LLUMC Faculty

Michael Volk, MD

Michael Volk, MD

Medical Director of Liver Transplantation LLUH, Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology LLUH

Dr. Volk is the Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Loma Linda University.  He is triple board certified in Transplant Hepatology, Gastroenterology, and Internal Medicine, and has been frequently selected by Best Doctors as among the top Hepatologists in the country.

Prior to moving to Loma Linda, Dr. Volk was Director of the Liver Tumor Program at the University of Michigan.  He is a former Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, with a longstanding funded research program that focuses on management of cirrhosis and organ allocation for liver transplantation.  He has published >100 research articles, reviews and book chapters, and serves on the Practice Metrics Committee of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Since moving to Loma Linda in 2015, Dr. Volk has quadrupled the size of the liver transplant program, from 25/year to >100/year.  He has grown the GI division from 8 faculty to 17, and established numerous satellite clinical locations including an academic-private partnership in an ambulatory surgery center.  He has introduced numerous new clinical services and established a multidisciplinary Digestive Disease Center.  His research program remains active, with >$300K/year in current funding.

Kendrick Che DO

Kendrick Che DO

director of endoscopy

Dr. Che has been on faculty at Loma Linda University since 2012 where he has worked as an interventional gastroenterologist at Loma Linda University Health. His passion is providing cutting edge endoscopic procedures to treat patients in the least invasive method possible, reducing morbidity and mortality.

Tejinder Kalra MD

Tejinder Kalra MD

Director of Clinical Gastroenterology

Dr. Kalra has been on faculty at Loma Linda University since 2015 where he has worked in academic/teaching and clinical gastroenterology at both Loma Linda University Medical Center and the Outreach Orange County GI/Hepatology Programs. He has many years of experience in private practice in GI in Orange County, CA and on voluntary faculty at UCI for more than 25 years prior to joining faculty at LLUMC. He keeps up to date with current research and novel therapeutics. He is happy in sharing his experience and knowledge with his colleagues and trainees in different stages (Fellows, Medical Residents and Students) rotating in the GI Division.

In his free time Dr. Kalra enjoys family and friends, nature, photography, good music, trying different restaurants and cuisines and traveling 

Terence Lewis MD

Terence Lewis MD

Dr. Lewis has been a faculty member at Loma Linda University since 1994, along with a previous appointment for five years. He completed residency and fellowship training in Australia, and has been a faculty member at McMaster University, and spent ten years in private practice gastroenterology in Australia. Currently he is on staff at Loma Linda University Medical Center and Riverside University Hospital. Dr. Lewis has spent much of his career in medical education, serving as Program Director for Gastroenterology and subsequently Internal Medicine at LLU, as well as Chief of Gastroenterology for ten years. He values mentoring gastroenterology fellows throughout their training.

In his free time, Dr. Lewis enjoys gardening, specifically growing Australian native plants, and traveling internationally with his wife, including visiting his four adult children and their families.

Maisa Abdalla MD

Maisa Abdalla MD

Director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Medical Director of Gastroenterology clinics

Dr. Abdalla joined Loma Linda University Health as a full time Gastroenterology Faculty member in 2016.  She practices at both Loma Linda University Medical Center and Riverside University Health System.  Her primary clinical and research focus is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and pouch disorders.  She is specifically interested in patient-reported outcomes and improving access and quality of patients care.

Andrew Wright MD

Andrew Wright MD

Associate Fellowship Program Director Gastroenterology, Clerkship Director Internal Medicine

Dr. Wright has been on faculty at Loma Linda University since 2017 where he has worked in general gastroenterology at both Loma Linda University Medical Center and Riverside University Health System.  His passions are practicing evidence-based medicine, working directly with first year fellows in their outpatient continuity clinics, training all levels of fellows in endoscopy, and teaching medical students.  He has served as longitudinal small group mentor for 1st-3rd year medical students since 2018 and became the clerkship director for Internal Medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2020.

In his free time Dr. Wright enjoys spending time with his two young children, home improvement projects, and travelling.

John Kim MD

John Kim MD

GI Laboratory Director at Riverside University Health System American College of Gastroenterology International Relations Committee

Dr. Kim has been on faculty at Loma Linda University since 2010 and also completed methods training in Master of Science in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations at the University of Southern California in 2011. From 2013-2019, he relocated to China and collaborated in clinical research with Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital Zhejiang University. On return, he has served as the GI Laboratory Director at Riverside University Health System with clinical focus in interventional endoscopy including ESD. His research focuses on endoscopic management of acute cholangitis, early GI neoplasms, and upper GI bleeding.

In his free time Dr. Kim enjoys spending time with his two young children, participating in the local church, and international travels

Michael Lin MD

Michael Lin MD

Associate Fellowship Program Director—Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Dr. Lin joined the Loma Linda University faculty in 2018 after he completed his transplant hepatology fellowship at UCSF. He specializes in chronic liver disease and works closely with the other transplant hepatologists, surgeons, and rest of the transplant team to care for the pre- and post- liver transplant patients. He enjoys teaching the residents and GI fellows, and in 2020, he became the GI fellowship associate program director.

In his free time, Dr. Lin enjoys spending time with his dog (Jamie) and in the company of family and friends. He enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and eating good food.

Mina Rakoski MD

Mina Rakoski MD

After finishing her transplant hepatology fellowship, Mina Rakoski was faculty at University of Michigan for three years before moving back to Southern California. She has been with the GI Division at Loma Linda since 2015. Via a partial appointment with the Division of Palliative Medicine, she has created a Hepatology Palliative Care Clinic to provide symptom management and advance care planning for patients with advanced liver disease.

In her free time Dr. Rakoski enjoys hiking and camping with her family, playing ice hockey, and sleeping.

VA Faculty

Cindy Cai, MD

Cindy Cai, MD

Dr. Cai has been on faculty in the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System and Loma Linda University since 2012. Her primary practice site is based at the VA Loma Linda where she implements the evidence-based medicine in the care of individual patients. She oversees the liver transplant program at the VA Loma Linda. Over the years, she has been involved in teaching fellows, residents and medical students both in general gastroenterology/hepatology and hospital medicine. Dr. Cai also has a strong interest in research where fellows, medical residents and students can participate.

In her spare time, she enjoys family time, outdoor activities, and traveling

Daniel Chao, MD

Daniel Chao, MD

Associate Fellowship Program Director—Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Dr. Chao was inspired by his experiences during his residency and fellowship to pursue a career serving Veterans. He feels fortunate to be at VA Loma Linda where his interests in viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis management can be fostered and readily applied. Dr. Chao has benefited from the wisdom of numerous mentors, past and present, and he is passionate about maintaining high quality medical education at every level.

In his free time, Dr. Chao enjoys reading comics and playing with his goldendoodle, Pudding.

Erick Imbertson, MD

Erick Imbertson, MD

Dr. Imbertson is faculty at VA Loma Linda, LLU, Riverside University Health System and UC Riverside school of Medicine. While, he enjoys all aspects of gastroenterology, his true passion lies in therapeutic endoscopy. His goal is to educate and inform patients in order to allow the patient to participate in their care. He provides the most up to date and comprehensive care for his patients.  When feasible, he can offer endoscopic alternatives to surgical procedures. My goal is to provide comprehensive, compassionate and technologically up-to-date treatments for my patients with gastrointestinal problems.

In his free time Dr. Imbertson enjoys spending time with his wife and four young children, running, playing sports and travelling.

Muhammad Hammami, MD

Muhammad Hammami, MD

Dr. Hammami is a gastroenterologist who specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He has particular experience caring for IBD as it relates to pregnancy, and on managing patients with complex Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. He also has a special clinical interest in immune (check-point inhibitor) mediated colitis and enteritis.

Dr. Hammami earned his medical degree from the University of Damascus, Faculty of Medicine. He completed residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at Saint Louis University, where he also served as president of the Saint Louis University Residency Association. He completed a fellowship in IBD at the University of California, San Francisco.

Richard Strong, MD

Richard Strong, MD

Dr. Strong’s interests are in clinical GI, IBD, functional disorders, SIBO, Diverticular diseases, SB bleeding, SBP, Veteran’s Diarrhea, GI diseases and Vitamin D, to name just a few. Dr. Strong is actively involved in clinical and research training of the gastroenterology fellows.  He and his wife (Donna Strong, Ph.D-molecular biology) also assist those doing research with proposals and manuscript review. He has a varied background including time at LLUMC as GI research faculty, private practice, and the VA health system. He enjoys teaching fellows, residents in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.

Nicole Shah-Gassemzadeh, MD

Nicole Shah-Gassemzadeh, MD

Dr. Shah is a recent graduate of the Loma Linda Gastroenterology fellowship program, and is excited to begin her journey as junior faculty at the Loma Linda Veteran Affairs starting August 2020. She is eager to begin her career in academic medicine and looks forward to the opportunity to mentor fellows in any/all capacities.

In her free time, Dr. Shah is busy chasing her 2yr old toddler around and enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 dogs—usually outdoors near a body of water.