Meet the PEP Team

  • Dr. Jeffery L. Wajda
    Chief Health Information Officer

    Jeffery L. Wajda, D.O., M.S., F.A.C.E.P.

    Jeffrey L. Wajda is currently a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, with an appointment to the Department of Pathology at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine, having completed residency training in Emergency Medicine, Graduate training in Medical Management and a Graduate Degree Program in Health Informatics. He serves as both the Health System Chief Health Information Officer and as the Program Director for our Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited Clinical Informatics Fellowship program. Jeffrey L. Wajda's clinical and informatics interests drive improvement of the patient experience, quality and safety.
    Expanded Biography
  • Dr. Scott MacDonald
    Chief Medical Information Officer

    Scott MacDonald, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.M.I.A.

    Scott MacDonald is a primary care physician who has had lifelong interest in using computers to improve people’s lives. As the physician leader for the Electronic Health Record at UC Davis Health, he works to improve the tools physicians, nurses, and other care team members use to care for patients in the hospital and the clinics. This includes ensuring that people know how to use the available tools. This impacts quality of the care they provide and their own professional lives. The PEP program directly addresses this and is one of initiatives he’s most proud of. Outside of work, he knows all about riding/building/fixing just about any kind of bike.
    Expanded Biography
  • Melissa Jost

    Melissa Jost, M.S., P.M.P.

    Melissa Jost is the Director of Clinical Informatics and Program Manager for the Practice Experience Program. Melissa grew up in Sacramento and has worked at UC Davis Health for 10+ years. She has served in a multitude of roles supporting, developing, and managing Epic Applications deployments. Melissa is an alumni of the UC Davis Masters of Science Health Informatics program and started the Department as a result of her graduate thesis, aiming to use innovative processes to improve provider’s experience with Electronic Health Record technology. As the Practice Experience Program Manager, Melissa works to streamline the technology so that doctors can spend more time with their patients and less time with their computer. She believes that, when utilized to its full potential and optimized for each particular specialty or clinic, Epic can help physicians provide high quality patient care and be a joy to use.
  • Jessie Eting
    Ambulatory Supervisor

    Jessie Eting

    Jessie has been a member of the team since its inception. From theater stage manager and technical director to Epic implementation and support supervisor, Jessie brings over a decade of leadership experience across multiple domains. Jessie was one of the first few employees in his division at Sutter Physician Services to become credentialed in Epic modules such as EpicCare Ambulatory, Cadence and Prelude. He supported the implementation process for Sutter Community Connect from the ground up, moving from analyst to supervisor, for both the implementation and support teams respectively. After seven years at Sutter, he took his love for growing teams and joined the Practice Experience Program to help expand the Department. As Ambulatory Supervisor, Jessie is able to step back and look at system-level processes from a birds eye view. He serves as a bridge between what the system can offer and what physicians need. He can help determine how to get on the best path to achieving workflow optimizations and improving the electronic health record experience for providers. 
  • Hannah Lytle
    Inpatient Supervisor

    Hannah Lytle

    Hannah joined the Practice Experience Program in 2022 as the Inpatient Supervisor. A Midwest native, she currently resides in Chicago, IL. Hannah brings over 10 years of Healthcare IT experience to the team, including working at Epic as a Technical Services lead supporting ongoing optimization efforts for multiple large hospital systems and aggregating Epic community feedback to improve standardized workflows in the Epic Foundation system. Prior to joining the PEP team, she spent 3 years working on the Epic Ambulatory Team at UC Davis Health and led the technical roll-out of several efficiency-based features across outpatient clinics, including Widescreen View and Storyboard. Throughout her career, Hannah has partnered closely with physician and nursing leadership in both inpatient and outpatient settings to identify and implement solutions that drive better patient outcomes and improve clinician efficiency in the electronic health record. As a PEP supervisor, Hannah is committed to expanding the definition of Practice Experience at UC Davis Health to best serve our inpatient clinicians and patients.
  • Lynnette Brady
    Technical Project Manager

    Lynnette Brady, M.H.A., P.M.P.

    Lynnette grew up in the small mining town of Grass Valley. She joined the team in 2022 as a Project Manager. Before joining UC Davis Health, Lynnette worked for CommuniCare Health Centers as the Director of Clinical Informatics and Training. While there, she led a team that managed the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and implemented initiatives targeted to improve the electronic health record experience. Lynnette also has expansive healthcare operational knowledge from holding various roles throughout her career, including serving as a Director of Operations for ten health centers in Northern California and Nevada. Lynnette finds clinical informatics fulfilling as it allows her to solve problems, optimize systems, and improve the end user's experience. Outside of work, Lynnette enjoys traveling, running, quilting, and cuddling with her two dogs.
  • Leah Galasso
    Technical Project Manager

    Leah Galasso, M.A., P.M.P.

    Connecticut native, Leah earned a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University. Upon graduating, Leah attended a national conference where she was recruited and offered a position with UC Davis. After spending three years on main campus running large-scale programs and developing curricula, Leah learned of an opening with UC Davis Public Health Sciences which mirrored her background in academic and career advising as well as illuminated her passion for public health from her AmeriCorps experience. As a Graduate Program Coordinator, Leah ran the Public Health graduate programs for three+ years and built up her project management skills. Seeking to expand her portfolio beyond public health, Leah joined the team in September 2020. In the project manager role, Leah serves as the team's Logistics Guru! She helps streamline processes and keeps the team on track of deadlines. As a lifelong learner, Leah loves that her work is constantly changing. She always wants to find new ways to provide better service to our clients.
  • Elsie Bluett
    Training Analyst

    Elsie Bluett, M.S.

    As a native New Yorker, Elsie lived on the East Coast all her childhood. She moved to Sacramento with her parents as a young adult. Elsie worked at UC Davis Health in Food & Nutrition Services for 20+ years serving in a multiple roles to provide high quality nutrition and healthcare services to meet the needs of our patients, guests, staff, and our community. Elsie is an alumni of the UC Davis M.S. Health Informatics program, who passionately believes in optimizing Epic to its full potential, in order to improve the delivery of healthcare services, the safety and quality of patient care, and to provide better patient outcomes. Outside of work, Elsie likes to cook, listens to classical music and enjoys going on cruises.
  • Hawa Kaba
    Training Analyst

    Hawa Kaba

    Hawa was born and raised in Mali, where she developed her interest in healthcare from observing the poor medical system in the country. After earning her associate degree in General Biology at Sierra Community College, she continued at UC Davis for her bachelor’s degree in Global Disease Biology. Witnessing the impact of technology in healthcare, Hawa joined UC Davis Master’s program in Health Informatics to explore her passion for healthcare and technology. In addition to her clinical knowledge with the UC Davis Institute of regenerative medicine, Hawa has 6+ years of teaching and training from Sierra Community College and UC Davis undergraduate studies. Hawa became part of the PEP Team as a Clinical Application Trainer in 2022 to help our physicians operate efficiently with Epic Electronic Health Records and contribute to improving the health system.
  • Ali King
    Training Analyst

    Ali King

    Ali was born and raised in Sacramento and has worked at UC Davis since 2012 as a Certified Medical Assistant II. She was a core team member at the UC Davis Spine Clinic, supporting clinics for Neurosurgery, PM&R, and Ortho Spine. Ali was pivotal in helping to create and implement new workflows and electronic questionnaires that focused on collecting pre- and post-operative patient data. This data focused on patients’ disability rating secondary to pain and their mental well-being.  As a Clinical Applications Trainer, Ali provides clinicians with the tools and training necessary to not only reduce their time in the EMR, but to ensure that clinicians have more hands-on care with patients.  You can hear Ali’s laugh a mile away!
  • Shikha Kothari
    Training Analyst

    Shikha Kothari, M.B.B.S., M.S.

    Shikha is from the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in California for over 20 years. Passionate about community health, she went abroad to study medicine in India. Upon returning to the United States, she developed an interest in clinical informatics. Shikha wants to further explore her passion for healthcare and information technology while interacting with like-minded people at UC Davis Health. In her free time, Shikha enjoys singing, hiking, dancing, comedy shows and baking vegan desserts.
  • Kristin McEuen
    Training Analyst

    Kristin McEuen

    Kristin joined the team in 2019. Prior to UC Davis she excelled as a Principal Trainer for Sutter Health. Kristin has 7+ years of electronic health record training implementation experience after supporting 10 Sutter affiliate hospitals. As a training analyst on the team she observes ambulatory clinic workflows, which allows her to see the documentation challenges providers are experiencing. She provides tips and tricks to reduce time spent on documentation which improves a providers overall Epic experience.
  • Josh Thuss
    Training Analyst

    Josh Thuss

    Josh has an associate degree in Information Technology and has worked at UC Davis Health system for several years. Prior to joining the team, Josh worked in the Information Technology Help Desk at UC Davis Health. Intrigued by the Practice Experience Program and the positive impact on providers, Josh joined the team. As an Epic trainer, Josh optimizes Epic workflows so that he can reduce pajama time for providers and help them get their lives back. He also works on the analytics side in documentation preparation and system updates. Josh loves when he can save someone’s time. He enjoys engaging with providers, hearing their positive feedback and excitement when he has helped them. Outside of work, Josh likes to disc golf, and enjoys cooking.
  • John Tsvirinko
    Training Analyst

    John Tsvirinko

    John was born and raised in Sacramento with a Russian Slavic background. His career started as a Certified Medical Assistant, but he later recognized that there was an opportunity to enhance the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for the Healthcare Professionals. He joined the Health Information Technology team at a local Federally Qualified Health Clinic as a EMR Analyst. Over the course of five years, he leveraged his troubleshooting and analytical skills to educate health care professionals on how to effectively utilize the EMR systems for their own advantage.  Outside of work you can find John enjoying the great outdoors camping, occasional hiking, snowboarding and off-roading to serve as his escape from the professional world.  

  • Catherine Wells
    Training Analyst

    Catherine Wells

    Catherine is a Northern California native raised in the foothills of Nevada County. Before joining the PEP team, she worked as a pharmacy technician in a variety of settings including teaching an accredited pharmacy technician associate degree program. In 2016 she transitioned from vocational training to EHR support and implementation focused on medication processes in Cerner at Adventist Health. Catherine enjoys solving problems and figuring out how to make processes and application of technology as seamless as possible. In her spare time Catherine can be found enjoying the Sacramento food and music scene, performing with her dance troupe at local venues and DIY’ing everything she can get her hands on.
  • Trenton Laird
    Build Analyst

    Trenton Laird

    Trent is a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi and currently resides in the Jackson Metro area. He has over 20 years of healthcare experience, both clinical and technical, with the last 11 being in Healthcare IT as an Epic Analyst/Builder for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. His first 12 years were deeply rooted in the clinical environment as an ICU and postoperative registered nurse. He then accepted an opportunity to join the Epic Team where he first gained experience as an Optime/Anesthesia analyst working closely with perioperative leadership to enhance and maintain the Epic application. After this, he transitioned to a newly established Epic Optimization team as an analyst where he gained an additional 7 years of experience with multiple applications including: Ambulatory, Optime, Anesthesia, and Clinical Documentation. Experience gained from the Optimization Team includes meeting the needs of ambulatory clinics by optimizing provider efficiency, revamping tools to meet Epic’s recommended workflows, and learning new applications and technology on the go to meet the needs of end users. Trent has a passion for continuous improvement of the Epic experience.
  • Robert Mitchell
    Build Analyst

    Robert Mitchell

    Robert (Bob) is a builder on the IP PEP team with 10+ years of experience in Healthcare IT. He grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and consequently he can never be quite certain which direction is which without the Rocky Mountains looming in the west to point the way. Bob worked at Epic in the Implementation Services division, where he oversaw several projects at large multi-hospital organizations. A passion for helping providers succeed in a rapidly changing environment led him to be one of the pioneering Epic Physician Trainers, who developed training programs to improve knowledge retention and to share valuable efficiency tips in the Thrive After Go-Live program. Post-Epic, Bob worked as a consultant across the US before settling down as a Physician Liaison at El Camino Health. While there, he helped physicians with onboarding, efficiency and optimization. He views himself as a Digital Chaplain, providing general spiritual counseling in the face of an ever-changing EMR. He is certified in 11 Epic application modules and is constantly and insatiably curious. Bob lives in Santa Clara, California with his wife, Niccole and two very needy cats. His hobbies include travel, acting, hiking (very casually), languages, reading, tabletop gaming, and video games. He studies two martial arts: Katori Shinto-Ryu and Shinkendo. Bob speaks two languages and can eavesdrop in eight or nine more.
  • Camille Cochran
    PEP Extern

    Camille Cochran

    Camille was born in New York and moved to Sacramento with her family at the age of 5. She started her career as an Office Assistant, has a background in retail, and brings over 12 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant. In 2018, she embarked on a new journey as a Float Medical Office Representative with Dignity Health, where she quickly learned how to support 14 different specialties and advanced to the referral department. Her commitment to professional growth led her to UC Davis in 2021, where she joined the Pediatric Referrals as a MOSC III. She is excited to embrace new challenges and expand her skills through the Career Development Program. Outside of her professional pursuits, Camille enjoys paddle boarding, arts and crafts, DIY projects, playing the saxophone, and volunteering in her community.
  • Hien Ho
    PEP Extern

    Hiền Hồ

    Hiền is one of the newest externs joining the PEP team in 2023. Graduating with their BSN at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hiền had opportunities to support Sacramento County’s Department of Public Health to provide COVID-19 pandemic relief as an RN mentor and resource to establish training curricula for onboarding RNs, LVNs and National Guard Medics and non-medical personnel. As a registered nurse by trade, Hiền recognizes the importance of effective workflows for electronic health systems (EHR) and how it can impact patient care. In addition to bedside nursing, Hiền assists the clinical informatics team at their hospital system to onboard and train new hires on effective utilization of the EHR. Currently, Hiền is working on their Master's in Public Health at Sac State, as community health promotion and lifelong learning are their passions. Hiền aims to use their work experiences to aid the Practice Experience Program in its mission to improve Epic workflows, delivery of healthcare services and bettering patient outcomes. Outside of work and school, Hiền enjoys spending time with their family, staying active, cooking (and eating) delicious meals. 
  • Kristal Orteza
    PEP Extern

    Kristal Orteza

    Kristal was born and raised in Georgetown, CA, and has worked as a Medical Assistant for over 20 years. She was at urgent care for thirteen years, where she gained most of her experience as a Medical Assistant. Kristal then transitioned to Dignity Health for two years, where she was the point of contact to help onboard physicians and other medical staff to  Cerner and was involved in additional roles, such as referrals and the front office. Kristal has been at UC Davis since 2018 as a Certified Medical Assistant and has worked in the Rocklin and Auburn ambulatory care clinics. She is a core member of the Rocklin PCH ambulatory care clinic, where she supports an Internal Medicine physician and helps new physicians and staff with Epic-related questions. She believes that through this externship, she will gain a wealth of knowledge of EPIC, data analysis, project management, and IT that she can bring back to her clinic. She is also excited to explore career paths in clinical informatics. Fun fact: while she is not at work, she runs her Mechanical Bull business and spends time with her family.

  • Priya  Sharma
    PEP Extern

    Priya Sharma

    Priya Sharma is an international student from Kenya pursuing a Master's in Health Informatics at UC Davis. She was born and raised in rural Kenya, where she saw the need for better healthcare access. She has a background in medicine and is passionate about improving patient experiences. After completing her MBBS degree, she worked as a health provider in rural Kenya, where she was actively involved in holding health camps and creating health awareness among school students and rural community members. She recognized the need for efficient health records systems during her work, which sparked her interest in Health Informatics. As a health informatics student, Priya has gained a deep understanding of electronic health records, providers' workflows, and the critical need to provide timely access to patient health information. Through the Practice Experience Program, she is determined to bridge the gap between technology and medicine and improve healthcare providers' workflows to enhance physicians' well-being and patient health outcomes. Priya enjoys traveling, gardening, rock collecting, and baking during her free time.