Meet The Team

Faculty

According to Merriam-Webster the definitions for Professor include:

  • A faculty member at an institution of higher education
  • One that teaches or professes special knowledge of an art, sport, or occupation requiring skill
  • One that professes, avows, or declares

The Physician Assistant Program Faculty are dedicated to teaching the art and science of medicine utilizing student-centered, engaging and innovative teaching techniques.  Be prepared to be a mental athlete! Your professors will coach you, challenge you, push you and empower you.  In return you will be able to practice medicine well above the standard of care and ultimately empower your patients who will empower their surrounding communities. Keep checking back frequently as our team continues to grow!

The professors at Charles R. Drew University come from extraordinarily diverse and experienced backgrounds. They understand and embrace an environment: where great research informs great teaching, where working directly within our community is valued, and where student-centered teaching techniques are lauded! Please take a look below to meet some of your future PA Program Professors. Keep checking back frequently as our team continues to grow!

Principal Faculty

World Traveler, Zumba Extraordinaire

Pediatric PA

Fabros  Greta Vines-Douglas, MSHS, PA-C is an alumnus of USC, Western University and Cal St Dominguez Hills, Greta Vines-Douglas is a native of Southern California, who grew up in the community surrounding CDU. Known affectionately as “Prof G”, Prof Vines-Douglas specializes in Family Medicine and Pediatrics, having over 20 years of experience practicing medicine in low-income communities in the Southern California area. She brings 8 years of prior experience in PA education and a desire to help create PA’s who are compassionate and fearless as they serve their communities with excellence. She currently serves as Academic Coordinator for the PA program, working with faculty and staff to produce the best and brightest PA graduates in the nation. Professor Vines-Douglas also teaches and assists in several courses within the program as an Assistant Professor. She considers herself an “extroverted introvert”, a lover of the Spanish language and Zumba, an avid reader, and future world traveler.

Principal Faculty

Yoga Enthusiast, Mental Health Champion

Dr. Beavers Jenn Griffith, PA-C is a strong supporter of patient centered medical care and believes in educating patients on their health and comorbidities to give them the tools to become their own healthcare advocates. This passion led her to physician assistant education in hopes of instilling in a new generation of providers the importance of becoming compassionate clinicians with a dedication to the communities they serve.

Originally a New Englander at heart, Jenn graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2014. She then went on to receive her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital program in New York, NY where she graduated valedictorian of her class in 2016. She is a member of both the Pi Alpha and Nu Rho Psi honor societies. She is certified by the National Commission on the Certification for Physician Assistants (NCCPA). She is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and Association of Neurology Physician Assistants. As a certified physician assistant, she has spent her career working in general outpatient neurology and urgent care medicine. She has a special interest in neuroimmunology, dementia, and mental health advocacy. While in undergrad, she founded the Northeastern chapter of Active Minds, an organization dedicated to changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses and bringing awareness to mental health issues.

When Jenn isn’t working, she enjoys yoga, spending time with her family and her dog Ollie, traveling, listening to podcasts, painting, and reading. She also enjoys engaging in her community by being a team leader for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Principal Faculty

CDU Alum, General and Trauma Surgery PA

Imani WilliamsImani Williams, PA is graduate of Charles R. Drew University, a veteran instructor of CDU with over three decades in General and Trauma Surgery in South Los Angeles. She has dedicated her career to working in underserved communities, which has provided her the opportunity to give back to her community. Providing quality healthcare, training and teaching the future healthcare providers of tomorrow has taught her to be more humble. She joins the PA Crew to take over the Emergency Surgery curriculum.

Instructional Faculty

Mystery Seeker

Molecular Biologist

Dr. Jorge N. ArtazDr. Jorge N. Artaza is an Associate Professor in the College of Science & Health and faculty for the PA Program. Dr. Artaza also holds appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and Health & Life Sciences at CDU and Department of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Artaza will be involved in teaching many courses within the PA Program including Microbiology & Infectious Disease, Diagnostic Skills & Procedures, Hematology/Oncology and Medical Spanish.

Dr. Artaza received his M.S. degree in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, both from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina. He was a Fellow at the Methodist Center for Reproduction and Transplantation Immunology, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, where he was trained in Histocompatibility & Immunology of pregnancy. He was a visiting scientist at UCLA in a training program in Histocompatibility, Molecular biology, DNA oligotyping, and PCR technology at the UCLA/Tissue Typing Laboratory.

Dr. Artaza worked independently as a Hematologist / Immunologist at various prestigious institutions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, such as the Israeli Hospital "Ezra", the Italian Hospital, and the Otamendi & Miroli hospital.

Dr. Artaza was a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Endocrinology at CDU. He is the recipient of numerous awards such as the Glenn Foundation Endocrinology & Aging Grant Award (Endocrine Society), the Glaxo Smith-Kline Endocrinology Scholar Award (AFMR), Endocrinology Scholar Award (AFMR) and the Travel Grant Award (Endocrine Society, RCMI and NIH Summit). His research interests are focused on understanding the process of fibrosis, a leading cause of organ failure and inflammation. He has identified previously known factors such as Myostatin, Follistatin and Vitamin D as responsible for promoting or inhibiting fibrosis.

Dr. Artaza received the 2014 UK Society for Endocrinology’s Journal Award. For the best paper published in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology during 2014. The Society for Endocrinology promotes the advance of endocrinology and recognizes and rewards progress in the field through its Awards.

Contact Information:
Jorge Artaza, PhD, MS
Program Faculty & Associate Professor
P:(323) 563-4915
E: jorgeartaza@cdrewu.edu  

Instructional Faculty

Wearer of Many Hats

Medical Socialist

Dr. Mohsen Bazargan Dr. Mohsen Bazargan is a Professor at Charles R. Drew University and UCLA School of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Bazargan is the President of Academic Senate, and the Director of Research at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Program at CDU. Dr. Bazargan will be teaching Research Methods for the PA Program, a course that includes a mixture of biostatistics, epidemiology and research methods.

Dr. Bazargan is a Medical Sociologist with extensive training in the fields of aging, research methodology, evaluation, and statistics. He is currently Assistant Editor for the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

He received his Ph.D in Medical Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been a member of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science faculty since 1993, and was previously on the faculty of Xavier University. Dr. Bazargan’s research related activities are concentrated around the health status and health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations. He has conducted several large population and community based surveys on access and utilization of health services by underserved minority older adults.

Dr. Bazargan has authored more than 92 scientific papers many of which address access to care, barriers to medical care, use of health services, racial disparities, and health outcomes among elderly African American populations. During the last ten years, he has been funded by several federal agencies including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), the Administration for Children and Family (AHF), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to conduct research and interventional studies among minority populations.

Instructional Faculty

LGBTQ Advocate

Dermatology PA

Professor PurmortProfessor Berger is a firm believer in “paying it forward” when it comes to medical education. Her passion for creating culturally competent clinicians brought her to Charles R. Drew University (CDU) where she educates students in improving the healthcare of the LGBTQ population. Her goal is to decrease health disparities that exist in the LGBTQ community and increase LGBTQ inclusion by incorporating proper training into Physician Assistant curriculum.

She is certified by the National Commission on the Certification for Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and licensed by the state of California. In addition, Kerin is an associate member of numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, California Association of Physician Assistants, Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, and the LGBT Physician Assistant Caucus.

Kerin holds a Master’s of Health Sciences degree and Certificate of Physician Assistant Studies from Quinnipiac University. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Chemistry and a minor in Biological Anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton University. Kerin works full-time at the Los Angeles LGBT Center providing sexual health education, transgender care, and HIV prevention and post-exposure treatment. In addition, she works part-time in a dermatology clinic. She worked as an adjunct professor in dermatology at Bryant University in Rhode Island and precepted Physician Assistant students from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Kerin has been to 39 states, most of which have been with her dog Rilo and her wife Jordan. She loves hiking, biking, reading, and exploring the many landscapes of California.

Instructional Faculty

Super Uncle

Radiologist

Dr. Kiarash VahidiKiarash Vahidi (Kia) is a board certified radiologist, with subspecialty training in Breast Imaging and Abdominal Imaging and serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor for the PA Program. He completed medical school and his radiology residency training at the University of California San Francisco. He subsequently finished Breast Imaging and Body Imaging fellowships at USC/LA County hospitals. After completion of his subspecialty training he worked in the private practice setting for two years at which time he decided to re-join the academic radiology setting. Kia now works full time at the West LA VA where he practices Abdominal Imaging and is the head of Breast Imaging. He also holds a faculty appointment at UCLA and enjoys working with the UCLA residents daily at the VA and given his relationship with the residents has recently been appointed as the VA residency site director.  Kia has always had an interest in teaching and has experience in medical education, especially in radiology. On his spare time Kia loves spending time with his 5 nephews and 1 niece! He is also a humble artist, amateur furniture refurbisher and proudly boasts of a ‘green thumb’.  We are thrilled to have Dr. Vahidi join the PA Team to teach students various imaging modalities both in the classroom and in the clinical setting!

Instructional Faculty

Animal Aficionado

Master Linguist

Dr. Suzanne Porszasz-Reisz Nick Arce is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter who works as the Director of Patient Relations and Interpreter Services at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and Community Hospital Long Beach. In this role, he collaborates with hospital leadership to improve the patient and family experience and reduce language barriers.

Throughout the past decade, Nick has served as a Board Member for the California Healthcare Interpreting Association, taught healthcare interpreting at California State University, Fullerton and medical translation at Denver University. He holds a Master of Arts in Spanish Linguistics and Literature, Master of Library and Information Science, and Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation Studies.

During his undergraduate career, Nick studied abroad at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and enjoyed lots of great tapas and vino tinto! 
Nick is an art and animal lover, foodie, and world traveler! A few of his favorite places include Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; and Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 

When he’s not busy working, he loves hiking, going to concerts, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Professor Arce is an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the PA Program and will be teaching Medical Spanish. We are delighted to have him join our crew!

Instructional Faculty
Sharon Mohale, PA-C

Instructional Faculty
Peter Tom, PharmD

Instructional Faculty
Balwantsinh Chauhan,  MD, PhD,