"Family practice is the keystone specialty in American medicine. We will do everything in our power to preserve, enhance, and improve it."
Nicholas Pisacano, MD
Mollie Limb, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. She was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and attended the University of Notre Dame where she majored in Sociology and Spanish.
As an undergraduate, Mollie spent two years working as a social worker at River Bend Cancer Services - a local non-profit organization that provides wrap-around psychosocial services to underserved cancer patients. There she created a new transportation program that provided 250 patients with free transportation to >2500 cancer-related appointments. For her senior thesis, she studied the impact of the program on treatment attendance rates and patient distress levels and secured over $30,000 of grant funding to support the program through its first two years.
In the classroom, Mollie prepared herself to become a physician for marginalized groups by focusing her studies on poverty, inequality and the structural determinants of health. She also studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico where she became fluent in Spanish. After graduating summa cum laude from Notre Dame, Mollie completed a year of service at a nearby family medicine residency program in Indiana. As the Volker Blankenstein Fellow, she worked in the busy resident clinic as a volunteer coordinator and medical assistant.
As a medical student, Mollie helped establish the Social Mission Committee (SMC) at Vanderbilt and served as co-president of the SMC during her third year. In this role, she worked to advance health equity at Vanderbilt through initiatives in education, service, mentorship, research and recruitment. She also contributed to the development of the new Health Equity Certificate, and she will graduate with this distinction in the spring.
Mollie is particularly passionate about addressing the health disparities that impact transgender and non-binary persons. As a second year, she helped develop a formal curriculum on transgender health and hormone therapy which became a required part of the medical school curriculum at Vanderbilt. Later she conducted a year-long research study about health care barriers and experiences faced by patients at Vanderbilt’s Clinic for Transgender Health.
Throughout medical school, Mollie volunteered at Vanderbilt’s student-run free clinic as a social worker and a primary care provider. She participated in Student Hotspotting and also spent time working at a faith-based community clinic serving uninsured immigrants and refugees. Mollie was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society at Vanderbilt and is a co-leader for the Family Medicine Interest Group this year.
Mollie looks forward to beginning her training in full-spectrum family medicine and hopes to return to the West Coast for residency. Her ultimate goal is to become a comprehensive primary care provider for marginalized patients, while advocating and working to transform the broken systems that harm vulnerable groups.
Hayoung Youn, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is in her final year at Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) at Temple University. Hayoung graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Physiological Science, earning the Most Outstanding Senior Award.
Hayoung spent the first ten years of her life in a small town on the southern coast of South Korea until her family immigrated to California. With a special interest in global medicine, as an undergraduate, Hayoung was heavily involved with a nonprofit organization to provide free health education and healthcare to those living in Central America. Through her experience, she became aware of the unequal access to medical supplies that exacerbated the health inequality globally. This inspired her to form Medical Aid Initiative, which is an organization that redistributes excess, unused medical supplies from the US to countries throughout the world. MAI has partnered with the UCLA Medical Center and over 25 humanitarian non-profits to help provide free healthcare internationally.
With the desire to serve the underserved population in North Philadelphia, Hayoung moved across the country to attend LKSOM. As a medical student, Hayoung devoted her days at a transition home providing childcare and health education for the homeless population. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the city of Philadelphia, Hayoung promptly gathered hundreds of students across the city to provide virtual tutoring services to the children of healthcare workers. Her idea was welcomed by the school district and local educators, and she developed a longitudinal city-wide program called Remote Interpersonal Student Education (RISE) that provides free virtual tutoring/mentoring services to children in low-income communities. Through RISE, Hayoung hopes not only to unify the higher education students and the school district provide free services to the underserved population, but also to increase public awareness on education and health inequality in low-income communities.
Hayoung has also led numerous projects focused on peer support and student wellness. During her first year in medical school, she created a compliment box that provided a way for her classmates to give compliments to each other to break the ice and build friendship and camaraderie. Recently, she worked with her friends to publish a book of raw stories from medical students from all over the country reflecting on their experience in medical school. The mission of this project is to spark a powerful domino effect in medical education: in the way we teach physicians to create a safe space for inner reflection and expression of emotion to ultimately enhance physician wellness.
Hayoung spends as much time outdoors as she can finding new trails to hike and run. She also enjoys playing her flute and going on food adventures with her friends and family. After graduating from medical school, Hayoung plans to pursue family medicine residency in a community where she can provide comprehensive and compassionate healthcare to the underserved population. She plans to be in a location where she can actively advocate for her patients’ health and education and build meaningful relationships.
a 2019 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine and is currently a 1st-year resident in Denver, CO. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, Elana graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a minor in Statistics. She received a Dean’s scholarship to attend the OSU College of Medicine and was recently inducted in the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
As an undergraduate student at OSU, Elana was chosen as one of 12 students to receive The Ohio State University Presidential Scholarship. Elana co-founded and served as co-president of ENCompass: Empowering Neighborhoods of Columbus. This organization works to connect underserved Columbus community members with medical and social resources critical to their health and wellbeing. She now continues to serve ENCompass as an advisory board member. Beginning her freshman year of college, Elana completed research in the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science. Her research culminated in an honors thesis and publication of a peer-reviewed paper on electronic cigarette use and tobacco cessation. Elana spent two years working with the Pure Water Access Project (PWAP), a non-profit organization dedicated to combating the global water crisis by using research to create impactful and sustainable water projects. As a research fellow, Elana planned and implemented PWAP’s water projects in El Salvador. In her senior year, Elana served as the public health student representative for the OSU Hotspotting Initiative, where she provided care coordination for super-utilizers of healthcare on an interprofessional team.
Elana has continued her leadership and community service since beginning medical school. In her second year, as president of OSU’s Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), Elana and her peers provided students with extensive programming, volunteer opportunities, and shadowing experiences that enabled classmates to explore the specialty of family medicine. During her time as FMIG president, the organization was awarded the FMIG Program of Excellence Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Additionally, Elana serves as a student representative for the Central Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and as a public policy committee member for the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians. She served two terms as the AAFP Student Representative to the American Medical Association (AMA), where she loved working to shape policy that will increase quality, equitable healthcare for all. Two years ago, Elana founded a student-run free auricular acupuncture clinic to address the lack of integrative medicine to low-income communities. Since the inaugural night, the clinic has treated over 250 patients. She is also the Student Director of the 2020 Humanistic Elective in Activism, Reflective Transformation, and Integrative Medicine (HEART-IM), a month-long, American Medical Student Association-sponsored elective for 25 fourth-year medical students.
Elana is thrilled to become a family physician. Her personal mission is to advance healthcare for underserved communities by providing compassionate, holistic, prevention-focused care, creating healthcare models that improve all components of health, and advocating for our most vulnerable communities.
Elisa Glubok Gonzalez
Elisa Glubok Gonzalez,
a a 2019 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and is currently a 1st-year resident in Santa Rosa, CA. At Brown, Elisa participated in the Liberal Medical Education program, an eight-year combined bachelor’s and medical degree program. She earned her Master’s in Public Health degree with a concentration in Maternal-Child Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
As an undergraduate at Brown University, Elisa pursued her passions in sexual and reproductive health education through her positions as a Woman Peer Counselor and as a Sexual Assault Peer Educator. After college, she lived in Israel in and worked for Ma’ase Olam, an organization whose mission is to create volunteer opportunities for youth from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds in order to foster leadership skills and create cross-cultural understanding. For this work, she was granted the Amy Adina Schulman Scholarship, which supports individuals committed to creating a more just and equitable society and advocating for civil and human rights.
In medical school, Elisa was one of the leaders for Sex Ed by Brown Med, a sex education program for middle schoolers of Central Falls, Rhode Island, one of the poorest communities in the region. As a part of this program, she helped develop more Spanish language tools and expand the LGBTQ curriculum. She also volunteered at Clínica Esperanza, a free clinic for uninsured individuals in Providence, Rhode Island. As a member of the Scholarly Concentration in Women’s Reproductive Health, Elisa designed a research project for which she traveled to Havana, Cuba and interviewed family medicine physicians on their role in reproductive healthcare and community health, at large.
As a part of her MPH degree at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Elisa served as a Health Policy Fellow for the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. The Commission is a unique entity in that it is the only statewide commission dedicated to researching and drafting recommendations to every department of the Massachusetts state government. In this role, Elisa helped found the Family Acceptance Task Force, whose goals include engaging the families of LGBTQ youth in their healthy growth and development.
Elisa hopes to create a medical practice which demonstrates her commitment to social justice, service of marginalized communities, and the promotion of a holistic view of the human condition. She has found all these values in the field of Family Medicine, and she is excited and honored to soon be officially joining the specialty.
a 2019 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and is a 1st-year resident in Eau Claire, WI. She graduated with highest distinction from Nebraska Wesleyan
University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Biochemistry.
At Nebraska Wesleyan, Sarah was a member of the University Choir, was an Academic All-American in women’s golf, and participated in Student Senate. Following her sophomore year, she interned in Senator Ben Nelson’s office where she corresponded with constituents and researched policies and positions in Washington, DC. During her junior year, Sarah was one of ten Americans selected for the Freeman Indonesia Nonprofit Internship Program, where she studied the Indonesian language and interned for YLPS Humana, an NGO focused on promoting the health and wellness of children who lived on the streets. She returned to Indonesia after graduation as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, where she taught tenth graders at SMK Muhammadiyah 1 in Genteng, East Java, and directed their first English language musical.
Upon return to the U.S., Sarah worked for the Southeast Rural Accountable Care Organization as the Clinic Integration Specialist, working closely with family medicine practices throughout Nebraska to leverage data and clinic workflows to improve quality of care. She was a part of the establishment of the OneHealth Nebraska Accountable Care Organization in Lincoln, Nebraska, helping design data collection and quality improvement strategies with member practices.
In medical school, Sarah was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and Gold Humanism Honor Society as a junior student. As Student Senate President, she served as the UNMC Student Regent on the University of Nebraska’s governing board. Sarah was also a co-chair of UNMC Student Delegates, an interdisciplinary organization that follows local, state, and national legislation and organizes letter writing campaigns and legislative visits to the Nebraska State Capitol to advocate for policies that positively impact health care and education. Sarah served as a Clinical Logistics Coordinator for the SHARING student-run clinics at UNMC, which provides free medical care to underserved populations in the Omaha metro area, and she recently served as co-president of the Family Medicine Interest Group and as a UNMC student representative to the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians board. Sarah also enjoys performing with Doc’Apella, an interprofessional singing group at UNMC.
After residency, Sarah plans to pursue her Master’s in Business Administration and complete a health policy fellowship. She hopes to practice full-spectrum family medicine in a rural setting, while helping shape local, statewide, and national policy to promote quality and sustainability of health care for all Americans.
a 2019 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMN) and is currently a 1st-year resident in Lancaster, PA.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities
with a major in Biology and dual minors in Anthropology and Microbiology.
Kyle grew up in a rural town in Northern Minnesota and spent most of his youth working in a family-owned restaurant. As a high school student, Kyle and two classmates started a company called Utopian Slingshot that they still run today. Their company gives small businesses an option to have their own website—only charging the appropriate price based on the business’ means and waiving fees for organizations that provide services to the community.
As an undergraduate, Kyle was recognized with the University President’s Student Leadership and Service award and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Beta Honors Society. He volunteered as a tutor to elementary age minority students, served as a literacy mentor with American Reads, assisting elementary age children with their homework and literacy activities. He also worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant in multiple academic departments.
As a medical student, Kyle has received a number of scholarships and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Society. He was elected as a junior member of the University of Minnesota Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society and serves as their chapter’s vice president. Kyle was selected to participate in MetroPAP, a longitudinal integrated clerkship which focuses on the provision of Family Medicine to urban, ethnically diverse, and underserved populations. Through the program, he has developed authentic relationships with his patients, understanding the social challenge to maintaining their health that many lower-income patients experience. To better serve his patients, Kyle became involved with the clinic’s Veggie Rx program, which provides weekly locally sourced vegetables to patients who suffer from food insecurity and chronic diseases.
Kyle is a member of UMN’s Family Medicine Interest Group, serves on UMN’s medical school student council as a class representative, and is a member of the Paul Ambrose Scholars Program, a national public health program that prepares public health and clinical health professions students to promote change and be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level. Kyle has also interned with a state representative. Through his work with the Pediatric Quality Improvement Project Phalen Clinic, Kyle helped create an EMR smartset to assist its clinic providers with a tool to recognize and address pediatric obesity earlier. Throughout medical school, he continues to mentor future physicians through the Student National Medical Association and the Ladder, a mentorship program in North Minneapolis for youth interested in health careers.
Kyle plans to provide full-spectrum and community-based family medicine care to underserved populations.
a 2019 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the WWAMI-Montana Program at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) and is currently a 1st-year resident in Martinez, CA.
Growing up in Montana, Shauna developed a deep love for the mountains and rural communities around her. As an undergraduate, she studied biology and public health at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted research on zoonotic disease in Zanzibar and Kenya, and spent her summers doing fieldwork for the US Forest Service in Montana.
After college Shauna returned to Montana to complete a two-year post baccalaureate fellowship in the Virus Ecology Unit at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIH/NIAID). The laboratory sought to better characterize the natural reservoirs and ecological drivers of emerging viruses like Ebola and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Shauna helped to develop serological assays to investigate Ebola virus exposure in Central African bats and applied similar tests to search for MERS-CoV exposure in Saudi Arabian camels.
Shauna then moved south to Whiteriver, Arizona, to take a position as Assistant Field Director for the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. There, she provided programmatic support for behavioral health and infectious disease prevention projects implemented across seven field sites in the White Mountain Apache, Navajo, and Santo Domingo Pueblo communities. Shauna loved the work and communities she encountered, and this experience inspired her to pursue a career that could integrate clinical medicine and public health in a way that empowers rural, historically disenfranchised communities.
After two years in Arizona Shauna returned to Montana to enter UWSOM’s WWAMI-Montana medical program. While in medical school Shauna has spearheaded the development of a collaborative mental health clinic in Bozeman, Montana, traveled to rural Mongolia with BioRegions International, and joined Messengers for Health and researchers at Montana State University in the development of the Baá nnilah project—an intervention aimed at improving chronic illness management with the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation. At UWSOM, Shauna is part of the TRUST (Targeted Rural Underserved Track) program, a track that prepares students for rural, underserved medicine through longitudinal clinical training. Shauna was fortunate to work under inspiring providers in Hardin, Montana, an experience that solidified her desire to practice rural family medicine. There, she implemented a group-based chronic pain management program at Bighorn Valley Health Center. Shauna has been inducted into UWSOM’s Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies.
After completing training in full-spectrum family medicine, Shauna hopes to return to the rural West to work as a clinician, public health advocate, and health system reformer. Shauna has seen how powerful primary care can be when it truly responds to community needs.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of California, San Diego and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Seattle, WA. He graduated summa cum laude from UC San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Biology. Devesh completed his Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, during which time he was funded by a $30,000 National Institutes of Health TL-1 training grant.
As an undergraduate, Devesh was a Regents Scholar and Medical Scholar, received multiple Provosts' Honors, and was inducted into the Muir College Caledonian Society and the Phi Beta Kappa national political science honors society. As a volunteer with South Asian Health Initiative, Devesh co-founded and led a community-level diet and exercise intervention funded through the American College of Physicians. His work was highlighted at the Clinton Global Heath Initiative in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to medical school, Devesh lived with his grandparents and studied Indian Classical Vocal Music in Chennai, India for one year. After beginning medical school, he completed an internship at the California State Capitol under Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. During this internship Devesh contributed to a fact sheet on the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), which provided paid sick leave to millions of workers across California. Governor Jerry Brown read this fact sheet before signing AB 1522 into law. Devesh has traveled to Sacramento multiple times as part of California Medical Association delegations. Devesh is also a student member of the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) Board and the Foundation Board of Trustees. He serves as a Key Legislative Contact for the CAFP, and he advocates for greater ethnic and gender diversity in organized medicine and for primary care-centered payment reform.
Through Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Devesh lobbied in Washington, D.C. for President Obama's Clean Power Plan. He was also one of the founding members of the 2015 Hindu Declaration on Climate Change and created a monthly UC San Diego lecture series on Human Health and Climate Change. For his commitment to leadership in environmental issues, Devesh was awarded the national Switzer Foundation Environmental Fellowship.
As a clinical researcher Devesh has published numerous peer-reviewed abstracts and journal articles in the fields of injection drug use, environmental health and cardiovascular epidemiology. He aspires to be a compassionate, full-spectrum family medicine clinician, researcher and policy maker working to improve community health and well-being. Devesh is passionate about recruiting medical students into family medicine. Eventually, he intends to run for political office.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Bronx, NY. He graduated cum laude from New York University (NYU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and in the pre-medical track.
As a graduating senior Robert received an award for his outstanding service to the Opportunity Programs at NYU. He founded and led a mentoring initiative for students within the Higher Education Opportunities Program (HEOP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). As a result of his commitment and initiatives, six years later the mentoring program has expanded through successive generations of student leadership. Robert also served as president of the Haitian American Student Association and volunteered with Operation Dream Catchers. As a team leader, Robert helped raise funds and collect medical supplies, which he helped deliver during three two-week delivery missions to the Berbice Region of Guyana, where his team also presented health education lectures on chronic disease management.
While at the Yale School of Medicine, Robert served as the Community Service Liaison and then as Co-President for the Student National Medical Association and Latino Medical Student Association. Pursuing his passion regarding the role of social justice in medicine, Robert co-developed an elective course in social medicine, domestic health equity, and health advocacy, called US Health Justice, for Yale medical students, nursing students, and physician associate students. He has also collaborated with representatives across other professional schools at the university to form a multidisciplinary US Health Justice Collaborative, working to bring relevant programming and dialogue across the campuses. As a result of these efforts, Robert was invited to sit on the Dean's Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, and currently serves as the Co-President of the United States Health Justice Collaborative. Robert is the creator and coordinator of Making the Invisible Visible: Art, Identity & Hierarchies of Power. Originally part of the US Health Justice elective course, this guided art tour and reflection session is now part of the first master course for all entering medical students. The tour explores the expression of bias in western culture and its effect on patient-provider interaction using art at the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. The tour has also been incorporated into the curriculum for the internal medicine residency program as well as the National Clinic Scholars Program at the Yale School of Medicine.
Robert's passions exist at the intersection of the arts, education, and health justice. His ultimate goal is to work as a primary care family physician in a neighborhood health center that doubles as a community center for the arts and education in service to promoting population health in the area. In this vibrant space, Robert hopes to pursue policy-driven community based participatory research where interdisciplinary teams partner with community groups to advocate for policy changes that directly affect their health.
Crister Brady, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of California-Davis School of Medicine (UC Davis) and is currently a 3rd-year resident in San Francisco, CA.
Crister's roots in health care first began in his teen years. Since 2003, Crister has coordinated over a dozen international fundraising journeys with groups of US students in support of Salud Rio Beni, a health project in the Amazon region of Bolivia. In this role, he worked alongside Bolivian medical staff and community health promoters to provide primary care services to remote communities.
Crister has continued to explore community-based health programs and use his language skills to work across diverse cultures. During his time at UNC, he had the opportunity to conduct health systems research in Cape Verde and the Azores Islands, as well as learn from community-based health initiatives in Mozambique and Brazil. While on campus, Crister spent time learning from cafeteria workers while providing English language classes as well as volunteering at a local food rescue program.
After graduating from UNC, Crister spent time in Bolivia and Peru as an instructor with an experiential education program where he facilitated service-learning projects and led wilderness expeditions. Upon returning to the US, he worked as the program coordinator for Doctors Without Walls, a volunteer with a street medicine program in his hometown of Santa Barbara, California and then as a patient care manager at Piedmont Health, a federally qualified health center in Carrboro, North Carolina.
At UC Davis School of Medicine, Crister has received significant clinical training in rural communities as a scholar in the Rural Program in Medical Education (PRIME). His research during medical school has focused on exploring networks of care in local communities of people experiencing homelessness. Through this work, based primarily in qualitative research and oral history, Crister has brought together fellow students, university leadership, and community members and agencies to start a discussion around street medicine in Sacramento. He has presented his oral history work at the Society for Teachers in Family Medicine's Medical Student Education conference and the International Street Medicine Symposium. Crister has been named to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Gold Humanism Honors Society. He serves on the UC Davis Family Medicine Department's Community Engagement Council and has been an officer with the Family Medicine Interest Group since his first year of medical school.
Crister plans to continue his training in full-spectrum family medicine while exploring ways to both listen to and enact health solutions in collaboration with people from all backgrounds. He envisions a career involving home visits with families and neighborhood-based health teams, where health care is better embedded in the everyday context of our communities.
Elise Duwe, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign and is currently a 3rd-year resident Ames, IA. Elise also completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research helped to understand chronic pain from a socio-psychobiological perspective in which pain is described as particular, subjective, inherited, and invisible on a spectrum of experience from synapses to populations. Elise has made numerous presentations on her research at national and international conferences and published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Elise graduated from the College of Wooster with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Religious Studies and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, being recognized for superior performance by faculty with the Leslie Gordon Tait scholarship in Religion and the John W. Chittum Prize in Organic Chemistry. Upon graduation she was awarded the Jonas Notestein Prize for highest academic achievement in her class of 2009. She was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa honor society her junior year, receiving the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for leadership and community service. During her four years at Wooster, Elise founded an intentional living house, served as a peer tutor, played oboe in the orchestra, marched the drum line in the Scot Marching Band, and participated in Worthy Questions, a community of persons interested in engaging the "questions worthy of the person you can become."
Elise began medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. After a summer working with an alumna of the Medical Scholars (MD/PhD) Program of the University of Illinois, she was inspired to pursue a similar career path with indigenous communities. Elise was a founding member of Global Health Initiative (GHI), a student organization with the mission of catalyzing cross-campus, interdisciplinary partnerships focused on global health. She participated in GHI's initial trip to Ghana and a subsequent trip to explore collaboration with Njala University in Sierra Leone. She received the Patricia J. and Charles C. O'Morchoe Fellowship in Leadership Skills both as an individual and team member, funding travel to Hawaii to study Native Hawaiian healing practices and to Ghana as part of GHI. Elise has served as the co-director of the Hermes Clinic, a student-run free clinic serving spouses, children and parents of students and visiting scholars from China, Brazil and India. She established a series of health workshops called What Makes You Tick for men at Danville Correctional Center through the Education Justice Project (EJP). Also with EJP, Elise works on the committee that publishes a guide for reentry into society after incarceration in the state of Illinois. Elise was honored by one of her patients who nominated her for the Alan E. Crandall Award for Compassionate Care in Medicine, presented to a medical student or resident who demonstrates extraordinary potential to provide compassionate health care.
Elise's studies, in addition to her immersion as part of a Family Medicine family since birth, has led her to envision a radical person-centered approach to caring for those at the margins and most affected by grief, pain, and suffering.
Andrea Banuelos Mota
Andrea Banuelos Mota, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (KSOM). She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and is completing her Master of Public Health at KSOM.
As an undergraduate at UC-Berkeley, Andrea served as co-chair of a student-led organization named Chicanos/Latinos in Health Education, providing health care services to low-income minorities. After graduating from college, Andrea worked for two years as a housing unit facilities manager, where she managed a non-profit 356 member-housing cooperative for UC-Berkeley students. Andrea then returned to her hometown of Pacoima, California where she worked for five years as the Assistant Manager of a free clinic named Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND). She developed a weight management program tailored to the needs of the community.
As a medical student, Andrea has served as co-president of the KSOM Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) and as Secretary of the school’s chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association. During her tenure with the KSOM FMIG, she and her colleagues created the first Primary Care Summit, co-founded a Primary Care Progress chapter, and the group later developed a Primary Care Leadership Conference. In 2018, their chapter was selected by the American Academy of Family Physicians to receive the AAFP Program of Excellence Award. During her second year of medical school, Andrea was selected as the 2017–2018 AAFP Emerging Leader Institute (ELI) Scholar. She received the ELI Project Award for her development of a leadership needs assessment for the medical school’s curriculum. She recently presented her findings at the 2020 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Medical School Education Conference, and now serves as the ELI Ambassador. Andrea served as the student council co-chair for the California Academy of Family Physicians for two years and has served as a mentor and tutor for other students and organized conferences and events to encourage high school and undergraduate students to pursue medicine.
Andrea has been involved in many community service projects and has received several awards as a medical student. She was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2019-2020 and received the Kaiser Permanente Oliver Goldsmith, MD Scholarship for the promotion and advancement of culturally responsive care-Award. In 2019, she was also one of two students to receive AAFP’s Family Medicine Advocacy Summit Student Scholarship Award. She is co-founder and vice president of DETOUR, a student interest group whose aim is to increase visibility of and provide resources to students taking alternate routes to graduation in medical school. Andrea is active in research, concentrating on health policy and investigating the identification of patient barriers to medication adherence amongst underserved Latino patients with Diabetes.
As an aspiring family physician, Andrea envisions her future career entailing working in a primary care clinic for underserved patients while also being engaged in population health projects. She also plans on continuing her advocacy efforts at the local, state and national level. She would like to one-day become a program director for a family medicine residency program and help train future generation of family physicians while working with the health care system to constantly improve the care of her patients.
In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking traditional Mexican meals and exploring other world cuisines. She also enjoys painting, dancing, at-home yoga workouts, reading non-fiction books, listening to music and podcasts and watching baseball.
AuBree LaForce, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University. AuBree graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mount Union with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in biology, earning University Honors.
During her time at Mount Union, AuBree played point guard for her college’s basketball team, which she credits for preparing herself for her role as a health coach. In this role, she provided health maintenance care for underserved patients. AuBree worked with an interprofessional team at a local hospital to coordinate her patient’s care and further address the medical and social needs of high utilizers of medical services. She founded the university-wide Love Your Melon Chapter – a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in the country. Networking with multiple Cleveland Hospitals to plan Superhero Visit Days, AuBree and her 10 team members dressed as superheroes to deliver hats to pediatric patients. As an Honor Society student, AuBree completed a semester long research project and presented her work, The Diversity of Mount Union, at the Research Honors Forum.
As a participant in the Rural Pathway at NEOMED, AuBree is able to fulfill her passion for caring for the underserved. She was able to remain a health coach for an additional two years, working with underserved patients while enhancing her medical skills. During her first year of medical school, AuBree participated in a medical mission trip to Peru, where she provided primary care to pediatric patients in the villages of Ayacucho. AuBree previously served as vice president and chair of the Advocacy and Policy for NEOMED’s Family Medicine Interest Group. After winning Program of Excellence in 2018, her group was selected to participate in the Primary Care Leadership Collaborative. They were successful in influencing the new curriculum by ensuring that students receive frequent, positive primary care exposure earlier in their preclinical years. Entering NEOMED, AuBree received the prestigious Education for Service scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship in return for service in primary care in an Ohio community.
AuBree participated in Healer’s Art at NEOMED, a semester long program offered to students who want to explore the value of relationships, service, compassionate care and reverence for life. She regularly volunteers and has held leadership positions in the Student Run Free Clinic (SRFC), serving as scheduling manager and student representative, as well as a member of the Community Advisory Board.
AuBree was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society her junior year and was recently appointed by Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, as the student representative to the NEOMED Board of Trustees. Currently, she serves as the student delegate to the American Academy of Family Physician’s American Medical Association Medical Student Section and as the Student Delegate to the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians’ Foundation Board of Trustees. She has served two terms as Ohio’s delegate to the AAFP’s National Conference. Most recently, AuBree was elected as the Student Chair of National Conference for the American Academy of Family Physicians for 2021 in which she will also serve on the Commission on Education.
AuBree is extremely passionate about family medicine and is enthusiastic to practice in Northeast Ohio to serve the community that raised her. She plans to provide full-spectrum, compassionate care that encompasses all components of health, including aspects outside of the exam room. Her desire to serve the underserved will guide her pursuit to include rural communities in her care. She envisions herself as a “generationalist,” building longitudinal relationships with every patient regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity - generation after generation.
Ben Kaplan, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is a fourth-year medical student at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. Originally from New York City, Ben graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English, and recently completed his Master of Public Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC.
While at Columbia, Ben focused his studies within the field of Narrative Medicine, exploring the ways in which illness shapes and is shaped by people’s personal stories. During this time, Ben volunteered as a research assistant in the Icahn School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health Science and Policy. This experience introduced Ben to the study of health disparities, transforming his interest in personal illness narrative into a passion for community health and advocacy. After graduating from Columbia, Ben returned to the Department as a full-time clinical research coordinator, where he honed his skills in community-based participatory research.
Since arriving to the UNC School of Medicine, Ben has developed an approach to health care that is both patient- and community-centered, guided by his passions for health equity and social justice. He regularly volunteers at the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), the nation’s oldest student-run free clinic, where he provides gender-affirming care and STI testing for local community members. He has worked as part of an interdisciplinary Hotspotting team to make home visits for “complex care” patients, who live with multiple chronic illnesses as well as socioeconomic instability. As an associate with UNC’s Center for Health Equity Research, Ben has also developed and led a multi-site Photovoice study with complex care patients in the UNC Health system.
Ben has occupied a number of leadership roles within the UNC School of Medicine. He is an active member of the School of Medicine’s student government and student wellness taskforce, as well as a longtime student advocate in the school’s Advisory College system. Following nomination by his peers, Ben was selected as co-president of UNC’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He was recently selected to participate in the American Academy of Family Physicians’ 2020 Emerging Leaders Institute, where he will spend the coming year developing his Photovoice study into a larger-scale health education project.
Following completion of his residency training, Ben intends to practice full-spectrum family medicine as part of an interdisciplinary health care team. In addition to caring directly for medically underserved communities, Ben is dedicated to changing the way we think, learn, teach, and talk about health disparities. Through medical education, research, and advocacy, he aims to dismantle structural racism, transphobia, and other systems of oppression that directly shape access to care and health outcomes for so many of our patients.
a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Durham, NC. Ry graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and was part of the Program for Liberal Medical Education. Ry also recently completed a Master of Public Health at the School of Public Health at Brown University.
While an undergraduate at Brown, Ry was a Minority Peer Counselor, a Minority Peer Counselor Coordinator, and team member on the Brown Women's rugby team. As part of the Royce Fellowship, Ry conducted independent research on decreasing the health disparities gap in transplant care for Latinos through the Hispanic Transplant Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. At graduation Ry was awarded the Alfred Joslin Award for commitment to improving the Brown University environment.
After college Ry worked as a Nonviolence Trainer with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence through its AmeriCorps program. In this role Ry worked with youth involved in gangs and formerly incarcerated community members to reduce violence and build resilient communities. During medical school, Ry also took a year off to work as the Diversity Fellow with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Brown to address issues of diversity and inclusion within the medical school and affiliated hospital partners. In this role Ry designed a leadership program to train medical students, residents, and faculty to address structural racism within medicine called the Brown Advocates for Social Change and Equity. The program is just beginning its second year and has already fostered collaborations and projects at several hospitals and community clinics across Rhode Island.
Since beginning medical school, Ry has worked on improving healthcare for community members who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated with the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights and with physicians who work at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Ry has also worked with amazing social workers through the House of Hope to do outreach and assist clients experiencing homelessness in navigating the medical system. Ry is also working with trans* community members on an oral history project around health with the goal of informing medical training and improving care for trans* communities. Ry has also worked with free clinics in Rhode Island and serves as a member of the Student Health Council, which focuses on mental health within the medical school. Ry has received a scholarship from the Kaiser Permanente of Northern California for demonstrated commitment to underserved communities.
Ry intends to pursue a career in community-based family medicine and work to build community partnerships to provide comprehensive primary care to underserved populations.
Paige Bennett, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Oceanside, California. Paige graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU Boulder) with distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Physiology.
As an undergraduate Paige received multiple scholarships, including the Puksta Scholarship awarded to students who catalyze positive change in the campus culture and in local communities. She served on the student government board at CU Boulder, first as secretary for a year and then as co-chair for two years. She also worked throughout college as a medical assistant at a free teenage gynecology clinic, performing women's annual exam interviews and providing counseling on safe sex and healthy behaviors.
Paige developed and has been involved in a teen obesity community based research project since beginning medical school. The inspiration for this project came from repeated experiences of witnessing conversations between health care providers and teenagers that humiliated the teens, rather than empowering them to make better choices. As principle investigator, Paige's responsibilities include developing the project design, providing ongoing teen advisory board recruitment and involvement, maintaining the budget and obtaining grant funding, and sharing results with health care professionals. In addition, Paige has volunteered with several other organizations, including a year as a medical volunteer with a community center providing basic health care for the uninsured and homeless. She has received multiple awards since beginning medical school, including a Medical Student Council Innovations Award and a Student Award for Exemplary Student Engagement.
Paige's current work with a rural family physician on an integrated longitudinal rural clerkship has solidified her conviction to be a broad scope rural family doctor. As a military scholar through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program, Paige has committed to at least four years of active duty and four years in reserves following the completion of training. As the granddaughter of a military veteran, Paige quickly realized the greatest way she could serve was to provide medical care for Sailors and their families who are sacrificing for our country. As a practicing Naval physician, Paige plans to further develop leadership proficiency as a public health and preventative care officer, to practice advanced teaching methods as a medical student educator, and to perfect clinical practice competencies. Following her military career, Paige intends to pursue rural medicine where she can be a town doctor and community liaison who supports the healthcare needs of her community, provides exceptional primary care for her patients, and continues to promote the future of family medicine through medical student education.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Stanford School of Medicine and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Chapel Hill, NC.
Victoria graduated from Dartmouth College with degrees in Government and Biology and received her Master of Public Health from the University of California - Berkeley.
Victoria received a number of scholarships at Dartmouth and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa upon graduation. As a junior, she was awarded a fellowship through the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding which allowed her to travel to Vietnam that summer to intern with an organization in Hanoi called the Vietnam Sustainable Development Center. During her senior year, she received two more fellowships, allowing her to work with Save the Children in Vietnam and to also conduct a study on parents' perceptions of integration of HIV-positive orphans into public schools in the Ba Dinh and Ba Vi districts in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After graduating from Dartmouth, Victoria spent a year working as a Community HealthCorps Navigator at a federally qualified health center in Maryland through the AmeriCorps program. In her role as the site's Women's Health Program Monitor, she and her colleagues provided contraceptive and preconception counseling to young women, worked with newly pregnant mothers in the organization's prenatal clinics, discussed infant care with mothers who had just delivered, and ran a support group for women in the community who were living with HIV/AIDS. Upon completing her year of service with AmeriCorps, she received a scholarship that was applied to her medical school tuition.
At Stanford, Victoria received a Traveling Scholars Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Vietnam to conduct a study on healthy behaviors of homeless youth living in Ho Chi Minh City. Victoria has also received scholarships from the California Academy of Family Physicians and Society for Teachers in Family Medicine. She is currently the regional coordinator of the Family Medicine Interest Group network and is a member and former co-chair of both Stanford's Family Medicine Interest Group and Stanford's Primary Care Progress. Victoria has been involved with L-CHAMP (Longitudinal Community Health Advocacy Medical Partnerships) since her first year of medical school. This course places students in community health centers around the Palo Alto region. Victoria has worked in multiple settings through L-CHAMP and currently is beginning to develop her own panel of patients. She credits these early experiences in her medical school career with solidifying her commitment to Family Medicine.
Victoria hopes to spend her future career in family medicine working in urban underserved regions of the United States. She has a strong interest in obstetrics and gynecology, and plans to pursue an OB/GYN fellowship after graduating from residency. She also hopes to apply the skills she learns in her training to the work she will continue to do abroad, particularly in Southeast Asia.
Margaret (Maggie) Chen, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the David Geffen School of
Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is currently a 3rd-year resident in San Francisco, California. She graduated with honors from Stanford University, earning degrees in both Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Human Biology. Maggie also completed a Master of Public Policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Maggie has won multiple awards for her leadership skills and dedication to community service. While at Stanford, she was recognized with the Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation award, and an award for Community Engagement upon graduation. She served as a Counselor with the Stanford HIV Peer Counseling Program and was later promoted to Program Coordinator. Maggie also served as Chair of the Multiracial Identified Community at Stanford. While studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, Maggie researched gender-based HIV testing at a men's clinic. While there, she also volunteered as a group leader of 10 middle school peer educators in a local township. She later traveled to Papua New Guinea with a team of Stanford physicians, functioning as a medical student in the team's makeshift clinics.
After graduation from Stanford, Maggie served as a John Gardner Fellow in Public Service with the White House Council on Women and Girls. Mentored by senior White House officials, she coordinated programs that engage girls in science and math. While completing her fellowship, Maggie also aided in efforts to connect the White House with health advocacy groups, including those representing physicians and patients. Prior to medical school, Maggie developed leadership programs for Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, DC, a non-profit that serves at-risk young women and teen mothers.
Since her first year of medical school, Maggie has been involved with the newly-developed Primary Care Preceptor Continuity Program intended for students interested in primary care. She has also been involved with UCLA's Family Medicine Interest Group since her first year of medical school, first serving as Co-President and currently as Senior Advisor. Maggie helped found Primary Care Progress at UCLA, an organization that works to bring together the next generation of primary care providers. At the end of her second year of medical school, Maggie was voted by her class as the most likely to improve health care and the health care system. Recently Maggie was inducted into UCLA's inaugural Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Maggie's vision for her future career in Family Medicine is to provide effective, engaging primary care for women, while promoting the role of family physicians in women's lives. She also hopes to advise legislators and advocate for policies that support women's health.
a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) through a Joint Medical Program (JMP) — a five-year graduate/medical degree program at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently a 2nd-year resident in San Francisco, CA.
Josh has always been interested in the intersection of health, technology and the environment. This passion began in high school, when he used basic mapping tools to investigate the relationship between asthma and socioeconomic status in his home town of Fresno, California. He received a $35,000 scholarship for this research through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Josh completed a dual degree undergraduate program at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, earning degrees in Environmental Studies and Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively. He then spent several years working at Pesticide Research Institute, where he used geospatial analysis to map pesticide use patterns in rural communities of California. Josh also worked during this time as a website developer, data analyst, database architect, cartographer, and independent consultant. Ultimately, Josh applied to medical school to ground his analytical understanding of human health with the humanity of clinical practice.
As a medical student, Josh helped run the Suitcase Clinic, a free health center for the local underserved population. During his second year, he also planned and facilitated a weekly seminar for incoming students, where they discussed the unique challenges of providing healthcare to low-income and marginally housed communities. He has also volunteered for the Ethnic Health Institute for the past four years, helping to screen for hypertension and diabetes at a local African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Josh developed an interest in medical education while serving for three years as a class representative to the JMP Curriculum Committee. Since that time, he has served as a member of the JMP admissions committee, as a student advisor to the forthcoming Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine in Southern California, and is now conducting a year-long academic project on best practices for students in longitudinal clerkships. He is also planning the 2019 curriculum for the Humanistic Elective in Activism, Reflective Transformation, and Integrative Medicine (HEART-IM), a month-long, AMSA-sponsored elective for 25 fourth-year medical students.
Josh has carried his interest in research into medical school. For his master's thesis at the JMP, he used a novel approach of tracking the time and location of rescue asthma inhaler use to associate realtime air pollutant exposure with asthma exacerbation. He also worked for the UC Berkeley D-Lab as a student consultant, helping students across all graduate departments with geospatial analysis and data visualization. Lastly, he spent a summer in South Africa building the first online, interactive map of HIV services across seven countries in southern Africa.
Josh is planning for a career with a multifaceted definition of physician—one that fully encompasses the scope of family medicine. Through clinical practice, he intends to hone his skills as a diagnostician and connect directly with patients and their stories. Through his research, he hopes to improve our understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health. And through advocacy, he plans to continue his work with marginalized communities and will fight to address health inequities in his community.
Trevor Dickey, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Seattle, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. During his third year of independent study in the Duke curriculum, Trevor earned his Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health.
As an undergraduate, Trevor was a member of the Dean's list his last 3 years of college and was elected to the Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemical Honor Society his senior year. Trevor worked as a researcher under the mentorship of Pierre Mourad, PhD in the Department of Neurosurgery during his last three years of undergraduate education. His research resulted in multiple publications, including Biomedical Optics Express. Trevor was awarded the Mary Gates Research Scholarship in support of his research. Following his undergraduate career, Trevor continued his work with Dr. Mourad for another year.
Trevor was one of a select group of students admitted to Duke's inaugural class in the Primary Care Leadership Track. Through this program, Trevor has gained experience working with the underserved through programs such as LATCH (Local Access to Coordinated Healthcare), a case management program for the uninsured in Durham County. There he worked with a program designed to assist homeless adults with applications for disability. During his first year of medical school, Trevor was elected to be the class president. As an Albert Schweitzer Service Fellow last year, Trevor co-founded the Duke chapter of the Refugee Health Initiative, which pairs health professional students with newly resettled refugees over the course of a semester. Last year the program had 20 volunteers and had served 13 families. This past year, Trevor worked on a pilot trial with a health services lab researching medication adherence in a Medicaid population using a telehealth messaging program. Trevor has been a member of Duke's Family Medicine Interest Group since beginning medical school and currently serves as Treasurer. Two years ago, Trevor was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society by his peers.
Trevor would like to maintain a strong clinical presence in his career by working at one of the nation's many federally qualified health centers, while also working to become involved in a public health organization. He is excited to soon join the specialty of Family Medicine, as it recognizes the complimentary nature of population health and patient well-being.
a 2012 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), where she also completed her Master in Public Health in Community-Oriented Primary Care. She is currently a 3rd-year resident in Omaha, Nebraska. Jillian graduated Summa Cum Laude with High Distinction from Hastings College, in Hastings, Nebraska, with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. She received numerous awards and scholarships at Hastings, including Hastings College's highest and most prestigious award, the Hastings College Walter Scott Scholarship, a 4-year scholarship awarded for superior academic achievement and expected contributions to the Hastings College campus. Jillian was named to the Dean's list each year and to Who's Who at Hastings College during her senior year. During college, she was also employed for three years as a ballet, tap, and pointe teacher and choreographer at a performing arts studio. As a medical student, Jillian received many additional scholarships and awards, including the Service Learning Experience Student Leadership Award, the Nebraska Medical Association/COPIC Insurance Scholarship, and the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians Foundation's Student Scholarship and DeRoin Scholarships. Jillian was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She was a member of the Family Medicine Interest Group since beginning medical school, and for the last three years, served on UNMC's College of Medicine Admissions Committee.
Jillian was one of the first student members and President of "Do JuSTIce," an interprofessional, student-run program that formed in 2009 as a partnership between the Douglas County Jail in Omaha and UNMC. This program works to address the epidemic rates of sexually transmitted infections in Douglas County, which are some of the highest in the nation, by providing education, testing, and treatment to high-risk individuals in the jail. She has also been an avid volunteer for other underserved populations both home and abroad, participating in various community service programs, UNMC's "SHARING" Clinic for the underprivileged, and medical service trips to Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Jillian was selected to sub-intern in the Advanced Rural Training Program, as part of the Family Medicine Residency Program at UNMC. This program is offered to selected senior medical students, allowing entrance to UNMC's Family Medicine training in their fourth year. Jillian's selection to this program highlights her potential as a Family Physician, as it demonstrates her commitment to the specialty and will provide her with the advanced training needed for practice in a rural area. Jillian is dedicated to both Family Medicine and Public Health and plans to integrate their ideals to provide quality, respectful health care, education, promotion, and advocacy, to her future patients and community.
a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Martinez, CA. She graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Pre-Professional Science.
As a college student, Emma volunteered with the Don Miller Homes in Baltimore, Maryland, working with low-income adults with HIV. She spent the following summer as an intern with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, where she assisted with daily clinical and administrative tasks at a clinic and health organization in rural eastern Uganda, conducted an evaluation of the Community Health Educators program, and led health education sessions on nutrition, sexual health, and other topics for children at local schools and community groups. She returned to Uganda her senior year to conduct qualitative interview-based research on pathways to care for women with obstetric fistula. At Notre Dame, Emma also volunteered as a camp counselor at Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer. Throughout college, she was a mentor for a local elementary student through Notre Dame's College Mentors for Kids program, and she led the organization as the Co-President during her senior year.
After graduating from Notre Dame, Emma worked for two years as a project manager and physician trainer for Epic Systems, an electronic medical record software company. Through this work Emma gained insight into the operational side of medicine, including the impact of legislative, insurance-based, and compensatory guidelines and regulations on patient care and clinical workflows.
Emma is one of five students in her class selected for the Rush Family Medicine Leadership Program (FMLP), a four-year longitudinal curriculum with clinical and didactic components for students interested in family medicine. Through the FMLP, she has had the opportunity to establish continuity of care with patients in a community-based clinic. During her first year of medical school at Rush, Emma was the primary founder of the "Correctional Health Initiative"—a student-led health education program at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. The program was designed to empower women in the jail by providing accessible, relevant health education and a forum for positive interactions with health professions students. Emma and her volunteers have led almost 200 weekly sessions with an average of 32 participants each session. During this time, she has also been involved in research with the Department of Infectious Disease, examining the co-occurring epidemics of incarceration, HIV, and MRSA colonization. Through these experiences, Emma has developed a strong interest in correctional health and care for justice-involved individuals. Emma has served in leadership roles of the Rush chapters of Students for a National Health Program and the American Medical Student Association. She is the current student president of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians and serves on its Board of Directors. She was recently elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society by her peers for her commitment to service and compassionate patient centered care.
Emma was a member of the Workforce Team for Family Medicine for America's Health, a collaborative organization working to improve healthcare in the US and demonstrate the value of primary care. In this role, Emma worked with a team of residents, students, and faculty advisors to conduct qualitative focus group-based research regarding medical student specialty choice. This research aims to identify ways to address the primary care gap by increasing student choice of family medicine.
In the future, Emma hopes to provide comprehensive primary care to individuals who have been involved with the justice system.
a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU SOM) and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Seattle, WA. She graduated magna cum laude with high honors from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Art History and Peace Conflict and Coexistence Studies. Maya recently completed her Master of Science in Evidenced Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the University of Oxford.
At Brandeis Maya received the Justice Louis Brandeis Scholarship, a four-year full-tuition merit scholarship for academic achievement. During her senior year, she received a Brandeis Undergraduate Research Fellowship which provided research funding toward her bachelor's thesis. She was inducted into the Psi Chi Honor society and served as secretary for the group during her senior year. During college Maya was a teaching assistant in the Sociology Department, volunteered as an EMT with Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps, and as an orientation leader for incoming students. She also worked as an inclusion counselor for children with special needs at a day camp. Following graduation Maya first lived in Prague for two years where she worked as an English teacher, a private tutor and a ghost tour guide and then lived in San Diego for two years where she worked on standards and guidelines within the security industry to ensure that human rights are respected by private security companies in regions of weakened governance, and volunteered with a PTSD lab at the VA Hospital.
During her first year of medical school, Maya volunteered weekly as an HIV and risk reduction counselor at a local pediatric clinic, where she provided counseling related to HIV, sexually transmitted infections, contraception, and safer sex practices. She also volunteered with a student-run clinic serving uninsured residents in Baltimore and is an abortion doula and trainer with the Baltimore Doula Project. Maya has served as co-leader of JHU SOM's Primary Care Interest Group and Family Medicine Interest Group, and the Hopkins Chapter of Primary Care Progress. She served on the student advisory committee for the Primary Care Leadership Track and the Advanced Ambulatory Clerkship, as Outreach Chair for the JHU SOM chapter for the American Medical Women's Association, and as co-leader of the JHU SOM Jewish Student Association (JSA), the Equality and Medicine Coalition, and the Hopkins Chapter for Medical Students for Choice. She founded the Syrian Refugee Advocacy Group, which grew from a partnership between the JSA and the Muslim Student Association and included representatives from the School of Public Health. Maya recently joined the Hopkins Student Preceptorship Program as a mentor for first year medical students and was just selected as a SOURCE Service Scholar. This program has paired her with the Baltimore based Public Justice Center, a non-profit civil legal service organization, and over the next several months will work on two outreach projects related to paid sick leave and access to healthcare for Medicaid recipients in Maryland. Her research interests lie in the intersection between primary care, reproductive health, and community health.
Outside of medicine, Maya's favorite hobby is improvisational comedy. She began performing improv in high school and continued while at Brandeis. She has been active in the Baltimore improv community during medical school and continues to perform as part of two improv groups. She also has taught improv workshops in Oxford and Baltimore.
Nathan Kittle, a 2011 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where he is also earned his Master in Bioethics and Health Policy. He is currently a 3rd-year resident in Seattle, Washington. He has been actively involved in community service both nationally and locally. During college, he participated in and led numerous service trips to poverty stricken areas in the United States. Nathan also served as a resident advisor his last two years at Creighton and as an intramural sports supervisor and referee for three years.
After graduating from Creighton, Nathan spent a year as a full-time volunteer with Amate House, a young adult volunteer program inspired by the social mission of the Catholic Church, which is dedicated to service and committed to building a more just and loving society. With the Amate House program, Nathan worked as a case manager at the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture—an experience that he says taught him lessons he could not have learned any other way and which still inspire his current life and will continue to shape his future.
As a medical student, Nathan has continued his academic achievement and commitment to service. He has received a number of scholarships, including an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Additionally, Nathan was chosen for a Dean's Development Award to complete his master's degree at Loyola. Nathan was also recently selected as one of only a few students to represent the Loyola school of medicine in a leadership development program put in place to help discover ways the health system can better serve patients, improve clinical service, and enhance medical education.
As a Loyola Global Health Fellow, Nathan recently began a fellowship in Palacios, Bolivia. This one-year fellowship is part of a four-year longitudinal Global Health Scholars program at Loyola and will focus on health care delivery in resource-poor settings. He will work closely with the local Bolivian staff and community health workers to develop community based projects for the surrounding communities of Palacios.
Nathan is also a member of the Center for Service and Global Health (CSGH) Student Advisory Board. The goal of the CSGH is to bring Loyola's many service projects and international projects under one umbrella, allowing students to collaborate with each other and faculty to expand their outreach. His most important activity he led as part of the CSGH was organizing Loyola's first annual "Mission in Action: Loyola Day of Service." This project introduces students to the community they will call home for the next four years and gives them the opportunity to volunteer in different areas, ranging from collecting trash on a local prairie path to working with the local Fine Arts Association.
In his future career as a family physician, Nathan hopes to continue working among underserved communities both locally and abroad. He specifically has a heart for working with refugee communities and hopes to work to improve their care and bring attention to their struggles by remaining involved in academic medicine and policy work.
Elizabeth Looney, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Cleveland, Ohio. Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Francisco with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Latin American Studies. She received her Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
As an undergraduate, Elizabeth volunteered as resident advisor and community head with the Martín-Baró Scholars Community, a living-learning community of students dedicated to social justice and academics. She was recognized for her work with the Jesuit Leadership Award from the University of San Francisco. Elizabeth also worked throughout college as a teaching and program assistant in the psychology department at the University of San Francisco. She spent her junior year in San Salvador, El Salvador with the Casa de la Solidaridad, a study-abroad program run through Santa Clara University. As a community coordinator, Elizabeth was responsible for managing one of three community houses, mentoring students and providing general community leadership. Serving later as co-director of the Casa's summer medical program, Elizabeth planned and executed two five-week summer medical immersion programs for US pre-medical students in El Salvador.
While completing her Master's degree at the University of Massachusetts, Elizabeth interned with the Lowell Community Health Center in the HIV department. She worked collaboratively with the HIV staff, including administrators, healthcare providers and peer support to deliver social and medical care to inner-city HIV+ patients. She also worked as a graduate assistant with the psychology department during this time.
Prior to medical school, Elizabeth worked as a program manager where she managed federally-funded after school tutoring programs in four low-performing Cleveland public elementary schools. She also spent two months as a volunteer, living and working with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati at their clinic in Anapra, Mexico, caring for children with special needs and their families.
During her first year of medical school, Elizabeth was selected to receive the Choose Ohio First Scholarship. This competitive award is granted by the state of Ohio to students who exemplify leadership and commitment to primary care in Ohio. She was also one of six medical students chosen to participate in Akron General's CRAFT (Clinical Rotations and Future Training) program, a premier 8-week summer program designed for students interested in a career in primary care. Last year, nominated by NEOMED, Elizabeth was selected and featured in Crain's Cleveland Business Who to Watch in Medicine, 2014. Earlier this year, Elizabeth was elected to the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha, as well as the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Elizabeth believes the full scale responsibility of a family physician extends beyond the office door to be an agent for change in her community and beyond. The job of a family physician, to care for the whole patient, necessarily means caring for the whole context in which they live.
Louisa Howard, a 2020 Pisacano Scholar, is currently a 4th-year medical student at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GWSMHS). Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Louisa attended the University of Virginia (UVA) and graduated with distinction, majoring in Art History and minoring in Bioethics. After a post-bac fellowship at NIH, she received the President’s Scholarship to attend King’s College London for her Masters in Bioethics.
As an undergraduate, Louisa was selected to be an Echols Scholar as part of UVA’s honors program designated for the top 5% of each class. Throughout her four years, she helped lead the UVA Hospital’s student volunteer program. Her junior year, she received a grant to fund an interdisciplinary project, entitled Clinician’s Eye, that brought medical students to the Fralin Art Museum with the goal of refining students’ visual observation skills and tolerance for ambiguity. The workshops are now an official part of the UVA School of Medicine’s curriculum. Enthusiastic about the prospect of leading a program like Clinician’s Eye for GW medical students, Louisa collaborated with a fellow classmate and the curator of GW’s art collection to host similar programming. Together, they were selected to give an oral presentation at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Conference highlighting the program’s success.
After college, Louisa spent two years as a clinical research fellow in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the NIH. She worked within Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation, supporting an investigational medication trial for the treatment of Hepatitis C in patients co-infected with HIV. Monitoring research participants on a biweekly basis strengthened her interest in providing longitudinal care as a future Family Medicine provider. Louisa continued to cultivate an interest in the field through her Masters thesis work, where she interviewed primary care physicians about how they incorporate integrative health approaches in their practice.
Louisa entered GWSMHS with the desire to promote Family Medicine to her peers and served as the President of GW’s Family Medicine Interest Group. Since GW is a target school, it was especially important to Louisa that students were exposed to the unique aspects of the specialty. Louisa is very excited that continued student and faculty advocacy has led to GW’s newly established Division of Family Medicine. Additionally, she served as a Regional Coordinator for AAFP’s Student Network and is currently the student member of AAFP’s Commission on Continuing Education and Professional Development.
Louisa has a passion for integrative medicine and reproductive health, specifically for underserved populations. She enjoyed spending her first two years of medical school coordinating and teaching sex education curriculum specifically for middle school girls in Washington D.C. public schools. She spent the summer after first year in Ecuador, working with Family Medicine providers and Midwives in both urban and rural settings. Throughout her four years, she has worked at the student-run free clinic and this year, she is involved in a program that brings acupuncture and massage to chronic pain patients at a free clinic in Washington DC.
Louisa looks forward to continuing her work with Spanish-speaking and other immigrant communities, delivering culturally responsive care. She is particularly passionate about incorporating integrative modalities into treatment plans and is committed to providing reproductive health services as a future full-spectrum Family Medicine provider.
Justin Mutter, a 2012 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVA), where he also attended college. He is currently a 3rd-year resident in Asheville, North Carolina. Justin graduated with Distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Studies and Religious Studies. As an undergraduate, he received a number of scholarships and awards, including the Echols Scholarship and recognition from the Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences for "outstanding academic achievement and service."
Following his undergraduate studies, Justin served for two years in central Haiti as a health worker for Zanmi Lasante, the sister organization of the global health organization Partners in Health (PIH). Justin's role included management of a hospital outpatient nutrition program as well as agriculture and food security initiatives with a large farmers' organization. He also served on the Board of Directors of Zanmi Lasante's Project on Social and Economic Rights, which assists persons living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Following his work in Haiti, Justin was a recipient of the American Rhodes Scholarship pursued graduate studies at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, he completed a Master of Studies in the Study of Religions and a Master of Sciences in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. His thesis on the political economy of black lung disease in Appalachia was awarded the Jane Willis Kirkaldy Senior Prize from the Oxford Faculty of History. Justin subsequently completed the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-medical Program at Johns Hopkins University. Just prior to entering medical school, he worked as Research Associate for Health Policy at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) in Washington, D.C., where he helped coordinate the Commission on U.S. Federal Leadership in Health and Medicine.
Justin matriculated at the UVA School of Medicine in 2009 as one of five members in his class of the Generalist Scholars Program (GSP), a longitudinal primary care training curriculum. During medical school, he has continued to pursue his passion for community-based medicine, assisting with a community health status assessment for residents of local public housing and serving as a summer fellow at the Healthy Appalachia Institute in southwest Virginia, where he interned at the LENOWISCO Health District. His interdisciplinary GSP scholarly project utilizes history of medicine and health policy to focus on the future of primary care in central Appalachia. Justin has also recently been selected as a Student Director of the Board of the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.
As a future family physician, Justin hopes to center his work around critical issues in health and medicine facing underserved rural communities. In addition to working to establish high quality innovations in clinical and preventive care in rural American, Justin plans to continue to write about and advocate for the transformation of health systems for all underserved populations.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated
magna cum laude from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in both Religious Studies and Public Policy and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa his senior year. Geoff received his Master of Theological Studies from Boston College and is now also completing his Master of Business Administration at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Geoff was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service, a $30,000 scholarship for graduate studies awarded to one college junior from each state who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the field of public service. He also received the President James Manning Medal for the Study and Practice of Religion and the Alfred H. Joslin Award in recognition of his leadership. During his freshman year, Geoff co-founded the student activist group HOPE - Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, and helped lead it throughout college. The group worked alongside homeless activists seeking housing justice in Providence, Rhode Island. HOPE remains an active organization 13 years later.
After college, Geoff worked for a year as a Jesuit Volunteer at the Mental Health Advocacy Project in San Jose, California. He then volunteered for ten months with Partners in Health in Lima, Peru before beginning graduate studies in theology at Boston College. While in Boston he worked as a Teacher-Organizer for Service Employees International Union. He then spent seven months in El Salvador developing and implementing a financially sustainable computer literacy program based at a clinic for extremely low-income Salvadoran youth, and provided organizational consulting for two worker-owned cooperatives.
Geoff has received multiple scholarships for graduate school and medical school, including the Twenty-First Century Scholarship. This full-tuition medical school scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership, outstanding academic performance and achievement, and commitment to interests other than academic work. Since the beginning of medical school, Geoff has served as a volunteer organizer for the Philadelphia Workers Association, helping to develop an immigrant-owned construction cooperative for day laborers. He served as co-coordinator of the Family Medicine Interest Group and co-coordinator of the Social Justice Health Care group at Penn. As co-founder of the Social Justice Health Care group at Penn, Geoff has brought together students and professionals in medicine, nursing, social work, and other fields to explore ways that healthcare professionals and institutions can advance social justice aims.
Geoff's long-term goal is to work as a family physician at a community health center, accompanying patients as a clinician and pursuing systemic change through grassroots economic development projects.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Rush Medical College and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Chicago, IL.
He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in
Anthropology and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa his junior year.
As a college student, Sean spent a year with Health Leads, a national organization of college students dedicated to understanding the socioeconomic barriers that lead to poor health and helping patients overcome them. He also volunteered for three years with STRIVE, a mentoring and support program for youth with sickle cell disease at a local children's hospital. Sean received a grant from the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago to work with Primeros Pasos, a medical NGO that operates a clinic in rural, indigenous areas of Guatemala. As a development intern, Sean updated the website, organized and presented six years of malnutrition data from local schools, and with supervision researched and wrote a grant application to expand the women's health program. As a health educator, he taught daily lessons to elementary school children focusing on nutrition and hygiene.
After graduating from college, Sean became involved with Undocumented Illinois, a Chicago grassroots organization led by undocumented youth working toward the recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants. He helped plan rallies, marches and other political actions in Chicago and across the country, spoke at workshops for undocumented youth at high schools, organized lobbying bus trips, worked on campaigns to stop individual deportation cases, and wrote grant applications. During the summer following graduation, Sean was part of the logistics team for a six-week national immigrant rights bus tour co-sponsored by Undocumented Illinois. Since beginning medical school, Sean has continued his involvement with the group.
As the recipient of a Fulbright Program Research Fellowship, Sean spent a year prior to medical school exploring the intersections of health and popular politics in Guatemala and conducting fieldwork with a Mayanist association of health promoters, the national healthcare workers' union and an environmental NGO that supports communities affected by mining projects. Sean also received the Clarissa D. Haffner Family Practice Endowed Scholarship, a three-year scholarship awarded annually to a student at Rush University who demonstrates a commitment to leadership within the field of family medicine. At Rush, Sean has been involved with the Latino Medical Students Association, Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leaders Institute and currently with the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) Government Affairs Committee. This past year Sean served as the Student President-elect for the IAFP.
After residency Sean would like to work at an FQHC in Chicago and continue to build relationships with community organizations to address social determinants of health.
David Rebedew, a 2012 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison (UW). David received numerous awards and scholarships as an undergraduate, including the Wisconsin Alumni Association Senior Outstanding Student Award, given to only two male seniors, and the Herfurth and Kubly Award for Initiative and Efficiency. David was one of two students chosen to receive this award out of 200 applicants. David served for two years each as the Chairman of the Student Activities Committee and the President of the Student Government Association at UW-Fond du Lac.
As a medical student, David has continued his academic achievements. In 2010, he was the Elseiver "Cool Med Apps" Contest Prize Winner and received the Korbitz scholarship for students pursuing a career in family medicine last year. Just recently, David published a book on Kindle about how to get into medical school titled, Your Questions Answered: Getting into Medical School and Graduating Debt Free—A Guide to High School, Pre-medicine, and Medical School.
David served for two years as the co-leader of UW's Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), recruiting over 132 students as the local student membership coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which resulted in the highest number of FMIG and AAFP members ever at UW. He currently serves as the co-leader of the Advocacy and Intervention for Medical Students, which provides education, support and advocacy for students whose lives may be adversely affected by a variety of problems including, but not limited to, alcohol abuse, chemical independence, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. David is also the Founder, President and Secretary of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)—Trempealeau County. As part of this role, he assisted with the planning of suicide prevention training at two high schools and constructed NAMI brochures and a mental health display for a local clinic and health fair. David also currently serves as a Pre-medicine Peer Mentor and as a MEDiC volunteer. Most recently, he was one of sixteen individuals in his medical school class of 178 to be elected into the Gold Humanism Honor Society for demonstrating the qualities of humanism in medicine.
During residency, David intends to continue mentoring students and encouraging them to pursue a career in healthcare. Thereafter, he plans to create a free clinic for the underserved in rural Wisconsin that will also serve as a teaching center for healthcare students. On a broader scale, he wants to serve as an advocate to decrease childhood obesity on the national level.
a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Klamath Falls, OR. He graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University (OSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Bioresource Research.
As an undergraduate Nick received several awards, including the OSU Waldo-Cummings Student of the Year Award two years in a row, the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Senior Award, and the OSU Presidential Award. Elected as Oregon's Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Vice President, Nick traveled over 30,000 miles in the state of Oregon, speaking and presenting workshops for agricultural education classrooms. He also traveled to China and within the United States for various leadership conferences. After retiring from his position of vice president for Oregon FFA, Nick was appointed to State Convention Director. In this volunteer position Nick oversaw all proceedings during the Oregon FFA State Convention Sessions, attended by approximately 3,000 students and parents. As an intern with US Congressman Greg Walden in Washington, DC during the summer of his sophomore year, Nick compiled data and records for public land timber harvests into memorandums for the Congressman. He spent two summers as a wildland firefighter in La Grande, Oregon, and developed a program to teach wildland firefighters and other forest service personnel in Oregon and Washington about sexual harassment awareness and prevention strategies.
At OHSU Nick developed the Family Medicine Interest Group Mentorship Program, which connects 1st- year medical students interested in family medicine with OHSU Family Medicine Residents. He is a founding member of the Dean's Student Rural Advisory Group, a program to help guide OHSU policy and programs for rural medical education. Through the program, he and two fellow classmates created the Rural Medicine Discovery Program, allowing students to visit a rural community. The visit includes dinner with hospital administrators, a clinical experience with a rural doctor, time to mentor high school students, and an afternoon to experience the area. Since 2016 Nick has been involved with a quality improvement project at a family medicine clinic, incorporating new chlamydia screening methods.
Nick was selected for a position in the Rural Scholars Program and is the only member of his class selected to participate in the Oregon FIRST program. In this program students spend their fourth year of medical school in Klamath Falls, Oregon training with the Cascades East Family Medicine Residents. The students are treated like interns and begin their own personal patient panel.
Nick grew up in rural Oregon and has worked as a ranch hand on his family's ranch since the time he was young. He plans to return to northeast Oregon to practice full scope family medicine and continue helping with day to day operations on the family ranch. Rotating in medical school and growing up in this area has shed light on the high quality and robust care family doctors provide, and he is excited to one day make his own contribution.
a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (UNC) and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Denver, CO.
He graduated from UNC with a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Management and completed his Master of Public Health at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health.
As an undergraduate, Franklin volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, coordinating international work-trips to Thailand and Honduras. As president of his Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, Franklin led fundraising efforts, helped recruit volunteers, and managed community partnerships to build homes for employees of his university, recognizing the need for affordable housing in the surrounding community. During the year he served as president, the organization was named National Campus Chapter of the Year.
Prior to medical school Franklin worked as a Project Coordinator for the North Carolina Office of Rural Health. In this position he performed a feasibility analysis of direct-payment systems for rural health clinics, implemented this system in a pilot clinic, and disseminated the model to rural health centers across the state. His experience solidified his interest in family medicine and provided him with a transformative professional experience in primary care. Subsequently, Franklin became a founding member and the program evaluator for MedServe, a student-run not-for-profit exposing recent college graduates to primary care medicine in rural and underserved North Carolina. Last year, he was inducted into the Eugene S. Mayer Community Service Honor Society for his involvement with MedServe.
During his first year of medical school Franklin was named a Primary Care and Population Health Scholar. This scholarship is awarded to students interested in practicing cost-effective, high-quality primary care as part of a larger vision of improving the health of populations. Franklin has been involved with the Public Health Interest Group and the Health Policy Interest Group, serving as Chair for both organizations. He also served on the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians' Board of Trustees. His medical school research has focused on the influence of health literacy on the use of mobile health technology in the management of chronic disease. Franklin's work has been presented at conferences held by the American Diabetes Association and the North American Primary Care Research Group. Last year he received the Frank Lee Dameron Award from the Whitehead Society of the UNC School of Medicine, recognizing his commitment to practicing primary care medicine in a medically underserved area of North Carolina.
Franklin plans on training in full-spectrum family medicine while cultivating his interest in public health and systems of care. He intends to pursue a career in community-based family medicine, where he will aim to leverage the existing public health and health care infrastructure to reach underserved populations.
Stephanie Sandhu, a 2014 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Denver, Colorado. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology and Women's Studies English Literature. She was valedictorian of her high school, and for meeting rigorous academic credentials Stephanie was offered the University of Miami Foote Fellow scholarship. Stephanie was heavily involved in the student organization, S.T.A.N.D., throughout her undergraduate years. She worked on multiple campaigns related to labor and anti-gentrification issues alongside various other community and labor organizations. She was awarded the Thinking Outside of the Box Award by her peers for developing and installing a symbolic art piece on campus to attract campus members to obtain signatures of support for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers who fight for farmworker rights.
During her undergraduate junior year, Stephanie lived in her father's village in Punjab, India for a semester volunteering at a local clinic where she helped assist in child-care, dispensing medicines, and assisting in procedures. This experience helped her understand the importance of preventative medicine in primary care. After her first year of medical school, Stephanie again went abroad to Xela, Guatemala to participate in the Somos Hermanos Spanish Immersion program. This program focuses on barrier reduction in healthcare by supporting the development of bilingual and culturally competent health care providers.
While in medical school, Stephanie served as a student leader in the Culturally Effective Medicine curriculum, which she developed along with a few other classmates to teach culturally effective methods in medicine. She was also a student leader for the Stout Street Clinic where she managed and organized a weekly student-run clinic for the homeless. Stephanie served as the co-president of the Colorado Medical Society CU School of Medicine and was on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Medical Society in 2012. She still currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Medical Political Action Committee (COMPAC) as the medical student representative. Stephanie was the recipient of two scholarships, the Harry K. Albert Scholarship and the University Physicians Inc. scholarship in recognition for her commitment to enhancing the diversity of the student body and campus through community service. Also, she was recently chosen by her peers for induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Stephanie hopes that her experience in policy work along with her vision of addressing the social determinants of health inside and outside the office will allow her to justly serve the underserved as she moves forward in her career as a family physician.
Alyssa Shell, a 2014 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) earning her MD/PhD in Population Health Sciences. She is currently a 3rd-year resident in Asheville, North Carolina. Alyssa graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard University. She also received a Certificate in Health Policy, which provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the structure of the United States healthcare system. As an undergraduate, Alyssa received two Harvard College Research Program Grant (HCRP) awards, which provided financial support for student-initiated scholarly research guided by faculty. The first grant helped Alyssa perform public health research in Santiago, Chile, and the second grant supported her research on the experiences of low-income Mexican American women with type 2 diabetes in New Mexico. Alyssa's interest in Latino health continued as a graduate student at UTMB where her dissertation investigated the relationship between neighborhood racial segregation and Latino mental health.
While in medical school, Alyssa received the John P. McGovern Student Award in Oslerian Medicine, which is given to a student who demonstrates compassion, professionalism, and commitment to science-based medicine and life-long learning. She is also a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. In 2012, she received the United States Public Health Services Excellence in Public Health Award for her commitment to public health practice through service and leadership. She was also awarded the Peyton and Lydia Schapper Endowed Scholarship given to a student with an interest in gerontology or health promotion who has demonstrated outstanding professional and personal leadership among peers. Alyssa volunteered for three years and then served as the Director of St. Vincent's Student Clinic at UTMB, a free clinic serving low-income persons in the surrounding area. As a member of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP), she was given the honor to represent Texas medical students as the Delegate to the National Congress in Kansas City this year. Just recently, Alyssa was awarded the Weldon G. Kolb, M.D. Medical Student Scholarship from the TAFP Foundation. This award is given to a student who meets high academic standards and expresses a commitment to family medicine.
Alyssa has a patient-centered attitude that started in high school during a summer volunteer program in Kenya where she taught classes on HIV education. As her interest in health disparities continued, she pursued additional opportunities such as working for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services after entering college. Alyssa's medical and graduate coursework solidified her commitment to family medicine and community health research. Her career goals include practicing full-spectrum family medicine, working to alleviate health care disparities, especially in rural areas, and to eventually become a leader in healthcare policy.
Nicholas Kenji Taylor
Nicholas Kenji Taylor, a 2014 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine (University of Pennsylvania) and is currently a 3rd-year resident in San Francisco, California. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University earning degrees in East Asian Studies and Neuroscience. He also completed a Master of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Engineering at Brown.
At Brown as a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, Kenji was deeply involved in community service learning, including founding an SAT prep program for low-income youth in Providence still running today. During his junior year abroad in Japan with support from the Miller Scholarship, he investigated healthcare access for undocumented foreign workers for his senior honors thesis. Additionally Kenji explored his entrepreneurial spirit, interning with Goldman Sachs and writing a business plan to commercialize a neurotechnology developed at Brown.
After college, Kenji worked in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo through a managerial training program with The Capital Group Companies. It was his volunteer work with the board of a federally-qualified health center in LA that convinced him social justice via medicine was the path for him.
Kenji returned to medical school to provide care for individuals from underserved communities and apply his business experience to improve health systems. He was humbled to be named one of ten Gamble Scholars, Penn's highest merit award. In his first year of medical school, Kenji managed The Cut Hypertension Program in which medical students visit African American barbershops to perform blood pressure screenings and educate customers about the silent dangers of hypertension. He continued throughout medical school to build this program via an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and United Health Foundation award. To understand and improve the health system for underserved communities abroad, Kenji had the opportunity to work with Wharton researchers, management consultants and mothers2mothers in South Africa to build a system that followed mothers infected with HIV through the process of preventing HIV transmission to their infants.
Through The CDC Experience Applied Epidemiology Fellowship, Kenji recently spent a year away from medical school working on global pediatric HIV care and treatment research, technical support and health policy in Namibia and Malawi. Upon completion of the fellowship, he returned to the East Arkansas Family Health Center, a community health center where he previously spent time as a third-year providing primary care to Arkansas's most vulnerable underserved populations. To recognize his efforts in the local and global health community, classmates and faculty elected him to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Kenji envisions his future in family medicine as the privilege to provide one-on-one primary care to individuals in his local community as well as strengthen systems of health and preventative services to the most vulnerable populations around the world.
Diana Wohler, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Harvard Medical School and is currently a 3rd-year resident in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Music. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa her senior year.
As a college student, Diana volunteered weekly for four years at the Baltimore Rescue Mission Clinic, a primary care clinic predominantly for homeless men. It was this experience and the longitudinal relationships she formed that inspired Diana to pursue a career in primary care. She served as the Community Service Coordinator for the Women's Pre-Health Leadership Society at Johns Hopkins, furthering her connection with the Baltimore Rescue Mission Clinic. She was a teaching assistant for a genetics course and organic chemistry laboratory. She was also a member of the Women's Ultimate Frisbee team at Johns Hopkins, serving as co-captain her senior year.
At Harvard, Diana has been an active member of the Family Medicine Interest Group and served as the group's leader for a year. She served as a research and life mentor at a high school enrichment program and recently as a preceptor and bed-side teacher for first-year medical students with Harvard's patient interviewing course. Diana served as Director of Patient Education for the patient education and counseling program at a student-run faculty collaborative clinic, Crimson Care Collaborative's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center site, which focuses on chronic medical conditions. She then served as Senior Director at Crimson Care Collaborative's Cambridge Health Alliance Site, Harvard's first family medicine student-run clinic, which she co-founded after her third year of medical school. As senior director, Diana's responsibilities included facilitating clinic flow, directing process improvement initiatives, coordinating health professional students and faculty preceptors, and facilitating didactic instruction. In her first year at Harvard, Diana was selected as an inaugural member of the Student Leadership Committee of the Harvard Center for Primary Care. She served as Family Medicine Committee Chair last year and is currently serving as co-leader of the Student Leadership Committee. In this position, Diana is responsible for the leadership training and development of 21 medical and dental students, the completion of committee projects and deliverables, and maintaining a relationship between the student and faculty members for the Center for Primary Care.
Diana has presented at numerous conferences, including the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine's National Conference. Her current research interest is in leadership training for medical students. Diana intends to incorporate medical education into her future practice, delivering interprofessional, team-based care to her patients.