Faculty & Staff

Amber Fisher

Pharm.D., BCACP

Amber Fisher received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy in 1995. She completed one year of Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency and one year of Fellowship at the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy Drug Utilization Review Program. She is currently the Co-Director of the Boise Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education and the PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency Program Director and holds Affiliate Faculty Status with Idaho State University. Her interests lie in post-graduate pharmacy education, leadership, and interprofessional education and practice.

Dr. Fisher recently helped to obtain continued grant funding for the Boise Center of Excellence. With a focus on dissemination, she will work to ensure that Boise Center of Excellence innovations will be shared to other academic and non-academic teams so true team-based patient-centered care will be a cultural norm in primary care. Involving interprofessional faculty, staff, and trainees in planning and decision-making is a large part her plan to accomplish this. As an Idaho native, Amber enjoys any outdoor activity including backpacking, mountain biking, and running.

Phone: 208-422-1488

Email: amber.fisher3(at)va.gov

William G. Weppner

MD, MPH, FACP

Dr. Weppner received his Medical Doctorate at the University of Washington School of Medicine, going on to complete both his internal medicine training and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington, as well. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of Washington, Core Faculty with the University of Washington-Boise Internal Medicine Residency and the Co-director of Clinical Outcomes at the Boise VAMC Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education; he will become Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in October 2015. As a primary care provider and clinician educator, he is an advocate of teaching health profession trainees in primary care innovative methods of communicating and engaging patients in their care as part of the PACT model.

In his short career as a researcher in health services, Dr. Weppner has published book chapters, a book and multiple manuscripts on primary care topics appearing in journals such as JAMA, Archives of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Care and Journal of Hospital Medicine. He has served as President of the Northwest Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), and remains active in the local American College of Physicians, and regional and national SGIM projects. Raised in Idaho, he enjoys living in Boise with his wife and two children, is active in outdoors adventures, and is lucky enough to be able to mountain bike to and from work when the weather is good!

Phone: 208-695-0454

Email: william.weppner(at)va.gov

Scott Smith

MD, MACP

Dr. Smith obtained his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1976 and graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1980. Dr. Smith did a transitional internship at Mary Imogene Bassett hospital (A Columbia University affiliate) and his medicine residency at the University of Washington-Boise program. He joined the faculty of the Boise VA in 1990 and is currently the national physician consultant for the VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education and a professor of medicine and medical education at the University of Washington.

Dr. Smith has had over $1M in peer reviewed research funding, has written over 50 abstracts, papers, and book chapters and has recently co-authored a book in interprofessional education in patient-centered medical homes. He has given over 30 national and international presentations on clinic improvements and health education. He has served on the national education committee for the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and as Governor for the Idaho chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

NCBI CV: http://buff.ly/1BenlhT

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7489

Email: scott.smith2(at)va.gov

Elena Speroff

DNP-C, WHNP-BC

Elena is a certified primary care adult nurse practitioner (NP) and a women’s health NP. She graduated from Yale School of Nursing with a Master’s of Science in Nursing and later went on to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Oregon Health & Science University. Elena was fortunate to be in the first cohort of the CoEPCE NP Residency at the CoEPCE site in Connecticut.

After her post-graduate training and work as CoEPCE faculty member in Connecticut she took the opportunity to return to her roots in the Northwest by joining the Boise VA CoEPCE faculty. In 2015, she became director of NP training at the Boise VA Medical Center. Her professional interests include primary care, post-graduate NP training and interprofessional education. When Elena is not working you can find her trail running in the Boise foothills or traveling.

Phone: 208-422-1000, X3323

Email: elena.speroff(at)va.gov

India King

PsyD

India King, Psy.D., is Associate Director of Evaluation and Performance Improvement, Psychology Faculty at the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education. Dr. King received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology from Pacific University in 2014. She completed her doctoral internship at the White River Junction VA in Vermont. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Boise VA, with a focus in integrated primary care at the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE). She joined the Boise VA in 2015.

As associate director for evaluation and psychology faculty, Dr. King works with the CoEPCE’s interprofessional faculty focusing on the development and evaluation of team-based approaches to primary care and the integration of mental health into the curriculum of professions that receive training at the Boise VAMC. Her clinical and research interests include primary care psychology, chronic disease management, interprofessional teaching, shared-decision making and motivational interviewing. She considers one of the greatest perks of her job to be the opportunity to commute to work via her mountain bike!

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7864

Email: india.king(at)va.gov

Donna Lowther

MN, FNP-BC

Donna Lowther, FNP-BC is a Boise native who currently serves as NP faculty for the Center of Excellence. She is a has more than 13 years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner in family and specialty practice. Donna has worked at the Boise VA for more than three years as a clinical supervisor for Nurse Practitioner students and residents. She implemented the Interprofessional Diabetic Group Medical Visit which focuses on patient empowerment through facilitated goals and peer support. She serves on the Center of Excellence’s Evaluation Committee and teaches didactic classes in Primary Care Seminars, Intro to Clinic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. She lives in Meridian with her 9 cats.

Email: donna.lowther(at)va.gov

Sarah Naidoo

Pharm.D., BCPS

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Ambulatory Care; Idaho State University Clinical Affiliate Faculty
Rotation: Ambulatory Care, PGY-2 Women’s Clinic and Silver Team
Training: PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center
Practice Interests: Ambulatory Care, Hepatitis C

Email: sarah.naidoo(at)va.gov

Autumn Keefer

Ph.D

Autumn Keefer, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of Psychology at the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education. Dr. Keefer received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology from Indiana State University in 2003. She completed her doctoral internship at the Harry S. Truman VAMC in Columbia, Missouri. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Memphis VAMC, with a focus in clinical medical psychology. Joining the Boise VA in 2015, she also serves as the VISN-20 V-IMPACT PCMHI Program Manager. In this position, she is provides clinical services and is responsible for the implementation and ongoing management of a virtual PCMHI program within a virtual PACT team at medical centers and CBOC’s throughout VISN 20.

Prior to her work at the Boise VA, she was employed as a health psychologist in a regional medical center where she worked with patients and staff from various departments (oncology, neurology, cardiac rehab, hospice, behavioral health) and served as the health behavior coordinator at VA in Columbia, Missouri. In addition to interprofessional education, her research and clinical interests include shared medical appointments, primary care-mental health integration, prevention and health behavior change, and psychological adjustment to acute and chronic medical illness. Having recently moved to Idaho, Dr. Keefer enjoys exploring the West in her camper with her husband and two children.

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7309

Email: autumn.keefer(at)va.gov

Janet V. Willis

RN, BSN, CAPT(USAF-RET)

Janet Willis, a Registered Nurse, has 25 years of experience working with active duty and retired military and their families. She currently serves as Assistant Nurse Educator for the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE) at the Boise VA Medical Center. She enjoys precepting nursing students in their capstone course and mentoring Nursing VALOR students in concepts of care related to the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In addition, she teaches didactics to an interdisciplinary group of trainees in CoEPCE’s Primary Care Seminars and Introduction to Clinic.

Janet has published articles within the Boise VA and Idaho nursing journals on topics associated with PCMH. She serves as a volunteer on the board for the Idaho Healthcare Coalition and is active in the State Healthcare Innovation Plan to implement PCMH into statewide primary care practices. Serving in the USAF Nurse Corps took her through Europe and the United States with her husband and sons. She chose to retire from USAF active duty and lives in Boise, Idaho, which provides an amazing setting for pursuing her hobbies of hiking, biking, tennis, and skiing.

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7117

Email: janet.willis(at)va.gov

Matt Biggs

CWO3(USN-RET)

Matt is currently the Administrative Specialist for the Center of Excellence (CoE) within the Medical Service Office of the Boise VA Medical Center. In this position he has the responsibility for budget, scheduling and contracting for the CoE. He also is the Program Coordinator for the University of Washington-Boise Internal Medicine Residency Program, responsible for long-term scheduling, accreditation and management of all funding, in direct support of 32 residents/interns assigned to the Boise VA.

Matt has over 20 years of government contract, budget, administrative and IT experience. He is a retired Chief Warrant Officer (W-3) in the United States Navy with experience in cryptologic operations, information security, system engineering, training, network analysis and contracting, with extensive experience with all levels of leadership as a Deputy Squadron Commander and department head in various assignments at sea, on shore and abroad.

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7717

Email: matthew.biggs(at)va.gov

Rick Tivis

MPH

Rick Tivis graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in psychology/biology minor and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Masters in Public Health specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology. He is a bio-statistician with 20+ years of experience in health related research. Currently, he serves as the statistician for the Boise VA Medical Center, Center of Excellence in Primary Care and is a Research Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University.

At ISU, he teaches graduate statistics to future health care professionals and in mentoring their development demonstrates his passion for statistical literacy in the health professions. Rick also serves as the statistical editor for the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation. As an applied statistician, he continues to develop his skills in data mining, big data analytics and complex mixed modeling. Rick is active in health care in the community serving as a co-director of the ISU Community Health Screening project and a founding and current board member of the Canyon County Community Clinic

Phone: 208-422-1000, X7979

Email: rick.tivis(at)va.gov

Tim Gordon

MA, MPA, MS, CDR(USNR-RET)

Tim is currently a Management Analyst for the Center of Excellence (CoE) within the Medical Service Office of the Boise VA Medical Center. In this position he has the responsibility for all data collection and processing for the CoE. This includes the following tasks: extraction and data analysis form various databases; external website manager for the CoE and Boise Internal Medicine programs; and SharePoint administrator for the CoE.

Tim has over 20 years of corporate and government IT experience as a management analyst, software engineer, database administrator, report developer, and project scheduler. He is a retired Commander (O-5) in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve with experience in ADP security management and database administration, in addition to executive and command experience.

Phone: 208-322-4000, X3323

Email: timothy.gordon(at)va.gov