Pediatric Residency Program Faculty

Andria Ruth, MD

Andria Ruth, MD

Born in Salt Lake City and raised in Southern California, our Associate Program Director Andria Ruth is a strong champion and advocate for the importance of primary care pediatrics in the health and lives of our children. In her spare time, she enjoys travel with her family, reading, running the streets of Santa Barbara, where participating in the annual Turkey Trot is a family tradition.

Andria's Bio

Kathy Chung, MD

Kathy Chung Thrash, MD

A true (and rare!) Angelino, Dr. Thrash was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She serves as Medical Director for the NICU. She balances her clinical responsibilities and research interests with outdoor activities raising her three children. To decompress, she is an avid endurance Pelotoner, and enjoys indoor rock climbing. To our knowledge, she is the only member of our faculty to have climbed Machu Picchu and Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Kathy's Bio

Kaitlyn Olson, MD

Kaitlyn Olson, MD

Born and raised in North Carolina, Dr. Olson came to California for residency training, and never looked back. When she is not a Hospitalist, she enjoys gardening, sewing, and raising her active family. She completed the Kentucky Derby marathon. We are told no horses were employed during the marathon, but we’re not really sure. The photos seem to have gone missing.

Kaitlyn's Bio

Miriam Parsa, MD

Miriam Parsa, MD

Another native Angelino, Dr. Parsa shares her time with us as the only Pediatric Rheumatologist between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and with her family. She enjoys hiking the local foothills with her dog, and has a very healthy addiction to sports. She loves soccer, and played actively until an ACL injury in graduate school truncated her career. Most weekends, you can find her supporting her two children on the soccer field. If you can’t, it’s because they are on the baseball diamond. Inside fact: She is an avid baker, and you can pretty reliably get your afternoon hunger addressed by visiting her office.

Miriam's Bio

Shivani Upadhyay, MD

Shivani Upadhyay, MD

Born and raised outside of Chicago (Go Bears!), Dr. Upadhyay has embraced the climate and lifestyle of Santa Barbara. She loves the outdoors for hiking, spending time with her family (including a seemingly variable number of dogs), reading and eating (no regrets!). She particularly loves the long-term relationships that her group creates with their patients.

Shivani's Bio

Zohreh Shoar, MD

Zohreh Shoar, MD

Dr. Zohreh Shoar is a Pediatric Endocrinologist, focusing her work on children with a variety of conditions related to the hormone-producing glands in the body including diabetes, thyroid disorders, abnormalities of growth, and adrenal insufficiency. Dr. Shoar’s clinical leadership emblemizes her devotion to evidence-based care in this fast moving field. She believes in a team approach in creating an environment that includes parents and family members in as much of the planning and ongoing care of the child as possible. Dr. Shoar’s energy and compassion are focused on helping achieve optimal health through promoting a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention.

Zohreh's Bio

Christophe Le Renard, MD

Christophe Le Renard, MD

Dr. Le Renard serves as a Hospitalist and as the Chief Information Officer for Cottage Health. Raised in Los Angeles, he translocated to Santa Barbara from San Luis Obispo, he enjoys the lifestyle that the community provides. He and his family can be frequently found at the beach and are very active in sports. When he is at home, he takes his downtime watching great movies and shows. He is fluent in French and Spanish, and knows how to say croissant in seven languages.

Christophe's Bio

Steven Barkley, MD

Steven Barkley, MD

Dr. Barkley is a lifelong Californian. Born in San Diego, raised in Pasadena, he came to Santa Barbara in 1987 with his partner, Dr. Barbara Donnelly, to open the region’s first NICU. Now serving as the Chief Pediatric Medical Officer, he oversees program development for the Cottage Children’s Medical Center. In his off time, he enjoys running, sailing (in the boat he built), kayaking (in the kayak he built), woodworking (on the workbench he built) and travel (in the plane he built. OK, this one isn’t true).

Steven's Bio

Laura Sices, MD

Laura Sices, MD

Moving to Santa Barbara from Boston, Dr. Sices leads our Developmental/Behavioral Pediatric program. A native of New Hampshire, she spent part of her childhood in France. She brings a perfect balance of academic rigor and parental compassion to her work. She is esteemed by her colleagues and families alike. She is also absolutely relentless finding the resources that she needs: After residency, she drove a moving truck and towed her car across country alone to get to her fellowship program. These days, she enjoys time with her family, particularly at the beach, and reading.

Laura's Bio

Alexandra Eidelwein, MD

Alexandra Eidelwein, MD

Dr. Eidelwein was born in Sao Paulo and raised in southern Brazil. She has extensive experience with inflammatory bowel disease and is Co-PI for Cottage’s membership in the Improve Care Now (ICN) Collaborative. She brings an intelligent and caring approach to the population she serves, and is an essential part of our GI team. In her off hours, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, biking and making a delicious pao de queijo. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We take her word for it on that last one.

Alexandra's Bio

Eric Grossman, MD

Eric Grossman, MD

Born in New Jersey, Dr. Grossman spent 20 years living in Chicago (for reasons that we find somewhat obscure) before moving to California, where he is firmly ensconced with his family.  He is particularly interested in Pediatric Trauma, serving as the Medical Director for that program, as well as for the Pediatric Specialty Clinics.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking with his family, and playing with their new dog.

Eric's Bio

Catherine Ekwa-Ekoko, MD

Catherine Ekwa-Ekoko, MD

Catherine Ekwa-Ekoko is interested in Neonatology as a whole but is especially interested in supporting families as team members in the care of their babies by providing family centered care. She is also is interested in following NICU patients through discharge and providing support and continuity of care in our follow-up clinic. She is currently IBCLC certified.

Catherine's Bio

Tamara Taketani, MD

Tamara Taketani, MD

A native Californian, Dr. Taketani was raised in Monterey Park.  When she is not practicing pediatric gastroenterology here at Cottage, she enjoys hiking, baking, gardening, and entertaining her dog.

Tamara's Bio

Angela Hsu, MD

Angela Hsu, MD

Dr. Hsu was born in Taipei, Taiwan, but grew up in Southern California.  As a Pediatric Intensivist, she cares for critically ill children in the Cottage PICU.  She has strong interests in education, particularly in improving and maintaining resuscitation skills and simulation training, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury and Relative adrenal insufficiency and cortisol measurement.

Angela's Bio

Genevieve Cruz, MD

Genevieve Cruz, MD

Dr. Cruz is terrific.  Born in Richmond Virginia, she likes to point out that she has never lived anywhere longer than 5 years, so her roots are far reaching.  She made it to California via Egypt, England, Louisiana and Texas, but she’s home now!

Genevieve's Bio

Drew Kelts, MD

Drew Kelts, MD

Raised in Boston, Dr. Kelts is an incredibly caring and energetic physician.  He has built the Pediatric Gastroenterology program from a modest beginning to the robust multi-physician regional center for care that it is today.  He has strong interests in Obesity, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Drew's Bio

Lori Brown, MD

Lori Brown, MD

Dr. Brown serves as a member of our pediatric hospitalist team, and leads our efforts in quality improvement in the newborn nursery.

Lori's Bio

Rebecca Pifer, MD

Rebecca Pifer, NP

Born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Rebecca is one of 7 children, which include 5 adopted siblings. She new from an early age that she loved taking care of children. She has spent much of her career assisting in the operating room, and is skilled in the placement of chest thoracotomy tubes, central and arterial lines.

Rebecca's Bio

Robert Kanard, MD

Robert Kanard, MD

Dr. Kanard, our Medical Director for Pediatric Surgery worked his way west from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  He started out as an English Lit major, and we believe has the distinction of being the only member of our faculty to be a playwright, having written a one-woman play about Penelope, the wife of Ulysses.  He taught English in Tokyo for three years, became fluent in Japanese and traveled extensively in Asia. Somewhere in all of this, he changed gears and became a pediatric surgeon.

Robert's Bio

Mehrdad Mehr, MD

Mehrdad Mehr, MD

Dr. Mehr serves as our Medical Director for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Born in Tehran, Iran, he brings a truly international perspective to his work.

Mehrdad's Bio

Brian Steiner, MD

Brian Steiner, MD

Born in Portland Oregon and raised across the river in Vancouver, Dr. Steiner is a member of the Pediatric Intensive Care medical team. He let us know that he has just completed the visit-every-state challenge!

Brian's Bio

Contact Us

Cottage Children's Medical Center

Cottage Children's Pediatric Residency Program

Phone: 805-569-7464
Fax: 805-569-8358

400 W. Pueblo St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Program Coordinator, Sabrina Orfalea, email: sanderso@sbch.org