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We pride our residents on their strong work ethic and spirit of collegiality. Residents foster a nurturing and supportive environment to allow each other to thrive not only at work, but also personally.

Chief Residents

Cori Clumpner, DO

Cori Clumpner, DO

Cori is a SoCal girl born and bred. She completed her undergrad at UCLA before heading up to the bay area for medical school at Touro University CA, where she earned her DO degree. After her brief time up north, she came back down to Loma Linda for her Pediatric Residency at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. She is currently one of four chief residents, primarily responsible for scheduling the pediatric residents as well as any visiting residents, and enjoys being involved with medical student education. She is enjoying her newly found time off and is relearning how to have weekends. In her free time, she has been cooking more, joined a pilates class and is catching up on all the concerts she missed as a resident!

Michael Giang, MD

Michael Giang, MD

Michael went to medical school at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and traveled far to complete his pediatric residency at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. He is currently a pediatric chief resident focused on lecture scheduling, board review series and resident wellness. Aspiring to become a pediatric intensivist after his chief year, he is involved in research with ECMO and intra-abdominal hypertension. He is married and has a corgi named “Arya” who is very similar to her Game of Thrones’ namesake. Michael enjoys playing the violin, all things basketball, Mexican food and playing board games. 

Neha Mitragotri, MD

Neha Mitragotri, MD

Neha is a transplant to Southern California from the Bay Area, and moved here to attend medical school at UC Irvine, where she also met her husband! Fast-forward through medical school and couples-matching, she happily landed at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for pediatric residency, where she made long-lasting friendships and learned a lot along the way. Due to this, she decided to continue on as a Chief Resident for an additional year, focusing on the SAC outpatient clinic, scheduling didactics and resident wellness. She aspires to be a general pediatrician in Washington after this year. She is a self-professed nerd who loves reading (for fun!) above all else, but also dabbles in comics, movies and crafts in her spare time. 

John Thanasukarn, MD

John Thanasukarn, MD

John attended medical school at UCLA/Charles R. Drew School of Medicine in Los Angeles. He completed his Pediatric Residency at Loma Linda University. As one of the current chief residents he is responsible for resident scheduling and the monthly journal club. He is passionate about ambulatory pediatrics particularly in urban underserved populations. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, swimming and running.

Program Leadership

SHARON RIESEN, MD

SHARON RIESEN, MD

Program Director

Dr. Riesen went to medical school at Loma Linda University and then stayed for her pediatric residency. Following residency she served with the National Health Service Corp for several years on Indian Reservations in southern California. She then returned to LLU to follow her passion for teaching and academic medicine.  She has a special interest in Behavioral-Developmental Pediatrics as well as Integrative Medicine. She has two daughters who are constantly teaching her new and exciting things, one a pediatrician and the other an aquatic veterinarian. She also loves learning from the residents and faculty in the program.  Dr. Riesen loves spending time with family and friends as well as playing with her two dogs, Bailey and Chloe. She also enjoys trying new foods, all forms of coffee, boba drinks, watching sports/movies and playing timpani in the local orchestra. She is passionate about helping her residents grow and develop into outstanding pediatricians!

ALECA CLARK, MD

ALECA CLARK, MD

Division Chief, General Pediatrics

Dr. Clark grew up in beautiful San Diego but has made Loma Linda her home since residency.  She completed medical school at Albany Medical College in New York and did her residency at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital.  After completing a chief residency year she stayed on as faculty for the pediatric department and has served in leadership positions for both the SOM and the residency.  She is part of the core faculty that developed the Primary Care Residency Tract for Loma Linda and is passionate about resident education and faculty development. She is currently the Division Chief of General Pediatrics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, board games, and being outdoors, especially hiking or reading a great novel on the beach.  She and her husband have 2 children, whom she adores, and a bulldog, who thinks she is their third child!

MICHELLE LOH, MD

MICHELLE LOH, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Loh was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  She attended Loma Linda University for both medical school and residency.  You can often overhear her say, “I have the best job ever! I get to have a blast interacting with babies, kiddos, and teens in my University private practice, and then have the privilege to work with residents in the Newborn Nursery and in their Continuity clinic.”  She feels truly blessed to be a part of the Loma Linda Pediatric Residency family. Her special passion is her work with the Professional Development Coaching program for residents. Outside of work, Dr. Loh hangs out with her husband and three sons playing sports, going to the beach, eating out, and traveling. 

CHAD VERCIO, MD

CHAD VERCIO, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Vercio moved from the Pacific Northwest to attend LLUSOM, and stayed for residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Since completing residency, he has practiced at LLU at various locations including Beaumont clinic, Moreno Valley Med-Peds, Redlands, and was the medical director of the Pediatric Residency clinic as it transitioned from being a Children's Hospital-based clinic to SAC. Because he and his wife are committed to global service, they spent a year and a half in India in the small town of Ottapalam which gave him a new appreciation for practicing in a relatively rich resource setting.  He is interested in spiritual care, global health, clinical reasoning, teaching medical students and residents, and enjoys music, mountain biking, surfing, camping and hiking.

KATHLEEN LIMA, DO

KATHLEEN LIMA, DO

Dr. Lima attended medical school at Western University/COMP and completed her Pediatric Residency at Loma Linda University.  After residency, she was honored to serve as a Pediatric Chief Resident for one year. After chief year, Katie stayed with the Loma Linda Pediatric faculty as part of the core Pediatric faculty at Riverside University Health Systems (RUHS).  At RUHS, she serves as Vice Chair of the Pediatric Department and Associate Program Director of the Primary Care Track of the Loma Linda Pediatric Residency. Katie's professional interests include resident education and improving pediatric care to the children of Riverside County.  She was born and raised in Southern California and married her high school sweetheart. They have 3 active children. If she is not on the soccer sidelines, she is likely baking a batch of cookies or planning her next Disney trip!

CATHERINE TAN, MD

CATHERINE TAN, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Tan grew up in Ontario, Canada but came to Loma Linda University for medical school.  She fell in love with Southern California and completed her pediatric residency at LLU. She spent her first post-graduate year doing locum tenens work in every corner of the country, but returned to Loma Linda to join the Pediatric Faculty Group.  In 2009, she began spending the majority of her clinical time at the SAC clinic and had the opportunity to be part of the tremendous growth of this organization leading to an intimate involvement with our LLU Pediatric program. The growth and education of the LLU Pediatric residents is now one of her passions. Joy outside of work includes snow-skiing, houseboating and traveling with my family.

WENDY DE LA PENA, MD

WENDY DE LA PENA, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. De La Pena attended UC San Diego for undergraduate, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison for medical school. She did pediatric residency at Loma Linda. After completing pediatrics, she decided on a Pediatric Rheumatology fellowship, which she completed at CHLA. After completing fellowship, she returned to Loma Linda where she is currently an attending physician in Pediatric Rheumatology. She grew up dancing, and especially likes tap dancing. Her favorite hobby is reading. She is married and has two boys, Tyler and Aiden.