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Four Named to LMSA Regional Board

October 1, 2020

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

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