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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Rural-PRIME Student Spotlight

NEWS | September 24, 2013


UC Davis medical student Hayley Rousek has been selected to receive the 2013-14 Janet Gordon Armour, M.D., Scholarship, which benefits an outstanding first-year female student pursuing primary care medicine. The award, established in 1997, honors Janet Gordon Armour, a 1978 graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Hayley Rousek
Hayley Rousek, left, was among a group of UC Davis Medical students who traveled to Honduras earlier this year to provide medical care to underserved patients. Shown with Rousek are classmate Young Eloria Jeon, center, and Bob Quadro, a volunteer faculty member at the medical school.

Originally from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., Rousek is beginning her second year of medical school and will receive a $3,750 award. Rousek received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UC Davis in 2007.

At the UC Davis School of Medicine, Rousek is enrolled in the Rural-PRIME program, which is designed to produce physician leaders who are trained in and committed to helping California's underserved communities.

For the past nine years, Rousek has been a volunteer at Clinica Tepati, a nonprofit community clinic operated by UC Davis medical students that serves the uninsured Latino population in Sacramento. Currently the clinic’s medical student officer, Rousek said the experience has strengthened her desire to empower the underserved through primary care.

Because her own family was uninsured while she was growing up, Rousek said she considers it “a special honor to be able to improve the lives patients through health.” Early in her life, Rousek gained an appreciation for the relationship that develops as a doctor, patient and family work together for better health. She was a caregiver for her grandfather after he struggled to adapt to a new lifestyle following renal failure. Later, she cared for her mother after she underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries.

“I will draw upon these personal experiences to make sure I am a physician who is dedicated, thorough, thoughtful and communicative, and does everything in my power to make sure each patient has the best care,” Rousek said.

The Armour Scholarship is awarded annually. Armour, after receiving her medical degree from UC Davis School of Medicine in 1978, completed her residency in family practice in Fresno, and then practiced in the Paradise, Calif., area. She died in 1997 at the age of 48. Her husband, Jerry, who still lives in Paradise; her mother, Helen Gordon; and her sister, Liane Haynes, established the scholarship and assist in selecting the annual recipient.

Donations to the Janet Gordon Armour, M.D., Scholarship can be made by calling the Alumni Affairs office at UC Davis Health System, at 916-734-9410.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at

Joint effort brings health care to Knight's Landing

August 2012, Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine
By Alexa Calfee, MS II, Co-Director, Knights Landing Clinic

WHEN I FIRST LEARNED OF THE Knights Landing Community Engagement Project (KLCEP), I thought it was a dream come true. I came to the UC Davis Rural PRIME program because I want to be a rural family doctor, but I could not believe my luck — I was going to be part of starting a new clinic. This clinic was in
the rural community of Knights Landing, just outside of Woodland, providing services geared towards the migrant farmworker community.

Being a Yolo County local, I was thrilled to be working so close to home and with a population I had gone to school with over the years. For me, the Knights Landing Clinic aspect of KLCEP started during the first week of medical school, but for most KLCEP members and the Knights Landing Community, the clinic was a long time in coming. As the story has been told to me, both the only public school in the community and the local park were closed due to budget cuts. It may seem strange that a clinic sprang from the closing of a school, but this event was monumental in the organization of a group of community advocates, now known as the grupo
de mujeres. These women began to organize and reach outside of the Knights Landing community for help.

They found support in California Rural Legal Assistance and UC Davis sociology assistant professor, Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Ph.D. Eventually, the Woodland School District opened the Science and Technology Charter
School in 2010. It was also during this time that the community had been hit with the loss of other resources, including the local CommuniCare Clinic, which had been serving the community for several years. It was time for the grupo de mujeres to look for another solution.

When the CommuniCare Clinic closed, the migrant farmworkers’ access to health care was now not only compromised by the obvious language difficulties, but also by the necessity of transportation to Woodland. With only two weekly buses running to and from Woodland, a visit to the doctor’s office often meant calling in a favor from a neighbor or friend, or spending most of the day using public transportation while missing work.

The grupo de mujeres was well organized and had regular weekly meetings by this point. With some help from outside advocates, the women caught the attention of several student co-directors of Clínica Tepati (one of the seven clinics run by UC Davis students) and Rural PRIME students. After nearly three years of long meetings with multiple partners, another UC Davis student-run clinic was going to be a reality.

By October 2011, we had a facility, monetary support and a group of very dedicated faculty. We were about to open Clínica Tepati’s first satellite clinic, after smoothing out some lastminute details including setting up an EMR system and developing protocols. This was no small task for a group of first-year medical students with a full load of classes.

The Knights Landing Clinic officially opened its doors with a celebration on Sunday,January 29, 2012. The community came out for a town hall meeting and health care screenings. Each patient seen at the health fair has subsequently been followed up on clinic days with appointments scheduled via the EMR.

New patients come in on clinic days or call an answering service to leave a message for an appointment. The clinic is now open the third Sunday of each month and is staffed by medical student, undergraduate, nurse and
physician volunteers. A core group of graduate and medical student co-directors manage 20 undergraduate volunteers. Following KLCEP sentiments, the Knights Landing Clinic Board has a community member as a voting member, to help maintain community influence in the clinic’s activities.

Opening day marked only the beginning of an exciting adventure. The Knights Landing Clinic is joining forces with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in an effort to promote a broader definition of health, termed “One-Health,” which includes the health of all members of the community, including pets, strays and farm animals. It is going to be a very exciting year for the Knights Landing Community. The creation of the Knights Landing Clinic has been a phenomenal collaboration between many individuals and groups.

We would like to especially thank the following:
CommuniCare Health Centers for their continued support; The UC Davis School of Medicine-Rural PRIME program: Dr. Suzanne Eidson-Ton,Sneha Patel, Dr. Don Hilty, Heather Mora; UC Davis School of Medicine: Dr. Thomas Nesbitt, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, Dr. Michael Wilkes, Dr. Mark Servis, Dr. Frederick Meyers, Ed Dagang; Clínica Tepati: Dr. Nate Hitzeman, Dr. Blanca Solis, Dr. Brenden Tu, board members; Yolo Family Resource Center: Bob Ekstrom, Josie Enriquez, Lina Hernandez;
California Rural Legal Assistance: Juanita Ontiveros; Dr. Natalia Deeb-Sossa; Woodland Joint Unified School District; • KLCEP members not previously mentioned: Denise Gutierrez, Kayla Tindall, Luis Godoy,
Sarah Ashley, Katie Corley, Oscar Valenzuela, Dolores Pena; • Knights Landing Co-Directors: Fiona Scott, Ashley Scarborough, Luis Ramirez, Jesse Landis, Phil Buss, Nadia Guardado; All of the nurse and physician preceptor volunteers who come every clinic day.

These individuals and groups are a perfect example of the collaboration needed to provide patients with accessible health care. None of this would have been possible without the support and continued support of these individuals and groups.

Thank you!

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about the Knights Landing Clinic, please contact us at or

First-year student wins Habbas Scholarship

January 31, 2012
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) —
Gaber Saleh, a first-year medical student, has won the Amin and Nancy Habbas Scholarship, established to help high-achieving students of Arab origin enrolled at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Saleh has received a $2,000 scholarship.

Criteria for the Habbas Scholarship, established in 1991, include leadership potential, community and extracurricular involvement, financial need and academic achievement.

Saleh, an Antioch native, is a Rural-PRIME student and was drawn to the program for the chance to learn how to practice rural medicine and become a leader in his community. Saleh's parents were both born and raised in Yemen, before they immigrated to the U.S. on a work visa.

Saleh will be leading this year's rural health fair in Jackson, which aids migrant farm workers that are unable to receive medical care. He said he is particularly sympathetic to the plight of farm workers since his father worked as a migrant farm worker when he first immigrated to America. His father told him of the many hardships that he and his fellow workers faced in trying to receive health care.

Saleh also volunteers at the student-run community clinic, Imani Clinic, providing care to underserved populations. He hopes to return to Yemen, where the rest of his extended family still resides, to establish health clinics in poor rural areas like those where his parents were raised.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at

The compassion and caring of our students

December 12, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

"What ingredients are essential to create great physicians and nurses?" is a question regularly debated among health-care educators.
Some are obvious — a keen and nimble mind, up-to-date knowledge of one's field, a strong collaborative spirit, and decisiveness under pressure. Beyond that, qualities such as values, perspective and feelings define an exceptional practitioner.

At UC Davis School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, we search for candidates with special strengths not typically revealed by standardized tests and academic grades. We look for students who will go on to practice medicine and improve health with compassion, cultural sensitivity, evidence-based inquiry, concern for the underserved and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. Our students provide powerful confirmation that we are on the right track in the selection and education of our colleagues in training. I would like to share a compelling story about one of our Rural-PRIME students — Christopher White.

Rural-PRIME Student

Christopher White, a fourth-year student from the North Coast town of McKinleyville, was hiking the John Muir Trail early in the school year with his fiancée when they came upon a woman in medical distress.

The hiker, who had just climbed 12,000-foot Silver Pass with her husband, asked for help, and Chris immediately responded. After taking a patient history and conducting a brief exam, Chris concluded that the symptoms were suggestive of excessive ibuprofen intake, which the hiker had been using for a lingering ankle injury. White advised the woman to discontinue the ibuprofen — and the hike — and seek treatment. For the hiker, who followed Chris' instructions, the trailside advice left a lasting impact. Her husband wrote to me to express his "heartfelt gratitude" for our student's wise counsel, and applaud our student training.
"Chris was everything she could have expected in the aid and advice she received, most certainly preventing a further deterioration of her condition and quite possibly providing life-saving counsel," the patient's grateful husband wrote.

Chris, who plans to practice psychiatry, explained that his response was an extension of the medical education and mentoring he has received at UC Davis.

"A lot of our third-year training was with amazing clinicians who are very caring and compassionate individuals, so it's natural to model ourselves after them," he said. "UC Davis really believes medicine is not just a business, but a calling, and I think the students here at UC Davis reflect that."


Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Health System
Vice Chancellor, Human Health Sciences
Dean, School of Medicine