Kenneth Downes, MD was born and raised in Corrales, New Mexico. He attended Tulane University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Cell and Molecular Biology. He returned home to attend the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed his internship in internal medicine at UPMC Presbyterian-Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He is excited to join the CPMC Department of Ophthalmology and experience diverse training opportunities in many practice settings. During his free time, he enjoys homebrewing, cooking, running, water sports, and skiing.
Maria Govorkova, MD, PhD was born and raised in Russia. She received her medical degree and completed residency in ophthalmology at Rostov-on-Don Medical University and then continued on practicing and doing research in neuro-ophthalmology earning PhD degree. Upon moving to the US, she underwent training in internal medicine at Highland Hospital before joining Department of Ophthalmology at CPMC. She is very excited to be back to the field of ophthalmology.
She enjoys the program for its exceptional training opportunities in diverse practice settings and shoulder to shoulder with an outstanding team of faculty and residents. She likes the collegial and supportive culture at CPMC, which she finds most conducive for professional growth and truly enjoyable. In her free time, she likes reading, spending time with her family and various activities outside, the favorite among which are swimming, hiking, skiing and travelling.
Meron Haile, MD is a proud San Francisco native who earned her undergraduate degree in Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard University. After learning she was not cut out for snow, she returned to her hometown where she attended the University of California Medical School. She fell in love with ophthalmology after finding mentors at the Proctor Foundation who helped her explore the field through a trip to Ethiopia, her parents' homeland. She was impressed with how quickly and dramatically the quality of these patients' lives could be improved with short surgeries and procedures.
She completed her intern year in internal medicine at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. She is thrilled to finally become a part of the ophthalmology family at CPMC. In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog, dancing, bowling, and attending comedy shows.
Michael Hemond, MD, PhD was born and raised in the Boston area. He earned an undergraduate degree in Physics from Harvard University, and a PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University and the Harvard/MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, before receiving his MD from Tufts University. He then completed his intern year in internal medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. He was drawn to the CPMC Ophthalmology program because of the depth of its clinical and surgical experience as well as the knowledgeable faculty. In his free time he enjoys biking, running, sailing, hiking, and jazz.
Derek Huang, MD is a California native, originally from Los Angeles. He attended Stanford University, where he majored in Biology and Economics. He then received a Master's in Biology before heading to the University of Vermont where he earned his medical degree. He completed his internship in internal medicine at UCLA-Olive View in Los Angeles.
He enjoys being back in the bay area and exploring all that SF has to offer. He was drawn to CPMC for its diverse patient population and commitment in helping the underserved coupled with its multitude of opportunities abroad. Outside of medicine, Dr. Huang enjoys being a Lakers fan, traveling, finding new places to eat, and exercising.
Rachelle Rebong, MD was born in the Philippines but grew up in Daly City, CA. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco and her medical degree from Duke University. There she found fantastic mentors who introduced her to the field of ophthalmology. She was instantly drawn to the field’s mix of clinical and surgical opportunities and the chance to make a significant impact on patients’ daily lives.
She completed her intern year at CPMC’s Department of Internal Medicine and is very excited to continue her residency at CPMC’s Department of Ophthalmology. She loves the program’s supportive environment, its breadth of clinical training, and its commitment to resident education. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, running, and hiking.
Sam Reiter, MD was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. He studied History at UCLA, where he worked in a multiple sclerosis lab and had the opportunity to volunteer in rural Sri Lanka, an experience that ignited his passion for international health. He gladly returned to NorCal for medical school at UC Davis, where he further pursued global health and ophthalmology with the help of amazing mentors. During an elective year, Sam led a team to Nicaragua to work in a rural community clinic, and also spearheaded a research project on the role of cooking smoke in cataract and pterygium formation in Nicaragua. He then volunteered in Bhutan where he saw firsthand the staggering prevalence of preventable blindness in the developing world, confirming his decision to become an ophthalmologist.
Sam hopes to devote his career to people who lack access to adequate eye care in his community and abroad, and is therefore thrilled to be training at CPMC. He is passionate about the role of nutrition in health, utilizing his pre-residency research time to establish a diabetes education program at the Lions Eye Clinic. Sam enjoys getting outside whenever he can to play soccer, run, hike, bike, and explore all things Bay Area. He also loves cooking, farmers’ markets, reading, traveling, and most of all his wife, family, friends and dog.
Jill Rotruck, MD was raised in West Virginia. She received undergraduate degrees in Biology and Music from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV and her MD at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Following graduation from medical school, Dr. Rotruck completed a Transitional Year at WVU. She is very excited to be training in ophthalmology at CPMC because of its supportive and knowledgeable faculty, dedicated and fun co-residents, and unique educational opportunities. The staggered start allowed her to work on her Spanish and work and learn in an international setting at clinics and hospitals in Nicaragua as well as with Unite for Sight in Honduras. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, singing, eating dessert, and finding completely random things to do in San Francisco.
Aileen Sy, MD, grew up in Southern California, and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in Biochemical Sciences. She returned to California for her medical degree at University of California, San Francisco. It was during her medical training that Dr. Sy had her first experiences with ophthalmology, here at CPMC, and was so impressed by the field that she decided to take a year to pursue a research fellowship in ophthalmology. During this time, she worked with outstanding mentors at the Proctor Foundation at UCSF on international clinical trials investigating treatments for fungal, bacterial and viral corneal infections. While the foundation of Dr. Sy's interest in ophthalmology lies in its unique combination of critical clinical thinking with surgery to profoundly impact patients’ lives, experiencing the presence of ophthalmology in the international community and the innovative nature of the field solidified Dr. Sy's passion for ophthalmology.
She is thrilled to complete her training at CPMC where strong clinical and surgical training is achieved in a supportive and collegial environment, and where opportunities to serve the underserved both locally and internationally abound. Outside of medicine, Dr. Sy enjoys playing the violin and piano, karaoke, and exploring new cuisines both in the city and at home in her kitchen.