National Student Advisory Board 2022-2023

Directors

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Sabastian Hajtovic

Director

Sabastian is a fourth-year medical student in the Sophie Davis program at the CUNY School of Medicine and co-director of the PHR SAB. Previously, he served as co-chair of the 2020 PHR National Student Conference, held virtually, on Defending Human Rights in the Age of the Pandemic, as well as on the advocacy committee of the SAB. As co-president of CUNY’s PHR chapter, he coordinated college-wide opioid overdose prevention trainings and a widely attended Opioid Crisis Summit. He is passionate about the role of physicians at the intersection of public health, policy, and grassroots community leadership.

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Reice Robinson

Director

Reice is a fourth-year medical student at Georgetown University. Reice grew up in Georgia, and she completed her undergraduate degree at Mercer University (Go Bears!). While at Georgetown, she served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Georgetown Chapter of PHR. In this position, she organized two virtual asylum clinic trainings and several letter writing campaigns. She also designed a medical education project to teach advocacy to medical students. Outside of work, you can find Reice either in her garden or Rock Creek Park.

Secretary

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Allison Lenselink

Secretary

Allison Lenselink is a third-year medical student at the Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University in Israel. After graduating with a degree in Genetics from Iowa State University, she moved to Togo, West Africa to serve as a Community Health Educator with the Peace Corps.  This helped to foster her passion for global health, human rights, and addressing health disparities.  She plans to focus on women's health and hopes to use her experiences to advocate for marginalized populations in and beyond the clinic setting.

Research Coordinator

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Chris Reynolds

Research Coordinator

Chris Reynolds serves as the Research Coordinator and is a student at University of Michigan Medical School. During his undergraduate studies of biochemistry and theology at Boston College, he conducted health research in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Liberia. In 2018, he received a Fulbright Research grant to study health care access barriers for reincorporating FARC ex-combatants in Colombia. At Michigan, he has volunteered with the University of Michigan Asylum Collaborative and led research on COVID-19 and health services access of asylum seekers in Matamoros, Mexico. His interests include implementation science, health care delivery in humanitarian settings, and salsa dancing.

Chapter Liaisons

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Brandon Grill

Chapter Liaison

Brandon Grill serves as a New Chapter Liaison PHR Student Advisory Board and is a 3rd year medical student at SUNY Downstate. He received his undergraduate degree in Art History from UW-Madison and a master's degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. Brandon has 5+ years of experience in EMS, having worked as an EMT in the 911 system in NYC and having directed the 40-member UW-Madison First Responders program. He served as the 3rd President of the SUNY Downstate PHR chapter and Asylum Clinic, notably expanding the scope of the organization to include legislative advocacy and securing meetings with federal congressional staffers. Additionally, he is proud of his stewardship of Humanism Grand Rounds at Downstate, where he applies his narrative medicine skills to create a space for fellow students to express themselves through the humanities. Brandon is excited to increase engagement among PHR chapters across the country and hopes that his leadership experience can be useful for new chapter leaders as they work to establish their organization.

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Trupti Patel

Chapter Liaison

Trupti Patel is a third-year medical student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to medical school, she completed her degree in biology at Georgia Tech and served as Clinical Coordinator at a free health clinic in Clarkston, GA—a major refugee resettlement area. While continuing to volunteer at the clinic, she founded PCOM-GA’s PHR Chapter in 2021, serving as president into 2022 , to improve medical education on human rights topics and share resources that empower medical students to be stronger advocates for populations in need. Trupti is committed to increasing access to culturally competent care and advocating for refugee/immigrant populations.

Conference Committee

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Ahab Chopra

Conference

Ahab Chopra is an MSTP Fellow currently studying at the University of Michigan Medical School. Originally from California, Ahab moved to the east coast for college, graduating from Harvard with a joint major in Chemistry and Neuroscience and minor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. In college, Ahab founded the Harvard Undergraduate UNICEF Club, an organization dedicated to both raising awareness and making meaningful changes for global humanitarian crises. Given his deep interest in human rights education, action, and advocacy, Ahab joined the University of Michigan Asylum Collaborative in medical school, a group focused on facilitating, among other core goals, medical evaluations for asylum seekers in the United States. He is excited to be a part of the Physicians for Human Rights Student Advisory Board!

Advocacy Committee

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Hart Fogel

Advocacy

Hart Fogel is a third-year medical student at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and serves on the Advocacy Committee. Originally from Mill Valley, California, Hart has long had an interest in the intersections of health, law, and human rights, and he has been involved in volunteer work related to restorative justice and civil rights for much of his life. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, he studied neuroscience, history, and German. At medical school, he has served as a co-director of the Columbia Human Rights Initiative/Asylum Clinic and as the Ethics Representative for his class. In his free time, Hart enjoys playing the trombone and writing poetry.

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Nowshin Islam

Advocacy

Nowshin Islam currently serves on the Advocacy Committee and is a second-year medical student at the CUNY School of Medicine’s seven-year BS/MD program. She graduated from the bachelor’s portion of the program as a 2022 Valedictorian Candidate. For the past four years, she has led overdose prevention training for undergraduate and medical students. She is also the founder and program director of the CUNY Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. As the President of CUNY's PHR Chapter, she has founded the CUNY Human Rights Clinic - the first student-led asylum clinic in the CUNY system. She is deeply passionate about global health and seeks to mobilize, empower, and equip medical students and physicians with the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to support immigrant, refugee, and asylee health and justice.

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Anahita Sattari

Advocacy

Anahita Sattari serves on the Advocacy Committee. She is a third-year medical student. She co-founded and served as Co-President of the PHR Chapter at her medical school. After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a B.S. in Chemistry, she interned at The Carter Center with the Mental Health Program and Special Health Projects. She speaks fluent Persian and has professional working fluency in Spanish and French. Anahita aims to continue to promote human rights in medicine and to actively reduce health disparities and health inequities locally and globally through policy change and as a physician with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

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Kasra Zarei

Advocacy

Kasra Zarei is serving on the Advocacy Committee and is a medical student at the University of Iowa and is also in the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP), pursuing a collaborative doctoral program in global public health between the NIH and the Karolinska Institute. Kasra's research focus is on examining the health impacts of trauma and other social determinants of health among migrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and the general population in different countries, using epidemiological and multi-disciplinary approaches. He has worked with local and state public health departments and volunteered with non-governmental organizations such as Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde).

Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee

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Katrin Jaradeh

Asylum & Refugee Outreach

Katrin Jaradeh serves on the Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee. She is a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco, and was one of the founders of the UCSF Human Rights Cooperative, a student-run initiative at UCSF that offers forensic physical and psychological evaluations for asylum seekers. She has also worked with the Refugee and Asylum Health Seekers Initiative at UCSF to help plan and coordinate the yearly symposium to showcase ongoing research in asylum and refugee health. Katrin is very passionate about serving and advocating for the refugee and asylee communities in the United States and abroad after completing her medical degree. Her passions include immigrant health, working on refugee and immigrant health projects and to increase these communities' representation in medical research.

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Tudi Le

Asylum & Refugee Outreach

Tudi Le serves on the Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee and is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is one of the co-founders and co-directors of the UWSOM Asylum Evaluation Student Clinic, established in May 2021. Prior to medical school, she completed her BS in Cell and Molecular Biology at Seattle University and went on to work as an emergency medical technician for 1.5 years before matriculating at UWSOM. Throughout college and her gap years, Tudi volunteered with multiple refugee and asylum support programs, including the Office for Refugee Resettlement, World Relief Seattle, and the Jesuit Refugee Services. Her interests include emergency and disaster medicine, cross-cultural care, and medicine in low resource settings. Tudi aspires to work in refugee and asylum medicine as a physician after graduation in 2024.

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Justine Po

Asylum & Refugee Outreach

Justine Po serves on the Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee. She is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Co-Director of the Keck Human Rights Clinic. As part of the Keck Human Rights Clinic, Justine has launched initiatives on key issues of COVID-19 vaccine equity, climate change, and the Ukrainian and Afghan refugee crises. Previously, Justine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted global health research as a summer research fellow at the University of Cambridge. She was a volunteer with the International Rescue Committee where she worked closely with refugees and asylum seekers on economic empowerment. Justine is passionate about partnering with communities to improve equitable healthcare and looks forward to expanding PHR clinics’ partnerships with local refugee organizations as part of the national student advisory board.

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Yoonhee Ryder

Asylum & Refugee Outreach

Yoonhee Ryder serves on the Asylum and Refugee Committee and is a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School.  She received her dual undergraduate degree in biology and anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Middle Eastern Studies minor at the American University in Dubai.  After graduation, Yoonhee served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa for 2.5 years as a community health extension agent before starting medical school in 2018.  During medical school, she was one of the co-directors of the UM Asylum Collaborative and later served on PHR SAB’s Advocacy Committee before joining the Asylum team. She led the Midwest and Southern region clinics last year by troubleshooting common issues, providing resources, and helping start new clinics. Yoonhee aspires to continue to work in global health and global surgery in her future career.

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Francesco Sergi

Asylum & Refugee Outreach

Francesco Sergi serves on the Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee. He previously served as a Regional Chapter Mentor to the West and International regions. He is currently a 4th year medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco, CA. He was one of the founders of the UCSF Human Right Cooperative, a new student-run initiative at UCSF that offers forensic physical and psychological evaluations for asylum seekers. Francesco received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Public Health and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Prior to medical school, he worked at Planned Parenthood where he counseled patients on pregnancy options, birth control and sexually transmitted infections. Francesco's interests include immigrant justice, asylum and refugee health, addressing structural injustices, and increasing access to culturally humble care for Latinx populations.

Media Committee

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Sameena Hameed

Media

Sameena Hameed serves on the Media Committee as the Director of Webinar Development, and she is an M3 in the 6-year BA/MD program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She founded the Physicians for Human Rights chapter at her institution and has previously served on the SAB on the Genocide & Massacres committee. Additionally, Sameena serves on Doctors for America’s policy and legislation committee, where she helps promote initiatives that expand healthcare access across the country. She has participated in research on refugee mental health and health literacy at a KC community hospital, and she is passionate about refugee resources, health inequities, and healthcare for all. As part of the SAB, she is excited to help curate programming on how medical professionals can address health inequities both domestically and abroad.

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Michele Naideck

Media

Michele is a third-year medical student at the Medical School for International Health program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in southern Israel. She grew up outside of Washington, DC and received a degree in both Neuroscience and Dance at Tulane University in New Orleans. After university, she served in rural Cambodia as a Community Health Educator with Peace Corps, focusing on early child nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and chronic disease. She also ran social media for Peace Corps Cambodia. During the first two years of her medical school education, she has been involved with asylum seeker research through PHR as well as serving as the program and event coordinator for the MSIH chapter. In her free time, Michele likes to dance, photograph, and bake sourdough. She hopes to serve as a primary care physician involved in education and advocacy in partnership with local communities.

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Arvind Suresh

Media

Arvind Suresh serves on the Media Committee and is a fourth-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He has also served as a co-director for his university's asylum clinic for the past two years and as a co-chair of the 2020 PHR Regional Conference at Dartmouth on children’s rights. Originally from Los Angeles, he graduated from Dartmouth College where he studied Biology and Computer Science. As an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Arvind has also worked to address healthcare disparities surrounding food insecurity for rural communities in Vermont. Arvind is passionate about a wide range of human rights issues including the rights of asylum seekers and migrant workers and is interested in improving medical education on human rights to empower medical students to advocate for vulnerable populations.

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Omar Taweh

Media

Omar Taweh serves on the Media Committee. He is currently a third-year medical student at the UMass Chan Medical School in the Population, Urban, and Rural Community Health Track. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a BS/BA in Neurobiology, Psychology, and Human Rights, he was a Fulbright Research Grantee in Jordan studying the mental health of adolescent refugees. A photographer with extensive experience in public relations, publication design, and social media communications, he has worked for countless organizations, among them IRIS, Save the Children, and Atlantic Humanitarian Relief. He currently serves as the Communications Director on the Board of Directors for the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project. In the future he hopes to serve and advocate for the health of queer Arab communities in the Middle East, particularly back in his home of Lebanon.

Curriculum Committee

Media Committee

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Brian Critelli

Curriculum

Brian Critelli serves on the Curriculum Committee. He is currently a first-year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College and completed a degree in Biology and Philosophy at Saint Joseph’s University. Before attending medical school, Brian worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia managing investigational chemotherapy trials for children with relapsed and refractory cancers. As an undergraduate, he volunteered at a non-profit clinic for patients with HIV/AIDS and developed community partnerships with various medical institutions across the Western Philadelphia area. At Cornell, Brian is currently the Education and Curriculum Coordinator for the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, where he is focused on integrating immigrant care and human rights advocacy into the curriculum and patient care.

Media Committee

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Sara Haque

Curriculum

Afsara Haque serves on the Curriculum Committee and is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Illinois Chicago. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she worked as a Program Assistant at USC's service-learning department and conducted research on factors predicting resilience in young adults who have experienced significant childhood trauma. Prior to medical school, Afsara worked as a licensed special education teacher. She has continued to follow this passion for education and advocacy through her current work with the Chicago People's Rights Collaborative, a multi-institution asylum clinic, where she serves on the Education Committee.

Media Committee

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Alice Lu

Curriculum

Alice Lu is a second-year medical student at UCSF. Prior to medical school, she completed a BA in Global Health at UCSD followed by a master's degree at Northwestern Law where she did a deep dive into health and human rights work through the Center for International Human Rights. As a medical student, she has served as the elective and research coordinator for the UCSF Human Rights Collaborative. She is now a student reviewer for the national Asylum Medicine Training Initiative (AMTI) that is under development this year and is excited to join the PHR Curriculum Committee!

Media Committee

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David Wiegn

Curriculum

David serves on the Curriculum Committee. He is a fourth-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. David is actively involved in Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic, in which he served as Director of Community Connections. Prior to medical school, David received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in Anthropology. He is interested in exploring how to equip scribes and evaluators alike with necessary skills to carry out successful evaluations to advance PHR's mission to "secure human rights and justice for all."

Project Liaisons

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Victoria El-Hayek

Project Liaison

Victoria El-Hayek is a third-year medical student at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, and previously served as president for OSUCOM's PHR chapter. Before attending medical school, Victoria received her MPH from Columbia University where she focused on global and maternal health and received her master's in Bioethics and bachelor's in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. She has conducted research in barriers to accessing HIV care as well as policy restrictions effect on abortion care. Victoria is passionate about human rights advocacy, improving access to healthcare, and health education and hopes to work in global health in the future.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Jennifer Rha

Project Liaison

Jennifer Rha is a second-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and serves as Project Liaison. While at RWJMS she was on the board for the Human Rights Initiative and helped implement a program to provide medical and healthcare navigation for recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers. She hopes to be a global health equity and human rights physician that helps serve vulnerable communities around the world.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Sahar Shaikh

Project Liaison

Sahar is a 4th year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh school of Medicine. She is one of the founding members of the University of Pittsburgh Human Rights Clinic, a student-run organization that provides forensic evaluations for asylum seekers in the Pittsburgh area. She previously served as a student coordinator for the Doctor's for Camp Closure national letter writing initiative. Prior to medical school she volunteered for a refugee emergency response organization called Lighthouse Relief and volunteered with multiple refugee resettlement organizations in New Haven, CT and Pittsburgh, PA. Sahar's current goal is to work with PHR as well as D4CC to expand the D4CC letter writing initiative.

Sexual & Gender Violence Committee

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Leah Chen

Sexual & Gender Violence

Leah Chen serves on the Sexual and Gender Based Violence Committee and is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM). She currently serves as one of the senior co-directors for the UWSOM Asylum Evaluation Student Clinic. Prior to medical school, she completed her BS in neuroscience and her BA in psychology at the University of Washington. Since college, she has been dedicated to improving access to healthcare in underserved communities. Leah is passionate about human rights, and she is committed to supporting and working with vulnerable populations, especially survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Reine Ibala

Sexual & Gender Violence

Reine Ibala serves on the Sexual and Gender Violence Committee. She previously served on the Curriculum Committee. Reine is a third-year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College. She earned her BS from Yale University where she had the opportunity to volunteer at Gremaltes Hospital in Chennai, India. There, she also founded the Black Ivy Coalition, advocating for justice system reform and combating systemic racism with her peers. At Weill, she joined the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights as a Curriculum Coordinator and began the Human Rights Lecture Series.  She currently works as a research assistant under Dr. Lindsay Stark of the Brown School at WashU, focusing on violence against children, conflict-related sexual violence, and gender-based violence prevention and intervention. This fall, Reine looks forward to starting her MPH in global health and humanitarian studies at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in the hopes of advancing global health equity and human rights, particularly for refugees, migrants and displaced persons.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Victoria Lazarov

Sexual & Gender Violence

Victoria Lazarov is a fourth-year medical student at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She is the incoming director of her school’s PHR clinic, the Human Rights Initiative. Victoria hopes to promote health equity by bridging community voices with systems of care, particularly among underrepresented individuals, asylum seekers, New Americans, and refugees.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Lauren Marcell

Sexual & Gender Violence

Lauren Marcell is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Washington. She is the founder and senior co-director of the UWSOM Asylum Evaluation Student Clinic that serves asylum seekers residing in the Pacific Northwest. She has strong clinical interests in global health equity, reproductive justice and asylum and refugee health. She is excited to continue serving on the PHR SAB Sexual and Gender Based Violence committee and is looking forward to expanding this year's webinar series for medical students nationally.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Sneha Sharma

Sexual & Gender Violence

Sneha Sharma is a fifth-year medical student at New York University School of Medicine, in the MD/MSc dual-degree program. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018 after studying Microbiology and French. Since attending NYU, she has assumed leadership roles in her school's asylum clinic and PHR chapter. She served on the Sexual & Gender-Based Violence committee with the Student Advisory Board during the 2021-2022 year and is excited to continue this work. Sneha is passionate about health equity, women's health, and working with asylum and refugee communities. She hopes to incorporate human rights and advocacy into her career as a future internist.

Global Health & Surgery Committee

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Julia Houshmand

Global Health & Surgery

Julia Houshmand serves on the Global Health and Surgery Committee as the Liaison for Children’s Health and Human Rights. She is currently a second-year medical student at Miller School of Medicine at Miami and is also pursuing a Master’s in International Administration and Human Rights. Originally from France, she moved between the U.S. and Europe multiple times and met people from all backgrounds and walks of life, which significantly contributed to her passion for humanitarian work. She decided to pursue higher education in the U.S. and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and a minor in Global Health. While at UCLA, she spear-headed projects addressing nationwide homelessness and child refugee education in Kenya on behalf of the Children of War Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Since beginning medical school, she has traveled to Haiti to set up an initiative using augmented reality and VR technology to improve surgical capacity training as well as child mental health following trauma. She is part of Project Medishare, a non-profit organization that has done significant work in Haiti, of which she was part of the team that organized the international NGO/non-profit response to the recent earthquake disaster in Haiti. In the future, she hopes to work with large entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that human rights are upheld worldwide and provide medical relief to those who need it most.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Alyssa Reese

Global Health & Surgery

Alyssa Reese is a third-year medical student at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and serves on the Global Health & Surgery Committee. She is currently an Assistant Director of Operations for the Human Rights Initiative and previously served as a Forensic Coordinator. Alyssa attended the University at Buffalo and graduated with a BS in Biomedical Sciences, BA in Social Sciences Interdisciplinary with a concentration in Legal Studies, and a minor in Spanish.  Her research endeavors currently focus on refugee health, facial plastic surgery, pediatric otolaryngology, medical malpractice litigation, and medical education surrounding the humanities. She is also passionate about advocacy work and recently founded the Buffalo Health Law Society. She is looking forward to improving new American, refugee, and asylum-seeker access to reconstructive surgeries through her role on the committee.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Blessed Sheriff

Global Health & Surgery

Blessed Sheriff is a rising fourth year medical student at the Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine and a current MPH student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the former co-director of operations for the Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic with interests in global mental health, health equity, and advocacy. Outside of her passion for promoting health worldwide, she enjoys book art, poetry, and philosophy.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Ahmed Amer Zanabli

Global Health & Surgery

Ahmed Amer Zanabli is an MS4 at West Virginia University School of Medicine. A graduate of WVU for undergrad, he was awarded the WVU Outstanding Senior award. He previously served as the president of WVU’s PHR chapter, holding many programs including an interactive political advocacy event. His experience includes several years of volunteering with Syrian American Medical Society, including 2 mission trips to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Greece, as well as continued political advocacy on the local, state, and national level. As a member of the Global Health & Surgery Committee, he hopes to help students bring more awareness to health outcome disparities worldwide, as well as actionable goals to reduce them. In the future, Ahmed plans to utilize his interest and experiences to bridge health disparities in refugee populations and to advocate on their behalf.

Asylum & Migrant Issues Committee

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Aya Bashi

Asylum & Migrant Issues

Aya is a fourth-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. She received her dual undergraduate degree in Global Health and Physiology at the University of Toronto. Aya’s interest in the intersection of health, equity, and policy led her to then pursue an MPH at the University of Toronto. While at Dartmouth, Aya co-organized a conference on substance use disorder and the opioid crisis, co-lead the Geisel asylum clinic and the women’s health clinic, and worked on various refugee and immigrant health advocacy projects. As a Schweitzer Fellow, Aya also worked on better understanding and addressing some of the health care access barriers faced by pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder. She is particularly passionate about the intersections of gender and asylum seeking, addressing barriers to healthcare access faced by refugees, and incorporating advocacy training into medical education. 

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Rachel Hess

Asylum & Migrant Issues

Rachel Hess is an MS2 at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where she serves as co-founder and coordinator of the UUSOM student-run asylum clinic. Rachel holds a degree in Clinical Psychology and Global Mental Health from Columbia University, Teachers College. She has assisted on projects nationally and internationally with the aim of enhancing health and mental health services in low-resource settings. Her work focuses on the impact of forced migration on health outcomes in vulnerable populations. Her past work includes developing an assessment of potential risk and protective factors affecting the mental health needs of humanitarian workers in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Her current work examines how barriers to access contribute to refugee health disparities in Northern Utah. Her research interests include global health; migration and displacement; mental health and psychosocial interventions in complex, emergency settings.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Christa Kuck

Asylum & Migrant Issues

Christa Kuck serves on the Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee and is a third-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Christa received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Before coming to medical school, she worked for Children’s Hospital of Minnesota for one year in their Quality and Safety Department. She then moved to El Paso, Texas, to begin humanitarian work with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. While there, Christa worked as a shelter coordinator for newly arrived immigrants and later as a coordinator of a grassroots collaborative among local physicians to provide on-call medical services at the shelters. Since arriving at medical school, Christa has been involved with Geisel’s asylum clinic and during the 2021-2022 school year, served as the coordinator. In her free time, Christa loves spending time with her spouse Chris and dog Lena Bean.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Mehar Maju

Asylum & Migrant Issues

Mehar Maju is serving on the Asylum & Migrant Issues Committee. She is a first-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. She received her B.A. in Biological Anthropology from Boston University. Following this, Mehar pursued an M.P.H. at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and graduated in 2019. Since then, Mehar has worked to advocate for immigrant and refugee communities through her research with Physicians for Human Rights, clinical research, and currently as the Junior Co-Director for UWSOM’s Student Run Asylum Evaluation Clinic. She is passionate about advocating for the health and human rights for immigrants and refugees and hopes to work in the policy sector as a physician advocate.

Media Committee

New Chapter Liaison

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Hira Peracha

Asylum & Migrant Issues

Hira Peracha is a second-year medical student serving on the asylum and migrant issue committee. Hira received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware. Before attending Medical School, Hira ran a non-profit to provide healthcare for underserved communities as well as working with newly resettled refugees. She also conducted research at Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, and she published her book, “Epidemiology and Etiology of Mucopolysaccharidosis.” In the future, Hira aims to work as a Physician advocating for Human Rights including refugees and asylum populations and improving universal healthcare access.

Human Rights Update Committee

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Omar Abbas

Human Rights Update

Omar Abbas serves on the Human Rights Update Committee and as liaison to the PHR National Student Conference. He is a fourth-year medical student at UC Riverside who helped found Medical Students for Immigrant Justice, a student group providing asylum evaluations and organizing in collaboration with local immigration and social justice communities. He works with Syrian and Palestinian civil society and researchers to build for justice and health/humanitarian access in the region and with local community groups to help clinicians and academics address health disparities and structural inequality the Riverside area and beyond.

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Nitya Devireddy

Human Rights Update

Nitya Devireddy serves on the Human Rights Update Committee and is a first-year medical student at the Penn State College of Medicine. She is originally from Maryland, but moved to Hyderabad, India and graduated from high school there before moving to Los Angeles to complete her B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California. She also received her MPH from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY where she came to learn more about the asylum process and gained an interest in refugee and asylee health.  As a medical student, she co-leads the school's Refugee Initiative, working on community public health projects to aid refugee populations in the Harrisburg area.

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Kimi De Guzman

Human Rights Update

Kimi De Guzman is a second-year medical student at the California University of Science and Medicine where she serves as secretary of the PHR group. As part of the student advisory board, she serves as a member of the Human Rights Update Committee. Prior to medical school, Kimi obtained her bachelor's degree in physiology from UCLA and Master of Public Health degree from UCSD. She is passionate about health equity and human rights issues that impact the availability of safe living conditions for all people. She currently conducts research about safe drinking water access and the impact on gender equity and empowerment.

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Jessica Hoffen

Human Rights Update

Jessica Hoffen is a fourth-year MD-ScM candidate at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School. Jessica previously served on the board of the Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic as well as the Alpert Medical School Immigrant Rights Coalition. Prior to medical school she was an AmeriCorps volunteer working on children's health policy initiatives in Chicago and interned with a refugee resettlement agency. As a Human Rights Update committee member, she plans to draw upon her interest and experience in health policy and advocacy to support medical students in empowering the vulnerable communities they serve.

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David Wayne

Human Rights Update

David Wayne currently serves as a member of the Human Rights Update Committee and is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine. David worked with the team who launched the UW Asylum Evaluation Student Clinic in May 2021, primarily focusing on coordinating needs assessments and after-visit care coordination. Prior to medical school, he completed a degree in Kinesiology at Occidental College, and it was during that time in Los Angeles that he developed an appreciation for work being done to advance healthcare and human rights for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. After a yearlong walkabout in South and Central America, it was an internship working with families living near the Guatemala City garbage dump that prompted him to return to the US for additional education to better serve the unique needs of immigrant populations here in the US. Going forward, clinical interests include asylum/refugee health, addiction/pain medicine and improving patient, caregiver, provider and/or interpreter experience with triadic communication.

Climate Change Committee

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Arthur Bookstein

Climate Change

Arthur Bookstein serves on the Climate Change Committee and is a first-year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He completed his Master's in Public Health in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and completed his undergraduate education at UC Berkeley with degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health as well as minors in Conservation & Resource Studies and Bioengineering. Arthur currently serves as the Research Director for the Keck Human Rights Clinic, where he leads a study examining vaccine equity and access barriers among asylum-seekers. He also leads sustainability campaigns and research efforts as the Co-President of the Keck Environmental Justice Group. In the future, Arthur hopes to continue his involvement with cancer epidemiology research and health & environmental justice advocacy as he pursues a career in primary care. In his free time, he loves long-distance running, cross-country cycling, tennis and traveling.

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Avi Borad

Climate Change

Avi Borad is serving on the Climate Change Committee and is a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2018 with degrees in Religion and Human Biology. Previously, she served as Co-Chair of the 2021 PHR National Student Conference, which focused on human rights violations occurring in our own backyard. She has also served as the president of the MUSC PHR chapter and Asylum Clinic. She is passionate about bridging healthcare gaps in historically underserved populations.  

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Kennedy Jensen

Climate Change

Kennedy Jensen serves on the Climate Change Committee. She is a fourth-year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She previously led Dartmouth's chapter of PHR and co-chaired the 2020 PHR regional conference. Prior to medical school, she studied Anthropology, Ethics and Biochemistry at Dartmouth College where she worked in both grassroots and health policy efforts to promote health equity and build capacity. After graduating, she lived in the Canadian Arctic where she partnered with local communities to advocate for greater inclusion of Indigenous voices in health policy decision-making. Kennedy's interests revolve around rural and remote medicine, equity in disaster and crisis settings, and human health at the intersection of climate change, conflict, and migration.

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Jackie Ng

Climate Change

Jacqualine Ng currently serves on the Climate Change Committee. She is a third-year student at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she also completed the Global Health Certificate Program. She has been part of NYITCOM’s Asylum Clinic as a Country Research Coordinator since her first year, the only Asylum Clinic to be run by an osteopathic medical school. Prior to attending medical school, she attended Stony Brook University where she majored in Biology and English and obtained her MS degree from Tulane University for Cell and Molecular Biology. She then worked for a nonprofit to bring mental health services to low-income immigrant communities in NYC. She is passionate about addressing health disparities, and the role that human rights play in holistic health.

Carceral Committee

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Marissa Carranza

Carceral System

Marissa serves on the carceral committee. She is a third-year medical student at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson. At RWJMS Marissa served as one of the founders of the Asylum Clinic as part of the Human Rights Initiative Executive Board. She has also worked with Medical Students for Choice and White Coats for Black Lives to advocate for changes towards health equity and justice in the preclinical curriculum. Before attending medical school Marissa worked for the Women Infant and Children Program, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her role there was a Program Nutritionist that supported postpartum individuals and their families in access and knowledge around nutritionally dense foods.

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Raymond Rosenbloom

Carceral System

Raymond Rosenbloom is on the Carceral System Committee. He is a medical student at the Medical School for International Health (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) and has served as the co-advocacy and curriculum director for his school's PHR chapter. He received his BS and MS from Boston University and conducted research at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. Passionate about using the tools of medicine and public health to promote health equity, he worked with numerous public health organizations in Boston including the Gavin Foundation and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. Since starting medical school, he volunteers with the local organization Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on advocacy and research initiatives, including with their department on Prisoners & Detainees. He is interested in work addressing how systems of incarceration exacerbate health inequities and violate human rights.

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Shruthi Venkataraman

Carceral System

Shruthi Venkataraman is serving on the Carceral Committee. She is a fourth-year medical student at McGill University and an aspiring psychiatrist. Prior to medical school, Shruthi worked closely in a clinical research capacity with young people with psychotic disorders and their families at an early intervention program for psychosis. Here, she witnessed first-hand the vicious circle wherein mental illness perpetuates and exacerbates socioeconomic disadvantages. Shruthi is eager to learn more about the intersection of mental illness and the criminal justice system in the United States and beyond. She pursued her undergraduate studies in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Scriptural Languages at McGill University and has graduated with a master’s degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.