Medical Team

SAA’s medical team consists of physicians and CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). Our physicians comprise a very talented mix of experienced former academicians and young, recently trained graduates of top programs. Our CRNAs are highly experienced with a wealth of exposure to various practice modalities and cases.
Read more about our medical team

Our physicians are recognized leaders in the medical community, having served as:

  • President of the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists
  • President of the Arizona Medical Association
  • President of the Pima County Medical Society
  • Members of National Committees of the American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Chief-of-Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Northwest Hospital
  • Chair of the Department of Anesthesia at numerous hospitals
  • Medical Director at several freestanding surgery centers

Members of SAA have undergone rigorous training at many of the most prestigious and highly respected anesthesiology programs in the country. Most heavily represented are:

  • The University of Arizona
  • The University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, & Beth Israel)
  • The University of Texas (Parkland/UTSW, Galveston, Houston & San Antonio)
  • The University of California (UCSF, UCLA, UCSD, UC-Davis)
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • University of Iowa
  • Yale University

SAA physicians have also served their country at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Letterman Army Hospital, and San Diego Naval Medical Center, as well as in the Air National Guard, and the Reserves.

Our Physicians

Mark Bazzell, MD
Mark Bazzell, MD

Mark received his undergraduate degree in marketing and his medical degree from the University of Kentucky. After an insternship at the University of Pittsburgh and residency in anesthesiology at Tufts University, he completed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of Florida. Dr. Bazzell gained additional experience teaching at the Mayo Clinic as well as the University of Arizona before joining SAA in 2020.

Erin Birmingham, MD
Erin Birmingham, MD

Dr. Birmingham received her bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University and medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine. She completed her Anesthesiology Residency at Medical College of Wisconsin. She worked in her hometown of Seattle before moving to Tucson in 2023 and joining SAA. Outside of the hospital Dr. Birmingham enjoys spending time with her two young daughters and chocolate lab. Board Certified.

Joseph Bonomolo, MD
Joseph Bonomolo, MD

Dr. Bonomolo graduated from The Johns Hopkins University and the George Washington University School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in anesthesiology, and was selected as Chief Resident. Dr. Bonomolo has served as the resident delegate to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and played on a professional soccer team in the Netherlands before joining SAA. Board Certified.

Steven M. Brower, MD
Steven M. Brower, MD

Dr. Brower has lived most of his life in Arizona, and graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in both Chemistry and Vertebrate Zoology. He graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine with an M.D. degree. His internship and residency in anesthesiology were served at the University of Utah Medical Center. Dr. Brower has served as Chief of Anesthesia at St. Mary’s Hospital, as a Member of Board of Directors of Carondelet Health Network, and as a member of the Board of Directors of SAA as well as the SAA Recruiting Committee. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Brower enjoys skiing, playing golf, hunting and spending time with his family. Board Certified.

Songsiri Chanvitayapongs, MD
Songsiri Chanvitayapongs, MD

Dr. Songsiri Chanvitayapongs, MD joined Southern Arizona Anesthesia in January 2024. She finished a combined 8 year undergraduate/medical school program at the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2001. Her transitional year/anesthesiology residency was completed at the University of Iowa-Iowa City in Aug 2005. She moved to Tucson in 2005 and practiced at Old Pueblo Anesthesia until September 2023. Dr. Songsiri Chanvitayapongs is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 2006. She is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Songsiri Chanvitayapongs has special interests in Pediatric Anesthesia, Obstetrics Anesthesia and Regional Anesthesia for Orthopedic Surgery. On her free time, she volunteers with her daughters for National Charity League-Tucson chapter doing mother/daughter philanthropic community activities. She plays intramural tennis and enjoys foreign travels to South Korea and Thailand.

Tashinga Chinyadza, MD
Tashinga Chinyadza, MD
C. Scott Clark, MD
C. Scott Clark, MD

Dr. Clark graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science as well as a B.A. in Chemistry from Duke University. He received his M.D. degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing his internship at Presbyterian Hospital/University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Clark served a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Arizona. He served as a faculty member at the Virginia Mason Clinic before joining SAA. Dr. Clark has served as the Obstetric Anesthesia Liaison at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital and on the Medical Executive Committee at El Dorado SurgiCenter, as well as having served as the Director of the SAA Quality Assurance Program, a member of the Board of Directors of SAA, and as a former Vice-President of SAA. A world-class athlete, Dr. Clark was a nationally ranked junior tennis player, varsity tennis player at Duke University, finished first in the under 20 age category in the New York Marathon, has run 13 Boston Marathons, and is an extremely accomplished mountain climber, having climbed many of the top peaks in the world. Board Certified

Hannah Dillon, MD
Hannah Dillon, MD
R. Screven Farmer, MD
R. Screven Farmer, MD

Undergraduate degree completed at the Georgia Institute of Technology. M.D. received from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Internship in general surgery at the University of Arizona in 1980 and residency in anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Farmer has served SAA and the medical community extensively in a variety of significant positions, having served as a member of the Board of Directors of SAA, as the Chief of Anesthesia at St. Joseph’s Hospital, as the Chief of Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and as a board member for the Pima County Medical Society, and as the President of the Arizona Medical Association. He currently serves on the board of both the Arizona Medical Association and the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists (for which he also serves as the Treasurer), as well as serving as the President of SAA. Board Certified.

Eric Foley, MD
Eric Foley, MD

Graduated from Duke University in 1989, and taught English as a Foreign Language in Tokyo, Japan, before returning to the complete additional undergraduate coursework at the University of Pennsylvania. Medical school at the University of Pittsburg, Internship at the University of South Florida, and residency at the University of Tennessee. Board Eligible.

John R. Funk, MD
John R. Funk, MD

Graduated with a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Western Washington University, and attended medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Internship and residency in anesthesia completed at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he received the Robert Dripps Award as the outstanding graduating resident. Prior to joining SAA, Dr. Funk was a member of the teaching staff at the University of Arizona Medical School. Dr. Funk has served as a Member of the SAA Board of Directors. In his free time, Dr. Funk enjoys mountain biking, hiking, fishing and running. Board Certified.

Isaac Gomez-Avraham, MD
Isaac Gomez-Avraham, MD

Dr. Gomez-Avraham graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University, and received his medical degree from the University of Arizona, where he was commended for his commitment to underserved populations. He completed his internship at Tucson Medical Center, and residency in anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Dr. Gomez-Avraham has served as the Chair of the Department of Anesthesia at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital as well as a member of the Medical Executive Committee at St. Mary’s Hospital. Speaks English, Spanish and French. Board Eligible.

Aaron S. Hammond, DO
Aaron S. Hammond, DO

Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona. Medical Degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Internship at Mesa General Hospital, and Residency at University of Rochester, where he was awarded a position as Chief Resident. Dr. Hammond has served as Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at St. Joseph’s Hospital, on the Medical Executive Committee of St. Joseph’s Hospital, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SAA. Board Certified

Jeff Hellbusch, MD
Jeff Hellbusch, MD

Jeff graduated from Northwestern University in 1995 and joined Teach For America. As a corps member, he taught middle-school English in an impoverished inner-city school in Baltimore, and guided their academic team to a city championship. He then attended medical school at the University of Nebraska and internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix before completing his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Hellbusch has served as the Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at St. Joseph’s Hospital, as the Chief of Anesthesiology at St. Joseph’s Hospital as well as a member of the Medical Executive Committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He has served on the Board of Directors of SAA. Away from work, he coaches youth baseball for Canyon View Little League and soccer for Tucson Soccer Academy. Board Certified.

Diana Kachan, MD
Diana Kachan, MD

Diana Kachan, MD, PhD, originally from Minsk, Belarus, has received her BS degree with a double major in Chemistry and Biology summa cum laude from the City University of New York. She received her medical degree, as well as a PhD in Epidemiology, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, FL, where her research focused on cost-effectiveness of employment among older adults, as well as health effects of mindfulness practices. She returned to New York City to complete her residency in Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After 20 years on the East Coast, Dr. Kachan moved to Tucson in the summer of 2020 in the search of better weather and quality of life, since which time she’s been working at the SAA. Besides English, Dr Kachan speaks fluent Russian and Belarusian.

Stephen S. Kaczynski, DO
Stephen S. Kaczynski, DO

Graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and attended medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine on a Navy scholarship. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego, then served as the Medical Officer aboard the USS Pearl Harbor, which included deployments to the Pacific and Middle East. He returned to the naval hospital for residency training and was elected chief resident. Following residency he served at the naval hospital and deployed to Iraq with the US Marine Corps as part of a trauma surgical unit. He moved to Tucson in 2007, and currently serves as Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Board Certified.

Steven Kim, MD PhD
Steven Kim, MD PhD

A.B., Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was awarded the American Heart Association Medical Student Fellowship and the Lederer Foundation Award. Residency and fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). After completing his training, Dr. Kim stayed on as an attending physician at MGH for two years and moved to Tucson after the birth of his first daughter. Dr. Kim’s research has been published in Molecular and Cellular Biology; Journal of Biological Chemistry; Journal of Clinical Investigation; SURGERY, Gynecology & Obstetrics; and Anesthesiology. Having grown up on the north shore of Chicago, he is a midwesterner at heart but enjoys life in Tucson balancing a rewarding clinical practice with quality time at home with family. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Kim and his wife are active in their church and enjoy fitness activities as well raising their two daughters. Dr. Kim is fluent in English, Korean, and medical Spanish. Board Certified.

Perry Liu, MD
Perry Liu, MD

Graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. After an internship at Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh, Dr. Liu served his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Hospitals, where he also completed a fellowship in neuroanesthesia and hepatic transplant anesthesia. Board Certified.

David B. Longenecker, MD
David B. Longenecker, MD

Dr. Longenecker attended college at Penn State and graduate school at SUNY Buffalo before entering medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. He served an internship at Madigan Army Medical Center and completed his Anesthesiology Residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he was selected to serve as Chief Resident. He served as a staff anesthesiologist, residency education director and Assistant Chief of Anesthesia at Walter Reed and as the Chief of Anesthesia at Brooke Army Medical center in addition to serving as the Chief of Surgery at hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq prior to joining SAA. Dr. Longenecker has received numerous awards and recognitions for his service, including two Bronze Stars. He is the Chairman of the SAA Peer Review Committee. In his spare time he enjoys outdoor activities including camping, hiking, fishing, biking and running. Board Certified.

David C. Lorenz, MD
David C. Lorenz, MD

Attended college at Kearney State, where he received a bachelor's degree in biology. He received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Additional training completed at Gloucester Royal Hospital, England. Dr. Lorenz has served as the Medical Director at HealthSouth Surgery Center, on the Performance Improvement Committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and as the Chairman of the Performance Improvement Committee as well as on the Board of Directors of SAA. Board Certified.

Michael Lucas, MD
Michael Lucas, MD

Dr. Lucas received his undergraduate degree in Psychological Sciences from the University of Arizona, and received his medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He did his internship and residency at the University of Arizona, and served as an Assistant Professor and the Director of the PACU (recovery room) at the University of Arizona for 5 years before joining SAA. In his spare time, he enjoys restoring cars, woodworking, cooking, and fitness. Board Certified.

Maria Mendoza, MD
Maria Mendoza, MD

Dr. Mendoza received her undergraduate and medical degree from the Institute of Health Sciences in Medellin, Columbia and served her internship there as well. She completed her residency at the Cleveland Clinic and also completed a fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesia at the Cleveland Clinic as well. Board Certified.

Bradley G. Nichols, MD
Bradley G. Nichols, MD

Dr. Nichols received his undergraduate education at Bucknell University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Biology and Music, and also received the Louis Robey Prize. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, and completed his internship at Bryn Mawr Hospital and his anesthesia residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nichols serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SAA. An accomplished musician, Dr. Nichols spends much of his free time performing with his band. Board Certified.

Wayne Oakeson, MD
Wayne Oakeson, MD

Dr. Oakeson attended UCLA where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He completed his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then returned to UCLA for his internship and residency in anesthesiology. Prior to joining SAA, Dr. Oakeson served as a staff anesthesiologist and as the Director of Quality Assurance at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Board Certified.

Benjamin Paras, MD
Benjamin Paras, MD

Dr. Paras attended college at the University of the Philippines, and received his medical degree from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. After completing a residency in General Surgery at Clark Air Force Medical Center, Dr. Paras received additional training in General Surgery and Neurosurgery at the University of Arizona, where he also completed his residency in anesthesiology. Board Certified.

Stephanie Rivest, MD
Stephanie Rivest, MD

Dr. Rivest received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, and her medical degree from Ross University. She served her residency in anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin before joining SAA in 2020. Outside the hospital she enjoys hiking, cooking, and health & fitness. Board Eligible.

Gustave Rossi, MD
Gustave Rossi, MD

Dr. Rossi is from Reno, NV. He received his medical degree from the University of Nevada and served his residency at the University of Arizona.

Stephen M. Rowe, MD
Stephen M. Rowe, MD

A Tucson native, Dr. Rowe graduated from the University of Arizona as well as the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He served his internship at Northwestern University and his residency at the University of California at San Diego, where he served as the delegate to both the California Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. After residency, Dr. Rowe was a Clinical professor at the University of California San Diego before returning home to join SAA. Board Certified.

Ryan Schmoll, MD
Ryan Schmoll, MD
Sanjay Sharma, MD
Sanjay Sharma, MD

Dr. Sharma graduated with a Bachelors degree in economics from the University of Rochester, and received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He returned to Rochester to serve his internship and residency in anesthesiology at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester, where he was awarded the position of Chief Resident. Dr. Sharma has served as a member of the Board of Directors of SAA. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Sharma enjoys golf and squash. Board Certified.

Joshua Smith, MD
Joshua Smith, MD

Dr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Virginia before returning to his home state for medical school and anesthesia residency at the University of Utah. He has been practicing anesthesia in Tucson since 2005, where he has also been actively involved in organized medicine. Dr. Smith has served as a delegate to the American Society of Anesthesiologists and is a past president of the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists. Fluent in Spanish, he enjoys health and fitness, skiing, and home improvement. Board certified since 2006.

Rodney Solgonick, MD
Rodney Solgonick, MD

Undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach, where he received the Honors Program award for the most outstanding senior thesis. Medical school at the University of California at Davis, and internship and residency at Albany Medical Center, where he received awards as Resident Teaching Scholar and the Robert D. Dripps Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Graduate Resident. Fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology and pediatric critical care at Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University. Private practice in upstate New York for 6 years before joining SAA. Dr. Solgonick serves as the Chairman of the SAA Quality Assurance Committee. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Solgonick enjoys martial arts, photography and economics. Speaks English, French and Spanish. Board Certified.

Cynthia Thomson, MD
Cynthia Thomson, MD

Dr. Thomson graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, and received her medical degree from the University of Arizona. After an internship at Tucson Medical Center, she went on to complete her anesthesia residency at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine. Board Certified.

Ryan Toole, MD
Ryan Toole, MD
Michael Walston MD
Michael Walston MD

Dr. Walston received his undergraduate degree in Physics as well as his medical degree from the University of Arizona. After serving his internship at Tucson Medical Center, her returned to the University of Arizona for his anesthesiology residency, where he was named Chief Resident. Since joining SAA, Dr. Walston has served as the Vice-Chair and is now the Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, rock climbing, basketball, soccer, and spending time with his family. Board Certified.

Jeremy Webb, MD
Jeremy Webb, MD

Dr. Webb is a northern AZ native and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University. He went on to the University of Arizona - Tucson for his medical degree where he graduated with distinction in community service and medical Spanish, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his internship and anesthesiology residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Outside of work he enjoys music, gardening, hiking and is an avid cyclist. Board eligible.

Our CRNAs

Bethany Rowe, Chief CRNA
Bethany Rowe, Chief CRNA

Bethany was born and raised on a small farm in Minnesota, and attended nursing school at St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She then moved to San Diego to start her first nursing job in the ICU at the University of California-San Diego at the Thornton Hospital in La Jolla. While working there she met her future husband, Dr. Stephen Rowe. She did her CRNA training at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena CA. After graduation from the nurse anesthesia training program, She and Stephen got married and decided to move to Tucson to start their new careers together, Stephen with SAA and Bethany with UMC. She has been practicing nurse anesthesia for the last 10 yrs. at UMC- Banner. She is thrilled to embark on this new opportunity with SAA and help continue to build this CRNA program with 'best in class' CRNAs. She works very hard to make this a continued success on all levels, meeting the needs of the CRNAs, anesthesiologists, surgeons, hospital, and most of all ensuring that we provide safe patient care. If you join SAA we think you will really enjoy working with her!

Jamie Aquino, CRNA
Jamie Aquino, CRNA
Deanna Bissell, CRNA
Deanna Bissell, CRNA
Gail Calonje, CRNA
Gail Calonje, CRNA

Gail was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated with a degree in Zoology and then in Nursing from the University of Mississippi. Later she moved to Birmingham and received a Masters degree in Nursing and then a degree in Nurse Anesthesia from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. While in Birmingham she got married and later moved to New Orleans, then Houston, and finally to Tucson. She and her husband have been in Tucson working for 21 years and have 2 daughters. She made a move after 19 years at another hospital in town and has enjoyed every minute of it. SAA is composed of a great group of anesthesiologists and CRNAs. Their family has traveled extensively over the years. She and her husband are becoming empty-nesters soon and plan to do lots more traveling.

Kelly Carrillo, CRNA
Kelly Carrillo, CRNA
Christine DeSilva, CRNA
Christine DeSilva, CRNA

Christine "Chrissy" DeSilva earned a hospital- based Diploma of Nursing, then her Bachelors of Nursing, followed by six and half years working in the Pediatric ICU. She entered anesthesia school and in 1993 she earned her Masters of Science in Anesthesia from the University of Michigan-Flint. Subsequently she worked in a variety of areas including Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta and Flint, where she had the opportunity to work as an independent practitioner and well as in the care team model. Chrissy moved to Tucson Arizona in 2007 with her husband and family and took a position at the University of Arizona Medical Center as a staff CRNA. Christine's professional career as a CRNA changed when she was recruited and selected to be one of the first CRNAs to work with Southern Arizona Anesthesia. She is privileged to be playing such an instrumental role in helping to expand upon the CRNA career opportunities in Tucson. Her experience with SAA has been positive on so many levels. She was welcomed with open arms and the Chief CRNA has gone above and beyond in developing an outstanding CRNA program. It has been an honor for her to work and collaborate with such a solid, experienced team of anesthesiologists and CRNAs. Over the past few years, after the birth of her son who has Trisomy 21, Christine has become passionately involved in supporting Down syndrome cognition research. She attends yearly conferences and enjoys sharing and explaining the science behind the research to local families as well as hundreds of other families across the country through social media groups. This involvement recently inspired her to collaborate on an anesthesia research project with the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program at the University of Arizona, and was recently published in the December 2021 American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology Journal.

Nicholas DeStefano, CRNA
Nicholas DeStefano, CRNA
Chelsea Ford, CRNA
Chelsea Ford, CRNA

Chelsea was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in nursing from Northern Arizona University and began her nursing career in the Emergency Department where she practiced for 8 years. In 2014 she obtained her Master's Degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Anesthesia has taken her from Texas to Washington DC where she advanced to the role of Chief CRNA in Outpatient Surgery and back to her roots in Tucson, Arizona. She was excited to find a private practice position with SAA and looks forward to providing excellent, safe patient care and supporting the relationship with the surgeons, hospital, ancillary staff and physician anesthesiologists. Outside of the OR she enjoys the outdoors and traveling with her 2-year-old daughter Maia and husband TJ.

Nate Hasbrouck, CRNA
Nate Hasbrouck, CRNA

Nathaniel "Nate" Hasbrouck grew up in Colorado, completing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at University of Colorado in 2013. He worked in the Surgical ICU at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. prior to being accepted to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from MTSA in 2017, he practiced several years as a CRNA in Colorado before relocating to Tucson in early 2021. Nate was drawn
to the private practice family feeling that Southern Arizona Anesthesia Services provided, as well as looking forward to trading Colorado's snows for the warmth and scenery of Tucson's desert hikes. He has served in the United States Army Reserves since 2019 and currently drills at his assigned unit in Mesa, Arizona. Outside of the hospital, Nate enjoys travel, cooking, and exploring the outdoors with his dog.

Anna Plotkin, CRNA
Anna Plotkin, CRNA