Here at Sonoma Valley Hospital, because we are dedicated to continuing our 60-year tradition of Sonoma healthcare, we are renovating and retrofitting our facility and investing in the newest medical technology to create an up-to-date, attractive, healing environment. A secure building and the right equipment are essential, but our most precious resource and most powerful healing tool is our people. We would like you to meet some of them, see their faces and hear their stories.
Introducing Our New Physicians
DR. GEETA MALIK
Sonoma Valley Hospital and Prima Medical Group welcome new family practice doctor, Geeta Malik, MD
A native Californian who honeymooned five years ago in Sonoma, Dr. Malik has returned with her husband and family to practice family medicine with Prima Medical Group in the office of doctors Brian Sebastian, M.D, Suzannah Bozzone, MD, and Jerome Smith, MD.
Dr. Malik brings to Sonoma a wealth of medical experience and a love of working with families and children. A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles in 1989, she received her medical degree, with honors, from Creighton University School of Medicine, in Omaha, Nebraska in 1993. She has been a resident family practice physician in San Jacincto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, Texas from 1998 till the present.
Fluent in Spanish and Basic Sign Language, Dr. Malik loves working in family medicine because it allows her to treat all ages and conditions. She is particularly interested in disease management and keeping people healthy. “What I hope to do is develop a practice where I can create close relationships with my patients, keeping them healthy and treating them when they are sick.”
Dr. Malik says she is excited to return to Sonoma, and she welcomes patients of all ages. Having two young children of her own, she loves treating children. As far as her style goes, she says, she is honest, abides by the guidelines for treatment recommendations and is not afraid to seek help when she needs it. “I’m honest with patients and I involve them in decision making. It’s important to me to respect my patients’ autonomy.”
Dr. Malik is a member of numerous medical organizations, has been a consultant to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners since 2006, Chart Monitor, Texas State Board of Medical Examiners since 2008, Peer reviewer of the Archives of Family Medicine for 1999-2000 and 2005-2007, and member of the Credentials Committee, San Jacinto Methodist Hospital since 2004. She has also been a Clinical Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas.
DR. SCOTT PERRYMAN
Dr. Scott Perryman, Prima Medical Group’s new Stanford fellowship-trained General Surgeon, has joined Sonoma Valley Hospital’s growing team of surgeons and is performing general surgery and life-changing medical weight loss (bariatric) surgery.
Jointly recruited by Sonoma Valley Hospital and Prima Medical Group, Dr. Perryman said he chose to practice in Sonoma because of its scale, its quality and personal tone. “I like the fact that it’s a smaller hospital,” he said. “It has a nice personal touch. It gives me a chance to build and I feel like I’m coming in and really helping the hospital.”
Dr. Perryman was sought after by many top healthcare organizations, but of all the choices, he wanted to live in Sonoma where he can make a difference in the lives of Sonoma Valley residents.
Dr. Perryman said he was also drawn to Sonoma Valley Hospital because the hospital is highly equipped to allow him to perform the very latest laparoscopic surgery. “I’m passionate about laparoscopic surgery,” he said. “It reduces pain and allows patients to recover quicker. So their stay is reduced from 5-7 days down to 2-3 days. It speeds up their recovery when they leave the hospital.”
He brings to Sonoma a depth of experience and training in the very latest techniques in general surgery, along with a commitment to the personal, compassionate side of medicine. “I’ve been through the healthcare system with family members,” he said, “and I know what it is to be on the other side. People need to have a doctor to come in who will hold your hand and who really cares – and that’s me.”
Dr. Perryman graduated from Howard University College of Medicine in 2002, as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society, and completed his surgical residency at Stanford University in 2009. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in stem cell research in 2006, and an advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic and bariatric surgery fellowship at Stanford in 2010. He is also a member of multiple surgical societies including the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons (ASMBS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and has presented his research at the ACS Clinical Congress.
He is also passionate about bariatric surgery, which he said impacts people’s lives in “very far-ranging ways,” including eliminating diabetes in most patients, and alleviating it in all. “Psychologically,” he said, “the impact on the patient is just priceless.”
Dr. Perryman has already moved to Sonoma with his wife, Lisabeth. They have two very young children. He said they enjoy sitting around the duck pond and watching the children focus on nature, something not readily available at Stanford.
Visit Dr. Perryman and learn about his life-changing medical weight loss surgery at the Prima Medical Group Website.
DR. MICHAEL BROWN
Sonoma Valley Hospital and Prima Medical Group welcomes total joint replacement specialist Dr. Michael A. Brown
With the arrival of Michael A. Brown, MD, the community of Sonoma will gain a die-hard golfer, a father of four girls, a Giants fan and an experienced total joint replacement specialist to anchor the growing orthopedic program now underway at Sonoma Valley Hospital.
Dr. Brown, a fellowship-trained total joint replacement specialist, who has been practicing in both private and group practice for 20 years, describes himself as a “generalist who does total joint surgery.” His expertise includes treating sore joints, aches and pains, broken bones, ligament injuries, sports injuries as well as people who have arthritis – a group whose changing profile is transforming his practice.
“People are different now than they used to be,” said Brown. “Ten or 20 years ago, those who needed arthritis surgery were of Medicare age. Nowadays, people are walking, biking, hiking, jogging, playing sports – they’re just a lot more active, and what I see is that people who are quite a bit younger have developed arthritis either from heredity or post-trauma or for a variety of reasons, and that is impacting their ability or their quality of life.” He now he finds he is doing joint replacements in people from the 30s age group on.
When he decided to take leave of the rains of Longview, Washington, and his work at St. John Hospital, Brown began looking for a situation where he could practice in the way he started out, as a solo practitioner, working directly with a hospital, in an area where he’d feel that what he had to offer was what the community needs. He said he’d looked at one beautiful hospital in Oregon, but had been concerned about its viability. As he was deliberating, he got a call about Sonoma. “They were looking for someone of my experience level, and it seemed like a great fit,” he said. And after several months of working with the SVH hospital staff, medical staff and Administration, Brown relates, “It still seems that way, like a real natural fit.”
He said that for him, Sonoma seems to be not only a good match, but a place where, in his own way, he can make a difference.
He described his style of practice as traditional. “There is an outpatient component, but also a strong inpatient component. That means that patients admitted for total joint replacement come in, have their surgery in the hospital, have physical therapy while in the hospital, and the plan is for them to go home or, if they don’t have adequate help at home, then they go to the skilled nursing unit.”
For him, total joint replacement is a comprehensive effort that begins with education. “We talk with people, look at every conceivable option, and surgery is the last resort.” Even surgery now is different from what it used to be in the sixties, in the early years of joint replacement. “Then there was a lot more art to surgery. It was less scientific. There was less reproducibility. There were good results and terrible results. It wasn’t that the other doctors were bad, it was just the technology of the day.” Now, with more exact instrumentation, the procedure is more of a science, with reproducible results and better outcomes.
His enthusiasm about sharing his expertise with the Sonoma community and Sonoma Valley Hospital is forthright. “I’m going to try to come in there and do a good job and show some support to the hospital,” he said. He will be welcomed with enthusiasm by the Medical Staff and Sonoma Valley Hospital. “I’m thrilled to welcome Mike Brown into the community,” said Dr. Brian Sebastian, President of the Medical Staff at SVH, and longtime Prima physician. “He has excellent credentials and has the drive, along with a great OR staff, physical therapists, nursing, etc., to create a successful total joint program in the Sonoma Valley.”
Dr. Brown comes to Sonoma through the collaborative recruitment efforts of Sonoma Valley Hospital and Prima Medical group, the Marin-based medical practice employing 40 physicians in nine locations area-wide. Through this partnership, Prima has recruited and employed a number of physicians in Sonoma, including Dr. Mala Singh and Dr. Suzannah Bozzone. SVH and Prima, together with the SVH Medical Staff, are working together to bring a stronger integrated healthcare system to Marin and Sonoma counties.
Visit Dr. Brown at the Prima Medical Group website.
DR. SUZANNAH BOZZONE
Imagine you’re a performer, a classical singer, experiencing increasing hearing loss in one ear and you go to a doctor and he says, “No problem, you still have the other ear.” Such was the non-empathic bedside manner that set the tone for the career of Suzannah Bozzone, MD, who has recently joined the family practice of Dr. Brian Sebastian, in Sonoma.
She was at the time a pre-med student at Davidson College, in North Carolina, and had suffered a skull fracture. “I’d been unconscious for four days. And I lost my hearing. I went to this doctor in Charlotte and he said, “A lot of people lose their hearing, but it’ll come back.’” But it did not. When she went back to him, he dismissed her concern. He had no idea that she was a musician or what loss of hearing in one ear would mean to the young singer. She was crushed.
“So I thought, if you’re going to go into a healing profession and want to treat people, you need to know where they’re coming from.”
Bozzone went on to continue singing, despite the handicap, and to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson and go on to the University of Tennessee to earn her medical degree. From there, she went to Colorado Family Medicine Program as chief resident, and in 2009, they honored her with the 2009 Family Medicine Award for Scholarship. During the course of her training, she worked intensely with immigrant and under-served populations, both in the Spanish community in Nashville, and in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
She continues working with diverse cultures here in Sonoma, dividing her time between Dr. Sebastian’s family practice and the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center. “I like learning about other cultures,” she says. “It’s so important to understand somebody’s culture and know where they’re coming from.” Understanding the other is, to her, a constant refrain. “It happens so frequently that you go to a doctor, and they don’t have time to know who you are.” She, however, spends a lot of time with her patients. “Until you find out what they understand and what they know, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
For example, she explains, in some cultures, bigness is good. So a parent might say, of her roly-poly child, “She doesn’t eat a thing!” But the result, down the road, may be obesity and diabetes. “So we have to adjust the perception of what we mean about health.”
The Sonoma Valley community is refreshing to her, for the health-oriented attitudes she finds here. “I have gotten a lot of patients who are interested in natural approach to things. Which I really like.” Here, people don’t so much just want to get a pill and go home fixed. They seem to be looking for more involvement in their health. “People will ask, ‘what else can I do in my life?’ It’s so refreshing to have someone motivated to actually go back to the basics. If you can go back to the basics, you can get rid of a lot of problems.”
And what are the basics, to this person who looks a picture of perfect health? “I’m a yoga fanatic. Yoga and fish oil,” she laughs. “Oh, and Vitamin D!”
DR. CRYSTINE LEE
Schooled in London and Hong Kong, Lee graduated from Harvard with Honors in 1992, and from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2004. She completed her surgical residency at the University of California–San Francisco in 2004 and is currently working on her MBA in the Haas School of Business, at the University of California, Berkeley. She served in the United States Air Force from 2004 through 2008. Currently, she is CEO of Marin Surgical Associates, Inc. A member of PRIMA Medical Group, she holds Medical Staff privileges at Marin General Hospital, California Pacific Medical Center, Novato Community Hospital, Sutter Solano Medical Center and here at Sonoma Valley Hospital.
Dr. Lee describes her professional philosophy as following the rule instilled in her in the Air force, “Integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” For Dr. Lee excellence must be delivered with compassion and a personal touch. “While professionalism and excellent surgical outcomes are part of what I strive for, providing a reassuring patient experience during a stressful time when surgery is being considered is also very important to me.”