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The 2023 Summer Program in Medical Sociology

The Project Leadership Team
Dima Bischoff-Hashem
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Dima Bischoff-Hashem is an undergraduate at Rutgers University pursuing a double major in public health and computer science. She interned with The Power of the Patient last summer, and she is particularly interested in healthcare policy and affordability in healthcare. Last semester, She worked in a lab in her school’s department of cell biology and neuroscience, researching treatments for traumatic brain injuries. She also interned with three social work professors at Rutgers to contribute research for their publication on environmental justice. Dima hopes to take classes in addiction policy and public health law and aims to affect policy change in her career. Dima was one of the authors of our book, Reasonable Expectations: The Patient Side of Patient Centered Care.

Julianna Celestin
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Julianna Celestin is an ambitious-driven graduate from Florida State University, where she has obtained degrees in Family & Child Sciences and Public Health with a Minor in Child Development. She is currently pursuing a Master of Health Services Administration in Healthcare and later a Juris Master with a specific concentration in Healthcare. Her aspiration is to become a Healthcare Administrator and Researcher focused on strengthening systems solutions to public health, comprehensive health systems, and health care problems. Julianna's focus is improving access to healthcare. She is passionately committed to progressively improving the social efficiency and quality of healthcare services that are being provided and not provided to those in the underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable populations. Julianna was one of the authors of our book, Reasonable Expectations: The Patient Side of Patient Centered Care and also writes for Today's Patient.

Elizabeth Linden
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Elizabeth Linden is a retired special education teacher with 25 years of experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Health Psychology. Liz has been an advocate for the educational needs of special education students throughout her career as well as an advocate for her own medical needs as a person with a rare headache disorder. Out of necessity, she learned that she needed to become an expert regarding her own medical condition. She is pleased to be a part of our broadcast team and believes passionately in the importance of trust in the doctor-patient relationship and for the patient to feel empowered to give feedback. She also strives to encourage patients and to learn about their treatment and ask for more help when we need it. Liz is also a major contributor to Today's Patient.

Anooshka Shukla
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Anooshka Shukla has a Bachelors of Science and with a major in Public Health from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) and is currently pursuing Masters of Public Health from the same university, with plans to graduate this summer. She worked as a Teaching Fellow for Citizen School in Boston, MA which works to help inner city students achieve their full potential. She assisted senior citizens in an adult day care center providing health care information. Anooshka also volunteered in a local pharmacy assisting with logistics and customer service. Being passionate about public health, Anooshka is always excited to empower patients, especially in mental health area. Anooshka was one of the authors of our book, Reasonable Expectations: The Patient Side of Patient Centered Care.

Riham Alwaely
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Riham Alwaely is from Kansas City, and is currently a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City pursuing a bachelors degree in Chemistry and a double minor in Biology and Business Administration. She plans to become a dentist and aspires to bring about confident smiles in people through oral medicine. She is an advocate for patients and has a great interest in the sociology of medicine. Riham was one of the leading researchers for our book, Reasonable Expectations: The Patient Side of Patient Centered Care.

Our Summer Team
Gifty Dzeagu, Senior Researcher
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Gifty Dzeagu is a public health student at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is planning to graduate in fall 2023. She has worked as a teacher and an interpreter in the past, and experiences she has gained have increased her skills in communication, team leadership, research, and computer among others.

Caitlin Laska, Senior Researcher
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Caitlin Laska is from Boston and is currently a student at Northeastern University. She is studying public health and international affairs, with a focus on health disparities, education, and global health. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Caitlin has taught English as a second language to refugees in Jordan, and she has studied abroad in Greece, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and Ghana during her undergraduate years. She also will be working as a co-op at Harvard Medical School. 

Alix Greenblatt, Senior Researcher 
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Alix Greenblatt has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in International Relations from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She  is currently working on completing her MPH program, as well as a certificate in Global Health Studies with the University at Albany. Her goals are to one day work toward improving health rights for women, improve efforts for wildlife/environmental conservation, and to work toward ending the stigma behind mental illness.

Naman Kumar, Senior Researcher
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Naman Kumar is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, pursuing a master’s degree in biotechnology. He completed his bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a minor in sociology at the University of South Florida. He has many healthcare experiences volunteering, shadowing, and working in a research lab. He believes these experiences play a significant role in who he is today.

Aidan Strealy, Senior Researcher
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Aidan Strealy is a senior at the University of Redlands in southern California. After completing his studies, he will earn a Biology degree with a minor in English Literature, which he hopes to apply to his career in pursuit of becoming a medical writer. In addition to running for his University's Cross Country and Track and Field teams, Aidan works as a Resident Assistant. The Power of the Patient project drew his attention because while healthcare is an enormous industry in the US, there aren't many opportunities for patients to be educated on how the system works. Aidan is working with us this summer to contribute to the growing body of research and to use his writing background to make medicine and healthcare less daunting for patients.

Evetta Zagorin, Senior Researcher
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Evetta Zagorin is a junior at Pace University majoring in Health Policy and Advocacy, with a concentration on pre-optometry. Her unrelenting pursuit of knowledge and passion for patient advocacy and delivering quality patient care was the driving force behind joining the undergraduate program at Pace. As a member of Sigma Delta Tau, she has volunteered for THON and LifeLink, and worked with pharmacists and optometrists in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania communities. Evetta is passionate about public health advocacy and wants to proactively address the current challenges in the health systems. Her future commitment is to ensure healthier communities by guiding patients through their medical care, influencing policy changes, and decreasing health disparities.

Jessica Michnik Rubinstein, Senior Researcher
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Jessica Michnik Rubinstein has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biological Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics with a concentration in Public Health Informatics from the State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Jessica’s focus is on learning how technology can be used to expand healthcare access for underserved populations.

Ashley Mui, Senior Researcher 

Ashley Mui is a rising junior at New York University pursuing a BA in Global Public Health and Sociology with a minor in Bioethics. She has previously performed research as part of NYU’s Emerging Leaders Program. She assessed risk factors for respiratory health in NYC’s low-income communities and engineered a particulate matter filtration design for the NYC MTA. She is interested in the sociocultural factors affecting healthcare access, particularly amongst underserved communities.

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