Class of 2022

Mane Aleksanyan, M.D.

Mane was born and raised in Armenia, went to the University of California, Los Angeles, for undergrad, then worked as Polysomnographic technician and clinical research coordinator before starting medical school at St. George's University. She is enjoying every bit of the Adventist Health Glendale residency program. Outside of work, she enjoys art, hiking, biking, and most of all, she enjoys being a mom to two mischievous boys.

Natalie Boone, M.D.

Natalie was born in Dallas, spent her childhood in various places in the United States, and ended up back in Dallas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied Biomedical Engineering and English. She then attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she also completed the Medical Ethics Pathway. Having checked various Texas cities off her list, she ventured out to California with her two cats for her family medicine residency. She enjoys traveling, exploring new cities, reading, playing the piano, attending Orange Theory classes (pandemic permitting), cross-stitching, and baking for her co-residents.

Brooke Harmssen, D.O.

Brooke completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as a game design major before coming to the realization that she wanted to be a doctor and, therefore, did not need to know how to code a calculator. After graduating with considerable debt, and a BS in a major that no longer exists, she went on to work as a gaming specialist at Best Buy, which she rather liked. In 2014, she was miraculously accepted into medical school and began studying at Touro University California. After graduating, she was accepted into a general surgery residency program and trained for one year as a surgical resident before deciding that this was a horrible mistake. In 2019, she serendipitously accepted a position at Adventist Health Glendale's family medicine residency, which was a great decision and she has been happy ever since.

Adanma Nwachuku, M.D.

Adanma-NwachukuAdanma came all the way from Los Angeles. She got her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside. She then decided to return to Riverside for medical school where she was highly involved in the wellness department and Student National Medical Association. When she finishes residency, she hopes to pursue an OB fellowship. In her spare time she loves to watch Asian dramas, eat French fries, and travel all over the world (if there’s a long weekend she’s gone)!

Daisha Ortega, M.D.

Daisha was born and raised in Los Angeles. She earned her undergraduate degree in biological sciences from California State University, Fullerton. Daisha worked as an EMT before attending medical school at Ohio State University College of Medicine. After barely surviving Ohio’s winters, Daisha is extremely happy to be back at home in sunny California. In her free time, Daisha enjoys caring for her animals, listening to music, dancing and going on adventures.

Anita Sahagian, D.O.

Anita was born and raised in Redlands, Calif. She earned her Bachelor's degree from California State University, San Bernardino, while working as a research assistant at the Loma Linda Veterans Affairs hospital, which she loved. She inched her way west for medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., before settling in Glendale for residency to stay close to family and friends. In her free time, she loves attending rock concerts, taking too many pictures of her dog, and making poor attempts at learning the ukulele.

Maria Teresa Sanchez, M.D.

Maria was born and raised in Pasadena, Calif. Maria went to Johns Hopkins University for undergrad and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for graduate school. Maria then moved to San Francisco to conduct public health research, but soon realized she would rather focus on the health of individuals than populations. Maria went to University of Illinois at Chicago for medical school where she developed a strong interest in family medicine. She matched at Adventist Health Glendale and now works only minutes from her childhood home. Shortly after starting residency, Maria gave birth to a sweet baby girl who fills her life with so much love, happiness, and laughter!

Molly Wilkerson, M.D.

Molly-WilkersonMolly grew up in the wonderful college town of Bloomington, Ind. She left the humidity and snow of the Midwest to attend Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., where she majored in Neuroscience and fell in love with living in near-constant sunshine. She went straight from college to the Keck School of Medicine of USC where she co-founded the Geriatrics Student Interest Group. Pre-pandemic she enjoyed taking dance classes around Los Angeles, going to the beach with friends and getting double digit hours of sleep each night. Now she spends much of her free time on Etsy looking at outfits for her future greyhound(s) and still gets an absurd amount of sleep.

Class of 2023

Mustafa Arch, D.O.

Mustafa ArchMustafa was born in Syria, moved to England at the age of 3, then to Anaheim Hills at the age of 10. He later attended UC San Diego with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Business. He then packed his bags and moved to the desert to attend Midwestern University in Arizona for medical school. He initially pursued Anesthesia out of medical school, completing a preliminary year of Medicine in Long Beach and 1 year of Anesthesia in Arizona before deciding to change career paths to Family Medicine. In his free time, he likes to play competitive soccer as well as watch sports and play video games. He is a huge fan of Manchester United, England, and the LA Clippers (LAs true team). Although he's not very good at them, his favorite video games include FIFA, League of Legends, and Apex. He also enjoys traveling and has been to more than 20 countries.

Jaehee Choe, D.O.

Jaehee ChoeJae was born in South Korea, but grew up in New York and Connecticut. When he was 13 and just learning to talk to girls, his father thought it would be a wonderful idea to move the family back to rural South Korea so Jae could spend his teenage years in an all-boys school learning calculus. (Love you dad!) He went to undergrad at Sogang University in Seoul where he majored in political science and learned important life skills, such as deflection and procrastination. After his parents talked him out of becoming a professional martial artist, he moved to San Francisco and worked as an accountant before being accepted at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He loves being back in California, living close to Koreatown and training alongside his fellow residents. In his free time, he enjoys chilling with his dog, dabbling in Olympic weightlifting, and eating. Sometimes, he does all three things at the same time.

(Alice) Xianzhang Geng, M.D.

Alice Geng was born in China and raised in Alhambra, California. She was part of a high school choir that toured in Thailand and Indonesia, and played violin out of parental expectations. She went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara and developed a love of boogie boarding and social dancing (swing, salsa, and bachata). She acted in college and directed a student production of Himmelweg during a study-abroad program in Europe. Throughout medical school at Loma Linda University, she volunteered at a summer camp for Central Alaskan Yup’ik teens in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta as a first aid provider and camp counselor. There, she became interested in the field of adolescent medicine and changed her desired specialty from ophthalmology to primary care. Her favorite shows are Archer and Community, and she enjoys doing DIY home decor.

Aris Melkonian, M.D.

Aris Melkonian is a third-generation Iraqi-Armenian who was born and raised in Iraq. He graduated from University of Baghdad College of Medicine and practiced medicine in his home country for six years. In 2016, Aris immigrated to the United States, where he immediately started working hard to complete his U.S. medical licensing qualifications. His goal for residency was to stay as close to the great community of Glendale as possible and, thankfully, he was able to achieve that by matching at his top-choice program: Adventist Health Glendale. Aris speaks fluent English, Armenian and Arabic. He enjoys volunteering at the Glendale Free Clinic in his spare time. He also spends his weekends exploring new restaurants and outdoor activities.

Andrew Nguyen, D.O.

Andrew was born and raised in San Jose, Calif. He completed his undergraduate degree in biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He then attended medical school at Touro University California in the Bay Area. He is excited to be back in SoCal to experience the weather and beaches (with social distancing of course). His hobbies include traveling, hiking, weight lifting and playing badminton.

Naira Sargsyan, D.O.

Naira was born in Armenia and raised in Glendale. She attended the University of California, Irvine for her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. She then went on to pursue a Master’s degree and ultimately her medical degree from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine where she also founded the university’s first arts and humanities journal, Thrive. Naira is happy to be back in Glendale, providing care for the city that helped shape her. She is especially interested in women’s health and pediatrics. She enjoys spending time with her family, binge-watching shows, and being outdoors.

Laura Spanko, D.O.

Laura was born and raised in San Jose, Calif. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Oregon where she also played club lacrosse. She moved to New York City after college to perform virology research at Mount Sinai before going to medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem. She is excited to be back in California and to have the opportunity to provide medical care and resources to the community of Glendale. Laura likes to spend her free time outdoors - hiking, biking, playing tennis and relaxing on the beach.

(Sophia) Yifei Sun, D.O.

Sophia was born in Beijing and raised in Chino Hills, Calif. She completed her undergrad at the University of California, San Diego, with a degree in Physiology & Neuroscience and worked for a couple of years prior to attending Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., for medical school. Her hobbies include: sleeping, eating good food (Korean BBQ), taking her two golden retrievers out to hike or a playdate, and driving to Mammoth Mountain for weekend snowboarding trips.

Class of 2024

Samuel Almasi, D.O.

Samuel AlmasiSamuel has lived in Glendale all his life. He studied biochemistry at the University of Southern California and completed medical school at the Western University of Health Sciences. He feels very blessed that he can continue his training in Glendale, close to his family, community, and Church. Samuel became motivated to pursue a career in medicine after witnessing the powerful impact a medical mission group had in Armenia by sharing the Gospel and providing medical services to the villages in need. In his free time, he enjoys taking trips with his wife, spending time with family, and building websites. Above all, Samuel is saved and motivated by his faith in Jesus Christ.

Brian Le, D.O.

Brian LeBrian was born and raised in the East Bay in Northern California. He became an Eagle Scout, which is where he developed his love for the outdoors. He went down south to the Inland Empire to earn his undergraduate degree in Biological Science at the University of California, Riverside. He returned home to Northern California to complete his Masters in Medical Health Sciences at Touro University California before heading to A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Arizona. He spent the last three years of medical school in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina. He is very excited to be back in his home state of California for residency. His hobbies include going on outdoor adventures with his wife, rock climbing, listening to crime podcasts, playing guitar, bread baking, following other people's dogs on social media, and spending time with church friends.

Djordje Milivojevic, D.O.

Djordje MilivojevicDjordje was born in Serbia and grew up in San Diego. He attended college at UC San Diego, where he studied physiology and neuroscience, with a minor in psychology. His interest in neuroscience carried over to his research in neural mechanisms for motivation and depression. It was also during this time, while working as a teacher’s assistant and volunteering throughout San Diego and Tijuana, that he discovered his love for teaching. At Western U College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, he pursued his interests in nutrition education and preventive health, and discovered that Family Medicine was the perfect field for him. In his spare time, Djordje enjoys reading novels (including his annual reread of The Count of Monte Cristo), playing with his little cat, and exercising with his partner.

Andrew Paquin, M.D.

Andrew PaquinAndrew was born in Montreal, Canada and also lived in New Zealand and Hong Kong before moving to the United States. He went to Harvard University for his undergraduate degree and then worked in both investment banking and the film industry before deciding to go back to medical school, graduating from University of California, San Francisco. Andrew loves to spend time with his family, go running in the trails of Griffith Park, skiing in the winter and play basketball absolutely any time.

Azar Razikeen, M.D.

Azar RazikeenAzar was born on the teardrop island of Sri Lanka and was extremely fortunate to travel the world thanks to his father who was a ship Captain. Unfortunately, he has to live vicariously through the collage of photos his parents have kept through their travels because his was too young to remember them. His dad has said that he’s been all over the world, and California is the best place to live. Hence, Azar was spoiled by SoCal sunshine and never-ending things to see and do for most of his young life. Glendale became home through his middle school, high school, and up to graduating from UCLA with a B.S. on Biology. He parted ways from this great city for bit and graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in the quaint city of Detroit, Michigan. Hardened by the literal and figurative frosty Detroit climate (but in all honestly, he believes that he had a phenomenal learning experience there), he was unthawed by returning to his home and his family in sunny SoCal. He truly believes that it is a privilege to practice medicine and treat his patients and hopes and plans to never lose this passion.

Felicia Salanga, D.O.

Felicia SalangaFelicia was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She attended UCLA for college where she earned an undergraduate degree in Physiological Science. She then completed a master's degree in Physiology at Georgetown University. After graduate school, she returned to UCLA to work as a clinical research coordinator before attending medical school at Touro University California. During her free time, she enjoys exercising, doing yoga, cooking, reading, watching films and TV shows, and spending time with family and friends.

(Jack) Hapetnak Shaybekyan, M.D.

Jack ShaybekyanDr. Shaybekyan was born and raised in Armenia. After graduating from Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia he moved to the United States to pursue his career here, and started his residency training in Family Medicine at Glendale Adventist Health Hospital. Dr. Shaybekyan is fluent in Armenian and Russian. In his free time, he likes to spend some valuable time with his wife and little son.

Vance Woodward, D.O.

Vance WoodwardVance was born in Canada. Since 2003, he has been happy to call California his home. And he is especially happy to be back in Los Angeles, having left for medical school. Vance enjoys playing with his dog, distance running, black licorice, and spending time with friends and family.