Three PCOM Georgia students and one alumni recently were elected to the Southeast Regional Latino Medical
Student Association Executive Board for 2020-2021. They include Jeisson Garcia (MS/Biomed
’21) chief of development officer; Charles Ahweyevu (MS/Biomed ’21), financial officer;
Danielle Myara, MS/Biomed ’20, mentorship and scholarship chair; and Mariam Ahmed
(DO ’23), policy chair.
The regional LMSA is composed of ten Southeastern states including Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia,
West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
In his position as the chief of development, Garcia explained that his primary responsibility
is to recruit and support all of the LMSA chapters across the region. “My goal is
to empower as many aspiring healthcare professionals as possible and provide them
with the tools needed to be successful leaders in their community,” he said. He invited
those interested in starting an LMSA chapter at a university located in the Southeast
to email him.
“I'll be here to support you along the way and provide you with all of the information
that you will need. One voice is a start but together we can move mountains,” he said.
Mentorship program and scholarship opportunities
Myara explained that the LMSA Southeast mentorship program provides students with
the support they need to achieve their goals. Traditionally offered to medical students
and residents, she said she is expanding the program to graduate and undergraduate
students with a long-term goal of reaching high school students.
“Serving as the mentorship and scholarship chair allows me to make an impact on a
greater level,” she said. This position enables me to seek out and bring opportunities
to the future of medicine while supporting much needed diversity.”
This year, under Myara’s leadership, the organization will offer four scholarship
opportunities to LMSA members with 11 winners named. To become a member, applicants
need only desire to make a positive impact on Latino and underserved communities and
may register to join.
Helping to alleviate discrepancies in health care
Prior to medical school, Ahmed served as a medical Spanish interpreter. She said,
“I was able to witness the discrepancies in health care with marginalized groups of
people, particularly with the Latinx community. Being able to provide quality health
care to these individuals in a way that was as simple as speaking their language and
understanding their culture is a small action that can make a huge impact.”
She said she joined the LMSA Southeast E-Board as the policy chair so she can be a
part of a committee that “converts these ideas into solid actions to help alleviate
discrepancies in health care and advocate for the Latinx community.”
PCOM Georgia LMSA Chapter
According to Ahweyevu, the PCOM Georgia chapter of LMSA focuses on advocating for
Latino health, as well as helping Hispanic students succeed in medical school. Under the leadership of Maria Lopez (DO ’23), chapter president, the club is celebrating
National Hispanic Heritage Month, which occurs each year from September 15 to October
15, by hosting a wide variety of events. On October 6, a physician will speak virtually
with PCOM Georgia students about the importance of physician-patient connections within
the Latino population. The club also hosts trivia game nights that educate participants
about the Hispanic culture. An Instagram account is committed to highlighting a prominent
Hispanic figure from 20 Hispanic countries. Valerie E. Cadet, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology in the Department of Biomedical
Sciences, is the chapter advisor.
According to the Southeast Regional LMSA website, the mission of LMSA is to “unite
and empower medical students through service, mentorship and education to advocate
for the health of the Latino community.” The Southeastern leadership team works to
support Latino rights with the goal of protecting student rights. In addition, the
organization aims to “unite Latino medical students and provide them with the resources,
financial support, and leadership opportunities that will ensure a successful career.”
The organization also strives to educate the Latino community, promote community service
and volunteerism, and minimize health disparities
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant
studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational
excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus
is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine
clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: