Our Team

IraByockMDIra Byock, M.D., FAAHPM, Founder/Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Byock is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. Dr. Byock is active professor emeritus of medicine and community & family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is a past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and served as director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is the author of Dying Well (1997), The Four Things That Matter Most (2004), and The Best Care Possible (March 2012). Ira.Byock@providence.org
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KomatsuGlen Komatsu, M.D., Senior Advisor for Strategy and Education
In addition to his senior advisor duties for the Institute, Dr. Komatsu serves as chief medical officer for Providence TrinityCare Hospice and Regional Palliative Care. Dr. Komatsu earned a BS in biological sciences at the University of Arizona and his M.D. at the Arizona College of Medicine. After a pediatric residence at University of California Irvine-affiliated hospitals and a Neonatology Fellowship at Long Beach Memorial/Miller Children’s Hospital, he entered private practice. He also pursued adult palliative care fellowships at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Glen.Komatsu@providence.org

KozakowskiJennifer Kozakowski, Associate Vice President
Jennifer most recently served as health system director in Clinical Transformation at Cedars-Sinai. Earning her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in both public health and nursing (focusing on health services management) at UCLA, Jennifer has a track record of achieving results and leading high-performing teams. She began her career in hospice and has a strong operational background, serving in a number of executive roles in a variety of health care settings. Jennifer.Kozakowski@providence.org

AreyanAshley Areyan, Development and Community Engagement Director
Ashley has been with the Institute since May ‘15. She is working with The Conversation Project to help bring advanced care planning to people where they live, work and pray. She recognizes that each community is unique and the people within those communities have different ways of dealing with conversations about the future and, ultimately, death. Ashley enjoys learning about different cultures and helping people take control of their care through the end of life. Ashley.Areyan@providence.org

Boyle_Danica Danica Boyle, Senior Program Manager
Danica helped lead care-improvement implementation in the University of Washington Medicine system and accountable care network, including efforts in preventable readmissions and partnership with end-of-life care services. She also helped lead improvement programs at Kaiser Permanente in palliative care and care for patients with complex/chronic conditions. She has master’s degrees in health administration and public health from the University of Iowa. Danica.Boyle@providence.org

David_DelgadoDavid Delgado, Program Manager
David is helping the Institute for Human Caring make whole person care a standard across Providence Health & Services and nationwide. David completed his undergraduate education in human biology at Stanford University. He has focused his career on health care management, most recently helping start up and run the operations of MetroHealth Station. David is committed to creating sustainable, patient- and family-centered health care delivery. David.Delgado@providence.org

DrummondMichael Drummond, Director of External Affairs and Communications
Michael supports the groundbreaking work of Dr. Byock. Michael has a background in noninvasive medical devices, and most recently served as head of corporate communications for Irvine, Calif.-based Masimo Corp. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Renegades of the Empire, an inside story of Microsoft, Michael worked for many years as an editor and journalist for magazines and newspapers, including two reporting and editing tours in Iraq. Michael.Drummond@providence.org

EngelderSuzanneSuzanne Engelder, MSW, ASW, Director of Program Development and Education
Suzanne has spent 30 years honing expertise in clinical care, community education and program development, including pediatric and perinatal hospice programs. An advocate for palliative and hospice care from birth through the end of life, she previously established the Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy at Providence St. Joseph Health in California. Suzanne is dedicated to improving the healthcare experience for patients, families and providers. Suzanne.Engelder@providence.org

GonzalesMatthew Gonzales, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer
Matthew is a fellowship-trained, board-certified palliative medicine physician, and a 2017 Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program awardee. He completed his undergraduate degree in human biology at Stanford University, and as a software engineer helped develop a public database that allows clinicians to tailor treatment for those with HIV. Dr. Gonzales attended the Keck USC School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine and palliative medicine training at UCSF. Matthew.Gonzales@providence.org

Govahi_ShahroozShahrooz Govahi, Data Scientist
Shahrooz is passionate about unlocking technology to improve health care, and uses machine-learning techniques and statistical modeling to find trends and insights in data. Shahrooz, who has a master’s in electrical engineering and honed his technical skills as a data and business analyst, believes health systems will evolve through machine learning and artificial intelligence to help clinicians make better diagnoses, and to help patients make better decisions. Shahrooz.Govahi@providence.org

Jagtap_EeshaEesha Jagtap, Project Manager
Eesha is a versatile researcher and global public-health advocate with experience providing health care to underserved populations from Thailand to Tarzana, Calif. She is helping implement advance care planning initiatives at clinics and hospitals across Providence St. Joseph Health, and is on a mission to increase the number of people who have advance directives. Eesha, who unwinds with historical documentaries and yoga, is earning her master’s in public health from UCLA. Eesha.Jagtap@providence.org

Vivian_LeiVivian Lei, Senior Program Manager
Vivian is a graduate of the Health Policy and Management program at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Growing up in Los Angeles, she saw first-hand that many patients, especially low-income or non-English speaking people, are constantly challenged with navigating health care systems. This disparity motivated Vivian to pursue a career in health care, and work to transform and improve care delivery.Vivian.Lei@providence.org

Tyler_LloydTyler Lloyd, Senior Project Manager
Tyler received his bachelor’s in public health from the University of Arizona. He worked closely with the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Promotion where he developed and implemented programs for the southern Arizona community. During his undergraduate career, he provided support on program operations for a medical clinic he helped manage in Ghana, Africa. Tyler is passionate about refocusing health care to be more patient-centric. Tyler.Lloyd@providence.org

Irene LunaIrene Luna, Administrative Assistant
Irene received her bachelor’s in linguistics and psychology from UCLA. She became interested in health care while working with the UCLA Men’s Health Study, where she heard patients’ health concerns and felt the need to help. She worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as a management assistant and volunteered at the St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. Irene provides administrative support for the Institute for Human Caring, focused on education and Hear Me Now. Irene.Luna2@providence.org

Marlo_MorrisMarlo Morris, Executive Assistant
Marlo is a seasoned administrative professional with more than 20 years of experience in various settings, including entertainment, health care, and nonprofit organizations. She manages the agendas for Dr. Byock and the Institute, and provides administrative support for the Hear Me Now project. She served in the Marine Corps as an armorer, where she repaired small weapons during Operation Desert Storm. She has a BA in interdisciplinary studies from National University. Marlo.Morris@providence.org

Murphy_KevinKevin Murphy, M.D., MSW, Director, Palliative Practice Group
Dr. Murphy has served in clinical leadership roles across the U.S., including most recently, regional director of palliative care for Providence Health & Services in Southwest Washington. He has expertise in palliative care program development, clinical integration, health care delivery, crisis management, behavioral health, and emergency services. Dr. Murphy earned his medical degree from the University of Kentucky, and master’s in social work from Loyola University. Kevin.Murphy@providence.org

Tue_NguyenTue Nguyen, Senior Program Manager
Tue’s passion for health care drew him to the intersection of the patient, care delivery, and technology. Across the disciplines, he has relied on his ability to effectively communicate and build relationships to navigate the demands associated with the constantly evolving health care environment. He earned his bachelor’s in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in public health from UCLA. Tue.Nguyen@providence.org

Park_PaulPaul J. Park, Senior Clinical Data Analyst
Paul has managed computing and database teams and initiatives for Providence since 1998. He has particular expertise in the organization’s Epic medical record system, having developed quality-improvement, inpatient, billing and physician reports for easier access and utilization. Paul earned his bachelor’s in computer information systems from the City University of New York, and his master’s in management information systems from Stevens Institute of Technology. Paul.Park@providence.org

SafabakhshNusha Safabakhsh, Director of Quality and Measurement
Nusha, a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, has proven success in leading and managing complex programs that delivered bottom-line results. Nusha has been with Providence Health & Services since 2008, leading quality improvement initiatives with sustained outcomes in California. She has an MS in industrial and systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MS in health care business administration from University of California Irvine. Nusha.Safabakhsh@providence.org

Tan_KamilaKamila Tan, Graduate Student Intern
Kamila brushed off the sand from competitive beach volleyball and joined the Institute to help advance whole person care. She’s a graduate student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, with a concentration in health policy and management. Kamila is serving in several key support roles at the Institute, including the recruitment of participants for the Hear Me Now storytelling initiative with StoryCorps®. Kamila.Tan@providence.org

VanderKieftGregg VandeKieft, M.D., Associate Medical Director 
Dr. VandeKieft practices palliative medicine in Olympia, Wash. He has held leadership positions within Providence and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He attended the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine and the Phoenix Baptist Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program. He completed Michigan State University’s master’s program in Health and Humanities and Harvard Medical School’s program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. Gregg.VandeKieft@providence.org