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Winter 2020

Dr. Brian Johnson
Residency Director
Program Director's Corner

The Season for Giving

I am so glad to make my first contribution to the Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency newsletter as program director during the holiday season, a time for reflection and gratitude. As you all know, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) has a long history of providing the highest level of clinical training for residents serving a diverse population often facing severe social adversity. Leading a Residency with this mission is a big charge.

In these first few months, I've been more aware of my missteps (and near missteps) than any time since starting independent clinical practice. So it's no wonder that I am particularly grateful to all of those people who help to ensure the Residency thrives: the office staff who make the program run, day in and day out; the core faculty and our Residency leadership group, who regularly step in and up to collectively strengthen our learning environment; all our other faculty, who offer time, caring, and energy to prioritize teaching and mentoring; our residents, who jump in willingly to the CCRMC "deep end," trusting us with their learning and so clearly putting patients first; and our system's leadership team, who have supported the Residency amidst times of change, ensuring both our stability and sustainability.

It is truly a wonder to watch how the contributions of so many different stakeholders shape our successes. As you reflect during this holiday season, I hope you can similarly appreciate the ways in which your work helps to create this unique learning community.

In future newsletters, my plan is to share a roadmap for the Residency's next steps--including how we will continue to meet the needs of our patients, residents, health system, and broader community. As part of this, I'm tasked with making the Residency leadership's first formal call for financial support. Here is why: One of our biggest lifts each year is supporting Residency needs that do not easily fall within traditional budgets. Despite solid support from our medical staff and the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, we fall short of being able to support initiatives that fall under our Resident Resources and Sustainability Fund. This fund enables us to defray costs of the resident retreats (e.g. for residents' family members), provide emergency supports for residents requiring emergency travel funds, and to assist our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

All contributions are tax-deductible and will support the next generation of mission-driven family physicians. Whether or not you are able to make a financial contribution, we are grateful for your support.

Warm wishes during the winter season,


Give Back to Your Residency!

The Residency is strongly positioned, but community building still requires additional funding.

We are really hoping for support from all of you!

Retreat, embroidered jackets, graduation, and interview dinners are all integral to our community, but are not covered by our standard finance channels.

Can we lean on you?? Every dollar makes a big difference for the residents!

  • $100 pays for two embroidered jackets
  • $200 pays for one interview breakfast and dinner
  • $500 pays for one night at retreat for all the residents

Making a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation is easy. Just click on the button below to get started.

Social Media

Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency has joined the 21st Century, please follow us, comment and @ us!
Twitter and Instagram @ContraCostaFMR

Intern Bios

Take a look at our website to read the intern bios (Class of 2022)!

Scholarly Work

Join us at the annual STFM conference this Spring 2020 in Salt Lake City! Please let us know if you are coming, we would love to hang out. And remember to check out all the wonderful CCFMRP work that will be highlighted.

  • The Residency will be sponsoring a two-day pre-conference Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) workshop Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. This will be our fourth year running the annual pre-conference workshop! Contra Costa faculty and graduates Neil Jayasekera, Kevin Bergman, Mena Ramos, Ne (Melissa) Ferguson and Kendra Johnson will be the main lecturers.
  • Join Sarah McNeil for a pre-conference workshop on "Medication Abortion: Develop the Skills And Tools To Implement and Teach Medication Abortion in the Family Medicine Setting," and a 60- minute seminar called "RESOLVED! Writing and Defending AAFP Resolutions with your Residents."
  • Ne Ferguson along with Priyanka Tulshian, Kevin Bergman, Leah Romito, and Neil Jaysakara will present completed research project, "POCUS In The Hands Of Family Medicine Residency Faculty: A Winning Strategy For Patients, Residents And Hospitals."
  • Ne Ferguson, Priyanka Tulshian and Skender Najibi will lead a lecture on "Evaluation of an Inpatient Medication Assisted Treatment Curriculum for Family Medicine Faculty and Residents."
  • Stop and view a poster by Scott Karpowicz, Dan Moring-Parris, Sarah McNeil titled, "Are Family Doctors Really the Future of Primary Care? An Analysis of FM Graduates' Intention to Practice Primary Care."

Alumni Profile

Jay Reinking, class of 2014, is medical director of a homeless clinic in downtown Oakland. We were able to talk with Jay and ask him how his training at Contra Costa prepared him for his future career in medicine.

"My work with Health Care for the Homeless in Alameda County, both in our clinic and with street medicine, manifests remarkable suffering and progressive disease that our patients experience on a daily basis. My training at Contra Costa gave me the confidence to distinguish "sick/not sick" so that we can match patients with appropriate levels of care with high diagnostic accuracy. The broad depth of training has helped me with a level of comfort from addiction medicine to OB to derm to cards, managing pathology for patients that struggle to make it to specialty appointments. Ultrasound has become a cornerstone of our work here as our patients struggle with imaging appointments, a skillset fostered by Contra Costa. And lastly, my mentors (physicians, social workers, RNs) and patients at Contra Costa educated me and gave me the tools to best listen and empathize with marginalized communities that I work with every day."

*Please send us names, class year and contact info of CCFMRP alumni to highlight for our next newsletter. Email,


Drs. Jenn Shrestha (Class of 2020) and Dr. Sarah McNeil (Class of 2012) at AAFP awards ceremony.

Recently at the National AAFP meeting, Dr. Jenn Shrestha received award for Clinical Excellence in Graduate Medical Education and recognized for her amazing efforts with the Residency Diversity Council and pipeline work! Thanks to Jenn for her endless energy for making positive change, those who serve on the resident diversity counsel, and everyone who supported her trip out to Philadelphia to receive this award. Jenn was one of 12 awardees from across the WHOLE country. She made California and Contra Costa very proud!

"You can't be what you can't see!"
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Allyship (IDEA) Initiatives: CCFMR Pipeline Programs

In line with our mission statement, our program has deepened our work around improving the health of under-resourced communities, training diverse change agents and leaders, and sustaining our program's commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As part of this charge, we have strengthened our community engagement footprint by focusing on pipeline program development. Through the collective leadership of Core Faculty Angela Echiverri, DEI Chief Jenn Shrestha and leaders of the Resident Diversity Council (RDC), and in partnership with Shannon Ladner-Beasley, Health Career Pathways Manager with the Office of the Director, our pipeline program initiatives help provide young people across Contra Costa County with health career shadowing exposure, science enrichment, and mentorship. Our goals for pipeline programming include:

  • To grow the next generation of leaders from our local Contra Costa County communities
  • To introduce young people to our amazing staff and to expose them to different health careers
  • To provide young people with mentors as they move forward with their education and career goals
  • To diversify our health care workforce to reflect the lived experiences of the patients we partner with and help care for

Examples of our program's successful health career pathway efforts include:

  • Health Career Pathways: Since the summer of 2017, we have hosted high school and college students to provide clinical shadowing opportunities of different health careers including nursing, behavioral health, physical therapy, phlebotomy, ultrasound, surgery and primary care. In the summer of 2019, over 60 preceptors from diverse health careers have hosted 50+ students at West County, Martinez, Pittsburg, and CCRMC over the course of six weeks.
  • The Ladder: Launched by Mariel Lougee (Class of 2018), this monthly program exposes youth (9-24 years) to health careers and hands-on science enrichment activities at West County, and will expand to Pittsburg. The Ladder is a program started in the University of Minnesota School of Medicine by Dr. Renee Crichlow, where Mariel was a medical student leader.

To learn more about CCFMR pipeline programs or for any questions on how to get involved, please contact Angela Echiverri at

Important Dates

Diversity 2nd Look Day
Jan 7, 2020

CCRMC Winter POCUS Course
Jan 18-29, 2020

CCRMC Resident Education Conference
Feb 28-March 1, 2020

Match Day for the Class of 2023
March 20, 2020

CCRMC Summer POCUS Course
June 20-21, 2020

Graduation for Class of 2020
June 26, 2020