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Meet our 2012-2013 Post-Baccalaureate Students, Visiting Scholars and LMMSA Members

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Meet our 2012-2013 Post-Baccalaureate Students, Visiting Scholars and LMMSA Members

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Ruth Pedraza is currently a post-Baccalaureate student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and an intern at Juntos Center for Advancing Latino Health. Ms. Pedraza has a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Biology and a Bachelors of Arts in Chicano Studies from the University of California Davis. Ms. Pedraza is originally from Mexico and is fluent in English and Spanish.

While in college, Ms. Pedraza was closely involved in “Clinica Tepati” a free clinic serving the uninsured Latino population of the Sacramento area, where she served as the Diabetes Interest Group (DIG) Co-Head. Aside from her clinic work, Ms. Pedraza was also involved in other student organizations whose purpose was to assist and promote disease prevention among underserved communities. Ms. Pedraza also founded a Mentorship program for high school students from underserved backgrounds to promote the importance of higher education, and provided guidance, to ultimately increase the number of minority students in higher education.

Ms. Pedraza will enroll as a first year medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in fall 2013. Ms. Pedraza would like to pursue a career in primary care, and keep working and advocating for underserved communities to eliminate health disparities among minority groups. Aside from academics, Ms. Pedraza enjoys traveling and collecting souvenirs from different countries.

 

Albert Contreras is currently a Post-Baccalaureate student at the Kansas School of Medicine. He was born in California and raised in Arizona. He is fluent in Spanish and English. He received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Arizona State University. Prior to moving to Kansas Albert gained several years of clinical experience at St. Josephs Hospital as an EKG/Stress Technician. Also, he had the opportunity to work alongside Emergency Room physicians as a scribe. Albert will matriculate in medical school next fall.

Albert has participated in the Ventanilla De Salud and Celebrating Healthy Families events this year. He will be working with Dr. Ellerbeck and his research related to improving the health of the Hispanic communities in Kansas.

 

Eric Burns is a Post-Baccalaureate student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from North Kansas City High School. Eric attended Stanford University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology in 2010. Prior to beginning the Post-Baccalaureate program, he worked as an analyst at Cerner Corporation. Eric will begin his medical school studies next fall, hoping to eventually practice Family Medicine.

At Juntos, Eric has helped out with the Ventanilla De Salud Movil and Celebrating Healthy Families events, and will be working with Dr. Ellerbeck and his research related to advancing Latino health.

Ana Jimenez was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  Ms. Jimenez received a BS in Nursing in 2003 and a MS in Nursing-Family nurse practitioner in 2007.  Prior to being accepted in the post-baccalaureate program, Ms. Jimenez worked for Kaiser Permanente in Downey, CA  and  was part of a medical brigades organization serving the people in Honduras. Her ultimate career goal is to become a family medicine physician and continue her non-profit work in underserved communities.

 

Yazmin Reyna is originally from Mexico and moved to Kansas City in August 2012. Ms. Reyna is a 6th year medical student at the School of Medicine of the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM) in Morelos, Mexico and completed her Medical Internship at the Hospital General de Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico) for a year. Ms. Reyna is part of the first generation of an international exchange program between UAEM and the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

As a medical student, she has been involved in many activities related to public health such as Health Fairs, Vaccination Campaigns and also working in medical research with her professors at KUMC. Ms. Reyna is planning on pursuing a Medical Specialty next year.

Ms. Reyna is currently collaborating at Juntos as a part of her community service, a central requirement to obtain her degree at UAEM. Specifically, she has been engaged with the Ventanilla de Salud Movil Program, which organizes health fairs in the Southwest region of Kansas. She will help with Promotores de Salud trainings by sharing her medical knowledge. Ms. Reyna has also been collaborating with the Mexican Consulate’s Ventanilla de Salud as well as helping with this institution’s health fairs.

In addition, Ms. Reyna is volunteering at Riverview Health Services Center and plans to also volunteer at the Jaydoc Free Clinic. As a medical student, she is naturally interested in helping the community get healthy.

 

Edsel Alonzo Sandoval is a current medical student at the University of Kansas Medical School. Mr. Sandoval is originally from Tijuana Mexico, and has lived in the United States since 2005. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and continues to learn Portuguese. Mr. Sandoval has a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from the University of California-San Diego, and will obtain his MD degree from the University of Kansas Medical School. Upon completion of his MD degree, Mr. Sandoval plans to pursuit a surgical specialty in areas such as Cardio-Thoracic Surgery or General Surgery.
Mr. Sandoval is currently the President of the Latino Midwest Medical Student Association, a non-profit organization consisting of a diverse array of medical students and other health professionals at KUMC dedicated to serving the Kansas City community through its community service activities. LMMSA seeks to find better ways to care for Kansas City’s large Hispanic population as well as its other medically and socially underserved populations.
In addition, Mr. Sandoval plans on returning to the San Diego-Tijuana region and use his medical expertise to increase awareness and medical care for the underserved Latino/Hispanic population, as a way to give back to the cities that helped him grow. Mr. Sandoval plans to become a Medical Liaison between the San Diego/Tijuana Metropolitan Areas.
In addition to his passion for medicine, Mr. Sandoval also shares a passion for Mixed Martial Arts. He has practiced MMA for more than 15 years, and has attained a Third Degree Black Belt from the Full-Contact/Kung-Do-Lama Association. Mr. Sandoval also enjoys playing on recreational indoor soccer leagues.

 

Miranda Greiner is currently a medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Ms. Greiner is originally from LaCygne, KS. Ms. Greiner has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas. Prior to medical school, Ms. Greiner volunteered for over a year in rural Guatemala with the non-profit organization Maya Health Alliance. She focused on community development of educational materials for diabetic patients and training community leaders to treat diabetic patients. With the Institute of Nutrition in Central America and Panama, she collaborated in publishing a manual for focus group leaders concerning cardiovascular disease. All educational materials were culturally adapted including neologisms in Kaqchikel Maya, the native language of many of these rural Mayan communities. She is fluent in Spanish and Kaqchikel Maya.

Ms. Greiner is the Vice President of the Latino Midwest Medical Student Association (LMMSA), a non-profit organization consisting of a diverse group of medical students and health care professionals at KUMC. LMMSA exists to address the needs of the Hispanic population in Kansas City as well as the other largely underserved communities along with promoting cultural competency and medical Spanish services to future health care professionals.

In addition to promoting better health care services to the local Hispanic population in Kansas City, Ms. Greiner continues working on ethnographic research and fundraising for the rural Mayan communities in Guatemala. She believes strongly that as a future physician, it is a privilege and obligation to create bridges and networks for those in underserved communities – whether it is in an underdeveloped country like Guatemala, or in Wyandotte County.

Aside from medical interests, Ms. Greiner shares a passion in painting and other art compositions. She plans to develop her compositions further through continuing education classes at the Kansas City Art Institute.

 

Kimberly Cisneros is an intern at Juntos Center for advancing latino health. She was born in KU hospital and now she gets to assist right next to the building. She graduated high school a semester early and took advantage of her time by enrolling in college. She attends Johnson County Community College for a career in Health Care Interpreting and is leaning towards a career advancement in Legal Interpreting. She has a 4.0 GPA and was awarded President’s List Honor Roll from the college.

At her internship with Juntos, Kimberly has been involved in various projects directed at the Latino community. She follows up after the events by analyzing data and organizing the findings. She is especially engaged in the breast cancer and mobile immunization programs. The breast cancer project portrays prevention and awareness of the disease and commences access to health care for the underserved population. Ventanillas de Salud is a mobile clinic that handles immunizations. It gives free of charge vaccines to those in need. These projects improve and better some of the barriers of access to care. By being actively engaged in these activities, her knowledge of the Latino community continues to expand.

Ms. Cisneros is also a current Spanish Interpreter for JayDoc Free Clinic and Heartland Early Childhood Center.

Giovana Silva is currently a senior in high school attending Shawnee Mission Northwest and also takes classes at Johnson County Community College. Giovana was born in Paraiba, Brazil and has lived in the United States since 1999. She is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, is still learning French, and plans to learn Italian. In high school she is involved in various activities while still working hard on academics and maintaining her 4.0 GPA. She is on the executive board for Health Careers Club, the secretary of French National Honor Society, Presidents council, National Honors Society, involved in Interact Club (a community service club), Young Democrats Club, Prom Committee, does gymnastics and varsity track and field as a hurdler and sprinter. Outside of school she is involved in her church as the youth director, volunteers at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, and loves playing piano and guitar, writing songs and singing.

Giovana is a new intern at Juntos Center for advancing Latino health. At her internship with Juntos, she has been involved in various projects directed at the Latino community. She is aspiring to go to a university and study medicine to become a pediatrician.

Maria Chavez-Keatts  was born in Peru. Medicine has been part of her life ever since childhood, because both of her parents are also physicians. She finished medical school in Peru at the University of San Martin de Porres.  After that she began working as a Family Doctor and doing volunteer service at the Ann Sullivan Center, which is a nonprofit organization for children with disabilities.

When her parents moved to the USA she decided to come as well and to prepare by herself for the USMLE.  She obtained her ECFMG certification as MD in 2012. Along with her medical board studies she has also done observerships in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Internal Medicine at Metrowest Medical Center, and Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in New York.

While she was doing her observership at Beth Israel hospital she did a poster presentation with the Attending and a Fellow.  The title of the presentation was  “Severe Thyroid Associated Ophthalmopathy in a Euthyroid AIDS Patients”. Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY. Abstract and Poster. ENDO 2012, the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting&Expo, Houston, TX.

Mrs. Chavez-Keatts is currently interviewing for a residency in Neurology, because she became captivated with Neuroanatomy during medical school. During her coursework, she had the pleasure of cutting human brains with her father who is a Peruvian neurosurgeon. She had the chance to review the human brain sections as well as corresponding MRI images, which greatly increased her understanding of the internal architecture of the human brain. During the Neurology course, she continued to be fascinated, especially by disorders such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Autism. All of them have a devastating impact on patients which drew her attention towards a possible research focus. It is her goal to become an academic physician so she can perform research and teach medical students.

She is currently collaborating at Juntos, where she has been actively participating in family health fairs.  She is also working with Dr. Ellerbeck and Dr. Ana Cupertino on the publication of a paper related to the prevention of diabetes. Additionally she is also planning on doing medical missions together with her husband, a KU Engineer who is currently applying for medical school.   In addition to her passion for medicine, Mrs. Chavez-Keatts also enjoys her hobbies of playing volleyball, chess, and dancing.

Taynara Dutra Batista Formagini is an undergraduate student in Psychology at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) in Brazil. She is a student-researcher in the area of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. She is completing an internship in health psychology with a focus on prevention and treatment of smoking.

 

She has experience in Brief Intervention and Motivational Interviewing with smokers and users of other drugs. Additionally, she is completing a psychoeducational internship with children admitted to the hospital at UFJF. She also participates in research, including  Validation of a Cultural and Brazilian of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS); Validation of the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ); and Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) as adjunct to Smoking Cessation Treatment. At KU Medical Center, she is fulfilling an internship exchange sponsored by the Science Without Borders program of the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

As part of this exchange she is designing a study on access to quit smoking medications in rural and urban Kansas.  In addition, she will attend classes, complete training in advanced English, and attend workshops and seminars on Public Health offered by the University.

Alex Pena graduated from University of Missouir-Kansas City (UMKC) with a BA in Chemistry in May 2012. While he was in school, he was a student-athlete who did Cross Country and Track. He also was involved in a number of organizations that dealt with community service and tutoring student-athletes. He is currently applying to medical schools because he wants to be a doctor who can provide affordable healthcare to the Latino community.

At Juntos he will be engaged in several health-focused initiatives, including the Internship in Health Disparities Research report.

Alejandro Gutierrez Ocampo is originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico. He moved to Kansas City on February 2013. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and continues to learn French. Mr. Gutierrez is a 6th year Medical Student at the School of Medicine of the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM) in Morelos, Mexico. He spent 6 months in Hospital Puerta de Hierro de Majadahonda (Madrid, Spain) shadowing GynObs, Surgery and Internal Medicine specialists. He completed his Medical Internship at Hospital Medica Sur (Mexico City, Mexico) for a year. Mr. Gutierrez is part of the second generation of the medical international exchange program between UAEM and University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). Upon completion of his MD degree, Mr. Gutierrez plans to pursuit a surgical specialty in United States.

Mr. Gutierrez is currently collaborating at Juntos as a part of his community service, a central requirement to obtain his degree at UAEM. He has been engaged with the Ventanilla de Salud Movil Program, which provides access to preventive health screening and knowledge to the Latinos in Southwest Kansas. He will also help with Promotores de Salud trainings by sharing his medical knowledge.

In addition to his passion for medicine, Mr. Gutierrez also shares a love for music, he plays electric guitar, most of the times rock and heavy rock music. He has played guitar for approximately 6 years, and used to play on a band with his friends as a Junior and a Senior student.

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