Welcome to the 25th Annual UCLA Healthcare Symposium

This year, UCLA medical students are joined by public health students to continue the tradition of bringing together faculty, students, and community members for the annual Healthcare Symposium. Historically, this event has sought to explore new and emerging trends in healthcare, with the hope of catalyzing discussion and engagement by students, faculty, and the broader community. This year’s symposium will explore the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, racism, incarceration, and health disparities. More specifically, we hope the symposium will provide a solution-oriented lens to address the physical, emotional, and psychosocial vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID- 19 pandemic in the United States. We hope that you can join us!

(Bios are for archival purposes)


  Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D.

Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D. is Dean and Professor at the Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine. She advised top-tier healthcare institutions on leadership as a principal at Spencer Stuart and served as the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Public Health Practice and Associate Dean for Diversity at Harvard School of Public Health where she created the Division of Public Health Practice and secured over $14 million in grant funding for health programs. While working in inner-city Boston, she broke new ground with efforts to define youth violence as a health problem. She developedThe Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, a forerunner of violence prevention curricula for schools and authored or co-authoredDeadly Consequences (HarperCollins 1991);Murder Is No Accident(Jossey Bass Publishers, 2004);Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice, (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2005); a high school textbook,Health (Pearson 2014); and over 100 articles. In 1987, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed her Commissioner of Public Health for Massachusetts where she led a department with 3,500 employees, 8 hospitals and a budget of $350 million. She and her family lived in Tanzania during her husband’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador. Dr. Prothrow-Stith is a graduate of Spelman College and Harvard Medical School and a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 2003, she was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. She has received ten honorary doctorates and in 2017, she was named Woman of the Year for the 2nd District by the LA County Board of Supervisors.


  Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS

Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS is the Interim Chief of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UCLA Hospital and Clinical System and the Director of Quality of Emergency Medicine for UCLA Health.  She is also an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Dr. Briggs-Malonson prides herself in building a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence. This has led her to become a nationally recognized healthcare improvement advisor, speaker, and best-selling author. She is well-known for her national lectures on implicit bias in healthcare and innovative methods to advance health equity within diverse communities.  Dr. Briggs-Malonson has held several hospital executives and department leadership positions including as the inaugural quality executive of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital located in South Los Angeles, where she was responsible for building the start-up hospital’s quality, patient safety, and clinical technology infrastructure. Dr. Briggs-Malonson is also the founder and CEO of Contour Health Solutions, a national advisory firm that partners with healthcare organizations and technology companies to implement solutions that improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of medical services for diverse populations. 

Dr. Briggs-Malonson has received several awards of recognition, including the “Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40” from the National Medical Association. She received her undergraduate degree (B.S.) from UCLA, Medical Doctorate degree (M.D.) from Harvard Medical School, Master of Public Health (M.P.H) degree from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Master of Science of Health Services (M.S.H.S) degree from the Fielding UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Briggs-Malonson's professional goal is to improve the health of diverse communities by advancing high-value healthcare models and technology.



Drew Ramsey, MD

Dr. Drew Ramsey, MD is a psychiatrist, author, farmer, teacher, and advocate who is a long-time proponent of the healing power of food, understanding the dietary change to help balance moods, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. Drew Ramsey, MD is a leading innovator in mental health, combining clinical excellence, nutritional interventions and creative media. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and in active clinical practice in New York City. His work and writing have been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Lancet Psychiatry, and NPR, which named him a “kale evangelist.”, and he’s made appearances on the Today Show, BBC and TEDx. He is the author of 3 books, Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients that Fuel Brain Power, Boost Weight Loss and Transform Your Health, 50 Shades of Kale, and The Happiness Diet. His new ecourse, Eat To Beat Depression, helps people maximize their brain health with every bite. He splits his time between New York City and rural Indiana where he lives with his wife, children and parents on his 127-acre organic farm.

Dr. Ramsey's new book on healing depression and anxiety comes out in March!


Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS

Dr. Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS is a Professor In-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, and directs the UCLA Late-life mood, stress and wellness program and the Integrative Psychiatry clinic. She is the Leader of the Research Pillar of the UCLA Integrative Medicine Collaborative. She is a geriatric integrative psychiatrist with a federally funded research program in geriatric depression and cognitive decline, and integrative mental health (NIMH, PCORI, and NCCIH) using mind-body interventions. She is a recipient of the Career Development award from the NIMH and the NCCIH, and other prestigious research awards. Her current research studies include investigations of psychopharmacological treatment of geriatric depression, mild cognitive impairment and the use of Tai Chi and yoga for treatment and prevention of mood and cognitive disorders. She is the Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Investigator awards for research in geriatric psychiatry from the American College of Psychiatrists and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Links: www.semel.ucla.edu/latelife and www.semel.ucla.edu/integrativementalhealth



  Damon Tweedy, MD

Dr. Damon Tweedy, MD is an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist within the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System. He completed both medical school and his specialty training at Duke. He divides his time between clinical and administrative duties within the VA system and medical student instruction and mentorship at Duke.

Dr. Tweedy has written extensively about the intersection of race and medicine, both in academic journals and popular print publications. His 2015 book, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine, made the New York Times bestseller list and was selected by TIME Magazine as a top non-fiction book that year.


  Chandra L. Ford, MLIS, MPH, PhD

Dr. Chandra L. Ford, MLIS, MPH, PhD, is Professor of Community Health Sciences, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Healthand co-chair with Bita Amani of the Center’s COVID-19 Task Force on Racism & Equity in the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2019, she served as lead editor (with Derek Griffith, Marino Bruce and Keon Gilbert) of Racism:Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional (APHAPress, 2019). She earned a doctorate in Health Behavior from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Social Medicine (at the University of North CarolinaSchool of Medicine) and Epidemiology (at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health) as a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Kellogg Health Scholar. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Health Promotion Practice,Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Social Science & Medicine, the Boston University Law Review, and other peer-reviewed journals. She has received many teaching awards and several notable honors, including the 2020 Wade Hampton Frost Award from the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Black Women Physicians, a TrueHero Award from TruEvolution and a 2019 Paul Cornely Award from the Health Activist Dinner group. Dr. Ford serves the profession extensively. In 2016, she served on aNational Academy of Medicine Committee on Community-based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United Statesof the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and named co-chair of the Committee on Science of the American Public Health Association’s newly formed Anti-Racism Collaborative.She previously served as president ofthe Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues. In addition to her academic roles, she has been involved with the Black Radical Congress and has partnered with the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders.



Paula Braveman, MD, MPH

Paula Braveman, MD, MPH is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Her formal training was in Family and Community Medicine (at UCSF) and in Epidemiology (at University of California, Berkeley).  Dr. Braveman has worked as a physician at the county hospital, a neighborhood health center, and a school-based health center in San Francisco.  For over 30 years, she has studied and published extensively on health equity, health disparities, and the social determinants of health, and has worked to bring attention to these issues in the U.S. and internationally.  Her research has focused on measuring, documenting, understanding, and addressing socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health, primarily in maternal and infant health.  Her research has shed light on the role of racism in racial disparities in maternal and child health.  During the 1980s she collaborated with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization to support public health efforts in Central America.  During the 1990s she collaborated with the World Health Organization staff in Geneva to develop an initiative on equity in health in low- and middle-income countries.  She directed the research for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national commission on the social determinants of health.  Throughout her career, she has collaborated with local, state, national, and international health agencies to see rigorous research translated into practice for greater health equity. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 2002.


  David E. Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D.

David E. Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D. is currently a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley and completed his doctoral work in Basic Sciences at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Hayes-Bautista served on the faculty at the School of Public Health at U.C. Berkeley until 1987, when he took his current position at UCLA.

Dr. Hayes-Bautista’s research appears in a variety of medical journals including Family Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Family Practice, Academic Medicine and Salud Pública de México. Some of his published books include The Burden of Support: Young Latinos in an Aging Society (Stanford University Press, 1988), El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition (University of California Press, 2012), and La Nueva California: Latinos from Pioneers to Post Millennials (University of California Press, 2017.)  Dr. Hayes-Bautista writes columns for the Los Angeles Times and La Opinion, and is often asked to provide opinions on radio and television in both Spanish and English.

For the past five years, he has been chosen one of the 101 Top Leaders of the Latino Community in the U.S. by Latino Leaders Magazine. In 2012, he received the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Herbert W. Nickens Award for his lifelong concerns about the educational, societal, and health care needs of underrepresented groups, and in 2016 the Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government.



Dennis Hsieh, MD, JD

Dr. Dennis Hsieh, MD, JD is the chief medical officer at Contra Costa Health Plan. Previous to this he was an assistant professor of emergency medicine and the Director for Social Medicine and Community Health for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which is part of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. He focuses on access to care and the social determinants of health (SDOH), including SDOH screening and interventions across clinical settings, hospital-based violence intervention programs, medical-legal community partnerships (MLCPs), and re-entry from jail. He is the former medical director of the Whole Person Care Jail re-entry program. Dennis has a special interest in addressing SDOH such as violence, food, housing, and financial strain to improve health. He co-founded the hospital-based violence intervention program at Harbor-UCLA and is now co-leading the development of a trauma recovery center at Harbor-UCLA. Dennis is a founding member of the UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine’s Section on International and Domestic Health Equity (IdHEAL, www.idheal.org); ACEP’s Social Emergency Medicine Section and is the section current chair; and SAEM’s Social Emergency Medicine and Population Health Interest Group. Dennis earned his A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard, J.D. from Yale and M.D. from UC San Francisco.


  Shamsher Samra, MD, MPhil

Dr. Shamsher Samra, MD, MPhil is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harbor UCLA and co-Chair of the Structural Racism and Health Equity Theme at UCLA DGSOM. He serves as medical director for the Whole Person Care Re-entry program for the Department of Health Services Los Angeles and co-directs the Violence Intervention Program and Trauma Recovery Center at Harbor UCLA. He is a board member of Doctors for Global Health and a member of Frontline Wellness Network. He is committed to the practice of liberation medicine and the use of healthcare to advance community organizing and social change.

(Bios are for archival purposes)

Speaker Relations Committee

  Director: Stephanie Pintas 

 Stephanie Pintas is a second-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Raised in a suburb of Chicago, she moved to   Atlanta for her undergraduate studies at Emory where she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Human Health and Nutrition Science. At Emory, her desire to merge preventive and public health services through a patient-centered model took root. Stephanie led healthy cooking demonstrations for her fellow peers and disadvantaged populations within the community. She also researched the effects of botanical extracts on inflammatory skin conditions and was a teacher’s assistant for organic chemistry. Here at UCLA, Stephanie is interested in addressing chronic diseases and the social determinants of health among the underserved by fighting food deserts and improving education on lifestyle changes, as well as incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities. She is co-president of the Integrative Medicine Student Interest Group and currently conducting research on the impact of the East-West integrative consult service at Santa Monica Hospital. In the future, she plans to tackle chronic diseases as a community-oriented primary care provider with a focus on integrative and holistic care.

  Member: Jasmine Deng

Jasmine Deng is a first-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She was born and raised in the Bay Area and completed her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and B.S.in Nutritional Sciences: Physiology and MetabolismatUC Berkeley. In college, Jasmine volunteered at the Suitcase Clinic, a free clinic serving individuals facing homelessness, and was also a scribe at a primary care clinic serving the members of the Tenderloin neighborhood inSan Francisco. Jasmine is interested in nutrient function and metabolism as well as the metabolic processes underlying disease. As an undergraduate, she engaged in research at a lab studying the transcriptional and epigenetic bases of metabolic dysregulations including diabetes and obesity. She also spent a year after graduation as a clinical research coordinator working on clinical trials and studies on hepatitis B/C and NASH in a hepatology research group at UCSF. Jasmine currently is involved with the DGSOM chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association(APAMSA) and the Chinese Medicine Interest Group. Jasmine enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors, visiting restaurants and cafes, and traveling.

  Member: Farinaz Ghodrati

Farinaz Ghodrati is a first-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She pursued her undergraduate studies majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto in Canada. She then went on to complete her Master of Science degree researching prion diseases at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto. Following her graduation in 2018, she was involved in research in the field of Neuro-oncology at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Passionate about both global and public health, she currently serves as a Case Scheduler at the LA Human Rights Initiative and a Co-Director of the Global Surgery Student Alliance at DGSOM.


Publicity Committee

  Director: Holly Huang

Holly Huang is a first-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Coming to the US at age 11, she had only her family who means everything to her. Being a family-oriented person, she feels her heart aching for patients and their families battling cancer and other ruthless illnesses, drawing her toward medicine. During her undergraduate studies at UCLA, she worked in a translational oncology laboratory contributing to discovering promising new cancer therapeutics. She also led efforts in increasing the ease of providing personalized referrals of low-cost services and resources to patients and their families in need. She especially enjoys working with the youth having volunteered in pediatrics clinics, mentored high school students across the greater LA region, mentored her peers during college, and volunteered almost every summer since high school at various children’s summer camps. At DGSOM, Holly is excited to continue outreaching to communities, mentoring students, contributing to research, and soaking in as much knowledge and skills as she can.

  Member: Lexie Askins

COVID-19: New Horizons for Tackling Mental Health, Racism, Incarceration and Health Disparities


  Clarence Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP
Dr. Braddock is a board certified internist and Vice Dean for Education in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has held the Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Chair in Medical Education since 2015. Prior to his appointment as Vice Dean, he served as Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. He was also Director of the Stanford Center for Medical Education Research and Innovation, where he directed the RathmannFamily Foundation Medical Education Research Fellowship. Dr. Braddock has been a national leader in medical education, particularly in bioethicsand doctor-patient communication. He launched the Bioethics Education Project at the University of Washington, an initiative to expand ethics and professionalism education, and the Practice of Medicine program at Stanford, an initiative to integrate ethics, professionalism, doctor-patient communication and population health into the pre-clerkship medical school curriculum. He also led the development of a model curriculum in bioethics and medical humanities with the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and is a founding member of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care. He was named Interim Director of the UCLA Health Ethics Centerin 2019. In the Fall of 2020, Dr. Braddock wasappointed as the Executive Director of the DGSOM Anti-racism Roadmapto workwith the DGSOM community to develop and advance high-impact change across theschool. Dr. Braddock has a long history of commitment to addressing systemic racismin academic medicine.


  Elizabeth Yzquierdo, MPH, EdD

Dr. Yzquierdo MPH, EdD is Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and adjunct Assistant Professor in the department of Community Health Sciences. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.D)from the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies; MPH in Community Health from California State University Northridge; and BA in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Yzquierdo currently oversees the student affairs office which includes academic, admissions, and financial services for over 600 graduate students annually across five departments. She teaches Public Health 495 designed to prepare graduate students for teaching public health. With over 25 years experiencein student affairs, she has worked with undergraduate, graduate and professional students in public, private and professional schools. She has directed programs and served on various local and national advisory committees with the goal of diversifying higher education and health professional schools.


Ron Brookmeyer, PhD

Dr. Ron Brookmeyer serves as dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Brookmeyer is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He received the American Public Health Association’s Spiegelman gold medal for significant contributions to health statistics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Prior to his arrival at UCLA in 2010, Dr. Brookmeyer was Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where he served as the Director of the schoolwide interdepartmental Master of Public Health Program. He was awarded the Stebbins Medal from Johns Hopkins University for outstanding contributions to educational programs.Dr. Brookmeyer was the 2011 Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecturer at UCLA, the 2012 Donna J. Brogan Lecturer at Emory University, and the 2014 Norman Breslow Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Washington. Dr. Brookmeyer is the recipient of the American Statistical Association’s Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions at theintersection of statistical science and epidemiology and the Karl. Peace Award for outstanding statistical contributions for the betterment of society. He has served on numerous editorial boards and national scientific panels including the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council, the Institute of Medicine Panel on methodological challenges in HIV prevention trials, and the Institute of Medicine Panel to evaluate the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


  Ninez Ponce, PhD

Dr. Ninez Ponce, Ph.D., M.P.P., is a professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of its UCLC Center for Health Policy Research. She leads the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation’s largest state health survey, recognized as a national model for data collection on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and immigrant health. Ponce recently served on the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Health Statistics. She has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Quality Forum (NQF), where her expertise has focused on setting guidance for health systems in the measurement and use of race/ethnicity and other social determinants of health as tools to monitor health equity. In 2019, Ponce and her team received the AcademyHealth Impact award for their contributions to population health measurement to inform public policies. In recognition of her career-long commitment to community-engaged research and data advocacy, Ponce was the 2019-20 recipient of the Don T. Nakanishi Award for Outstanding Engaged Scholarship at UCLA and the 2020 inaugural Data Equity award from the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL).As the chair of AcademyHealth 2020 meeting, Ponce advocated for plenary discussions of algorithmic fairness, especially in making inferences on health, health behaviors, and health risks of people of color. In many ways the excellence of the health policy field is conditioned on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the data. Ponce champions better data, especially on social determinantsof health, better inferences on communities of color, better population representation of data, especially for those that are typically invisible in administrative and surveillance data, and better care for overlooked groups. Ponce earned her bachelor’sdegree in science at UC Berkeley, her master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University, and her Ph.D. in health services at UCLA.


Sural Shah, MD, MPH

Dr. Sural Shah is a primary care physician in Los Angeles, CA.Dr. Shah is a faculty advisor for the Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative and co-directs the Olive View-UCLA Human Rights Clinic. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed her training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania-Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program. She obtained her Master's in Public Health from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.She is an assistant professor in the Division of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA andis chief of the Division of Primary Care at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. 


Jody Heymann, MD, PhD

Jody Heymann, MD, PhD is Founding Director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, and Distinguished Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Geffen School of Medicine.An unprecedented effort to improve the level and quality of comparative policy data available to policymakers, researchers and the public, WORLD examines health and social policies and outcomes in all 193 UN countries.Dr. Heymann previously held a Canada Research Chair in Global Health andSocial Policy at McGill University where she was the founding director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy.While on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, she founded the Project on Global Working Families. Dr. Heymann has received numerous honors, including election to the national Institute of Medicine in 2013 and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2012. She has worked with leaders in North American, European, African, and Latin American governments as well as a wide range of intergovernmental organizations including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF, and UNESCO.Dr. Heymann’s findings have been featured on CNN Headline News; MSNBC; Good Morning America; Fox News; National Public Radio’s All Things Considered; Fresh Air and Marketplace; in The New York Times; Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; Business Week, Inc; Portfolio; Forbes India and USA Today among other internationally and nationally syndicated programs and press.

UCLA medical, public health, dental, and nursing students of any year are encouraged to apply to become a student director for the 2022 Healthcare Symposium. Please keep an eye out for an email invitation to apply during Fall of 2021!