Housestaff

Chief Residents

Lauren Friedman, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

usfpedichiefs@gmail.com

 

Isabel Gross, MD
Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg

usfpedichiefs@gmail.com

 

PGY-3

Melissa Althouse, MD
Eastern Virginia School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and attended medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I am excited to be living and working in the Tampa Bay area. Pediatrics is a great match for me as I love children and find it a very exciting medical field. I am very interested in pursuing fellowship after residency, possibly in neonatology. In my free time I love going to the beach, which is one of the many great perks of moving to the Tampa Bay area! I also enjoy traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. I love to experience and try new things and look forward to all the new things that Tampa has to offer me!
Christina Baldwin, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

I am a native to Tampa, Florida, born and raised until I was 18 and ventured all the way to Cincinnati, OH for my undergrad four years. At that point, I knew, not only was my heart set on applying to medical school but also coming back to Florida. After completing four great years at Florida State University College of Medicine, in Tallahassee and Sarasota, I am absolutely thrilled to be right back where I started, in Tampa Bay. I am the middle of three girls and although my sisters are both out of state, I am so fortunate to have my parents still residing in Tampa. I come from a very close family and remain very close to them now, which is one of the things that drew me to Pediatrics. I love exploring family dynamics and look forward to potentially specializing in Peds. Besides my medical career, I also enjoy art, relearning how to ride a bike on Davis Island, spending time with my yorkie-bichon puppy, and, of course, I wouldn't be a Florida girl if my ideal day wasn't spent lying on the beach.
Nicole Conde, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in New York City but grew up most of my life in Ocala, FL. I went to the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree and then to medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- Georgia Campus. What I am hoping I get out of residency is the best education possible and to make amazing friends along the way. I am so excited to work with children for the rest of my life and so happy I chose USF as the place to start my career!
Kristen Blackwell, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

I grew up in Melbourne Beach on the east coast of Florida. I went to the University of Florida for undergrad, then headed up to Philadelphia for Medical School. Although I loved my time in Philly, I missed the water and sunshine and knew I had to come back to Florida for residency! When I'm not working I like to do normal things like shop, go out to eat, go for a run, and of course sleep in.
Coralee Del Valle Mojica, MD
Universidad Central Del Caribe School of Medicine

iHola! I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I attended University of Puerto Rico, where I completed both my Undergraduate Studies and my Masters in Public Health. Then, I earned my M.D. from Universidad Central del Caribe, also in Puerto Rico. I believe Pediatrics is the most rewarding specialty there is, and I hope to pursue a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology.
Annie Gao, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Born in China, I now call Boston, MA my hometown. I earned my undergraduate degree from Brown University and then went on to medical school at the University of Connecticut. I am now a resident of St. Petersburg and am embracing all that the Sunshine State has to offer. During my free time, I love to go hiking, running, and most anything that involves the great outdoors. I also love to travel and most recently took a trip out to Washington state where I hiked Mt. Rainier.
Laura Hendricks, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

I grew up all over the United States since my father was in the Coast Guard. I've lived in New Orleans, LA, Williamsburg, VA, Astoria, OR, Traverse City, MI, Boise, ID, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Miami, FL and now St. Petersburg (which I am loving so far). I did my undergrad at University of Michigan and majored in English, but I always knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I then went on to medical school at Nova Southeastern University, which brought me to sunny Florida. For fun I enjoy hanging out with my adorable corgi pup, spending time with friends, painting, drawing, traveling, reading, hanging out with friends, tennis, hiking, and biking.
Robert Kickish, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Somers Point, NJ, where I grew up with my twin sister and my older sister. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from The George Washington University and enjoyed DC so much that I stuck around for medical school. I knew early on that I wanted to go into pediatrics. I loved working with children as a martial arts instructor and they were my favorite patients as an EMT on the beaches of Ocean City. When my family moved down to Florida a few years ago, I fell in love with the year-round warm weather and the people. As soon as I visited the Tampa Bay area, I knew there was nowhere that I would rather be for residency. In my free time, I enjoy movies, jiu-jitsu and escaping to the beach. My career interests include pediatric emergency medicine, global health and general pediatrics.
Kimberly Law, MD
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

I was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Orlando, Florida. I have lived in Tampa for the past eight years and just love it here! I attended USF for undergrad, medical school, and now my Pediatric Residency! Go Bulls!I have an adorable seven month old Cavalier King Charles named Lady (like from Lady and the Tramp!). My hobbies include traveling, painting, ice skating, cooking, baking, shopping, and of course spending time with my sweet little puppy!
Amy Mason, MD
Mercer University School of Medicine

Hey everyone! I am originally from Lawrenceville, GA, a suburban city outside of Atlanta. Acceptance to Mercer Medical School led me to the great city of Savannah, GA. Now here I am in Tampa, and I couldn't be happier! I am excited for this next stage of life. I never thought in a million years I would be a pediatrician, but now, working with children is the best idea I could imagine. Plus, the ocean views from All Children's Hospital surely won't hurt the experience! In my spare time, I love to read, cook, organize, and spend as much time out on the water as I can. I have no clue what life holds after residency, but I sure am pumped to find out.
Kristine Rietsma, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

I am born and raised in Tampa. For undergrad, I went to USF. Then I went to medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton. During my first year I got a dog, Mizuno! During my second year, I got married. During my 3rd year, I got another dog, Dash! Then to top it off, I had a baby at the beginning of my 4th year! In my spare time, I am a runner- always staying busy and trying to stay young! Go bulls!
Sara Sabbagh, DO
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and got my B.S. in Molecular Biology and Anthropology from UW-Madison. I then moved to Las Vegas to join my husband, Jonathan, who was obtaining a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UNLV. There I attended medical school at Touro University Nevada. I love spending time with my husband and dog (Link), hiking, camping, running, going to natural history museums, antiquing, baking, and Pediatrics!
Erin Telepak, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

If I couldn't be a pediatrician, then I'd love to be an elf. Their profession is also to make children happy. I'm from Cleveland so I don't think the North Pole would faze me, and maybe Santa would let me travel around the world with him on Christmas Eve! I love traveling. My other hobbies are outdoor adventures and sports (kayaking, tennis, hiking, snowboarding, sand volleyball, marathons), but I'm not really stellar at anything except running in a straight line. I even booked a straight line from Ohio down to Florida to attend LECOM-Bradenton where I went to medical school. I am happy to be staying in Florida at USF for my pediatric residency. I remember on my interview trail that it was the only program where interviewees asked if we could stop the tour so that they could take pictures out the window-the view from All Children's Hospital of the sailboats on the Gulf is so beautiful! I love procedures, and I'm interested in a fellowship in either neonatology or cardiology. I hope to be involved in global health in my future career.
Rosana Lastra Vicente, MD
Ponce School of Medicine

I was born in Carolina, PR and moved to the states at the age of 9. I attended USF as an undergraduate majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biomedical Physics. I also completed a masters in Interdisciplinary medical sciences and completed a year of research at the Children's Research Institute in St. Petersburg before deciding to pursue a career in medicine at Ponce in, PR. Pediatrics to me signifies hope, silliness without judgment, laughter, and yes it also means cries, occasional messiness, and cuddies. My passion to make a difference in a little ones life, and that of his/her family, makes it all the more worth it. When not working, you may find me in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes, jogging down Bayshore with Chiqui, my pet Chihuahua who loves to wear dresses (J) or at a salsa social! I wanted to come back home to Tampa for residency and I love the support and opportunities provided by the program.
Tali Wojnowich, MD
Mercer University School of Medicine

A true Southern girl at heart, I was born and raised in beautiful Savannah Georgia. I attended undergrad at the University of Georgia receiving a B.A. in Political Science. My studies moved me to New York where I spent time working for the Mayor and received my M.A. in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have lived in Israel, Spain, and Australia but my love of Spanish moss, sweet tea, and cheese grits, brought me home for medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah. I finally followed my brother and sister-in-law (Family medicine residents at Bayfront!) down to St. Pete and absolutely love it here! It is the perfect place to be near the water, eat amazing food, and spend quality time at the beach with my giant Great Dane puppy Brighton. I can't wait to spend the next three years here at USF where I am considering a career in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

PGY-2

Dennrik Abrahan, MD
University of Central Florida College of Medicine

I was born and raised in Tampa, Fl. I then completed my B.S. and M.D. at the University of Central Florida. I love experimenting with cooking and exploring wine. I look forward to traveling abroad often. I run, I bike, and I golf. I enjoy the Florida beaches, the tropical humidity, and the rainy weather. My profession interests include pediatric EM, Heme/Onc, PICU, and global health.
Nicole Armstrong Demoraes, MD
University of Central Florida College of Medicine

I was born in Newport News, VA as a 28 week preemie, so I had a very early introduction into the world of pediatric medicine. I grew up among the mountains and casinos of Reno, NV, and moved to Orlando, Florida for middle and high school. I received my BS degree in Health Science from the University of Florida, and moved back to Orlando for medical school at the University of Central Florida. I am thrilled to be continuing my training at USF (I can now cheer for the Gators, Knights and Bulls!).

I chose pediatrics not only because I owe my life to a marvelous team of neonatologists, but because there is nothing that makes me quite as happy as helping children and adolescents take responsibility for their own health! Outside of my professional life, I love spending time with my family, friends, and two cats. My husband and I had our first baby in July so I hope I'm ready to learn to be a pediatrician and a mom all at the same time!
Sean Butler, MD
St. George's University School of Medicine

I was born and raised in southern California growing up near the beaches. After high school I traveled north to complete my undergraduate degree in Multi-cellular/Developmental Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. I completed my 4 years of medical school at St George's University and got to travel and visit over 10 countries including Newcastle England and Grenada. I fell in love with the Tampa/St Petersburg area, especially the people. I've always loved working with kids and I'm happy that I will continue to do that in a sunny beach-like environment for the next 3+ years for residency. I love being outdoors, playing golf, scuba diving, relaxing on the beach, of course catching a sports game, which are just a couple of reasons why Tampa was a perfect match for me.
Harrison Cobb, MD
University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Hey Y'all! I grew up in San Antonio, TX and was always camping, mountain biking, and participating in pretty much any sport available. I went to Harding University in Searcy, AR where I attained a degree in computer/electrical engineering, then moved back to Texas where I studied at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. During my 4th year of med school, the day following Match Day, I married my beautiful wife, Linzi! We both felt like Tampa was the place we wanted to be for residency and are excited about living in Florida for the first time in our lives! I like being outdoors, she likes theatre, and we both love to eat!
Ami Dalsania, DO
Touro School of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in New Jersey but was raised in Titusville, FL since I was a few months old. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) with a degree in Biology. From there, I wanted to explore a big city and moved to NYC to attend Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Though I enjoyed all that the big apple had to offer, I was itching to get out of the freezing weather and return to the sunshine state. The beach was calling my name! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking pictures/scrapbooking, and watching UF sports. I'm always on the hunt for the best ice cream around. I look forward to moving to Tampa and starting my residency at USF!
Kejal Desai, DO
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in the Fiji Islands and celebrated my seventh birthday in Florida. I went to the University of Florida for undergrad and University of South Florida for my masters before moving to West Virginia for medical school. I loved it there but knew it was time to come back home to Florida! I am thrilled to be back in Tampa with my husband, catching up with family, and watching my baby niece grow up!
Cameron Nereim, MD
USF Morsani College of Medicine

A Florida native, I was born in West Palm Beach, but mostly grew up in the Orlando area. My parents were both Gators, so naturally I attended the University of Florida (and proudly bleed Orange and Blue!). For medical school, I retired my Tebow jersey in favor of something Green and Gold while I attended the USF Morsani College of Medicine. During my time in Gainesville, I met my beautiful wife, Megan, who attended medical school at the FSU COM and is currently a fellow resident in the OB/GYN department at USF. The oldest of five brothers (second in a line of six children), I pride myself on having a team-oriented and caring attitude. I also happen to be a sports nut (in case you couldn't tell!). For the future, I plan to pursue a career in Adolescent Medicine with a special focus on mitigating the effects of mental illness in the lives of our youth.
Joanna Robles, MD
USF Morsani College of Medicine

I was born in Long Island, NY but have spent most of my life in Tampa, FL. I attended USF for college, medical school (where I met my soon-to-be husband), and now residency! I am the oldest of five and I am very close to my family. There is never a dull moment at home but my family was an inspiration for me entering pediatrics. I decided to pursue pediatrics because it is family-oriented, kids are so much fun, and peds was the rotation where I was most excited about seeing patients and learning. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and family, going to beaches and parks, painting, and reading. I also enjoy playing with my fluffy Shih Tzu, Lola!
Kinjal Parikh, MD
Drexel University College of Medicine

Born and raised in Maryland, I moved to Philadelphia where I attended Drexel University for both my undergraduate and medical education. As a Drexel double alum, I loved being a "dragon" and living in the city of brotherly love. I truly enjoy the outdoors, so while the beautiful scenery and great activities are perfect in Philly, the snowy, cold winters were just enough to motivate my move down south. During my USF interview, I was genuinely overwhelmed by the amazing residents, faculty and hospitals. The beaches, weather and food were a happily added bonus! Football is one of my favorite pastimes, especially watching my Washington Redskins. Despite their rocky performance, I am an avid fan who always stays optimistic! I love to travel and immerse myself in different cultures, always craving new ethnic food. I knew from an early age that I wanted to pursue a career involving kids, either teaching or medicine. Through my various experiences over the years I realized that as a Pediatrician, I could do both. I foresee myself fulfilling a fellowship, either in Emergency Medicine or NICU. As of now, nothing is set in stone besides for the fact that I am thrilled to be a USF Pediatric resident!!
Anet Pargas, MD
USF Morsani College of Medicine

I was born in Cuba and moved to the States when I was young, living in Tampa most of my life. I attended USF for undergrad, medical school and now residency, Go Bulls! I love traveling and I'm passionate about global health and medical missions. As precious as they are, I've seen that children are often the most vulnerable of populations. I chose Pediatrics because of the joy and satisfaction I've experienced in knowing that I've made an impact on a child's health and their future. Aside from medicine I enjoy anything and everything artsy, painting, photography, music, cooking and baking, and I'm always up for a DIY project. I love the beach, going to concerts, spending time with my family and friends, and running after my cute and always hyper and happy Yorkie, Toby :)
Manuel Penton III, MD
USF Morsani College of Medicine

The first thing you should know is that I'm left handed. I'm a Tampa native, and I went to USF for undergrad and medical school. I have a minor in British and American Literature and am a member of Watermark Community Church in Seminole Heights. Here are a few of my favorite things: mexican food, photography, writing songs, filmmaking, bicycles, reading, San Francisco, national parks, and road trips.

I believe medicine is an art based on science. And that science, while interesting, is ultimately a means to an end that will hopefully see the health of a human being restored. I enjoy making sense of stories, reconstructing the narratives of the people who come to me for help, and inserting myself into the plot in a way that will most likely lead to a happy ending.The underlying reason I find myself most at home working with children is that they shed an unexpected light on the world, on my own life, and on the subtle realities of each day that might otherwise escape us.
Kaitlin Sapp, MD
USF Morsani College of Medicine

Born and raised in St. Pete, Florida, I am a true Floridian thru and thru. I traveled a bit north to Gainesville for college at the University of Florida, so it goes without saying I am a HUGE Florida Gator Fan. I attended USF College of Medicine, and am so excited to be staying around to complete my pediatrics residency! Pediatrics was an easy decision for me; I have always been drawn to working with children, and relish the opportunities for education, advocacy, and enjoyment that pediatrics will afford me. Living in the Tampa Bay Area is incredible and lets me enjoy the sunshine and saltwater with my friends and family! In my spare time, I really enjoy baking delicious sugary goods, exercising, and spending time with my husband, friends, and my new puppy!

Meredith Plant, MD
Medical College of Georgia

Originally from Lawrenceville, Ga just north of Atlanta, I received my undergraduate degree at UGA (Go Dawgs!) in Genetics. In the year following, I had the distinct honor of marrying my wonderful husband, Ben Plant, in 2010. We are now a family of five with our darling little girl Abigail born in October of 2013 and our two hairy children with tails, Jack and Hope. Even though my husband and I were raised in Georgia, Tampa is our forever home with lots of family nearby, sunshine, and sand! We especially love good food, good company, and a great football game.

Pediatrics was a no-brainer for me since I have grown up around kids and can't resist the unexplainable joy they have a constant supply of. Becoming a parent has been the most awe-inspiring and exhausting journey we have undertaken thus far but it has only solidified my choice in Pediatrics.
Zsuzsanna Scionti, MD
University of Central Florida College of Medicine

I was born in Romania and moved to the United States after graduating from high school. I attended the University of South Florida in Tampa where I received my Bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences. Thereafter, I attended the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando. I have always enjoyed working with children and my interests include general pediatric medicine, pediatric nephrology and infectious disease. Tampa has now been home to me and my family for many years, and I am thankful for the opportunity to live and work in a community surrounded by my family and friends.
Philip Sosa, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born and raised right here in Tampa Bay. Although I've lived in the US most of my life, most of my family is from Guatemala, where I spent every summer growing up. Coming from a multi-cultural and Spanish speaking background, I've developed an interest in foreign languages. Thus far, I have completed two abroad language programs learning French and Italian. Once I have time, I'm hoping to learn at least one more and use each to help me be the most effective Pediatrician I can. My road to med school started with a BS in Micro and Molecular Bio from University of Central Florida, followed by a pit stop in cardiac stem cell research at All Children's hospital, and ended at Nova Southeastern University.

I've always known in my heart of hearts that I wanted to work in Pediatrics. Now that part of the dream is coming true, the only trick for me is figuring out which kind of Pediatrician I want to be. I am almost certain I will pursue a fellowship. My current interests are in Critical Care, Cardiology, and Neonatology, but you never know what can happen in 3 years! When I'm not in "medical mode", I'm cooking, spending time with friends, hitting the beach, or honestly doing anything outdoors. I am unbelievably excited for residency with all of the new experiences it will bring and the unique individuals I will be lucky to meet.

PGY-1

Michelle Blanco, MD
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

I was born and raised in Miami, FL but have been a Tampanian ever since becoming a USF Bull back at the start of undergrad – GO BULLS! I have loved living in Tampa these last 8 years or so, and am so excited to be continuing my training here at the best program ever! My interests include primary care and health disparities. In my spare time I love dancing, eating good food and spending time with my family.

Thomas Cristoforo, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born and raised in South Florida. I completed my undergraduate studies in Molecular and Microbiology at the University of Central Florida and medical school at Nova Southeastern University. My wife and I welcomed our first child, a daughter named Juno, in December of 2014. I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, and playing or watching just about any type of sport.

Michael Dressing, MD
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After spending four great years at the University of Notre Dame, I came back to Ohio to attend medical school at Wright State. After spending most of my life in the Midwest, it was time to experience the beach-life and I am thrilled to move to Tampa/St. Pete. I have always enjoyed working with children so Pediatrics was an easy choice for me. When I am not working, I enjoy outdoor activities and spending time with my fiancé. I now bleed Blue and Gold and guarantee at least three ND football championships during my residency years. Other interests include sand volleyball, golf, surfing, tank tops, and volunteering internationally.

Sonia Farooqi, MD
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

Hi everyone! I was born in a small town in West Virginia, but moved to Tampa when I was nine. I love the sunshine so much that I just couldn’t get away. I went to USF for undergrad, medical school, and now residency! In my free time, I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, shopping, and taking naps. Some of my favorite things include watermelon, fireworks, the Container Store, NBA basketball, and pop culture. I’m so excited to start my pediatrics training here at USF!

Erin Greenup, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

 I was born in Tampa and grew up in New Port Richey, FL. I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) for undergraduate, where I received a degree in health science. I stayed in Florida for medical school, attending LECOM-Bradenton. I am very excited to continue my journey at USF! I have three younger sisters and have always enjoyed working with children, so it was no surprise to those around me that I chose pediatrics. In the future, I see myself working in general pediatrics or pediatric endocrinology. During my free time, I am most likely enjoying the sunshine at the beach, volunteering at Florida Diabetes Camp, or trying a new frozen yogurt flavor. I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family, visiting Disney, and scrapbooking.

Jillian Hagerman, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hi! I am from Columbus, Ohio and attended undergrad in Northwest Ohio at Bowling Green State University. After years of shoveling snow, I decided to leave the cold and grey to attend medical school in beautiful Florida at LECOM in Bradenton. I fell in love with sunshine and beaches, and realized I could never go back! I am so excited to be able to spend the next 3 years here at USF! But besides the climate, I was especially attracted to USF for their focus on international and public health. I am passionate about preventative medicine and providing medical care to underserved populations. I choose pediatrics because of the opportunity it provides to help children grow into strong, healthy adults. By assisting in the development of healthy habits, pediatricians have the unique opportunity to influence a patient’s entire life.

Ashley Ketchum, DO
Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

My name is Ashley Collins and I am very excited to be an incoming intern with USF Pediatrics. I grew up in Saginaw, MI but have spent the last four years living in Tennessee attending Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. I loved my time in the mountains but am excited to continue moving south to the sunshine. I enjoy anything outdoors- boating, waterskiing, running, swimming, hiking, golf and snow skiing/snowboarding. I'm married to Monte will be a family practice intern at Bayfront. As for my future career, I'm thinking general outpatient pediatrics but we will see where residency takes me! 

Holly Martin, MD
Lousiana State University School of Medicine

I'm a Louisiana native who attended undergraduate at LSU in Baton Rouge majoring in Biology and Spanish followed by LSU SOM in New Orleans. One of my greatest passions is traveling, near or far, and I'm thrilled to finally live in a new city and state; especially one with so much sunshine! Being the only girl with 2 older brothers, I grew up a tomboy and still love being involved in as many sports as I can through intramurals. I don't like being bored so you'll always find me ready to explore whether its music concerts, festivals, museums, new restaurants, parks. I couldn't be happier than to know that my career will be centered around children. I'm most looking forward to all of the learning and to building relationships with my resident teams and staff as well as my patients and their families. I'm hoping to gain insight into balancing clinical practice while branching out and advocating for children's needs whether locally, nationally, or globally in the future.

Kinjal Patel, MD
FAU College of Medicine

Born and raised in South Florida, I am so excited to be a part of the USF Peds family and stay in my favorite sunshine state :)! I earned my Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and then continued on to Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU in Boca Raton, FL. My favorite memory of medical school is when I met my awesome fiancé, Sebastien, who will be joining me at USF as a resident in Internal Medicine. Together we are proud parents of our Longhaired Dachshund, Kody! In addition to taking Kody out on outdoor adventures, I enjoy spending time with the people I love, working out, shopping, and eating lots of chocolate!


Christa Root, DO
Tuoro University College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in Flint, MI, and raised on a lake in rural, Fenton Township.  From there I went to Michigan State University, (Go Green!), where I was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Health Studies.  I then attended Emory University where I obtained my Master of Public Health.  I did research at Stanford University before deciding to go back to school and for my Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University in the San Francisco Bay Area.  My passion for pediatrics comes from my lifelong interest in improving the lives of children and practicing primary prevention!  When I’m not in professional mode, I love taking my dog Parker on walks, going to the beach, and participating in just about any type of sporting activity!  I also love gardening, and am looking forward to having an all year hobby!  I am super excited to be in closer to my family in Florida and on the East Coast, and to be a part of the amazing USF Pediatrics team!

Kelsey Schutte, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School

After years of Midwestern winters, I am so excited to be here in Tampa, Florida! I spent my childhood in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and stayed to complete my undergraduate education at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Following my dream of becoming a Pediatrician has lead me to the University of South Florida, where I look forward to further developing my ability to serve my patients and their families (while spending less time practicing skills such as blizzard driving). When not at work, you will likely find me staring at the beautiful waters of the gulf and pinching myself to prove that I am not dreaming. I also enjoy riding my bike, writing, and spending time with family.  
Lauren Swanson, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hi everyone! I'm originally from Pittsburgh and went to University of Pittsburgh for undergrad, where I studied biology, chemistry, and music. For medical school, I moved to sunny Florida and attended LECOM in Bradenton, FL.  I quickly became a Florida girl and was thrilled to continue my pediatrics training at USF in beautiful Tampa.  My medical interests include pediatric cardiology and neonatology. In my free time, I like to play guitar, try new restaurants, hang out with my cat Gibson, and go running at sunset!