Meet Our Staff - Southern California Liver Centers, Seven Convenient Locations
Southern California GI & Liver Centers are California’s leading private centers for the management of GI and liver diseases, with six convenient locations to serve our patients.
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Meet Our Staff

Tarek Hassanein, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD

Tarek Hassanein, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD, is a board-certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Transplant Hepatology. Dr. Hassanein specializes in treating viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease and cirrhosis, and in caring for patients before and after liver transplantation. Dr. Hassanein is a Professor of Medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Hassanein was instrumental in establishing three major liver transplant programs.


Founded in 2009, Dr. Hassanein established Southern California GI & Liver Centers to care for patients with advanced and complicated liver diseases delivering unique, lifesaving services to patients throughout Southern California in their own community. As a leading expert in liver disease, Dr. Hassanein’s centers of excellence in HCV, liver cancer, alcoholic hepatitis, and the management of cirrhosis, lead to the development of Community Tertiary Care (CTC) centers.


Dr. Hassanein completed a research and clinical fellowship in gastroenterology, hepatology and transplantation at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed his residency training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his medical degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt.


Dr. Hassanein is the Director of Southern California Liver Centers, Director of Southern California Research Center, and Medical Director of UCSD/Sharp Liver Transplant Outreach Program and the Chief of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

Julio Gutierrez, MD, MS

Julio Gutierrez, M.D., M.S., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSD and the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Dr. Gutierrez also serves as the Associate Director of Metabolic Diseases at Southern California GI & Liver Centers.


Dr. Gutierrez received his bachelor degree from UC Berkeley and his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He completed his Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at UC San Diego. He concluded his training in Transplant Hepatology at the University of Miami Miller Transplant Institute. Dr. Gutierrez is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology. Additionally, Dr. Gutierrez is board-certified in Obesity and is the Director of Metabolic Research at Southern California Research Center.

Julio Gutierrez md

Renee Pozza, PhD, FNP-BC, FAASLD

Renee Pozza PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAASLD is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and is an expert in the field of hepatology, specializing in viral hepatitis and adherence. Dr. Pozza has over twenty years of clinical experience in the field of hepatology and transplantation, holding positions such as nurse practitioner, transplant coordinator, research nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and various supervisory positions. She currently serves as the Director of Nurse Practitioners for Southern California Liver Centers


In addition to her clinical expertise, Dr. Pozza is the Senior Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa California. Her earned doctorate is from the University of California, San Francisco. Research interests include hepatitis C, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus, chronic renal disease, adherence issues and practice models of care. Dr. Pozza publishes and presents research locally, nationally and internationally on these topics. She is well respected in her field and frequently offers service on advisory boards, individuals consultation, speaking engagements, and various research projects. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), a Fellow in the American Association of the Study of Liver Diseases, (AASLD), International Transplant Nurse Society (ITNS), and Sigma Theta Tau International. She holds volunteer positions on the board of the California Association of Colleges of Nursing (CACN), and Hillsides, a non-profit social service agency in Pasadena, California. Her extensive experience in the field of hepatology allows her to provide expert care to SCLC patients for over 20 years.

Anna Marie Hefner – PhD, MaEd, CPNP

Anna Marie Hefner PhD, MaEd, RN, CPNP is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and expert nurse in the field of Hepatology, specializing in fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Anna Marie is an Associate Professor at Azusa Pacific University, School of Nursing, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Anna received her Masters of Science in Nursing from California State University in Long Beach, and her Masters of Arts, Education, and Special Education at Azusa Pacific University. Anna Marie completed her Doctorate in Nursing at the University of San Diego, with an emphasis in nutritional status of the patient with end-stage liver disease.


Anna Marie is the Director of the NASH-ville clinics at SCLC. Anna Marie has received three consecutive mid-level professional awards for her work on facilitating lifestyle changes to manage progressive fatty liver disease from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Anna Marie is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

katie hill

Catherine McCoy-Hill, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS, ANP

Catherine McCoy-Hill MSN, RN, CNS, ANP-C is a board-certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and is an expert in the field of hepatology, specializing in end-stage liver disease and cirrhosis.


Additionally, Katie is an Assistant Professor at Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing where she teaches undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Katie received her Master of Science in Nursing from California State University Los Angeles, and completed a post master’s Nurse Practitioner program at Azusa Pacific University. Katie is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease.

Additional Providers

Katherine Hall, PhD, ARNP-BC

Joanie Salotti, ANP-C

Elizabeth Butler, PA

Ignacio Guadaramma, NP