LMSA Executive Officers 2022-2023
Kimberly Flores (She/Her/Ella)
M4 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Kim is a fourth-year medical student applying into emergency medicine this year. She is excited to serve as a co-director to the midwest.
Larissa De Souza (She/Her/Hers)
M3 at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Larissa is third-year medical student passionate about reducing health disparities, empowering students who are underrepresented-in-medicine, and working hard to deliver the best possible care to her patients. She serves on LMSA Midwest because as the first person in her family to graduate high-school, she understands the barriers minority and first-generation students face when pursuing a career in medicine and dreams about improving a system that was not built for them. She also dreams of serving underserved patients, and has already started by leading several volunteer and vaccination clinics in Cleveland, Ohio, where she attends medical school. During her free time, she enjoys all things food-related, planning group activities with her friends, and taking a quiet walk around her neighborhood.
I understand the barriers minority and first-generation students face when pursuing a career in medicine and dream about improving a system that was not built for them.
Larissa De Souza, Co-Director
Chief Development Officer
Aldana Garcia (She/Her/Hers)
MS2 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Aldana Garcia is a second-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM) who has a commitment to increasing the diversity in medicine, mentoring underrepresented students in medicine (URiM), and using her bilingual and bicultural upbringing to provide culturally and linguistically competent healthcare to Latino communities. Ms. Garcia was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina and immigrated to Santa Ana, California with her family when she was 9 years old. In 2016. Aldana became the first one in her family to graduate from college and earned her BS in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ms. Garcia is the current Chief Developmental Officer for the Latino Medical Student Association Midwest Regional executive board, where she advocates and provides mentorship for Latino medical students and works alongside her colleagues to improve the healthcare for Latino communities. At MSU CHM, Aldana founded a medical Spanish elective to help increase the number of bilingual physicians to better meet the healthcare needs of our increasingly diverse communities. In addition to her leadership roles, Ms. Garcia is conducting medical education research on how epistemic resources are being used to uplift diverse medical students in medical school. Ms. Garcia is a mentor for URinM through Pre-Health Dreamers, MiMentor, and the UCLA Latino Alumni Association. Aldana plans to continue her role as a lifelong learner and continue seeking opportunities to uplift students of color and improve healthcare outcomes for the Latino communities.
Chief Information Officer
Ana Maria Viteri (She/Her/Hers)
M3 at Medical College of Wisconsin
Ana Maria Viteri was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador for the first nine years of her life. As a proud immigrant and daughter of immigrants, she is passionate about increasing access to healthcare and providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care. She loves mentoring pre-medicine students from underrepresented backgrounds, as she is committed to diversifying the face of medicine. She looks forward to empowering our next generation of Latinx physician leaders and nurturing a sense of community amongst our LMSA familia.
Chief Financial Officer
Jesús Bazan Villicana (He/Him/His)
GR2 at the Washington University School of Medicine
Jesús is excited to be serving as the Chief Financial Officer for the Midwest board this year. He grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and got his bachelors from Indiana University. He is currently in his PhD phase of training, in the microbial pathogenesis program. He has served on the Midwest executive board for the past two years as CFO. He look forward to being able to continue my involvement in LMSA at the regional level and hopes to be able to aid in the LMSA mission in my role as CFO. My favorite part of LMSA is the sense of community, especially at conferences, which motivates him to help however he can. In his free time, he enjoy playing soccer, baking, and being outside.
"LMSA has been a constant source of happiness, community, and support for me. I highly value the opportunity to grow and learn from peers with similar cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We are a strong family and lean on each other through every high, low, and everything in between."
Ana Maria Viteri, CDO
Policy & Academic Affairs
Cristhian Gutierrez Huerta (He/Him/El)
M2 at the Medical College of Wisconsin
Cristhian is a second 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 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Intramural Research Program 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.
Melanie Valentin (She/Her/Ella)
M3 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Melanie Valentín is a medical student at MSU College of Human Medicine. She grew up in Southern California and is proud of her Mexican-Puerto Rican roots. Her experiences growing up in an immigrant family instilled in her values of service, community, and equity. She is excited to bring her experiences with advocacy and research to empower the Latinx medical students and communities of the Midwest in her role as Policy and Academic Affairs chair.
Jaquelin Solis (She/Her/Hers)
Stritch School of Medicine
Jaquelin Solis is an M4 who has a breadth of experience in service, leadership, and exposure to aspects of community medicine, with a focus on serving underserved communities and mentoring first-generation college students and pre-health students. As a medical student, she has mentored minority high school students through HPREP, taught Medical Spanish to her classmates, volunteered as a Spanish interpreter at a primary care clinic, served as one of the LMSA Co-presidents, functioned as the Practical Experience Coordinator for Medical Spanish, and served as a mentor through different online mentoring platforms. She believes that she will offer a unique perspective of what it is to provide empathetic and selfless care to underserved communities by serving as a Pediatrician. She is certain that her parents are her motor and her community is a fountain of inspiration that fuel her commitment for medicine.
Enrique Cazares-Navarro (He/Him/His)
Enrique is a first-generation college student born to immigrants in the Central Valley of California and is now a 2nd-year medical student at MSU college of human medicine. His background inspires him to mentor premedical students. He loves traveling, trying new food, cooking, dancing, and RPDR. #IYKYK
Devin Barzallo (He/Him/His)
M3 at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Devin Barzallo is a third-year medical student in Cleveland, OH at Case Western Reserve University. He grew up in New Jersey, and his family is from Cuenca, Ecuador. For fun, he loves to hike and travel!
Biana Ituarte (She/Her)
M3 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
Bianca is originally from St. Louis, MO. Currently, she is a 5th-year (M3) student in the UMKC 6 Year BA/MD program in Kansas City, MO. She has served on the UMKC LMSA board since her first year. She is very excited to join the Midwest team!
For me, community means everything, and I love the community within the LMSA familia. I am honored and inspired to be part of a team doing amazing things!"
Sydney Lopez, Webmaster
Raquel Valdes (She/Her/Hers)
M3 Medical College of Wisconsin
Raquel Valdes is a third-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). She is originally from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. Prior to living in Wisconsin, she lived in Northern California where she graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a minor in Latin American Studies and Mexico City, where she studied biochemistry. Raquel is very passionate about community service work and at MCW, Raquel formerly served as community service co-chair of MCW LMSA. Raquel’s interests include women’s health, migrant healthcare, reproductive rights and reducing health disparities.
Natalie Vela (She/Her//Ella)
M3 at the University of Michigan Medical School
Natalie Vela is a 3rd year medical student at University of Michigan Medical School. She grew up in Clarkston, MI and graduated from Hope College (Holland, MI) where she studied Neuroscience and Spanish and spent a semester in Santiago, Chile. She spent her gap years working as a barista, an ED scribe, and a community health promoter at a Latinx outreach nonprofit organization in Pontiac, MI. Natalie is passionate about preventative health, applying culturally congruent integrative and lifestyle medicine practices, and addressing language barriers in healthcare. In her free time she enjoys cooking, exploring new restaurants and coffeeshops, living vicariously through her friends and family members with cute dogs, swimming, hiking, and camping.
Sydney Lopez (She/Her/Ella)
M3 at the University of Michigan Medical School
Sydney is serving as Webmaster this year, formerly serving as Midwest Community Affairs 2021-22 and as her chapter’s president for 2020-2021; and VP 2018-2019. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and was born in LA and raised in northern California among the Sierra Nevada mountains. She studied Neurobiology, physiology, and behavior with a minor in Chicano studies at UC Davis #GoAggies. In college, she fell in love with medicine when she volunteered at the student-led Clinica Tepati, a free clinic for the Latino underserved and undocumented in the greater Sacramento area. After graduating she spent 5 years away from school doing quite a variety of things; medical interpreting in Nicaragua, a health internship in Mexico, taught cadaver-lab anatomy, managed and conducted medical sociology research, was Chief Operations Officer to the 501c3 non-profit MiMentor, and ran a small restaurant, just to name a few #BossLady. Currently, she has stepped away from her studies to focus on her and her family’s mental and emotional health following the tragic loss of her uncle. She is a poster child of non-traditional paths and shares that “we are all on our own journeys” and “we should always be kind to ourselves and one another”. Her interests include social justice, MedEd diversity & inclusion, reproductive justice, health equity, and underserved medicine. She enjoys dancing Bachata, exploring coffee shops, decorating and organizing (can you say OCPD), fierce self-compassion, acts of kindness, dogs, babies & hugs.
Wellness & Community Building
Mayra Shafique (She/Her/Hers)
M4 at Wayne State University School of Medicine
Mayra Alejandra Shafique is a 4th-year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. She was born in Michoacán, México, and raised in Sacramento, CA. Sbe was the first in my family to attend a 4-year university and graduated from UC Davis in 2013 with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. She became interested in nutrition and the roles it plays in our health, so she enrolled in a graduate program in Nutritional Biology and received a master’s degree in 2015 from UC Davis. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family. She also enjoys cycling, cooking, and baking.
LMSA Midwest Regional Conference Coordinator
Jocelyn Gaona (She/Her/Hers)
M2 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Jocelyn Gaona is an M2 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.
"I believe it is important to help promote and advance Latinx health by fostering a community where we can help one another. I wanted to join the LMSA Midwest Board to help create this space for students across the region so that we can all be the best physicians for our community."
Jesus Bazan Villicana, CFO
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.