Open Accessibility Menu


Romero Javier, MD, FACS, FICS

Program Director

Dr -Javier Romero

Dr. Javier Romero is the Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at Community Memorial Healthcare. He attended medical school at the University of California, Davis, and completed his residency and Chief residency in General Surgery at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Following his residency, Dr. Romero completed a fellowship at Los Angeles County USC in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. He is certified through the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. Dr. Romero is currently the Director of Critical Surgical Care Services for Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) and an active trauma surgeon. He practices minimally invasive surgery as well as elective surgery at CMH and VCMC and sits on multiple local, regional, and national boards.

Steen Shawn, MD, FACS

Associate Program Director

Dr -Shawn SteenDr. Shawn Steen is the Associate Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at Community Memorial Healthcare. He completed medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He went on to complete a residency in General Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and a specialty fellowship in complex surgical oncology at the world-renowned John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica. There he served as the Chief Administrative Fellow and authored numerous publications and studies in the field of oncology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a breadth of experience in the practice of complex general surgery and surgical oncology and has cared for patients at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, and Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster. He also served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at City of Hope National Cancer Center in Duarte. Dr. Steen has served as Director of Surgical Oncology at Ventura County Medical Center since 2014 and has helped train surgical residents since the inception of Community Memorial Healthcare's General Surgery Residency Program, where he has been the Associate Program Director since 2018. Dr. Steen’s clinical interests are in malignancies of the breast, skin, and sarcomas. He performs oncoplastic breast surgery and is well-versed in the sentinel lymph node technique for both breast and skin malignancies.

Billy Helmuth, MD

Core Faculty

Billy Helmuth

Dr. Helmuth Billy is the leading Lap-Band and laparoscopic gastric bypass surgeon in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. Dr. Billy relocated his practice to Ventura in July of 2002. Prior to that, he had established himself as one of the premier laparoscopic surgeons in the Sacramento and Sierra Nevada region of Northern California. Dr. Billy was instrumental in developing the bariatric surgery centers at Sutter General Hospital and Sutter Roseville Medical Centers. He is currently the director of Bariatric Surgery at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, a recognized bariatric Center of Excellence by the Surgery Review Committee, Medicare, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Health Net. St. John’s Regional Medical Center is located in Oxnard California. Dr. Billy also serves as the Medical Director of the Community Memorial Hospital, a Surgical Review Corporation-accredited Bariatric Center of Excellence, located in Ventura, California.

Dr. Billy obtained his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently received his medical degree at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Billy received additional training in the techniques of the Lap-Band system prior to its release by the FDA in 2001. He is actively involved as a teaching faculty member for placement of the Lap-Band® system and has educated and proctored dozens of surgeons throughout the West as part of their educational training. Dr. Billy has been a faculty member at numerous national educational events and surgeon training workshops. He has been a featured speaker at the annual meeting of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and was a contributing author on the recently released SAGES Bariatric Surgery Manual published by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. Dr. Billy also serves as President of the ASMBS California Chapter.

Duncan Thomas, DO, FACS, FICS

Core Faculty

GS-Thomas Duncan

Dr. Thomas Duncan is the Trauma Medical Director at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) where he has been on staff for over two decades. He is the past chief of the medical staff of VCMC, the Medical Co-Director of Anacapa Surgical Associates, and the president of Ventura County Surgical Associates. He is the leader/founder of the Violence Intervention Program – Emergency Entry to Exit (VIP-EEE). Dr. Duncan is a member of the National American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) and involved in the advocacy and injury prevention and violence control sections. He is a vice-chair of the Southern California ACS, and the chair of the Prevention Committee of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) and Ventura County Family Justice Center Foundation Board. Other organizational boards Thomas sits on include The American Board of Surgery Trauma Burns Surgical Critical Care, American Trauma Society, and Artists for Trauma. Dr. Duncan has contributed to many publications on firearm violence, falls, and other preventable injuries. He was awarded the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) Presidential Award in 2023 for Distinguished Service.

Eisner Joseph, MD, FACS

Core Faculty

Eisner Joseph 51539411263 O

Dr. Joseph Eisner grew up in southern California surfing and playing tennis. In high school he was California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) finalist in tennis and cross country, led the local Red Cross and graduated in the top of his class. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and majored in Integrative Biology with a focus on medical ethnobotany, while playing for the university boxing team and volunteering in medical clinics for the indigent. After college, he worked for several years at a non-profit focused on advocating for children's literacy in underserved communities in Orange County, California. He attended the New York University School of Medicine for his M.D. while volunteering at medical clinics for underserved communities and also performing research on orthopedic and bariatric surgery. Dr. Eisner completed his 5 year general surgery residency at the University of California San Diego during which time he also performed research on blood transfusions and presented his research at national conferences.

Dr. Eisner has been elected to the Community Memorial Healthcare's Surgery Committee and the Saint John's Regional Medical Center's Cancer Tumor Boards. He was the first in Ventura County to perform a novel hemorrhoid surgery, Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization (THD), and taught other surgeons the technique. He is faculty at Community Memorial Healthcare where he teaches in the general surgery residency program and is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Western University of Health Science where he teaches medical students.

In his free time, Dr. Eisner enjoys surfing, rock climbing, camping, gardening and cooking with his wife Ashley, who is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist.