Minority Housestaff Organization Gala

"MHO gala was a true reflection of values and priorities," according to co-president Dr. Hessabi

The Minority Housestaff Organization (MHO) celebrated its second annual gala and reception on Saturday, Dec. 17, honoring the organization’s dedication to equity, diversity and inclusion.

The gala, which took place at the UCLA Fowler Museum, was hosted in part by the UCLA Department of Medicine’s EDI Office and the UCLA Health Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and featured local entertainment by Angellica Gordon, MD, co-lead for the gala planning committee, the Santa Monica Ballet Folklorico, and Hálau ‘Lilionoe Hula adult dancers.

“I really enjoyed talking to the interns and medical students, who said they felt inspired,” said Dr. Gordon, co-lead with Cecil Benitez, MD. “The residents and fellows felt supported and loved the way we were able to create this community and celebrate diversity.”

At the gala, the organization awarded housestaff with travel grants, which will send six members to the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) national conference and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) national conference.

The MHO EDI Innovation grant, which was funded by the Office of HEDI, sponsors several projects in the health equity space, awarded winners grants to support their projects.

Several deans and members of leadership from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA were present at the gala, including: Dave McIntosh, PhD, vice chair of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at DGSOM; Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS, chief, Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UCLA Hospital and Clinic System; Jennifer Lucero, MD, associate dean of admissions at DGSOM; Nelson Soohoo, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education at the DGSOM; and Daniel Kozman, MD, MPH, assistant dean for JEDI at DGSOM.

Event recap

MHO co-presidents Reza Hessabi, MD, and Jenifer Bailey, MD, kicked off the event by welcoming and thanking sponsors and guests.

Following dinner, Dr. Benitez introduced Dr. Briggs-Malonson for opening remarks, which Dr. Hessabi called a, “clear distillation of our core mission as the MHO.”

“It's so validating that someone at the top of the UCLA Health system has been advocating for us and with us,” he says.

Following the evening’s entertainment, Dr. Gordon introduced presenters from the Community Investment and Recruitment Committee and Committee Lead from the Health System Equity Committee to present the Travel Grant and EDI Innovation Grant awards.

Winners of the EDI Innovation Grant:

  • Adrianna Stanley, MD: The UCLA mEDI-pEDI Committee: Bringing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to the face of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics
  • Walter Solorzano, MD: Assessing barriers to uptake and adherence to Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) in patients with diabetes in a community-based clinic
  • Precious Fortes, MD, MHS: Assessing racial/ethnic disparities in cervical cancer: prevalence of co-infection by multiple HPV genotypes in cytological disease
  • Maria Paula Arias, MD: Resident-led hybrid virtual group prenatal care program
  • Elaine Chan, MD: Community speaker series for the health justice internship: caring for communities made vulnerable

Travel Grant Winners who will represent UCLA Graduate Medical Education at either the Student National Medical Association or Latino Medical Student Association national conferences:

  • SNMA: Aboubacar Kaba, MD; Amarachi Erondu, MD, MS; Ruthy Mamo, MD
  • LMSA: Dennis Dacarett-Galeano, MD; Walter Solozano, MD; Armando Martinez, MD

Dr. Soohoo made closing remarks.

“We are genuinely dedicated to providing housestaff who come from marginalized backgrounds the power necessary to achieve their goals,” says Dr. Hessabi. “We want to uplift all of the innovative, creative work that our resident physicians are achieving every day, and make sure that others can follow in their footsteps.”

Photo credit: Curtis J. Moore

Original Article: "Minority Housestaff Organization Celebrates 2nd annual Holiday Gala"