Matthew Denny, MD studied Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis, investigating hand-eye coordination and the neural mechanisms of spatial working memory at the School of Medicine. He went on to earn his medical degree at Tulane University in New Orleans, where his research included inquiry into the Procambarus clarkii model for gustation.
He first became interested in Ophthalmology when he had the opportunity to join a medical mission to rural Guatemala with several CPMC faculty and alumni. He saw the profound difference the team was able to make in the lives of entire families there, and knew he wanted to have the same privilege. He is thrilled to once again call San Francisco home, and to train with some of the very mentors who inspired him to pursue this career over a decade ago. In his free time he enjoys cycling, playing with his dog, scuba diving, and live music.
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.
Jonathan Hernandez, MD was raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and Miami, FL. He earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University in Economics with a secondary field in Chemistry. He then went on to obtain his medical degree at Brown University in Rhode Island. Following graduation from medical school, Dr. Hernandez completed his intern year at Kaiser Oakland Hospital in the Department of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Hernandez is passionate about preserving vision, and being able to help people from all walks of life with their eye health. He chose to be a resident physician at CPMC because of the program's exceptional mentors, visionary leaders and the strength of its clinical and surgical training. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Geraldine (Gerry) Slean, MD
originally hails from New Jersey but has spent the last decade in the Bay Area. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Harvard University and a Master’s in Archaeological Science from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. She then worked in the non-profit sector focusing on sustainable development in Latin America before turning to medicine as a way to better improve the lives and living conditions of those less fortunate. She earned a Master’s from UC Berkeley’s Department of Public Health and completed her medical degree at UCSF.
Gerry was drawn to Ophthalmology due to firsthand experiences with the impacts of low vision on patients and their families. She is particularly thrilled to be at CPMC because of its strong clinical and surgical training, collegial atmosphere, and dedication to serving the underserved both in the United States and abroad. Outside of medicine, Gerry enjoys spending time with family and traveling.
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.