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Current Residents

CHIEF RESIDENT

Andrew Kinimaka, MD

About Me

Andrew Kinimaka, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Residency

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program

I was born at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center and lived in various Oahu neighborhoods before my family settled in Kaimuki. I attended Kamehameha Schools, received my bachelor’s degree in music from Pomona College in California, and went to the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine for my medical degree.

My parents worked hard to ensure that I had a thorough education and ample opportunities to pursue my interests. I wouldn't be the person I am today without the sacrifices they made.

When I was in college, I realized that I wanted a career where I could help people. For a time, I taught percussion around the state, but later, I found myself working in a medical office in Honolulu. This was life-changing. I loved seeing patients and being involved in figuring out the best course of treatment for them as individuals.

When Iʻm stressed, I work out, eat healthy, swim, and walk the beach with my rescue dog. I also lean on my kumu (hula instructor) and hula brothers and sisters for support. I enjoy cooking and growing native plants in my yard. To connect with my community, I teach percussion at Kamehameha Schools, volunteer at Hui Kū Maoli Ola Native Plant Nursery, and help with medical services at the Ironman World Championships.


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CHIEF RESIDENT

Ashley Morisako, MD

About Me

Ashley Morisako, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Residency

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program

Born and raised in Honolulu, I attended Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, Santa Clara University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine. I’m truly blessed that my family has supported me along every step of my career path.

When I was in college, I observed one of my mentors creating a trusting environment for her patients that comforted them during their most vulnerable times. It struck me that I could play that same role as a physician.

To de-stress, I go on walks around the neighborhood with my family, play softball, try new restaurants, and travel to different countries. I devote time to reflecting on how things are going in my life, reassessing my goals and thinking about how I’m going to achieve them. My community involvement, which focuses on improving the health of native peoples, is personally rewarding and enhances my sense of purpose.


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RESIDENTS

 
Kirill Balatsky

About Me

Kirill Balatsky, MD

 

Medical Education

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

My parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I grew up speaking both English and Russian. I went to Colorado University at Boulder for undergraduate and graduate school, to Georgetown University for a Master of Science in Physiology, and to the University of New Mexico for my medical degree.

During undergraduate studies I became fascinated by chemistry and physiology. Also around this time I had some friends who struggled with mental illness. These events gave me the impetus to become a physician. I welcome the challenge of caring for the wide range of patients we see in the hospital. Being trained in internal medicine gives me the option to practice in either the hospital or clinic setting. Some of my specialty interests are critical care, endocrinology, and medical care in rural, underserved communities.

Practising jiu jitsu helps me stay healthy and relaxed. I also enjoy cooking, reading, playing video games, riding my bike, going to the beach, and striving to be a good husband.


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Kellen Bean

About Me

Kellen Bean, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Waiʻehu, Maui, and am a proud graduate of H.P. Baldwin High School. I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Yale University before coming home for medical school at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

Witnessing a shortage of physicians in Hawaii when I was growing up, I became determined to enter medicine myself to help overcome this barrier to quality care. In medical school I was fortunate to find mentors who supported my dream of returning to Maui to contribute to my community. I appreciate the comprehensive approach in internal medicine. This specialty also affords the opportunity to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with patients as they navigate their journeys to better health.

Outside of the clinic I enjoy spending time with family and friends, hosting hearty meals at home, and practicing aloha ʻāina (love of the land), all of which enhance my physical and emotional well-being. I like to take an active mentorship role in my community, especially with projects such as Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and the farm at Kāko'o 'Ōiwi.


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Karen Chang

About Me

Karen Chang, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from Punahou School. I received my bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and then came home to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, where I earned my medical degree. I have an older sister, and my parents are immigrants from Taiwan.

I’ve always been a big proponent of preventive health. At a young age, I was already delivering “primary care” to my family members: counseling them in smoking cessation, encouraging lifestyle modifications, and conducting periodic check-ups. I was driven to earn a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology, research brain tumors with physicians on an international level, shadow local physicians, and pursue a career in medicine.

I recharge by spending time with family and friends. To stay healthy, I hike mountain trails, play tennis, do at-home workouts, and jog. For fun, I explore eateries around Honolulu, especially those with Asian food or noodles, play the piano, binge watch TV shows, and travel.

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Kiana Choo Loy

About Me

K. Kianalani Choo Loy, MD

 

Medical Education

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

I was born in Hawaii, grew up in Kaneohe, and attended Kamehameha Schools. After getting my bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences at Santa Clara University, I earned a master’s degree in health care leadership and medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. While in school, I participated in several community programs, including a free health clinic, a health equity initiative, and programs called Doc-4-A-Day and Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies.

My inspiration to become a physician came from my grandmother. As a nurse she showed extraordinary compassion to her patients and gave them the very best care that she could. In my own practice I strive to live up to the example that she set for me. I love the internal medicine specialty because it requires looking at the body as a whole, investigating the complex interactions among all the organs in the body in order to determine the best treatment in any given case.

Frequent visits to the beach help me stay physically and emotionally strong. I like to paddle, hike, cycle, exercise indoors and out, and attend fitness classes. Planning and looking forward to activities with friends and family help me to maintain work-life balance.

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Ethan C. Chun, MD

About Me

Ethan C. Chun, MD

 

Medical Education

Saint Louis University School of Medicine

I was born on Oahu into a multigenerational Chinese-Filipino household. I went to high school at Hawaii Baptist Academy and then to Saint Louis University for both my undergraduate studies and medical school training. While in Missouri, I was involved in projects such as the Mobile Health Initiative and the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.

Many of my relatives were allied health professionals. I was struck by their commitment both to their patients and knew I wanted to give back to my community by practicing medicine when witnessing the competence and compassion of the medical teams who cared for my loved ones.

The best way for me to de-stress and maintain my health is to exercise, preferably outdoors. I play basketball, bike, hike, swim, walk my dog, practice karate, and play the ukulele and drums. Most of all, I love spending time and having dinner parties with close friends and family, and I especially appreciate heart-to-heart talks with peers and mentors to gain new perspectives on life.


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Nickolaus Crump

About Me

Nickolaus Crump, MD

 

Medical Education

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science

I was born in Washington state and lived with my dad and siblings in Houston, Texas until I was 10, when we moved to Tennessee to be closer to family. I attended Brigham Young University and Chicago Medical School.

I’ve always wanted to be of service to others. As a child I thought of doctors and nurses as superheroes who helped people in a way no one else could — making them better when they were sick. With the support of my family and the patience of a loving wife, I'm honored to be able to join their ranks. I love internal medicine because it has given me a breadth of knowledge that allows me to help people in a wide range of situations.

I have a wife who is far too good for me, a beautiful daughter, and a very good dog. Music, including playing guitar, has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager. I've been taking walks with my baby daughter and listening to music with her; she seems to like it! For relaxation I go on walks, hike, watch movies, and play video and tabletop games. My wife and I also enjoy writing stories together.

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Helena Holmgren

About Me

Helena Holmgren, MD

 

Medical Education

Northeast Ohio Medical University

I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing life in a variety of different places. I was born in Wisconsin, moved to Sweden as an infant, and later lived in Pennsylvania. I went to Kent State for my bachelor’s degree, then went to medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University, where I received an award for student research. During this time, I did several clinical rotations in Hawaii while my husband worked here, so I was already familiar with the wonderful island community.

When I was in high school, I had an illness that exposed me to the world of health care for the first time. I became fascinated with how the body functioned and loved trying to solve the puzzle of what was going on with me. As I continued my education, my interest in science and medicine grew. Ultimately, I decided to specialize in internal medicine because of the breadth of knowledge it requires and the opportunity it affords to build relationships with patients.

I stay physically healthy by eating nutritious meals and running. A high point of my day is when I take the time to relax and reflect with my husband, often while watching the sunset. Some of my other favorite pastimes include exploring the natural beauty of Oahu, backpacking and finding new places to hike, spending time on the beach with friends and family, and playing the viola.

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Andy Hwang

About Me

Andy Hwang, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

When I was five years old, my family emigrated from Taiwan to Kailua – where I grew up speaking both English and Mandarin. I attended Maryknoll School, earned my undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and went to the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

As a young child in Taiwan I considered the primary care practitioner to be the ideal doctor. And as I matured, I found that this was a field in which clinicians and patients got to develop the most meaningful long-term relationships. I personally cherish such relationships and believe that they’re fundamental to providing high-quality medical care. One of my other professional interests is the field of allergy and immunology.

In my leisure time, I have fun breakdancing, playing roundnet and pickleball, climbing, and doing different physical activities with my girlfriend, family, and friends. I also enjoy watching movies and eating delicious food.


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Jordan M. Jensen, MD

About Me

Jordan M. Jensen, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

I was born on Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. My childhood taught me that "home is where the heart is.” I went to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee for my undergraduate studies and to the University of Missouri for medical school. My grandparents were both physicians in the Philippines and they taught me the beauty in caring for others and the importance of working to enhance the dignity and empowerment of all people.

It was in the hospital that I was drawn to the mystery of internal medicine, the potential for discovery, teamwork, and the opportunity to advocate for patients. My other interests include programs that assist underrepresented people, disparities in health outcomes, physician wellness, antibiotic development, and medical education.

Exercising, dancing, and eating nutritious meals are how I stay healthy. To stay grounded, I connect with family and friends, and I set aside time to invest in myself. Some of my favorite activities are journaling, experimenting with photography, singing, and enjoying unstructured time.

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Jerrick Laimana

About Me

Jerrick Laimana, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Kaneohe. I attended Kamehameha Schools, the University of Hawaii at Manoa – where I majored in biochemistry – and the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Following college I spent two years in the Philippines, where I met and befriended many wonderful people. After seeing the difficulties that a great number of families faced in accessing quality health care, however, I began to consider whether I was wasting an opportunity that I had been blessed with. When I returned to Hawaii and realized that many of our rural and native Hawaiian communities faced health issues similar to those that I saw in the Philippines, I decided that it was my kuleana, my responsibility, to help fill this need.

To maintain my physical health, I take my son for walks and play sports such as basketball with my friends. I also enjoy learning about Hawaiian history and culture, exercising, and spending time with the people who are closest to me.

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Brett Mathews

About Me

Brett Mathews, MD

 

Medical Education

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

I was born and raised in the California Bay Area but spent my summers and winters with my mother's family on Oahu. I went to the University of Southern California for both undergraduate and medical school, where I received an award for distinction in research. There are so many in my family who’ve been supportive of my career aspirations. I’m particularly grateful to my parents, who inspired me to go into medicine, and for my wife, a fellow physician, who shares this journey with me.

Growing up, I originally wanted to be a dentist like my dad because of the relationships he had with his patients and the impact he had on their lives. In time I realized how expansive medicine is and the incredible influence it has on improving people’s overall well-being. I’m attracted to internal medicine because it offers the opportunity to manage complex cases and requires lifelong learning.

Work-life balance is essential. I enjoy spending time with my family, taking our dog to the beach, hiking, cooking and baking, growing our home garden, and exploring new restaurants and foods. To stay happy and fit, I run, do strength training, and practice yoga and mindfulness techniques.

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Thomas Paulson

About Me

Thomas Paulson, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I went to Duke University in North Carolina for my undergraduate degree and then returned to Ohio attend medical school at the University of Cincinnati.

While I was growing up, there were many physicians in my family. I was very close to my grandfather, who was a neurologist. Listening to his stories about interesting cases was one of the main reasons I decided to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor. Internal medicine is a broad discipline. A practitioner in this field encounters many different people and pathologies. I welcome the challenge of diagnosing complex medical conditions as well as the opportunity to get to know my patients over time.

For my physical well-being I go on walks with my wife and play pickup basketball. To keep my brain active, I listen to podcasts, play board games, and spend quality time with friends and family.


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Reese Suzuki

About Me

Reese Suzuki, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

I was born and raised on the island of Oahu. I went to Iolani School, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine. My mother and father taught me at a young age to respect and help other people regardless of the circumstances. Their teachings have served me well, and I plan to make every effort to apply them in my practice as a physician.

When I was in college, I shadowed a primary care doctor in Aiea. I could see right away that he had a deep understanding not only of his patients' physical problems, but of the patients themselves. I observed the long-term relationships and trust they had developed and knew that this was what I was looking for in my future career.

I stay healthy and fit by being active and exercising regularly. Spending quality time with family and friends and enjoying the breathtaking Hawaii scenery helps me to recharge for the week ahead.

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Cindy Vuong

About Me

Cindy Vuong, MD

 

Medical Education

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

I was born and raised on Oahu and went to Mid-Pacific. I received my bachelor’s degree in molecular cell biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and attended medical school at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

My inspiration to become a physician came from a variety of life experiences that have guided me toward medicine. My premedical journey began as a safety and service volunteer at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center. Internal medicine is an appealing specialty for many reasons, from the complexity of medical conditions that we treat, to the opportunities for developing meaningful relationships with patients and empowering others.

In my leisure time, I enjoy being with family and friends, gardening, seeking out new eateries, and traveling.


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