Faculty

Mikaela Alger, MD

Where are you originally from?

Reno, Nevada

Undergraduate College:

University of Pittsburgh

Where did you attend Medical School?

University of Pittsburgh

Where did you go to Residency?

Seattle Indian Health Board Family Medicine Residency in Seattle, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get to know folks in native communities in the Seattle area while doing my residency with the Seattle Indian Health Board. I really loved my time at SIHB, and was looking to do something similar after graduation. PTHA was a great fit. I also really love living in the PNW, and was happy for an opportunity to stay here.

What are your interests?

In medicine, I enjoy a little bit of everything. I am especially interested in obstetrics, mental health, and addiction recovery. I love that my job gives me to work with people in all stages of life, and I enjoy finding ways to help folks identify and meet their health goals. Outside of work, I love hiking, biking, and generally being outside. I love learning about local plants and animals, and have recently been learning a lot about edible plants and mushrooms. I also really enjoy making things and spend a lot of time knitting and sewing. Music is my other hobby. My husband and I met singing in a cappella groups and now we sing together in the Tacoma symphonic choir.

What are some fun facts about you?

I have been to almost all 50 states. I am only missing Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Paul Barnett, MD

Where are you originally from?

Born in Roswell, New Mexico but raised in Texas and consider Texas to be where I am from but have lived in 28 different locations!

Undergraduate College:

University of Texas at Edinburg majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry

Where did you attend Medical School?

University of Texas Health Science Center

Where did you go to Residency?

South Texas Family Medicine Residency McAllen, Texas

Why did you choose PTHA?

This is as close to home as you can get at work.

What are your interests?

White water rafting, newest interest is gardening and “RV’ing”

What are some fun facts about you?

I own the World’s Largest Unprofitable Rafting Company.. Prince of Waves Rafting Company!!! Expert level chess player…in my younger days. Who knows what level I am now…no one challenges me anymore! Just started gardening this year with a newly installed greenhouse. See how it goes?! I have learned that elk go through fences, deer go over fences, and antelope go under fences (bet you did not know that!.... If you did, I need you as a consultant).

William Chythlook, MD

Where are you originally from?

Dillingham, Alaska

Undergraduate College:

Walla Walla University

Where did you attend Medical School?

Loma Linda University

Where did you go to Residency?

Alaska Family Medicine Residency, Anchorage AK

Why did you choose PTHA?

I has always been my goal to serve the Native American, Alaska Native Community even before I started medical school. I did a month long rotation during residency as an “interview” and loved it so much that I came here right after graduating from residency in Alaska. I loved the ‘feel” of the clinic, the genuine nature of the patients and how quickly I felt like part of the family, even during my short time here. I enjoy teaching and a big draw was to be part of the PTHA faculty from day one and I was full time faculty for 3 years and now have been the program director for almost 3 years.

What are your interests?

I love to fish, both for sport and I grew up commercial fishing for salmon in Bristol Bay.

What are some fun facts about you?

I am Yupik from Southwest Alaska and grew up “on the water” fishing in the lakes, rivers and bays of Bristol Bay. So, naturally I love the water and love the Puget Sound, so you will most likely find me on the water somewhere in the Puget Sound, on our boat with my partner and our two fur babies!

Walt Hollow, MD

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from the Fort Peck Assiniboine/Sioux Indian Reservation in NE Montana. I still have land there and a family farm. I have lots of relatives on the reservation and make at least one trip a year to help manage the land that I lease out. I moved to Seattle in 1965 to attend the University of Washington and have been in Seattle ever since.

Undergraduate College:

My undergraduate school is University of Washington and I went to Central Washington University for my Masters Degree in Biochemistry.

Where did you attend Medical School?

University of Washington

Where did you go to Residency?

Providence Family Medicine Residency Olympia, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

I choose PTHA so that I could work in Indian country seeing patients and then develop a curriculum on Indian health for the PTHA residency program.

What are your interests?

My interests professionally are development of an Indian health curriculum for medical students and medical residents. I also am an avid member of the Association of American Indian Physicians working to improve Indian health politically and through the association. I have worked on developing an Indian physician faculty at UWSOM working regionally in the WWAMI program and then Indian health nationally through AAIP. I have also done research on Indian health and Indian academic medicine to augment the curriculum development too.
My personal interests are photography which is very serious with my own darkroom in my home and now a digital darkroom in my home. This is also supplemented by wood working and have a wood working shop at home. My last hobby is boating and I have boated all over Puget sound and Vancouver Island in Canada. I also have a wife and four children so family activities have supplemented all of the above as well as attending 1000’s of soccer games, musical events for all of my children and tried to teach them photography and boating.

What are some fun facts about you?

I am a Traditional Indian and have a sweat lodge in my yard and weave Indian ceremony from my Sioux tribe into family events and my personal spiritual care. I participate in many local Indian ceremonies and occasional ones offered by my home reservation in Fort Peck Montana. Since 1978, I have worked as faculty at UWSOM Department of Family Medicine starting and running the Native American Center of Excellence for 32 years and started the Indian Health Pathway in the medical school which is still in operation. I developed a curriculum on Indian health for medical students and saw patients clinically at Group Health Coop while also being faculty at UWSOM for the 32 years.

Jesse Klebba, DO

Where are you originally from?

Detroit, Michigan

Undergraduate College:

Wayne State University

Where did you attend Medical School?

Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine

Where did you go to Residency?

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority Family Medicine Residency in Tacoma, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

I chose PTHA as a residency training program because it was a one of a kind program; it was the only Osteopathic Native American family medicine residency program in the country at that time. I believe it was the first of its kind and it offered a strong osteopathic patient centered training. Family medicine, to me, means caring for the patient, caring for their family, and caring for the community. I feel this is what PTHA’s residency program offers; and this is why I chose PTHA.

What are your interests?

Movies and music. Good friends, good food, and family.

What are some fun facts about you?

There is not a food I don’t enjoy

Brian Nelson, DO

Where are you originally from?

Spokane, Washington

Undergraduate College:

Western Washington University

Where did you attend Medical School?

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

Where did you go to Residency?

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority in Tacoma, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

As a resident I found PTHA very open and supportive of my process of learning what being a physician is about. Now that I have graduated and went away for a year it was easy to return for the same reason. The Puyallup Tribe is supportive of me learning and practicing osteopathic medicine.

What are your interests?

Cycling, Hiking, Camping, Music, Being part of raising a family

What are some fun facts about you?

My favorite beverage is yerba mate, from the gourd

Aaron Rhyner, DO

Where are you originally from?

Born in Philadelphia and then moved to Washington State

Undergraduate College:

University of Washington

Where did you attend Medical School?

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

Where did you go to Residency?

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority Family Medicine Residency in Tacoma, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

It was a calling to come to the tribe for me. I can’t imagine working anywhere else. The people and culture are enriching in a way that can’t be found anywhere outside of Native Health. They invite you into their family and it is a special place to be.

What are your interests?

I love 4 things outside of medicine. My wife, comic books, video games, and the NBA.

What are some fun facts about you?

I am a John Snow look alike at comic con. I perform marriage ceremonies. I have a 1970 Rover Sedan.

Austin Shelton, DO

Where are you originally from?

Tacoma, Washington

Undergraduate College:

Washington State University

Where did you attend Medical School?

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

Where did you go to Residency?

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority Family Medicine Residency in Tacoma, WA

Why did you choose PTHA?

It feels like family, I want to continue serving the underserved in the community I grew up in, and I love how Osteopathic medicine has been accepted into the Native community.

What are your interests?

OB, OMT, Procedures

What are some fun facts about you?

I am always looking to do running races (once got 1st place in an Oktoberfest Beer Run), and play basketball (play in Hoopfest every year). I also play the piano and saxophone.