LMSA Executive Officers 2023-2024

Co-Directors

Ana Maria Viteri (She/Her/Ella)

Ana Maria Viteri is a medical student from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador and moved to the United States at the age of 9 years old. As a proud immigrant and daughter of immigrants, she has experienced her own personal hurdles, in both health care settings and in navigating higher education. These challenges have molded her into a strong leader and agent of change in medicine through LMSA. Ana Maria served as her local chapter’s Co-President which received the distinction of 2022 LMSA Midwest Chapter of the Year and 2022 LMSA National Service Award recipient. She has served a leading role on the LMSA Midwest board for over 2 years. Ana Maria is proud of the work done through LMSA, both regionally and nationally, and is thrilled to bolster Latinx/Hispanic excellence as LMSA Midwest Co-Director.

Jesús Bazán Villicaña (He/Him/El)

Jesús Bazán Villicaña is a 6th year MD-PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis. He is originally from Michoacán, Mexico and moved with his family to Indianapolis, Indiana when he was 6 years old. Jesús is a first-generation graduate of Indiana University, where he earned B.S. degrees in Microbiology and Neuroscience. As a current DACA recipient, Jesús has faced numerous obstacles in his journey to a career as a physician-scientist and understands first-hand many of the challenges immigrants face in the US. He is a strong advocate for peer mentorship and culturally competent care in Latino communities.  Jesús has served on the LMSA Midwest Board for 3 years as the Chief Financial Officer and is excited to continue serving the Midwest region as Co-Director this year.

Immediate Past Co-Directors

Larissa De Souza | Kimberly Flores

Chief Development Officer

Rojas Headshot 2023 (1)

Sam Rojas (She/Her/Ella)

Samantha is a third-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Samantha is the proud daughter of Bolivian and Ecuadorian immigrants, and she is a passionate advocate for culturally and linguistically competent care for the Latino community. As a first generation elementary, middle, high school, college, and graduate student on her dad’s side, and a first-generation college and graduate student on her mom’s side, Samantha is dedicated to mentoring and increasing underrepresented minorities in medicine as well as first-generation students in medicine. She whole-heartedly believes that the field of medicine is meant for all types of faces and walks of life. As a non-traditional medical student herself, she is also committed to increasing the support for older medical students who make the decision to go to medical school. “For many of us who come from underrepresented backgrounds, pursuing medical education right after college is not always possible. Whatever the circumstances may be, it is never too late to chase after your dreams. I believe in you!” As this year’s Chief Development Officer, she wants everyone to feel like they have a home here in the LMSA community. Samantha says, “coming from a collectivistic as opposed to an individualistic culture is one of our biggest strengths. So long as we always remember our innate sense of community we share with one another, we can achieve great heights. Together, we look ahead. Together, we work hard today. Together, we look back and help each other up.” She is excited for the year to come, ready to advocate for you, and she is ready to serve our wonderful Latino community!

Chief Information Officer

Cristhian Gutierrez Huerta (He/Him/El)

Cristhian is a third year MD/PhD student at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is from Tulare, California and graduated from the University of California, Merced in 2018 with degrees in Applied Mathematics and Biological Sciences. After graduating, he became a research fellow at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. There he was able to further his interest in cardiovascular, metabolic, immunologic, and health disparities research. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, he has joined Andreas Beyer’s lab within the department of Physiology. His thesis research is focused on investigating the role of mitochondrial fission in mediating endothelial cell dysfunction and the role of endothelial-mediated cardiovascular pathophysiology. He is also involved in various initiatives relating to underrepresented student retention in medical education, educating K-12 minority students on careers in STEM, mentoring students, increasing the diversity of the physician workforce, and addressing vaccine hesitancy in the Latinx community of Milwaukee.

Chief Financial Officer

Gerardo Ramirez (He/Him/El)

Gerardo is serving as Chief Financial Officer for the LMSA Midwest Regional Board this year. He previously served as Chapter President of LMSA at the University of Minnesota Medical School and will serve as Mentorship Chair this upcoming year. He was born and raised in East Los Angeles CA, a predominantly Latino immigrant community. Gerardo graduated from the University of California at Davis with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Chican@ studies and Education. In 2018 he received two graduate degrees from the University of San Francisco; a Master in Public Health & a Master of Science in Behavioral Health. In the years prior to starting medical school, Gerardo was involved in various activities that promoted the health of various marginalized communities in CA. He actively works to increase the number of Latinx students applying to medical school. He is committed to providing care to the Latino community and actively work to break down social barriers to accessing care. Outside of medical school, Gerardo spends most of his time with his 8-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

Immediate Past Chiefs

Chief Development Officer - Aldana Garcia

Chief Information Officer - Ana Maria Viteri

Chief Financial Officer - Jesús Bazán Villicaña

Mentorship

Ashley Caron (She/Her/Ella)

Ashley is a third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Like many LMSA Midwest members, Ashley is a West coast transplant to the Midwest. As the first in her family to attend medical school, she credits her acceptance at MSU CHM to her many mentors and the strong pipeline in Los Angeles that provided the opportunities for her to succeed. She is passionate about growing the mentorship infrastructure in the Midwestern region to increase local Latino presence in medicine, ultimately increasing the number of Latino physicians and improving the care of our communities across the country.

Juliana Feng (She/Her/Ella)

Juliana, who also goes by Siyuan, is a third-year MD/PhD student at Feinberg School of Medicine. She was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Chinese immigrants, and identifies as both Puerto Rican and AAPI. Her PhD is in biomedical engineering, and centers on delivering point-of-care diagnostic technologies that are accessible to disadvantaged communities.

Fundraising/Scholarship

Alejandro de la Cova (He/Him/El)

Alejandro is a native of Miami, Florida, and has lived there until moving out Midwest to attend The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Hailing from South Florida, Alejandro has always been surrounded by communities rich in culture, language, food, and dance. He has always been an advocate for patients with limited English proficiency and offers to provide mentorship and advice to all. At The Ohio State University College of Medicine, he served as Vice President of LMSA and sought to increase Latinx representation in medicine while creating a space for Latinx medical students on campus. As fundraising chair, Alejandro plans to craft creative, unique ways to both unite LMSA chapters and fundraise for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Community Affairs

Laura Carrillo (She/Her/Ella)

Laura Carrillo is a medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (MCW). She grew up in several states across the U.S., and calls the San Francisco Bay Area home. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in Molecular and Cell Biology and Cognitive Science, and a double minor in Chicano Studies and Linguistics. After graduating, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at the University of California, San Francisco. Since her time at MCW, she served as the Community Outreach co-chair for the MCW Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), and played a lead role in her chapter’s distinction as the 2022 LMSA Midwest Chapter of the Year and 2022 LMSA National Service Award recipient. With her co-chair, she led and organized over fifteen community events for middle and high school students, medical students, and Milwaukee residents, most notably events aimed to inspire Latino middle and high school student interest in the STEM fields, and events to engage the local Latino community, address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and provide them with educational resources. She also served as the Diversity Chair for the MCW Student National Medical Association (SNMA), where she coordinated the MCW Student Inclusion Forums to provide prospective medical students from underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to learn about MCW and connect with medical students from underrepresented backgrounds. As a mother and aspiring pediatrician, she hopes to continue actively serving in the community to understand and address health disparities in underserved communities and inspire youth interest in the STEM fields to increase the diversity of future physicians and scientists. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and son, swimming, and hiking.

Webmaster

Patricio Ruano (He/Him/El)

Patricio Ruano is a third-year medical student at Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM). He is a first-generation college student born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles, CA to proud Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrant parents. He graduated from California State University – Channel Islands in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Chemistry minor. He served as the Co-President for MSU CHM’s Grand Rapids LMSA Chapter where he and his chapter rebuilt and strengthened connections between his medical school, LMSA chapter, and West Michigan Latinx community. He believes that the greatest impact is made when the community one serves is directly involved in building the programming they receive, and he empowers all underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students to leverage the diversity and excellence they bring their institutions in order to receive the just support needed to serve URiM communities. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing Star Wars and other sci-fi video games, spending time with his cat and dog, going on runs, and reading gay YA novels (Aristotle and Dante is his fav).

Wellness & Community Building

Jocelyn Gaona (She/Her/Ella)

Jocelyn Gaona is an M3 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She is a first-generation college graduate born and raised in Duarte, California to Mexican immigrants. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a major in Neuroscience and Behavior and a minor in Latinx Studies. Her interest in medicine began during her childhood when she consistently witnessed the language and cultural barriers that her parents and grandparents experienced during routine and not-so-routine doctors’ appointments. As a future primary care physician, Jocelyn hopes to mentor other first generation and minority students to pursue careers in medicine and work towards creating safe and welcoming healthcare environments for all populations. In her free time, Jocelyn enjoys listening to crime podcasts, cooking, Zumba, and hot yoga!

LMSA Midwest Regional Conference Coordinators

Abizairie Sánchez-Feliciano (She/Her/Ella)

Abizairie Sánchez-Feliciano is a second-year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Abi is a first generation college student, and came to the States for the first time to pursue her medical education. She is passionate about health equity, transparency and affordability in medical care, integrative medicine and patient empowerment. Outside of medicine, she enjoys photography, cooking, exercising, traveling and sports.

¡Mil gracias!

Eduardo Williams (He/Him/El)

Eduardo Williams is a medical student at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Eduardo relocated to Ohio when he was sixteen to complete his high school studies and pursue a career in medicine. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism from Case Western Reserve University. Eduardo is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to helping increase the number of underrepresented students in medicine. He enjoys providing mentorship to high school and college students interested in medicine and pass on the knowledge that once was given to him by his own mentors. Eduardo is interested in reconstructive surgery and research related to health disparities in vulnerable populations, hoping to become an academic leader conducting research in the Puerto Rican community who live in Puerto Rico. Outside of academics, Eduardo highly enjoys spending time with his friends and family. When the weather is just right, you will find him paddle boarding at the lake or riding his longboard. He also loves dogs!

Public Relations

Isabel Reedy (She/Her/Ella)

Isabel Reedy is a 3rd year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She grew up in Naperville, IL and graduated from Syracuse University where she majored in Health & Exercise Science and minored in Biology. In college, Isabel studied abroad in both Kathmandu, Nepal and Dublin, Ireland. During her gap year, Isabel worked as an Orthopaedic Surgery Research Assistant, fueling her interest in surgical specialties. She is passionate about increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine, educating K-12 underrepresented students about careers in STEM, and reducing health disparities within the Latinx community. In her free time, Isabel enjoys running, traveling, cooking/baking, and exploring new restaurants with friends and family.

Marissa Solorzano (She/Her/Ella)

Marissa A. Solorzano is a first-generation college student who was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. One of her first core studying memories is quizzing her father on the 100 potential citizenship questions on the way home from elementary school. She graduated from Hope College in 2019 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Spanish minor. While in college, she studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for four months where she shadowed weekly in their universal healthcare system. After graduating, she worked for two years as a Research Coordinator at the UM Rogel Cancer Center.

Faculty Advisor

Emma B. Olivera, MD

Emma B Olivera, MD is a proud native of the city of Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with two Bachelor degrees: Science (Biological Sciences) and Arts (Latin American and Latino Studies). She completed her medical school education at UIC College of Medicine – Rockford campus.

She has focused much of her activities on helping the medically underserved community by taking on various leadership roles.

Professionally, Dr Olivera graduated from pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan (affiliated Wayne State University) in Detroit, Michigan. She is currently working as a general pediatrician in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. It is here where she aspires to advocate for children and continue to mentor the next generation of leaders in medicine as Assistant Clinical Professor for her alma mater (UIC-COM).

Learn more about Dr. Olivera at https://ebolivera.com/

“When you are organizing a group of people, the first thing that we do is we talk about the history of what other people have been able to accomplish – people that look like them, workers like them, ordinary people, working people – and we give them the list: these are people like yourself; this is what they were able to do in their community.”

Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder, United Farmworker's Association

Check out the Midwest LMSA Executive Board Organization Document for more information on the Board’s organization and the job descriptions of each board member.

Immediate Past Serving E-Board

Academic and Policy Affairs | Christian Gutierrez Huerta & Melanie Valentin
Mentorship | Jaquelin Solis & Enrique Cazares-Navarro
Public Relations | Devin Barzallo & Bianca Ituarte
Fundraising and Scholarship | Raquel Valdes
Community Affairs | Natalie Vela
Wellness and Community Building | Mayra Shafique
Webmaster | Sydney Lopez
Conference Coordinator | Jocelyn Gaona

LMSA Midwest Regional Conference February 16-18, 2024! Click here to register now!