more far-off places (my bucket list destinations include Paris, Italy, and the Grand Canyon)!

Hometown

Wheaton, IL

Professional Interests

Medical education, primary care, and would love to incorporate a little sports medicine!

Mounir Djemil, MD

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Mounir Djemil, MD

2019

Medical School

North Eastern Ohio Medical University

Hometown

Champaign, IL

Professional Interests

I am very interested in serving the under-served and giving back to disadvantaged communities. Within pediatrics I love intensive care as well as infectious disease.

Undergraduate

Kent State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was interested in a free standing children's hospital with a large patient population. Helen DeVos provided this and more, as it was a new institution with a fresh attitude and a commitment to growth and innovation. At my interview I saw how friendly and welcoming the program was and really appreciated the diversity that I saw within the program. It felt like home!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to travel; also poetry and music. I used to write and perform and hope to get back to that. I love sports, my dog, and eating (I know that's cliche).

Kathryn Higdon, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Kathryn Higdon, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Cornell University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

When I was in medical school, I fell in love with the people and the program. The residents and attendings are all so dedicated and such wonderful teachers that, when it came time to weight my options for residency, I couldn't choose any program over Grand Rapids.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I'm from Ann Arbor, so I'm a fan of all Michigan sports and follow everything thing from football to gymnastics. Otherwise, I love to stay active. I also consider myself creative so I try to do as many art projects as I can for my friends or my apartment.

Hometown

Ann Arbor, MI

Professional Interests

I really enjoy working in an acute hospital setting. I am most interested in pursuing a PICU or NICU career.

Torey Hilt, MD

Medical College of Wisconsin

Torey Hilt, MD

2019

Undergraduate

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids because I fell in love with the people, program, and Western Michigan during my visit last December. The staff and residents were engaging, caring, and professional. Academically the program suits my learning style via its protected learning blocks. I also love the collegiate atmosphere between staff, which is unique to Grand Rapids. Finally, Western Michigan is stunning and I cannot wait to start exploring the Eastern side of Lake Michigan.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Hike, fish, golf, read, star-gaze, and watch sports (especially the Green Bay Packers)

Hometown

Waumandee, WI

Professional Interests

Patient education improvement via the usage of multi-media. Exploring the factors involved in hospital re-admissions.

David Hoogstra, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

David Hoogstra, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to train at Helen DeVos. I am excited to be a part of a residency program that is committed to providing a top-notch training environment. At Helen DeVos, we have high quality and caring faculty, strong resident camaraderie, professional and organized leadership and support staff, thriving and developing research opportunities, beautiful facilities, and an amazing location in West Michigan.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Some of my favorite things to do with friends and family are trying new restaurants, settling Catan, playing yard games, watching a good movie or Netflix series, running, and playing basketball.

Hometown

Grand Rapids, MI

Professional Interests

My professional interests include medical innovation, cancer research, and healthcare economics.

Carrie Kastein, MD

Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota

Carrie Kastein, MD

2019

Undergraduate

University of South Dakota - Chemistry

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose the pediatrics program in Grand Rapids because of my positive experience when I came for my interview. I knew I wanted a medium-sized program with a large enough patient base to provide me with excellent learning opportunities but still small enough to retain a community feel, and this program met these needs. Everyone I met made me feel at home in Grand Rapids. The residents were very friendly and enthusiastic about the program, and the faculty were passionate about teaching and fostering a supportive learning environment.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy spending free time outdoors hiking and exploring Western Michigan. I also enjoy theatre, baking, and reading with a good cup of coffee.

Hometown

Springfield, SD

Professional Interests

During medical school, I really enjoyed my time in general pediatrics, both in the clinic and the hospital. I look forward to growing in my love of general pediatrics in addition to the various pediatric subspecialties throughout my residency training.

Tamara LaRue, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Tamara LaRue, MD

2019

Graduate

Western Michigan University

Hometown

Grand Rapids

Professional Interests

Primary care, health literacy, and refugee health care

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

Grand Rapids is home. I love this community. West Michigan is where my husband, Ryan, and I have chosen to raise our family. Our family works, plays, goes to school, and attends church here. We have been to many different cities around the country and are always happy to come back home to Grand Rapids. When it came time to apply for residency, I knew exactly where I wanted to be. The people at HDVCH are impressive! Attendings, specialists, pharmacists, dieticians, PTs, nurses, everyone is committed to top notch patient care. At the same time that they provide excellent care for the patients and families, they are also devoted to creating a space for relevant education for the learners.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Most of my time outside of work is spent doing our mountains of laundry, cooking, helping with homework, or driving my six children to their various activities. However, when I do have "extra" time, I love going to the beach, camping, kayaking, playing games, and hanging out with my kids.

Tracie Medrano, DO

Michigan State University - College of Osteopathic Medicine

Tracie Medrano, DO

2019

Undergraduate

I completed my undergraduate education at the Lyman Briggs College within Michigan State University. My degree was in Human Biology, with a specialization in bioethics, humanities and society.

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I really wanted to be in the West Michigan area for residency. I lived in Grand Rapids during my 3rd and 4th years of medical school and absolutely loved it! GR, for me, provides both a big city vibe along with a small town feel. It is also where I met my fiance so I new I wanted to stay! In choosing a residency program, one of the most important aspects for me was the mentoring relationship between the faculty and residents. I instantly felt supported at GRMEP. All the residents and faculty I met were very friendly and seemed happy and I knew it would be the perfect learning environment for me! I also wanted a program that supported DOs and I felt very welcomed by GRMEP!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time, I love spending time outdoors-especially during Michigan Summers which are beautiful. I enjoy playing yard games, going to local beaches, kayaking, camping, having bonfires, etc. I'm a fan of all Detroit sport teams, MSU, and I also like cheering on the local Griffins and Whitecaps! I like going out to the many restaurants/bars Grand Rapids has to offer, playing euchre, traveling and most of all spending time with my fiance, family and friends!

Hometown

My hometown is DeWitt, a small town in Mid-Michigan.

Professional Interests

My professional interest as an osteopathic family physician is to provide holistic care to my patients-through mind, body and spirit. I also have special interests in pediatrics, preventive medicine, and OB.

Mary Alice Reinoehl, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Mary Alice Reinoehl, DO

2019

Undergraduate

Kalamazoo College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was able to rotate at DeVos Children’s hospital as a medical student and loved everyone that I worked with. After that I knew it was the program for me. My family moved to Grand Rapids while I was in medical school so it felt like the perfect time to come back to the west side of the state.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Yoga Reading Spending time with my niece and nephews Travel

Hometown

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Professional Interests

Neonatology Hematology and Oncology Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Lyndsey Reynolds, MD

The Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Lyndsey Reynolds, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Albion College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids for my residency program because I had such a great feeling about the people and the program when leaving my interview day! I really got a sense that the residents and attending's had good relationships with one another and that everyone was there to learn and do the best for their patients. Also, it's a medium size program which is something I was looking for and it's one of the only programs on the west side of Michigan so it has a large patient population.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

Running, Zumba, Watching movies

Hometown

Waterford, MI

Professional Interests

Going into medical school I thought I wanted to become a general pediatrician but I really enjoyed some of my pediatric subspecialty rotations throughout my last year of medical school and am now considering a fellowship. Endocrine is at the top of my list right now!

Caryn VandenBerg, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Caryn VandenBerg, MD

2019

Undergraduate

Providence Christian College

Hometown

Grandville, MI

Nathan Williams, MD

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine

Nathan Williams, MD

2019

Undergraduate

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After my interview I knew that Grand Rapids would be the right place for me. I had honestly never traveled to Michigan before my interview, but I was blown away by how awesome Grand Rapids and the program are. There is such a strong sense of camaraderie among the residents and staff. I wanted a program with a free standing children's hospital with many specialties represented, strong teaching, high patient volume, and a diverse patient population. Helen DeVos Children's checked all the boxes for me and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to train here.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to cook, listen to podcasts, travel, read, and play with my dog Lady.

Hometown

Nashville, TN

Professional Interests

I'm still undecided on what I want to do after residency, but currently I am interested in hospital, neonatology, or critical care medicine.

2018

Saji Azerf, MD

University of Alabama School of Medicine

Saji Azerf, MD

2018

Hometown

Montgomery, AL

Professional Interests

I am interested in concussions and overuse sport injuries.

Undergraduate

UAB

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I heard about HDVCH after one of my mentors from Alabama who had trained here enlightened me about this hidden gem of the Midwest. After growing up in Montgomery and nine years of college and medical school in Birmingham, I felt it was time to shake things up a bit. After interviewing at HDVCH, I was impressed with the high quality of education, the vast opportunities for research and clinical experiences, and most of all, the close knit family environment that existed here. I am honored to a part of HDVCH pediatric residency family and can't wait to spend the next three years learning from the best!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy everything sports. I love to go to the YMCA, play basketball or soccer, and run. I am very excited about our residency kickball team this year as well. And if I am not playing sports, I'm probably watching Sportscenter or catching the latest football game. With my first winter in the West Michigan area, I hope to pick up snowboarding as well.

Gretchen Bakos, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Gretchen Bakos, DO

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

University of Florida

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids after a great interview experience here. I really enjoyed getting to know the residents and faculty that I had the chance to meet, everyone was extremely warm and welcoming! In addition to the wonderful people, being a free-standing children’s hospital serving such a large area in Michigan, I am looking forward to the challenge of caring for such a wide diversity and volume of patients. I am so excited to be starting my pediatrics career at a place with such enthusiastic teachers and supportive fellow residents! I also have really enjoyed spending time in the city of Grand Rapids itself, there is so much to do in the area and so many near by areas of Michigan that I am looking forward to exploring!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Outside of work, I love getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors. One of the things my husband and I are most looking forward to about starting this next chapter in Michigan is getting to explore all that this area of the country has to offer. I am excited to check out all the local hiking/biking trails as well as the nearby beaches. As a native Floridian, I am also really excited about all the activities that come with the changing seasons and can't wait to try the snow skiing and ice skating!

Hometown

West Palm Beach, FL

Professional Interests

Going through medical school I fell in love with general pediatrics, both in the hospital setting and clinic. I am looking forward to spending more time during residency in each of the many pediatric specialties.

Anna DiCarlo, MD

Louisiana State University Health Science Center New Orleans

Anna DiCarlo, MD

2018

Undergraduate

Louisiana Tech University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids, and specifically HDVCH for my residency because of the honesty & positivity they demonstrated during my interview day. Everyone that I encountered made me feel so welcome & at ease. Additionally, the program is medium sized, which was an important attribute I was looking for in a residency program. Other facts that attracted me to this program include the large area we pull patients from & the fact that HDVCH is a referral center (with so many pediatric subspecialists in all disciplines!). Additionally, the very busy & large NICU was a big bonus.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

When not at work, I spend time with my dog & cat (Suzi Q & Ellington) & stay engaged in animal rescue. Additionally, I love to cook, bake bread, knit & frequent local farmers markets.

Hometown

Reading, PA

Professional Interests

I have a very strong interest in Neonatology.

Kristen Frane, MD

Indiana University School of Medicine

Kristen Frane, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Xavier University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I instantly fell in love with Grand Rapids and the pediatric residency program the first time I visited. The friendly and supportive residents and administrators caught my attention and helped me feel at home during my interview. I knew that I wanted a medium sized program with excellent opportunities to learn from complex patients, and this program fit all of my needs. I was looking for a program that would allow me to have hands on experiences and the ability to make decisions on my own, and I found that the Helen DeVos hospital would allow me the opportunities to do both of these things.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my spare time I love playing with my German Shepard/Lab mix dog, running, and being outside. When I'm at home I love cooking and baking with my husband, Brad. Also, you will most likely find me singing or humming a tune wherever I am.

Hometown

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Professional Interests

Right now, I am very interested in all things pediatrics! I will most likely go into general pediatrics in the future. I have a strong interest in developmental pediatrics, and I know that my future will definitely involve aspects of developmental pediatrics.

Galen Hartman, MD

Indiana University School of Medicine

Galen Hartman, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Graduate

Arizona State University

Hometown

Indianapolis, IN

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy getting outside to hike and, if time permits, backpack. Otherwise, you'll probably find me cooking, playing board games, or enjoying a game of ultimate frisbee or volleyball.

Undergraduate

Earlham College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After attending IU School of Medicine, the largest medical school in the country, I knew I wanted a residency program that still had the advantages of a large academic medical center while not being so large I felt like another cog in the wheel. Grand Rapids had a large volume of patients, plenty of pediatric specialties to rotate in, a few fellowship programs, and to top it off was a free-standing children's hospital! After I met Dr. Smith-King and some of the residents on my interview day, I was sure that the combination of personalized education within a top-notch medical center I had been looking for was right here in Grand Rapids.

Renee Jordan, MD

Science Center College of Medicine

Renee Jordan, MD

2018

Medical School

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Hometown

Sherwood, AR

Professional Interests

I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up yet. Current interests include general peds, hospitalist, and palliative care.

Undergraduate

University of Central Arkansas

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I fell in love with the program here because of the people! There's a great atmosphere of support between the residents and faculty. They have a genuine concern about your academic and professional growth as well as your personal well being. I also was drawn by the strong academic program and the wide variety of patients seen here. Grand Rapids is father from home (and colder!) than I thought I wanted to be but I'm so glad I matched here. This has been a perfect fit.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Travel Food Farmers Markets Crafting Podcast Junkie!

Michelle Kasprick, MD

Wayne State Univeristy School of Medicine

Michelle Kasprick, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Oakland University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After my interview at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital I knew it was my dream program for so many reasons! Most importantly I feel that I will receive the type of training that will allow me to pursue any career path I choose. During my interview day I loved how friendly and approachable the attendings were and the teamwork between the medical staff. The size of the residency class also appealed to me because I really wanted to be in a program where I could get to know everyone. Finally, I absolutely love the state of Michigan! The west side of the state is filled with beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants and a ton of fun events!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time I love to travel, cook, read and try new restaurants! My absolute favorite place to travel to is Northern Michigan where I love to hike, visit wineries and swim in Lake Michigan.

Hometown

Beverly Hills, MI

Professional Interests

In the future I would like to continue to practice in the state of Michigan as a general pediatrician. I also really enjoy working with adolescents and may consider doing an Adolescent Medicine fellowship.

Caitlyn Mlynarek, DO

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus

Caitlyn Mlynarek, DO

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After an amazing experience volunteering with the Child Life team at HDVCH during undergrad, I knew that I wanted to come back for my pediatric residency after medical school. HDVCH's program had everything I was looking for: approachable faculty and staff, emphasis on high-quality training, state-of-the-art facilities, and a family-like atmosphere that was extremely conducive to learning. A true Michigander at heart, I am beyond excited to be moving back home to West Michigan to continue my training as a pediatric resident!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I am an avid crossfitter and love to swim, run, and be outdoors during my free time. I love to travel, try new restaurants, and watch movies. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, as they are one of the most important parts of my life.

Hometown

Holland, MI

Professional Interests

I am currently undecided about my plans after residency, but have an interest in Hematology/Oncology and Endocrinology.

Akunne (Nwanzu) Ndika, MD

University of Benin

Akunne (Nwanzu) Ndika, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose the GRMEP pediatric program because a few years ago, I got the chance to discover the beautiful town of Grand Rapids and I have come to experience it's warmth and hospitality. So far, I have enjoyed its four seasons (I could do without the snow though) and I love the easy accessibility to everything. I have also met people that have become like family to me; such that when I matched at the pediatrics program at HDVCH, I was thrilled because it felt like getting to stay and learn at home. I also like the program's community and university based structure, as it gives me a taste of both worlds and provides me with the opportunity to learn about a wide range of pediatric diseases. I love children and I am looking forward to learning more about them and contributing to their care at HDVCH.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling (I aim to tick off the 7 continents someday). I also enjoy reading and cooking (whenever I can, I try out new recipes).

Jenna Slaughter, MD

University of Cincinnati

Jenna Slaughter, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

University of Pennsylvania

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

After my interview day, I knew that DeVos was the place for me. Everyone I encountered in the city and at DeVos was so welcoming and warm. All of the residents seemed extremely satisfied with their training. I knew that the faculty here would be supportive and help me develop into the physician I want to be. Also, training in Grand Rapids brings me closer to my family and friends in Southeastern Michigan! In addition to training at DeVos' amazing program, I plan on exploring West Michigan and all of the hiking, beaching, and more that it has to offer!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family which usually includes watching movies (mostly RomComs), thrift shopping, and snuggling by the fire during those amazing Michigan winters. Winter is my favorite season, as I am a January baby who loves the snow, so I am looking forward to seeing more of it as well as enjoying outdoor winter activities in Grand Rapids. I also love cooking, playing soccer, and having game nights.

Hometown

Southfield, MI/Philadelphia, PA

Professional Interests

My professional interests include pediatric primary care, preventive care, adolescent medicine, mentorship, and enhancing the care of underserved populations.

David Synhorst, MD

University of Nebraska Medical Center

David Synhorst, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln NE

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

From the first time I visited Grand Rapids, I knew that this was the place for my family and I. The program instantly felt like a great fit for my training and the people here are absolutely fantastic! My wife, Abby, and son, Joey, are very excited about calling this community home!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy spending time with my wife and son whenever possible! We love to hike, run, travel, and cook together. When I have a free Saturday I love to watch football, and yes, I am a Husker fan!! GO BIG RED!

Hometown

Lincoln, NE

Professional Interests

General Pediatrics

Hayley Timm, MD

University of Nebraska College of Medicine

Hayley Timm, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

Though I grew up in Nebraska, I went to Calvin College for my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. My four years in Grand Rapids were so enjoyable that I was drawn to apply to the Pediatric Residency Program here. My interview day solidified my desire to train in Grand Rapids. The faculty were friendly and inviting and the residents seemed to be very happy and to have a life balance with work. I feel Helen DeVos Children's Hospital can provide me with a wide range of clinical experiences and a great educational environment.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

During my third year of medical school I was blessed to meet my incredible husband, Josh. He had never been to Michigan before we matched, but was excited to begin this journey with me. As land-locked Nebraskans we are eager to be near a beach. In our free time we love to cook, watch movies, and exercise. I was a long and triple jumper in college and I still enjoy running. Faith is also an important part of our lives and we hope to find a great church community and opportunities to volunteer. We are excited to explore West Michigan and find new things to love about this great place.

Hometown

Elkhorn, Nebraska

Professional Interests

Neonatology Cardiology General Pediatrics

Regina Tomichen, MD

Wayne State University

Regina Tomichen, MD

2018

Professional Interests

In the long term I am interested in working as a general pediatrician in an outpatient setting, but I'm keeping my mind and possibilities open to everything as I begin residency. I also have had the opportunity to participate in global medical missions in the past, and it is something I'm looking forward to exploring in the future!

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I first heard about Helen DeVos Children's Hospital from Wayne State medical students in the class above me who were beginning residency there. They spoke with such enthusiasm about the program that I knew I had to apply. When I went to Grand Rapids for my interview, I fell in love with the program, the people, and the city. From speaking with the other residents, I knew they not only felt they were receiving a good education, but they also felt well supported by the staff and faculty. Everyone I met was so welcoming, and I knew I would enjoy the next three years in Grand Rapids.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time I love to look up and try new recipes, read, spend time with family and friends, explore the wonderful and diverse opportunities of Grand Rapids, and just have fun!

Rebekah Wakeman, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Rebekah Wakeman, MD

2018

Anticipated Graduation Year

2018

Undergraduate

Cornerstone University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I have lived in Grand Rapids for the past 18 years and it is in this city that I have put down my roots as an adult and parent. Our family loves this city and has many traditions and activities we look forward to each year! There are many outdoor festivals to visit - the Tulip Festival in Holland, the Festival of the Arts downtown GR, ArtPrize in the fall, to name a few. The VanAndel Museum, the Meijer Gardens, and the Children's Museum are all great places to spend a day in any season. There are numerous sports events and concerts at the VanAndel Arena, the DeltaPlex and Fifth-Third Ball Park. And of course, the Lake Michigan shore is less than an hour away or there are countless other parks and trails for biking and walking/running right in Grand Rapids. As a student here in Grand Rapids, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the pediatrics residency program during my first rotation. I felt academically challenged to grow and learn, but at the same time surrounded by residents and attendings that were invested in my growth and the quality of my experience. I loved the family atmosphere of the teams and the trust that existed on all levels. I could see that this was a program where people looked out for each other and were willing to help each other. This was exactly the kind of environment in which I knew I could learn best and contribute most. This program serves a wide area of Michigan and sees a very diverse group of diagnoses. Just from my experiences as a student, I knew that I would gain experience with a wide range of conditions, as well as become very comfortable with the most common pediatric illnesses. I was also impressed with the specialists that we work with on a regular basis with these patients. These specialists are very accessible and love to teach, enriching both typical and more complex cases. And of course I love our beautiful building. The large rooms with a window wall and design for family comfort are amazing. It was definitely not the biggest factor in my decision, but I do love walking into such a bright, well-designed hospital each day.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

Most of my time outside of work is spent with my husband and four children. We have two teenage daughters and two sons in elementary school. Along with a dog, two cats and two snakes, this makes our house one busy place! We love to explore the outdoors as a family, especially any place where there is water. We also love to play card and board games together when the Michigan weather keeps us inside. One of my most recently rediscovered adult hobbies is coloring books. I found two books by Johanna Basford that have little hidden objects and are very detailed. Along with a new set of colored pencils, these have become my go-to downtime stress buster. I love to ride my bike and swim. When I had more free time, I enjoyed training for triathlons. In the future, I'm looking forward to being able to set those goals again. But right now I'm trying to just enjoy the physical activity as stress relief. I also love to hike. Another one of my "someday" goals is to hike a section of the Appalachian trail with my husband.

Hometown

Grand Rapids, MI

Professional Interests

I'm interested in in-patient pediatric medicine, currently considering hospitalist and PICU fellowships as well as a few other sub-specialties. I'm also very interested in the care of children that have been adopted, as I have two children that were adopted. Our family has been significantly impacted by ongoing issues related to challenges intrinsic to the adoption process and I'm sensitive to those issues in other families, as well. In addition, this extends to families that may not have adopted, but may have children with special needs of other types.

2017

Jodie Amschler, MD

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Jodie Amschler, MD

2017

Medical School

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

My wonderful childhood memories took place in my hometown of Perryville, MO. Growing up, I always wanted to become a pediatrician, so I was so excited to begin my premed journey at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. During my time at SEMO, I also obtained a Child Life minor. Following undergrad, I moved to Kansas City and attended the University of MO-Kansas City Medical School. On my interview day at Helen Devos, there was a soft snowfall, which made the hospital feel like a snow globe during our tour. I instantly fell in love with the warm hearts of the all those at the hospital. I am so happy and feel so blessed to be completing my pediatric residency dream in Michigan!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

On my time away from the hospital, I love any type of adventure. Outside, I love to run, play volleyball, rock climb, bike ride, or just go for walks. Inside, I love to do crafts, play games, and listen to music. I have been very blessed to have five nieces and four nephews to keep my life full of laughter! At the end of any day, I can always find a smile because of the wonderful love and support I have received from my family, friends, and fiance, John.

Undergraduate

Southeast Missouri State University

Professional Interests

My favorite passion is global health. I have traveled to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti on many medical trips. I am also interested in growing as a teacher to medical students and fellow residents. My long term plans in medicine are still to be determined, but Helen Devos has exposed me to so many wonderful specialties!

Betsy Beckman, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Betsy Beckman, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Professional Interests

Primary Care Pediatrics

Hometown

Grand Rapids

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Boating, swimming, running, walking my dog, trying new restaurants with my husband, spending time with friends and family

Sarah Burke, MD

University of Minnesota

Sarah Burke, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

College of St. Benedict

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

When I was interviewing for residency programs, I was very impressed by the sense of comradery at GRMEP. The residents were all very warm and welcoming. I also appreciated the ability to interact closely with attendings. I was very impressed by the town of Grand Rapids when I came here. It is an active community with many great and diverse activities.

Hometown

Morris, MN

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my time off, I enjoy cooking and baking. I also like spending time with my family and friends. I have loved exploring the state of Michigan and spending time at the lake. I enjoy traveling and am hoping to have a chance to continue to travel during my residency training.

Marwa El-Bohy, MD

Wayne State University

Marwa El-Bohy, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

University of Michigan

August Generoso, MD

George Washington University

August Generoso, MD

2017

No Information Found.

Joslyn Hager, MD

Rush University

Joslyn Hager, MD

2017

No Information Found.

Kari Kendall, MD

Indiana University School of Medicine

Kari Kendall, MD

2017

Hometown

Granger, IN

Professional Interests

I am interested in primary care pediatrics and child advocacy.

Undergraduate

Bethel College (IN)

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I chose Grand Rapids primarily because of the great "feel" I got from the residents, faculty, and program leadership when I interviewed! I appreciated the smaller size of the program, but I still felt that it was large enough to offer a complete and well-rounded education in Pediatrics.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to read and write. I also love traveling, doing anything outdoors, and spending time with friends and family!

Megan Little, MD

Wright State University

Megan Little, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

Miami University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I first visited Grand Rapids when my brother attended graduate school here. It had large-city opportunities with a small-town feel. HDVCH was just what I was looking for: a free-standing hospital, medium-sized residency, diverse patient population, & global health program!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, travelling, day trips around Michigan, cooking, watching movies, & being involved in my church.

Hometown

New Knoxville, OH

Professional Interests

I have an interest in special needs children, and I am considering a neurodevelopmental fellowship. I also love global health & have participated in medical trips to South Africa, Tanzania, & Swaziland.

Lauren Mortensen, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Lauren Mortensen, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I absolutely fell in love with HDVCH during my medical school rotations here. The staff here is incredible and it feels like one big family. Grand Rapids is an amazing city. My husband and I love being outside and this is the perfect city for being outside. There are many bike paths, hiking trails, inland lakes, and Lake Michigan close by. Additionally, we love beer and Grand Rapids is....Beer City USA!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Running, biking, traveling, being with family and friends, and I have recently decided to become a better chef!

Hometown

Grand Haven

Professional Interests

I would like to be a general Pediatrician.

Abimbila Olayinka, MD

University of Illinois

Abimbila Olayinka, MD

2017

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I came to Grand Rapids because I was really excited about the people I as going to be working with and knew I could be hands on and learn a great deal from kind, knowledgeable teachers.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

As for my favorite things... My family is Yoruba, so you may catch me sporting some cool Nigerian fashions or having a dance party to my favorite Nigerian artists. I enjoy reading and watching fiction, and am always up for a trip to the theater for a play or a movie. Traveling is also one of my passions. Plane tickets and stamps in my passport are two of my favorite things in the world. I am creatively inclined and enjoy baking, painting, and sketching. Art Prize is of GR's best inventions!

Hometown

Woodbury, MN

Professional Interests

Hematology, oncology, advocacy, preventative medicine

Jeanne Poel, MD

University of Michigan Medical School

Jeanne Poel, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

Hope College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

A Michigander for life, I was born and raised on the opposite side of the state in Sterling Heights. I was first introduced to West Michigan when I came to Hope College for my undergraduate education. It was there that I met my husband, Nate, a fellow biology major. After graduating from Hope, we got married and moved to Ann Arbor where I attended medical school and Nate attended dental school at the University of Michigan. We were thrilled to return to the west side of the state and it's been an absolute pleasure to continue my training at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time I love reading, crafting, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. My husband and I enjoy outdoor activities and exploring the beautiful beaches, lakes, and rivers the area has to offer.

Hometown

Sterling Heights, Michigan

Professional Interests

Primary care

Jared Thompson, DO

University of North Texas - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jared Thompson, DO

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

Brigham Young University- Idaho

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

Top rated children's hospital and program, a fun and family-friendly city and the greatest attendings who treat you as peers.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Spending time with my wife and three kids.

Hometown

Flower Mound, TX

Professional Interests

Primary Care Pediatrics

Nicole Van Allen, MD

Loma Linda University

Nicole Van Allen, MD

2017

Anticipated Graduation Year

2017

Undergraduate

Andrews University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I decided to do a rotation my 4th year of medical school at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital since it was so close to my hometown. I had such a wonderful time during that month and knew this was the place I wanted to train as a resident.

Hometown

Hudsonville, MI

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time I enjoy beach days, shopping, snowboarding, traveling and spending time with friends & family!

Jordan Whatley, MD

New York Medical College

Jordan Whatley, MD

2017

Medical School

New York Medical College

Hometown

Columbus, Ohio

Professional Interests

Pediatric Gastroenterology

Undergraduate

The Ohio State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I really fell in love with this program when I came to Grand Rapids for the residency interview. It was a phenomenal experience. I loved how well each of the residents, attendings, and Program Directors knew each other and how well they interacted with each other. The Program really makes you feel like you are part of a family, which provides a wonderful atmosphere that is very conducive to learning and growing as a physician. I can't say enough good things about this program!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work.

I am very into music, and play guitar and sing. During undergrad, I performed shows at charity events, coffee shops, and bars. During 3rd and 4th year of medical school, I regularly participated in music therapy for patients and their families. In my free time, I enjoy boating, scuba diving, video production, drawing, painting, snowboarding, and rowing crew.

2016

Aileen Aldrich, MD

University of North Dakota

Aileen Aldrich, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

Minot State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I had no ties to Michigan other than the fact that fellow North Dakotans had come here for their Pediatric training. Given that fact, I applied, and was so impressed with the facilities and the program here at HDVCH. I liked the idea of having all the subspecialties, but not a bunch of fellows. I like the medium size program; small enough to know everyone, but large enough to have coverage for each other. The location is great too...so close to the beaches of Lake Michigan!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

When I'm not working or studying, what I love most is to travel. League Volleyball is fun, and I'm a cheerleader for our residency softball team. Beyond that, I actually really like to cook. My roommate and I try new recipes at least once a week.

Hometown

Minot, ND

Professional Interests

My biggest passion beyond just Pediatrics is Global Health. I'm very invested in improving healthcare in the developing world. Recently I traveled several times to Haiti to work in a school-based clinic. It is this love for kids in other countries that has led me to choose Pediatric Infectious Disease as my future career. My goal with this training is to eventually work full-time overseas.

Lacey Althausen, MD

Ohio State University

Lacey Althausen, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

University of Michigan

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

Grand Rapids was an easy choice for me after I interviewed here! All of the faculty and residents were wonderful, the facilities were beautiful, and I knew I'd get a top notch education that would prepare me well for a career in primary care pediatrics!

Hometown

Okemos, MI

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

When I'm not at work you can find me spending time with my husband Jon, doing something fun outside, playing board games (or watching Wheel of Fortune), or going to Holland for a nice walk on the beach followed by Captain Sundae!

Lisa Barry, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Lisa Barry, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

Albion College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I was at the MSU Grand Rapids campus for medical school. I had a great experience working here as a medical student and this was my first choice for residency. The people here are friendly, welcoming, and great to work with. We also love living in Grand Rapids!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Outside of work I stay busy and active with my kids and husband. My daughter Lucy will be 5 year old this fall, and my son was just born this past December. We love to spend time at the beach in Grand Haven and exploring all of the kid-friendly activities in the Grand Rapids area.

Hometown

Commerce Township, MI

Professional Interests

Outpatient pediatrics

Chloe Butler, MD

University of Iowa

Chloe Butler, MD

2016

Undergraduate

University of Iowa

Hometown

Coralville, IA

Kahlie Hauser, MD

Michigan State College of Human Medicine

Kahlie Hauser, MD

2016

Undergraduate

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I first came to Grand Rapids as a 4th year medical student for a rotation with pediatric PM&R. We were offerred the opportunity to do many inpatient consultations and interact closely with the inpatient pediatric floor teams. I absolutely loved the attendings I worked with, who were very knowledgable, consider and kind, and loved to teach. The facilities were state of the art and I was exposed to a wide variety of pathophysiology while here and simply decided that this was the place for me! Grand Rapids also has a dynamic social scene! I enjoyed the variety of local community events from ice skating in Rosa Parks Park to Art Prize! There are beautiful lakes in the area and the coast of Lake Michigan with beautiful sandy beaches is a short 30 minute drive away! Grand Rapids also has many unique and great restaurants and a slew of Breweries that are fun to check out with your colleagues!

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love to do anything outside :-) I really enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, running, skiing, and fishing. Traveling is a large passion of mine along with photography. I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and find that cooking is a big stress reliever :-)

Hometown

Rhinelander, WI

Professional Interests

Really enjoy neonatology and hematology/oncology, although I've found interests in all areas of Pediatrics the more I am exposed. I am excited to get involved in outpatient pediatrics with along with doing inpatient pediatrics as well.

Stephanie Klein, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Stephanie Klein, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

Michigan State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

HDVCH is a large freestanding tertiary care hospital with very few fellows, allowing residents to be intimately involved in the care of our patients and the first person to perform any procedures. As a person pursuing a career in primary care, I wanted as much exposure to rare diseases as I could so that I can recognize them when I'm out in practice.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Traveling, Quilting, Reading, Gardening

Hometown

East Lansing, MI

Professional Interests

Primary Care, Obesity, Quality Improvement, Neurology

Jane Lee, MD

Ohio State University

Jane Lee, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

University of Michigan

Hometown

Ann Arbor

Elizabeth Parker, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Elizabeth Parker, MD

2016

Undergraduate

University of Michigan

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

Prior to submitting my application, I heard wonderful things about Grand Rapids. "Free-standing children's hospital", "nice ...like really nice...people", "West Michigan is just different". I was intrigued and applied to Grand Rapids. It was really different from the urban center I had done my clinical rotations in, but not in a bad way. I soon found out that Grand Rapids is more than the stereotype of affluent people of Dutch ancestry - it is a vibrant, growing community filled with lots of excitement, energy, and beauty. After interviewing here, I knew that it was a great fit. My interviewers were over-the-top kind and so interested in me on a personal level - same with the residents I met. Plus, the lake is really close...

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Hanging with friends. Community Living Experiment (an ecumenical Christian fellowship group). Cross country skiing. Stargazing. Crochet. Church. Watching University of Michigan athletics. Reading for fun. Swimming in Lake Michigan.

Hometown

Dexter, Michigan

Professional Interests

General (aka comprehensive) pediatrics, adolescent health, preventative medicine, child safety, epilepsy and seizure control, ADHD

Jessica Pedersen, MD

University of Michigan

Jessica Pedersen, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

Northern Michigan Unversity

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I have lived in Michigan my entire life, growing up in the Grand Rapids area and attending High School in Rockford. I went to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI for my undergraduate education in Biology and Science Technology. I then went on to medical school at the University of Michigan. My husband and I got married during medical school. He works as a Medical Technologist at the Spectrum Butterworth Campus now.

Hometown

Belmont, MI

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

I love spending my free time with family and friends. I also enjoy many outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, skiing, kayaking, biking and hiking.

Amanda Rudert, DO

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Amanda Rudert, DO

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Undergraduate

Central Michigan University

Professional Interests

Pursuing Allergy and Immunology Fellowship after graduating from residency

Jason Thomas, MD

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Jason Thomas, MD

2016

Anticipated Graduation Year

2016

Graduate

2013

Hometown

Midland, MI

Professional Interests

I am planning on pursuing a fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology

Undergraduate

Michigan State University

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

I moved to Grand Rapids to complete medical school and had my first clinical rotation at HDVCH. Needless to say I had an amazing experience and knew that this was where I wanted to finish my training.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

In my free time, I like to golf, play tennis, and watch Michigan State sports.

Annette Vannilam, MD

Albany Medical College

Annette Vannilam, MD

2016

No Information Found.

Cara Zokoe, MD

Medical College of Wisconsin

Cara Zokoe, MD

2016

Hometown

Grand Rapids, MI

Professional Interests

After residency I plan to work in primary care.

Undergraduate

Calvin College

Why I chose this program/Grand Rapids for my training

This program was in my hometown so I decided to do a rotation here as a medical student. During that rotation I fell in love with the residency program. I intereviewed at many other places just to be sure, and by the end, I was certain this was where I wanted to be. The residents are a great bunch of people who love to hang out together. The faculty enjoy working with residents and teaching. Furthermore, at the end of residency, I wanted to have a strong background in general pediatrics, but I also wanted to train in a place that had a full array of subspecialists to learn from. This program was the perfect mix of all of that. I've loved my time here so much that I plan to stick around for an additional year as chief resident.

Hobbies/what I do outside of work

Outside of work I love hanging out with my husband and son. I enjoy all the fun things in West Michigan including the Lake Michigan beaches, bike trails, and restaurants. I also enjoy running and swimming.

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