Meet the Staff

Christopher Sanford | Christopher BehrensAlexa Lindley

| John Lynch | Paul Pottinger  |  Tara Simpson Christopher Spitters  | Gwen Credit


Christopher Sanford, MD, MPH, DTM&H (Fellowship Director)

Dr. Christopher Sanford is a family medicine physician who has practiced at the University of Washington since 2000; he joined UW’s Family Medicine Residency in 2009. He is Director of the Travel Clinic at the UW Neighborhood Northgate Clinic, which offers a full spectrum of pre- and post-travel services. Together with two other UW physicians, Drs. David Roesel and Paul Pottinger, Dr. Sanford was awarded a three-year grant from UW’s Dept. of Global Health to establish a tropical medicine training program for physicians in East Africa. Now hosted by a consortium of five institutions (UW, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Makerere University [Uganda], and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center [Tanzania]), this three-month course is held annually, and enrolls 72 African and Global North physicians.  Dr. Sanford travels to Uganda each October to teach in this course.
He is Chair of a biennial CME course, Update, Travel Medicine & Global Health. During this two-and-a-half day conference, experts speak on a variety of topics within travel and tropical medicine, and global health, including public health in low-resource settings.
His overseas work has included work at clinics and hospitals in the Peruvian Amazon and Ethiopia. His research interests include threats to health in cities in the low-income nations, disaster medicine, public health, and medical education in low- resource settings.
He served as Medical Officer and Acting Deputy Director on a US federal disaster response team, IMSuRT-West (now TCCT-West). His deployments with that team included deployments to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Port-au-Prince following the 2010 earthquake, and the wildfires in San Diego, California, in 2007.
He is chief editor The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual, 5th Edition (Elsevier, 2016) with co-editors Drs. Elaine Jong and Paul Pottinger.  His layman’s guide to travel health, The Adventurous Traveler’s Guide to Health (University of Washington Press) was published in 2008; a revised edition of this will be published in 2018.  He writes the chapters on travel medicine for The Merck Manual (both Professional and Home Editions); he has also published over a dozen chapters for texts and several papers on topics within tropical medicine, infectious disease, disaster medicine, and travel medicine.
He is the founding director of the University of Washington Dept. of Family Medicine Global Health Fellowship, which accepted its first fellow in 2012.

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Alexa Lindley, MD, MPH (Associate Director)

Dr. Alexa Lindley is an Acting Assistant Professor of Family Medicine in the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Program. She provides primary care at the Family Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center and UW Neighborhood Northgate Clinic. Dr. Lindley received her medical degree at the University of Michigan and completed residency and chief residency at the University of California San Francisco. She is a graduate of the HEAL Initiative, global health equity fellowship through UC San Francisco working in Navajo Nation and in rural Chiapas, Mexico. During her fellowship she practiced full spectrum family medicine, worked as a medical educator and completed an MPH at UC Berkeley. Her fellowship provided training in the impact of structural forces on health, global health ethics, advocacy and social medicine. She has interests in reproductive health, family planning, medical education and the provision of comprehensive primary care in underserved communities locally and abroad, particularly in Latin America.

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Dr. Behrens is the Medical Director of the International Training and Education Center on Health (I-TECH) and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in the Departments of Global Health and Medicine/Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington. He has been providing HIV- and TB-focused technical assistance to multiple countries in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South America and the Caribbean region.
Dr. Behrens obtained a BA in Political Science at Stanford University and his medical degree from the University of California – San Francisco. He is board certified in Family Medicine.

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John Lynch, MD, MPH

John Lynch, MD, MPH is the medical director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, which provides care for patients for all types of infectious diseases. As part of his practice, he also provides travel medicine consultations to the patients and staff of Harborview and the UW. Dr. Lynch’s areas of interest outside of clinical care are focused on prevention of healthcare associated infections in patients, antimicrobial resistant bacteria and the health of healthcare workers.
Born in Rhode Island, Dr. Lynch received his B.A. in anthropology and history from the University of Washington, followed by several years of clinical experiences and research before attending the UW School of Medicine. He did his residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to Seattle for a fellowship in infectious diseases and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Overbaugh. He joined the faculty a the UW in 2009 and is now an Assistant Professor in the Division of Allergy/Infectious Diseases. Sites of work internationally include Gyumbri, Armenia, Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria.

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Paul S. Pottinger, MD, DTM&H

Dr. Pottinger is an Associate Professor in the ID Division’s Clinician-Educator Pathway. He is Associate Director of the ID Training Program, where his efforts focus on optimizing the fellows’ training experience. He also directs the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at UWMC, which aims to improve the use of anti-infective medications for the complex and heterogeneous patient population there. He also directs the UWMC Tropical Medicine & General ID Clinic, which brings ID fellows into contact with patients being treated for a broad variety of infectious diseases, including illnesses among returning travelers, patients requiring follow up while undergoing outpatient IV antibiotic treatment, and congenitally immunosuppressed patients.
He attends on the UWMC inpatient General ID Consult Service, Solid Organ Transplantation ID Consult Service, and General Medicine Ward service. He has earned the UW Chief of Medicine Service Award, and has been named a “Seattle Top Doc.”
He directs and teaches a variety of courses at the School of Medicine, and delivers approximately 50 formal lectures per year to students, residents, fellows, and attendings. He collaborates with colleagues at UW, Johns Hopkins, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, KCMC in Moshi Tanzania, and Makerere University in Kampala Uganda to bring a comprehensive tropical medicine training course to East Africa. He has earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher. He has received the Beeson Housestaff Teaching Award, UWMC Teamwork Leadership and Caring Award, Outstanding CME Teacher of the Year.
Research is not Dr. Pottinger’s primary focus, but he has mentored students, residents, and fellows on projects related to antimicrobial stewardship, resulting in numerous publications.
Mountaineering is his passion.

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Tara Simpson, MD

I was born in Salt Lake City, UT, and moved with my family to Guadalajara, Mexico at the age of four. Ten wonderful years later, we moved to Vancouver, B.C., and upon graduating from high school in Vancouver, I came to UW to join the top-ranked Women’s Tennis team (and to study biochemistry). After graduating and working at Harborview Medical Center for two years, I began medical school at UWSOM. Upon completing the program, I joined UW Family Medicine residency program and am now looking forward to sticking around as a Global Health Fellow. I am particularly excited to continue my work in the implementation of clinician educator tracks and to explore the development of family medicine training programs worldwide while also pursuing my interests in refugee and immigrant health, travel medicine, and other academic endeavors.

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Christopher Spitters, MD/MPH/MA

Dr. Spitters is the medical director of the King County Tuberculosis Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.  He also serves as TB control officer in Snohomish and Island Counties and health officer in Yakima and Klickitat Counties and is a medical consultant to the National Tuberculosis Program in Suriname.  He is certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is an Associate Clinical Professor of both Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at the University of Washington (UW) Schools of Medicine and Public Health, respectively.  Dr. Spitters also is a TB lecturer and medical consultant for Curry International Tuberculosis Center at UC San Francisco.

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Gwen Credit, M.A., C-TAGME (Administrator)

With over 21 years of experience with the University of Washington, Gwen’s work has included hospital and clinical administration, national and state based policy research, analysis and legislative advocacy primarily on health insurance coverage, programs and services for low-income children and families.
Gwen is currently the UW Family Medicine Residency and Global Health Fellowship Administrator. Before joining the UW Family Medicine Residency Program, she worked as the Harborview Department of Family Medicine Administrator for many years. Gwen was one of the original team members that helped open the Harborview Family Medicine Clinic in 1997. For eight years, she was the Director of Operations for the Herndon Alliance. The Herndon Alliance was a national coalition of over 200 organizations focused on communications and coordination with a goal of achieving affordable quality healthcare for all people in America. Gwen advocated for affordable health coverage, oversaw press operations and business operations, and mobilized the public on a variety of health policy issues.

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