Diversity & Community Partnerships

Boya Abudu

Hometown: Coffeyville, KS

When I applied to medical school, I was looking for a program that offered a wide range of opportunities in community involvement as well as early clinical exposure to medically-underserved settings. I am originally from a rural community in Kansas where physician shortages and limited resources have impacted quality care, often requiring patients to travel great distances to receive appropriate health services. While in college, I traveled to several indigenous villages in southern Peru as part of a medical team and was surprised to learn that limitations in the number of healthcare providers and resources were not the only obstacles to quality care. Environmental health hazards, including sanitation issues and poor water quality, were challenges to preventive medicine that I hadn’t experienced first-hand, and I wanted to be prepared to handle similar situations in the future. I was attracted to the UCSD PRIME mission of educating its members of the multitude of health disparities that exist as well as the dynamic nature of this problem. I have gained insight into the complexity of the social and legal barriers that exist while being provided with the tools needed to begin addressing them. Being part of an amazing cohort that shares my passion for community empowerment has allowed me to see clinical medicine as part of a larger spectrum in health care, including education, health policy, research, and community safety. I have no doubt that the experiences I’ve gained as a PRIME student will serve me well as a practicing physician.

Jonathan Barboza

Hometown: San Diego, CA

As a 1st generation immigrant from Peru, I've witnessed several hardships that my own family and other families in my community have faced due to their socioeconomic status and the existing health disparities. This stemmed a passion to work with underserved communities that, combined with my love for medicine, made UCSD PRIME-HEq a unique opportunity to bridge both my passions in a setting where there is a great need for physician leaders and champions.
UCSD PRIME-HEq has met all my expectations by creating a supportive environment that fosters my continual development and involvement in promoting health equity. Prior to medical school, I was involved with several efforts which involved mentoring at risk youth at my local church and community. I have always had an interest in mentoring youth that stemmed from my own personal life challenges and experiences. When I joined UCSD PRIME-HEq I was able to continue this work via different avenues. With the support of UCSD PRIME-HEq, I co-led the PRIME HEq Mentorship Program during my 2nd year in medical school which empowered youth at Lincoln High School to become advocates in their community and further exposed them to the medical field in order to spark an interest in medicine in them and encourage them to seek further professional goals. The following year, UCSD PRIME-HEq helped connect me to the UCSD Center for Community Health, located in the heart of San Diego, where I was able to co-lead the UCSD Youth Advisory Council and among other efforts, support their participation in the 9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Prevention Conference.
UCSD PRIME-HEq was a great choice for me due to my aspirations paralleling the program’s goals. I am enthusiastic about my future career as a physician and I am sure that my continual partnership with UCSD PRIME-HEq will continue to flourish many more opportunities to give back to my San Diego County communities.


Brittany Burton



Natalia Calderon


David Hubbard

Naeemah Munir

Hometown: Fort Washington, MD

I applied to medical school to learn more about health disparities, how disparities have continued to persist in our nation, and multidisciplinary approaches to narrow the health disparity gap. Prior to medical school, I realized that the social determinants of equity, a major contributor to health disparities, occurred outside of the confines of the hospital. In order to address the disparities that affect the marginalized communities of our country, my work as a physician should focus beyond the clinical setting. The PRIME-HEq aligns with my career ambition to mitigate health disparities.

Before UC San Diego, I obtained a BS and MPH in environmental studies and environmental health during a 5-year dual degree program at Emory University. Dual degree programs facilitate my broad range of interests! At the Rollins School of Public Health, I conducted research and completed my master’s thesis at the Center for Global Safe Water. After graduating in 2012, I worked as a HIV laboratory manager and family planning program manager for Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group in Ndola, Zambia.

Enrique Olivares

Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

My purpose in life is to serve humanity. I have no greater professional passion than to be in the community setting being a resource for those that seek to make real changes for themselves and those around them. I grew up in Santa Ana, CA, a place with a rich history and an beautiful immigrant community. Although many hardships fall upon those families looking to contribute to the "American Dream," the expert resiliency they show can not be matched. I am humbled to be apart of that history and have taken the lessons learned from those that came before me to better improve the health of the community. I have many goals in life and most lead towards the prevention of disease. My background before medical school is in public health and I was fortunate to be apart of the California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities project in Santa Ana. During my time here in San Diego, I have worked with the Multicultural Health Foundation in eliminating cardiovascular disease in South Eastern San Diego. I will forever take a unique path in becoming a outstanding physician to drive forward progress and change the world for the better.

Kim Nguyen-Ta


Griffin Tyree

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Griffin Tyree has very little cold tolerance as he has always lived where the temperature seldom drops below 50º F: born and raised in San Francisco, undergraduate in San Diego, employed in Les Cayes, Haiti. He now returns to San Diego for his MD and intends to match in psychiatry. A hobby thespian, he keeps a folder titled ‘rec writing’ on his hard-drive and pores over old scripts when he’s feeling well-caffeinated and artistically inclined. He is impressed that for all the homogeneity of La Jolla, San Diego is still a place where you will find no scarcity of people living with their feet in two worlds – just take a walk in City Heights. He’s grateful to be a part of PRIME and is constantly inspired by PRIME faculty, his cohort-mates, and all the PRIME students who have walked before him – as they teach him a great deal about making justice a part of one’s practice. 

Ana Ortiz-Ilizaliturri





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