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House Staff Leadership Council

The House Staff Leadership Council is the self-governing and representative body of the house staff at the Creighton University Phoenix Alliance residency programs at St. Joseph Hospital Medical Center and Valleywise Health Medical Center.


The mission of the Housestaff Leadership Council is to represent the House Staff of Creighton Phoenix Graduate Medical Education to develop, promote and advocate for our medical education and residency culture. We aim to promote patient-centered care in the community, emphasizing wellness, diversity and inclusion, research, quality improvement, and social medicine.

The HLC comprises two representatives from each core program at the Creighton University Phoenix Alliance appointed from their respective programs. We provide input into policies on patient care, the community, and decisions affecting the house staff, such as the efficient use of house staff time, salary, and benefits planning. The Council has addressed house staff health care and contract issues and worked with the administration on work hours, supervision, and establishing a House Staff Resident Relief Fund.

The HLC aims to positively influence house staff wellness by targeting multiple aspects of house staff’s spiritual, physical, multicultural, intellectual, financial, environmental, and emotional wellness. We support this mission by appointing Chairs of D&I, Social Medicine, Wellness, Research, and Quality Improvement Subcommittees.

The HLC encourages multiculturally respectful, informed, and educated conversations that address barriers to our education and patient care. The HLC appoints a Chair of the Housestaff D&I Subcommittee who represents HLC on D&I committees throughout Creighton Phoenix GME. The Chair assists the HLC leadership socially by forming one multicultural event a year targeting D&I initiatives set forth by the D&I subcommittee.

The Chair of the Social Medicine and the Chair’s Subcommittee engages with community partners who improve the social services provided to our patients. The Chair works with the HLC and Creighton University to garner support for a matching fund program.

The Chair of Wellness Subcommittee engages with the Wellness Chairs of every program at Creighton University Phoenix. The Chair works with HLC and other Subcommittees to ensure that all aspects of resident wellness are addressed and that the learning environment of housestaff remains positive and supportive.

The Chair of the Quality Improvement and Research Subcommittee engage with the research leaders at Creighton University Phoenix GME to ensure that house staff have the resources to advance their research and QI initiatives. The Chairs work with their respective faculty committees to provide feedback that advances the services provided to house staff. The Chair also assists with the yearly Research and QI Symposiums.

Among the many roles HLC plays, we are most proud of our House Staff Relief Fund. We provide limited financial support to eligible residents who encounter a qualifying life event consisting of catastrophic or unforeseen expenses that the resident cannot address alone. The Relief Fund includes a standardized and democratic approach by the GME department, HLC, and the wellness director to maintain the fund’s integrity. Applicant’s confidentiality is maintained throughout the process. See below if interested in applying for this funding.

To be effective, HLC needs the participation and assistance of all house staff members. Each residency program in the Creighton Arizona Alliance has at least two elected representatives on HLC.

Each HLC member meets on the first Thursday of each month. House staff can contact any of their representatives from their residency program to bring topics to the forefront of the HLC meetings or email the HLC executive team directly at

House Staff Co-Presidents: Syna Daudfar – Emergency Medicine, Anusha Abbas – Family Medicine
House Staff Co-Vice Presidents: Chandra Tontsch – Family Medicine, Cindrel Tharumia Jagadeesan - Internal Medicine
Chair of the Alliance Quality Improvement Subcommittee: Jessica Jacob - Internal Medicine
Chair of the Alliance Wellness Subcommittee: Cindrel Tharumia Jagadeesan - Internal Medicine
Chair of the Alliance Research Subcommittee: Chandra Tontsch – Family Medicine
Chair of the Alliance Social Medicine Subcommittee: Kentson Cripe – Podiatry
Chair of the Alliance Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee: Abdulbaril Olagunju – Internal Medicine

The House Staff Council meets monthly to discuss new business related to residents and provide updates regarding ongoing projects and initiatives. HLC meetings are also an important open forum for residents to give input on new and ongoing issues. House Staff Council meetings occur at noon on the first Thursday of each month. All residents are encouraged to attend meetings to provide feedback to the administration and learn about policy and procedure changes.