Read about some of the many dedicated and passionate Marin Community Clinics’ clinicians and staff who work tirelessly to deliver the best care to our patients and community. We are proud of our staff and thankful for their hard work. They are the heart of our organization and without them we would not be as successful as we are today.
Mikhail Babayev is one of the Clinics’ complex care managers. Like many of our patients, he immigrated to the U.S. at a young age — in his case, after leaving Russia. Mikhail grew up in Sacramento and is one of seven children. His family didn’t have a lot of resources and relied on public benefits and case management assistance. “The services we received were so important and helped us so much. I don’t think I would have made it had we not received the support we did,” he says.
The assistance Mikhail received growing up inspired him to be the first member of his family to attend college and to pursue a career in the behavioral health field. He holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of New England and is studying to become a licensed social worker. He has been working at the Clinics for a year and is happy to
support people with the same needs he had growing up. He also appreciates the care integration model we have and the convenience of communicating with other providers. “The integration of care that the Clinics offers is really great. I can talk to other providers who are also working with my patients and can consult, share patients’ concerns, and work with them to make the most of the care provided.”
Mikhail lives in Rohnert Park with his wife and cat. He enjoys exploring new places, fishing and watching football.
—Mikhail Babayev, Complex Care Manager
Maria Dominguez is celebrating a milestone this year — her 20th year working at our clinics! She started working at the small Greenbrae clinic we used to run on the Marin General Hospital grounds (out of a modular building). Since then she has not only watched, but also contributed to our growth. Throughout the years, she helped several different departments and wore many hats. Direct patient support and customer service became her areas of expertise and passion.
“I love connecting with people and being able to help them. After 20 years, it feels more like a friendship with patients…we know each other so well, birthdays, family growth, and many other milestones.”
Maria, who was born in Mexico and raised in California, is grateful for the opportunity to help the Latino community. She started interpreting for her parents at a very young age and continues to do so. Being able to help people, especially in their native language, is one of the main influences on her career at the Clinics. “I truly enjoy getting smiles when patients realize I can help them in their native language… It’s so important for people to be able to properly communicate and to have their concerns addressed when they’re sick.”
In her spare time, Maria enjoys travelling, going to concerts, and reading. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and dog.
—Maria Dominguez, Front Office Receptionist
The Clinics’ Health Information Management System (HIMS) Supervisor Tisa Thompson is a busy woman!
Besides leading the HIMS team, she has licenses and certificates that allow her to have several occasional side jobs — real estate, notary and finger print licenses. She also has a full-service management certificate, etiquette consultant certificate, and is a Mary Kay beauty products representative.
Tisa enjoys working at the Clinics because of the commitment of the employees. “We provide such great care at the Clinics and I believe that’s possible because everyone works together and helps one another. Everyone puts their heart into what they do.” After working as a HIMS technician for
a year, she became the department’s supervisor.
Tisa holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Francisco State University and a master’s in public administration with a health concentration from California State University. The education Tisa received and skills she developed have helped her to provide great leadership support to her team. “Supervising my team is another reason why I like working here. I’m passionate about coaching and mentoring people.” she says.
Tisa enjoys travelling, reading, and spending time with her granddaughter during her free time. She lives in Solano County with her husband and youngest son.
—-Tisa Thompson, MPA/HCA, HIMS Supervisor
From patient, to board member, to employee! Nildes Cardoso had the chance to experience first-hand the care we provide and to contribute to the growth and improvement of our clinics. Before becoming a Clinics’ employee, Nildes worked as a nanny for a family in Marin for many years. During this time, she came to our Clinics for care. Helping people has always been a passion and she had been looking for an opportunity to help her community.
The recommendation to become a board member came from her Clinics’ doctor and Nildes saw it as great volunteer opportunity. “Marin Community Clinics’ mission inspired me to become a board member and to do more for my community. I truly enjoyed serving on a board with people who care so much about the health of others.”
Nildes’ career in the medical field started in her native country Brazil. For 17 years, she worked as a nurse assistant at several hospitals. While serving as a board member, she learned about the employment opportunities the Clinics offered and decided to go back to the medical field. She is currently working as a sterilizer technician and is studying to be a dental assistant.
She hopes to complete her certification soon and work closely with patients, which she enjoys very much.
Nildes volunteers at a spiritual center, where she is able to learn about religion and help people. She enjoys reading and learning more about spiritual matters during her free time. She lives in San Rafael.
—Nildes Cardoso, Sterilizer Dental Assistant
Erik Schten, MD
Erik Schten, MD is one of the Clinics’ senior clinicians. He has been providing medical care as a primary care physician since 2001 and has special expertise in dermatology, geriatric medicine, and epidemiology. Besides being busy working as a clinician, he serves as the Site Medical Director for our Novato North clinic where he is in charge of the medical operations and clinician support.
When Dr. Schten interviewed at the Clinics, he felt moved by the dedication that the providers and staff had to our mission and our patients. To this day, he continues to be inspired and passionate about the work he and others do.“Every day I see patients fight through what seems like impossible obstacles and unbearable life challenges, things I would have trouble even imagining. I feel humbled and proud to support their personal heroism.” Dr. Schten lived in Ethiopia and Colombia when he was a child, which sparked his interest in working with diverse populations and later led him to work at the Clinics.
Dr. Schten received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and did his residency at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities, meditating, listening to music, and travelling.
—Erik Schten, MD, Novato Site Medical Director