Published on August 03, 2020

Physician Scholars and Clinical Volunteers chosen in grant program from Montage Health Foundation

Montage Health Foundation has named its second group of Physician Scholars and Clinical Volunteers, recognizing outstanding Monterey County doctors and providing grants in support of their pursuit of professional excellence and volunteer work.

Selected as physician scholars are: Dr. Alexander Dubelman, Dr. Jason Emejuru, and Dr. Michael Stuntz. Dr. Richard Alexander was awarded a Clinical Volunteer grant. 

“These physicians represent what is best about our local doctors, who as a medical staff are committed to staying on the forefront of medical knowledge and to serving people at home and around the world,” says Dr. Dan Hightower, chair of the selection committee.

The Physician Scholars and Clinical Volunteers program was established by Montage Health Foundation as part of Montage Health’s efforts to engage, recruit, and retain the finest doctors for our community. Awards are made twice a year and the program is open to all independent, private practice, Montage Medical Group, or hospital-based physicians on the Monterey Peninsula. Honorees were selected by the foundation’s grants subcommittee, led by Hightower and including Dr. Jill Airola, Dr. Lauren Farac, Dr. Michael Fritsch, Dr. Guru Khalsa, Dr. Zach Koontz, Dr. Craig Stauffer, and Margi Wiest, a member of the Montage Health Foundation Board.

“We’re extremely pleased to provide grants supporting the work of these amazing doctors, who are committed to constantly learning and growing and to using their expertise to serve people in need,” says Kevin Causey, vice president and chief development officer of Montage Health.

Following is information about the honorees and their work.

Physician Scholars

  • Dr. Alexander Dubelman, a cardiac anesthesiologist, was awarded a grant for a week-long fellowship in cardiac imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The training focuses on imaging done during procedures in cardiac catheterization labs and in operating rooms.
  • Dr. Jason Emejuru, a pediatric psychiatrist with Community Hospital’s Ohana program, was awarded a grant for training in the use of an assessment tool that is consider the gold standard is diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. Families in Monterey County now wait up to a year to see one of the few local doctors certified to use the tool. Early diagnosis of autism can lead to treatments to improve language, cognitive, and adaptive skills.
  • Dr. Michael Stuntz, a general surgeon, was awarded a grant for a research project to explore the impacts that breast cancer and its treatment have on women’s mental and physical health. The study will focus on interpersonal relationships and issues related to areas including self-esteem and sexuality. Stuntz, who frequently does breast cancer surgeries, will work with oncologists to develop and conduct the project.

Clinical Volunteer

  • Dr. Richard Alexander, an obstetrician/gynecologist, was awarded a grant for his volunteer work with Westmont Bethel Hospital in Guatemala. For nearly two decades, Alexander has volunteered at and raised money for Westmont, a nonprofit hospital that cares for underserved residents in the poorest section of the city. This was Alexander’s second Montage Health Foundation volunteer grant.

About Montage Health Foundation

Montage Health Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving that enhances and improves the health of the entire community. Gifts to the foundation take healthcare to the homeless, build mental health programs for young people, recruit primary care doctors and specialists, teach kids to eat better and exercise more, sustain a hospital that sustains the community, and much more. The foundation is guided by a board of community members who are passionate about the work and impact of Montage Health and its family of companies, including Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Call (831) 658-3630 or visit for more information.