Department of Family and Social Medicine

Class of 2013

Himabindu Ekanadham, M.D.
Georgetown University, School of Medicine

Hima received her M.D. degree from Georgetown and completed her undergraduate studies there. She received the Cura Personalis Award as the student who best embodied the value of the care of the whole person. She completed an independent research study that looked at the difference in audiovisual speech perception between monolingual English speakers and bilingual English and Chinese speakers for which she was awarded the Sigma Xi Research Award. Her work resulted in two presentations one at the American Psychological Society National Convention and another in the Department of Neurology at Georgetown. Hima taught 2nd year medical students as part of the Big Sib Lecture Program. She was voted one the best 10 note-takers by her peers. She was the co-captain for her classes’ team in the Relay for Health run that helped raise $10,000.00 for the American Cancer Society. Hima helped raise funds to open the Hoya free student - run clinic at Georgetown and volunteered there. She was an active member of the Mind Body Medicine Program. She placed 5th and then 1st in the Iron Med Triathlon which raises funds for the Hoya clinic. Hima is a musician and her original album “Bare Bones” was released in 2009 on iTunes and Amazon. She is an artist who paints acrylic murals and hangings and she helped re-paint the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. She volunteered at the Community of Hope annual event as well as with the Reach Out and Read Program and Georgetown Kids Mobile Clinic. Hima speaks Spanish and Telegu, a South Indian dialect.


Ullanda Fyffe, M.D.
University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School

Ullanda received her M.D. degree from UMDNJ in Newark and completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University. Through Early Start Mentoring Program she mentored and tutored 2nd grade students at an inner city school. She volunteered at The Student Family Health Care Center, a free clinic for uninsured patients. Ullanda co-coordinated the Women in Science and Engineering mentoring program serving over 300 women. At Brown, she completed research in the Gerontology Department on elderly patients’ health determinants and hospice referrals at the end of life. Ullanda also volunteered to teach elementary school kids as part of the Community Health Advocacy Program in Providence. She enjoys baking, tennis, reading and movies.


Rafael Garabis, M.D.
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Rafael received his M.D. degree from Georgetown and completed his undergraduate studies at John Carroll University. As a volunteer for DC Central Kitchen he prepared nutritious, locally grown food for homeless people in DC. He volunteered at Georgetown’s Hoya free clinic serving uninsured patients. He volunteered in the ED at the only Pediatric Hospital in Buenos Aries. Rafael worked as a volunteer builder for Habitat for Humanity. He was the Cancer Buddy for a 16 year old boy with testicular cancer and provided support and comfort to him as he underwent treatment. Rafael was named an ESPN Magazine Baseball Academic All American in 2005. His original poetry was published in the John Carroll University Spring Review. He is developing his Spanish skills and is a runner, artist, guitar player and vinyl collector.


Ernesto Guevara, M.D.
St. George's University

Ernesto received his M.D. and MPH degrees from St. George’s University and completed his undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University. In partnership with a non-profit organization, he led efforts to establish a rural health clinic in the Bapagrama Educational Center in South India. He worked as a Public Health Educator and Promoter for the Ministry of Environmental Health in Grenada. Ernesto was a rural health worker for the Caribbean American Medical Organization and provided care and preventive services to underserved patients in Jamaica. As a Behavioral Specialist and counselor, he conducted intake interviews of adolescents and their parents at Henderson Mental Health Center in Florida. He speaks Spanish and enjoys gardening, cinema, music and sports. 


Conair Guilliames, M.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Conair received her M.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, obtained a Masters in Biology from Drexel University and completed her undergraduate studies at George Washington University. She received a Senior Research Fellowship Award for her research with Dr. McKee in the DFSM studying a sustainable intervention that combines PDA-supported counseling with risk behavior change support delivered via cell phone text messaging for adolescents. She received a Global Health Fellowship Award to travel to Uganda to provide clinical care and community outreach. She helped develop a case studies manual for Ugandan village health workers. She worked as a volunteer and session coordinator for the Einstein Community Health Outreach free clinic.

As a research assistant at Jacobi Hospital, she helped create a culturally-sensitive video intervention to promote knowledge of and testing for syphilis among ED patients. The abstract of this work was published in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine: Annual Meeting Abstracts in 2007. She assisted with a study of the socio-demographic factors associated with STD testing among high-risk black and Hispanic males who have sex with men. This work has been submitted for publication in the Journal of Community Health. It was also presented at the SNMA Conference in Atlanta and won the Dr. William C. Jordan Research Forum Award. Conair served on the organizing committee for the Einstein Community Health Fair. As a health educator for the People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia, she designed and implemented culturally sensitive health promotion workshops for homeless women and children. She served within the Student National Medical Association as the George Washington University pre-medical chapter president, the Albert Einstein chapter president and the Regional Parliamentarian. In all of her work with SNMA she promoted health, healthcare and minority issues. Conair grew up in the Bronx. She is developing her Spanish skills and enjoys reading, public speaking and mentoring.


Bhavik Kumar, M.D.
Texas Tech University School of Medicine

Bhavik received his M.D. degree from Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Lubbock and completed his undergraduate studies at Southwestern University in Texas. He was a volunteer at Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn and he also volunteered at a free community health fair in a rural area outside of El Paso. As the site coordinator for the Christian Medical and Dental Association, he organized a rural community health fair to provide free screening, counseling and OTC meds. Bhavik completed a research project entitled, “Knowledge and Attitudes toward Prostate Health and Screening among Men in El Paso”. He also completed a research project entitled, “Knowledge, Attitudes and Use of EC among Women in El Paso.” As the vice president of the Texas Tech chapter of AMSA, he served as the Gender and Sexuality Committee Coordinator and organized a workshop on manual vacuum aspiration. Bhavik was the vice president for the Texas Tech chapter of Medical Students for Choice and helped coordinate a Leadership Training Program and workshop for students working in hostile environments. He mentored students at University of Texas at El Paso who were interested in careers in medicine. He was a member of the Texas Tech Talent Show committee; the show raises money for local charities. He presented a poster and oral presentations at several AMSA conferences on medical student run sex education programs entitled, Doing it Texas Style: Starting a Sex Ed Program in Your Community and Sex Education in the Bible Belt. Bhavik speaks Gujrati and Spanish and enjoys running, shopping, music and films.


Alisha Liggett, M.D.
University o f Maryland School of Medicine

Alisha received her M.D. degree from The University of Maryland and completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University. She organized an Obesity Booth at the Community Care Initiative Health Fair. Through a grant from the Maryland Academy of family Physicians, she developed an HPV risk assessment tool. She volunteered at the Madamfo Pa non-profit organization and orphanage in Ghana which is dedicated to mitigating the health deficiencies among at-risk youth in Medina, Ghana. Alisha participated in research for the HEART 2 study to investigate the role of HIV, anti-retroviral therapy and cocaine use in the development of silent coronary artery disease. She was a fundraiser and researcher for Doctors for United Medical Missions, a non-profit group committed to improving healthcare in developing countries through medical missions. She volunteered at the Baltimore Rescue Mission, an in-house health clinic for residents of a homeless shelter. She also volunteered for the SNMA Community Fest. As a tutor with the SEEK program, Alisha provided academic support to disadvantaged college students. She worked as a research assistant on the Malcolm X Project at the Institute for Research in African American Studies in New York. She was awarded an Egyptian Consulate Junior Scientist Development Grant in 2010. She has a working knowledge of Spanish and enjoys Latin dancing, gardening and writing short stories and poetry.


Roona Ray, M.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Roona received her M.D. degree from UMass Worcester and her MPH from Johns Hopkins. She completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard. Roona’s MPH project was a critique of the mathematical model of anti-retroviral rationing in South Africa. She was selected to peer review conference submissions for the HIV/AIDs section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference. Her poster “Participatory Action Research as Feminist Methodology: A Case Study of Immigrant Latina Janitors’ Health” was presented at an APHA annual meeting and was awarded Best Student Presentation in the “Spirit of 1848” Caucus. She led the UMass chapter of Physicians for Human Rights and co-authored a grant to support its activities. Roona also organized AIDs Week and co-led community support for a Public Health Commission initiative to provide safe needle  exchange. She volunteered at St. Anne’s free clinic serving uninsured patients and she volunteered for the UMass Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Organization. Roona served on the Board of Directors of a US and Liberian non-profit that provides primary care to rural people in Zwedru. As co-leader of the UMass chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, she organized an initiative to ensure that UMass researcher’s discoveries are affordable and available in developing countries. She taught GED prep and creative writing to prisoners at Rikers. As an intern at Human Rights Watch, Roona researched and wrote memos on HIV and TB in prisons in various countries. She worked as a volunteer and then clinical rotator with the Sonagachi Sex Workers Project in India. Roona speaks Bengali and Spanish and enjoys biking, song writing and quilting.


Manisha Sharma, M.D.
St. George's University

Manisha received her M.D. degree from St. George’s University and completed her undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music. She served as the media relations director and then the interim director in 2009 for the NY Local Action Network of the National Physician’s Alliance, a grassroots physician’s organization advocating healthcare for all. In that role, she helped strategize about health care reform with the Progressive Caucus and President Obama’s staffers in Washington. She was also selected to speak about healthcare reform at a Democratic National Convention event in DC and shared the stage with President Obama. Manisha has been an invited speaker several times at DFSM in the Health Activism Course, a Grand Rounds on Physician Advocacy and Healthcare Reform and a DOHMH – BronxCREED sponsored panel on Insuring the Uninsured. She has a long record of volunteerism work in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Grenada. She was selected to participate in the AMSA Action on Health Disparities Symposium. She was awarded the Hurricane Ivan Volunteer Scholarship in recognition of her humanitarian spirit and contributions to the relief efforts in Grenada. She was an active member of Care for All, a student-run volunteer group dedicated to service and fundraising for nursing homes and orphanages. Manisha is active in SriSeva a foundation in India to provide mobile clinic services to poor rural communities. She speaks Hindi and Spanish and is an accomplished musician, dancer, political activist and cook.


Michelle St. Fleur, M.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Michelle received her M.D. degree from UMass in Worcester and completed her undergraduate studies at UMass in Amherst. As a Commonwealth Honors Scholar she focused her undergraduate thesis on a study of “Health Disparities among African American and Hispanic Women”. She served as the Director for The Center for Healthy Kids, a student-run after-school program for children in the Great Brook Valley housing project in Worcester. Michelle was the President of the UMass chapter of the SNMA for two years and promoted community service activities. She co-founded a course with two other medical students called The Bigger Picture: Health Issues Facing Worcester. This optional enrichment course exposed medical and nursing students at UMass to the health needs of the community they serve with particular attention to underserved communities. She spent a month volunteering at a hospital in Cameroon and she took four medical missions to the Dominican Republic. Michelle was awarded an Albert Schweitzer fellowship for her dedication to meeting the unmet health needs of her community. She also received the UniverCity Community Service award for her impressive record of service. She was awarded the UMass Incentive Scholarship and was selected for the Pathway on Serving Multicultural and Underserved Populations Program at UMass. She speaks Haitian Creole and enjoys running and dancing

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