Open Door’s 13-month Advanced Practice Clinician (APC) Residency program was established in 2016. The program provides intensive training in the clinical complexity of family practice both in the safety-net setting and in a high-performance, patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of primary care.

The program is specifically intended for new family nurse practitioners (FNP) and physician assistants (PA) who are committed to practicing as primary care providers (PCP) in the challenging setting of community health centers and other safety-net settings.

Statement of purpose:

We aim to create a unique and comprehensive primary care postgraduate training year for Advanced Practice Clinicians interested in working in rural, low resource areas, and equip them with the necessary skills to provide compassionate, evidence-based care to an underserved, medically complex patient population such as that of Humboldt County.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

We are dedicated to recruiting and retaining a diverse group of faculty and residents committed to maintaining a high standard of excellence and cultivating an environment of ongoing learning and growth; building a workforce that is inclusive and representative of the wonderful communities we serve.


Applicants must be recent graduates (less than 18 months) from an accredited master’s or DNP program, licensed (CA APRN) and credentialed (FNP-C) or license/credential-eligible as an FNP with a stated commitment to practice as a primary care provider in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or other safety-net settings upon completion of the residency.

The residency is a full-time, 13-month salaried position with benefits. The program structure includes precepted primary care sessions, speciality rotations, mentored independent clinics, and didactic sessions.

The APC Residency Program has the following goals:

  • Increase access to quality primary care for underserved and special populations by training family practice nurse practitioners in a FQHC
  • Prepare residents for full and autonomous expert care of complex underserved populations across all life cycles and in multiple settings
  • Provide new nurse practitioners (FNPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) with a depth, breadth, volume, and intensity of clinical training necessary to serve as primary care providers in the complex setting of the country’s FQHCs
  • Train new FNPs and PAs in a model of primary care consistent with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) principles of health care and the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Improve the clinical skills, confidence, productivity, and job satisfaction of new FNPs and PAs who choose to work in underserved community settings, as well as contribute to their employer satisfaction and workforce retention
  • Increase the number of FNPs and PAS ready to serve in leadership roles within community health settings

Our students

Beth Spellmeyer and Gina Silveira

Open Door is extremely proud of our inaugural graduating cohort: Beth Spellmeyer and Gina Silveira.

We are also excited to welcome our incoming cohort for the 2021–22 program.

“Having the added support while you get your bearings in a new career and new location is HUGE. I felt so much more confident and comfortable being on my own after completing the residency program in my nursing career. I am super stoked about this program!”

Beth Spellmeyer, FNP at McKinleyville Community Health Center

Beth Spellmeyer, 2016-17 Program Graduate

About the Program

We’re training the residents in Open Door’s model of high-performance health care: advanced access scheduling, planned care, the chronic care model, integrated behavioral health and primary care, team-based, with expert use of health information technology and the electronic health record (EPIC).

The residency year begins with intensive orientation to Open Door Community Health Centers, the neighborhoods in which the training sites are located, and the health problems of the target population, and includes walking tours of neighborhoods, tours of Open Door sites statewide, meetings with community leaders, technical training on the electronic health record, and orientation by our chief medical officer to the responsibilities and privileges of medical staff participation at Open Door.

The residency has four key components:

4 Sessions / Week

These are the cornerstone of the residency. In precepted clinics, the NP residents each develop their own patient panel while having an expert Open Door primary care provider (MD, APRN or PA) exclusively assigned to them.

2 Sessions / Week x 1 / Month

The NP/PA residents complete rotations in areas of high-volume/high-burden/high-risk situations most commonly encountered in the setting of the FQHC. Sample rotations include: orthopedics, dermatology, women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics, newborn/nursery, HIV care, adult behavioral health, child and adolescent behavioral health, and healthcare for the homeless.

2 Sessions / Week

During independent clinics, the NP/PA residents work as members of a team and see patients at the delegation of other primary care providers, who remain available for consultations. The focus is on the practice of episodic and acute care visits.

1 Session / Week

The NP/PA residents attend formal learning sessions on a variety of complex clinical challenges most commonly encountered in FQHCs. The content of the presentations is planned to correspond to the residents’ current clinical experiences.

  • Quality Improvement Training: Training on Open Door’s Quality Improvement model, including clinical microsystems and facilitation as well as leadership development.


The Open Door APC Residency program includes an ongoing, multi-input evaluation component, using qualitative and quantitative measures.


Please contact to learn more.


Applications open on January 1st, 2022 and close on March 25, 2022.

Apply here

To learn more about the program please contact


Program 2022–23 Cohort

Tatsiana Franco, PA Resident
Tatsiana Franco, PA ResidentPhysician Assistant
Katlin Kellogg, NP Resident
Katlin Kellogg, NP ResidentNurse Practitioner

Program 2021–22 Cohort

Han Ding, FNP-C
Han Ding, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Stephanie Randall, FNP-C
Stephanie Randall, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner

Program 2020–21 Cohort

Shoua Lor, FNP-C
Shoua Lor, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Oluchi Okwandu, FNP-C
Oluchi Okwandu, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner

Program 2019–20 Cohort

Haley Davies, FNP-C
Haley Davies, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Haley Davies earned their Master of Science in Nursing with minors in HIV/AIDS and Rural Health from the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to graduate school, Haley spent time in Madagascar as a community health volunteer with the Peace Corps. Love for this community and all the outdoor activities available brought them here. Haley is passionate about providing nonjudgmental patient-centered care.
Haley no longer works at Open Door, but continues to practice in the community.
Marresa Ozokwere, FNP-C
Marresa Ozokwere, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Marresa Ozokwere earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Texas State University. She was born and raised in Illinois and moved to Austin, Texas as a teenager. The beauty of the North Coast—and a couple of job opportunities—drew Marresa and her husband here. Outside of work she likes spending time with family and friends, traveling, volunteering with her Christian organization, dancing, and enjoying great food.
Marresa practices at Eureka Community Health Center.
Gianvieve Schwirblat, FNP-C
Gianvieve Schwirblat, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Gianvieve (Gigi) Schwirblat earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University. Originally from Los Angeles, she was drawn to the North Coast by its unmatched nature and many opportunities to explore the outdoors. Gigi is excited about practicing in an FQHC setting and is passionate about serving rural communities, both domestically and globally. She enjoys camping, traveling, hiking, and photography.
Gianvieve now practices at North Country Clinic.

Program 2018–19 Cohort

Angelo Alfano, FNP-C
Angelo Alfano, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Angelo Alfano grew up in Willits, California and is relocating from New Haven, Connecticut. He attended the Yale School of Nursing. Angelo enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and spending time in the ocean. Angelo currently practices at Eureka Community Health Center.
Lara Celli, FNP-C
Lara Celli, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Lara Celli grew up in Redding, California and has lived in Humboldt County for the past 26 years. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. Lara is passionate about women’s health and has worked as a registered nurse providing reproductive health care in the community. She enjoys hiking, running, reading, camping, and traveling. Lara currently practices at Eureka Community Health Center.
Lauren Karasek, FNP-C
Lauren Karasek, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Lauren Karasek received her Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner from Frontier Nursing University. Lauren practiced at Eureka Community Health Center. She is no longer at Open Door.

Program 2017–18 Cohort

Andrea Brubaker, FNP-C, WHNP-BC
Andrea Brubaker, FNP-C, WHNP-BCFamily Nurse Practitioner
Andrea Brubaker came to Open Door from Atlanta Georgia, where she completed her Master of Science at Emory University. Andrea currently practices at NorthCountry Clinic.
Kristen Lake, MSN, FNP-C
Kristen Lake, MSN, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Kristen Lake came from Massachusetts, where she attended Regis College for her MS. Nursing. Kristen practiced at Redwood Community Health Center in Eureka. She is no longer at Open Door.
Ashley Rice, FNP-C
Ashley Rice, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner
Ashley Rice completed her Master of Science in Nursing at Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven, Connecticut. Ashley currently practices at Eureka Community Health Center.
M. Helene Royster, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC
M. Helene Royster, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BCFamily Nurse Practitioner
Helene Royster completed her studies at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Helene practiced at Redwood Community Health Center in Eureka. She is no longer at Open Door.