Skip to main content
M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Class of 2016

Student profiles

 Fabian Alberto Fabian Alberto
I joined SJV PRIME because of my service in Merced. As an AmeriCorps member, I met residents from various creeds and background. I had the opportunity to organize with residents and policy makers to improve youth development, and access to healthy foods. The mobilization and activism of the community showed me the promise of working in the valley. PRIME gives me the opportunity to become the physician that gives back to the underserved community that provided my family with opportunity
 Filmon Mehanzel

Filmon Solomon Mehanzel
I chose San Joaquin Valley PRIME because I wanted to be an advocate for healthy communities in the Valley. I understand the growing need for health professionals for one of the largest medically underserved populations in the state and I would like to fulfill that need. The Valley has been my home for the last decade and I take great pride in being part of its next generation of physicians and community leaders.

  Karina Juarez

Karina Martinez Juarez
I was raised in the San Joaquin Valley since the age of two in the small town of Empire, CA. Growing up in the small rural town of Empire, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, I experienced the limitations of accessing healthcare due to socioeconomic status and in my clinical work I saw the unique stories and struggles of patients from all walks. My youth was spent witnessing reactive medicine in my family and migrant workers. Inspired by the hopes of servicing and advocating for the unique needs of the underserved San Joaquin Valley population San Joaquin Valley PRIME seemed like a great opportunity to do so! 

 Katy Ruch Katy Lynn Ruch
Growing up in the south Fresno area, as a previous foster care youth, I was immersed in a population of medically under-served, low-income families. Many of these families suffered hardships similar to my own, which left them unable to obtain sufficient medical care due to physician shortages, insurance complications or the family’s inability to pay. I know that there are many communities in the San Joaquin Valley which continue to undergo these adversities. Helping to alleviate some of this disparity is one of the many reasons I chose to participate in the SJV PRIME program.

Kristine Camille (KC) Leyba Ongaigui
UCSF-Fresno is very dear to me as a Fresno native and an alumnus of the Summer Biomedical Internship program. After learning about the SJV-PRIME program while working with Dr. Paul Mills at UCSF-Fresno, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. The program will provide me with the opportunity to stay close to home to help care for my grandmother, while pursuing my professional goals of addressing the health issues important to my hometown. I am drawn to the increasing overlap between technology and medicine, and I think that underserved Valley communities could greatly benefit from advances in telemedicine, electronic health records, and the web/mobile health movement.


Maricela Rangel-Garcia  
The San Joaquin Valley is the place I call home, and that is where my heart lies and I see no better place to practice medicine. I chose SJV PRIME because it will allow me to see, experience, and understand the San Joaquin Valley in a way that I never have before.  I will have the opportunity to learn more about the various populations and the huge health disparities that plague this area of California. In addition, I will gain invaluable leadership experience and have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty and staff that share my same values.