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.
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.
Gabrielle O’Sullivan, MD
Dr. O’Sullivan joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2016. As a family doctor, she sees patients in both the pediatric and adult departments.
Dr. O’Sullivan graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2000 and completed her family medicine residency in Santa Rosa, California in 2003. She is board certified in Family Medicine. In addition, she completed a faculty development fellowship at the University of Washington in 2007.
She is passionate about supporting her patients in reaching their optimal state of health. She enjoys taking care of families from birth until the end of life. Special clinical interests include childhood overweight and obesity, encouraging the vaccination of our keiki, diabetes prevention, women’s health, office procedures, and care of transgender persons. She is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. O’Sullivan loves living on Maui with her partner, two young children and dog. In her free time she enjoys yoga, gardening and hiking.
Ivy Lou Hibbitt, APRN
Family Nurse Practitioner
Ivy Lou is a Family Nurse Practitioner who works with Internal Medicine and Women’s Health patients to provide them with quality healthcare. Ivy believes in creating relationships with people to understand their health needs and works together with each individual to develop a plan to achieve their best possible state of health. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Hawai‘i Pacific University in Honolulu and has been serving our patients since 2017.
Amy Nakama, FNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
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 is lives in town with her husband and three children and enjoys running.
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.
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.
Casandra Simonson, MD
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.
Daniel Nead, PhD
Dr. Nead is a Clinical 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.
Sarah Feenstra, DO
Dr. Feenstra is an Adult Psychiatrist who joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2016. She treats a variety of mental illnesses in older teenagers and adults of all ages. These include depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia, developmental delay, OCD, and others. She works part time at the clinic on Wednesdays to see individuals that are established with a Primary Care Physician at Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center. She also works in the community at Maui Community Correctional Center and Kona Community Hospital.
Dr. Feenstra is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She did her psychiatry residency at the University of Wisconsin, and medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, and Maui Medical Society. Non-medical groups include Maui Surfrider Chapter and Valley Isle Road Runners.
Special interests include women’s mental health, forensic psychiatry, and our homeless population. She teaches medical students from the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine so they can be exposed to rural healthcare on the outer islands. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her dogs, hiking, beach days, and triathlon training.
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.
Sophia Ben-Hamoo, PhD
Dr. Ben-Hamoo is Mālama I Ke Ola’s Pediatric Psychologist. Following her doctoral training at the University of Denver in Colorado, she completed both her clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Health Psychology at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Ben-Hamoo has also studied Creative Arts Therapies at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with a focus on therapeutic yoga for chronically ill children and adolescents.
Dr. Ben-Hamoo joined the staff of Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2019, yet has been working in the field of Pediatric Psychology since 2014. She believes that health and well-being are multifactorial and must incorporate the many aspects of the mind, body, and spirit. With this in mind, her work focuses on value-directed behavioral change aimed to improve the physical and emotional health of her patients. She is a member of American Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, the Society of Pediatric Psychology, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. Her goal is to treat the children, teens, and families of Maui with exceptional care and creative interventions while always keeping things fun and engaging.
Dr. Ben-Hamoo’s passion for healthy living extends beyond her time at work. In her free hours, she enjoys spending time in nature, whether that be hiking, swimming, rock climbing, or traveling back to the snowcapped mountains for skiing. She also loves playing music, dancing, painting, and cooking for friends.
Steve Arce, CSAC
Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
Since 2001, Steve Arce has worked as an addictions counselor in health care centers, DUI programs, and specialized care for the elderly and disabled, and in-custody programs. Steve is originally from San Diego, CA and is pleased to now bring his education and experience to Mālama I Ke Ola and the Maui community. As a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, he enjoys working with people who are struggling with their own issues that have been compounded by their addictions. Steve joined Mālama I Ke Ola in May of 2019.
Steve’s counseling education began at San Diego Community College where he enrolled in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies. From there he became a certified alcohol and drug counselor. In 2015, Steve received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. He applies both skill sets in his every day practice.
Steve has a passion for watching people succeed and get through their addictions. He often quotes people in order to inspire them in their recovery process. One of his favorite quotes is, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right” – Henry Ford
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.
Dr. Emilio Hernandez, DMD
Dr. Hernandez is a General Dentist who has been treating patients since 2016. He joined Mālama I Ke Ola in 2019, having previously practiced on Oahu and the Big Island.
Dr. Hernandez is originally from Florida and received his Bachelor of Science in Biology & Chemistry from the University of Miami. While pursuing his degree, Dr. Hernandez worked as an Oral Care Research and Development Intern at a Fortune 500 company and acquired extensive knowledge about over-the-counter oral care products. He then received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, where he contributed to dental implant research, and received the Clinical Achievement Award for Excellence in Restorative Dentistry.
Dr. Hernandez is passionate about providing accessible, high-quality, comprehensive dentistry to all of his patients. He is a full-time clinical faculty for NYU Langone Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program Hawai’i site and is a member of the American Dental Association, Hawaii Dental Association, and Maui County Dental Society.
Outside of the office, Dr. Hernandez likes to spend time with his family and French Bulldog. He enjoys playing tennis, hiking upcountry, and traveling to Southeast Asia.
Emilie Sumida, DDS
Emilie Guinto Sumida received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, School of Dental Medicine. Upon graduation, she was commissioned as a Captain in the United States Army. Her first duty assignment was Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where she completed a two-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. After proudly serving in the military as a general dentist for 6 years, she developed her true passion in providing dental care for children while working in underserved areas of Baltimore, Maryland. In 2015, she fulfilled her dream in becoming a pediatric dentist by completing a post-graduate program in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Maryland, School of Dental Medicine where she served as chief resident.
Dr. Sumida is board certified and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She currently works at the Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in Wailuku, Hawaii and is medical staff at Maui Memorial Medical Center where she treats patients under general anesthesia. She is also full time clinical faculty for NYU Langone Pediatric Dentistry residency program – Hawaii site. Emilie has published in General Dentistry and Pediatric Dentistry. She is also a member of the American Dental Association, Hawaii Dental Association, Maui County Dental Society, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Joanne O’Kane, PharmD
Dr. O’Kane is a licensed Pharmacist and a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy. She completed her Doctor of Pharmacy training with the University of Kentucky School of Pharmacy and has over 30 years of experience in pharmacy including community, hospital, long-term care and the 340B program. She and her husband, Tony, fell in love with the island over 29 years ago and finally made the move to Maui after their two children married.
Dr. O’Kane joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center in 2018 as the Director of Pharmacy. She hopes to be able to provide much needed medications to our patients at an affordable cost.
In her spare time, she loves volunteering in local community activities such as Hale Kau Kau and beach clean ups. She hopes to be able to experience and learn more about the Maui culture, language, and people. Maui no ka ‘oi!
WIC (Women’s Infant Children)
Dionne Woodley, RD
WIC Program Registered Dietitian
Dionne joined Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center April 2017 to work for the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC). She relocated from Rochester, New York. Dionne obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Dietetics in 1984. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Lactation Consultant. Before coming to Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center, she worked for the WIC Program in Rochester for 22 years.
Since being on Maui, she started Breastfeeding Groups to educate women about breastfeeding and support those who are breastfeeding. She recently joined the Food Selection Committee, to review WIC-allowable foods and propose revisions.
Dionne is the youngest of five siblings. She has two adult sons and a 91-year-old mother who live in Rochester with most of her siblings. When not working, she enjoys reading, walking and doing puzzles.