Class of 2024
Lauren Barr, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Undergrad: Auburn University – Biomedical Sciences, BS; Spanish, BA
Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Lauren grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended Auburn University, where she ran track and cross country while studying Spanish and biomedical sciences. After graduation, she moved to Chicago for a year of service through the program Amate House. There, she lived in intentional community with eight other volunteers, worked with Spanish-speaking senior citizens through the nonprofit Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, and participated in Amate’s social justice education curriculum. These experiences motivated her to pursue a career centered on providing primary care and partnering with communities to address health inequities. Lauren then moved to Nashville for medical school at Vanderbilt. At the student-run free clinic, through various roles including patient health educator and executive co-director, she discovered her love of continuity with patients, motivational interviewing, and chronic disease management. Her path to family medicine was rounded out by experiences directing the student hotspotting program, serving on the board of the TNAFP, and researching community-based interventions to prevent child obesity in low-income families. Lauren chose Lawrence for countless reasons (and despite her fear of winter!), but particularly for the commitment to the community, the innovative four-year curriculum, and the passion of the residents. She is thrilled to be here and to learn from her new community.
Alicia Fraser, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Rowley, MA
Undergrad: Salem State University
Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School
Languages: Basic French, Basic Spanish
Alicia spent most of her life on the North Shore of Massachusetts, growing up in Rowley, MA and attending college at Salem State University. She is not someone who knew she wanted to be a doctor as a child, but realized during her first semester as a biology major that human physiology and pathophysiology made her excited to get up and go to class. She left college with the intent of becoming a clinical geneticist but spent the next several years working various jobs in substance abuse, sleep and circadian rhythm research, and dermatology, and finding herself unexpectedly interested in everything (a true FM doc in the making). During her working years she followed a lifelong passion for public health and completed an MPH from the University of New England. She married her college sweetheart and had a super cool kid named Cooper. When she finally started medical school at UMass she no longer knew what she wanted to do, but was certain she would NOT want to pursue OB/GYN, GI, or anything primary care. Living in Worcester, she quickly fell in love and discovered a passion for community work serving on the executive board for the Worcester Free Clinic Coalition, and teaching parenting and life skills with local shelters for at-risk young mothers. Within weeks of starting medical school she found her true calling was maternal and child health, and spent the majority of the next 3 years thinking she would become an OB/GYN. She’s not sure when the lightbulb moment happened, but she one day realized that she was destined for primary care and had always been meant to find family medicine (even GI has grown on her). Once she started researching programs, she discovered that the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency was everything she didn’t even know she needed, and was ecstatic to find a program that would allow her to receive excellent training in every area of her interest. She is so excited to begin this journey with a fantastic class of like-minded individuals, and can’t wait to see what the next four years have in store.
Jack Gordon, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Undergrad: University of California at Berkeley
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Languages: Spanish, Basic French
Jack grew up in Long Beach, California, where he spent time at the beach as often as possible. He went to college at UC Berkeley, and attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. In between college and medical school Jack bounced around working as a teacher, working construction, playing music in a band, and working in farmer’s markets. He is happy to be continuing his journey here in the lively city of Lawrence, close to the Atlantic coast beaches. Jack looks forward to serving Lawrence as a physician and community member. Hechose a career in primary care because he believes it is the best way for him to use his scientific education to join the struggle against societal injustice, racism, wealth disparities, and the degradation of the environment. Physicians have a unique opportunity to work directly with people affected by these issues, and to amplify their voices when advocating for change. Within medicine, he has researched better ways to deliver medical interventions to the homeless population in Rochester, NY as well as the history of mental health care in the United States. Jack is also interested in clinical research in environmental medicine. Outside of medicine he enjoys playing music, hiking, biking, baking bread, growing plants in the garden, and long walks on the beach (of course).
Rayyan Kamal, MD (they/them/theirs)
Hometown: Lawrence, KS
Undergrad: University of Kansas – Mathematics
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Languages: English, Basic Bangla, Intermediate Spanish
With roots cultivated in Lawrence, Kansas, Rayyan hadn’t initially sought to become a doctor. They found the most joy in simply communing with others. In Kansas, Rayyan supported local projects aimed at food security and social justice through living in intentional and cooperative housing. There, they discovered that to be truly in a community, they needed to be with those who are the most marginalized. Communing with others means to take on their struggles not from a place of charity, but horizontally, using privilege to take on the systemic oppressions and inequalities they experience, as family. This intention inspired the idea of pursuing medicine as a vocation. During their time at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, they put their heart into providing medical care to the homeless, communing with folks through Catholic Workers, leading a women’s free clinic for obstetric care, and developing projects aimed toward combating implicit bias and systemic racism. Upon arriving in Lawrence, Massachusetts, they are excited about the culture of radical justice, kindness, and community present among the faculty, residents, and patients. They and their partner, who is studying to be an emergency medicine doctor, dream of creating a free clinic/community center like the Catholic Worker model with extensive resources for medical care. Outside of medicine, Rayyan loves sharing their passions for improvised music, mainly piano and saxophone, bicycling, mathematics, and cooking with others. If you can’t find them, they are probably cooking food with other pursuers of justice or outside playing some Mardi Gras music with folks in the neighborhood. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Taylor Lautzenhiser, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergrad: Indiana University – Biotechnology
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Languages: English, Basic Spanish
Taylor grew up in Indianapolis, IN where her initial interest in the world of medicine was sparked by reading memoirs of people facing medical challenges. She was drawn in by the patient’s stories, their resilience, and the opportunity that physicians have to provide compassion and care during the ups and downs of a person’s life. Taylor attended Indiana University where she studied Biotechnology. Following her undergraduate studies, she moved to Chicago, IL, working as a research assistant at Northwestern University’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, and then obtaining a MA in Medical Sciences from Loyola University Chicago. Taylor then left the Midwest for the East Coast to attend medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine. During her time at Tufts, she developed her interests in mentoring, medical education, and women’s health. She taught as a summer instructor for a Tufts program designed to introduce high school students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds to the healthcare field, co-led a mindfulness and peer support group for first-year medical students, participated in advocacy events with MSFC, and served on the TUSM curriculum committee. Through clinical experiences with underserved populations and volunteering at the student-run free clinic, Taylor saw the powerful impact that physicians can have when they work with the community they serve. Taylor was drawn to GLFHC because of the full spectrum training, the opportunity to learn Spanish, and the commitment to meeting the needs of their community through compassionate and innovative care. In her free time, Taylor enjoys dancing, hiking, cooking and crochet.
TlalliAztlan “Tlalli” Moya-Smith, MD (she/her/hers/ella)
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Undergrad: Yale University — Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, BS
Medical School: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Languages: Spanish, learning French
Tlalli was raised on the “best coast” in Oakland, California, and tends toward the stereotype of a crunchy-granola Northern Californian who loves avocados. Growing up in an Indigenous-Mexican-American family, Tlalli developed a deep appreciation for multiculturalism. With familial roots in the farm workers’ movement and exposure to the injustice of socioeconomic inequality at a young age, her passion for fighting for the rights of marginalized communities blossomed. Tlalli transitioned to the east coast when she attended Yale University, where she engaged with her community through free clinics and homeless shelter outreach and was exposed to global health disparities in rural Argentina and Peru. At Dartmouth Medical School, Tlalli led Project Salud, a student-run organization providing healthcare to farmworkers, and helped promote Latinx health as the president of Dartmouth’s Latino Medical Student Association. In solidarity with Native communities across the globe, she planned Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations at her medical school and led a trip to the White Earth Reservation, and has had the privilege of learning from Indigenous communities in the US, Australia, Greenland, and Bolivia. For her dedication to leadership and serving communities, Tlalli was awarded the Dartmouth Diversity Visionary Award and the Radebaugh Community Service Award. Drawn to Lawrence’s commitment to becoming a part of and taking care of its beautiful community, Tlalli is excited to learn the type of full-spectrum family medicine that will enable her to fit the needs of her community. In her free time, Tlalli can be found traipsing through the wilderness, nerding out about, well, nerdy things, trying to bake something with leftovers in her fridge, exploring new cities, and dancing.
Lydia Rex, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometowns: Houston, TX and Manchester, England, UK
Undergrad: Wesleyan University – Italian and Biology, BA
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Languages: Conversational Italian, Basic Spanish, Basic French
Lydia spent the first 10 years of her life in Houston, Texas where she developed a love of Tex-Mex food, humidity, and SPF 100. She and her family then uprooted to Manchester, England for eight years where she and her sister were the only Americans in their traditional British school (their accents got really strange during that time). Living in England allowed for extensive travel and she developed a love for learning about all the incredible and diverse cultures of the world. She then moved back to the U.S. to attend Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where she majored in Italian Studies and Biology and did a semester abroad in Bologna, Italy. After graduation, she moved to Boston to work as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (where she met her partner, Chris!). She also spent her time volunteering as an abortion doula for the Boston Doula Project. Attending Tufts University School of Medicine was the culmination of a life-long dream to become a physician; at Tufts, she led meditations as part of the Mindfulness Group, as well as volunteering as a Sexual and Reproductive Health Counselor at The Sharewood Project. Throughout medical school, she continued to develop a passion for women’s health, reproductive justice, transgender medicine, behavioral health, and caring for underserved communities. She feels extremely lucky to be in Lawrence and looks forward to receiving full-spectrum training while learning Spanish and providing culturally-appropriate care. In her spare time she loves baking various delicious desserts, reading, practicing yoga, and staying in touch with her friends who live across the world.
Claire Trachtman, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometowns: Valparaiso, IN and Chicago, IL
Undergrad: Hamilton College
Medical School: Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Languages: French, Basic Spanish
Claire grew up exploring Chicago with her dad and the neighboring Indiana farmland with her mom and older brothers (perhaps explaining her earliest interest in medicine, wanting to be a “horse doctor,” when she was three). She ventured east to attend Hamilton College in upstate New York where she fostered her love of science through the study of biology and her interests in language and culture in her French minor. She furthered her scientific – and cultural – training after college, spending two years doing basic research in immunology and reproduction at Massachusetts General Hospital in a lab with members from over a dozen countries. Claire pursued her medical education at Quinnipiac University, where her inclination toward primary care blossomed into a passion for the variety of work and deep physician-patient relationships in family medicine. She realized the reward in caring for marginalized populations when providing foot care for people experiencing homelessness during her first year, leading her to found an interest group providing foot care and social work street outreach for homeless people in Rhode Island. Claire has been dreaming of combining all of her interests – and learning Spanish! – at GLFHC since the early days of medical school. Outside of medicine, Claire loves baking and running (partially so she can eat more of her baked treats), as well as birding in the wilderness of New England. She and her husband Ben also enjoy watching Eagles football games with a homebrew in hand and their cat Humboldt snuggled between them.
Gabby Velásquez, MD (she/her/ella)
Hometown: Essex Junction, VT
Undergrad: Boston University
Grad: Boston University (MS, MPH)
Medical School: New York Medical College
Languages: Spanish, Conversational French
Growing up in Vermont, a child of Ecuadorian immigrants and whose relatives mostly settled in the Bronx, Gabby had a very dichotomous upbringing and early on made the realization that where you lived and what you looked like influenced your life trajectory more than it should. This lived experience and observation of the stark disparities and injustices many communities faced—especially communities of color, informed her experiences during and after college. This included being a medical Spanish interpreter during college, and then working full-time as a program coordinator for a healthcare pipeline program for Boston youth based out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, after college. It was through that first job out of college that she learned more about community health and realized that these observations she had made growing up could be NAMED and that they were very much rooted in public health. After working with that pipeline program for 4 years, Gabby decided that she wanted to become a physician and that her career would land in the intersection between public health and medicine (hello, Family Medicine!). She went on to obtain her MS/MPH in 2016 before matriculating into medical school. Gabby fell in love with LFMR early on in her medical school career because it combined all of her interests: a commitment to social justice, a diverse and Spanish-speaking patient population and innovative and excellent training based out of a FQHC (a setting Gabby has always known she wants to practice in). She did a sub-I there during her 4th year of medical school and was impressed by how supportive the learning environment was and how remarkable and dedicated the faculty and residents were. Gabby is grateful to work alongside passionate and social justice-oriented individuals as she becomes the family physician and community advocate she’s always wanted to be. In her free time Gabby enjoys being outdoors (it’s the Vermonter in her): hiking and swimming in the summer/fall and skiing in the winter, watching TV, and spending as much of her free time (ideally eating good food and drinking good craft beer) with her husband, Matt and their dog, Richie.
Alejandra “Ale” Vélez Alicea, MD (she/her/ella)
Hometown: San Juan, PR
Undergrad: Boston University – Human Physiology, BS
Med School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Languages: Spanish, Basic Portuguese, Basic French
Ale was born and raised in San Juan, PR, where most of her family still lives today. She is immensely proud of her three siblings, who are scattered in different places, and misses them every day. Ale moved to Boston for college after graduating high school in PR. She started working as a Spanish medical interpreter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as her work-study job during college. Through her work as an interpreter, Ale became passionate about cultural humility in medicine, as well as the importance of effective communication, trauma-informed care, and mutual respect in all medical encounters. Ale also became interested in better serving vulnerable groups in medicine, with particular interest in serving immigrant and Latinx communities. As a medical student at Tufts, Ale was part of the Sam W. Ho Health Justice Scholars Program (HJSP), where she received mentorship from clinicians dedicated to uplifting their communities, furthering social justice in medicine and addressing health disparities. Along with two fellow HJSP scholars, Ale started a social support and health education group for Latinx and immigrant women called “Entre Mujeres,” in partnership with community-based non-profit organization La Alianza Hispana in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA. Ale remains very interested in the role of groups in helping to empower communities and promote health among its members. Ale is also interested in learning to practice full-spectrum family medicine, including women’s health, reproductive health, transgender patient care, substance use disorder treatment, and other areas. Outside of work, Ale likes to spend time with her husband Diego, and their two rescue dogs, Lula and Mabí. Ale also enjoys collecting houseplants, reading, and catching up with her family in her spare time.
Class of 2025
Ina Bodinaku, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Peabody, MA
Undergrad: Tufts University – Biology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
Med School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Languages: Intermediate Spanish, Albanian
Ina was born in Tirana, Albania and grew up in her father’s childhood home amidst extended family and multiple cousins she considers as siblings. She developed a love for this first hometown, an urban city nestled between the mountains where hospitality for guests, frequent coffee breaks and walking everywhere are undisputable ways of life. At age 7, Ina moved to the United States with her parents to start a new life in Peabody, MA. Ina considers this city as her second hometown, where she spent the second half of her childhood and adolescent years, later commuting to Medford, MA for her undergraduate studies at Tufts University. As a premedical student, she only planned on majoring in Biology until she discovered another major that spoke equally to her passions. Through her Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ina gained a strong foundation in understanding how intersecting social identities impact a person’s lived experiences, including those with the healthcare system. Growing up in Albania, a country with universal healthcare, she saw how this system failed to meet the needs of all people and noticed how social influences of health often served as barriers to adequate access to care. Ina dreamed of one day becoming a physician because she believes that physicians can serve as powerful agents for change in their communities by advocating for their patients. She was fortunate to continue her journey at the Tufts University School of Medicine. During medical school, Ina volunteered at Rosie’s Place as an English as a Second Language teacher leading classes for women from various educational and cultural backgrounds struggling with homelessness. As an avid believer in physician wellness, she hosted meditation sessions as part of the Mindfulness Group for Tufts medical students. Although parts of her studies were interrupted by COVID, Ina managed to stay involved with her community by co-leading student efforts to collect PPE donations for Tufts Medical Center and by conducting telephone calls to check in on elderly patients at a local Family Practice Group. She is excited and feels extremely fortunate to continue her journey as a now Triple Tufts Jumbo with this next chapter at the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency. Ina chose Lawrence because of the residency’s commitment to the community and most looks forward to learning from her patients. Ina is passionate about training in full-spectrum Family Medicine, Maternal and Child Health, Women’s Health, Global Health, caring for the underserved and learning to provide culturally sensitive care. In her spare time, Ina loves traveling with family and friends, tending to houseplants, painting/photography/crafting, being outdoors (mainly in the summer) and listening to Jesse sing in Spanish!
Jesse Feierabend-Peters, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: Martinez, CA
Undergrad: Stanford University – Anthropology
Med School: University of Massachusetts Medical School
Languages: Intermediate Spanish, Basic French
Jesse was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in Albany and Martinez, CA. From a young age, he has had the privilege of learning his family’s stories of strength and resilience in the face of adversity and oppression. Jesse’s interest in health equity and community advocacy stems from his knowledge of these family narratives of illness, incarceration, and of fleeing racial and political persecution. Hoping to better understand systemic oppression and his own lived experiences as a multi-racial Black man, he studied anthropology at Stanford University. While there, he sang in an R&B acapella group, began learning Spanish, was a public health volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico, and helped establish an English immersion program at a school in East Palo Alto, CA. After college, he worked as a personal trainer, volunteered in patient escort at MGH, and wrote a textbook chapter about social theory and global health for a course at MIT. These experiences, coupled with his desire to partner with patients and learn more about the interplay of social determinants of health and disease processes, led him to pursue Family Medicine.
In medical school, Jesse worked on multiple projects to support individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, both behind the walls of the prison and out in the community—this included an opportunity to present his work on reentry at the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Criminal Justice Health. He also partnered with local and national organizations to host health fairs and educational workshops in Worcester, MA and he spearheaded a program to support hospitalized patients experiencing loneliness during the COVID pandemic. These experiences deepened his understanding of the ways that structural inequities and racism impact health and reaffirmed his desire to practice full-spectrum family medicine—which he believes is intrinsically a way to begin addressing health inequities.
He is delighted to train at GLFHC because of the program’s commitment to the community it serves and the willingness of program leaders to challenge the status quo to provide quality care to patients and exceptional training to residents. Outside of medicine, he enjoys spending time with his spouse, visiting his family in California, reading fantasy novels, singing, freestyle rapping, lifting weights, and eating spicy food. With Juliette’s help, he hopes to find and eat the best tacos in New England!
Juliette Kassas, DO, MPH (she/her)
Hometown: Salem, NH
Undergrad: Northeastern University — Biochemistry
MPH: Dartmouth College
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Languages: English, Intermediate Spanish, Basic Arabic
Juliette grew up in Salem, NH. Her father is an immigrant from Lebanon and her mother is a Merrimack Valley native. She was first introduced to patient care through a high school volunteer position at Lawrence General Hospital, and she is so excited to return 12 years later! During her undergraduate years at Northeastern University, Juliette developed interests in point-of-care medical devices, cost-effective healthcare, medical research, and public health. She then worked for OPKO Diagnostics, LLC in Woburn, MA and was involved in the development and FDA approval of the company’s flagship point-of-care medical device. Prior to beginning medical school, she also earned her Master of Public Health Degree at Dartmouth College with a concentration in Health Policy in Clinical Practice. While working and completing her Master’s Degree, she cultivated a love for distance running. Within this span of 2.5 years, she ran 6 marathons including World Majors: New York (X2), Chicago, and Boston. At the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Juliette completed her clinical rotations in her home state of New Hampshire — the third-most afflicted state in the US by opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2018. She frequently encountered patients with substance use disorder and broadened her understanding of the disease through participation in the Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) immersion program sponsored by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. During her medical school rotation in Lawrence, she was drawn to the holistic care and attention given to each patient despite being an underserved area. As an osteopathic physician, Juliette is excited to incorporate OMM into her practice of full-spectrum Family Medicine. She is also looking forward to learning more about Sports Medicine, Addiction Medicine, and Health Policy. In her spare time, she continues to run and also enjoys hosting parties, spending time with family, trying new restaurants with her partner Elie, and being outdoors with Margot and her dog!
Margot Mellette, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia
Undergraduate: Yale University – History
Medical School: University of Virginia
Languages: Intermediate Spanish
Margot was born and raised in the historic triangle of southeastern Virginia. She attended Yale University where she focused her studies on the history of public health. During college, she worked in a shelter supporting individuals who had experienced intimate partner violence and organized community health education classes on consent and reproductive health. These interests eventually led her to Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, where she spent a formative year providing medical case management at a women’s emergency shelter. It was during this time in Boston at a community health center advocacy day where she first learned of GLFHC, planting a seed that stayed with her when she returned to Virginia for medical school. While at UVA, Margot led several community health and free clinic initiatives focused on expanding access to primary care, particularly for individuals experiencing homelessness. She also organized curricular reform initiatives focused on improving training in LGBTQ+ health care and decreasing racial bias in the medical school curriculum. Margot was drawn to GLFHC for countless reasons, including its exceptional commitment to the Lawrence community and the opportunity to train at an innovative teaching community health center. She is so excited to learn from this inspiring community over the next four years. Outside of medicine, Margot loves being outdoors with her spouse and her dog, bringing up her dog in nearly every conversation, trying out new vegetarian food, and marveling at Alma’s excellent sense of humor.
Alma Onate Munoz, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Undergraduate: Northern Kentucky University — Chemistry
Medical School: Harvard Medical School
Alma was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico and at the age of eight, she moved with her family to what she now considers home—Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up as a first-generation immigrant, she quickly discovered the importance and the power of storytelling in personal and public advocacy and was a part of local activism projects throughout high school and college. She attended Northern Kentucky University where she identified her love for teaching and spent much of her time teaching and tutoring middle school, high school, and college students in both formal and informal settings. During medical school, she volunteered at student-run clinics throughout Boston, where she witnessed firsthand the effects of social determinants of health on immigrants, incarcerated men, and underserved communities. This experience reaffirmed her commitment to learn about and address social determinants of health at every level. As a starting off point, she started a student-run group to support first-generation/low income students succeed in medical school and beyond through sharing of experiences, advice, and resources. She took an extra year during medical school to work with OPENPediatrics, an online educational forum for healthcare professionals, where she worked on creating an animated pediatrics curriculum for medical students and helped conduct research on best practices for curriculum delivery. Alma was drawn to GLFHC for its commitment to serving its community and the full spectrum training that she hopes to use as a tool of social justice for her patients. She hopes to combine her love of teaching, storytelling, and primary care to grow as a clinician and an advocate for her patients and their community. Outside of medicine, Alma loves spending time with her spouse and her two cats, Luna and Oreo, visiting her family in Ohio and spending time with her nieces and nephews, watching The Office (and other comedy shows), going to new coffee shops with Hannah, and going salsa/bachata dancing.
Hannah Pearson, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Hopkins, MN
Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Medical School: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Languages: Basic Spanish
Hannah grew up in Hopkins, MN. She was part of the first generation in her family to pursue higher education and attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. While attending Madison, she studied biology, global health and gender and women’s studies. During that time, Hannah learned about the many disparities that face our society and grew a passion for social justice, antiracism and feminism. Combining her passion for social justice and science, Hannah returned home to attend the University of Minnesota Medical School. Hannah had the opportunity to work and learn from the urban underserved population in Minneapolis as well as the rural underserved population in Staples, MN (No, not the Staples Store). Hannah witnessed the strength of Family Medicine by performing research assessing the perinatal needs of a predominantly Somali urban community and providing perinatal care for a rural Amish community. Her rural rotation ended early due to COVID-19 and Hannah found herself back in Minneapolis. Not long after her return, her community was, once again, forced to confront the racist systems that exist in the city after the murder of George Floyd. As part of a hurt and outraged community, she protested and helped a local Family Medicine clinic that was damaged during the protests. She is excited and humbled to be a part of the Greater Lawrence Family Medicine program. She is inspired that the program was founded to help meet the needs of the Latinx community in Lawrence and that their relationship with the community remains central to the program. LFMR recognizes the importance of full-spectrum family medicine when caring for underserved communities and prepares its residents to meet those needs. Furthermore, LFMR trains its residents to address the inherently biased systems our patients and our health care workers face. Hannah is excited to start residency at Lawrence and during her free time she enjoys going to coffee shops, going to new restaurants with Tala, hiking, camping, skiing, seeing live music and playing volleyball with her friends and fiancé.
Tala Radejko, MD, MSc (she/her)
Hometown: Washington DC; London, UK
Undergraduate: University of Chicago – Comparative Literature
Graduate: Imperial College London – Epidemiology
Medical School: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Languages: Norwegian (at home), intermediate Spanish, intermediate French, basic Arabic
Tala was born in Washington DC but grew up moving between the United States, Ukraine, and United Kingdom in a Palestinian-Norwegian family. They instilled in her a love of languages, books, and food, and their experiences of exile and immigration inspired her interest in medicine as a tool for tackling systemic injustice. At the University of Chicago, she studied postcolonial literature in the Middle East, worked in clinical research, and was involved in several advocacy groups on campus who taught her about the power of grassroots organizing. A longstanding interest in public health and reproductive health led her to complete a graduate degree in epidemiology. Although she thought about a PhD and remains interested in research, she missed hearing patients’ stories and knew she wanted to be on the clinical side of addressing public health challenges. In medical school, she learned more about rural medicine and harm reduction, and she worked with classmates on projects such as setting up HIV/HCV testing alongside a needle exchange. She was ultimately drawn toward family medicine after realizing she could combine her varied clinical interests – including nutrition, addiction medicine, HIV/HCV medicine, and climate change and health – with her desire to provide comprehensive reproductive and obstetrical care. Lawrence stood out to Tala because of its deep commitment to its community and to training physicians capable of providing innovative, compassionate, and culturally sensitive care. Outside of medicine she enjoys reading, cooking, vegetable gardening, and game nights with Julie.
Julie Scott, MD, MPH (she/her)
Hometown: Rocklin, CA
Undergraduate: Pepperdine University — Malibu, CA — Hispanic Studies/ Spanish
Graduate: University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions – MPH in Public Health Practice
Medical School: University of Florida College of Medicine
Languages: Learning Spanish
Julie is originally from the Philippines, where her parents dedicated their careers to community partnership and leadership development. After spending the majority of her childhood in the Philippines, Julie’s family relocated to California, where Julie calls her second home. After surviving culture shock and high school, she studied Spanish at University and was able to nurture her love of experiencing and learning about cultures outside of her own by completing a yearlong immersive experience in Argentina. She hopes to return soon to cook and enjoy maté with her Argentine family. After college, Julie decided to change coasts (though West Coast is still the best coast) and chase a new adventure while completing her medical degree in sunny Florida. Her passion for medicine, particularly family medicine, and community health was first realized through the transformative experiences she had when assisting doctors and dentists in caring for the vulnerable and marginalized communities in the Philippines. This passion was later developed throughout undergrad where Julie was able to teach Saturday Science School in Compton when school funding for math and sciences dramatically decreased. Her love for family medicine continued to grow in Florida where she joined the leadership team for managing and expanding their weekly free, student-run clinics to better meet community needs. She continued her pursuit of experiencing new cultures by participating and organizing a yearly medical brigade to Nicaragua. Finding that she desired more education on preventive and community health, she interrupted her medical training to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health to round out her undergraduate medical training. During this year, Julie was able to practice her newfound skills as an employee of the Florida Department of Public Health doing COVID-19 case investigation, management and contact tracing. Julie is excited to continue her graduate medical training at a place where the mission and actions of the residency and clinic greatly align with her values and heart. She is thrilled to grow in both her medical and Spanish-speaking skills, and to one-day practice full-spectrum primary care in the communities that most need it. Outside of medicine, Julie enjoys exploring outdoors with her husband and dog (hiking, kayaking, fishing and swimming), spoiling her friends and family with baked goods, stealing recipes from Rachel, and hosting game nights.
Rachel Weinstock, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Doylestown, PA; Westford, MA
Undergrad: Tufts University–Anthropology and Community Health
Med School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rachel was born near Philadelphia and moved to the Boston area when she was eleven. She attended Tufts University, where her two passions were improv comedy and global health equity work. Through studying abroad in Chile, conducting community-based participatory research with the Dominican community in Boston, and majoring in Anthropology, she became interested in providing care across cultural and linguistic boundaries. She also fostered a desire to learn about, and push back against systemic barriers that block access to quality care for marginalized groups. Upon graduating, she moved to Salcedo, Dominican Republic to work as an assistant science teacher and health educator at a high school, the Liceo Científico Dr. Miguel Canela Lázaro. She gained an appreciation for the art of teaching, and the way education can empower people, as well as a deep regard and gratefulness for her host community. Working at a community-based organization such as the Liceo sparked an interest in working in primary care, where she could work with patients on their own terms, and strive to address issues beyond their physical health. While in medical school in the Bronx, Rachel focused on taking action to support her values. As an on-campus leader for Medical Students for Choice, she educated herself about reproductive justice and volunteered as an abortion clinic escort. She joined AIRE, Advocacy for Immigrant and Rights and Equity, where she contributed to curriculum development around caring for undocumented patients. She returned to Chile to conduct qualitative research on the HPV vaccine and sexual education. As COVID hit New York, she led the medical school volunteering response, organizing over 20 support projects and coordinating with a network of medical schools across NYC. These experiences redoubled her commitment to using her skills to build a more socially just world. Rachel enjoys baking and collecting cookbooks, learning new languages, reflective writing, and spending time with her partner, friends and family. She loves going out to eat and looks forward to showing Jessica around her home state for old and new spots to grab a bite.
Jessica Williams, MD, MPH (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Amarillo, TX
Undergrad: Rice University – Houston, TX – Bioengineering
Graduate School: The School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – MPH
Medical School: McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Languages: English, Basic Spanish, Basic French, Basic Q’eqchi
Jessica was born and raised in Amarillo, TX. She studied Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, where she became involved in the Global Health Technologies program, which was dedicated to developing medical technology appropriate for low-resource areas. After graduating from college, she joined the Peace Corps and served as a Community Health Educator in Belize for two years. During this time, she worked closely with two Community Health Workers in a rural Mayan village and truly came to understand the impact that primary care providers can have on the health of entire communities, particularly those in rural areas. When Jessica moved back to Texas, she knew she wanted to go to medical school to become a full-spectrum primary care provider. She attended McGovern Medical School and the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and completed a combined MD/MPH degree. In addition to being passionate about full-spectrum primary care, Jessica is eager to learn more about reproductive health care, gender-affirming care, and HIV medicine. She is thrilled to join the residency at Greater Lawrence because of the commitment to social justice and commitment to the Lawrence community. Outside of medicine, Jessica and her partner, Stacey, have been enjoying discovering everything that Massachusetts has to offer, including hiking trails and many different types of ice cream. She loves running with her dog, knitting, and baking. She is definitely going to be asking Ina for help to pick out some plants for her new apartment!
Class of 2026
Camila Chile (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Undergraduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Camila was born and raised in Rockville, MD as the youngest of four children of Peruvian immigrants. She became passionate about biology during high school when she participated in a summer internship at the National Institute of Health. She was selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar in her senior year of high school, a four-year scholarship that allowed her to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate, she split her time between her studies, research on glioblastoma multiforme at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and her role as an Admissions Ambassador in the MIT Admissions Office. It was her experience in the Admission Office that set her on her path of working with and advocating for underserved communities. She saw a career as a doctor would allow her to combine her love of biology and advocacy. She attended Tufts University School of Medicine where she was selected to participate in the Sam W. Ho Health Justice Scholars Program, a four-year curriculum focused on training medical students to act as leaders and provide high-quality care to underserved communities. She also volunteered for Entre Mujeres, a group of Tufts medical students who provided workshops and seminars on health and wellness in Spanish to Latina women in the Dorchester community. She had several experiences in the Lawrence community prior to applying for residency and she was taken by their commitment to producing full-spectrum family physicians focused on social justice and health equity. In her free time, Camila enjoys baking, cooking, watching Marvel movies and soccer with her family. Her favorite condiment is aji rocoto, a traditional Peruvian red pepper paste that has a similar spice level to habaneros.
Kristin Chu (she/her/hers)
Hometown: South Bends, IN
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota
Medical School: University of Minnesota Medical School
Kristin was born in South Bend, Indiana to Taiwanese immigrant parents before moving to Woodbury, Minnesota at a young age. Her parents taught her early on about the importance of education, advocacy, and community. Her love of science was nurtured in high school when she became a camp counselor at her local science museum. She attended the University of Minnesota where her love of community and medicine grew with her experiences teaching Sickle Cell awareness in rural India, advocating for women’s health and education in Malawi, and working at a safety net hospital in downtown Minneapolis. These experiences ultimately led her back to the University of Minnesota to attend medical school. Unbeknownst to her at the time the seeds of Family Medicine were planted early on as she helped organize her school’s LGBTQIA+ Symposium on safe and healthy futures for LGBTQIA+ youth, spearhead a Medical Student-Interpreter Workshop for peers, create MN CovidSitters a nonprofit helping to provide frontline workers with childcare during COVID, write a resolution about decreasing barriers to abortion access in Minnesota that was ultimately passed by the Minnesota Medical Association, and advocating for better conditions and health outcomes for justice-involved individuals.
Kristin is ecstatic to continue her training at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and join the ranks of fantastic clinician leaders as she works towards becoming a better ally and advocate for her patients. She was drawn to Lawrence for its broad spectrum training, Spanish curriculum, centering of community, and social justice lens. In her free time, Kristin enjoys spending time with family & friends, cooking & baking, spending time outdoors, exploring local thrift shops, and playing tennis. Her favorite condiment is Ichimi Togarashi (aka Japanese chili pepper) which she puts on everything for that added kick.
Jorge Luis De Avila, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: Norwalk, CA
Undergrad: University of Southern California – Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies
Med School: The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Languages: Native Spanish
Jorge was raised in Southeast Los Angeles County. Although his parents are immigrants from rural Mexico and came to the United States as factory workers, both his grandfathers migrated between Mexico and the United States as braceros, or day laborers, on the farms of Northern California. Jorge is the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies from the University of Southern California. Before medical school, Jorge worked in several community health roles in Oakland, CA, including project coordinator at the Ethnic Health Institute within Samuel Merritt University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, program manager at the Alameda County Health Coach Program within Highland Hospital’s Emergency Department, and analyst within the Community Benefit Department at Sutter Health East Bay Region. During medical school in Chicago, IL, Jorge served as a peer educator across several courses, including the “Clinical Pathophysiology and Therapeutics” and “Health Equity, Advocacy, and Anti-Racism” courses. He also continued his passion for diversifying the healthcare workforce by serving on the medical school’s admissions committee and help lead the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program, where high school students explore health careers over six weeks at the medical school campus. He explored academic scholarship to advance health equity through quantitative research on patient cost-related medication nonadherence and qualitative research on best practices in medical school curriculum on health equity. Jorge was drawn to GLFHC to attain full-spectrum family medicine training and explore his interests in chronic pain, addiction medicine, HIV medicine, and health systems leadership at an FQHC. Outside of medicine, Jorge loves going on day trips to explore other New England cities with his partner and spending lots of FaceTime hours with family and friends. His favorite condiment is honey mustard, especially with sweet potato waffle fries!
Hometown: Boston, MA; Tehran, Iran
Undergraduate: University of California Davis
Medical School: Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Languages: Native Persian, Fair Spanish, Fair French
Sheila was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the US as a teen. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of California Davis (UCD) in Integrated Human Biology. She studied French while in undergrad, and was actively involved as a volunteer at the UCD Medical Center and completed her EMT training. For two years after undergrad, she taught high school sciences and homeschooled youth with severe or terminal illness while working with the UC San Francisco tissue recovery program. She returned to UCD for her graduate degree in nutritional biology, followed by graduate studies in education/teaching credential. She taught high school sciences for the next 10 years in California and Massachusetts, with a focus on working with youth with a history of trauma. Sheila entered medical school at Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and was her class recipient of the Primary Care Fellowship. She was actively involved in DEI efforts and established the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Collective. She has a strong interest in full spectrum family medicine with a special interest in obstetrics and integrative medicine, including nutrition, specifically in immigrant and underserved communities. In her spare time Sheila enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband, her two puppies, and her friends and family, listening to audiobooks, learning languages, edible gardening, and dancing. She strives to eat vegan but sometimes can’t resist dipping potato chips in tart plain yogurt.
Leah Genn (she/her)
Hometown: Sarasota, FL; Maplewood, NJ
Undergraduate: Florida State University
Medical School: Florida State University College of Medicine
Leah was born in Maplewood, NJ and grew up in sunny Sarasota, FL. While she is afraid to face New England winters, Leah is excited to experience all four seasons, especially the beautiful Fall colors. Leah was drawn to the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency Program for a multitude of reasons, including the warm and supportive family atmosphere, excellent full-spectrum training at both an FQHC and community hospital, and strong longitudinal Spanish-learning support. She attended Florida State University and completed a Bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology before joining the Peace Corps and serving in Togo, West Africa as a Community Health and Malaria Prevention Volunteer. During her service, she partnered with traditional healers, community health workers, and secondary school students to encourage and support care-seeking and disease prevention behaviors within her village community. Leah is particularly excited to practice and build upon her skills in community partnership at Lawrence. During medical school, she was involved with AMWA and the American Medical Association advocating for reproductive justice and improved access to honest, evidence-based reproductive health resources and services. She looks forward to gaining the procedural and counseling skills necessary during residency to empower her patients to determine if, when, and how they would like to create their families.
Leah’s clinical and international experiences highlighted for her the outsized impact healthy and thriving families can have on their community and society. She is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to partner with her future patients and work together to optimize their health and wellbeing at GLFHC. During her free time, Leah enjoys reading historical fiction novels, playing tennis, watching her Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cups, and calling on her state and federal representatives to support legislation that will lead to a more equitable health care system. Her favorite condiment is honey mustard, full of sweetness and spice!
Ryan Huff, MD (they/she)
Hometown: Singleton, TX
Undergraduate: The University of Texas at Austin – Biology & Psychology
Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Language: Basic Spanish
Ryan grew up in rural East Texas. At the age of sixteen, they moved to a small city outside of Houston to attend an early college entrance program, where their interests shifted from research to medicine after seeing that poor access to healthcare was not restricted to communities geographically isolated from healthcare providers. They finished their college education in Texas, spent their gap year working in fundraising and social media at a safety net clinic, and moved to New York City for medical school. Over the years, they have been involved in various literacy, child development, and mental health advocacy programs, and in medical school they worked extensively with a free clinic offering primary care, sexual health services, and gender affirming care to a primarily queer patient population in NYC. In their free time, Ryan likes to write poetry and fiction as well as tend to an indoor garden. Their professional interests vary widely (a reason they chose family medicine!) and include reproductive health, transgender medicine, adolescent health, palliative care, and integrative medicine. Their favorite condiment is Cholula hot sauce, especially on popcorn or with Texas queso.
Emily Leboffe, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Hartwick, NY
Undergraduate: Susquehanna University
Graduate: Pennsylvania State University – M.Ed
Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Language: Basic Spanish
Emily grew up in Hartwick, New York with her five younger siblings. She relocated to Pennsylvania to attend a small liberal arts college at Susquehanna University and completed a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. There, she developed an interest in health care and attended a summer study abroad program in Cyprus learning about their health care delivery. She took a year off before medical school and worked as a patient care assistant at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY, and then decided to return to PA to attend Penn State College of Medicine. In her first year, she had the opportunity to travel to Panama to join the Floating Doctors team in delivering rotating continuity clinics at remote islands, only accessible via canoe. During medical school, she developed a passion for medical education and was able to complete her master’s in adult education through Penn State’s dual degree program. She was also part of her medical school’s curriculum committee and students as educators program. Emily is interested in both medical education and how we can better educate patients and communities about their health; during medical school, she helped offer health education sessions at the surrounding local food pantries. She was drawn to GLFHC for its full-spectrum training, medical Spanish curriculum, and emphasis on community centered medicine. Outside of medicine, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, their dog, and their two cats. You can find her running, hiking, and making fun charcuterie boards. What’s her favorite condiment you ask? Emily would argue that Pesto is not only a sauce, but a very essential condiment!
Yesenia Martino-Cortez, MD
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Undergraduate: State University of New York at Albany
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Languages: Intermediate Spanish
Yesenia was born in Westchester County of New York and raised in the Bronx within a culturally diverse neighborhood. She is a third generation Puerto Rican and grew up speaking “Spanglish” in her household. Her grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous distant relatives still live in Puerto Rico. She attended the State University of New York at Albany where she majored in Chemistry and was engaged in stem cell research with the Rangan Lab. Following undergrad, she took two gap years continuing stem cell research at NYU Langone and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She then attended medical school at Tufts and was actively engaged in both research and community service. She was an active member of Jumbo Chess, a community service afterschool program for local elementary school children that helped teach children how to play chess while providing an opportunity to directly engage with the local Chinatown community neighboring Tufts. She also engaged in the Sharewood Clinic that helped provide free physical exams and acute visits for underserved and uninsured populations in Malden. She discovered her love for Family Medicine while at Tufts and was captivated by full-spectrum health care for populations in need. After graduating from Tufts School of Medicine, Yesenia has joined Greater Lawrence Family Medicine Residency for continuing her medical training! In her free time, she enjoys running, playing chess, indoor rock climbing, mountain biking, and skiing in the winter. Her favorite condiment is ketchup which, to people’s dismay, she will generously use on most food groups.
Brenda Navarro Galindo, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Fontana, CA and Tepatitlan, Mexico
Undergraduate: California State University-San Bernardino
Medical School: Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina Guadalajara Languages: Native Spanish
Brenda was born in Tepatitlan, Jalisco, MX, but immigrated to the U.S.A at age seven, along with her parents and two siblings. She was raised in Fontana, CA, where she spent all her formative years. She attended California State University- San Bernardino, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology. After college, she worked as a medical scribe both at an ER and a family medicine practice and tutored students from underserved communities through the no child left behind act, before returning to her native state of Jalisco for medical school at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. During her time in Guadalajara she participated in several medical brigades through the GUIMEDIC organization in the rural areas of the state. She was also the community coordinator for AMSA, in which she organized and took part in several community service events, such as fundraising for children with cancer, hosting medical education events for the local community and providing basic medical exams in impoverished areas of Guadalajara. After finishing her two basic science years in Guadalajara, she moved to Las Vegas, NV for her clinical clerkships, where she continued to work with underserved communities. She also had the privilege to participate in a medical mission in Marikina, Philippines, where more than 3,000 individuals received free medical, dental and vision treatment. Growing up as an immigrant with very few resources, Brenda has a special connection with underprivileged communities and is committed to work to provide them with better medical and social care. GLFHC is the epitome of full spectrum medicine and that is why Brenda is very excited to join this community and to learn from its lively culture and people. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys spending time with her husband and her two cats (Nala and Lilah), traveling with friends, baking, spending time outdoors, watching movies and eating French fries dipped in some delicious sriracha aioli.
Marissa Paz, MD (she/her)
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Undergraduate: University of Arizona
Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
Languages: Basic Spanish, Basic A.S.L.
Marissa was born and raised in the desert city of Tucson, Arizona. After multiple encounters with the medical world as a patient, family member and part of a support system she began thinking about going into medicine. She attended the University of Arizona where she majored in Physiology and Microbiology and minored in Public Health. Marissa had a wide variety of odd jobs she worked during high school and college such as a library assistant, construction worker, event coordinator, Air Force Tricare operations, and house cleaner to name a few. After graduating she continued at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine.
Marissa had always had a passion for advocacy and working with people who have disabilities, especially with Latino and Native American people because of her own and her families’ experiences. She worked in advocacy within her medical school to increase physician comfortability and understanding of various physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities and working with the Special Olympics. She helped to foster better relationships with the Native community within Arizona, spent a lot of her clinical time working in rural Native communities and was an AHEC scholar. Marissa also helped create a group which works regularly with a local homeless shelter where she volunteered and created medical lessons driven by the women within the shelter. Marissa is excited to be coming to Lawrence due to their strong connection with the community, language, culture, and values helping to create true community physicians.
Marissa has never experienced a real winter with snow but is excited to be trying it out for the first time. In her free time, she can be found with her husband, Brad, reading fantasy or science fiction, camping, dancing, and crocheting. Marissa will be striving to find where she can find the peppers for her salsa which she firmly believes can be put on nearly anything and can be eaten with a spoon.
Amanda Snow, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Southington, CT
Undergraduate: College of the Holy Cross
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Languages: Intermediate Spanish
Amanda grew up in her father’s childhood home in Connecticut’s “Apple Valley.” She attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where she studied biology, neuroscience, and philosophy. There, she was exposed to the Jesuit ideals of social justice and care for the whole person. On yearly trips to Corquín de Copán, Honduras, she worked at a clinic where she learned Spanish and became aware of the need for accessible primary care. Throughout college, Amanda also worked as a CNA in a nursing home for people with Alzheimer’s while discerning a possible health care career. After graduating, she moved to Scranton, PA for a year for a year of postgraduate service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. There, Amanda worked at an interdisciplinary Community Health Department of United Neighborhood Centers, where she learned about the social determinants of health and connected low-income individuals and families to healthcare through insurance assistance, care coordination, and vaccination campaigns. Before medical school, she returned to Massachusetts, moving to Haverhill, to a community called L’Arche, where she lived and worked with adults with disabilities to provide direct support while developing mutually supportive relationships. At Boston University School of Medicine, she was a leader in the BU Advocacy Training Program and developed interests in single-payer health care, addiction medicine, and trauma-informed care. Amanda was drawn to LFMR for countless reasons, including its foundation in the Lawrence community and Spanish language curriculum—in addition to everything her peers have stated above! She is excited to continue learning how to integrate social determinants of health equity with the practice of medicine to deliver great health care. Outside of medicine, Amanda loves spending time in the White Mountains of NH with her partner Leon, hanging out with her new nephew, collecting records, experimenting with baking (currently loving hot honey on sourdough pizza!), and exploring craft coffee.
Bronwyn Wada-Gill, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Lincoln, MA; Lexington, MA; Worcester, MA
Undergraduate: Boston University
Medical School: University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine
Languages: Basic Spanish, Conversational Japanese
Bronwyn was born and raised in Massachusetts as part of an ever-expanding multi-cultural family. She initially started her career with the intent to become a professional ballet dancer. She adored her time training with the Boston Ballet for 15 years and continues to support the arts with all her might. Bronwyn attended Boston University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in Behavioral Health Sciences and an interest in HIV/AIDS and sustainable models of health care. After graduating she explored clinical research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute for two years, where she truly decided she would become a doctor. At the University of Massachusetts Chan School of Medicine, she dedicated her time to learning about urban and rural population health care needs. Travels to Alaska helped her recognize the lack of education and partnerships between her medical school institution and the local indigenous nations in MA. She is particularly proud of assisting relationship building between the Nipmuc nation and Hassanamisco band, on whose land the medical school and primary hospital stands.
She is delighted to have been welcomed into the Lawrence community and can’t wait to learn more about the culture and history of Lawrence, to try out delightful bakeries and restaurants, and to meet other dog parents in the neighborhood. Her lifetime goals include creating a community flower garden and food orchard, learning at least five languages fluently, and trying as many worldly delicacies as possible. In her free time, Bronwyn continues to enjoy dancing, crafting, and spending time with her wonderful family and friends. Bronwyn’s all-time favorite condiment is called “ponzu”, a delicious and refreshing citrusy flavored soy sauce that she finds goes absolutely with Everything! Deliciosa! おいしい (Oishī)!
Class of 2027
Romina Almada Gossweiler (she/hers)
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fl
Undergrad: New York University
Medical School: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Romina was born in Asuncion, Paraguay and is half Paraguayan/half Uruguayan. After moving to the US at the age of nine, Romina grew up primarily in Florida but has lived in many states prior to Massachusetts. She studied neuroscience in New York City and physiology in Chicago before moving to New Hampshire for medical school.
She has always been very interested in behavior and working with immigrant populations. Her interest in medicine stems from her mom, who trained as a pediatrician and cared deeply about social medicine. While at NYU, Romina interned at the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There, she worked on adapting a meaning-centered psychotherapy program for Spanish-speaking patients with terminal cancer. Romina loved this research as it incorporated many of her interests – mental health disparities, immigrant communities, and language.
During medical school, Romina continued to pursue her interests as an Urban Health Scholar and taught the Medical Spanish elective for two years.
For fun, Romina likes to binge watch TV shows. She also enjoys listening to a wide variety of podcasts ranging from the Curbsiders to Crime Junkie. As a developing New Englander, she enjoys when winter becomes spring and birds begin to chirp again.
Lawrence is a very special place in terms of its rich immigrant history and critical role in the U.S. labor movement. Romina feels very lucky to be able to train as a physician in this city.
Christian Castilla, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: Coconut Creek, FL
Undergraduate: Florida Atlantic University
Medical School: San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
Christian was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States at the age of seven. He was raised in South Florida where he spent the majority of his life. He finally left Florida when he moved to Puerto Rico for medical school. He is the first person in his family to attend college and medical school in the United States. Throughout college and medical school, Christian devoted his time to giving back to the community that raised him. He has been involved in multiple volunteer opportunities including a mission trip during medical school to provide clinical aid in underserved areas in Guatemala. His interest in family medicine began when he witnessed the shortage of providers in his home country and his hometown. This gave him the drive to treat the underserved population in the future and serve the Spanish-speaking population.
Christian was drawn to Greater Lawrence Family Medicine because of their exemplary curriculum and their goal for serving the underserved Spanish-speaking population. He was also interested in their broad spectrum of family medicine emphasis. Moreover, the supporting staff and residents are what was appealing to him and he feels fortunate to be in such a welcoming environment. Christian spends his free time playing soccer and pickleball. He is looking forward to the four seasons of New England as well as the countless hiking opportunities and skiing for the first time. His favorite bird is the humming bird because of their ambition and perseverance.
Andrés Cuartas-Olarte, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: The Colony, TX
Undergrad: St. Edward’s University
Med School: The University of Texas Medical Branch John Sealy School of Medicine
Languages: Native Spanish
Andrés was born in North Bergen, NJ and raised in The Colony, TX (a small suburb of north Dallas). Both of his parents are immigrants from Colombia and came to the United States in search of a brighter future, where he and his older brother were born. Andrés is the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. Before medical school, Andrés worked as a full-time volunteer at a community hospital in Richmond, VA before returning to Texas a year later to attend medical school in Galveston, TX. During medical school, Andrés helped co-found the First in the Family student organization on campus aimed to support first generation students through the journey of higher education, student-faculty mentoring, and advocacy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He also continued his passion for soccer and community building by regularly coordinating pick-up games and organizing teams in local leagues. Andrés was drawn to GLFHC to attain full-spectrum family medicine training and explore his interests in community medicine, sports medicine, and integrative medicine at an FQHC. Outside of medicine, Andrés loves going on outdoor walks to listen to the symphony of chirping birds, playing team sports (especially fútbol), and trying out new hobbies. His favorite condiment is barbeque sauce, hands down! His favorite bird is the golden-cheeked warbler (the only bird endemic to Texas, yeehaw!).
Catherine Henckel, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Sussex, NJ
Undergrad: Boston College – Biochemistry BS
Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark NJ
Languages: Advanced Italian, Intermediate Spanish
Cat grew up in Sussex, tucked away in the rural northwest corner of New Jersey among the trees, small farms, and rolling hills. She attended Boston College for her undergraduate education, where the major themes in her life included studying for her science classes, having a blast in classes for her Italian minor, spending quality time with microbes in the Momeni Lab, and having some of the best and most bizarre experiences of her life playing trombone in the marching band. Cat’s passion for medicine began when volunteering at a free clinic back home in New Jersey during academic breaks in college. Cat and her family were also uninsured at this time, which made this experience particularly formative for her. Seeing and living disparities in healthcare access mobilized her passion for ameliorating disparities of all types, both in her professional life and personal life. This experience also planted the seed that comprehensive, accessible primary care, particularly in underserved communities, can make a huge impact. After undergrad, Cat worked in hospice research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she studied the perspectives that patients and their bereaved caregivers have about hospice services. This experience was the beginning of Cat’s continued interest in the art of communication with patients on topics which are profound, challenging, or stigmatized.
At Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ, she dedicated her efforts to learning from and serving the Newark community. She was a director for free clinics that traveled to local homeless shelters, organized and taught prenatal education classes, worked with hospital chaplaincy to support actively dying patients, and received a Pozen Grant to begin her Spanish learning journey to connect with more patients in the community. She was also heavily involved in two scholarship programs, one that supported humanism in medicine (Humanism Fellow) and another for students interested in practicing primary care in underserved communities (Removing Barriers to Success Scholar). Cat is particularly proud of her work in medical education, surveying the preclinical curriculum for instances of racial bias, acting as a teaching assistant, and enacting improvements on her school’s Health Equity & Social Justice curriculum.
Cat can’t wait to practice Family Medicine to see the breadth of human experience and be at the interface of medicine and the community. She’s thrilled that Lawrence welcomed her, and she can’t wait for the robust experiences in Spanish, community medicine, addiction medicine, gender affirming care, HIV care, reproductive health, procedural training — the list could go on forever! Outside of medicine, Cat enjoys reading, crocheting, spending time with friends and family, and generally being outdoors — running, hiking, taking walks, and birding. Some of her favorite birds include hooded mergansers, tufted titmice, cedar waxwings, and belted kingfishers. She’s looking forward to finding the best birding spots in Massachusetts!
Michael Ierardi, DO (he/him/his)
Hometown: Dunstable, MA
Undergrad: University of Massachusetts Lowell – Biology, BS
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Mike grew up forty minutes west of Lawrence in a town called Dunstable Massachusetts. His parents taught him the importance of being a well-rounded individual, playing multiple sports and musical instruments while still focusing on his academics. He stayed close to home and commuted to the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, allowing him to help his family take care of two grandparents who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This was certainly not a typical undergraduate experience, but he credits this time as a major determining factor that led him to be passionate about medicine and learning how to compassionately take care of others. Also during his time at Umass Lowell, Mike worked as a personal care attendant for a high school aged student who has cerebral palsy and he still values his time and friendship to this day. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Biology, Mike left the nest and attended Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Clearwater, Florida. It was during his third and fourth-year rotations in medical school that he learned that Family Medicine was his true passion. He has an affinity for building strong relationships with his patients and has a love for medicine that leaves him always eager to learn more.
Mike is proud to have been welcomed into the Lawrence community and to be back home in Massachusetts. Growing up not too far from Lawrence helps Mike understand some of the challenges the area faces, and he is passionate about the community that Lawrence is continuing to build. As a man of many hobbies, he is excited to be able to spend more time hiking and rock climbing in the white mountains, with his favorite hike being the Franconia Ridge Loop. His favorite type of bird is the duck because of its ability to take on adversity with grace. As they swim, they appear calm on the surface, but they are always kicking like crazy underwater. Additionally, Mike enjoys playing guitar, hockey, baseball, volleyball, and reading about space travel, specifically the Apollo missions.
Yulianna Jiménez, MD (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
Undergraduate: The University of Alabama at Birmingham – Biomedical Engineering
Medical School: The University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine
Language: Intermediate Spanish
Yulianna was born and raised in Hattiesburg, MS as the youngest of five children in a Puerto Rican household. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she studied biomedical engineering and was a flutist in the concert and marching bands. She was exposed to healthcare disparities when volunteering with A Promise to Help, a mobile healthcare unit that traveled to rural areas in Alabama. She also volunteered with Equal Access Birmingham, a free healthcare clinic in the city for the uninsured and underinsured run by medical students, at clinic days, mental health clinics, and outreach health fairs. These experiences laid the foundation for her interest in medicine and primary care. During medical school, she realized family medicine was the best path for her when she asked her friends if there was a magical specialty that would allow her to combine her interests in obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, psychiatry, global health, procedures, and advocacy. Yulianna was thrilled when one friend informed her that this magical specialty existed in family medicine! Recognizing the lack of training and representation of diverse skin types in medicine, she assisted in a research project that photographed and made a digital catalog of different dermatologic conditions across all skin types. She also served as an Admission Host and Diversity Ambassador, helping recruit more brilliant and diverse minds to medicine. In her last year of medical school, Yulianna participated in her first medical mission trip to Mexico, which solidified her interest in global health. When researching family medicine programs, Yulianna found LFMR and fell in love with the full scope of training, strong mission, focus on underserved populations, and Spanish training. She did a sub-internship during her 4th year of medical school and loved the supportive environment from residents and faculty and the patient population. She is so excited and grateful to be here for training. In her free time, Yulianna loves singing karaoke, playing the flute, building Legos, going to amusement parks, hiking (although she is terrified of ticks), photographing fungi, and cheering on the Celtics. She also enjoys being home with her cats Luna and Otto. She loves video games and has gotten her co-residents addicted to Duck Game.
Brian Leima, MD
Hometown: Pelham, NH
Undergrad: Oregon State University
Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Brian Leima was born at Lowell General Hospital and raised in Pelham, New Hampshire. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. Prior to his medical career, Brian served eight years in the United States Marine Corps, working with 1st Marine Division, the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, and the Georgia Deployment Program, in global locations including Helmand Province, Afghanistan; Stuttgart, Germany; and Tbilisi, Georgia. During this time, Brian’s experience working at the Combat Support Hospital Camp Dwyer, in addition to witnessing the birth of his son, inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. Following his military service, he worked at Medtronic Diabetes Research & Development as a Project Manager. When not practicing medicine, Brian can be found surfing, hunting, and biking around Lawrence in all sorts of weather. He is a father of three and makes excellent pancakes. He feels privileged to be serving the people of the Merrimack Valley.
Margaret Nakayama, DO (she/her)
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Undergrad: University of Memphis— B.S. in Chemistry
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Languages: Minimal Spanish
Margaret was born into a high control church community in Anaheim, CA. At age 6, her family moved to Memphis, TN to help propagate this church model. She was lucky to attend excellent public schools including the University of Memphis and was able to leave the church. During her study “abroad” experience she became involved in the local farming movement in Western Massachusetts and fell in love with small scale food production. Between and during the four farming seasons following undergrad she worked in a farm-to-fork restaurant, a pediatric clinic, a construction materials lab, and an ENT clinic. She was introduced to a sobriety community in Memphis and a queer/social justice community in Western Mass. Because of these experiences and her love for outpatient clinics, she was compelled to pursue a career in medicine and moved to Chicago for medical school.
During medical school, she helped to launch the diversity and equity committee at CCOM specifically focusing on admissions changes and facilitating small group discussions in the lecture series “Facing Racism in Healthcare.” She actively tutored physiology and clinical reasoning for first and second year medical students.
Her homing instinct has returned her to Massachusetts for residency! She is feeling very lucky to be in a program where she is supported to learn about health systems, learn Spanish, and focus on caring for a community. She hopes to perfect her sparrow calls and to spot some kestrels over the next four years.
Meghan Olsen MD, MPH (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Ipswich, MA
Undergraduate: Tufts University
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Language: Learning Spanish and Swedish
Meghan was born in Boston and raised in a nearby small town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. For her entire adult life, she worked part time at the local coffee shop as a barista, getting to know virtually the entire community and becoming a beloved coworker. Throughout her many years of education, she came back to pick up shifts and stay in touch with her hometown. Her graduation from medical school was bittersweet, with the joy of seeing her success and the sadness that Ipswich would no longer see as much of her.
Meghan went to Tufts University where she double majored in biology and community health as an undergrad and earned an MS in biomedical sciences. After graduation she worked as a medical scribe for a primary care and infectious disease practice in Peabody, MA. She discovered her passion for primary care and loved working with a team that was connected to the community. She decided to officially purse medicine and became a quadruple Jumbo by enrolling in the dual degree MD/MPH program at Tufts University School of Medicine. During her rotations in medical school she was introduced to full spectrum family medicine and hasn’t looked back! Meghan is particularly interested in maternal and child health and health care systems. She was drawn to GLFHC for the community values, Spanish program, and unparalleled training opportunities.
Outside of medicine Meghan loves combining getting outside with traveling. She has yet to fulfil her dream of seeing a puffin in the wild (she came close in both Iceland and Alaska) but hopes to soon! When at home, you can find her spending quality time with her loved ones, tending to her ever growing plant collection, listening to audiobooks, and cuddling up with her inquisitive cat Haggis.
Kevin Reiners (he/him/his)
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Undergraduate: Tulane University
Medical School: LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine – New Orleans
Kevin was born in New Orleans and was raised in South Louisiana, where his Cajun family imparted in him a strong sense of culture and community, mostly through food. After graduating from Tulane University (Roll Wave!) with a degree in Neuroscience and History, he worked as a clinical research assistant, helping physicians in multiple medical specialties to care for their patients. Excited by the variety that the field of medicine had to offer and inspired by the many doctors he worked with, he began medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Acutely aware of the many unique challenges his community faced, Kevin was excited to work as a volunteer with the Student-Run Community Clinic, where he provided testing and counselling for HIV and hepatitis C in addition to health care and other vital resources for unhoused people. He also worked to address the systemic causes of his community’s health problems, partnering with the Tulane University Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic to advocate for reducing pollution and educate his neighbors on the health risks of pollution and how to get involved in reducing it. While sad to finally be flying away from his nest in New Orleans, he is overjoyed to be entering the vibrant community in Lawrence and working to its betterment while training at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. He relishes this opportunity to learn Spanish and at the same time grow into a doctor capable of providing all of his patients with the full scope of services that a family medicine physician can offer. In his free time, Kevin loves cooking (especially grilling), spending time with his cat, Frankie, as well as exploring his new environs in Massachusetts via hiking, bicycling, and –naturally– eating and drinking.
Tong Yan, MD, MPH, MS (he/him/él)
Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley – Anthropology
Graduate: Columbia University – MS Narrative Medicine, The George Washington University Milken School of Public Health – MPH
Medical School: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Born and raised in sunny southern California, Tong attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a degree in anthropology. He earned his master’s degree at Columbia University in Narrative Medicine.
Tong spent many summers growing up attending international mission trips in remote communities of Bolivia and Mexico which sparked a desire to address the global health disparities he saw. However, through volunteering as a caseworker at a free clinic in college and work as an EMT and medical assistant in both affluent and underserved communities, Tong saw how problems of poverty and lack of access to care was not limited to the international context but also was prevalent in the United States. Experiences like this fostered within him an interest in the social determinants of health, particularly in food security, nutrition, and housing and led him to pursue an MD/MPH at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. During medical school, Tong helped spearhead the Family Lifestyle Program, an initiative in partnership with the Children’s National Hospital to connect families with community resources related to food access, nutrition education, and physical activity to support them in their efforts to address obesity. As the president of the Family Medicine Interest Group, he was committed to advocating for and promoting family medicine at GW, one of the few US medical schools without a FM department.
Tong is thrilled to train at GLFHC because of the program’s commitment to the community it serves and dedication to forming strong clinician leaders with full-spectrum training. In his spare time, Tong can be found cooking and hosting dinners as an excuse to experiment with elaborate recipes, going hard at karaoke, doodling on the piano, being a plant dad, and binge-watching reality television. When birds were not drones, Tong’s favorite avian friend was the barn owl. However, now their night surveillance capabilities are rather terrifying to him. #birdsarentreal
Alex Zapata, MD (he/him/his)
Hometown: Plano, TX
Undergrad: University of North Texas, BA in Psychology
Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences School of Medicine
Languages: English, Spanish
Alex was born and raised in Plano, TX by parents who taught him the value of hard work, tenacity, and taking care of others. Love of family and community fostered as a child grew through working in family businesses, educational pursuits, and spirited volunteerism both locally and abroad. Working in health information management exposed him to healthcare and helped his mission of becoming a physician take flight. His second career teaching biomedical sciences to high school seniors served to further develop his passion for community engagement and all aspects of education. Medical school was an especially treasured time as he engaged as leader of multiple service and school organizations including the Genders & Sexualities Alliance, an addiction care & education organization, and the community’s Free Clinic. He was honored as his campus’ Outstanding Student in Family Medicine for joining medicine with humanitarianism, and brings this perspective into every patient visit. It is a dream come true for Alex to be part of the GLFHC team and to learn family medicine from this exemplar system in Lawrence. Outside healthcare he can be found exploring parks, making music, attending concerts, ducking into various types of games, and spending time with his wife and pets.