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Rady Children's Specialists


Spine Surgeons

Peter Newton, M.D., Division Chief; Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, UC San Diego
Dr. Newton primarily treats scoliosis and other spinal conditions, such as vertebral fractures. On the research side, he has been involved in more than 200 publications; among his areas of focus are spine surgery, scoliosis without spinal fusion, and orthopedic biomechanics. He has also authored numerous books and book chapters.

Michael Kelly, M.D., Director of Scoliosis and Spinal Deformities
Dr. Kelly primarily treats scoliosis and other spinal conditions at the spine surgery center. He has conducted extensive research focused on improving the quality of care in pediatric and adult spinal deformities through both clinical and translational projects.

V. Salil Upasani, M.D.V. Salil Upasani, M.D., Co-Director, International Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Hip Disorders; Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, UC San Diego
Dr. Upasani treats all general pediatric orthopedic conditions, with a special interest in hip and spine disorders in children, adolescents and young adults.

Physician Assistants

Linh_DarnellLinh Darnell, P.A.-C
Linh joined our team in 2001. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University in 1995 and earned another bachelor’s degree from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in 1997. Later that year, she became a board-certified physician assistant.  After practicing in family medicine/women’s health, Linh pursued her passion of orthopedics and accepted a position with Scripps Clinic’s Department of Orthopedics. She then joined our team as the division’s first physician assistant, and in 2008, was appointed manager of all mid-level providers. She also provides clinical care, specializing in upper extremity, trauma and spine abnormalities.

Chrissy_PaikChrissy Paik, B.S., M.P.A.P., P.A.-C
Chrissy joined our team in 2011. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree and from the USC Physician Assistant Program in 2011. After becoming a certified physician assistant, Chrissy returned to her home town of San Diego and worked at a physical therapy clinic, where she honed her medical skills, particularly in sports rehabilitation. Chrissy now works as part of our hip team, treating patients with conditions including developmental hip dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement, spastic hip subluxation, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. She also works in clinics treating fractures and sports injuries. Chrissy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing beach volleyball and competing in sprint triathlons.

Nurse Practitioners

Abare, Casey 2016-5 resizedCasey (Kathryn) Abare, M.S.N., C.P.N.P.
Casey joined our team in 2015 after working in general pediatric orthopedics in Atlanta for four years. A board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, she works closely with Dr. Yaszay, specializing in spine conditions. Casey earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Richmond in 2005 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing  from Emory University in 2010. In her free time, she enjoys exploring San Diego and the West Coast.

Mary_Lou_ScottMaryLou Scott, M.S.N., C.P.N.P.
MaryLou joined our team in 1998 as the division’s first nurse practitioner. She has been instrumental in advancing the role of the mid-level provider in our busy practice. MaryLou earned a bachelor’s in nursing from Arizona State University, followed by a master’s in nursing, and a pediatric nurse practitioner degree, from the University of San Diego. At our Center, she specializes in pediatric spine and hip disorders. She also runs her own independent back pain clinic, acute fracture care clinic and ingrown toenail clinic. Along with being a nurse practitioner, MaryLou is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves and is currently stationed at North Island. She is actively involved in orthopedic research and won best presentation at the 2010 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.  for our team’s research on the use of mid-level providers for partial toenail ablations for ingrown toenails outcomes of care.


Amy Kager, R.N.

Brooke Clarke, R.N.

Priscilla Peguero-Vega, L.V.N.