Program Conference Committee

Melissa Palma, MD, MPH
(She/Her/Hers)
Program Committee Mentor

Melissa Palma, MD, MPH (she/her/hers) is an Iowa-raised daughter of Filipino immigrants. She graduated with degrees in biochemistry and medicine from the University of Iowa and began her career dedicated to the health of underserved populations. Her medical school capstone project for the Service and Global Health Distinction Tracks focused on health education programs for rural migrant farmworkers and a needs assessment of refugee social services in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa.

 

Dr. Palma is a Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine Resident at Cook County Health in Chicago, IL, one of the oldest and largest safety-net health systems in the US. She graduated with a Masters of Public Health from Northwestern University and serves on the Organization of Resident Representatives for the American Association of Medical Colleges. Dr. Palma also serves as a medical advisor for TayoHelp.com, a culturally tailored resource providing trustworthy COVID-19 information for Filipino Americans, sponsored by the FYLPRO COVID-19 Task Force. Her academic interests include immigrant and refugee health, advocacy for health equity and addressing health disparities, and mentorship of underrepresented students in medicine.

 

Dr. Palma also advocates for the Filipino community as an inaugural member of the Bicultural Iowa Writers’ Fellowship anthology, We the Interwoven, for emerging Iowan writers from immigrant backgrounds. Exploring themes of migration, belonging, and home in the Filipino diaspora, her writing has been featured in the Des Moines Art Festival, the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Book Festival, and the non-circulating Pilipinx American Library exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art.

Jackline Lasola
(She/Her/Hers)
Co-Head of Program Committee 

Jackline is an MD/PhD student at the University of Maryland Medical Scientist Training Program. She will be graduating with her PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in October 2021 and will return to medical school as an MS-III. Jackline was born in San Francisco and grew up in Vallejo, CA, prior to attending the University of California Berkeley for undergrad. She then moved to Baltimore, MD, to pursue graduate studies at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health before matriculating to medical school. She loves the community that CYFAM has been able to build through its first few years and is excited to see its expansion as CYFAM nurtures the next generation of Filipino leaders in medicine and health.

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Alexandra Bartolome
(She/Her/Hers)
Program Committee Member

Jonathan Ibanez
(He/Him/His)
Program Committee Member

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Urielle Gutierrez
(She/Her/Hers)
Program Committee Member

Urielle Gutierrez was born and raised in the Philippines, she immigrated to the U.S. when she was 14 years old. At 19, she graduated as a consistent honor student from Sweetwater High School and is majoring in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

 

At UCLA, she is the Apo Project Director for UCLA Pilipinos for Community Health (PCH), an organization that empower and serve the underserved communities in the Greater Los Angeles area by providing cultural relevant health literacy and services. Just like the name entails, Apo Project strives to foster grandparent-grandchild relationships and bridge the intergenerational gap. Apo Project is the only component that serves the elderly by building meaningful relationships with them. Growing up, she has been passionate about long-standing problems that the elderly face such as social isolation, mental disorders, as well as dementia. She is also the Program Coordinator for Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI) a non-profit organization promoting the cultural, social and economic advancement of the Filipino American Community.

 

During high school, she held numerous positions in her school’s Associated Student Body, wherein she became the second chief of staff in history. She was a Junior Leader and a volunteer at SHARP Chula Vista, bringing smiles to the patients through art. She also welcomed and greeted patients and families as a Reception & Information desk volunteer. By becoming a Junior Leader, she was able to interview incoming volunteers, attend orientations, and train volunteers. Her passion for volunteering, has garnered her a total of 400+ community service hours. When Urielle is not busy with her studies, she volunteers, or watch K-dramas and cook for her family.