"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
Dev Vashishtha, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of California, San Diego and is currently a 1st-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. Dev 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, Dev 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, Dev 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, Dev 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 Dev 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. Dev has traveled to Sacramento multiple times as part of California Medical Association delegations. Dev 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), Dev 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, Dev was awarded the national Switzer Foundation Environmental Fellowship.
As a clinical researcher Dev 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. Dev is passionate about recruiting medical students into family medicine. Eventually, he intends to run for political office.
Robert Rock, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and is currently a 1st-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 1st-year resident in San Francisco, CA. He completed his Master of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley. Crister graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with degrees in Latin American Studies and Portuguese.
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 1st-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.
Brandon Hidaka, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine (KU), where he also received his PhD in Medical Nutrition Science. He is a 2nd-year resident in Seattle, Washington. Brandon graduated from the University of Kansas (Lawrence) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Psychology.
As an undergraduate, Brandon received a number of awards, including the Campanile Award, a peer-selected honor given to the graduating senior who most exemplifies leadership, respect, and strength of character. In college Brandon worked as a peer tutor of chemistry, physics and biology for low-income students. He also taught yoga weekly to a wide range of people, including peers at the school’s yoga club and fitness center, and men and women in the local county jail. He founded KU’s Yoga Club in 2007 to provide the only free weekly yoga class in Lawrence. After volunteering for two families in Dallas during an alternative spring break trip, Brandon, along with a fellow undergraduate, started a new campus group: Students for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Activism (SALSA). The group connected with families through the local chapter of the ALS Association and coordinated student volunteers to help with chores, errands, and caregiver relief.
It was as an undergraduate that Brandon learned of the healing power of lifestyle change through his research of depression with Dr. Stephen Ilardi in the Department of Clinical Psychology. His passion for promoting healthy living continued in medical school, where he volunteered at school health fairs, a health-oriented afterschool program in a nearby low-income neighborhood, and as a group leader for children participating in an 8-week, family-based obesity intervention program. As a second-year medical student, Brandon helped direct Jaydoc Diabetes Night, a bimonthly free clinic that was run by medical students for indigent patients. That year, he also worked toward better diversity and inclusion as president of the LGBT & Allies campus group. Later as a graduate student, he led another campus group, Food is Medicine. In that role, Brandon launched a community-supported agriculture program at the medical center with a fellow graduate student. The pair connected 170 students, faculty, and staff (and their families) to local farmers with a weekly delivery of fresh, seasonal groceries. Brandon’s dissertation focused on how diet influences breast cancer risk in order to empower women with accurate information. During his extended tenure as a student at the medical center, Brandon served many roles in the campus student governing body, including chairperson.
Brandon is thrilled for a front-row seat on humanity in Family Medicine. He is passionate about prevention and public health. He envisions a career in an academic health system, stewarding the health of families, applying statistics to real problems, teaching the next generation of health professionals, and making healthful decisions more convenient and accessible. As a healing ambassador of science, Brandon looks forward to working toward an inclusive culture of health.
Brianne Huffstetler Rowan
Brianne Huffstetler Rowan, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW) and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Tacoma, Washington. Brianne graduated from Juniata College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Health and French. She also completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) at UW’s School of Public Health as part of an NIH-sponsored Pre-Doctoral Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Fellowship.
At Juniata College, Brianne was a two-time recipient of the Community Contribution Award, which recognizes students for outstanding service to the local community, and was one of two students to receive the Clarence R. Pentz Pre-Medicine Humanitarianism Scholarship during her junior year. Throughout college Brianne participated in the Bonner Leaders Program, a nationwide program in which a select group of students commit to weekly meaningful service and participate in leadership and service trainings. In this role, she completed two years of part-time AmeriCorps service and volunteered for three years as a gymnastics coach at a local community youth center. She also served as the president for the Juniata College Habitat for Humanity chapter, co-lead for several Relay for Life teams, and the volunteer coordinator for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. Brianne was also part of the Juniata College Dance Ensemble and played violin in the Juniata College Orchestra.
In medical school, Brianne was named to both the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies during her junior year and currently serves as secretary and Secretary General (president) for these UW chapters, respectively. She has been awarded the University of Washington’s School of Medicine Distinction in Service Award yearly for four years. Brianne has served with several free clinics in Seattle, Habitat for Humanity and Girls on the Run. She volunteers with the ROOTS young adult homeless shelter and has served for two years as the volunteer coordinator for UW student teams serving weekly breakfasts at the shelter. Brianne has also been an integral part of UW’s Family Medicine Interest Group, and has served for three years as the co-chair of Tar Wars, an American Academy of Family Physicians tobacco and smoking prevention program for 4th and 5th grade students. The program now reaches over 300 students yearly and was ranked 2nd place nationally in 2014 and 3rd place nationally in 2016.
As part of her MPH program, Brianne spent a summer in Vietnam working with Vietnamese medical students to develop peer-to-peer support groups to promote appropriate infant and young child feeding practices in rural areas. Her MPH thesis research focused on workforce needs in antenatal care clinics in Côte d’Ivoire. Brianne spent six of the last nine summers in a rural village in Northern Thailand volunteering with The Expedition Club, an organization that brings American and Thai youth together for cross-cultural community building and English language instruction and learning. She continues to serve as a board member and plans to return to the same village this spring.
Brianne is excited for the next stage of her journey in family medicine and for the opportunities to build compassionate, longitudinal relationships with patients and families. She hopes to dedicate her life to creating, improving and providing comprehensive primary care programs with strong maternal-child health services in rural areas throughout the world.
Darrin Nichols, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from West Virginia University School of Medicine and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Charleston, West Virginia. Darrin graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University (WVU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology.
As an undergraduate student at WVU, Darrin was accepted into the WVU Honors College. As a WVU Honors Scholar he completed an honors thesis in Biology, examining the inflammatory relationship between asthma, obesity, and insulin resistance in children. As a senior, Darrin was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and was a recipient of the West Virginia University Foundation Outstanding Senior Award, an award given to students for their academic achievement, community service, research, and leadership skills. Darrin continues to volunteer alongside his family with a local youth basketball league as a volunteer coach, referee, statistician and administrative assistant, which he has done since middle school. He also served as a resident assistant at WVU and was recognized each year as the Resident Assistant of the Year for his dormitory.
Since beginning medical school, Darrin has continued to win awards and accolades. In 2014, 2015, and 2016 he was the recipient of the West Virginia University Institute for Community and Rural Health Scholarship, which recognizes students who are dedicated to becoming primary care providers in rural or underserved areas of West Virginia. Earlier this year he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Darrin has been involved in a number of research projects, including ongoing current research focusing on diabetes education in underserved populations. He has designed an educational workbook that participants will follow throughout the course of a program developed with other WVU medical students and volunteers. He has served as President of Stepping Stones and Student Coordinator of MUSHROOM, programs at WVU that involve medical students and local physicians conducting street rounds to provide basic necessities and medical care to the unsheltered populations of Martinsburg, WV and Morgantown, WV, respectively. Darrin is also the medical student coordinator of the Prevention of the Abuse of Substances in Students (PASS) Program for his local high school – a program he designed and obtained grant funding for with the collaboration of a local rural physician. Darrin was recently awarded the 2016 WVU School of Medicine - Eastern Division Community Health Outreach Award. He has also been named a Rural Scholar in the Department of Family Medicine at WVU School of Medicine - Charleston Division, a designation given to students dedicated to becoming family physicians and provides acceptance into the Charleston Area Medical Center Family Medicine residency program.
After residency, Darrin hopes to return to his hometown in West Virginia to practice as a family physician and to continue to provide education to students interested in Family Medicine, just as his mentors have done for him.
Ry Garcia-Sampson, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Ry is originally from El Paso, a border town in Texas. Ry graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and was part of the Program for Liberal Medical Education. Ry is also currently completing 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.
Victoria Boggiano, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Stanford School of Medicine and is currently a 1st-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.
Joshua Pepper, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is in his final year of the Joint Medical Program (JMP) - a five-year graduate/medical degree program at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
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.
Emma Richardson, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago. 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.
Michael Rose, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He graduated magna cum laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Earlier this year he received his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Beginning in high school and throughout college, Michael worked each spring, summer and fall as the only farm hand on a small grain farm in rural Casselton, North Dakota. As a student research assistant with the Concordia College Biology Department, Michael conducted small mammal research, designed experiments, gathered and analyzed data, and presented findings. During the following summer he volunteered with a clinic in San Lorenzo, Ecuador and with an orphanage in Shell, Ecuador. As a college student Michael also founded and operated No Food for Thought, a social justice organization based in Moorhead, Minnesota. He created the website and co-created YouTube videos for the organization, sent bi-monthly emails, and mobilized over $10,000 in pledged donations to various non-profit agencies. Michael was also the pitcher for the Concordia College Baseball Team during his four years there, served as a leader for the Health Professions Interest Club, and volunteered with the Campus Ministry Commission, Social Justice.
As a medical student Michael received the Biomedical Sciences Award, given to the three highest achieving students in the biomedical sciences in the first two years of medical school. He received the Dean Paula Temuhlen Scholarship for his academic and leadership excellence, was selected for the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society last year. He was one of four students selected to participate in MetroPAP, a longitudinal integrated clerkship which focuses on the provision of Family Medicine to urban, ethnically diverse, and underserved populations. As part of this program Michael organized a Minnesota health worker’s petition against repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed by over 200 Minnesota health professionals, and which he delivered to the Minnesota Congressional delegation. Michael organized calling campaigns prior to the ACA repeal votes and had two of his op-eds published in the Fargo Forum. During the summer between his first and second year of medical school, Michael interned with Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan – the first medical student to ever intern for him. He wrote policy memos and briefs to aid in the translation of the Lancet Commission findings to concrete policy implementation.
While working on his MPH at Harvard, Michael served as an advocacy volunteer with Right to Health MA. Earlier this year he won an op-ed writing contest at the Harvard Center for Primary Care and was just recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
As a family physician, Michael plans to work on bridging the gap between clinicians and policy makers, though he is still discerning whether his policy contribution will focus on global or domestic health, and whether it will be through academia, government work, a non-governmental organization, or a combination of these.
Maya Siegel, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU SOM). 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.
Sara Martin, a 2015 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Harvard Medical School and is currently a 2nd-year resident in Santa Rosa, California. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biochemistry and History. She recently completed her Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University and then spent a year working on policy for the Health Foundation in London.
At Mount Holyoke, Sara received numerous scholarships and awards, including a 4-year Mount Holyoke Leadership Scholarship and an American Chemistry Society scholarship. After graduation she received the Kelly Sottile Community Service Award, which honors a student who has made significant contributions to the community outside the gates of Mount Holyoke by consistently demonstrating personal commitment and sensitivity to human needs. At Mount Holyoke, Sara served as co-chair of C.A.U.S.E. (Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equity), the largest community service organization on campus, where she organized and assisted with approximately 20 community service projects and ten annual events. During her undergraduate studies, Sara also worked as a general chemistry teaching assistant at Mount Holyoke. Upon graduation, she spent a year and a half teaching chemistry at an underprivileged urban high school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
At Harvard Sara received the Linnane Scholarship for Leadership and was named a Primary Care Master's Scholar. She also received the Dean's Community Service Award during her 3rd-year of medical school. Through her involvement with Primary Health Care International, Sara has been a part of developing a leadership program for students interested in global health. She has also been involved in writing grants and the application for non-profit status for this organization. For a summer project after her first year of medical school, Sara traveled to Zimbabwe as part of research for Partners in Health, where she evaluated the utility of the organization's Program Management Guide through questionnaires and in-depth interviews with members of new and established non-governmental organizations in both Boston and Zimbabwe.
Sara was a co-leader of Harvard's Family Medicine Interest Group and a member of the Student Leadership Committee at the Center for Primary Care. During the second half of medical school, she applied for and received two Agents of Change Challenge Grants from the Center for Primary Care to utilize the resources of Cambridge Health Alliance to establish an innovative School-Based Health Center, now named the Starr Center. Sara served as program manager of The Starr Center, which provides comprehensive health services within a local high school. Sara has presented a number of posters, including most recently at the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine's Conference on Medical Student Education, for which she also received a scholarship.
As a future family physician, Sara's mission is to advocate for her patients' health by examining and improving the intersection between health care and education.
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.
Geoff Gusoff, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and is currently a 1st-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.
Sean McClellan, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from Rush Medical College and is a 1st-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.
Nick West, a 2018 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). 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.
Franklin Niblock, a 2017 Pisacano Scholar, graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (UNC) and is currently a 1st-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.