Last month I posted bios of our current volunteers and interns and told ya I would be introducing more peeps every few weeks so as promised, here they are!
This week I want to introduce you to the clinical staff. If you have ever been a patient here before, you may recognize some of these faces. They are also the ones who review the medical accuracy of my posts. New Gen is so lucky to have some of the most experienced clinical staff around. They have all been working with teens and young adults before some of you were even born! They also train many, many future clinicians including doctors, nurses, and midwives. If you are interested in becoming a clinician, feel free to ask them questions.
Kohar Der Simonian, MD – I am an assistant clinical professor in the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine and the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and am the new medical director at New Generation Health Center.
During my training in family medicine, I became especially interested in caring for teens and young adults especially in the area of reproductive health services. I wanted to be able to empower my patients to make the best family planning choices for them and to educate young men and women about preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. I also saw that even in this age of information overload, patients are often still embarrassed to talk about sex and their sexual health! New Gen is the perfect place for me to work because we get to promote safe sex choices every day!
I received my medical degree from the University of Vermont and did my family medicine residency at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, with a special emphasis in urban under-served medicine. I completed a fellowship in reproductive health at Beth Israel in NYC. Before starting medical school, I was living in Yerevan, Armenia and spent a year as an Armenian Volunteer Corps member. My experience abroad made me committed to serving disadvantaged populations and promoting education about reproductive options because I got to see first hand how young women’s lives were affected every day when they didn’t have any birth control options available to them.
In my free time I am an avid reader and runner and enjoy cooking and baking, and spending time with my friends and family.
Hey, I’m Dr. Tonya Chafee. I’m from SF originally and have worked in many places in the Bay Area. I’ve worked at New Gen since 2004, but have also been at the UCSF Teen Clinic, Kaiser Teen Clinic (3 different sites), Stanford Children’s Hospital Teen Clinic, Daly City Youth Clinic, Mission Neighborhood Teen Clinic, and am Director of San Francisco General Hospital’s Teen and Young Adult Health Center. When I am not working, I like to run, watch/listen/read the news, run, go wine tasting, run, and walk my dog. I am drawn to working with teen reproductive health because I enjoy being able to help young people make one of the most important decisions regarding their health and future.
Reproductive health was way different when I was a teen in the 80’s. The only birth control methods were, I think, the pill and condoms, and HIV was all you heard about because it was taking its toll in the US. The only message we heard was that sex could kill you. I’m very glad things have changed, particularly as young people are being better about being safe, talking to each other more about what they want sexually, and having HEALTHIER relationships!
Hi, I’m Debbie Davidson and I’m a nurse practitioner. I’ve been at New Gen since 1997, when we first opened. I love working here! When you’re a teen and just starting to have sex, there is a lot to learn about having a good relationship, keeping your body healthy, and making decisions about pregnancy. I like working in a clinic where the whole staff is dedicated to helping our clients with their questions and problems. And our clients are amazing – curious, looking for answers, many facing hardships in their lives with great strength.
When I was a teenager, abortion was illegal. The pill was about the only method to use for birth control besides condoms, foam, or the diaphragm. If you didn’t want to have a baby, there weren’t many choices. Although I was terrified of getting pregnant, I was clueless about STD’s – no one ever told me about them, and I did nothing to protect myself.
I was a single mom, raised 2 wonderful sons in San Francisco. They’re grown up now – and I’m looking forward to being a grandma. When I’m not working, you might find me in my backyard in my vegetable and flower garden, baking pies in the kitchen, reading a good novel, or hiking on the beautiful trails in the bay area.
There is one other clinician on staff here at NGHC but unfortunately we do not have bio for her yet! But I will say that Whitney Miskell, NP is an amazing clinician who is extremely dedicated to providing reproductive health care. When she is not at New Gen, she is working at the Women’s Option Center at SFGH. When not being a super hero in the field of reproductive health, Whitney is kicking butt in boot camp, running, swimming or biking. Maybe next month I can get Whitney to tell ya’ll a little bit more about her awesomeness.
Again, when you see these lovely clinicians don’t hesitate to ask them questions whether it be about your own health or about their journey in medicine. They are truly an amazing bunch and I am so fortunate to work with them every day!
In happiness & health,