2021 – 2022 Copello Fellowship Cohort

Akshat Patel is a 4th year medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Originally from Scranton, PA, he has been living in Washington, DC for over 9 years. He aspires to be an OB/GYN with special interest in abortion care and gender-affirming care. His hobbies include hiking around the DMV, watching Real Housewives of Potomac, and doing yoga.

Dr. Alicia Pointer is a pediatrician with expertise in treating family disruption and trauma. She is Chief of Pediatrics at Cornerstone Family Healthcare, a multi-site federally qualified health center. She also founded and directs the STAR Foster Health Program, which provides medical care, mental health support and healthcare coordination for all children in foster care in Orange County, NY. Dr. Pointer has spent the past eight years addressing the health effects of pediatric trauma through work with refugees and children in out-of-home placements. She serves on the Advisory Council of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York.ac, and doing yoga.

Dr. Andrea Contreras was raised in the Rio Grande Valley, in Hidalgo since the age of 4. She graduated from Hidalgo Early College High School and completed her undergraduate training at University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley where she earned her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry with minors in English and medical Spanish. She graduated with her Medical Degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Her unique experience of growing up amid the melting pot of Mexican Catholics and American urbanites has been both an inspiration and motivation for her career interests and goals. She is interested in understanding and improving sexual education and women’s reproductive health in the Valley. Her two primary goals are reducing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rates and unwanted pregnancy rates among teenagers and young adults as well as to reduce the stigma surrounding women’s reproductive health and sexuality. As she progresses through her training, she hopes to achieve her goals by strengthening her skills and knowledge of education, government policy, and patient advocacy. Outside of medicine, Dr. Contreras enjoys exploring local wildlife refuges, singing karaoke with her family, and cuddling with her 3 cats despite her allergies. Dr. Contreras is the inaugural BOLD Track resident of the UTRGV OBGYN residency program.

Dr. Chidi Wamuo is a third-year psychiatry resident within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and is a proud graduate of Morehouse College. He plans to pursue fellowships in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry following residency.

Dr. Stephanie Liou is a primary care pediatrician, health equity advocate, and National Health Service Corps Scholar in Chicago. She was born in Florida and raised in Taiwan and Canada by a hard-working, low-income single mom. Stephanie received a B.S. from Stanford University, her M.D. from the University of Washington, and completed residency at the University of Chicago as a Leadership for Urban Primary Care Education and Transformation (LUCENT) Scholar in 2021. She loves sewing, food, and kayaking, and believes that “Giving every child a chance to reach their full potential is the best work anyone can do.” (Hillary Rodham Clinton)

Dr. Marion Henry is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, having recently moved there from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She completed her medical school at Stanford University, her General Surgery Residency at Yale University and her Pediatric Surgery fellowship training at the National Children’s Medical Center in Washington DC. Dr. Henry also has a Master’s in Public Health degree from Yale University.

A former Commander in the US Navy, Dr. Henry served as the Ship’s Surgeon on the aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, the chief of Pediatric Surgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Director for Surgical Services during Pacific Partnership 2015 on the USNS Mercy. While at the Naval Medical Center San Diego she was also the Surgery Clerkship Director, Chair of the General Surgery Program Evaluation Committee, Command Intern Advisor and Program Director or the Transitional Year Internship Program. At the University of Arizona, Dr. Henry was an Assistant Program Director for the General Surgery residency program and course director for the Surgery Residency Prep course. She was faculty for the MS1 and MS2 Clinical Reasoning Course and the Global Health Course. She also served on the Tucson Education Policy Committee for the College of Medicine and the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs.

Dr. Henry is very active nationally in Pediatric Surgery and in Surgical Advocacy. She is chair of the Publications Committee for the Association of Women Surgeons, Past Chair of the Advocacy Committee and Current Chair of the Benjy Brooks Women’s Committee of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) and is the APSA delegate to the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors. She is an active member of the Gun Violence Prevention Collaborative and is on the National Steering Committee for Gun Safety Advocacy for Doctors for America.

Dr. Henry is passionate about medical education, mentorship and coaching, faculty development, diversity, equity and inclusion and surgical advocacy. In her new role at the University of Chicago she is eager to focus on addressing the gun violence pandemic in the US through collaborative approaches at prevention, response and recovery while also addressing inequities in the health care system.

Meghan Curry O’Connell, MD, MPH, (Cherokee) is a board-certified family physician and medical epidemiologist. Dr. O’Connell received her undergraduate degree in physics at Grinnell College and her medical and public health training at the University of Washington. After completing residency in family medicine at North Colorado Family Medicine Residency, Dr. O’Connell practiced primary care in tribal and other underserved communities. She currently works with the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board as part of the CDC Foundation COVID-19 Corps, supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response. She is a 2020 Bush Fellow.

Michael is a dual-degree MD student at the University of Pittsburgh and PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon University. A future child neurologist, he studies cognitive neurodevelopment, with focuses on epilepsy and autism. Michael is actively engaged in health advocacy, with specific interests in healthcare access, disability rights, and legislation/policy that affects pediatric patients. He is Co-Chair of DFA’s Health for All Federal Policy & Legislation Committee and a member of the HFA Steering Committee. He is also a local delegate for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Choudhury is an anesthesiologist in Texas. Her interests include global medicine and healthcare policy. She is active in organizations dedicated to providing medical care to refugees and has volunteered in Syria and Bangladesh. Her hobbies include yoga, cycling and hiking.

Dr. Connolly is an Internal Medicine, primary care doctor with over 20 years experience treating patients in the out-patient setting. She is fellowship trained in Infectious Disease and Integrative Medicine and board certified in Addiction and Internal Medicine. Over the course of her career, she has worked with patients across the socioeconomic spectrum, beginning in a dedicated HIV clinic in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment, spending 10 years in a conventional primary care practice while raising her 2 boys, and currently working for the University of Washington outreaching to people suffering from homelessness.

Throughout her career, she has been committed to building community and public service. Prior to medical school, she served two years in the US Peace Corps working with UNICEF on a Guinea Worm eradication project. She served on the board of Northeast Seattle Together, a virtual village in her community with the vision of building and sustaining a community where neighbors engage with and support one another. She is currently a board member of the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness.

Her clinical interests include treating chronic pain, addiction and homelessness to help all her patients have the potential to live their best lives.

Richard Needleman, MD – After a career in Orthopedic Surgery, including 17 years in solo private practice and the last 14 years in academic medicine, I obtained a graduate degree, Master of Public Health in Population Health, in order to pursue health equity, and prevent health problems before they develop. My interests are improving access to healthcare, public health advocacy, and teaching; my passion is universal healthcare.

Sara is a proud graduate of Wellesley College where she majored in Neuroscience. She completed medical school at the Medical School for International Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where she was able to obtain an MD with a focus on global health. She completed residency in Psychiatry at George Washington University, and then served a year as medical director of the McClendon Center, a core service agency in Washington, D.C., before returning to fellowship in hospice and palliative care back at George Washington University.

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