Publicity Conference Committee

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Natasha Abadilla
Publicity Committee Mentor

Natasha is currently in her final year at the Stanford School of Medicine in California. She was born and raised on Kauai in the state of Hawaii, and both of her parents immigrated from Ilocos Norte, Philippines; Natasha is excited to be a part of the first CYFAM conference as part of the Evaluation sub-committee, as she has often felt discouraged at the lack of Filipinx representation in the hospital and clinic settings she has worked in so far.

 

Researching health disparities research has been a huge passion for Natasha throughout her undergraduate and medical school careers. She received a Stanford MedScholars Grant to conduct a year-long research project on pediatric surgery outcomes; during this year, she investigated how language and cultural barriers impede expedient recovery after anorectal malformation surgeries and the success of post-operative steroid use in the Kasai procedure. Natasha also led a research effort to assess and improve the informed consent process in public hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan. Other research projects she has been involved with include: analyzing patient perceptions of recovery after traumatic injury, developing an artificial intelligence algorithm to predict donor liver steatosis and early graft failure, and predicting pathology from early imaging in children with congenital pulmonary lung malformations. Prior to starting medical school in 2016, Natasha spent two years living and working in Kenya: the first in rural Kenya, working for a grassroots non-profit to help develop a sustainable mother-child wellness program and provide clean drinking water and hand washing tanks to the entire rural school district; and the second in Nairobi, working for a social enterprise helping to scale up a “lean clinic” system in the city slums. While she was an undergraduate at Stanford University, she participated in various global health trips, including a trip to the Cebu, Philippines, with the Southeast Asian Leadership Network (SEALNet), during which she helped develop leadership skills in middle school students to support their heart health promotion program.

 

Outside of the world of health and medicine, Natasha volunteers with various community groups in her current hometown, including an arts and advocacy group called the Hood Squad and a homeless shelter and services organization called Project WeHOPE. She is also currently working on a creative non-fiction anthology of short stories about her experiences as a medical student and collaborating as a writer on a children’s book encouraging good hand hygiene. Finally, she loves playing with her two year-old miniature pinscher and cooking her favorite Filipino dishes…or at least trying to!

Angeline Blancia
(She/Her/Hers)
Head of Publicity Committee

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Kevin Castor
(He/Him/His)

Publicity Committee Member

Ricka Andrea Balingit
(She/Her/Hers)
Publicity Committee Member

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Charysa Santos
(She/Her/Hers)

Publicity Committee Member

 

Charysa is a 4th year undergraduate pre-medical student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is originally from Pasay City, Philippines but currently resides in Clovis, CA. She became involved in CYFAM in 2020 during the first national conference as a volunteer for the event. This year, she is continuing her work within the CYFAM Publicity Committee to help spread awareness and extend the space to all Pilipinx individuals looking for a community within the medical field. Aside from CYFAM, she is also the current External Executive Director for Pilipinos for Community Health (PCH) at UCLA, where she has grown her passion for pursuing medicine and public health through volunteering for the annual medical mission in the Philippines, as well as at nursing homes, health fairs, and hypertension sites over the past four years. In her free time, she enjoys creating art as well as playing the violin with her local church ensemble.

Netanya Flores
(She/Her/Hers)

Publicity Committee Member

Ms. Flores graduated from Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, NJ and was actively involved as President of the Science League, Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, was on the varsity cross country and track & field teams, secretary of the her school's National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society and graduated in the top 10% of her class in 2017.

She graduated in May 2021 with departmental honors from Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and double minors in Biological Sciences and Health & Society. During her undergraduate years, Netanya was an active member of the Rutgers Cognitive Science Club where she became the first Director of Alumni Relations on their executive board. Netanya was one of three undergraduates to help found the only Rutgers undergraduate chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association where she was both Vice President ('19-'20) and President ('20-'21). Under her leadership, Netanya helped to create the only pre-PA and pre-Med mentorship program affiliated with various doctorate programs in NJ, raised money for the victims of the Beirut explosion and girls of The Malala Fund, collaborated with other APIDA focused organizations, and connected undergraduates with medical professionals and students from all fields of healthcare. For 2 years she worked as the marketing coordinator and community and outreach coordinator at the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance which aids survivors of domestic, sexual and interpersonal violence. Despite all this, her fondest memory was the ability to be chosen as a conference speaker at the national MARK Conference in March 2021.

Currently, Netanya is pursuing her Master of Biomedical Sciences Degree at Rutgers University-Newark Biomedical and Health Sciences Program. She is planning to pursue a career as a podiatric physician with a focus in either neurovascular diabetic care or reconstructive and trauma surgery. Beyond academics, Netanya finds joy in traveling, reading, hiking and running, hosting her podcast "The Simply Spoken" and trying new bubble tea shops.

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