Core & Key Faculty

FELIPE R. PEREZ, MD, FAAFP – El Rio Health Local Program Director

Dr. Perez grew up in rural Arizona. He was inspired to become a physician because of the healthcare deficiencies in his community. His goal is to make healthcare affordable and assessable to everyone. In 2013, he spearheaded the creation of the family medicine residency program at El Rio Health to help address physician shortage. Dr. Perez believes it is important for physicians to get involved to shape the future of healthcare and he served on several leadership positions in medical school and in residency. He currently serves as an Outside Medical Consultant for the Arizona Medical Board, faculty for a national GME conference, committee member with the National Association of Community Health Centers, active member of Arizona Medical Association and the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians Legislative Task Force. He now wants to share his passion for medicine and advocacy with the next generation of doctors


Dr. Schwager is a Tucson native who joined the El Rio Family Medicine residency in 2017 because of his passion to teaching residents and students. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatrics.  Dr. Schwager’s multi-year career encompassed a variety of situations from solo and family medicine group practices to administrative medicine.  He is a past-president of the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians and a former board chair of the Arizona Medical Board.  Throughout most of his career he practiced broad spectrum family medicine including maternity care, in-patient medicine and office-based care.

Dr. Schwager’s special interests include medically complicated patients, office dermatologic and gynecologic procedures and practice management.  He is the faculty lead for our developing Point of Care Ultrasound training, didactics, and geriatrics. His hobbies include recumbent trike cycling, music, time with family, and fine dining.

PAT LANDERS – Program Coordinator

Pat Landers is a native Tucsonan born at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, then consequently travelling the world through her father’s Air Force assignments. After landing back in Tucson she attended Pima College and The University of Arizona, majoring in Industrial Recreation. After school her career path took a turn and she spent 21 years serving the people of Arizona while employed at the Arizona Department of Corrections. She held many positions within the Department of Corrections and retired as a Sergeant at the Correctional Officer Training Academy. She has held security positions at a local hospital and at El Rio. In 2016 she joined the Family Medicine Residency Program as the local coordinator and as she likes to say…”the rest is history!”

Her interests include family fun, music, camping (actually ‘glamping’), and anything that can be done outdoors!