Meet our friendly and professional providers.
John Vaz, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Vaz moved to Maui from Washington, DC with his family in April 2017 and joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center as the Chief Medical Officer shortly after. He holds board certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.
He completed medical school at the St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India in 2006. He then completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT as well as an Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. His focus and passion in clinical care include HIV treatment and prevention (including PrEP), Hepatitis B and C management, LGB care, transgender affirming care, and substance use disorder treatment (including medication assisted treatment).
As the CMO at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center, he is passionate about helping the organization grow in principles of Trauma Informed Care, in an awareness about social determinants of health and their impact on health and wellness, in a multidisciplinary team-based approach, as well as person-centered approach to patient care, and finally in engagement of patients as leaders of their own care. He also promotes Joy in Practice, psychological safety, continuous learning, and growth of local leadership for the staff at the health center because he believes staff who both enjoy and are proud of their work give the best care to our patients.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling, exercising, reading, cooking, and gardening. He also takes any opportunity available to explore the beautiful island of Maui on hikes or to get out on the water either on his paddle board or with his local canoe club.
Amy Nakama, FNP
Adult Department Head
Amy Nakama is a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2016 working in Women’s Health and Adult Medicine. Amy graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with a Master’s of Science in Nursing and continued to work in the Chicagoland area until moving back to Maui in 2018.
She joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in June 2019. Her passion has been working in women’s and reproductive health and she is excited to join the Adult Medicine Team at Mālama. Working with the community of Maui has been her goal since graduating from Maui High School in 1999.
She lives in town with her husband and three children and enjoys running.
Erik Russell, MD
Dr. Russell has been a practicing physician for 28 years, and in the medical field for 32. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland College Park in 1986, majoring in Biochemistry. He received his Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 1987, majoring in Human Anatomy. He studied medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1991.
Moving back to Maryland, Dr. Russell performed his Internal Medicine residency at a community hospital in Northeast Baltimore called Franklin Square. Along the way, he performed several month-long clinical rotations at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and the University of Maryland Hospital. He spent the early and mid-portions of his career in private practice in Maryland, and in 2014 moved to Hawai‘i to be on staff with the Kauai Medical Clinic for three years. The move to Hawai‘i was in part due to his love of Hawai‘i, and in part to care for his ailing, elderly parents who have now passed away. In early 2018, he made his final move to Maui, to join the staff at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center.
Dr. Russell’s wife is originally from Colombia, South America, and is a retired pediatric registered nurse who often performs medical translations for Latino patients. She home schools their fraternal twin children (boy and girl), aged 17. Dr. Russell was a competitive swimmer in his youth and the family greatly enjoys Maui’s swimming, hiking, cultural, and historical opportunities. His plans are to remain on Maui at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center through retirement.
Jason Laird, MD
Dr. Laird is Board Certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine and a graduate of University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Dr. Laird served as Chief Resident and completed his residency program in 2000 at Palmetto Health Alliance in Columbia, South Carolina.
He joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2015 in the Adult Medical department serving the primary care needs of Maui.
He moved to Hawai’i in 2007 living on both Kaua‘i and O‘ahu, working with various Federally Qualified Health Centers, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association and the Hawai’i to Zero outreach program.
He is an avid traveler and has a deep appreciation of the fine arts. Dr. Laird supports the Hawai’i Fine Arts and attends as many events as possible here in Hawai’i.
He and his staff look forward to seeing patients each day at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center.
Tina Myers, FNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
In 2009, Tina began her nursing career at Hale Makua as an LPN. Prior to entering the nursing field, she obtained her BS in Family Resource Management with a focus on child development from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2007. In 2011, she completed her RN associate degree with Maui Community College and worked as an RN case manager with Na Puuwai on Molokai and Lanai. She found a passion for serving the healthcare needs of our native Hawaiian population and developed a goal to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Simultaneously, she moved into acute care as an RN at Maui Memorial Medical Center while working on her Master’s degree in Nursing with Simmons College and graduated in 2018. She completed her FNP new graduate Residency Program at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. While both working and completing coursework, she worked as a home health case manager at Kaiser Permanente while taking on the role of motherhood.
When there’s free time, Tina enjoys being outdoors surfing, running, mountain biking, swimming, and spending time with family.
Aaron Altura, MD
OB/GYN Department Head
Dr. Altura has been practicing OB/GYN at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center since January of 1996. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of California, Davis in 1986. He received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in 1991. After completing his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1995, he was hired to establish the OB/GYN department at Community Clinic of Maui (now Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center). He is passionate about serving all residents of Maui from multi-ethnic backgrounds.
Dr. Altura is the OB/GYN Department Head at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center. He currently serves on the Medical Executive Committee of Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Born in San Francisco, California and raised in Manila, Philippines from age 6 to 19, Dr. Altura speaks English and Tagalog fluently. Having swum competitively in college and having participated in numerous Triathlons and Marathons for over 16 years, he is a sports junkie. A highlight of his athletic pursuits includes qualifying and competing in the Boston Marathon in 2003 and the Ironman World Triathlon Championships in Kona in 2004. He is well traveled, having visited 64 countries to date.
Duffy Casey, MD
Duffy Casey completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2003, and received his Doctorate of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2009. He joined the staff of Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center after completing his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine in 2013. Dr. Casey was recognized by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists during his residency for exceptional skills performing minimally invasive surgery, and has published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. He is proficient at high-level ultrasounds, affording 3D and 4D fetal ultrasound images as an option for patients, and on-site evaluations/diagnoses of gynecological abnormalities and conditions.
Dr. Casey is passionate about international development and creating holistic programs which focus on poverty alleviation in developing countries. In 2003 he co-founded Global Brigades, Inc., and currently serves as on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair. Global Brigades empowers student volunteers and under-resourced communities to collaboratively resolve crucial global health and economic disparities, and is the largest international nonprofit organization of its kind. Dr. Casey was a recipient of the Gold Medal for the United States President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008 for his work with Global Brigades.
Dr. Casey strives to apply his values of patient empowerment, transparency, collaborative medical care, and a holistic approach to the care he provides. He is also passionate about increasing health equity and improving outcomes for underserved individuals on Maui.
Jaimie Johnson, MD
Dr. Johnson is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology. She graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine and completed her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Hawai‘i. She has been serving our patients at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center since 2014.
In 2018, Dr. Johnson realized her dream of offering group prenatal care in our clinic with the implementation of the P3 (Pregnancy and Parenting Partners) Program. Created by the University of Colorado and supported by grants from the March of Dimes and the Atherton Foundation, P3 promotes patient-centered education in groups of 8-10 women due around the same time.
Dr. Johnson enjoys yoga, barre, and traveling.
Michael Aaronoff, MD
Dr. Aaronoff joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2017. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD in 1990. He received his Doctorate of Medicine from the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA in 1994. After completing his residency in Obstetrics in Gynecology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA in 1998, he accepted a job as a staff OB/GYN at the Gwinnett Medical Center in Georgia.
Dr. Aaronoff moved to Hawai‘i in 2005 and was hired as an Assistant Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i. From 2006-2017, he was the Associate Residency Program Director of OB/GYN and Women’s Health. In 2006 and 2013, he received a National Faculty Award while at the University of Hawai‘i.
In his free time, Dr. Aaronoff enjoys spending time with his beautiful girlfriend, Dr. Pam. He also enjoys playing golf and traveling.
Heather Milovina, WHNP, CNM, MSN
Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Heather is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Board-Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She began helping pregnant and birthing families in 2000 as a doula and has worked in many different roles over the last 18 years. In 2016 she obtained a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of California, San Francisco with a specialty in Nurse-Midwifery and Women’s Health.
Prior to joining the Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center team in February 2019, Heather delivered babies in a birthing center in California and provided care to Maui families in a private OB/GYN clinic. As part of the OB/GYN department she cares for pregnant and postpartum patients, women’s health needs, and delivers babies at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Heather was raised in upcountry Maui and is happy to be returning home. She is the mother of two children, and in her spare time you will find her playing in the ocean or hiking.
Zena Monji, MD
Dr. Monji earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in 1991. She completed her residency at University of California, San Francisco in 1995. She is board certified by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has served as Chief of OB/GYN department, Chief of Staff, and Board President at her former hospital.
She currently continues to serve as a peer review physician for the Oregon Medical Board. She has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery and served as a proctor for Intuitive Surgical DaVinci Robotic System.
In her free time, she enjoys exercising, scuba diving, and relaxing on the beach with her husband. She is passionate about giving back to the community and helping those who may otherwise be underserved. She is thrilled to be on Maui and happy to be a part of the Mālama I Ke Ola Ohana.
Casandra Simonson, MD
Pediatrics Department Head
Dr. Simonson has been a Pediatrician at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center since 2014, when she moved to Maui from New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband Dylan. Maui was the perfect home for the pair as Dylan is a marine biologist and Dr. Simonson prefers to work with underserved children. Dr. Simonson is from rural Kansas and was born to a truck driver father and mom who was a school cook and now a teacher. Dr. Simonson’s love of science and tendency to be a “people person” propelled her towards medicine. The joy she experienced around children made pediatrics an easy choice. She has two children of her own, Coral and Cove, and is currently experiencing the trials of parenthood from breastfeeding to tantrums.
Dr. Simonson graduated from medical school at the University of Kansas and then residency at Louisiana State University and is board certified with the American Board of Pediatrics. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She maintains privileges at Maui Memorial Medical Center and serves on the Pediatric Performance Improvement Committee.
Dr. Simonson has been enamored with the diversity of Maui and loves to practice her Spanish and Pidgin with the keiki of Maui.
Alison Rivera, MD
Dr. Rivera is a board certified Pediatrician and a graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans, where she interned under fellow physician Casandra Simonson’s residency. Dr. Rivera joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2018. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has clinical interests in sports medicine and preventative care, including vaccination and oral health.
Dr. Rivera loves living a healthy lifestyle, and tries to balance this love with the love of yummy food! She is always ready to try new sports and new places to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys life with her husband, A.J. They met as undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while they were members of the Philippine Student Association.
For Dr. Rivera, pediatrics is FUN, and she feels like she is surrounded by a wonderful tribe of people who take care of each other as if they were family. She strives to provide the best medical care for your keiki.
Melissa Kim, MD
Dr. Melissa Kim joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center’s Pediatric family in March 2020. Melissa is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California.
She met her spouse during med school, and they completed their residencies at the University of Kentucky prior to embarking on a year of travel work in Washington and Hawaiʻi and then to Florida where Melissa served as a community pediatric hospitalist/urgent care in an affiliated facility of Nemours Children’s Hospital and would frequently travel to a hospital near Port-au-Prince, Haiti where her husband served in their ER.
After their first child was born in 2018, the family moved to Maui, where Melissa worked as a Hospitalist at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Melissa is part of the FAAP and Hawaiʻi chapter of the AAP. She currently sits on a preschool board, is active in her local church, and involved in our community. Areas of particular interest include lifestyle and global health, Hawaiʻian culture, other languages, music, and performing arts. She hopes to meet your keiki soon and will care for them like her own ohana.
Daniel Nead, PhD
Dr. Nead is a Primary Care Psychologist and a graduate of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. He completed his clinical internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, and completed post-doctoral fellowships in Health Psychology at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and in Behavioral Health/Behavioral Medicine at Chase Brexton Health Services in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Nead is also a former Fulbright Scholar to Israel, where he researched psychological assessment in the Israeli deaf community.
Dr. Nead joined the staff of Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2017, and has been working in the field of Health Psychology since 2013 with an emphasis in chronic and infectious diseases. He believes patients should be active participants in their own healthcare and works with indivuduals to help them better manage their own physical and emotional health. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the Hawaii Psychological Association.
Outside of work, Dr. Nead is an avid reader, foreign-film watcher, and traveler. Since moving to Maui he has learned to scuba dive and is re-learning to play the piano. He is fluent in American Sign Language.
Helen Barrow, LCSW, CTTS
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Tobacco Treatment Specialist
Helen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Practitioner, and has been helping people make positive health changes for over 12 years. From 2006-2010, she was the Maui County Program Coordinator for the American Lung Association in Hawai’i. From 2009-2010, she was the Interim Coordinator for the Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawai’i.
In April 2010, she was invited to join Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center. She holds three certificates in tobacco treatment: one from the University of Arizona, one from the Mayo Clinic, and one for national certification in tobacco treatment practice (NTTP). In 2013, she was chosen as the Outstanding Service Provider in Tobacco Control by the Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawaii (CTFH). In 2016, Ms. Barrow graduated with honors from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, receiving her Master of Science Degree from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, specializing in behavioral mental health. During graduate school, she was a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
In her free time, she practices yoga, Pilates, gardens and goes to the beach.
Leonani Meyer, CSAC
Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
Leonani has worked as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor since 2003. She joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in November 2018. She was born and raised on Maui and graduated from Kamehameha Schools. She also graduated from University of West Oahu with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with an emphasis in Addiction Studies. She enjoys working in health care being able to help the diverse community of Maui.
Maile Hayashida, CSAC
Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
Maile has been a Substance Abuse Counselor since 2004 and earned her credentialing both on an international and state level in 2008. She is born and raised in Hawai’i and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with an associate’s degree in Human Services in 2009 and later earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Science in 2012.
She joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in November 2019. Maile has extensive background serving in a variety of capacities including, anger management, family strengthening, cultural programs, and the judicial system, including prison- community reintegration programs.
Maile enjoys the beach, fishing, traveling, and spending time with her family. She is passionate about her field and the community she serves.
Bethany Hicks, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Bethany moved to Maui in January of 2019 with her husband, two cats, and a dog. She joined Mālama I Ke Ola in December of 2019. She is originally from Loveland, Colorado, where she earned a Master of Social Work from Colorado State University in 2014. She has served diverse populations across the life span in the areas of mental health, crisis work, poverty alleviation, LGBTQ, low-income housing, homelessness, and geriatric populations since 2008. Bethany is passionate about service and access to all members of the community. Her goal is to teach people to be their own best advocates by utilizing a strengths-based approach.
She is a lifelong learner and is always curious about the culture, history, and nature. She can often be found hiking, snorkeling, or planning her next international adventure.
Dr. Lawrence Shin, DDS
Dr. Shin is the Dental Director at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center. He was born in South Korea but raised in Dallas, Texas. He went to college at Texas A&M and graduated dental school at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2011.
Dr. Shin joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2018 and is full-time clinical faculty for NYU Langone Advanced Education in General Dentistry Hawai’i Site. He chose to practice at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center because we share a belief in providing community-centered, relationship-based, and comprehensive care that is tailored to fit into patients’ lives.
During his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities with his lovely wife, 2 boys and his Boston Terrier.
Dr. Shin is currently a member of American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, Hawaii Dental Association and Fellow of International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He is on track to Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry.
Robert Leonard, DDS
Dr. Leonard is a staff dentist at Malama I Ke Ola, and clinical supervising faculty for the NYU Langone Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program.
He was born in New York City, and studied physics at the University of Virginia. He conducted biophysics research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, before embarking on decades of international travel, taking him around the world twice. He returned to the United States to raise his children; and returned to school at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, graduating in 2010. He has worked on Maui since then, including residency at Maui Oral Health Center, practicing for three years at Hana Community Health Center, providing dental care at Maui Community Correctional Center, and working in private practice. He joined Malama I Ke Ola in 2019 because he believes in the need for community-centered care for underserved populations here on Maui.
Jaydene McDaniel, DMD
Dr. McDaniel was born and raised in Kona, Hawaii. She attended dental school at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. While in school she received multiple awards including election into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honors society and the Quintessence Award for Academic Achievement and Research. After dental school she stayed at UNLV to complete a competitive two-year residency program in pediatric dentistry. It was through her residency program that she gained valuable experience in treating pediatric patients, including working with special needs populations and providing advanced behavior management techniques. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, and is currently board qualified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. McDaniel is committed to serving her community and is passionate about creating positive dental experiences for her patients.
Dr. McDaniel is happy to return and practice dentistry in her home state of Hawaii. She loves spending time with her two children and husband, who is also a pediatric dentist. A child at heart, she loves Disney movies, Star Wars, video games, and collecting action figures.