Latino Medical Student Association Northeast, PO Box 749, Hanover, NH 03755 pr.northeast@lmsa.net

2018-19 LMSA Northeast Executive Council

CO-DIRECTOR

Iara Backes, MD/PhD - Graduate Student Year 1 

Hometown Lima, Peru 

Undergraduate School 
University of Florida 

Medical School 
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth 

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I got involved in LMSA during my first year of medical school. Two second years had recently started the chapter at Geisel and I was excited to share my Latinidad with my peers. I saw LMSA as a great opportunity to get to know the future Latinx health care providers, and to meet Latinx allies who care deeply about their Latinx peers and future patients. 

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?  
My number one goal is to ensure that the LMSA NE Region meets the needs of LMSA NE members. I want to bring our regional chapters closer together to strengthen the network of future leaders in the Latinx community. I also want to highlight that LMSA is an inclusive community and that we welcome all Latinx allies, and encourage them to be active members and leaders! Last but not least I want to facilitate the goal-to-action path for my fellow executive board member. 

Career goals 
As an MD PhD I want research to be an important part of my clinical career. My goals for now are to stay in Academic Medicine and utilize my (future) dual degree to its fullest potential. 

Hobbies 
Kayaking, hiking, crazy solo dancing, baking/cooking, reading nerdy fantasy books, and dabbling in lifting (do u even lift hermano?).

director.northeast@lmsa.net

CO-DIRECTOR

Julia Su, MS II 

Hometown 
Aliso Viejo, CA 

Undergraduate School 
California Institute of Technology 

Medical School 
Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine 

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I became involved in LMSA during my first year of medical school. What excited me the most was my ability to make a difference alongside likeminded people. When individuals come together, big things happen. 

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
To continue organizing a fantastic regional conference and other regional events. To build a stronger LMSA community by strengthening inter-chapter relationships. To increase the number of LMSA+ chapters. 

Career goals 
Physician, scientist, humanist, leader-teacher. 

Hobbies  
Baking, Eating, Kpop, YouTube. 

director.northeast@lmsa.net

CO-DIRECTOR ELECT

Jessica Grenvik, MS III 

Hometown 
Bristol, TN 

Undergraduate School 
University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Medical School 
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University  

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I became involved in LMSA during my first semester of medical school. I was drawn to LMSA because of its mission to advocate for Latinx patients. This is one of the reasons why I decided to go into medicine. Throughout my life, I unfortunately witnessed how lack of proper interpretation services and/or lack of culturally competent providers may impede quality of care provided to certain patients, including non-English speakers, immigrants, and women. My goal as a future physician is to break down barriers to care and to always serve as an advocate for my patients. LMSA brings together such an incredible group of people with this same mission. Last year, I had the pleasure of serving as one of the Conference Co-Directors for LMSA Northeast. In planning the conference, I had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring people who are changing the face of healthcare locally and globally. I feel so blessed to continue growing and learning with the LMSA family!                     

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?
My immediate goal is to help the new Conference Co-Directors plan the best Regional Conference possible. I hope to continue to help LMSA Northeast expand and grow by encouraging current chapters to get even more involved in Regional and National events and by helping to form new chapters at interested institutions. I am also looking forward to working with and learning from the current Co-Directors so that when the time comes, I will be prepared to continue their incredible work.

Career goals 
I aspire to become an obstetrician/gynecologist, empowering women around the world and helping them deliver happy, healthy babies. Ultimately, I would like to work both globally and locally to reduce disparities that exist in this facet of healthcare because I believe that every woman, regardless of background, has a right to receive quality obstetrical and gynecological care. 

Hobbies 
In April 2017, I ran my very first half marathon, and since then, running has become a huge part of my life. My plan is to run a half marathon every six months! Other hobbies of mine include volunteering as a medical Spanish translator, horseback riding, and planning my next mother-daughter vacation (every year, we try to go somewhere new and exciting). 

 directorelect.northeast@lmsa.net

CO-DIRECTOR ELECT

Mary-Catherine Skoulos, MS III

 Hometown 
Lynbrook, NY

Undergraduate School
Cornell University

Medical School 
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I became involved with LMSA as an Undergraduate at Cornell University. One day I received an email about attending an LMSA national Conference in New York City and the rest is well, history. 

After attending that first event, I knew I wanted to be a part of the LMSA family. LMSA reminds me that I am a part of something bigger. With the trials and tribulations of medical school, it is all too easy to forget what inspired us to pursue a career in medicine to begin with. A career that keeps you up studying until 3 am and then up for lecture or morning rounds before the sun is up. Being involved with LMSA helps remind me of my core values, my beliefs, my culture,my first language, and most importantly my desire to help the people that make up my community.

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
My goal as Co-Director Elect this year is to not only learn the ropes of running LMSA in a regional capacity but to also bridge the gap between LMSA and it’s graduate counterpart, NHMA (National Hispanic Medical Association). I hope to encourage LMSA members to attend NHMA events, as well as promote a sense of community and rapport among the two organizations. 

Additionally, I hope to encourage more LMSA members to attend LMSA National events such as the Policy Summit in Washington D.C. I have attended the conference for the past two years now and believe it to be such a great resource for medical students. Not only does attending such a conference give students exposure to the legislative process and the means to create positive change in medicine, the conference offers a space for LMSA members to create meaningful relationships with LMSA members from across the country. Such connections and friendships will help make our members more empowered and our organization stronger.

Career goals 
Currently, I am undecided about what field of Medicine I would like to pursue. I have interests in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, etc., however, I am waiting to experience my third year clinicals so to make a more informed decision. Although the type of medicine I want to practice is still unclear to me, I do know that I would like to serve in underrepresented communities and ensure that all my patients are able to make educated and informed decisions regarding their health. To me, education is everything.

Hobbies 
I am a musician, always have been and always will be. I started playing piano at the age of 4, began voice lessons at age 5, was introduced to the violin at age 8, and took up a few other instruments thereafter. Although medical school has taken away much of my time to dedicate to the arts, I have found that I cannot completely stray away from doing what I love. Monday Nights you can find me in rehearsal with the 90-voices Great South Jersey Chorus lead by Dr. Christopher Thomas.

directorelect.northeast@lmsa.net

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Josh Ramos, MS III

Hometown
Monroe, NY

Undergraduate School
University of Pennsylvania                                                               
Medical School
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth  

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
Upon arriving to Dartmouth to start medical school in 2015, I learned that there was a new LMSA chapter. I wasn’t terribly involved with the Latino community in college, which I regretted, so I wanted to make it a point to contribute to our small but tight-knit group of Hispanic students and allies during medical school. During our first meeting of the year, I learned that our nascent chapter would be hosting the Northeast Regional Conference that following February. Over the next few months, I co-led the recruitment efforts for the speakers at the conference. Although putting on the conference took a considerable amount of time and effort, it was incredibly rewarding to see the final result. The conference was a huge success, and that experience caused me to consider taking on a greater role in the organization.                                                            
What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
Our region’s previous CFO, Fernando Isaza, made great strides for LMSA Northeast. He inherited an organization that had recently lost its non-profit status, and he worked very hard to regain our 501(c)(3) status and leave us on solid financial footing. I hope to maintain our strong fiscal position and work with the regional board to bolster our finances. With increased funds, I hope to expand the impact of LMSA at medical schools throughout the Northeast, whether that be through larger scholarships for individual students or grants for member chapters to enable them to further their missions at their schools and local communities. At the same time, I will continue to look for ways our organization can streamline its operations and run as lean and as efficiently as possible.

Career goals
As an MD/MBA student, I hope to leverage both my clinical and management training in my future career. I haven’t yet decided on a specialty, but I’m passionate about disease prevention and early identification of clinical deterioration.

Hobbies
In my spare time, I enjoy exploring new places, trying new recipes, watching TV and movies, and cheering on the New York sports teams.

cfo.northeast@lmsa.net

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ELECT

Natalie Delgado, MS II

Hometown 
Miami, FL 

Undergraduate School 
University of Central Florida 

Medical School 
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I became involved with the Jefferson chapter of LMSA during the second half of my first year. I was finally feeling somewhat comfortable with the adjustment of starting medical school, and was ready to get involved in something I could feel passionate about. As a Cuban American raised in Miami, I grew up as a part of the Latino community, and that is something I was missing when I moved to Philadelphia. I joined LMSA to reconnect with my roots, and to contribute to the community where I feel most at home.  

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?  
I have several goals for myself as a member of the LMSA Northeast Executive Board. My first, and very exciting, priority is to plan a successful, and fun Northeast Regional Conference at Jefferson. Together with the other Conference Co-Director, Jessica Grenvik, I hope to bring in speakers that can educate and engage our Conference attendees. Additionally, my goal for the conference is to have our attendees feel as though they are welcome, gain insight on issues in the Latino community and how they can help, and have a memorable time. Also, I hope to form relationships with the other wonderful members of the LMSA NE Executive Board, my chapter at Jefferson, and other chapters throughout the region. Connecting with these individuals will surely help such a large region feel smaller, especially when we are all working towards a common goal to serve and advocate for Latino health. 

Career goals
In the future, my goal is to move back to my hometown of Miami and start my career as a physician there. I have not decided on a specialty yet, but I do know that regardless of which field I choose, I will dedicate time to serve the Latino community of Miami that has given so much to me.                                                   

Hobbies 
During my free time, I like to watch sitcoms, try new restaurants, see my family/friends whenever possible, play games on my phone, and hang out with my pet cat,Bo.

cfoelect.northeast@lmsa.net

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Cristina Valentin, MS III 
Hometown 
Carolina, Puerto Rico

Undergraduate School
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras

Medical School 
University of Connecticut

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I joined LMSA during my first year of medical school. It was the first year that UConn had an LMSA chapter. I was an active member that first year, and joined the board the following year as Vice President of our chapter. I took on that role because I wanted to help LMSA move forward and establish itself at UConn. I viewed membership in the board as a pathway to help the Latino population both directly through community service, and indirectly through the empowerment and education of their future healthcare providers.

 What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?
I am excited to join the LMSA Northeast board and work with an extraordinary team of people who are motivated to serve the Latino community. My personal goal for this year is to have all of the LMSA NE chapters collaborate and unite to achieve our common goals. I believe that working with like-minded people from different institutions can help LMSA become stronger, both at the level of our individual schools and at the level of our organization as a whole. 

Career goals? 
I have been leaning toward surgery or OB/GYN because I like procedural medicine. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, whether it was drawing or creating models for architecture school, where I learned to be more patient and precise. My hope is that I can be just as creative in surgery as I was back when I studied architecture, but this time for the purposes of imagining corrections for anatomical defects.

Hobbies
I enjoy listening to music, dancing, reading, photography, and Netflix. I like being outdoors when I can, and traveling.

cio.northeast@lmsa.net

PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

Christian Suri, MS III

Hometown
East Hanover, NJ
   
Undergraduate School 
The Pennsylvania State University 

Medical School 
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA? 
I have been involved with LMSA since my second year of medical school.  As a person, I have always taken great interest in my Cuban-Puerto Rican heritage/culture.  I learned of the experience and challenges of immigrants like my grandparents when they first arrived to the United States.  With this in my mind, I volunteered my time in endeavors such as "Salud Para Ninos" during my graduate school years at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and continue to do so through the "Student Family Healthcare Clinic" at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.  Through these experiences (and the experience of growing up with the loving presence of my grandparents), I realized how essential it is for the Latinx populations to have a voice in the oftentimes convoluted healthcare system here in the US.  LMSA has given me an opportunity to not only be that voice but also empower young people in the Latinx population to pursue their goals and aspirations of serving as physicians.  

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?  
As the Public Relations Chair for LMSA Northeast, I hope to bring a strong sense of unity among our chapters in the northeast region.  Through outreach, I hope to serve as the liaison to all our chapters and provide essential communication to all our chapters.  I hope to empower our northeast chapters with the information and resources necessary for them to succeed and become an even stronger presence in their communities.  

Career goals 
I am interested in working with pediatric populations (whether it be through a medical field or a surgical field is still undecided).  I have a strong interest in infectious diseases, oncology, and neurology.  One thing that is most definitely on my bucket list of career goals is mission trips to vulnerable populations in Latin America and Africa.

Hobbies 
Running, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, reading comic books, playing piano, and singing a combination of Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Dean Martin, opera, and Marc Anthony tunes at karaoke/open mic nights.  

pr.northeast@lmsa.net

CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Madelyn Garcia, MS II

Hometown
Bronx, NY 

Undergraduate School 
Syracuse University  

Medical School 
SUNY Upstate Medical University

When did you become involved with the LMSA? What encouraged you to be part of LMSA? 
The percentage of Latinos in medical school is very minute, and it was important for me to be in an organization with like-minded, supportive people, push forward in advocacy efforts and engage in propel proper representation of our people.

What do you expect to accomplish this year as Developmental Chair? 
I want to be able to create a space where chapters and their leadership are up to date on regional happenings and in communication with one another on the best ways to stay connected and support one another. 

Career goals 
As of right now I'm thinking Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine, Family Medicine, OB/GYN

Hobbies
Running, Crocheting, + Super di duper amateur photographing

membership.northeast@lmsa.net

CONFERENCE CO-DIRECTOR

Stacey Martinez, MS II

Hometown
Queens, NY

Undergraduate School
Baruch College
                                             
Medical School 
SUNY Upstate Medical University 

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I started attending LMSA conferences when I decided to switch careers. I found the networking and mentoring truly invaluable towards getting into medical school. As a current medical student, being part of LMSA is exposing me to ways to better my community and shaping my career as a future physician.

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
As Conference Co-chair, the bar has been set high to put together an educational and innovative conference for the 2019 NE regional. I was impressed with every LMSA conference so far, and expect to replicate their success. I look forward to showcasing Upstate Medical University, highlighting our work within the refugee and immigrant communities, rural communities, and undeserved communities in Syracuse and the Central NY region.

Career goals 
Upon graduation from Medical school, I aspire to blend my business background with my medical education and hope to get involved in hospital administration or academic medicine. I have been involved in Public Health and Quality Improvement projects and see the value of implementing efficient hospital policies to improve patient outcomes. As an MS2, I am still exploring my options for a specialty but I look forward to providing patients with support and dedication in their medical needs.

Hobbies 
I love hiking and being outdoors which is one of the reasons I came to Upstate, NY for medical school. I enjoy spending time with my dog and in my garden in Queens as well. I love to travel and do so whenever I can, granted it has been harder to find free time in medical school! I am also a news junkie and constantly reading to keep up to date on events.

Conference.northeast@lmsa.net 

CONFERENCE CO-DIRECTOR

Stephanie Cortes, MS II

Hometown
Middletown, NY

Undergraduate School 
Binghamton University

Medical School
SUNY Upstate Medical University 

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I first became involved in LMSA as a historian of the chapter in my school and have since moved to the position as treasurer. I first became involved as a way to meet other latinos in my medical school. I then wanted to reach further outside my school, as the latino population is very small, and decided to take more of a role in LMSA by running for a chair position. I have already met many other individuals from multiple schools around the NE.

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
I hope the it will bring more awareness about the issues the Latino community faced to my campus by planning the LMSA NE conference with my fellow classmate, Stacey Martinez. I hope to make even more connections throughout my time in LMSA, and hope they extend beyond my years in medical school.

Career goals
I am interested in emergency medicine or family medicine at the moment, but my mind is not made up on a specialty just yet. I plan to eventually move to the east coast and practice in low economic community somewhere in California.

Hobbies 
My top two favorite hobbies include eating and running long distances.I've ran a couple half-marathons, a full marathon, and my goal is to do eventually do an ultra marathon.

conference.northeast@lmsa.net

POLICY CHAIR

Andria Matthews, MS IV

Hometown
South Orange, New Jersey

Undergraduate School
Yale University 

Medical School 
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I became involved in LMSA during my second year of medical school, after serving in leadership for my school’s SNMA chapter. Our school did not have an LMSA chapter at the time and we felt that an organization was desperately needed on campus to bring together and support Latino students and advocate for the health of Latino communities.
What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
I hope to bring together LMSA members across the Northeast to generate policy proposals to bring to the National Policy Summit.

Career goals 
I am pursuing an MD/MPH and plan to work in underserved communities as a Family Medicine physician while also teaching and advocating for the health of our community.

Hobbies 
I love to travel, spend time with family and friends, eat good food, and attend cultural and artistic events. I also stay active as much as possible and bike, ski, snowboard, run and love the beach!

policy.northeast@lmsa.net

FUNDRAISING CHAIR

Jose Reyes, MS III

Hometown 
El Paso, TX

Undergraduate School
Texas State University 

Medical School
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I became a part of LMSA in 2016 and immediately took up a leadership role thereafter. I was encouraged to join LMSA because of the community I observed it build between upperclassmen, and because working Spanish speaking populations is one of my ultimate goals in medicine. LMSA served to both better my place in my medical school while preparing me for my professional goals.

What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position?
In my year in my position, I hope to maintain funding and professional relationships with existing donors while appropriately displaying gratitude on the organization's behalf. Additionally, I plan to increase funding by working with others to promote new and existing initiatives, and by then selling these initiatives to potential benefactors.

Career goals?
I plan to become an emergency medicine physician working in Texas to better promote the health outcomes of Latinos. I have an interest in becoming involved in programs which work to connect emergency department visitors to primary care to integrate the underserved into the medical system.
Hobbies
I like to play video games, run, read, and play tennis, in that order.

fundraising.northeast@lmsa.net

MENTORSHIP CHAIR

Luke Torre-Healy, MS II

Hometown
Massapequa, NY
 
Undergraduate School
Vanderbilt University 
 
Medical School
Stony Brook School of Medicine

When did you become involved in LMSA? What encouraged you to be a part of LMSA?
I became involved in LMSA in October of my first year of medical school. I saw an opportunity to get involved and make a difference in my community in a way I didn't think was possible.There is a large Latino community in the towns near Stony Brook, and being able to participate in a key resource for that community was something I felt compelled to do.
What do you expect to accomplish this year in your position? 
As mentorship chair, it is my responsibility to help foster connections between the LMSA and our future members. I hope to be active across the region in helping to establish and grow our undergraduate chapters (LMSA+), aiming for a one year increase to 50% chapter participation.

Career goals
As an MD/PhD student, I have a while left in school. I hope to one day work both in the clinic and a laboratory, bringing cutting edge treatments and cures to my patients.

Hobbies
Any kind of sport with a ball and running! Mainly soccer and basketball. I also enjoy playing guitar and a little karaoke every now and then.

mentorship.northeast@lmsa.net

FACULTY ADVISOR

Fidencio Saldaña, MD/MPH

A Faculty Reflection

As a prospective Harvard Medical student in 1996, I never could have imagined being where I am today. I recall visiting Harvard Medical School (HMS) during the underrepresented minority revisit weekend. I was in awe that I would finally have the opportunity to become a physician. I came from a humble background. My parents were both immigrants from Mexico who only had the opportunity of an elementary school education. At the time, HMS appeared to be a daunting place – one where I did not necessarily belong. However, during that weekend I was fortunate to meet a cadre of faculty and students from similar backgrounds to my own, who helped me put aside those feelings. They insisted that not only did I belonged in medical school, there was a large population of patients who desperately needed me to be their physician.

My passion at the time was to become a physician that would help take care of underserved patients – specifically those of Spanish-speaking heritage. I wanted to be their linguistic and cultural interpreter to the world of medicine. I soon became the beneficiary of wonderful mentors who were crucial in allowing me to fulfill this dream. I vividly remember one of my first conversations with Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Director of the Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs at HMS. He is unaware that he was the first person who made me believe that I could pursue a career in academic medicine. Dr. Poussaint insisted that I could serve these patients on an individual as well as a collective level. He believed in both my capacity as a leader as well as my ability to have a broad impact on this population of patients.

Today I am part of the Harvard Medical School faculty. I am proud to say that the passion I felt as a prospective student has only grown with time. I am a clinical cardiologist and cardiac imager who serves Spanish-speaking Latino/a patients at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) as well as BWH affiliated community health centers. As I continue to build my practice, I am working to develop programs to improve the health of Latino/a patients beyond the clinic. I am humbled on a daily basis by the gratitude in patient’s voices when I am able to communicate with them in their own language and culture while providing them with the highest quality in cardiovascular care. I enjoy being able to share this experience with the medical students and residents that join me in clinic.

In addition to being a clinician, I have the privilege of serving as an educator both at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as Harvard Medical School. For the last two years I have served as co-director of the HMS Clinical Skills course based at BWH. One of my most memorable moments in teaching happened the first day of the course, when I looked out into the crowd and saw one Latino and one African American student. I felt a great sense of pride that I was able to serve as a role model, a fellow minority in an educational leadership position. I will continue to foster these educational roles and build on them into the future.

My third role was not initially part of formal job description, but it is a role I take very seriously. It is that of mentor – to all fellows, residents, and students, not just underrepresented minorities. I am a strong believer that we all have something to offer those who are coming up behind us. I would not be where I am today were it not for the paths paved by those that came before me. It came as a surprise when I was awarded the excellence in mentoring award by the HMS underrepresented minority medical students in 2008. It is an incredible honor to know that you have affected the lives of a group of individuals in such a positive manner. This past year I was named as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Director of the Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs at HMS where I serve as an advocate for recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority medical students.

As a successful minority physician, I believe it is my calling to use my talents as clinician, educator, and mentor to support the careers of the minority physicians of the future.

Fidencio Saldaña, M.D., M.P.H.
Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Cardiology
Assistant Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Instructor, Harvard Medical School