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GME Leadership

Sam Small, DO

Chief Academic Officer & ACGME Designated Institutional Officer
Sam Small

Dr. Sam Small is the Chief Academic Officer and the ACGME Designated Institutional Officer (DIO). He attended the University of Michigan and graduated with honors with a dual major in anthropology and zoology. Inspired by his family’s personal physician in a small town in Michigan, he attended Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated with his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine in 1978. He completed post-graduate training in general practice with Horizon Health Systems/Henry Ford Hospital teaching program in Warren, Michigan. After moving to California, Dr. Small opened a general practice in Ojai. He developed a special interest in musculoskeletal problems, especially of the neck and back. After 11 years, this interest ultimately led him to leave his general practice in Ojai in 1991 and complete the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program at Horizon Health Systems/Michigan State University followed by a fellowship in Spine Surgery at UCLA. Dr. Small is a Charter Diplomat of the American Board of Spine Surgery and a Diplomat of the National Board of Examiners for Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. He is board certified by the American Board of Spine Surgery and the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has also served as a clinical instructor at UCLA and is a board examiner for the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery-Spine Surgery Division. He has held several leadership positions at Community Memorial Hospital, including Chief of Staff from 2009-2011. His hobbies include traveling with his family, golf, and horseback riding.

Alberto Kywi

Administrative Director of Graduate Medical Education
Alberto Kywi

Alberto Kywi graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Master of Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis on hospital systems. He spent the first ten years of his career as Director of Management Engineering at various health systems, followed by a 25 year career in healthcare information technology, culminating with his retirement from Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara as a Vice President of Information Technology and CIO in 2015. In 2017, he was recruited as Administrative Director of Graduate Medical Education at Community Memorial Healthcare.

Michelle Azimov, MD

Director of Medical Education
Michell Azimov

Dr. Michelle Azimov graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She received her MD from University of Michigan Medical School. She earned membership in Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated cum laude in 1997. She completed residency training in internal medicine at University of Michigan Medical Center and is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She has worked as a hospitalist in private practice, as hospitalist teaching faculty at Ventura County Medical Center, as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and as the Institutional Educational Officer for Community Memorial Healthcare, where she is currently Director of Medical Education. She currently practices as a hospital medicine consultant caring for hematology-oncology inpatients. She loves teaching residents and has contributed to publications for several medical publishers, including MedStudy and Tarascon. She enjoys learning languages and speaks conversational Spanish. She also likes to read mysteries, watch movies, travel, bake, and spend time with her family.

Connie Patterson

Director of Operations
Connie Patterson

Connie Patterson is our Director of Operations. She started her career as a medical office manager and has over 30 years of experience managing clinics. She planned for and opened our first residency clinic and has grown our resident clinics to six clinics plus an urgent care clinic. She is well versed in state licensing requirements and remains a strong resource for all CMH outpatient clinics.

Ronda Doonan, PsyD

Director of Behavioral Health and Resident Well-being
Ronda Doonan

Dr. Ronda Doonan is Director of Behavioral Health and Resident Well-Being for Graduate Medical Education at Community Memorial Healthcare, and is a clinical psychologist in the Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Resident Continuity Clinics. She also is a founding faculty member for the Family Support Services training program at Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Pasadena, and Palo Alto, CA. She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Healthcare Leadership, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. Prior academic appointments include Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, Los Angeles, CA, 2006-2016. Dr. Doonan received her PsyD degree from the California School of Professional Psychology in 2004 and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services–Julia Ann Singer Center, Los Angeles, CA in 2006. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology and the author of multiple articles and book chapters.