Clinical Sites

One of our program’s greatest strengths is the variety in our teaching hospitals. The three sites provide unique experiences in terms of types of patients, acuity of presentation, and complexity of disease. The opportunity to rotate at each site offers all our graduates a comprehensive understanding of the internist experience.

Each hospital has its own Associate Program Director (APD), a site-specific Head of Internal Medicine, and two to four Chief Residents to provide leadership, support and advocacy for all residents rotating at the site. The dedicated program administration also ensures high quality teaching and learning conferences at all three hospitals.

University of Minnesota Medical Center

The University of Minnesota Medical Center is an incredible academic teaching institution comprising two hospitals and dozens of adult specialty clinics on both the East and West banks of the University of Minnesota UMMC with bordercampus in Minneapolis. Faculty at University of Minnesota Medical Center are dedicated to teaching and consistently recognized for excellence in patient care and cutting-edge research. The University serves as a quaternary referral center for a multi-state area which provides residents with opportunity for highly specialized care for a variety of medically complex patients. 

Associate Program Director
Dr. Melissa Plesac

Regions Hospital

Regions Hospital is located in Downtown St. Paul and has an illustrious history dating back nearly 150 years. It originally functioned as the public, county hospital serving Ramsey county and later became the private, Regions non-profit hospital it is today. Because of this history Regions Hospital continues to serve as the county hospital for the city of St. Paul and surrounding communities. It has a renowned Burn Center and is a Level 1 trauma center for both adults and pediatrics. While rotating at Regions Hospital, residents have the opportunity to care for patients from a variety of backgrounds, both insured and uninsured with common and rare diseases. This provides a wealth of educational opportunities and experiences. 

Associate Program Director
Dr. Paula Skarda

Minneapolis VA Health Care System

The Minneapolis VA Healthcare System (MVAHCS) offers a unique experience that is an integral part of the Internal Medicine residency training at the U of MN. The Minneapolis VA Medical Center is a tertiary referral center with more than 300 beds and a catch-area of over 390,000 square miles. Residents care for veterans who come from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and portions of Illinois, Wisconsin, VA with borderKansas, Missouri, and Wyoming. Inpatient medical care at the VA is resident-driven, with teaching services comprising the majority of inpatient care teams. The Cardiology program is robust and well-regarded, especially in areas of valve replacement and electrophysiology. As a primary care center, the VA emphasizes continuity and offers connections to many subsidiary primary care services, such as mental health, pharmacy counseling, and nutrition, via the Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) model. There is a comprehensive Women’s Health Center on-site, and the Minneapolis VA is one of 20 centers in the nation to have a Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). Minneapolis hosts one of the largest active research programs in the VA healthcare system with over 150 investigators conducting more than 500 research projects with a network of faculty who help support resident research. Our VA offers outstanding clinical faculty in a wide range of specialties who are highly engaged in resident education. Both specialty and general Internal Medicine attendings are held in high esteem for their approachability, expertise, and skills in teaching.  

Associate Program Director
Dr. Reut Danieli


The Center for International Health was established in 1980 in response to the influx of Southeast Asians to Minnesota after the end of the Vietnam War. As immigration trends change Minnesota's demographics, the clinic sees many patients of varied backgrounds. Since 1980, the program has expanded to include patients from more than 30 countries, with a staff of providers combining more than 100 years of experience in International Health, Tropical and Travel Medicine, with extensive experience practicing both internationally and in the United States. Our International Mental Health program was established in 1984, and the International Travel Clinic in 1986.

Key Components

(This care delivery model is nationally recognized)

  • Multidisciplinary care: Adult primary care; mental health program (psychiatry and psychology); pediatric specialty care (new arrival screenings, INS adjustment of status examinations)
  • Bilingual staff: Frontline staff, medical assistants, nursing and medical staff who are bilingual and bicultural.
  • Providers with expertise: Providers who are bilingual and bicultural, from the countries of origin of our patients, and with advanced degrees in tropical and travel medicine, public health, and international health.
  • Professionally trained Medical Interpreters: Staff interpreters available on site for multiple key languages. Agency interpreters contracted for all other languages. Telephone interpreter available for all languages.

Program Activities

Patient Care

  • New arrival screening examinations for refugees and immigrants (adults, pediatrics and families)
  • Primary care for non-English speaking and limited English speaking patients (adults only)

Consultative/Subspecialty Care

  • International Mental Health
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Group therapy (Vietnamese political prisoner's men's group)
  • Cross-cultural health care consults
  • INS adjustment of status examinations for families (Civil Surgeons on staff)


  • Continuity Clinic – IM and Med-Peds:
  • Observerships for International medical graduates
  • Nursing and CMA students
  • School of Social Work interns

Lectures/other educational activities

  • National, state and local lectures and day-long symposia on refugee health
  • New Book– "My Heart it is Delicious" by Billie Young, published October 2007
  • Chris Newberry Video "If We Knew Their Stories" with TPT Television
  • "Immigrant Medicine" textbook published October 2007
  • "LEARN" model video on cultural care
  • Research
    • multiple published case studies from the CIH
    • review articles on refugee and immigrant medicine
    • retrospective review of extrapulmonary tuberculosis in Minnesota
  • Consulting
    • Site visits and discussion of our care delivery model with Mayo, Maine Medical Center, HCMC, PNMC, CDC, International Organization for Migration, Canada and others

Community Outreach & Service

  • Board of Directors (International Institute of Minnesota, United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota and others)
  • Health Fairs, community events
  • Outreach via ethnic media
    • Health articles in Russian newspaper
    • Radio talk shows on mental health issues
    • Somali health television series
    • Hmong newspaper article


HealthPartners University Ave Clinic is a community-based clinic. Currently, there are 7 internal medicine physicians and 2 internal medicine/pediatric physicians all of whom have robust and diverse practices. The clinic serves not only the local community but also many group homes and other care facilities in the area. The University Avenue clinic is a multi-payor clinic with a large population of patients on Medical Assistance and Medicare. As most of our physicians initially were employees of the county health system we serve a disproportionate population of patients with mental illness. The physicians are all dedicated to teaching and enjoy passing on their knowledge regarding complex patient care to the future generations of doctors.

HealthPartners University Avenue Clinic serves a diverse population of patients within the greater Twin Cities area.  Originally located within Regions Hospital, the original mission of the clinic was to serve the underprivileged within the county hospital system. In 1997, HealthPartners purchased Ramsey Hospital and it became a private hospital, Regions Hospital, while maintaining the mission to care for all those in the community no matter what their financial status. Because of our history, UAC has a diverse patient population made up of Medicaid and Medicare as well as fully insured patients. We enjoy a balance of patients from all walks of life and it is a privilege to care for those in our community.

Key Components

Multidisciplinary Care
Adult primary care, utilizing care model process with a team approach to patient care

Providers with expertise
Virtually all staff physicians have been chief residents and have been involved in teaching residents since leaving residency.  Our staff fill a variety of roles within the organization from program directors to heads of credentialing.  We work in clinic, attend in the hospital, TCU and nursing homes.  We are leaders in Quality improvement for the organization and are consistently named top clinic for patient satisfaction. 

Full-service clinic
On-site we have lab, X-ray, ultrasound, and pharmacy.  We also have extended services including diabetes education, MTM pharmacy, and psychotherapy.   

Food trucks
Most importantly to the residents who call UAC home, we have food trucks during the spring and summer months which serve a variety of delicious foods and make our clinic unique and fun to work at.

Resident Continuity Clinic
Residents are highly valued members of our care team.  They can expect the following from their clinical experience at UAC…

  • Preceptors who have spent their entire careers teaching and who stay current on medical literature and evidence-based medicine.
  • Opportunity to provide primary care for a diverse population of patients-many with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, ischemic cardiomyopathy, and COPD.  In addition, you will care for young and healthy patients whom you will be able to provide preventive care for in addition to future counseling on lifestyle issues and how to prevent chronic medical problems.
  • Competence in providing acute and chronic care in addition to becoming experts on preventative care and how to utilize your care team to improve the health of your population of patients.
  • Competence in how to run an efficient clinic.  We pride ourselves on helping all physicians develop skills which will help them manage a practice and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Educational Activities

  • Didactics on how to care for common problems within a primary care practice
  • QI projects that will be implemented within our medical group and improve care for our entire community.

Physician Staff

Sarah D’Heilly, MD
Kelly Frisch, MD
Hannah Lichtsinn, MD
Angela Medina, MD
Loretta Pfannes, MD
Khoula Sikander, MD
Paula Skarda, MD
Sarah Yamaguchi, MD
Bryan Warren, MD