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Meet the Team

Galveston

James J. McKeith, MD, MSHA
Chief Medical Officer and Director

James (Jim) grew up in Northern California. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside and his Medical Degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. He is a founding faculty member at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond where he served as Medical Director for QI/UA. While there he received a Masters in Healthcare Administration from  Virginia Commonwealth University. He was the medical director for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital-Emergency Department, Santa Rosa (CA) Fire Department and Sonoma Life Support. In 2012, he was the lead physician at McMurdo station in Antarctica and assumed the Chief Medical Officer position in late 2014. In this position, he serves as the medical director for the Antarctic support contract and provides medical support to the CMO of the National Science Foundation. In his current role with UTMB, he is responsible for medical care in the US program including the three US science stations, deep field camps, and ships-at-sea. Additional responsibilities include physical qualification reviews, policy development, hiring medical providers, formulary and supply management and best practice recommendations. He is married with three children all of whom he misses during his deployments. Dr. McKeith is a member of the Coast Guard Auxillary and enjoys aviation and sailing.


Anthony_OrtizAnthony S. Ortiz

Business Manager

Anthony was born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast. After obtaining his degree in Finance at St. Edward’s University and working at UTMB, he moved to Arizona and advanced in his career while also earning his Master’s in Healthcare Administration at A.T. Still University. Returning to Houston, Anthony continued in Healthcare Finance before coming to CPMO. Anthony brings over 10 years of operational and budgeting experience to the Center for Polar Medical Operations (CPMO). In his current role with CPMO, Anthony works directly with Dr. McKeith to ensure the organization is running efficiently and productively. In addition to operational oversight, Anthony is also responsible for the hiring of employees, supply chain/logistics, and serves as the operational liaison between the Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) and UTMB. When he is not at work Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, at his ranch, or watching his beloved Astros.


Briana_GuajardoBriana N. Guajardo

Business Coordinator

Briana was born and raised in Houston, TX. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her friends and family. Briana is currently attending U of H and working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Business Healthcare Administration. She began her UTMB journey in the Summer of 2013 as a college intern for IS Enterprise and was recruited shortly after for the Polar Ops program where she helped with the PQ side. She then became a contract coordinator and managed the Dental PQ side. Today, she is the Business Coordinator for Polar Ops and some of her duties includes: timekeeping, HR relations, accounts payable, logistics, etc. She has been in this position for 1 year now and is loving every minute of it. She hopes to get to travel to Antarctica someday to see how the program functions from the bottom of the world.


Robin_SawyerRobin Sawyer

Medical Processing Manager

Robin is a graduate of UTMB School of Nursing. She holds certifications in Trauma, Operating Room and Post Anesthesia. Robin joined the team in June 2015 as the Nurse Manager for Medical Processing and is looking forward to deploying to the stations and experiencing the environment first hand. Having multiple deployments during her years as a LCDR in the US Navy Nurse Corps and with the US Public Health/ NOAA, she feels this job role is a perfect fit and is very excited to work with such a great team and be a part of this entire mission! She lives in Galveston and loves anything water related and riding her motorcycle.


Bradly_McCreery Bradly McCreery

Vocational Nurse

Bradly was born and raised in Texas, Houston-Galveston area and chose to work in the nursing field to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Bradly graduated from Alvin Community College and has worked in various nursing programs, including the Texas prison system. Bradly jumped at the opportunity to work in Polar operations for the extreme diversity of the field. She looks forward to visit one, or all of the station if given the chance. Bradly enjoy movies, video games, reading, comic-conventions as past-times. She likes to always try something once to find new and exciting things to devote her time to. Bradly’s responsibilities in Polar Ops entering orders for participants, collecting additional items, preparing charts for review, fielding candidate questions and much more to complete the PQ process for the candidates.


Berenice_Marines_adj Berenice Marines

PQ Operations

Berenice joined UTMB Galveston June 2015 and appreciates her co-workers and her job as Medical Records Clerk. She was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, lived in Anaheim, California and has been in Texas since 2000. Bere is blessed with a beautiful family whom she loves and cherishes very much; especially her two boys. Graduated from Galveston College and plans to return to school soon to expand her knowledge in Medical Business and Immigration Law. Some of her clerical duties at UTMB consist of receiving, organizing and updating participants medical files. She loves authentic Mexican food, different forms of art including classical music and camping outdoors.


Christchurch, New Zealand

Lee_StringerLeeann Stringer, RN

Leeann was qualified as a NZ Comprehensive Registered Nurse in 1984 and started with the US Program in the Travel office as a Customer Services Rep in 2000. The Medical Coordinator’s position was created in 2001 and the rest is history! She coordinates all medical requirements in CHC, admission to hospitals, provides vaccinations and basic medical care, establishes and maintains local medical provider contracts for PQ requirements, coordinates all local NZ PQ’s, reviews charts and provides support to our patients, participants and all Organization’s within the USAP Family and sometimes others as required by NSF. Leeann lives with her Mediterranean Hermann Tortoise, Vinnie, who is nearly 4 years old and for fun and relaxation she is a member of a women’s Dragon Boat Paddling team.


McMurdo Station

melanietroftgruben_newMelanie Troftgruben

Melanie Troftgruben is a Physician Assistant at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. She received her PA certification from the University of North Dakota after a career in Nursing. Her medical career includes working as a Hospitalist in a major medical center in Minnesota, remote site telemedicine in Gambell Village on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, Midway Island, Lake Clinic at Yellowstone National Park and emergency medicine in rural Montana hospitals. She presently resides in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Rex and has a passion for world travel, backpacking and flying.


South Pole Station

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David Curtis, MD

David received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A naturalized Texan, he spent the past 19 years working for UTMB-Correctional Managed Care, most recently as the Medical Director for Youth Services. His wife is from Budapest, Hungary and he has 3 grown children. Dr. Curtis is a former nurse who was both an artillery sergeant and medical corps officer in the U.S. Army.


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Lyndsay Brock, DNP, ACNPC, CCRN

Lyndsay was born and raised in Dayton, OH and later moved to Cleveland, OH where she currently resides with her family. Lyndsay is a board certified acute care and emergency nurse practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from St. Louis University. She has worked in neurocritical care, trauma and surgical critical care, as a surgical house officer, as flight nurse practitioner and deployed in Iraq as a medical contractor. She enjoys volunteering for her nursing and nurse practitioner organizations and has been a continuing education contributor for the journal Advanced Critical Care. In her free time, Lyndsay likes traveling, going to the gym, kayaking and biking.


Palmer Station

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Malcolm Arnold, MD, FRACS, FRCSC

With a Medical degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and postgraduate training in that city, Adelaide, Kansas City, Missouri and Boston, Mass. Malcolm is an Australian-born, dual US and Australian citizen with a long past career as a specialist Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgeon and a strong interest in Intensive Care. He retired from that in 2001 and since has been pursuing Remote Area Medicine, with a strong bias toward Antarctica, and having more fun doing so than a person ought. Malcolm has deployed to all three Australian Antarctic Continental Stations, wintering at Mawson Station 3 times. After long Permanent Residency he became a US Citizen in February 2011. He is a skier, climber, outdoors person, with a particular passion for crevasse travel.


Archives

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Mark Peterson, MD

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Mark Peterson is from Juneau, Alaska where he spent most of his career working as a Family Physician for the Indian Health Service. He attended medical school and completed his residency at the University of Iowa and affiliated Family Practice. Mark has also earned a Master of Medical Management from Tulane as well as a Master of Public Health from the University of Alaska. He retired from the Indian Health Service in 2010 and since then has been traveling around the world doing locum tenens jobs. When Mark’s sons were teenagers they travelled to the coast of Canada’s NW Territories just so he could go swimming in the Arctic Ocean. After that experience Mark knew he just had to find a chance to travel to the Antarctic to take a dip in the Southern Ocean.


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Thomas Hoffman, MD

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Tom is the physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station for the 2013-2014 “Summer.” His home is Hawaii and he is slowly adjusting to the Antarctic weather. Tom is Family Medicine trained. He retired from the US Air Force in 2009 after a career as a Flight Surgeon. He has worked in remote locations in the past, including Saudi Arabia and Edwards Air Force Base. Over the past four years he has worked in Urgent Care, Family Medicine, and NASA clinics. Tom was a Naval Flight Officer flying EP-3’s prior to entering medical school and the Air Force. He enjoys flying, running, scuba, and learning Swedish with his Swedish wife Liselott. His son is a senior at the University of Florida, his step sons are in the Army, and his step daughter is in school in Melbourne, Florida.


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Heather Porst, PA

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Heather Porst is the Physician Assistant for the McMurdo Station Clinic, for the Summer 2013-2014 season. She is a veteran of the USAP, and was the Winter-Over Physician Assistant for Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in 2012. She attended Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned a Masters of Medical Sciences and her Physician Assistant Degree. Since graduating from PA school, she has worked exclusively in Emergency Medicine at a Trauma Center in Denver, Colorado and at a rural, critical access hospital in Vermont. Prior to attending Physician Assistant school she worked as an EMT for two ambulance services on the Northern Front Range of Colorado, while earning her B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University.


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Anne Borden, BSN, MPH

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Annie attended Northeastern University for a baccalaureate degree in nursing and Boston University for a master’s in Public Health. She brings to the team over 20 years of nursing experience from cardiology and the trauma service at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to this she has worked abroad providing humanitarian relief with Project HOPE and the US military in Haiti (post-earthquake), Central America, Africa and India. She resides on the rocky coast of Maine in the eclectic seaside community of Kittery Point. Interestingly, Annie enjoys beekeeping with her husband Larry.


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Jonas Landstrom, RN

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Jonas was born in South Korea and grew up in Sweden and obtained his BSN there. He worked in London, England before moving to the United States in 2001. Joe has been a RN for over 16 years and a flight nurse for 8 years. Prior to working as a flight nurse he worked in emergency departments on both sides of the Atlantic. He has also held various management positions both in the air medical environment and the Emergency Departments. Jonas is married and has 3 children. This is his first deployment to Antarctica.


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Debbrah Bergeron

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Debbrah is from San Diego, California and is currently serving her first season in Antarctica as the radiographer for McMurdo Station. An avid backpacker, adventurous outdoor enthusiast, and active conservationist, she is also Wilderness First Responder certified and has a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology from UC San Diego. In order to gain the most from this highly unique opportunity, she hopes to spend her free time indulging her passion for backcountry exploration and advancing her knowledge of Antarctica's valuable scientific research.


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Erin Oliver

McMurdo (Summer 2013-2014)

Erin Oliver is a Certified Pharmacy Technician at McMurdo Station. She assists in dispensing medications to patients, maintaining and organizing pharmacy inventory, and receiving order shipments. Erin lives in Denver where she studies at the University of Colorado and works as a pharmacy technician at Exempla Healthcare in Boulder County. She is an avid skier who also enjoys hiking, traveling, riding her motorcycle, SCUBA diving, surfing, playing rugby, and working toward her skydiving a-license.


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Joanne Feldman, MD

Palmer Station (Summer 2013-2014)

Dr. Feldman is the summer physician at Palmer Station. She completed a BS and MS in environmental education and worked as an environmental educator and National Park Ranger before falling in love with wilderness medicine and pursuing a career as a physician. She attended medical school at UC San Francisco, followed by residency in emergency medicine and fellowship in wilderness emergency medicine at Stanford. She then went on to sub-specialize in undersea and hyperbaric medicine. This is Jo’s second summer season at Palmer Station, and seventh time to Antarctica (she also works as an expedition ship doctor for an ecotourism company). When she is not on some adventure, she works at UCLA in the emergency department and hyperbaric medicine unit, and lives in her hometown of Malibu, California, where she loves to surf, scuba dive and enjoy the local marine wildlife.


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Liz Hourihan, MD

South Pole (Summer 2013-2014)

Liz is from Potsdam, NY originally. She did her medical training at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and Scripps Family Practice Residency in Sand Diego County. She has spent most of her Family Medicine career working in San Diego County. Liz loves the different challenges of working in Antarctica and the added perk of not having to search for a parking space.


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Faye Lee

McMurdo (Winter 2013)

Faye is a product of the public university system in California, having earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from UC San Diego and UC Irvine, respectively. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at the busy NYU/Bellevue Hospital program in New York City. Since then, she has travelled for work in a variety of environments, ranging from rural Indian reservations to busy urban hospitals, and from the wilds of Alaska to tourist towns in New Zealand. She is thriving in the Antarctic winter and is enjoying getting to know the continent and it’s special community of people.


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Sarah Meyer

McMurdo (Winter 2013)

Sarah is the winter-over physical therapist at McMurdo Medical Hospital at McMurdo Station on Ross Island. She treats individuals from McMurdo Station (US Station) and Scott Base (New Zealand Station) with musculoskeletal impairments/injuries, teaches back stabilization classes and performs fitness and ergonomic assessments for the community. This is her first season on the ice. Sarah is from Galveston, Texas and a UTMB graduate.


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William Bradshaw, MD

South Pole (Winter 2013)

Dr. Bradshaw is the 2013 Winter over physican at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. His background is Family Medicine with an extensive emergency medicine background. He has worked in remote settings most of his career which include the Sinai, Orcas & San Juan Islands, rural Washington, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Colorado. He has been shaped and influenced by his diverse background and also credits the extraordinary people he has worked with over his career with making him into the provider he is today.


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Cliff Leonard, PA

South Pole (Winter 2013)

Cliff is 60 years young. He has been a Physician Assistant since 1982. He has experience in several fields of medicine which are orthopedics, psychiatry, HIV/AIDS clinic, medical ICU in the prison hospital at UTMB, nephrology, and ophthalmology. He worked at UTMB for 27 years until shortly after Hurricane Ike. Just after college, he worked as a teaching tennis pro. He likes to hunt, fish, and exercise. Family, children, and friends are the most important things in life.


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Matt Dinion

Palmer Station (Winter 2013)

College – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BA American History, and Biology 1983
Medical – Western University , Pomona, CA; DO degree 1989
Internship/Residency Family Practice Doctors Hospital, Montclair, CA
Orthopedic Surgery Training as Commissioned Officer in USPHS, Alaska Native Medical, Anchorage, AK 1990-1992
Married – Mary Nelson RN in Dillingham Alaska 1992; Four children – Luke age 19, Margaret 17, Katherine 17 and Pia age 12. (yes, identical twins 17 years old )
Currently Physician at Palmer Station Antarctica. He has lived and/or worked in many remote places in Alaska including Dillingham, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Cordova, Anchorage, Wrangell and his current home of several years Craig , Alaska. Little known facts – He loves anchovies on pizza, and has been in three plane crashes. He is a commercial rated pilot for single engine land and sea aircraft. He has owned and loved three St. Bernard dogs in his life.


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Bob Koff, DMD

McMurdo Dentist (Summer 2012-2013)

Home town: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Family: Wife for 30 years- Pat, #1 daughter Lauren (19)
Alma Mater(s): University of FL- BS in zoology, Dental degree
Why USAP: Passion for adventure, travel and dentistry. Learned about this position 14 years ago when I was on an eco-tour of Antarctica and promised my wife I would wait until Lauren was in college.


Jim McKeith, MD, MSHA

McMurdo Lead Physician (Summer 2012-2013)

Home town: Santa Rosa, CA
Family: Crista (wife), Emma(15) Cole(13) Cara-(9) Dog-Patty
Alma Mater(s): UC Riverside, BS Biology; Jefferson Medical College, Phila, PA-MD; Los Angeles County/USC Emergency Medicine; Virginia Commonwealth University-MS Health Administration
Why USAP: I can’t understand how anyone could say no. I was looking for an airplane part on the Raytheon site but instead found a job on the ice.


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John Bergren, MD

McMurdo Physician (Winter 2012)

Home Town: South Bend, IN
Family: wife Laurie, daughters Caroline (21) & Ellie (18)
Alma Mater: Stanford University, UCSD for Med school, Univ. of Wash for Fam. Med training; on faculty at UW.
Why USAP: Short trips to Antarctica in 2000-2002, enamored with it’s beauty, history, and science; and I wanted to come back.


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Joe A. Smith, PT

McMurdo Physical Therapist (Winter 2012)

Home Town: Billings Montana via Cushing Oklahoma.
Family: Son (19) at the USNA, Daughter (16), Wife
Alma Mater(s)/Specialty: Pitt State BSED, Rockhurst College BSPT
Why USAP: Was one of the 8 things I wanted to do in my life.
Background: Former HS, Jr. High and College Teacher/Coach, Mountaineer with successful Denali Summit, Ski Patrol, NOLS Grad (x2), EMT and likes the food channel.