David Danielson grew up in a small farming community in southern Minnesota, where he saw firsthand the impact that good family physicians can have in rural areas. He earned a B.A. in Biology from Hamline University in St. Paul and then went on to complete his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has a strong interest in rural medicine and joins the Madison Program as part of the Baraboo Rural Training Track. During medical school, as a Rural Physician’s Associate Program scholar, David completed a nine-month clinical experience in Redwood Falls, MN. He also returned to Redwood Falls during his senior year to serve as Project Organizer for a community health project that assessed the health needs of the community and worked to create solutions. Throughout his education, David has served in several leadership positions, including Board Member for the Northeast Minnesota Area Health Education Center and Alternate Student Director for the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. In his free time, David enjoys pottery, biking, bicycle mechanics, camping, backpacking, hiking, fishing, and golf.
Micah Puyear grew up in Pella, Iowa, a small town of 10,000 people. He completed bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Chemistry before attending medical school at Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center. His small-town roots inspired a strong interest in rural/underserved medicine, and he joins the residency program as part of the Baraboo Rural Training Track. As a medical student, Micah completed rotations in two family medicine outreach clinics in Bussy, IA (population 500) and Sully, IA (population 1,000). These communities had significant numbers of low-income households, which allowed him to witness firsthand the need for good primary care physicians in rural, underserved areas. In addition to rural medicine, Micah also has a passion for teaching. During medical school, he served as a guest lecturer with the Central College Athletic Department, and he also worked as an Anatomy Teaching Assistant at Des Moines University. Micah enjoys staying physically active through cycling, running, lifting weights, and tennis, and he has completed several half-Ironman triathlons. He also enjoys trying new restaurants, going to concerts and plays, and learning new languages.
Elizabeth Matera took a non-traditional route to medicine, earning a B.A. in Literature at Harvard before entering the teaching profession. Elizabeth taught with Teach for America for two years before becoming a Program Director for the organization in Arkansas and Mississippi. Her time with Teach for America in poor, rural settings provided a deep appreciation for the health and educational challenges faced by these communities. Her desire to serve rural communities led her to pursue her medical degree at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in her home state of Kentucky. During medical school, Elizabeth mentored adolescents in exercise and weight loss and volunteered at the student-run free clinic, where access to specialty care and ancillary services was nonexistent. This experience forced her to find creative solutions to providing comprehensive care, something she hopes to build on in residency and beyond. When she has spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, film, gardening, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, pottery and music.
Nathan Vakharia earned his undergraduate degree in Zoology from UW-Madison and spent time working in research here before completing his medical degree with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. One of Nathan’s goals in becoming a family physician is to develop meaningful relationships with both patients and their families. During medical school, Nathan completed a longitudinal, community-based service project to improve rural emergency medicine education for family physicians. He served as a co-leader of the Rural Health Interest Group and interned with the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation where he worked to build relationships with rural healthcare facilities, professional organizations and educational institutions to spread information about the Wisconsin Comprehensive Life Support Program. Nathan is one of two graduates in the first class of the UW’s Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) program, which is working to increase the number of physicians who practice in rural Wisconsin.
After earning a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Liberty University, Rachel Hartline completed her medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She comes to Family Medicine with a strong passion for global health and international justice. This passion has taken her to Nepal, where she volunteered at the Lalgadh Leprosy Service Center, and to an orphanage in Cameroon, where she performed checkups and helped implement a basic health records system. She also traveled to rural Honduras each year of medical school as part of a student-run medical brigade. Through these experiences, she observed first-hand the vital role of physicians who are comfortable treating any patient in need, whether male or female, young or old. In addition to her interests in global health, Rachel has also taken on leadership roles in various advocacy groups closer to home. She served as vice president for the local chapter of the Operation Smile club, which raises funds and awareness for a non-profit organization that provides cleft lip and palate surgery in developing countries. She is also an active member of the Family Medicine Interest Group, the Christian Medical Association, the LGBT & Allies group, and the International Medical Society. Outside of medicine, a few of Rachel
After earning her B.A. in Anthropology and Political Science, Rebecca took a non-traditional route to medical school. As a firefighter and crew medic for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, she was deployed throughout the American West to assist in the prevention and suppression of wildfires. After an injury forced her to leave firefighting, she worked as a clinical assistant in the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital in Boston before entering medical school at Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. Rebecca has a strong commitment to serving the most vulnerable populations, both here in the U.S. and internationally. As a medical student she worked at two free clinics in Nashville and was a leader and founding member of a committee to establish a student-run free clinic at Meharry (projected opening of the clinic is October 2012). She also received funding from Hope Through Healing Hands to spend 10 weeks in Ecuador working with a local physician to address issues of maternal-child health. In addition to service, Rebecca held leadership positions in several advocacy groups at her school, including the Family Medicine Interest Group and Physicians for Human Rights, and completed multiple courses through the Vanderbilt Global Health Institute. In her free time, she enjoys reading, growing sprouts, sewing, hiking, cycling, and traveling.