This award was created in our 60th year to recognize the incredible talent and leadership skills Oregon's MD, DO and PA students contribute to our healthcare landscape. We are grateful to our Board of Directors, family of donors, corporate partners and friends at the Oregon Medical Association, without whom none of this would have been possible.
It is our honor and privilege to support these talented individuals.
OHSU School of Medicine, MD Candidate 2024
Being a doctor is the only thing José Manuel has ever wanted to do. Prior to OHSU, they achieved dual undergraduate degrees in Behavioral Neuroscience and Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude in both) and were a CNA in Idaho. José is also able to draw upon several unique identities which have each provided special insight when it comes to relating to and communicating with patients from diverse backgrounds. From mental illness to mentorship, immigrant health to diversity & inclusion, psychiatry to primary care with a focus on BIPOC populations, policy making to human rights activism, José has accomplished so much already and their dreams of making the world a better place are finally coming true.
COMP NW, DO Candidate 2024
Madeleine grew up in Portland, OR and is a DO student at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest campus. Madeleine is a thoughtful advocate and a compassionate community leader. As a first-year medical student, Madeleine advocated to Oregon's congressional leaders for policies that focused on physician burnout and increasing access to healthcare for rural and underserved communities. In addition to being top of her class academically, she has held a number of leadership roles at the local and national levels for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. In these positions, she puts advocacy into action by planning community service and fundraising events and mentoring her peers from the eleven osteopathic medical schools on the West Coast. Her volunteer experiences include working at a women's day shelter serving women and children in crisis that are facing the ongoing trauma of homelessness, addiction, and abuse. Madeleine is passionate about healthcare reform and believes the most effective way to change the system is from within.
OHSU Physician Assistant Program, PA Candidate 2023
Carolina holds a Master's degree in Public Health and is a Physician Assistant student at OHSU. She grew up in a farm-working community in Southern Oregon and upon graduation plans to return to practice medicine and help solve healthcare inequities such as lack of access, limited treatment options and affordability of insurance. As a volunteer leader with La Clinica's Mobile Health Center, she made a drastic improvement on patient immunizations, eye and oral care and overall wellness. In addition, for Reliance eHealth Collaborative she not only helped develop a statewide network that enables practitioners to access healthcare records electronically, she also linked facilities serving primarily non-English speaking populations into this important resource. She sees the lack of communication between providers and patients as a significant hurdle and a strong determinant of health, and is committed to building bridges as a bilingual and bicultural provider.
OHSU School of Medicine, MD Candidate 2024
Afsoon is an MD student with a keen interest in how medicine, research and women's health equity intertwine. As part of Dr. Aaron Caughey's Maternal Fetal Medicine research team, she published a paper highlighting how cesarean delivery can be seen disproportionately in certain hospital types based on socioeconomic factors. In addition, she leads OHSU's Women's Health Interest Group, serves as a mentor to both the Class of 2025 and to prospective first-generation medical students through OHSU's Student Ambassador Program, and is President of the Middle Eastern and South Asian Association (MESAA) where she partners with Physicians for Human Rights to collect money and items to help Afghan refugees resettle in Portland. A natural connector and a solutions-focused leader, she was selected for the School of Medicine Alumni Association Council and became a pivotal contributor to a highly successful Student-Specialty Physician networking event.
OHSU School of Medicine, MD/MPH Candidate 2022
Amy is an MD/MPH student in the OHSU School of Medicine and is participating in the 2022 General Surgery match. At OHSU, Amy has held leadership roles in the Structural Competency Program, Gender Equity Center, and the MD/MPH Student Council. She volunteers her time with the OHSU Confidential Advocacy Program to expand resources for survivors of gender-based violence. Her research focuses on equity in health and medicine, surgical outcomes, inpatient addiction medicine, and health systems change. She is passionate about advocacy and health policy, and she is a member of the ACP’s Policy Research and Education Subcommittee and the Oregon Medical Association’s Equity Taskforce and Legislative Committee. In the future, she plans to work at the intersection of surgery, public health, and advocacy as a trauma surgeon in order to advocate for her patients at the bedside and the capitol throughout her career.
COMP NW, DO Candidate 2024
Mary is a DO student at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest campus and a passionate community leader, striving to improve accessibility of medical resources for underserved populations in our region, specifically the homeless and refugee. Always the innovator, her focus on mental health, nutrition and exercise have resulted in the creation of a mentoring program, an education series on suicide prevention and a project aimed at improving cervical cancer screening in conjunction with Legacy Medical Center. As a Volunteer Coordinator at the Lebanon Soup Kitchen, Mary's ongoing commitment helped streamline scheduling and expand services to the community. When not studying, this fourth-generation Idahoan spends her time enjoying the great outdoors - winters on the ski slopes, summers on the lake and quality time with family, friends and pup!
OHSU School of Medicine, MD/PhD Candidate 2026
Natasha is an MD/PhD student who joined the Schnell lab in 2020. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and went to college at Washington University in Saint Louis, where she pursued a degree in philosophy, neuroscience and psychology. After graduating, she started working in a lab studying anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis with Dr. Steven Mennerick. With wonderful friends and mentors to guide her, she discovered her love for synaptic physiology. She moved out to Oregon in 2018 to continue learning about her passions -- caring for others, and understanding a small piece of how the brain works. She is currently studying the role of endogenous opioids in modulating hippocampal circuitry. When not poking neurons, Natasha can be found in the forest or on a mountain, flanked by her two sweet dogs, Gulab and Jamun.
Since 2012, OMEF has awarded over $550,000 in scholarships and financial aid to hundreds of talented, bright and energetic students across Oregon. The impending physician shortage means we have to work together to ensure that our students are ready to take their place upon graduation. Please consider a gift to OMEF.