Faculty


Steven Harrison, MD
Program Director

Dr. Harrison joined our faculty in 1991, and transitioned from part-time community faculty to full-time residency staff in 2008. He attended Undergraduate School at UC San Diego and went to Medical School at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He did his Residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. From there he started a private practice in King City (Southern Monterey County), where he did the full range of family practice included obstetrics and nursing home care for many years. His community involvement has included membership on the Boards of the Monterey County Medical Society and the Central Coast Alliance for Health. He has served as Chief of Staff at Mee Memorial Hospital in King City and has been the Medical Director at Eden Valley Care Center since 1995. He loves to teach and has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share with our residents. Outside of Natividad he enjoys skiing, fishing and other activities with his family and does significant volunteer work in the local community.

 



Marc Tunzi, MD
Assistant Program Director

Dr. Tunzi grew up in the small town of Spreckels, about 5 miles from Salinas. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1980 and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine in 1984, he completed a Family Medicine Residency at the UCSF-Fresno program in 1987. Together with his family physician wife, Dr. Danielle Acton, Dr. Tunzi spent two years at the Indian Health Service Hospital in Crow Agency, Montana and four years at a community/migrant health center practice in Twin Falls, Idaho, before returning to Salinas to join the faculty at NMC in 1993. He was our Program Director from 2000 to 2005. Dr. Tunzi’s special medical interests are medical ethics and behavioral issues, though he really sees himself as a true family physician generalist more than anything else. Dr. Tunzi is in the middle of a Master’s Program in Bioethics that is his passion. Dr. Tunzi's family includes two daughters and one son, all in college. He tries to amuse himself, the residents, and the rest of the staff by speaking in various accents or by whistling his way around the hospital.

 



Kathryn "Indy" Rios, MD
Assistant Director for
Education

Dr. Rios attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Peoria before she found herself at Natividad for her residency. Before deciding on medicine as a career, she tested her resilience as a junior high school math and science teacher. She has a strong interest in evidence based medicine, and coordinates our education program, as well as hospital CME. She enjoys reading, especially science fiction, gardening, “extremely amateur” home improvement projects, spending time with her two sons when they are home from college, and exploring on road trips with her family.

 



Gary R. Gray, DO
NMC Medical Director

Dr. Gray attended the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA. He completed his Family Medicine residency training at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, NC. After completing his military commitment he was in private practice and later served as a residency faculty member in Colorado. Prior to joining the Natividad faculty, Dr. Gray was the Predoctoral Director in the Dept. of Family Medicine at Georgetown University. Dr. Gray has been on the faculty since 2001, and was our program director from 2005-2009. He enjoys the breadth of Family Medicine as practiced at Natividad. Outside of medicine he enjoys spending time with his family and sailing in nearby Monterey Bay.

 



Abril Arias, MD

Biography coming soon.

 

 

 

 



Valerie Bengal, MD

Dr. Bengal is a Northern California native and graduate of UC Berkeley. After Northwestern University School of Medicine and a Family Medicine internship at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, she fulfilled her National Health Service Corps scholarship obligation at Soledad Medical Group here in Monterey County. She completed the Family Medicine residency at Natividad and has worked at a number of community nonprofit and public sector clinics in the Monterey Bay area, as well as private practice. Her special interests are international health, including “liberation medicine” and environmental health.



Wendell Harry, MD

Originally from Texas, Dr. Harry is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. We were fortunate that he did his Family Medicine Residency here at Natividad, and joined the faculty upon graduation. He has worked in several local community health clinics and health-related non-profits.  He is an HIV clinician at the NIDO Clinic here at Natividad, and recently established the first High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA) procedure clinic in the Tri-County area.  His professional interests include family-centered perinatal care, HIV/AIDs and Skilled Nursing Facility care. His personal time is dominated by organic gardening, tree farming, cat herding,  and other bucolic diversions on his “homestead,” environmental conservation, cycling and karaoke.



Edward Macias, EdD

Dr. Macias is the Director of Behavioral Science, and Director of Training for doctoral level psychology interns. Originally from LA, he graduated from UC Riverside in psych, then from UCLA with an MSW degree. He went to Harvard for a Doctoral degree in counseling and consulting psychology, where he also trained as a neuropsychologist. He has held clinical and teaching positions at Lowell Community Health Center, North Shore Children’s Hospital and the Murray Research center, all in Massachusetts. Dr. Macias is also in private practice and enjoys yoga, hiking, racquetball, photography, magic, and racing at Laguna Seca. You can ask him for a ride in his race car, but you have to bring your own helmet!

 



Walter Mills, MD

Dr Mills says “I love being a Family Physician, but love teaching family medicine even more!” He joined the Residency in 2014 after being part of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine at Santa Rosa since 1986. He directs the Geriatrics and In Patient Family Medicine Rotations, and Faculty Development.

Prior to joining Natividad, as a Program Director, he developed a new Kaiser Permanente residency in Santa Rosa and new medical student programs for UCSF and Touro Medical Schools. As Deputy Director for the Sutter Santa Rosa program, he founded an Integrative Medicine Fellowship, PCMH Ambulatory Care Curriculum, and Performance Improvement Primer/Curriculum. He serves on the CAFP Board of Directors, is Vice Chair of the CAFP Statewide Medical Education Committee, as well as the Resident and Medical Student Affairs Committee.  He was Co-Director of the UCSF Northern California Faculty Development Fellowship.

Dr Mills attended Notre Dame, UCSD Medical School, and UCLA-Santa Monica FM Residency, earning a Master’s of Medical Management from the American College of Physician Executive's University of Southern California program in July 2002; Fellow of ACPE (FACPE) in 2005; President, CEO, and Medical Director in several medical groups; CMO for a nine site FQHC; CAQ in Geriatrics; American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine being a certified meditation instructor and founder Northern California Center for Well-Being; AAFP Residency Solutions Business Consultant.  Dr Mills has spoken nationally on residency innovation, finding balance and joy in a medical life, and the Patient Centered Medical Home. 


Stephen Saglio, MD

Steve Saglio is a native 'New Englander' who's delighted to be living on the Central Coast of California. After his medical training at Boston University, he did a Family Medicine Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center. He was stationed in Korea (during the Olympics) and in Germany before landing in this area. His time is divided between teaching with the Residency and his nearby private practice, shared with his wife. His professional interests are a bit eclectic, covering HIV/AIDS (including HIV obstetrics), ACLS and Practice Management (“fueled” by anecdotes from private practice!) He enjoys wilderness and solitude is a licensed glider pilot... anybody care for a ride?

 



Eric Sanford, MD

Dr. Sanford is the Co-Director of Community Medicine. He attended medical school at USCF, and residency at UCSF-Fresno. Interested in the underserved, he has worked at the Berkeley free clinic and in Micronesia with the Peace Corps. He is now a primary care physician in the Seaside Family Health Center and has done research on the lead epidemic in that community. He is a physician member for the local MediCal HMO advisory group. He enjoys surfing, astronomy, backpacking, traveling and cruising in his ’62 Corvette.

 

 



John Silva, MD

Dr. Silva joined Natividad this year. He has lived and practiced in Salinas since July 1987, when he was recruited to the area by former Natividad residency graduate Antonio Velasco, MD, with whom he practiced for a decade. Dr. Silva received a Physician Incentive Loan award from the State to start and maintain a practice in the medically underserved East Salinas “barrio” of Alisal. John is most grateful for the lessons learned caring for that largely monolingual Spanish-speaking population for over 20 years. Originally from Providence, RI, Dr. Silva graduated from Brown University Medical School, then completed FP residency at UCSF’s Community Hospital of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa in 1986. Prior to coming to Natividad, Dr. Silva worked at Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, where he served as medical director from 2005-2010, helping the clinical and administrative teams maintain JCAHO accreditation three times. It was through those experiences that he learned the important points that documentable and consistent quality of medical care for all patients was safe and satisfying, and found his passion for population-based approaches to delivery of healthcare. Dr. Silva hopes to help spread awareness of Wagner’s Chronic (Planned) Care Model to a new generation of physicians, through his work at NMC.



Sally Tirado, LCSW

As Co-Director of Community Medicine, Ms. Tirado has created an integrated Community Medicine curriculum. She holds masters degrees in Social Work, Nutrition and Education. Before joining the faculty, Sally served as a medical social worker at Natividad and as a consultant on cross- cultural health. Her background includes community organizing, labor management work with the United Farm Workers, health education, and ESL teacher. As a private practice psychotherapist, she focuses on domestic violence, women’s issues and mind/body therapies. Sally is also a recognized screenwriter and has won International film festival awards. Her other special interests are dance, cross-country skiing and hiking.



Jeannine Wahl, DO

Dr. Wahl moved to Salinas with her husband and has fallen in love with the community and surroundings of Monterey county ever since. She joined our faculty after graduating from our residency at Natividad in 2012. She attended Undergraduate School at UC Berkeley and went to Medical School at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. During medical school she recieved a dual degree with a masters in Health Sciences Education and that has fueled her passion for assisting residents find their way to becoming excellent family physicians. As a fellowship trained DO, she is interested in starting the first osteopathic manipulation clinic at Natividad. She loves to teach and has interest in helping the residents daily lives be fufilling, exciting and well-organized. Outside of Natividad she enjoys cooking from the abundance of vegetables she and her husband recieve through their CSA, as well as hiking and jogging with their two dogs and exploring the many nearby wilderness areas on backpacking trips.


Christina Zaro

Originally from Petaluma, CA, I attended college at UC Davis, majoring in human development, then medical school at Medical College of Pennsylvania, now known as Drexel University in Philadelphia. I took an experimental problem-based teaching tract, learning in small group case reviews instead of lectures. After graduating, I went on to complete my residency training at the Ventura County Medical Center, a program much like Natividad. My husband and I then spent almost a year travelling and volunteering in Central America. I first studied tropical medicine in Peru and used some of this knowledge in small hospitals in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Chiapas, Mexico. On return in 2002, I landed in King City, CA, where I had worked in a small rural hospital and community clinic until leaving recently to become part of the medical staff at Natividad. We have two boys, ages 8 and 11. I like to mountain bike with my family, cook, do yoga and dance.

 
 
 

Natividad Medical Center • 1441 Constitution Blvd. • Salinas, CA 93906 • (831) 755-4111