We formed a unique collaboration between Jose’s Hands, OTTOM, and medical officials in the Dominican Republic. Together harnessed the expertise of dedicated health and medical professionals to address a myriad of challenges in the Dominican Republic.
Plagued by poverty and limited healthcare resources, the country's disease burden is alarmingly high. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition and treatable diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and typhoid fever contribute to the majority of deaths among children. In addition to basic medical concerns, frequent natural disasters pose great healthcare challenges. Located near a Caribbean-Atlantic fault line, the Dominican Republic is often hard hit by hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.
2017 Jose's Hands Ambassadors
Zara Kazmi Syeda
My name is Syeda Kazmi, and I’m currently a first-year student at College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a minor in Public Health from UCSD. After that, I got my master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from University of Nevada School of Medicine. I immigrated to the United States from a war-torn region in the Middle East when I was twelve years old. Thus, I am aware of the health disparities and the need for quality health care in underserved populations. I am grateful to God to be chosen for this medical mission trip, and I am excited to be part of a team which provides helping hands to people in need.
My name is Sarah Lee and I am a first-year medical student at UIC College of Medicine in Chicago. I have lived in the Chicago suburbs my entire life, but have traveled all around the world. My interests are in global medicine, women’s health, and psychiatry. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life – but in my spare time, I love to run, bake, read, and play music.
My name is Nicolas Reyes and am from Miami, FL. I am an upcoming second-year medical student at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami. I previously attended FIU, where I received degrees in Chemistry and Biological Sciences. I am currently interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics with a fellowship in adolescent medicine. As an undergraduate, I was able to work with the underserved community in Miami and that experience has made me want to venture into global health. I am excited to be going on my first mission trip and I hope to leave a lasting impact in the communities we will be working with.
William Marrero Ortiz
My name is William Marrero Ortiz and I am from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. I am currently a second-year medical student at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. In my free time, I like to play basketball, go to the beach and read books. This is my first medical mission trip, and I feel blessed and excited to have this opportunity.
My name is Alexis Mugno and I am from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. I attended the University of South Florida where I received my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in gerontology. After graduation, I moved to New Haven, Connecticut where I worked as a research assistant at Yale University School of Medicine. Today, I currently reside in Miami, Florida where I am a rising third-year student physician at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. As a daughter of two immigrants, I’m elated and honored to serve others abroad with Jose’s Hands. I eagerly look forward to the opportunity to make a positive impact on all the people we will meet and to spread God’s love.
Phillip Moreira Calaj
Hello! My name is Philip Calaj, I am from Marietta, Georgia. I have just recently completed my first year of Podiatric medical school at Barry University. I am beyond excited for my upcoming trip to the DR, in hopes of lending my helping hands to those in need. I can’t wait to get out there and make a difference. It’s an honor and blessing to contribute towards the betterment of someone’s life.
My name is Julio Gutierrez, and I am a first-year podiatric student at Barry University. I am from Miami, FL, and my parents are from Nicaragua. Pursuing medicine was a dream of mine from a young age. As I began to embark on my medical journey, I had the opportunity to volunteer at homeless clinics throughout South Florida; those experiences further cemented my desire to serve others, especially the underserved population. I am extremely honored to have been chosen to participate on a mission with Jose’s Hands, and I will not take for granted the privilege of delivering medical care to those who need it the most in our world.
Beltzy Nallely Monterroso
My name is Beltzy Monterroso, I am a first-generation college student, born in Guatemala from two immigrant parents. I am at the start of my second-year of medical school at Barry School of Podiatric Medicine. Thanks to Jose’s Hands I have been given the opportunity to attend my First Medical Mission Trip. Medicine draws you to face different challenges every day. Each patient carries their own story; this is where medicine embodies you to care for the person and not for their disease. I present myself as a person who listens and is willing to help, because our sacrifices today, make our mission for a better tomorrow.
Gaithe Agina Stcyr
My name is Gaithe St.Cyr and I am currently a second-year student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida where I was able to complete my first medical mission trip in 2012 in a small village called El Limon, in El Salvador. This experience was insightful and humbling and reminded me of the great impact that my medical knowledge and skills can have on those in need. I am thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to serve those in need in the Dominican Republic and look forward to the opportunity to be able to work with others who feel the same.
My name is Stephanie Wu and I am a first-year medical student at Barry University School of Podiatry. I was born in Honolulu and raised in Taiwan/California. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. After college, I worked for a research lab at UC San Diego with a concentration in neural stem cell replacement therapy in regenerative medicine. I enjoyed research but decided that it was time to engage with humans. I couldn’t be any more excited and grateful for the opportunity Jose’s Hands has granted me with going on this medical mission!