“Encouraging and Supporting Women Physicians and Dentists
Through Connecting, Inspiring and Equipping.”
January 2023 Mission Trip
WPDC has been used mightily by God to show His love to prostitutes and trafficked women in Nicaragua through a commitment we made to the women there at House of Hope. Various women have made 16 trips thus far, and we are thankful that can now plan to return, this time through the sending agency Go International. If you are interested in being part of the group or supporting your sisters in prayer, click here: Patti Francis, MD or supporting the trip financially click here: https://give.cmda.org/WPDCNic. (Tax deductible). We appreciate any amount. Thank you.
An interview with our WPDC Past Chair, Regina Frost MD
Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ (WPDC) is an outreach ministry to provide resources for Christian women physicians and dentists to integrate their personal, professional and spiritual lives. We encourage and support Christian women and physicians as we share the unique challenges of our multiple roles. To learn more about our ministry and stay abreast of events, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, the PULSE. And be sure to plan to attend our annual conferences and virtual conferences.
Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ provides a ministry of true belonging, support and equipping to address the unique challenges of women physicians desiring to glorify God.
Women physicians complete in Christ ministering through medicine.
Biblical Authority – 2 Tim 3:16, All scripture is inspired
Integrity – Titus 2:7, Colossians 4-6
Authentic Friendships – John 15:12-13, Love one another
Grace-filled Haven – Hebrews 4:16, Grace in time of need, Women physicians complete in Christ, thriving in service
In April 1992, Rev. Marti Ensign became the first director of this outreach, which provided resources directed toward women physicians and dentists, conferences to meet their specific needs and a close-knit network to help them share and grow in Christ. In 1993, members of the (newly formed) WIMD Commission attended the American Medical Women’s Association meeting, where many expressed an interest in CMDS. In April 1994, the first CMDS/WIMD national convention was held in Philadelphia.
In 2000, Rev. Marti Ensign retired from the leadership of WIMD and Harriet Askew became the new director. She worked on behalf of the ministry from 2000-2002. Since 2002, WIMD has created a monthly e-newsletter that is sent out to thousands of women. With the e-newsletter, WIMD can reach women all over the world and in return receives many responses including prayer requests, needs and useful suggestions.
In 2002, the Commission members realized their desire to personally minister to the women professionals of CMDA, and therefore, the ministry paradigm was restructured. The WIMD Commission hired its first administrative assistant in the fall of 2002 and its first full-time administrator in January 2014. WIMD now has yearly conferences in different regions of the United States to minister to the growing number of women physicians, dentists and medical and dental students.
In 2021, the name was changed to Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ (WPDC) in order to reflect the heart of the organization, Jesus Christ. The mission of this commission has not changed—the ministry continues to be focused on Christian women physicians, dentists and the students in these professions.
- Darilyn Falck, MD – 2000-2004
- A.J. Demlow, MD – 2004-2006
- Gloria Halverson, MD – 2006-2008
- Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD – 2008-2010
- Cara Brown, MD – 2010-2012
- Leslie Walker, MD – 2012-2014
- Holly Austin, MD – 2016-2018
- Patti Francis, MD - 2018 – 2020
- Regina Frost, MD - 2020-2022
- Connie Hahn, DO - 2022-2024
- Sarah Rahkola, MD - 2024-2026
Connie Hahn, DO
Connie Hahn, DO, is a family medicine physician in group practice at Bozeman Deaconess Health Group in Bozeman, Montana. After spending the first part of her career life in the airline industry and as a ski instructor in Lake Tahoe, Connie decided to return to her education in her 40s. Her husband Chris was her main source of encouragement as she found herself applying to medical school later in life. Connie was an officer in her CMDA chapter while in training and later became involved, as a new physician, with what is now Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ. She attended UC Davis family medicine residency in Merced, California and was treated for cancer during that time. As a survivor, and experiencing the dual role of being a patient and physician at the same time, Connie witnessed God at work in a very big way. This helped shape her practice and her compassion for her patients, while leaving her with two mottos in life: 1) You may not ever be able to give back enough, but you can always pass it forward; and 2) At the end of the day, no one will remember what you said or accomplished, but they will always remember how you made them feel. She incorporates her faith into her practice and gives public lectures on this subject as well as behavior health. Her husband has a PhD in mental health and works as a mediator for families, the church and natural resource disputes. They have two grown children, one living in Australia and another in Lake Tahoe.
Regina Frost, MD
Dr. Regina Frost is an OB/Gyn and works out of St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. She has been in practice for over 10 years, the majority of which was spent as the owner and solo physician of her former private practice. Regina enjoys educating women about their health and seeing God work in the lives of her patients. She is married to Darren Clark and enjoys serving at church, cooking/eating, reading, exercising, listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
Patti Francis, MD
Patti Francis, MD, has been in private practice in a partnership at Lamorinda Pediatrics since 1985, located in Lafayette CA. Patricia (Patti) graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, completed her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and her residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics; was a founder and chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Medicine and Dentistry from 1990-1996; and is a member and past chair of the Marriage Enrichment Commission. She has served on the Physicians Resource Council of Focus on the Family, as an Advisor Board Member of the Medical Insitute and DiscoveryHealth.com Disease and Conditions; and has worked on missions with Samaritan’s Purse, GHO, Kids Alive International, and Women of Vision/World Vision. She is married to Ron and has two daughters—Corrie and Erica.
Holly Austin, MD
Holly B. Austin, MD, is a Pediatrician in Urgent Care at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she attended college at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois and then went to Medical School at University of Missouri-Columbia. She did her Pediatric Residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She is one of 5 doctors in a Pediatric practice that has been together for 22 years. Married with four dogs and one cat, Holly loves bicycling, skiing and music and is involved in church and community activities. She has a handicapped sister born when she was 9 years old, and has extensive experience with handicapped children in both private practice and on a personal level. She was chosen as one of the top three pediatricians in the greater Kansas City area (pop. 1.5 million with over 270 pediatricians) by a poll of physicians published in Squire Magazine in 2000 and 2003. (poll was completed every two years but magazine is no longer published).
Marilyn Whitney, MD
Marilyn Whitney is a family practice physician in Ossian, Indiana. She attended medical school at Indiana University, and she has been practicing for 26 years in a small-town private practice. With interests in disaster medicine and adult mood disorders, she continues her adjustment as an employed physician in a town of 3,000 people.
Tiffany Owens, MD
Tiffany Owens is an allergist/immunologist and hospitalist pediatrician from Johnstown, Ohio. Tiffany received her undergraduate degree from Capital University and has been a CMDA member since starting medical school at Wright State University. While serving as an officer in the United States Air Force, she completed residency training at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, survived being a chief resident, was assigned to be a staff pediatrician, and later attended fellowship at San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, finishing 8 years as a military physician. CMDA meetings, mentorship, and Bible studies have helped Tiffany, her husband, Bobby Owens, and their three children to feel better equipped to deal with the challenges of medicine, marriage, military life, and lay ministry. WPDC is like a balm for Tiffany’s soul when her heart is weary and, while serving on the Commission, she hopes to assist others to further develop meaningful relationships among the remarkable ladies of WPDC.
Madie Hartman, DO
Madie Hartman was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. She attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and did her residency at Altoona Family Physicians where she was trained in full spectrum family medicine. She is passionate about obstetric and pediatric care in family practice. Dr. Hartman currently practices at the Penn State Middletown Office. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three wonderful children as well as crocheting and playing the piano. She is excited about helping with the WPDC ministry as a member of the commission.
Lynn Hickman, MD
Lynn Hickman received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, with residency at Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, serving as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She also received training from the Academy of Pain Research Acupuncture Training in San Francisco. Dr. Hickman now practices as a Perinatal Laborist at St. Luke’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists in Kansas City and an OB Hospitalists at Lester Cox Medical Center in Springfield, MO. Dr. Hickman first attended a WPC conference in 2014 in Philadelphia and feels that she has now “found a group of kindred spirits I had been searching for and did not even know existed.” She joined the commission to “help as many female physicians as possible find this ‘support and encouragement group’.”
Martha Grace Courtright, MD
Martha Grace is a Family Medicine physician in Hayward, Wisconsin where she practices full spectrum medicine. She is originally from Monroe, Louisiana. Her parents are both Family Medicine physicians and members of CMDA. She attended Wheaton College where she majored in Theology and attended Medical College of Wisconsin- Green Bay for medical school. She is married to Kyle and has two kids, Isabelle and Liam. She enjoys hiking, camping, reading, crafting, and playing board games. She previously served as the resident representative and now continues to work with the student/resident ministry as a member of the WPDC Commission.
Elisa M. Ghezzi, DDS, PhD
Elisa M. Ghezzi, DDS, PhD has practiced geriatric dentistry for 25 years, providing dental care for residents of assisted living facilities in southeastern Michigan. She graduated from and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan (UM) School of Dentistry and holds a PhD in Epidemiology from UM School of Public Health. Elisa has been married for 24 years to Steve, a pediatric dentist. They have six children: Elena, Joseph, Luke, Natalie, Dominic, and Michael. Elisa has been a member of CMDA since 1991 and has served as Resident Trustee, on the Dental Ad Hoc Committee, and on the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission (2001-2005).
Katherine is a second year medical student through the University of Washington: WWAMI program. Katherine grew up in “God’s Country” on her family’s fifth-generation cattle ranch in rural Montana with her sisters. She contributes her passion for serving others to her parents and community; with many of her earliest, most fond memories coming from the weekends assisting her mother, a mixed-practice veterinarian, with low-cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics across Montana. When not buried in medical textbooks, Katherine loves to explore the world, cook and bake, work on her family’s ranch, and spend time with her large extended family. She is ecstatic to join the WPDC Commission, especially to learn from other Christ-following physicians and to support her medical student peers through the challenges of training.
Sarah Rahkola, MD
Dr. Sarah Rahkola is an internist and clinic medical director at Providence Medical Group, Newberg, Oregon. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and serves as the chair of the finance committee of the Oregon chapter. Her clinical interests are in geriatric medicine, substance use disorder, and team-based primary care. Her husband Rauha and three children Thomas, James and Miriam join her in loving music, reading, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. She has a passion for classical Christian education and for teaching her Sunday school students how to read and interpret scripture.
Andrea Braun, MD, PhD
Dr. Andrea Braun received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. After medical school, she trained in England for a brief period of time, then in Germany in nephrology, then moved to the US for an internal medicine residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a nephrology fellowship at Harvard in Boston, MA, and a critical care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Critical Care Medicine and currently practices as an Intensivist (doctor for critically ill patients) at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX. She is an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, in Houston, TX and Associate Program Director for the Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Braun has an interest in theology and holds a Graduate Diploma of Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada. She enjoys serving in short-term medical missions and in the local CMDA Houston chapter. In her free time, she likes to travel, go hiking, read theology books, and recently took up running as a new hobby.
Nancy Mabe, MD
Nancy Mabe is a 1994 graduate of the University of Missouri school of Medicine. She joined CMDA during her first year of medical school. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in 1997. She joined a private practice in Arlington Heights, IL. In 2001, she moved to Wentzville, Mo, also practicing community medicine and in 2015 she joined the faculty of the University of Missouri. She has been an active member of the WPDC since 1998. Nancy is a fellow of the American College of Physician's and serves on the Missouri ACP Governor's Council. She and her husband Dan have 3 girls: Kaitlyn, Christa, and Allison.
Mike Chupp, MD
Mike Chupp, MD, Mike was drawn to the orthopedic surgery service as Tenwek had no long-term bone surgeon. He was also named Medical Director in mid-1997. Tenwek grew remarkably during Mike’s tenure as surgeon and medical director to a clinical staff of over 80 physicians and clinical officers and more than 700 total staff. Training programs for interns, family medicine, general surgery and orthopedics were also developed and launched during those years.
Mike and Pam left for Kenya in August 1996 with two small children and added two more while at Tenwek Hospital: Steven, Melody, Kayla and Ashley.
In 2015, Dr. David Stevens invited Mike to consider returning to the U.S. to assume the role of CMDA Executive Vice President. After seven months of prayer and seeking counsel from mission leaders, mentors and close friends, Pam and Mike decided to leave their Kenya home and mission life of 20 years and moved to Bristol, Tennessee in July 2016. Mike has counted it an amazing privilege to serve alongside David Stevens and Gene Rudd and all the national CMDA staff for nearly three years. In September 2018, after an eight-month CEO search process, the Board of Trustees asked Mike to become the next CEO of CMDA, beginning September 1, 2019, when Dr. Stevens steps down. Mike’s life verses are from 2 Timothy 1:6-7: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV).
An annual four-day conference for Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ providing opportunities for fellowship, continuing education, networking and spiritual growth & refreshment. The conference offers 12 hours of CME credits each year.
Online registration and the downloadable form are available using the button below.
"The GPS Retreat was just what the doctor ordered. I was stressed, overwhelmed with work, church and home duties. The world and it cares were weighing me down. I could not wait for the long weekend to get here, if only for a chance to “get away from it all”. But GPS is so much more.
See, the S is for Surrender. And that’s what we, as Christian women physicians, sometimes forget to do. Our calling is to not always be in charge at home and at work, but to sit at Jesus’ feet and surrender to His authority. We need a chance to be fed, be heard, be prayed over. This is when we start to grow and dig deeper into what God has in store for us. I highly encourage anyone who needs recharging to participate in a GPS weekend." -- Joanna Stacey
For the June WPC Grasping Power through Surrender (GPS) event in Hocking Hills, Ohio, God brought together 6 very different women. There were women from all over the country (Michigan to Texas), wide age ranges (30s to 60s), varied specialties (Emergency Medicine to general medicine on the mission field), single and married, and mothers of There were women from all over the country (Michigan to Texas), wide age ranges (30s to 60s), varied specialties (Emergency Medicine to general medicine on the mission field), single and married, and mothers of toddlers to grandmothers...all with one common purpose: to focus on and encourage one another in spiritual growth.
Through games, hikes, shared meals, discussion, prayer time, and personal reflection, we explored our walks with Christ and sought to deepen them. As only fellow Christian physicians can do, we listened, prayed, and supported one another. Grasping Power through Surrender (GPS) is truly the mission of these retreats, and of each of our lives as Christians!
If you are interested in having a GPS retreat in your area, get together two or three interested graduate physician colleagues and let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. WPDC will provide the facilitator, support and advertising to bring together 6-8 female physicians for a Thursday-Sunday GPS retreatt. Or if you would like to attend a future retreat in a different area, please email us.
If you’d like to hear about GPS from a recent attendee, Dr. Angie Flores, click here.
Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ holds events throughout the CMDA National Convention specifically for WPDC members to fellowship and renew their faith.
FRIDAY NIGHT – WPDC Game Night
SATURDAY MORNING – WPDC Breakfast
SATURDAY EVENING AFTER PLENARY – WPDC SOCIAL
All WPDC events are open to any female healthcare professional attending the CMDA National Convention.
A local resource for women involved in WPDC to fellowship in their local communities.
A weekend conference provided by CMDA's Marriage Commission specifically for WPDC members and their spouses. This weekend offers an opportunity for participants to grow and nurture their marital relationship.
History of missions with WIMD/WPC/WPDC:
2008 - GHO trip to Cuenca, Ecuador
2011-2018 - GHO trips to House of Hope Managua, Nicaragua
2019- GHO trip to Women of Hope, Honduras
2020 - Independent Team trip to House of Hope, Nicaragua
2023 - Go International trip to House of Hope, Nicaragua
WPDC has been used mightily by God to show His love to prostitutes and trafficked women in Nicaragua through a commitment we made to the women there at House of Hope. Various women have made 16 trips thus far, and we are thankful that can now plan to return in January 2023, this time through the sending agency Go International. If you are interested in being part of the group or supporting your sisters in prayer, click here: Patti Francis, MD or supporting the trip financially click here: https://give.cmda.org/WPDCNic. (Tax deductible). We appreciate any amount. Thank you.
Global Health Outreach Mission Trips
Global Health Outreach, a ministry of CMDA, organizes 50-60 mission trips to various locations around the world annually. Many of these mission trips offer WPDC members an opportunity to share their faith and medical knowledge. Trips especially of interest to the women of WPDC would be:
General medical and dental care mission focusing on orphan care in Ndola, Zambia. This mission will be a week and a half and put the orphans first each day. After they are seen and treated, the mission team will continue to care for those in the surrounding community. We will extend our outreach the second week into an area of Ndola where our national partners are hoping to do a church plant. This area has essentially no Protestant church, and they are hoping to establish a home church to begin serving this community.
This mission is partnering with Tamar’s Hope to serve in the La Linea red-light district of Guatemala City. This mission will have a general medical and dental component as well as a smaller team heading into the trafficking area to serve this much needed community.
Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan/Refugee Care
These missions serve primarily Syrian refugees but those from other countries as well. We will care for those destitute and displaced from their home countries. Many have been through a great deal of trauma, trafficking, abuse and separation of their families. This is a unique opportunity to reach Muslims for Christ and introduce them to Jesus the Messiah. These missions need female healthcare professionals to allow the women and their children to come to our medical clinic. These missions will stretch you spiritually like no other.
Trips fill fast, so check the GHO trip calendar for status HERE.