Meet Our Team

The South Bay Vascular Center & Vein Institute team is dedicated to connecting with every one of our patients on a personal level. Our commitment to compassionate care is exemplified by a diverse staff of professional and support personnel who are fluent in 15 different languages:

English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Mandarin, Tagalog, Greek, and French.

Our goal is simple: To earn the trust of our patients by providing unmatched medical care and patient outcomes.

It is an honor to serve our patients.

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Dr. Polyxene Kokinos

General and Vascular Surgeon
Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI)

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.

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Dr. Ignatius H. Lau

Vascular Surgeon

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.

Dr. Aamna M. Ali

Board Certified General Surgeon and Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Aamna Ali grew up in California as part of a Pakistani- American family. After completing undergraduate education at California State University Fullerton, she lived abroad and taught English before returning to complete medical school at Duke University, followed by Surgery residency at University of California San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente Fontana. Dr. Ali practiced as a General Surgeon before completing a Vascular Surgery fellowship in Chattanooga, TN. She is a Board Certified General Surgeon and Board Eligible in Vascular Surgery. Dr. Ali has presented at multiple meetings and authored book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, but what she enjoys most is the interpersonal relationships with her patients. She has a particular interest in surgery for underserved populations. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world and spending time with her niece and nephews. She also loves painting, horseback riding, and learning about history, philosophy, astronomy, and new languages.

Yelena Bishop PA-C

Physician Assistant

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 Hoover

IVT Technical Director
Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)

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.

Mehdi Moeini

Vascular Ultrasonographer RVT

Francis Hoang

Vascular Ultrasonographer RVT

Francis Hoang was born and raised in Sacramento, California where he graduated from Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts as the salutatorian. Francis has also practiced vascular ultrasound at Sutter Health hospital in downtown Sacramento and finished his remaining internship at Stanford’s vascular laboratory in Palo Alto. Francis is fluent in Vietnamese and ensures that patients understand the type of care they are receiving and can answer any questions the patient may have in regards to the exam. In his free time he likes to play volleyball, workout and eat at different types of restaurants.

Kathleen Caliwag R.N.

ICU Nurse

Kathleen was born and raised in central California where she graduated from nursing school at the top of her class. After receiving her RN License Kathleen was selected to be trained in multiple specialties including Medical Surgical, Cardiac Emergency, Postpartum and Intensive Care. Kathleen’s passion for the patient’s experience and advocacy for safe practices is what drives her as a nurse. When Kathleen is not at work you can either find her at the beach exploring the Bay Area, or spending quality time with friends and family.

Fatma Taze R.N.

ICU Nurse

Fatma was born in Turkey in 1981 and graduated from the Black Sea Technical University Nursing School in 2002. Fatma began her clinical career working with pediatric cardiology patients at Baskent University Hospital in Turkey and over the next four years at the University hospital worked with ICU and General surgery patients. Married in 2006, Fatma moved to the United States and continued working as an intensive care nurse at hospitals in both Washington and California where she maintains active nursing licenses. Fatma joined South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute in 2017 and has and been an integral part of our surgical and recovery teams. In her free time Fatma enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her 3 children.


Dolores Meehan NP

Nurse Practitioner
ICU Nurse

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.

Vicki McCartney

Office Manager

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.

Timothy Mai

Front Office / IT Specialist

Timothy has been at South Bay for a year and is currently pursuing a degree in Software Engineering at San Jose State University. He plans to work with AI integration in medicine to improve patient care. In his free time, he likes to: watch sports, play the piano and work on projects. He is also fluent in Vietnamese.

Tommy Seaman R.N.

Registered Nurse (RN)
Special Projects Coordinator

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.

Tommy passed his RN examination and is now a registered nurse in CA and MN.  Tommy accepted a position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the number one ranked specialist nurse training program in the country and completed a Cardiac Surgery/Heart Transplant/ICU Nurse Residency program in the fall of 2022.

Dr Kokinos and the entire South Bay Vascular team congratulate Tommy on these incredible accomplishments and continues to support Tommys as he thrives in his medical career. In his free time Tommy loves spending time travelling and being outdoors.

Grace Souza

Billing Supervisor

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.

Rachel Visperas

Medical Biller

Rachel has been in the Medical Field for 19 yrs. She graduated as a Medical Assistant from Bryman College in 2005 and started as a medical assistant in a cardiology office where she gained her medical billing experience. Rachel has been doing medical billing ever since her first job and enjoys it very much. Rachel loves spending time w/her family and in her free time enjoys exercising and traveling.

Sandhya Sheth

Medical Assistant

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.

Jordan Baker

Medical Gap Year Intern

Jordan graduated from UC San Diego in 2022 with a degree in Neurobiology. He aspires to become a doctor, and is currently applying to medical school. During his time at UC San Diego,  he was a four-year, NCAA Division 1 Track and Field athlete. Additionally, he was an active leader in his fraternity, worked as a teaching assistant within the biology department, and was a volunteer research assistant striving to advance non-pharmaceutical treatments for major depressive disorder. Jordan enjoys building strong and meaningful relationships with patients as they navigate their healthcare journey at South Bay Vascular Center. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, exercising, and traveling.

Shria Narayanan

Medical Gap Year Intern

Shria graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring of 2022 with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology, aspiring to be a physician. During her time at Berkeley, she spent a lot of time educating the community about cardiovascular disease and diabetes, especially within the South Asian community and affected marginalized populations through the South Asian Heart Center and as president of a student-run club, Jeeva Clinic. She also has a passion for serving underprivileged populations, volunteering at local middle schools in Berkeley and hosting a Women’s health clinic in India. During her free time, she enjoys Indian classical dancing (Bharathanatyam), and reading her friends and families zodiac charts!

Nancy Do

Medical Gap Year Intern

Nancy graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Biopsychology and a commitment to making a positive impact. She volunteered to teach tennis to children with autism, served in a leadership role for a Women in STEM organization dedicated to empowering future female leaders, and provided guidance to young girls interested in STEM education. Nancy’s passion extended to educating elementary school students in science through hands-on activities. She aspires to be a Physician Assistant, with a focus on underserved communities, exemplifying her dedication to accessible healthcare. Fluent in Vietnamese, Nancy ensures that patients have the knowledge and understanding they need to lead healthy lives. In her free time, she explores new restaurants, runs a foodie blog, and plays tennis.

Laura Garcia

Medical Gap Year Intern

Laura graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Kinesiology. During her time there, she volunteered at non-profit multicultural and physical rehabilitation centers, and has years of experience working with children and older adults. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys being able to help her community. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her loved ones. She plans on applying to PA school next cycle and hopes to one day help the underserved populations in Mexico. 

Suzanne Frausto

Medical Gap Year Intern

Suzanne graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Human Biology. During her time there, she volunteered at a student-run free clinic in Tijuana in collaboration with a medical school in Mexico and worked in a research lab with a focus on mechanosensation in the digestive system. She loves helping her community and spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, Suzanne enjoys hiking, cooking, and likes to learn ASL.

Samuel Hsiao

Medical Gap Year Intern

Sam graduated from UC Santa Barbara on June 2023 with a B.S. in Microbiology. At UCSB, he was involved as a volunteer instructor with Kids in Nutrition, a caregiver for BrightStar Care, and was a medical scribe in the emergency room at Cottage Hospital. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, lifting weights, and cooking! He aspires to be a physician in the future and has plans to apply to medical school in the next coming cycle. 

Hyunsoo Han

Medical Gap Year Intern

Hyunsoo graduated from UC Davis in the Summer of 2023 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. During his time at UC Davis, he helped as an undergraduate medical volunteer at Knights Landing One Health Clinic and was the secretary for the UC Davis Archery team. He hopes to become a physician and plans to apply to medical school in the future. During his free time, Hyunsoo loves to attend archery and fighting game tournaments, play on his Strat, and loves spending time with his friends and family.

Lauren Malley

Medical Gap Year Intern

Lauren graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2023 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Psychology and Medicine, Health, and Society and is preparing to become a physician. During her undergraduate career, Lauren completed her honors thesis in Vanderbilt’s Infant Learning Lab, volunteered at the VA and with the Red Cross, and served as president of Vanderbilt’s chapter of Friends of MSF (Doctors Without Borders). In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her Labrador, traveling with friends and family, and exploring new types of music.

Richard Phan

Medical Gap Year Intern

Richard graduated from Stanford University in the Spring of 2023 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. At Stanford, he was an Ophthalmology research assistant, working to advance therapeutic regimes for ocular diseases. He involved himself on campus through leadership positions in various student groups, including the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association and the Stanford Vietnamese Student Association. During his free time, he enjoys being a foodie, learning foreign languages, working out, and going to concerts. Inspired by his personal experiences, he aspires to one day work in the field of oncology.

Nicole Conte

PA Student Cornell University

Nicole graduated from Villanova University in the Spring of 2021 with degrees in Psychology and Spanish Studies. 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.

Dr Kokinos and her entire staff congratulate Nicole on the next phase of her medical training at Cornell University in NYC where she began PA school in February of 2023.

Omar Ortuna

Medical Student UC Davis

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.

Dr Kokinos and her entire staff want to congratulate Omar as he begins the next phase of his training at UC Davis Medical School. Omar started medical school in August of 2023 but continues to support South Bay Vascular virtually by developing teaching and mentoring material for future Medical Assistants.

"I would highly recommend this office to anyone concerned about vascular issues, cosmetic or otherwise. Great staff all around."

– SBVC patient

"Dr. Kokinos is a great surgeon, and I trust her completely. The office personnel are always pleasant and helpful."

– SBVC patient