Our Doctors


Robb Russell, D.C.

Dr.Russell is the Assistant Vice President and Clinical Chief of Staff at SCU Health System.  He graduated from San Diego State University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in biology. He graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences, Los Angeles College of Chiropractics in 1982. Until 2011 he practiced in a multi-specialty clinic in Long Beach before joining the faculty of Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) in 2012. He has held several leadership positions in the chiropractic profession, including Chairman of the Chiropractic Section of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. He has held several posts with the California Chiropractic Association, serving on the board of directors and also as Vice President of Internal Affairs. For ten years he served as the Exam Commissioner and Expert Consultant for the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and served 15 years as an Examiner for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Dr. Russell has published several articles in chiropractic magazines and journals, and made presentations before chiropractic and medical conferences. He has also presented numerous talks before workers in various job settings on the topic of injury prevention. Dr. Russell has served on the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Symphony Association and is an active member of the Long Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.




Annie Babikian, D.C., DACBSP®

Dr. Babikian is a graduate of La Sierra University with a degree in biology: biomedical sciences and earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. Through her strong interest in the multidisciplinary approach to spine care and prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, Dr. Babikian became the inaugural spine care resident in May 2013 and completed the program in May 2015. Dr. Babikian has a passion for education and has completed extensive courses in primary spine care in New York. She has built her multidisciplinary clinical experience through rotations such as neurosurgery at the University of Southern California; Los Angeles Minimally Invasive Spine Institute; San Diego Spine and Sport, Pacific Pearl of La Jolla, just to name a few. She works in developing co-treatment approaches with pain management and rehabilitation, acupuncture, and sports medicine for the best outcomes with the patient’s best interest in mind. Dr. Babikian has experienced rotations at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has also completed the Diplomate through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians and is currently pursuing the Diplomate through the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedics. Dr. Babikian is currently a clinical faculty for Spine Care at SCU Health Systems and a clinical supervisor at the Student Health Center at California State University, Fullerton.



Jacqueline Beres, D.C.

Dr. Beres is the Director of Spine Care and the Spine Residency Program at Southern California University of Health Sciences. Dr. Beres earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sport sciences from the University of Florida, College of Health and Human Performance. She went on to obtain her Doctorate of Chiropractic degree at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida in 2006. Dr. Beres has devoted her career to implementing and refining a value-based approach for the evaluation and management of spine-related disorders and applying the Primary Spine Practitioner (PSP) model, a concept based on establishing a subset of healthcare providers as an initial point of contact specific to spinal pain and associated conditions. She has played a vital role in the establishment of evidence-based clinics in both the private and educational settings; her experience includes program development at the Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida Outpatient Clinic system as well as execution of a community-wide spine care pathway in affiliation with Lifetime Health Medical Group and Excellus BlueCross/BlueShield in Rochester, NY. She joined SCU’s clinical faculty for Primary Spine Care in 2015 as faculty clinician and is involved in patient care and resident education. She practices using an evidence-based approach to nonsurgical spinal conditions using manual therapies including manipulation and mobilization, end-range loading, and neural mobilization techniques. Dr. Beres also highlights the importance of active care protocols by incorporating various forms of exercise and stabilization techniques into patient management as well as an anti-inflammatory nutritional approach to pain. Dr. Beres stresses the importance of ethical and efficient practice models and the use of treatment methods supported by current research for the conservative management of back pain, neck pain, and headaches.


Hiwot Melka, D.C.

Dr. Melka earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology with honors at Hamline University. In 2015, she obtained her doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern University of Health Sciences. In 2016, Dr. Melka was accepted to the Primary Spine Practitioner Residency Program at Southern California University of Health Sciences. Through this position, Dr. Melka applies an integrated and evidence based approach to spine care. Dr. Melka believes that a multidisciplinary approach to spine care is important in ensuring quality, individualized, and inclusive care which allows the active participation of patients and promotes long-term well-being.




Caitlin Donovan, D.C.

Dr. Caitlin Donovan was born and raised in North County San Diego. In her undergraduate studies, she attended San Francisco State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. After graduation, she returned to Southern California to pursue a career in physical medicine. Her interest in chiropractic began with her experience as a dancer and developed into an educational endeavor over time. After graduating from SCU in December 2014, she entered the Spine Care residency directed by Dr. Robb Russell. Dr. Donovan entered the residency to further her knowledge in diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of the biopsychosocial aspect of patient management. Currently, Dr. Donovan is researching dance-related injuries and pursuing the CCSP program through the Spine Care Residency Program. She is also currently certified in Foundation Training, RockTape FMT, and McKenzie Method for the Lumbar Spine.


Associated Faculty



Dr. Melissa Nagare, D.C., L.AC., CCSP®

Dr. Nagare is the Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of SCU Health System.  She graduated with honors from Southern California University of Health Science’s (SCU) Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2007. Following her graduation, she worked as a chiropractor and acupuncturist at Diagnostic and Interventional Spinal/Sports Care (DISC) in Marina del Rey, California and also as a faculty member at SCU where she taught courses including Clinical Reasoning, Neuromusculoskeletal Examination and Introduction to Herbology. Dr. Nagare became a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician in 2009. In 2012, Dr. Nagare was appointed SCU’s Chief Clinical Officer and Director of the University Health Center served in that capacity until 2016 when she was made Vice President of SCU Health System.  As a Doctor of Chiropractic, Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Dr. Nagare has a unique skill set and has treated a wide variety of patients including Olympic and professional athletes. She continues to see patients at the SCU University Health Center and is currently working to refine and expand SCU’s integrative health service offerings. Prior to her healthcare career, Dr. Nagare worked as an information technology consultant for PWC Consulting and IBM. She received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.



Dr. Don Murphy

Dr. Murphy is a chiropractic doctor and primary spine practitioner with over 25 years of clinical practice experience. He currently serves as Clinical Director of the Rhode Island Spine Center in Pawtucket, RI. The Rhode Island Spine Center functions as a primary spine care facility with chiropractors and a physical therapist on staff. Dr. Murphy averages 50-80 new patients per month, approximately 80% of whom are MD referrals. Dr. Murphy is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Research at New York Chiropractic College. He lectures throughout the world on various topics related to back pain, neck pain, and headaches and has served on several guideline panels related to diagnosis and management of spine-related disorders. Dr. Murphy has published dozens of articles in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as several books and book chapters. His newest book, Primary Management of Low Back Disorders Using the CRISP Protocols, is the required text for PSP training.

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