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First Year Clinical Scholars

Dr. Yelba Castellon-Lopez

Yelba Castellon-Lopez, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Yelba Castellon-Lopez completed residency in family medicine at UCLA.  Additionally, she obtained her undergraduate degree in women’s studies at UCLA and her medical degree from the Charles R. Drew/UCLA medical education program.  In 2010, Dr. Castellon-Lopez founded the “Spring into Health: annual event to raise public awareness of local health and wellness resources, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide residents of South Los Angeles with innovative tools for addressing health care disparities.  She was able to secure $12000 in funding and local sponsorships and participation of over 900 residents of South Los Angeles.  For this work, she received a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature Assembly Member, Mike Davis.

Career Interests: Dr. Castellon-Lopez is interested in community based participatory research, immigrant Latino health, and health disparities.  She is currently working with Gerardo Moreno (UCLA CSP Alumnus and Assistant Professor in Family Medicine) on the implementation of an evidence based diabetes self management curriculum which also addresses depression among Latina patients at a safety net clinic. 

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, she would like to focus on Latino health issues, under-resourced communities, and learning community based participatory research methods. 

Dr. Enrico Castillo

Enrico Castillo, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles


Dr. Enrico Castillo completed psychiatry residency at Columbia University. Dr. Castillo obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his MD with a Concentration in Underserved Populations from the University of Pittsburgh. During residency he conducted research on antipsychotic prescribing practices in New York State and was selected as an American Psychiatric Association/SAMHSA Minority Fellow, which included a grant with which he created an online series of filmed interviews focused on Asian American mental health. In 2014-15 he completed a clinical fellowship in Public Psychiatry at Columbia University. He spent that fellowship year as a staff psychiatrist on a north Bronx Assertive Community Treatment team and a “housing first” outreach team for the chronically street homeless in lower Manhattan with the organization Janian Medical/Project for Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless. During that year, he continued his research as a New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar, completing a pilot project to develop and validate a Medicaid-based algorithm to identify those with treatment-resistant psychotic illness who may benefit most from a trial of clozapine.

Career Interests: Dr. Castillo is interested in community-academic partnerships, outreach-based care models, the reverse-integration of primary care with behavioral health, and healthcare policy. Common themes are a focus on the behavioral and physical health of underserved and at-risk populations, like those with serious mental illness and the chronically homeless.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, he hopes to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health at the intersection of health policy and mental health services research, with projects focused on health system reform to address social determinants of health and mandatory outpatient treatment.

Dr. Nathan Favini

Nathan Favini , M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Nathan Favini completed his residency in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He earned his undergraduate degree at Haverford College and served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique prior to attending Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he helped lead a student-faculty collaborative clinic designed to address the primary care needs of recently incarcerated people and frequent users of the emergency department. He also worked as a fellow in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and served as Student Council Vice-President for Advocacy.

As a resident, Dr. Favini provided primary care, including integrated HIV and substance abuse care, at a Federally Qualified Health Center in the South Bronx.  He saw patients at Rikers Island Correctional Health Services and performed medical and psychological assessments for survivors of torture and state-sponsored violence at the Bronx Human Rights Clinic. He is currently working on a large survey of Accountable Care Organizations to better understand physician compensation and incentives within these organizations.

Career Interests: Dr. Favini is deeply concerned about unequal distribution of health resources and plans to study the ways that health care financing exacerbates and ameliorates health disparities. In particular, he is interested in examining the effect of pay-for-performance and value-based purchasing programs on the quality of health care in underserved communities.

Research Interests: Dr. Favini will also focus efforts on evaluating innovations in primary care, particularly for interventions that reach marginalized groups.

Brian Hurley, M.D.

Brian Hurley, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Brian Hurley completed an addition psychiatry fellowship at New York University and general psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital;. He earned his undergraduate degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Neuroscience and a minor in Political Theory from the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained his medical degree from University of Southern California, where he also obtained his MBA. Dr. Hurley is currently as the national treasurer of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is also the delegate from GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality to the American Medical Association. Dr. Hurley previously served as the National President of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and was a 2010-2013 American Psychiatric Association Public Psychiatry Fellow where he served on the APA Board of Trustees, was a 2012 American College of Psychiatrists Laughlin Fellow, and is a 2015-2017 Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry Fellow.

Career Interests: Dr. Hurley is interested in addiction medicine, health services research and implementation science, and health policy research.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Hurley would like to study the characteristics of successful models of care focused on preventing and treating substance use associated illness, and determine the extent to which these can be cost-effectively integrated within the evolving payment environment.

Dr. Gauri Kolhatkar

Gauri Kolhatkar, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Gauri Kolhatkar is currently a fellow in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She obtained her undergraduate degree with a major in human biology from Stanford University. She earned her medical degree and a Masters of Public Health from Northwestern University, during which time she worked in clinics in rural Mexico and with the Indian Health Services in Zuni, NM. During this time she also received an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Community Service and completed her Master’s thesis research with the Family Health Outcomes Project at UCSF. She completed residency and a chief residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Kolhatkar has served as Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland (now UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland).  She has also served as Staff Volunteer Pediatrician at the Venice Family Clinic. She currently cares for patients at a specialized L.A. County clinic that serves children involved with its Department of Children and Family Services. She is also a contributor to the Health Professional Education, Advocacy and Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking Network, where she collaborates to address human trafficking and child rights as health issues.  She is currently working on a project at Harbor-UCLA to increase health care provider awareness of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Career Interests:Dr. Kolhatkar aims to serve maltreated children by advocating for universal child rights and for compassionate, trauma-informed policies, programs and communities.  

Research Interests: She is interested in health care/system redesign as it applies to child welfare-involved families and in exploring how linkage and analysis of administrative data can inform and improve systems of care for this vulnerable population.

Sean O’Neill, M.D.

Sean O’Neill, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Sean O’Neill is currently a resident in the Department of Surgery at UCLA and is on track to complete his training in 2020. Dr. O’Neill obtained his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Between the second and third years of medical school, he moved to Los Angeles and obtained a PhD in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he was the recipient of the Thomas A. Epley Scholarship. His doctoral dissertation was a multiple case-study that examined the mechanisms and determinants of success in implementing quality improvement interventions across all types of health care delivery organizations. While at RAND, he also led and published analyses of the quality of advanced cancer and end-of-life care at the VA.

Career Interests: Dr. O’Neill is interested in organizational quality improvement, surgical outcomes of care, and healthcare improvement leadership. He has worked with Lisa Rubenstein on multiple quality improvement studies, as well as with Karl Lorenz and Susan Ettner on the financing of end of life and hospice care.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, he plans to conduct an evaluation of quality improvement activities across a set of 315 hospitals participating in a national surgical outcomes reporting program (the American College of Surgeons NSQIP). His aim is to understand how and why certain surgical quality improvement interventions have been implemented in response to outcomes measurement, and how effective these interventions have been. He will focus on post-operative re-intubations and 30 day readmissions. 

Dr. Joseph Rojas

Joseph Rojas, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Joseph Rojas completed his pediatric residency in 2014 at UCLA in the Community Health Advocacy Track (CHAT). He obtained his undergraduate degree with a major in Psychology from The University of Arizona and then deferred admission to medical school to spend a year studying at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany. He earned his medical degree from Yale University, where he spent an additional fifth year conducting research for his thesis, “Trends In Primary Care Specialization Among Physicians And Nonphysician Clinicians, 1989-2009.” As a medical student, Dr. Rojas was a member of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Gay-Straight Medical Alliance (GSMA), where he participated in events to promote diversity in the health professions. He earned several awards including the Dean’s prize for Community Service, the New England Pediatric Society Award, and Yale School of Medicine Farr Scholar Award. Since completing residency, Dr. Rojas has worked full-time attending at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Hub Clinic — a clinic for children in foster care or at risk for detainment from their parents by DCFS. He has also been conducting a study to examine several key health indicators for over 10,000 youth, aged 12 to 17 years, incarcerated in Los Angeles County.

Career Interests: Dr. Rojas’s primary interests are juvenile incarceration, foster care, and child abuse and neglect.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Rojas would like to continue working with the LA County Juvenile Court Health Service and Department of Probation to improve continuity of health services for youth following release from detention. Through this work, he hopes to build a conceptual model of a post-release multidisciplinary clinic whose primary aim is the reduction of recidivism as well as incarceration-associated health risks.

Tara Russell, M.D.

Tara Russell, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Tara Russell is currently a resident in the Department of Surgery at UCLA and is on track to complete her training in 2020. Dr. Russell obtained her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College and went on to complete a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Tufts University School of Medicine – Public Health, where she was awarded the Ian MacNiel Award for Achievements in Biostatistics Analysis and Presentation.  Then she obtained her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. 

Career Interests: Dr. Russell is interested in surgical quality improvement, surgical oncology and transplantation, and effective methods for translating clinical data.  She is drawn to the area of liver transplant and would like to work on identifying factors and implementing interventions focused on reducing prolonged hospitalization and readmission in the liver transplant population. 

Research Interests: She proposes a three phase project including 1) development of a prospective database to identify donor, recipient and medical factors that contribute to prolonged hospitalization and readmission, 2) develop an enhanced recovery pathway (ERP), 3) implement ERP and assess if adherence results in improved outcomes

Lello Tesema, M.D.

Lello Tesema, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Lello Tesema completed her internal medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance.  She obtained her undergraduate degree with a major in Economics and minor in Religious Studies from Cornell University.  She earned her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She served as a delegate to the Committee for Interns and Residents Union and was actively involved in an appeal to raise the hourly wage of the hospital security staff. Dr. Tesema also chaired a mentorship program between Mount Sinai medical students and high school juniors at Manhattan Science and Math high School in East Harlem who are interested in medical professions.  

Career Interests: Dr. Tesema is interested in the substance abuse, social determinants of health, and health disparities.  She has worked on two projects to gain a better understanding of barriers to treatment for opioid addiction: 1) an audit access to buprenorphine treatment in the state of Massachusetts 2) an evaluation of how opioid addiction and treatment is taught in residency programs in the United States.  She presented her findings at the national American Public Health Association meeting in 2013 and regional and national 2014 SGIM national meeting.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, she is interested in pursuing a project to explore the effectiveness of screening for opioid disorders, brief interventions and referral to treatment in safety net settings in at risk communities.  She is particularly interested in developing more effective interventions for former inmates with opioid addiction.


Second Year Clinical Scholars

Priya Batra, M.D.

Priya Batra, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Priya Batra, M.D. completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Batra earned her undergraduate degree in Community Health from Brown University. She received her medical training at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. During her medical training, she served as president of Columbia’s chapter of Physicians for Human Rights - an organization building awareness of links between health and human rights. She was also a founding member of the Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership, a free clinic providing medical care to the unstably housed in Northern Manhattan. She was awarded the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship in 2008, which she used to develop and implement a study in Cape Town, South Africa, evaluating the Western Cape Department of Health's cervical cancer screening program for women living with HIV. During her residency training, Dr. Batra has been involved in research seeking to improve abortion care, and has also done research in quality improvement in managing obstetric hemorrhage. Dr. Batra's research interests include developing new models for delivering prenatal care, preconception/interconception care, and patient safety. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Batra plans to focus her research in developing new models for reproductive care that will empower and benefit women and families receiving health services in the public health care system.

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Reshma Gupta, M.D.

Reshma Gupta, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Reshma Gupta completed her residency and chief residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Gupta earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Education from the University of California Berkeley. She received her medical training from the University of California San Francisco. Her research interests lie in health system delivery, clinical decision-making, medical education, and health disparities. During her medical training, she worked as a Doris Duke Fellow from which she published numerous papers about barriers to accessing quality HIV care. In residency, she developed curriculum to train new physicians about quality, value-based care, and practice improvement. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Gupta looks forward to better understanding how trainees incorporate value into clinical decision making, identifying best practices and innovations in training new physicians to engage in high value care, and promoting national spread of these interventions among academic medical centers. She is also interested in better understanding value from patient and provider points of view across the care continuum within low resourced communities.

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Ippolytos Kalofonos, M.D.

Ippolytos Kalofonos, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Ippolytos Kalofonos, MD completed residency in Psychiatry at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Kalofonos earned his undergraduate degree in anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. He received his medical training from the University of California, San Francisco, while also obtaining a PhD in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco and a Master’s degree in Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently psychiatry resident and an American Psychiatric Association Minority Leadership Fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle. He conducted ethnographic research in Mozambique looking at community experiences with the HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up from 2003 to 2010. In addition, he has worked in Salvador, Brazil studying urban leptospirosis epidemics, in Nicaragua working on a post-hurricane needs assessment, and on the US-Mexico border looking at access to prenatal care. Dr. Kalofonos’ current research interests include community mental health, recovery and peer-support interventions, and global mental health. He is interested in developing collaborative, person-centered approaches to severe mental illness and at ways of decreasing medication burden and improving life expectancy for people diagnosed with severe mental illness. Dr. Kalofonos looks forward to a career balancing clinical practice and research at the interface of psychiatry, health services, and cultural and medical anthropology, focused on patient-centered mental health interventions and improving care of marginalized populations.

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Lucinda Leung, M.D.

Lucinda Leung, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Lucinda Leung, M.D. completed residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Leung earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Chinese Language and Literature at Dartmouth College. She received her medical training at Brown Medical School and Dartmouth Medical School. She also obtained a Masters of Public Health Degree in family and community health at Harvard School of Public Health. During her medical training, she was a researcher for Partners in Health: Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change, collaborating in a psychosocial intervention for HIV-affected families in central Haiti. She created and implemented a pilot quality improvement project to improve medication adherence in uninsured hypertensive patients at RI Free Clinic. Also, she served at the Brown Community Clinic where she founded Brown Medical School’s inaugural student-run clinic and authored medical student curriculum on care of underserved populations. Dr. Leung’s research interests include mental health, health disparities, and medical education. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Leung wishes to achieve county-level impact on primary care delivery to underserved populations in both academic and public health settings, and gain the skills to transform primary care in many vulnerable and underserved communities.

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Leonard Moore, M.D.

Leonard Moore, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Leonard Moore, MD completed residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Yale University. Dr. Moore earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Columbus State University. He received his medical training at the Morehouse School of Medicine. During his medical training, he was a research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as a medical scholar/researcher through the General Electric/National Medical Fellowship Medical scholars program, an international fellowship focusing on critical regional healthcare needs in collaboration with Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. There he completed a research project on rates of medication adherence to HAART among people living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Moore also served as the National President of the American College of Preventive Medicine – Medical Student Section (ACPM-MSS), during which he collaborated with the American Medical Student Association to create and facilitate the first webinar series for Preventive medicine to educate students on this growing field of medicine. Dr. Moore's research interests include access to care for racial and sexual minorities, effects of sexual networks on HIV rates in MSM, and quality of care measures for LGBT people. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Moore will continue his work through a project involving the creation of a mobile application for smart phones with the goal of increasing HIV testing, treatment, and prevention in young men who have sex with men (YMSM).

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Adam Schickedanz, M.D.

Adam Schickedanz, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Adam Schickedanz, MD completed residency in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he served as chief resident. Adam received his undergraduate training in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Adam was a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science from 2008 to 2009. Adam has published peer-reviewed research on clinical communication, cultural competency, medical professionalism, health care value, and the intersections of financial stress and health. He is active in curricular reform integrating health policy and cost awareness into medical education. Adam co-founded a nonprofit medical-financial partnership, The Financial Fitness Clinic, which has been recognized both locally and nationally for its work reducing socioeconomic drivers of poor health among families experiencing economic hardship. Dr. Schickedanz's research interests include social determinants of health, health care value, medical culture, and education. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Schickedanz would address the ways in which economic health and physical health are intertwined in America, both for individual patients and the communities in which they live. Dr. Schickedanz' career interests are at the intersections of research, policy, education, community engagement, and clinical care. Through the clinical scholars program, he looks forward to solidifying a strong research foundation and connecting with a vibrant community of innovators whose collective aim is to elevate the health of our nation.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Lee Squitieri, M.D.

Lee Squitieri, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Lee Squitieri, MD is a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at the University of Southern California. Dr. Squitieri received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and medical degree at the University of Michigan.  During her medical training she completed masters in science in clinical research, also at the University of Michigan. Throughout her training, she has participated in numerous research projects in reconstructive hand surgery including her role as principal investigator for study involving patients with neonatal brachial plexus palsy.

Research Interest:  Her research interests include shared decision making, structural health care disparities, and quality improvement. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Squitieri would like to conduct quality health services research and translate these findings into the health policy arena. Dr. Squitieri looks forward to having an academic career involving research in system based health disparities and surgical quality improvement.

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Jesus Ulloa, M.D.

Jesus Ulloa, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Jesus Ulloa, MD is a general surgery resident at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ulloa earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry B.S at the University of California, Davis. He received his medical training at the University of California Irvine Medical School. He also received his MBA degree from the UC Irvine business school. During his medical training, he served as a researcher for the UC Irvine Department of Surgery, where he did a chart review of patients with vascular access grafts for hemodialysis that have required stent intervention with goal of assessing post stent patency and incidence of re-intervention. He also co-created a pilot program for students at Santa Ana High School, and worked with 100 students leading dissections and lectures designed to make biology more interactive for Surgery Interest Group.

Research Interest: His research interests include preoperative indicators of morbidity and mortality, surgical Outcomes, and disparities in access to surgical services. As a clinical scholar, he hopes to address the barriers that prevent patients from accessing surgical services and gain new skills as an advocate for patients that need timely surgical interventions in our evolving health paradigm.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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