Faculty Spotlight

Highlighted below are a few of the many fantastic faculty you will work with at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. At Valley there is great depth in the mentorship available, and you will find role models that can help you along any path you can imagine for yourself.​

Esther Amuyunzu, MD



Specialty Education Coordinator for Social Medicine

Dr. Amuyunzu grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and later lived in the largely immigrant central valley town of Delano, CA. In these settings, she developed a passion for understanding the effect of society on health outcomes.

    She graduated from University of California, Davis in 2009 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Community and Regional Development. She went on to receive an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco in 2014 where she focused on serving an underserved population through the "Model SFGH" program, which focuses on teaching students by immersion into the thriving county hospital. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in 2017. During residency she was part of the global health pathway and became a Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholar and participated in an immersion program in Butare, Rwanda.

    In her free time, you can find her on a plane off to explore a different corner of the world.​




    Assistant Medical Director, Moorpark Clinic

    Dr. Jimenez grew up in California and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2007 with a degree in Integrative Biology. He received his M.D. from UCLA and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at UCSF. At UCLA he was the chair of the Latino Medical Student Association and at UCSF he was the chair of the Residency Diversity Committee.

      At VMC Dr. Jimenez is actively involved in primary care and behavioral health integration as well as Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use disorder. Dr. Jimenez is passionate about caring for the underserved, mentorship, and increasing diversity in the healthcare workforce. He teaches residents about structural and cultural competency, implicit bias, and social determinants of health.

      In his free time he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and watching sports.​




      Medical Director, Valley Health Homeless Program’s Gender Clinic

      Dr. Jackie Newton received a combined M.D./M.P.H. at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency in the Primary Care Track at the University of California, San Francisco in 2013. She is the Assistant Medical Director for the VMC Valley Homeless Healthcare Program, which serves as the primary care medical home for people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Newton provides resident education in the specific care needs of the LGBTQ patient, and she is also the Medical Director for the Homeless Program’s Gender Clinic, which serves people who identify as transgender and non-binary. ​





      Medical Director, Coronary Care Unit

      Dr. Susan Zhao graduated from China’s Beijing Normal University with a BS degree in Biology in 1995. She subsequently came to the United States to pursue post graduate training including a MS degree from Drexel University in 1997, followed by basic research at Rockefeller University. Following her passion for research, she went on to graduate magna cum laude with a MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 2005. Dr. Zhao completed her Internal Medicine Internship and Residency from Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008 and Cardiology fellowship from University of California, San Francisco in 2011.

        Since joining the faculty at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in 2011, Dr. Zhao has been highly regarded for her passion in teaching and mentorship and received the ‘Excellence in Teaching’ faculty award in 2013. She is actively involved with clinical research in multiple areas including: functional tricuspid valve dysfunction due to chronic atrial fibrillation; the relationship between occult atrial fibrillation and cryptogenic stroke; cardiac manifestations of methamphetamine abuse, among others. Her work has resulted in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences.