The entire South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute team is dedicated to connecting with patients on a personal level and providing compassionate care. Our diverse staff includes members who are fluent in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Hindi, Mandarin, Tagalog, Greek, and French.
Dr. Polyxene (Polly) Kokinos founded South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute in 1997. She is Board Certified in both General Surgery and Vascular Surgery and has dedicated her entire career to serving the South Bay community as an independent physician—so she can deliver truly personalized, patient-centered care.
Dr. Kokinos has been recognized by her peers as one of the pre-eminent vascular surgeons in Northern California and an overall leader in her field. She has served as the chair of the Cardiovascular Surgery department at the Columbia Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and as the medical director for the wound care centers at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose and Saint Louise Hospital in Gilroy.Read more
Dr. Ignatius Lau grew up in Portland, Oregon. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle for college and Stony Brook University in Long Island for medical school. He then went on to train in vascular surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. During his time in New York, he performed over 1600 cases involving aortic, peripheral, venous, and carotid surgery. He has a special interest in limb salvage and treating patients with peripheral arterial disease and has extensive training and experience in treating the full spectrum of vascular diseases. Dr Lau was also very active in medical research during his training, ultimately finishing with twelve peer reviewed manuscripts. During his training in New York he met his wife, Lisa, who is a practicing endodontist. Together they love to hike, try new restaurants, and travel.
Yelena is a certified Physician Assistant who works with Dr. Kokinos to deliver sophisticated medical care that addresses both the mind and body. Yelena’s qualifications exceed those of most physician assistants; she completed medical school and residency at Moscow Medical Academy (one of the most prestigious medical schools in Russia), and then relocated to the U.S., where she graduated from Stanford School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. Her extensive medical experience, coupled with a gentle and professional demeanor grounded in personal family values, make her a valuable addition to the South Bay Vascular team.
Debbie has been a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) since 1992 and a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) since 1996. She has previously served as a clinical instructor at UC San Diego and Technical Director at Good Samaritan Hospital, where she helped obtain the prestigious Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) Accreditation in 5 specialties (Cerebrovascular, Peripheral Venous, Arterial, Visceral and Transcranial). She is currently the Technical Director for Vascular Associates of Northern California (AC accredited in 4 specialties) and the Institute for Vascular Testing, where she is overseeing the current accreditation.
Dolores Meehan has been an RN for 8 years and recently completed her graduate degree from UCSF as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She has worked with South Bay Vascular Center since April 2015, when we first opened our angiography suite, and will now begin working with patients in her expanded role as a Nurse Practioner. In addition to working as a nurse at SF General Hospital, Dolores travels regularly to Nigeria and Gabon as a medical missionary. She is looking forward to working with Dr. Kokinos as an Advanced Practice Nurse. She is a proud 4th generation San Franciscan and spends her free time open water swimming in the SF Bay.
Leigh has over 20 years of experience as a registered nurse in cardiovascular patient care, interventional cardiology and interventional radiology procedures, the cardiovascular device industry, and transcatheter heart valve clinical research. She joined South Bay Vascular Center in the Fall of 2021. During her free time Leigh enjoys hiking, biking, musical theater both attending shows and performing in local community theater productions.
Vera worked as a Medical Doctor in Russia for over 20 years prior to coming to the United States for her children to attend university. After arriving in the U.S. Vera returned to university and received a Bachelor of Science degree in diagnostic imaging at Lincoln University. Vera is credentialed both as a Registered Vascular Ultrasonographer as well as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. In her spare time Vera enjoys hiking and yoga.
Sandhya has been a certified Medical Assistant since 2012. She handles the back office role of taking patients to their room, preparing them for procedures, and assisting the medical team during procedures. Sandhya also discusses pre- and post-operative care and instructions with patients. In her spare time, Sandhya loves to read, garden, cook, and spend time with friends and family.
After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Integrative Biology, where she also played on the indoor and beach volleyball teams, Sarah spent 2 years at a genetics-based health technology startup and 2 years scribing in the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, CA. She has been with South Bay Vascular for the past year and will be starting medical school at Florida Atlantic University in the fall. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys volunteering, coaching, competing in tournaments, and painting.
What Sarah has to say about her experience at South Bay Vascular:
“My time at South Bay Vascular has taught me so many invaluable lessons about how to provide innovative, patient-centered care, and I cannot imagine starting my journey into medicine without this experience. Dr. Kokinos, Yelena, and the entire team at South Bay Vascular are not only phenomenal clinicians but excellent mentors who are invested in the health of their patients and the success of their colleagues. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from the very best.”
Vicki has over 15 years of experience working in vascular care and joined South Bay Vascular in 2014. She checks in all patients, answers phones, and schedules appointments. In her free time, she likes to be with her kids and her granddaughter and take long rides to the beach.
Tommy has worked South Bay Vascular since 2017 and currently manages a variety of special office projects. Tommy graduated in the spring of 2021 from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual degree in Nursing and Business. Tommy’s skills and experience as a nurse, scribe, insurance specialist and process manager are integral to the functioning of our practice. In the future, Tommy hopes to combine his interests in clinical medicine with healthcare management.
Most recently Tommy passed his RN examination and is now a registered nurse in CA. Additionally, Tommy accepted a position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the number one ranked specialist nurse training program in the country and will begin a Cardiac Surgery/Heart Transplant/ICU Nurse Residency program in the fall of 2021.
Dr Kokinos and the entire South Bay Vascular team congratulate Tommy on this incredible accomplishment and will continue to support Tommys as he continues his training. For fun, in his free time Tommy loves spending time travelling and being outdoors.
Jonah graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Cal Poly SLO in Spring of 2020, and he is currently in the process of applying to medical school. During his time at Cal Poly, Jonah was active as the president of the Medical Design Club and as an on-campus researcher in the field of point-of-care diagnostics. We are both honored and excited as Jonah begins the second year of his internship program. In his free time, Jonah enjoys hiking, golfing, and exploring national parks. Jonah is thrilled to be embarking on the gap year medical assistant program.
Grace has over 30 years of experience in billing. She enjoys gardening, traveling and spending time with her husband and new grandson. Grace is fluent in both English and Spanish and is happy to assist our Spanish speaking patients understand their insurance and benefits.
Debbie graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Biological Sciences, and aspires to become a physician. She loves and values all the time she shares with the patients at South Bay Vascular. She is passionate about art, and loves to paint and sing. In her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, thrifting, going to the beach, and playing the guitar.
Mindy graduated from UC San Diego in 2020 with a bachelors of science in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution for her pre-medical track. She is taking some time from school to focus on serving her community, traveling, and preparing for medical school. Despite the pandemic, she enjoys spending time with her family, collecting rare tropical plants, roller skating, dancing ballet, and playing tennis. She aspires to become a researcher, clinician, and professor in children’s and women’s health.
Nicole graduated from Villanova University with degrees in Psychology and Spanish Studies in the Spring of 2021. She aspires to become a Physician’s Assistant, and has plans to apply to PA programs in the next application cycle. During her years at Villanova, Nicole dedicated a lot of her time to organizations on campus that worked to fundraise and advocate for children with pediatric cancer. She was also involved in leading service trips along the east coast. Nicole is passionate about working directly with patients, and has loved getting to know the patients at South Bay Vascular Center. In her free time, Nicole likes to play tennis and spend time with her family and friends.
Omar graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring 2021 with a degree in Integrative Biology. He is currently taking a gap year before applying to medical school. During his time at UC Berkeley, he helped found a club for transfer premedical student students called TransferMD and volunteered at Zuckerberg General Hospital for the Health Advocates program. He also completed middle school and high school in Mexico and loves helping Spanish-speaking patients. During his free time, he plays guitar, writes high fantasy stories, and likes learning about animal biology and evolution.
Gunilla graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and has worked as a medical assistant for 3 years. She aspires to be an osteopathic physician and is applying for cycle 2022. In her spare time, Gunilla enjoys gardening, weightlifting, and cosplaying for a cause. Some of her volunteering activities involve hosting charity streams on Twitch or costuming as a superhero or a Disney princess at children’s events promoting literacy and health education. She is fluent in Tagalog and is learning Spanish.