Patrick Allen, MD

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Undergraduate: Texas A&M University
Medical School: University of Texas – Houston
Bio: After graduating from VCFM in 2014, I stayed on for the International Family Medicine Fellowship. There I served an incredibly challenging and beautiful 5 months in Niger with one of my best friends Dr. Nick Tomsen. I spent 2 years as a hospitalist here at Via Christi, which I loved. In 2017 I decided to pursue my long-term passion for teaching and joined faculty at KU / Via Christi.
Family Medicine is the most patient-centered specialty. Our expertise adapts to the needs of the people and the populations we find ourselves entrusted with. Knowing people, communicating compassion and value to them, and investing in that doctor-patient relationship in order to fight and prevent disease is what we do well. I love the complexities of navigating and breaking down the barriers (pathologic, systemic, psychosocial, and spiritual) that keep our patients from abundant living – and equipping other docs to do the same.

Why Via Christi? Via Christi had the excellent, broad, deep, thorough, resident-driven, ambitious training that I was searching for - including unbeatable Obstetrics and Global Health training. What most set Via Christi apart was the culture and stated desire to train physicians in character, compassion, and humility. I was blown away to find a place that would invest in my character as well as my clinical skills.

Clinical Interest: Inpatient medicine, POCUS, global health, HIV, palliative and end of life care.

Passions: Piano, bass guitar in the faculty band, running, travel, the enneagram, trying new foods, ultimate frisbee.

Favorite Books: Bruchko. Schlingensiepen’s Bonhoeffer biography.

Favorite Podcast: Planet Money

Jeff Beekhuizen, DO

Hometown:  Orange City, IA
Undergraduate:  Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa)
Medical School:  Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center
Why Via Christi?  I was drawn to Via Christi initially for residency because I wanted training in full spectrum Family Medicine (this has served me well). After residency I fulfilled my NHSC commitment in New Mexico with the Indian Health Service. Next I moved to Memphis, TN and practiced at an FQHC. After Memphis, I moved to Africa where I spent six years learning language, practicing medicine, and teaching students, interns, and residents. On my return to the US I was drawn back to Ascension Via Christi because I knew the culture of the residency program and because I find the most enjoyment in medicine while walking with residents and students in their medical training.

Clinical Interests:  International medicine, care for the underserved.

General Interests:
  Cycling, hiking, travel, exploring new restaurants, perfecting my pizza making, smoking meat, electric vehicles, home improvement.

Favorite Books:  Lord of the Rings, historical fiction (in general), books by Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, etc), Factfulness, Outliers.

Advice for Medical Students:  We often focus too much on preparing for a destination and fail to enjoy the journey. Often the journey is the destination. Focus on the present and don't miss the journey.

Favorite Quotes:  “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot.

Dee Ann Bragg, MD

Hometown: Richmond, Indiana
Undergraduate: Wheaton College
Medical School: Indiana University

Bio: I was born and raised in eastern Indiana, and it was there that I fell in love with Family Medicine — largely as a result of observing firsthand the interconnectedness of health, generations, community, agriculture, and belief. Through a series of fortunate events, I ended up in Wichita in 2007 to attend what I considered to be (still do!) the best Family Medicine residency in the country. A few years, one FQHC, one marriage, two children, and one small business later, I’m thankful I still get to be a little part of a pretty remarkable place.

Why Via Christi? I was initially drawn here by the high-volume OB experience, but I without a doubt have stayed because of the people. Our residents and faculty inspire me on a daily basis to be a better human and physician.

Clinical Interests: Hepatitis C Treatment (VCFM Hepatitis C Video), Healthcare in Low-Resource Settings, Women’s Health including Colposcopy/LEEPs, Prenatal and Obstetric Care

Passions: My husband owns a dessert shop, so ... ;)  Also, faith, my family, music, trees, poetry, and outings with my kids.

Favorite Books: Way too many to count! Compassion by Henri Nouwen, The Grapes of Wrath, The Kite Runner, Theirs is the Kingdom, The Way of the Pilgrim, Give Dust a Tongue, The Brothers Karamazov, An Altogether Different Language, and a bunch more.

Favorite Quotes:
“…So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it….”
~Wendell Berry

Advice: Be faithful in the ordinary. Small things are sometimes the best things.

Paul Cleland, MD

Hometown: Wichita, KS
Undergraduate: Newman University
Medical school: KU SOM - Wichita

Bio: I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and haven't moved around much. I completed residency and then the Sports Medicine Fellowship here at Via Christi. My wife and I met in high school, and she hated me. I have been blessed as she eventually came around, and we now have two children. I didn't always know that I wanted to be a doctor, and I didn't initially know that I liked Sports Medicine. But they both happened, and I love what I get to do every day as a Sport Medicine faculty.

Clinical Interests: Sports Medicine

Passions: My relationship with God, spending time with my family and friends, golf, bowling, watching sports, smoking meat. I also completed training in Natural Family Planning and offer this care to my patients.

Favorite Quote? "Tell me I can't, and I will." Anything from Seinfeld.

Advice for Medical Students: Sometimes life takes you in directions you wouldn't have imagined. Try to make the best of each situation and remember that something can be learned from each experience – even if it's not until years later.

Shawn Conard, MD

Hometown: Hays, KS
Undergraduate: Biology
Medical School: University of Kansas
Residency: Via Christi Family Medicine

Bio: I am married to Gayly, and we have six children:  Lenna, Abigayl, Eli, Nate, Clara, Wesley.  

Why Via Christi? Most of my working life has been spent learning to practice rural medicine, starting in Muleshoe, Texas. It was at the encouragement of Dr. Todd and Marc Stephens that I moved back to Kansas and began working at Minneola District Hospital. The training and encouragement I received at Via Christi was the bedrock of my practice, and we shared many experiences with residents we trained with (including adoptions and overseas medical trips) while in Minneola. It was during these 17 years I learned that being a family doctor is a much bigger task than I ever anticipated. Rural practice taught me to care for my patients while also knowing them as friends and family. This can be difficult and at times heartbreaking at times, but it comes with deepening of faith and friendship. Working at a residency gave us the best outlet for sharing our 17 years of rural life experiences while continuing to be challenged to learn. We visited many residences and interviewed at a few. However, we were drawn once again to the community at Via Christi.  We have been welcomed by faculty and residents alike and have found our place in this residency family. The challenge ahead is to love well, live boldly, give selflessly and encourage my family, my wife and all those I come in contact with daily to do the same.

Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, Emergency Medicine

Passions: I love to ride mountain bikes and be outdoors. I love cooking. I love eating. No one will mistake me for Norm on “This Old House,” but I love to do home renovations and woodworking.  A good landscaping job will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Favorite Books/Quote/Podcast:
I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan but honestly would rather watch a YouTube video on car repair or woodworking and learn a new skill. Did you know you can tear down the front end of a Honda Odyssey just from watching YouTube? 

Advice for Residents: The patient in front of you is your biggest gift. They hold the gift of learning about life. The computer doesn’t hold your answers; the patient does. Get to know them, learn from them, find out the reasons behind what is going on, and in the end learn to cherish them beyond just being a disease process. Most of your patients are forgotten by the world, but you have a chance to be different by the way you care for them. Remember to lay those burdens shared by the patient or experienced during your work at the foot of the cross and to care for yourself and others each day. Learn to love, laugh, grieve and mourn, and each day you will be closer to being like the Great Physician. 

Amy Curry, MD

Home town: Ulysses, Kansas
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Bio: I am a wife, mother and doctor who teaches, and I enjoy flower gardening, cooking and watching HGTV. I graduated from VCFM in 1999 and joined the faculty in 2009 after practicing full spectrum Family Medicine in Wichita.

Why Via Christi? The people, the place and the opportunities. The first Family Medicine residency in the nation was started right here in Wichita, and our specialty continues to be valued here in our community and among other specialties. This welcoming environment opens many doors for full spectrum training and attracts residents called to work with underserved populations. On any given day, I might help a resident deliver a baby, admit a patient with a drug overdose to the ICU, discuss hospice in a family meeting or perform a bedside paracentesis.

Clinical Interests: Women's health, chronic pain management, medication assisted treatment for opiate use disorder

Passions: Spending time with my family, flower gardening, servant leadership, physician self-care 

Favorite Quote: “Be worthy to serve the suffering.”

Philip Dooley, MD

Hometown: Brevard County, Florida (home of Kennedy Space Center)
Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Chemical Engineering
Medical school: University of Michigan

Bio: Like many of our residents who have arrived in Wichita from all over the world, I had never lived in Kansas until I started working at Via Christi. After medical school I spent 7 years on active duty in the Air Force (residency + four years of full-time faculty) before joining the core faculty at Via in the summer of 2014. I stayed in the Air Force Reserve for 3 years as a Flight Surgeon and Chief of Aerospace Medicine but gave that up after taking on the program director role in January 2016. My wife and I have three kids, and I’m the only non-Canadian citizen in our home. Go Blue!

Why Via Christi?
Short Answer: The people who live and work here.

Long answer: One of my faculty during residency and two of my teaching colleagues were graduates from Via Christi. They were pretty amazing physicians and told me that if I wanted to keep teaching full scope Family Medicine in the civilian world I needed to look at Wichita. I'll admit that the idea of moving to Kansas did not thrill us at first, but from our first visit to interview we were sold on the program and the city.

Clinical Interests: Cardiovascular disease, practical applications of evidence-based medicine, international medical education.

Passions/Hobbies: Geocaching, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, riding bikes, board games, or anything else that my wife and kids enjoy doing together

Favorite Books: Freak- and SuperFreakonomics. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail -- But Some Don't.

Favorite Quotes: "Don't go to war by e-mail." – Colonel (ret) Dr. James Haynes. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…." – Colossians 3:24.

Favorite Podcasts: BS Medicine, Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast, Exploring my Strange Bible.

 Advice for Medical Students: Look at the residents and see if they are developing into the kind of person and physician that you want to become. You're going to spend a lot of time with your fellow residents for the next three years, and some of them might just end up as your faculty.

Maurice Duggins, MD

Hometown: The island of St. Kitts
Undergraduate: Sterling College
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine

Why Via Christi? I spent two years working at Primary Care Center of Wichita, and then started working with the underserved in Wichita. While volunteering to teach students and residents as a Clinical Instructor with KU, I realized I loved it and decided to teach full time. I still love it.

Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, outpatient procedures

Passions: Hanging with my kids, wife, and friends

Favorite Books: Bible, Strength to Love

Favorite Quote: "...but the greatest of these is love."

Lisa Gilbert, MD,
MA in Catholic Clinical Ethics

Hometown: Although born in the US, I was raised in Africa and returned to the US for university
Undergraduate: Missouri State University
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern

Bio: My journey to family medicine started with a gap-year during college which allowed me to volunteer at an HIV orphanage in South Africa. Those experiences were formative in my desire to serve those lacking access to healthcare. I sought a full-spectrum family medicine perspective and chose Via Christi, followed by Via Christi's International Family Medicine Fellowship, after which I was certified in Tropical Medicine. I practiced in rural southwest Kansas and volunteered in Niger, Cameroon and Liberia (during the Ebola crisis) before returning to Wichita to join faculty. I continue to be passionate about global health, rural health, and, more recently, bioethics. In 2022, I completed a master's in Catholic Clinical Ethics from Georgetown University, and I serve as chair of the Ethics Committee at St Francis.

Why Via Christi? The people... I love serving our patients with like-minded residents and faculty who deeply care about those in need of healthcare. Via Christi pushes all of us to pursue excellence in all areas of life, not only medical, and creates an encouraging environment for growth.

Passions: I love a good cup of tea, a deep conversation, and most of all a plane ticket to new adventures.

Clinical Interests: Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Rural Health, Clinical Ethics, Practice Management, and Fertility Awareness Based Methods and NaProTechnology

Favorite Authors: Wendell Berry, Jane Austen, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Fr. Henri Nouwen, Fr. Jacques Philippe, Michael O'Brien, Met. Kallistos Ware

Favorite Quote: “God has called us not to be successful, but to be faithful.” - Mother Teresa

Karissa Gilchrist, MD

Hometown: Rose Hill, KS
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical School: University of Kansas - Wichita

Bio: I was born in rural Oklahoma. I moved to the Wichita area with my family when I was young and have been here ever since! I decided to stay in Wichita for undergrad at Wichita State University (Go Shox!!), for medical school at KU-Wichita, then again for residency at Via Christi and couldn’t be happier with my decisions. I have dreamed of a life in medicine for as long as I can remember, and I love the support for Family Medicine here in Wichita.

Why Via Christi? The people! Via Christi is a program that feels like family, and I look forward to going to work every day. I wanted to be part of a program that values comprehensive patient care with obstetrics.

Clinical Interests: Critical care medicine, women’s health, palliative care/hospice medicine, domestic violence, prenatal and obstetrical care

Passions: Going to the lake in the summer and snow skiing in the winter, playing the piano, boxing, my family and my dog - Chief. I also love a good cup of coffee!

Favorite Books: Complications by Atul Gawande, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Favorite Podcast: Curbsiders, EMCrit, Dr. Death, Stuff You Should Know

Advice: Find your passion and go for it whole-heartedly.

Medical School: 

Medical School: 

Rex Keith, MD

Hometown: Leawood, KS
Undergraduate: University of Kansas
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine

Bio: I am a lifelong KS resident. I grew up in Leawood. Then Lawrence for 4 years (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) where I majored in Chemistry, my first love in the sciences. I have lived in Wichita since 1985 (Go Shockers!). I might even die here, but no plans on that yet. After residency at St Francis, I did some ER, locum tenens, and urgent care before coming back and joining the residency faculty.

Why Via Christi? I love it, the people, the opportunities, and the culture. 

Clinical Interests: OB/GYN ultrasound, other POCUS skills, Quality Improvement and patient safety. Ask me how a medical error almost killed two of my family members.

Scouting! Hey, “being prepared” and “doing a good turn daily” aren’t always easy! Building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness are valuable goals for everyone.

Outdoor Activities: Cycling, hiking, camping, canoeing, and flying a kite – all hopefully in good weather.

Food and Drink: Cooking, collecting and reading cookbooks, thinking about and eating good food, collecting and drinking wine and brown spirits, exploring new beers – don’t forget cheese!

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine: Backyard chickens, horses (Quarter Horse and Appaloosa French warmblood mix), raising Holland Lops for show, miscellaneous rodents and fish in the past, and of course the obligatory cats and dogs.

Wife & Children: Happily (98% of the time) married to Kristine Ann. I have 3 girls and a boy – Erin, Ainsley, Lauren, and Jaden (still mix up the girls) – all the same age. No, they are not two sets of twins; they are quadruplets (aka ABC&D). I have practical expertise in the care and feeding of higher order multiples.

God: Faith in Jesus, being part of the body, spiritual formation, serving as a sender. Romans 12:2 – being transformed is painful.

Cynthia Nash, MD, MA in Bioethics

Undergraduate: University of Mary Washington
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School

Bio: I was born in Colorado and raised in Virginia, but love living in Kansas! In addition to being a physician and teacher, I am a wife and mother to three awesome boys. I practiced for nine years in broad-spectrum Family Medicine in Wichita, and have also served at Via Christi Immediate Care. My volunteer activities have included medical ministry at Choices Medical Center, Embrace, and the Good Samaritan Clinic. My favorite activities include reading, camping, spending time with my family, cooking, enjoying nature, and serving in my church wherever they need me.

Why Via Christi? It’s the place that taught me the art as well as the science of medicine. I love the holistic approach that Via Christi offers to the people they serve and the enthusiasm of those I work with.

Clinical Interests: Bioethics, Palliative Care, and improving the quality of life of the people we serve.

Passions/Hobbies: Watching people grow in their abilities and confidence as they discover their gifts and talents and use them. And yes, I’m not afraid to challenge them to do so! I also have a passion for care of the vulnerable at all stages of life.

Favorite Books: So many favorite books – My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, anything from Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, Dickens, Shakespeare or Tennyson.

Favorite Quote: So many favorite quotes, but one of my favorites now is from D.L. Moody: “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.”

Kathy Nguyen, DO

Hometown: Santa Ana, California
Undergraduate: University of California, Irvine
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences

Bio:  I was born in Vietnam and the oldest of four. My parents would take me on trips to remote places to work with and minister to isolated people throughout my upbringing. Naturally, I have gravitated toward similar communities throughout my life and deeply desire to serve in a similar way. I met my husband Johnson through serving at our church's youth group. We got married a week before medical school, and he has been a constant support throughout my journey.

Why Via Christi?
 So, I had a few priorities....
- compatible mission
- strong full-spectrum training in obstetrics, inpatient medicine, continuity clinic, pediatrics, OMM, and procedures
- supportive teaching culture of seniors and faculty
- supporting staff on-site (pharmacists and behavioral health)
- diverse population with underserved patients
- international opportunities
- spousal inclusiveness

Passions: Costco. Being my husband’s sous chef. Finding good deals. Being with people and doing whatever they enjoy! 

Favorite Books: Philippians and James. Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren. A number of mystery/suspense novels.

Favorite Things to Watch: 
Friends, The Amazing Race, Grey’s Anatomy, This is Us, The Blind Side.

Favorite Quotes: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."

Advice for Medical Students:  Residency is only 3 years and in many ways shapes the trajectory of your life. Consider your priorities. Seek out a program that will stretch you.

Aaron Olson, MD

Hometown:  Brookings, South Dakota
Undergraduate:  South Dakota State University
Medical School:  University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Residency:  KU Internal Medicine/Pediatrics - Wichita, KS

Bio:  I was born in Oklahoma but grew up in South Dakota and moved, along with my wife Melissa, to Wichita for residency. As of January 2023 we have four children, all of whom were born in Wichita. After finishing residency in 2018 I worked as an independent contractor for four years doing adult and pediatric medicine both in person and by telemedicine in various hospitals, ERs and clinics across Kansas.  I joined the faculty in 2023 and enjoy teaching the residents at VCFM.

Why Via Christi?  Through my time working as an independent contractor I learned that, while I enjoy caring for patients directly myself, I also really like being part of an educational team. It is good for me as a physician to have my knowledge challenged and be encouraged to continue learning by discussions with residents and students. While in Med-Peds residency in Wichita I got to know several of the residents and faculty members. It was obvious the culture of this program is the kind I want to be part of.

Clinical Interests: Diagnosis, critical care (especially the initial evaluation and management of shock)

Favorite Books/Quote: 
I like books that change how I see the world and live in it such as Flatland and Amusing Ourselves to Death as well as fiction with a point like C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy. A quote that really resonates with me is from George MacDonald, “I do not think that the road to contentment lies in despising what we have not got. Let us acknowledge all good, all delight that the world holds, and be content without it.”

Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD, MPA, MA, CPH

Hometown: Ghana, Kansas (oh, wait, there is no Ghana in Kansas). Dunkwa-on-Offin in Ghana.
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Graduate School: Wichita State University

Bio: I grew up in a small city in Ghana called Dunkwa-on-Offin where I completed my primary and senior high school education. I later moved to the United States where I obtained my undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees all from the Wichita State University. I consider Wichita my second home. Go Shox!

Why Via Christi? The mission of training physicians who provide primary care where it’s needed most. My primary role at the University of Kansas School of Medicine is to facilitate quality improvement and research activities of faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students. Please reach out to me if you’re interested in clinical research or scholarly work.

Research Interests: My research experience is varied. My earlier research projects were community-oriented and focused on how effective programs impact the needs and abilities of people of all ages. More recently I have focused on translational research in the clinical setting, including patients and provider behaviors and communication, physician and non-physician well-being, and medical learners’ professional development.

Passions: Bike ride with our son, Jonathan. Jogging with my family. I value social interaction with people from different backgrounds to learn more about their cultural practices and beliefs.

Favorite Book: The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren

Favorite Quote: "Out of many, one."

Advice: Be kind to yourself and others!

Devin Penny, DO

Hometown: Blue Springs, Missouri
Undergraduate: Drake University
Medical school: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Bio: I was born in Blue Springs, Missouri, to a set of hardworking parents who eventually put each other through nursing school. I spent years 3 – 14 in California, moving 10 times and eventually settling back to Blue Springs, where I feel like I did a lot of my growing up (though some argue that never actually happened). I was recruited to play football at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, as an outside linebacker. It was there I met my future wife, Melissa, and we got married just before starting medical school at what was then the UHS (University of Health Sciences) - the osteopathic school in Kansas City. We had two children before graduation. Melissa managed a deferment on her HPSP military scholarship, allowing us both to interview for the best Family Medicine program in the country. We were gracious accepted to Via Christi where we completed our residency training in 2010. For the next five years, we worked at Eglin AFB in Florida – Melissa as Active Duty and myself also teaching in the residency program as a civilian contractor.

After that we looked for a final home both in and out of the country, feeling particularly drawn to the Spanish speaking population. After many trips to places both within the United States, as well as Guatemala, Ecuador, and Honduras, we felt our hearts drawn to the population of south Wichita. It is considered a "medical desert" and is at least 50 percent Spanish-speaking. We found kindred spirits in the medical team ministering in south Wichita who moved their families to the impoverished area to live out the Gospel... "What you have done for the least of these, you have done for me."

Why Via Christi? This is one of a limited number of programs in the country that offers such a broad training base making options for work or ministry open to any family medicine practice. What continues to strike me about the program is, despite its large size, no other program I have visited had the depth of fellowship and community support from residents and faculty. The culture is deliberate, and the love is real. I desire authenticity and that is what I find.

Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, POCUS, OMT

Passions: If I do it, chances are I am passionate about it. Playing sports (not watching); being active with my wife and family; worship (I play guitar... not very well); video editing; theater; board games (Catan, Ticket-to-Ride, Shadows over Camelot, Coup...); Dance Central and Rock band (the game… and the faculty band)

Favorite Books? The Gospel of Mark; Enders Game; The Space Trilogy (C.S.Lewis)... really anything by C.S. Lewis; Andromeda strain; State of Fear (Michael Crichton)... ok, anything by Michael Crichton as well.

Favorite Quotes? “I see you after... sooner rather than later I hope.” – Braveheart

Ephesians 4:29 ~"Encourage or shut up"; Proverbs 10:19 ~"...shut up...; Proverbs 12:18 ~"...I said shut up..."
1 John 3:16-18 "This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need and does not take pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."
Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself."
"I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART... I want to believe..." – Braveheart

Melissa Penny, DO

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Undergraduate: Drake University
Medical school: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Bio: I grew up in Iowa, but most recently lived in Florida, having served a 4 year commitment to the Air Force as a teaching faculty with the Eglin Family Medicine Residency (the second best Family Medicine residency in the nation). Despite being able to walk out our front door and down to the water to kayak out to the gulf, Devin and I felt compelled to move back to the Midwest, having heard about a group of doctors moving into underserved communities and trying to “love their neighbors.” We had actually been looking at overseas opportunities, as well as Chicago and New Orleans, only to find that there were people doing what we had been desiring to do, right in the city we did our training! We built a house (as in, we actually hammered nails and built our own house… and it is still standing!!) in Planeview and moved in with our three kids in 2016, then adopted twins in September of that year. We also finished up a job with a safety net clinic here in town and then worked as hospitalists while trying to survive the sleepless nights of the newborn phase. I felt really blessed when an opportunity to work with Via Christi opened up in early 2017, especially given the chance to job share with my hubby. We loved our time at Via Christi in residency, and are honored to be back, especially working with the staff we hold in such high regard.

Why Via Christi? I came here as a resident (2007-2010) with my hubby, drawn by three things: the insane amount of procedures that were built into the program, the amazing residents we met with that genuinely seemed to care about one another, and the faculty who were somehow both super professional and wise, but could also be found crowd surfing. I came back seven years later, as a full-fledged grown up doctor because of the people.

Clinical Interests: Endoscopy, OMT, Women’s Health

Passions: I enjoy cooking, playing the guitar and sipping wine. I love having quiet moments playing my guitar and worshiping the Lord amidst the chaos of my crazy life with five kids all pulling me in different directions.

Favorite Books? The Bible by God, The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss, The Torn Veil by Gulshan Esther

Favorite Quotes? "Do today's work today," and "Seek first to understand," both from Dr. Robert (Bob) Persons "It's all about relationships." - Dr. James Haynes

Advice: Whatever program you are considering - always look at the senior residents. Are they practicing the kind of medicine you want to practice and are they the kind of people you want to be?

Andrew Porter, DO

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Medical school: Des Moines University

Bio: I grew up in Cedar Rapids, IA, and attended Linn-Mar High School. I then attended undergraduate at the University of Iowa where I met my wife, Mandy. Medical School followed at Des Moines University. We then came to Wichita for Family Medicine Residency at Via Christi from 2004 – 2007 and stayed on for another year with the Sports Medicine Fellowship. We then moved back to Iowa to a small rural town called Bloomfield. I practiced full spectrum Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in Bloomfield from 2008-2011. I also had the honor of serving with the US Army as a Field Surgeon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and with the Iowa Army National Guard Medical Command. Mandy and I were married in medical school and feel truly blessed to go through this journey together. God has given us eight awesome children and many opportunities to serve and for great life experiences.

Why Via Christi? I initially chose Via Christi for Family Medicine Residency and Sports Medicine Fellowship because of the quality & character of the residents and faculty, the full spectrum training, and the mission of Via Christi to care for all people in "the way of Christ." Faculty work with Via Christi gives me the opportunity to teach and mentor, be a part of a great team, and be involved with Sports Medicine and Family Medicine. It also gives me the balance in life between my family and medicine that I desire.

Clinical Interests: Sports medicine, OMT

Passions: Serving God, my family, my patients and country. Traveling. Reading. Sports. Ironman Triathlons. Marathons.

Favorite Books: The Bible, The Count of Monte Cristo, A River Runs Through It, Mere Christianity, and Fearless.

Favorite Quote: "God has made us for Himself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him." – St. Augustine

Jared Regehr, MD

Hometown: Halstead, KS
Undergraduate: Bethel College
Medical school: University of Kansas – Wichita

Bio: I come from a family of teachers and nurses. My parents showed my brothers and me what it meant to live a genuine life of love and service. I grew up just outside of Halstead and spent as much time with my brothers as possible. I followed most of my family members’ footsteps and attended Bethel College where I developed lifelong friendships that continue to be very important to me. Fortunately, my time in residency at Via Christi also provided the foundation for many more relationships that I look forward to continuing after residency. I try to live a simple life that includes loving God, loving others, and working hard.

Why Via Christi? I came to Via Christi as a resident because the faculty and residents were people I wanted to be like. I chose to pursue a faculty position at Via Christi because that statement remains truer than ever. Working with outstanding people that pursue excellence in medicine is important to me, and this position certainly fulfills that criteria. I cannot imagine having better mentors than those I have had at Via Christi and KU-SOM Wichita; I look forward to trying to do my part to continue that tradition.

Clinical Interests: Teaching, learning, and critical care medicine.

Passions/hobbies: My free time is spent with my niece/nephews and I am a huge Jayhawks basketball fan. Other hobbies include woodworking, running, construction projects with my dad and brothers, reading, and spending time outside with friends.

Favorite Books: Unbroken; Love Does; If Grace is True

Favorite Podcast: Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell

Favorite Quote: " What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Advice for medical studentsNever pass up a learning opportunity. Stay humble and curious.

Medical School: 

Amy Seery, MD

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics; Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine

Bio: I have always had a strong interest in life sciences, so I am just as happy to discuss woody plant encroachment of the tall grass prairies, or maternal feeding behavior in bison, or why canned food helped Napoleon conquer much of Europe. Medicine allows me to live each day as a scientist, examining the world around me with a sense of curiosity and appreciation, yet as a physician I can give back to my community through service and advocacy. As a pediatrician I also thrive off the joy and playfulness and resilience of my young patients. Teaching allows me to share in my love of learning. My heart will always be in clinical care, but I have been amazed at the leadership and advocacy opportunities that have come up in my career.

Why Via Christi? I basically grew up in this program. If you want the goods on older faculty members I have stories to share!

Clinical Interests: Childhood obesity, dermatology, dental health, health advocacy, cyberbullying, bed bugs, and media communications

Passions: CrossFit, traveling (especially in Europe), the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Favorite Books: Sapiens- A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari; just about anything by Terry Pratchett and Mercedes Lackey

Favorite Quote: "If you trust in yourself... and believe in your dreams... and follow your star... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. " – Granny Weatherwax

Favorite Podcast: Radiolab by WNYC

Advice: Be authentically you.

Tiffany Shin, PharmD

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Undergraduate: Ohio State University
Pharmacy School: Ohio State University
Residency: Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
Clinical Interests: diabetes, nutrition
Advice: First of all, take advantage of being in a wonderful environment where one of our main goals, in addition to patient care, is to teach and educate. You may never be in an environment like this again. Learn as much as you can from the faculty and your preceptors. Remember that it is part of our job to teach you! Second, the bond you form with your co-residents is like nothing else. I continue to be great friends with my co-residents even though we live in different parts of the country, and we've successfully had a reunion of some sort every year so far! Third, remember to have fun and relax! Residency is a lot of work, but it is important to have time to de-stress and recharge.

Todd Stephens, MD

Hometown: Minneola, KS
Undergraduate: I attended two small Christian liberal arts colleges in Kansas and Illinois respectively that shaped and shepherded me well.
Medical School: University of Kansas (go ‘Hawks) SOM

Bio: I grew up the fourth of four boys in Minneola, Kansas, a rural community in southwest Kansas. I was steeped in a rich tradition of Family Medicine as my father was the family physician for the town. He is the finest doctor I have ever known personally (really!) and loved going to work which made it easy for me to consider medicine as a career. What's more, my uncle, Gayle Stephens, was also a family physician who was instrumental in helping to launch Family Medicine as a specialty. My brother and cousin are also family physicians. It's in my blood...

As a medical student, I envisioned staying in Kansas and pursuing a career in OB. However, I took the advice of a mentor to pursue an international elective during my 4th year. Somewhat surreally, I found myself descending through the clouds over Kigali, Rwanda, on 2-month rotation at a remote medical mission hospital that “ruined” me and forever changed my focus and trajectory. I realized this incredible gift of medicine was not given to me by God for my own self interests; it was given to me to be poured out for others. I pursued Family Medicine because I was convinced it is the best tool for serving the least of these. I moved to Olathe, Kansas to work for a couple of years to relieve med school debt and gain some practical experience. Then, following a year of French language study in Quebec, Canada, and 6-months of Tropical Medicine in Belgium, we had the privilege of serving for 6 years in Kenya and Rwanda. These were some of the most fulfilling years of my life, in remote missions hospitals, caring for so many, way over my head clinically, but dependent on God for help and healing.

Why Via Christi? In 2007, we were pursuing another country of service when Via Christi Family Medicine Residency contacted me with an ‘idea’ of starting a global health fellowship. Not ready to stay in the States, we wrestled with this for nearly a year but sensed a confirmation to come and join the residency and help launch the Via Christi International Family Medicine Fellowship program in 2008. Though global health/medical missions makes my heart beat, I also love the community of Via Christi FMR. It is an incredible place to live, learn and grow. My faculty colleagues are excellent, with areas of expertise that add strength and flavor to our residency! Our community specialist attendings are brilliant and approachable. We recruit some of the brightest and most committed residents in the country and are privileged to sit in the shadow of UKSM-W which is one of the finest medical schools in the country for promoting Family Medicine. There is an ethos of providing excellence patient care, both medically and spiritually, while supporting each other at the same time. We train and send out family physicians who can go anywhere in rural, urban, or inner-city America, or to the darkest corners of the world and provide excellent and compassionate care, impacting the lives and health of nations. We train world changers here!

Clinical Interests: rural Family Medicine, tropical medicine, OB

Passions: I love my family most of all and just being with them! I have an amazing wife, Dawnita, and 5 above average children! I love my church family in Planeview. I love the mountains and grew up snow-skiing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, and backpacking in them; just being in them is therapy for me. I enjoy bike riding but am having trouble recruiting family members to ride with me. I enjoy travel; anywhere! Honestly, I enjoy most things; I am an enneagram type 7….

Favorite Books: “The Land of the Blue Burqas” Kate McCord. “The Signature of Jesus” Brennan Manning.

Favorite Quote: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Jesus, Luke 4

Tracy Williams, MD

Hometown: Montezuma, Kansas. I’m a small-town girl (graduation class size 18!)
Undergraduate: Kansas State University - Nutrition and Exercise Science
Medical School: University of Kansas School Of Medicine - I still cheer for KSU despite having given KU more of my money

Bio: I completed my Family Medicine residency at Via Christi. My husband is also a physician. Our training took us to North Carolina where he did an Endocrinology fellowship while I did an OB & Women's Health fellowship. Our first child, Ruby, was born during our fellowships. I lovingly refer to her as my family medicine "honors project." I now coordinate the OB and Women's Health Rotations at Via Christi. My goal is for every resident to feel like they have done an OB fellowship by the time they graduate.

Why Via Christi? The Midwest is still the "wild west" for Family Medicine. My residents never say, "I don't need to know that, because I am a family doc." Instead they want to learn it BECAUSE they are a family doc. They value the depth and breadth of care they can provide their patients as a family physician. This is especially evident in their attitude about learning to do obstetrics.

Clinical Interests: OB (infant mortality, PNC for the underserved, diabetes in pregnancy), Women's Health (colposcopy, domestic violence).

Passions: Family (my husband and kids)

Hobbies: Photography, Tandem bicycling (AKA marriage tester), watching movies, reading (I'm in a book club), playing with my kids (Ruby and William)


Jennifer Wipperman, MD

Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin
Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Medical School: University of Wisconsin - Madison
MPH: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Why Via Christi? I fell in love with VCFM on the interview trail as a medical student. I kept hearing about the broad scope of training that I desired (OB, procedures, strong medicine, preparation for international or rural practice) as well as the fantastic group of residents and faculty with a heart for service. I found all of these things and more! Just ask me... :)

Clinical Interests: Evidence based medicine, health literacy, dermatology

Passions: First, God. Second, my husband Dean and sons. Third, foam cheese hats. j/k! I like to chase around my sons or husband with my guitar or play loudly on the piano (not necessarily well). Also: bluegrass, backpacking, books, things that start with \"B\"...

Favorite Books: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down