Matriculating Class of 2019

Matriculating Class of 2019 Group Picture


Bear Aragon

Bear AragonBear was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. After graduating with a major in biochemistry/molecular biology from Lewis & Clark College, she worked as a clinical scribe in Denver where she witnessed the health disparities that exist among marginalized populations in her community. She joined Community and Students Together Against Healthcare Racism to better understand the structures that perpetuate health inequality and how to enact change from within the system. She worked with local underserved community members, students and faculty of the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine to create interventions that future physicians and patients could incorporate into their medical care. She is grateful to have the opportunity to continue learning about the more difficult aspects of medicine with PRIME-US and the Bay Area community.  In her free time, Bear enjoys exploring the outdoors with her friends, doing ceramics, water coloring and finding new places to eat.


Marycon Jiro

Marycon JiroMarycon was born in Iloilo, Philippines and raised in Union City, California. In 2018, she received her Integrative Biology bachelor’s degree and Global Poverty and Practice minor at UC Berkeley. Here, she designed a research study looking at the potential of gamified virtual technology in addressing physical education budget cuts within low- income Bay Area school districts as a Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Fellow and advocated for health and educational equity within the Filipinx community. Marycon also worked at Kaiser Permanente (KP) for five years, mentoring disadvantaged youth interested in healthcare at the KPLAUNCH program, analyzing patient satisfaction data for providers, and, most recently, handling research projects concerning ethical issues within the 21 KP Northern California hospitals alongside ethicists. Her immigration experience, family and culture drive her to continue “lifting as she climbs” and prioritize serving her first generation, minority and underserved communities in the JMP and PRIME-US.



Jahnavi Curlin

Jahnavi CurlinJahnavi Curlin was born in Boston and raised in Southern California. Jahnavi then returned to Boston to attend Harvard College, graduating with a concentration in Neurobiology and a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy. During college, Jahnavi was involved in organizations centered on mentorship, health education, and community development, delving  into the social determinants of health outcomes. Jahnavi also conducted community-based participatory research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and further completed an internship with the Global TB Program at the World Health Organization. Post-graduation, Jahnavi has held positions in healthcare consulting as well as clinical research. In her free time, Jahnavi enjoys hiking, travelling, and learning languages. Jahnavi is honored to join the PRIME-US community at UCSF!



Cameron Hicks

Cameron Hicks Cameron grew up in Los Angeles and attended Brown University, where he studied Health and Human Biology with a focus in the social contexts of health and disease. In college, Cameron worked with Rhode Island Child Services and Rhode Island Hospital to expand the accessibility of mental and behavioral health services for the state’s incarcerated and fostered youth. This experience was the initial spark that pushed Cameron to merge his passions for medicine and social justice. This conviction deepened as he continued to work with disadvantaged patient populations in clinics in both the Bronx and New Orleans. After college, Cameron worked as a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was involved in studies assessing patient outcomes following CABG surgery. Most recently, he worked as a researcher at UCLA assisting with various lymphoma clinical trials. Cameron is incredibly excited to join the PRIME-US family and to collaborate with others committed to health equity and serving our most vulnerable communities.


Camila Hurtado

Camila HurtadoCamila was born in San Diego, California to a Mexican-American family. Learning about her family history fostered a sense of pride and passion for working with immigrant populations. During her undergraduate education at UC Berkeley, she volunteered at a public health clinic and was exposed to the many health inequities impacting urban, low-income patients. She graduated with a degree in Molecular & Cell Biology and subsequently entered a global health master’s program at UCSF. The program gave her a foundation in population health and insight into the challenges of delivering quality healthcare. After graduating, she returned to San Diego and worked in the Quality Improvement department at a community health center serving urban, low-income patients. She now looks forward to working with underserved populations alongside her PRIME-US classmates. Camila also enjoys dancing Flamenco and Salsa, and hopes to share those experiences with her PRIME-US community.


Ivan Iniguez

Ivan IniguezIvan grew up in South Gate, California, a Latin-American immigrant community south of Los Angeles. Growing up witnessing health disparities firsthand in the Latinx community, Ivan was motivated to devote his career to delivering competent healthcare to the most vulnerable populations. He studied Biological Sciences at UC Irvine, earning a bachelor's degree in 2018. While at UC Irvine he became involved in the student-run Free Clinic Project at UCI, serving as a patient health educator and Spanish translator. After graduating from UC Irvine, Ivan returned to the Los Angeles area and joined the AmeriCorps Health Fellows program, where he mitigated the effects of the social determinants of health in his community by serving as a Patient Care Navigator at the South Central Family Health Center. In his free time Ivan enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring new neighborhoods. Ivan is thrilled to study medicine at UCSF and personify the PRIME-US mission!



Benjamin Jones

Benjamin JonesHaving grown up queer in Raleigh, North Carolina, Benjamin has long been interested in the social,historical, and economic roots of inequity. He began to explore these issues in depth as a first year at USC, where he was struck by the hyper-visible inequalities exemplified by LA’s dual identity as the home of Hollywood glamour and the epicenter of a national homelessness crisis. Benjamin then transferred to UNC Chapel Hill, where he majored in Global Studies. Since graduating in 2017, Benjamin has worked at UCLA, most recently as a field researcher in HIV prevention and treatment with LGBTQ adolescents, many of whom experience a wide range of intersecting barriers to health and wellness including homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health issues. In his free time, you can find Benjamin camping in California’s mountains and deserts, cheering on his favorite drag performers, or eating a hefty double scoop of ice cream.



Aminta Kouyate

Aminta KouyateAminta is originally from Oakland, California. She completed her bachelor's degree at the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in psychology. Throughout all of her premedical and professional experiences she has worked to create health equity for marginalized populations. At the Alameda County Public Health Department, she worked to ensure that long term care facilities were prepared to care for their patients in emergency situations. At Kaiser, she worked on the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Study investigating the causes and risk factors of Autism. At the San Francisco Department of Public Health, she worked to create pathways for students from underserved communities to get involved in public health policy,implementation, and research. Additionally, she worked in the Substance Use Research as a medical chart abstractor and was trained to administer and distribute Naloxone in response to the ongoing opiate crisis in San Francisco. Aminta is a passionate advocate for her hometown and it is Aminta’s goal to continue to serve the local communities by attending UCSF and learning from leaders in health equity and social justice to become a physician able to address the complex health disparities in the Bay Area.


Kyle Lakatos

Kyle LakatosKyle is an aspiring physician and politician with ambitions to create a culture of health, emphasizing an expansion of care systems to be more community-centric. In partnership with Zuckerberg San Francisco General, he is currently working to bridge the gap between local San Francisco communities and clinicians through the formation of collaborations between neighborhood hubs and the hospital. His community-driven attitudes were fostered through a combination of his upbringing in the Bay Area and his undergraduate experience at UC Santa Cruz. His systems-level thinking, and analytical skills were further developed at The California Institute of Technology, where he earned a masters in Biophysics. Prior to medicine, he held a dual-role as a professor of chemistry and as a vaccine researcher for the global-health,non-profit PATH. In any remaining free time, Kyle enjoys exploring the outdoors, reading a good book, or baking bread and other belly-inflating treats.



Prabhjot Minhas

Prabhjot MinhasBorn in Canada, Prabhjot lived all over the United States before moving to South Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 2019 with degrees in genetics and anthropology and a minor in disaster management. As the daughter of Punjabi- Sikh immigrants, Prabhjot witnessed some of the challenges immigrants face when navigating healthcare and has always been interested by intersections of health and culture. In college, she worked closely with refugees, homeless persons, and farmworkers in community and healthcare settings, learning about social determinants of health, vulnerable populations, and health disparities. She also conducted research on placental malaria and refugee health. Prabhjot’s experiences fuel her commitment to health equity and culturally responsive, compassionate care. Inher free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the outdoors, and taking care of plants. She is thrilled to join the PRIME-US family and check out the West Coast!



Fatuma-Ayaan Rinderknecht

Fatuma-Ayaan RinderknechtOriginally from Davis, California, Fatuma graduated from Harvard College with honors in May 2017. She concentrated in Human Evolutionary Biology, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She spent much of her time at Harvard exploring the wide range of problem contexts related to healthcare. She has spent several summers doing research in chronic disease solutions, and spent much of her Harvard career at the Harvard School of Public Health studying hypertension and atherosclerosis. Her senior year of college, she founded the blog, Healing Points, which is dedicated to addressing topics in the intersection of public health and social justice. Moreover, she has worked to alleviate health inequities, by educating and engaging at-risk populations through her work as a Health Education teacher and a volunteer at a family clinic. After graduating she moved to San Francisco, where she works as a clinical research coordinator at the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at UC-San Francisco. Fatuma continues to dedicate her time to alleviating health inequalities, and volunteers as a resource specialist at San Francisco's free clinic, Clinic by the Bay. In her free time, she likes cooking, baking and exploring new places in San Francisco. She looks forward to joining the PRIME-US UCSF-JMP cohort and dedicating her research towards health disparities in urban underserved populations.


Samantha Sechrist

Samantha SechristGrowing up in a low-socioeconomic, under-resourced community in the Central Valley, Samantha developed a passion for equity in education and healthcare. Thus, upon graduating from UCLA Samantha served in AmeriCorps with the education non-profit, City Year, which gave her a deeper understanding of the complex social and environmental factors that influenced students’ health and subsequent abilities to thrive in school; this experience coupled with Samantha's upbringing in a medically underserved community, motivated her to be a physician and advocate for the underserved. After AmeriCorps, Samantha worked at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where she studied long-term outcomes and quality of life following traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries as well as coordinated a telemedicine program for patients with limited access to medical services. In 2018, Samantha completed UCSF’s Post Baccalaureate Program and most recently worked for the Harvard Graduate School of Education on the Expanding Children’s Early Learning research project with Boston Public Schools.


Joey Shemuel

Joey ShemuelA lifelong Bay Area resident, Joey joins PRIME-US with a background in harm reduction and HIV services, most recently as Peer Advocate and PrEP Coordinator at the UCSF 360 clinic. He has previously worked on expanding access to rapid HIV testing and treatment at Berkeley High School, his alma mater, where he served as a reproductive and sexual health counselor and co-facilitated a peer health education program. Joey has volunteered with Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution (NEED), a syringe access and overdose prevention collective, since 2011, and is committed to centering people who use drugs and other marginalized communities in his practice and research. Joey holds a BA in philosophy from Columbia University and enjoys bringing a critical lens to the study of health equity. When he’s not behind a book, Joey can be found riding his mountain bike, sewing, and spending time with his partner, Finn.



Leah Fraimow-Wong

Leah FraimowLeah grew up in the Bay Area with roots in the LGBTQ+ and Chinese American communities. Before pursuing medical school, she worked for several years as a clinic manager at Street Level Health Project, helping coordinate advocacy, medical services and crisis support for undocumented patients, and other marginalized immigrant communities navigating the public healthcare system in Alameda County. She has also served as a fellow with the City of San Francisco, and supported research on intimate partner violence and housing at the Levitt Center for Social Emergency Medicine at Highland Hospital. Leah graduated from Brown University in 2011, majoring in Economics and Public Policy. She is passionate about truly equitable access to high quality care, with particular interests in mental health, health policy, immigrant rights, integrative medicine, and LGBTQ+ issues. Leah is thrilled to join
the PRIME-US family.



Ali Zahir

Ali ZahirAli was born and raised in San Francisco, California. As a son of low-income immigrants from Pakistan, he has witnessed how social, cultural, and structural factors can influence the trajectory of health outcomes. He is a graduate of City College of San Francisco (Transfers!) and UC Berkeley, where he graduated with a degree in Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. As an undergraduate, he co-founded an organization dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students pursuing degrees and careers in science and volunteered as a community health worker at the Berkeley Free Clinic. His time at the clinic informed him of the importance of contextualized healthcare and was formative for his desire to address health disparities in urban populations. After graduation, he worked at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he conducted research on decision-making in people with dementia. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, reading, attending concerts, training in martial arts, and spending time with friends and family.