Karissa Britten, MD
Karissa grew up in Naples, Florida. She earned her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Yale University, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. After working for a short time as a research assistant in breast oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she attended medical school at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After falling in love with Southern California, the culture of medicine at UCLA, and her now-fiancé, she chose to stay for residency. As a resident, she participated in the Medical Education Pathway, served on the resident committee for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (IM-REDI), and contributed to several research projects in breast oncology. This year, she is excited to serve as the Chief of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) for the residency program, where she can continue to advocate for diversity in the physician workforce, mentorship in the graduate medical education community, and inclusive curricular innovation for residents. She plans to pursue a career in academic Hematology/Oncology, where she can continue to cultivate her passions for research and education.
Mary Obasi, MD, MPH
Mary Obasi is a PGY-2 Categorial IM resident and Co-President of IM-REDI. She received her Medical Degree from UC Davis School of Medicine, Master of Public Health in Quantitative Methods from Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. She is a Bay Area native from Richmond, California and daughter of Nigerian immigrants. Increasing diversity in medicine has been a passion of hers since medical school, through her involvement in SNMA on both the regional and local chapter level. She has strong interests in mentorship, elimination of health disparities, women’s health, epidemiology, and hematology/oncology. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants and wineries, binging Real Housewives on Bravo, running, spinning, and spending time with family/friends.
Olivia Jordan, MD
Olivia grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She went to Washington University in St. Louis for her undergraduate education, and then made her way to University of Chicago for medical school. Now, she’s joined her older sister out in Los Angeles for residency training, and has been having a great time learning alongside impassioned, kindhearted peers. In her free time, she loves to cook and also enjoys creating: whether sewing, making jewelry, or throwing pottery on the wheel, she has found many hobbies to feed her crafty side. She is grateful to be able to spend her three years of residency here in Los Angeles, learning and exploring what the city has to offer. As co-president, her role is to guide the visions of her talented, creative, and thoughtful peers into actions, events, and changes that build and strengthen the legacy of the IM REDI + Spectrum group. She is honored to help lead the group, and aspires to grow our presence across UCLA Health as a whole.
Olu Akinrimisi, MD, MS
Olu is from Long Beach, California. He went to UCSD for undergraduate and medical school. He attended Johns Hopkins University, where he attained his master’s degree in healthcare management. He enjoys spending his free time building things, rollerblading, skateboarding, hiking, and spending quality time with family and friends. He serves as one of the recruitment chairs and his goal for the year is to promote our diversity efforts here at UCLA with the ultimate goal of increasing the URM representation in the internal medicine program.
Tara Townes, MD
Cameron Henneberg, MD
Originally from Pasadena, California, Cameron graduated from Princeton University with a degree in anthropology, then obtained his MD from Boston University School of Medicine. Along with the rest of the curriculum subcommittee, he hopes to incorporate topics such as social determinants of health, health disparities, and queer health into the Internal Medicine residency program's formal didactic curriculum.
Laura Santoso, MD
Laura is a senior internal medicine resident at UCLA. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she is dedicated to working with underserved populations and promoting equity in medicine. She studied bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology and earned her M.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As a medical student, she worked at free clinics and refugee programs, and initiated a depression and cognitive screening project at an HIV clinic in the Dominican Republic where she developed her medical Spanish. She is currently a UCLA Biodesign fellow. Her mission is to bridge medicine, design thinking, and engineering to improve quality of life. She is excited to be part of the EDI curriculum committee to help improve EDI education in medical training.
Kaahukane Leite-Ah Yo, MD
Kaahukane Leite-Ah Yo, or Kaahu for short, is a Native Hawaiian who grew up in Hilo, Hawaii and attended his medical school at the John A. Burns school of Medicine. Prior to medical school, he worked in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health where he participated in research focusing on the health benefits of cultural practices and traditional medicine. While in medical school, he was the president of the Indigenous Health Interest Group and helped to organize the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Conference in 2018. As the social chair, Kaahu manages the IM REDI Instagram and is tasked with organizing social events for our UCLA EDI/Spectrum community.
Philip Chen, MD
Philip is originally from San Francisco, but he seems to not be able to leave the LA sun! He is deeply honored to be involved with UCLA EDI as the Spectrum co-coordinator. Not only do we hope to synergize with the efforts of all the EDI projects this year but also, we hope to continue to build community within our LGBTQIA+ UCLA IM family and with our UCLA DGSOM medical school. We intend to enrich our residency curriculum this year with LGBTQIA+ health topics such that we can better meet the needs of queer communities.
Julian Lejbman, MD
Julian spent his formative years planning his escape from his hometown of Las Vegas. He went to college at the University of Pittsburgh then spent two years doing TBI research at the NIH. As a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania, he worked to improve access to primary care among pediatric patients experiencing homelessness, helped build a mental health resource network at a gender clinic for trans and gender non-conforming youth, and worked at Puentes de Salud, a clinic for undocumented Latinx immigrants in Philadelphia. He chose Med-Peds because he wanted the ability to care for these communities across the lifespan and across clinical settings. He came to UCLA because of the diverse patient population and the opportunity to train at county and community hospitals in addition to the traditional academic medical center. He is motivated to serve as a mentor for other first generation, Latinx, and LGBTQ trainees, and wants to ensure trainees feel a sense of belonging and support in medicine. Despite his desert upbringing, Julian has no tolerance for heat and is grateful every day for the West LA breeze. He enjoys bike rides along the beach, surfing with co-residents, and group boba breaks at work in the name of “team building”.