Where Your Health Comes First
Dr. Thomas Drakes is an Internal Medicine specialist who is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University and then completed medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. His internal medicine training was at St. Mary’s Long Beach, CA followed by additional specialty training at UCLA Medical Center.
Dr. Drakes became a fellow in the American College of Physicians and then served 15 years on the faculty of U.C. Davis School of Medicine as an Associate Professor. He has authored a variety of scholastic papers on the treatment of various cancers.
In 2021 Dr. Drakes decided to relocate from Oregon to join the staff at the Valley Springs Health & Wellness Center. He has been a wonderful addition to our clinic and culture. He is the consummate internist: thoughtful, thorough, professional, and compassionate.
Dr. Randy Smart graduated from U.C. Davis with honors. He then started his medical training with a scholarship to the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. His interest was in medical problem solving and human systems so he entered a three year residency in Internal Medicine. Following his residency, he then embarked on a twenty year medical career with the United States Air Force. He led medical missions to numerous third-world countries serving as an envoy for various United States interests. Dr. Smart returned to Calaveras County in 2002 and has served in a variety of leadership positions at the Mark Twain Medical Center. He is now the CEO of the Mark Twain Health Care District and has offered to also provide part time Internal Medicine services at the Valley Springs Health & Wellness Center.
Katie Murphy is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner who obtained her Registered Nursing degree at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton and earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, UT. She then earned a post-Master certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner from United States University in San Diego. Before becoming a nurse, Katie gained valuable experience as a Respiratory Therapist. With a background in ICU nursing and home care, Katie brings a wealth of expertise to her practice. She is passionate about community well-being and committed to providing personalized, holistic care to the residents she calls neighbors. Katie blends technical proficiency with genuine compassion, focusing on preventive measures and overall wellness. As a wife and mother of three, she chooses to raise her family in beautiful Calaveras County and serve those in her community.
Dr. Christian Bader was born and raised in Lodi California. After graduating from Lodi High School, he went on to earn an associate of arts degree from San Joaquin College. Dr. Bader then graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton California with a bachelor of science degree in biology. He continued on to earn a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco in 1997. Following graduation, Dr. Bader started a private practice in Lodi and continues to work in that practice part time today. Dr. Bader is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Joaquin Dental Society. He has completed programs with PAC Live, California Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, and Pacific Aesthetic Continuum. After a few programs as a "student" dentist, He was invited to be clinical instructor with the Pacific Aesthetic Continuum. As a clinical instructor he directly taught practicing dentists with their teams and patients the techniques and principles of cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers. In his free time, Dr. Bader enjoys time with his two sons, playing golf, and watching sports.
Susan Deax-Keirns is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma (1989) and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University (1991). Her training includes 8 years at Santa Clara University working with students, faculty and staff. In the middle of her tenure at SCU, she lived at a silent Interfaith Monastery for 1 year for a Mindfulness Intensive training. In 2005, she returned to the counseling field part-time (as she was mothering 3 small children). Her work history includes serving at Calaveras County Behavioral Health, acting as the Clinical Director at Mind Matters Clinic (a clinic that specialized in ADHD, Autism and Learning Disabilities) and providing therapy in a private practice setting. She is currently serving as the Director of Behavioral Health at Valley Springs Health and Wellness Center and offers counseling services to the patients in the clinic.
Her areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, alcohol issues, chronic pain, and trauma. Her therapeutic approach is informed by her training in Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), and research in neuroscience and brain health. She provides support, practical feedback, and evidence-based tools to help people move from where they are to where they would like to be.
Cheri Aguiar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience in helping and service-oriented professions and has practiced over 10 years within the field of social work. Cheri grew up in Calaveras County, obtained her BA in Child & Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University in 2003 and completed her Masters in Social Work in 2014, graduating with distinction from California State University Stanislaus.
Cheri offers client-centered services, using a blend of treatment approaches including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Insight-Oriented, Attachment-Focused, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solutions-Focused and Strengths-Based interventions. Cheri returned to Calaveras County in 2007 and has provided Integrated Behavioral Health services within local primary healthcare clinics since 2016. As a rural clinician, Cheri has worked with people experiencing a variety of mental health challenges, with a majority of treatment focusing on trauma and PTSD, grief, anxiety and depressive disorders.
Rachall Crowe is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who grew up in Alabama. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Troy University. She then obtained her Master of Science in Nursing from Troy University. She holds a national certification with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a family nurse practitioner. She has over 16 years of emergency medicine nursing experience in both adult and pediatric populations. Her goal is to educate and guide you on your healthcare journey with personalized care.
Dr. Robert Gish is a physician who is renowned throughout California for his expertise in hepatology (liver diseases). He is board certified in internal medicine, hepatology, and liver transplantation. His original medical training was at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Gish has a number of academic appointments including Professor of Medicine & Attending Physician Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
Dr. Gish has had and continues to have an active research program in viral hepatitis (HBV,HCV, HDV and HEV) liver transplant, bioartificial liver, and public policy especially related to liver cancer, liver transplantation and viral hepatitis.
He has published more than 600 original articles, review articles, abstracts and book chapters.
Dr. Gish joined the team at the Valley Springs Health & Wellness Center in 2021. He brings a great knowledge and skill-set to the clinic where he provides hepatology (liver) consultations each month.
Dr. Tam Nguyen graduated from California Polytechnic University at Pomona, California in 1984 with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He worked in Silicon Valley for various computer companies from 1985 to 1988. He then did a one-year post-graduate at Cleveland State University in Ohio from 1989 to 1990. Dr. Nguyen earned his dental degree from The Ohio State Dental School in Columbus, Ohio in June 1994. He has been practicing general dentistry since 1995 in Northern California. He is a member of the California Dental Association. He regularly participates in a Smile for Kids and Adult Programs to provide free dental check-ups and dental services in Santa Clara, Sacramento, and Placer District dental societies. Dr. Nguyen is currently working at VSHWC to provide dental care for an underserved community near and far.