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HOMES Director (homes.director@gmail.com)

Nadia Haj-Ismail - UTH

I'm Nadia Haj-Ismail and I'm a 4th year medical student at UT-Houston. When I volunteered at HOMES clinic for the first time, I was both astonished and humbled by the experience. The needs of the homeless community in Houston are far from being met, and through HOMES clinic, students are able to have a direct impact on this issue. Through my conversations with the homeless both at the clinic and at the Beacon, I have met some incredible people in difficult situations with amazing willpower and unsuppressed optimism. Every volunteering experience leaves an impression on me, and this year, I hope to continue working with other passionate students to make a difference.

 

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Associate Director of Operations (homes.web@gmail.com)

Erica Smith - UTH

I am a third year medical student at UT Houston. The HOMES Clinic empowers students to begin doing what we cannot wait to do—care for patients. Volunteering at HOMES Clinic is a rewarding and inspirational opportunity to work alongside other medical students to help patients in need. My experiences at the clinic have provided me with a unique insight into homelessness and a determination to serve. In addition to volunteering, I enjoy running, watching sports, and hanging out with friends.

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Associate Director of Operations (homes.web@gmail.com)

Hannah Triño - UTH

My name is Hannah Triño and I am one of the associate directors of operations. HOMES is an honest look into the daily life of Houston’s homeless population. Between conversations at the Beacon and visits at the clinic, I am reminded that circumstances do not discriminate between those with resources and those without. Working with other students from different disciplines of health reinforces what was learned in the classroom and provides care for those who sincerely need it. I look forward to serving with everyone at HOMES this year. In my spare time, I can be found in Chinatown trying out new restaurants and teahouses.

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Associate Director of Managers (homes.manage@gmail.com)

John Tucker Sigalos - BCM

My name is John Tucker Sigalos and I am a third year student at Baylor College of Medicine.  I am from Atlanta, GA and graduated college from Vanderbilt University in 2014.  My involvement with HOMES started early with volunteering as a pre-clinical student.  From this experience I not only was fortunate enough to meet wonderful people but also be able to practice clinical skills that constantly remind me of why I want to be a doctor.  Volunteering with HOMES clinic has been one of the richest experiences of medical school and I look forward to seeing many students and patients grow through this year.  Besides HOMES clinic, in my free time I enjoy sports (especially basketball, football, and soccer) and cooking mainly because I love eating.

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Associate Director of Managers (homes.manage@gmail.com)

Brandon Wang - UTH

Hi, I’m Brandon Wang and I’m a 3rd year medical student at UT Houston. I got involved in HOMES because I was interested in learning how to be a compassionate doctor. While I was learning all the basic sciences behind medicine in the classroom, I felt like I was still missing out on a big part of what it meant be a good doctor. At HOMES, students get to practice their clinical skills as well as develop skills that we don’t learn in the classroom such as being empathetic, personal, respectful, and professional no matter who is your patient. In addition, students get the unique opportunity to make a valuable difference in the community with the homeless population.

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Associate Director of Projects

Liang Gu - UTH

My name is Liang Gu and I am currently a second year at McGovern/UT Houston. I took a year off before medical school to serve with AmeriCorps, and helped to improve housing conditions for the underserved populations of Houston. I wanted to continue helping the underserved while in medical school, and discovered HOMES clinic during the student activity fair. I was immediately interested, as the clinic provided not only a service that would benefit both the students and the patients, but also allowed students from different schools and careers to work together. So far, my experiences at the clinic has taught me many valuable lessons that I would not get in a lecture hall. As an Associate Director of Projects, I hope to expand the opportunities HOMES has for students and to help the clinic achieve a larger impact.

Associate Director of Projects

Joniqua Ceasar - BCM

I am Joniqua Ceasar, a third year at Baylor College of Medicine and I am excited to serve as an Associate Director of Projects for the 2016-2017 year. I entered the field of medicine with the goal of improving access to and quality of care for historically marginalized and underserved communities. I love HOMES because it allows professional students from various graduate programs to collaborate and serve a neglected population of Houston. While inundated with the pathophysiology and pharmacology of medicine we sometimes forget that caring for a person involves more than the physical being; the opportunity to navigate Houston’s social resources as we attempt to help our patients is a great reminder that prescriptions are not enough. Volunteering at HOMES perfectly showcases that as health professionals we have a duty to not only offer our expertise, but to share our time and resources with populations often ostracized in our community. I am honored to be a part of a team committed to improving the physical and emotional health of Houston citizens. 

 

Associate Director of External Communications (homes.communication@gmail.com)

Jennie Cassady - UTH

My name is Jennie Cassady and I'm a third year medial student at UTH. I'm from the Houston suburbs and I graduated from St. Edward's University in 2014. Starting medical school, I was immediately excited to work with the HOMES Clinic. Being provided an opportunity to practice clinical skills while assisting an extremely underserved population is a privilege I'm thankful for every Sunday I'm at the clinic. This year as the Director of External Communications, I hope to expand knowledge of HOMES Clinic beyond the student population so that more people in the community know about us and support us. When I'm not in the hospital or studying, I enjoy cooking, playing in a community orchestra, and catching up with the latest shows on Netflix.

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BCM Representative

Elizabeth Anderson

My name is Lizzy Anderson and I am a second year medical student at BCM. I am from Fort Worth, Texas and I graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina. Volunteering at HOMES clinic is one of my favorite activities in medical school because it has led me to grow as a student and a person. Not only do I get to hone my clinical skills, but I also get to listen to patients' journeys and life stories. Every week I attend, my eyes are opened to the unique needs of the homeless community. HOMES is a special organization, and I am thankful to take a part in it. Outside of medical school, I enjoy playing softball, crocheting, and playing with my dog Millie.

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BCM Representative

Sally Huang

I am a native Houstonian, proud Rice Owl, and second year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. I became involved with HOMES early on in my first year at BCM, and love HOMES for the many opportunities it provides to serve and listen to the stories of one of the most underserved populations in Houston. Both the HOMES Clinic and the HOMES Street Medicine Outreach team have strengthened my ability to establish relationships with patients while recognizing that the medical care we provide in the clinic plays only a small part in a patient’s overall health. In addition to the clinic and street outreach, the HOMES partnership with ProjectCURE represents a local opportunity to engage in global health. I am grateful to be a part of HOMES, and as co-BCM representative, I hope to raise awareness about each of the avenues of volunteering with HOMES. In my free time, I love to read, write, dance, and discover new favorite spots around Houston.

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UTH Representative

Kendall Masada

I am a second year at the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. My involvement with HOMES began as a first year when I attended lunch lectures and volunteered at the clinic. Prior to this, I knew very little of homelessness and the unique health care needs of those experiencing it. HOMES gives me the opportunity to learn more and to apply the clinical skills I am acquiring in school to provide accessible, primary care for Houston's homeless.

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UTH Representative

Sid Venkataraman

My name is Sid Venkataraman and I am a second year medical student at UT Houston. HOMES allows students to give back to the community by providing free healthcare to an underserved population, while practicing their clinical skills. I distinctly remember the very first patient who I saw at HOMES clinic. Hearing her inspiring life stories and how grateful she was that we were able to provide her medical care inspired me to become more involved with HOMES. After that experience, I began going to the HOMES lecture series, where I got a better understanding of what it is like to be homeless and the needs of the homeless community. As the UTH representative, I hope to get as many incoming medical students involved with HOMES as possible and introduce them to wonderful speakers who can provide insight as to how we can help Houston’s homeless.

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UHCOP Senior Representative

Matt Bactad

I am a third-year Pharm.D student (P3) at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. I am proud to be this year’s UHCOP Senior Representative. Many people describe me as an approachable and fun-loving person. I spend much of my time studying but, I love learning new and interesting things. I also like to spend my free time with friends, family and staying fit. I have been volunteering at HOMES clinic since my first year and I found the experience to be eye opening and greatly rewarding. It taught me that healthcare should cater to each individual in order to be beneficial. I look forward to help lead HOMES clinic to reach its full potential.

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UHCOP Junior Representative

Stephanie Crowley

My name is Stephanie Crowley and I am a second-year Pharm.D. student at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP). I have the privilege of serving as this year’s UHCOP HOMES Junior Representative. I take this role very personally. I lost a family member to homelessness and mental illness and because of this I am committed to helping in every way I can. Volunteering at HOMES Clinic provides pharmacy and medical students with the opportunity to work as an interprofessional team. I love that the Clinic challenges each student to think outside of the proverbial box and consider each patient’s needs globally. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two Corgi-Yorkie mix puppies, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and watching shows on Netflix.

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Special Project Coordinator

Jiwen Li - BCM

I am a fourth year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, and I am fortunate to have discovered and participated in HOMES very early on in my medical school career. Houston is a vibrant city of cultures, and the patients we treat reflect this diversity. As such, I am a staunch advocate of getting students to leave the study rooms once in a while to learn to understand and appreciate the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. HOMES has given my fellow pre-clinical students and I a fast-track to mastering our clinical exams, and I am continuously inspired to learn about social resources and health care intricacies through the privileged glimpses our patients allow us into their lives. We are grateful for the enthusiasm students have expressed toward HOMES, and please let us know of any thoughts and suggestions!

 

Jessica Tolbert

Special Project Coordinator

Jessica Tolbert - UTH

I am a 4th year medical student at UTH. I was born in Austin, Texas but I was raised in Houston, and remained here for the majority of my life. Houston has one of the largest homeless populations in the state, and as I grew up my only understanding of what the homeless truly needed was limited. It wasn’t until I volunteered at HOMES clinic that I realized that they needed much more than just food, money, and shelter. Volunteering at HOMES clinic didn’t just help me grow as a student, but it opened up my eyes to the numerous amount of problems that homeless people are faced with daily, especially with healthcare. This is why I decided to become a part of the HOMES team. They are actively playing a role in helping reduce some of the burdens that the homeless population are forced to carry by providing them with necessary social and medical resources, by being an accessible provider for healthcare, by providing a learning environment for students, and by educating others on the many challenges of being homeless.

Special Project Coordinator

Elizabeth Mercer - UTH

 

AlyssaThomason

Project Cure Representative

Alyssa Thomason - BCM

I’m Alyssa Thomason, a second year medical student at BCM. I got involved with Project C.U.R.E. volunteering with my family there a few years ago, and I was hooked! I love the diversity of the people you meet working at Project C.U.R.E. from students and retirees to medical professionals and engineers. Everyone’s unique background and enthusiasm can be brought to bear on projects and the organization’s mission to bring health and hope to the world. I enjoy learning about and handling the variety of supplies and medical equipment that comes through the warehouse as well as loading shipments that will be delivered to communities in need across the globe. In the summer, I am going on a clinic trip to Ghana with Project C.U.R.E. to be a part of their efforts abroad as well. Our partnership with HOMES will be an exciting way to connect passionate volunteers with another area to make an impact on those in need around the world.