Class of 2022

Class of 2022

H. Reeve Bright, MD
Tufts University School of Medicine

Reeves grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, and became interested in medical disparities while working as an EMT, where she saw the barriers to care faced by many undocumented immigrants. She graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language, and then moved to Ecuador. There she spent seven months working as an EMT in the Emergency Room of a small fishing community. Returning to the States, she worked with individuals with substance use disorder while interning at a Boston non-profit and soon returned to school to earn a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. Reeves then completed a Master of Public Health in Global Health, completing fieldwork in Guatemala and graduating as a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. For medical school, she attended Tufts University School of Medicine. There she co-founded the Addiction Medicine Interest Group, served as Vice President of the Medical Students for Choice chapter, and worked with incarcerated individuals at South Bay Correctional. She was also a member of Tufts Student Service Scholars and was admitted into the Honos Civicus Society. Her research has included medical student education on race and racism, health literacy, and 10-year developmental outcomes of extremely premature infants. As a resident at Montefiore, she is part of the Reproductive Health Track and the Comprehensive HIV Care Track.

Catherine Castillo, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Catherine graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience. After graduating, she worked as a research technician in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. She then completed the AMSNY-University at Buffalo Post-Baccalaureate program, in participation with Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During medical school, she participated in the Student Opportunities for Academic Research program, and in electives and student groups addressing health disparities, gaining a better understanding of her position in, and understanding of healthcare advocacy. For residency, she looks forward to her continued growth in both clinical, research, and advocacy skills, and in providing comprehensive, patient-centered care.

Danielle Dickson, MD
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo

Danielle was born in Jamaica, Queens and raised in Long Island. She graduated for the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor in Science in Medical Technology and completed a year-long AMSNY Post- baccalaureate program. She stayed in Buffalo to continue her medical career. She volunteered as Clinic Manager at Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic in the heart of Buffalo, providing medical, dental, social, OB, and nutritional care to the underserved. She has done multiple lab and clinical research projects at Roswell Park Cancer Institute on topics such as Reservation-made cigarettes and Ovarian Cancer. As a Sunday school teacher for Pentecostal Temple she worked with kids ranging from the ages of 3-16. She served as the Fundraiser President for Student National Medical Association which helped to influence young students of color to pursue medicine and science and promote diversity in medicine. She thoroughly enjoys playing volleyball as well as eating good food and watching movies. She is excited to start her new journey at Montefiore as well as serving the Bronx community.

Ifechukwude Ikem, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Iffie was born and raised in Virginia. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Society and a minor in Global Health. During her undergraduate years she developed her passion for helping the underserved both domestically and abroad through volunteering with various organizations both locally in Ithaca, NY and in Peru. After completing college, Iffie moved back to Virginia where she began a job as a research assistant at VCU School of Pharmacy where she worked on several projects looking at “The effect of HIV and drugs of abuse on anti-retroviral drug transport across the blood-brain barrier”. While working as a research assistant, she continued to volunteer in her local community as a tutor with Churchill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT), an organization committed to empowering underprivileged youth in Richmond as well as a scribe at the local free clinic. Iffie then went on to attend medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. During medical school she became very active in her school’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA), serving as VP of Academic Affairs, the Student Family Medicine Association (SFMA), and the FmSTAT Scholars track for those interested and/ or committed to primary care and family medicine. Through these organizations she has been able to give back to her local community mentoring youth and providing health screenings. Iffie is excited to have matched at Montefiore and thrilled to serve the Bronx community!

Kevin Johnston, MD
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine - Flint

Kevin was born in Flint, Michigan, the sixth child of an assembly line worker and a crewmember at a fast food restaurant. Growing up in an impoverished community, the child of working-class parents, Kevin developed passions for undoing health disparities and promoting health equity.

While studying at the University of Michigan-Flint, Kevin was a member of the Honors Scholar Program, earning dual degrees in Biology and English, and working as a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home. He was active in his community, teaching children in Flint community schools how to mitigate the effects of lead on the human body and mentoring with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. As a member of the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved program at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Kevin traveled to rural Uganda where he studied HIV medicine, a passion he continues to pursue in residency as a member of the HIV track. During his intern year, Kevin served on the Graduate Medical Education Committee, voicing resident concerns to hospital leadership.

Kevin is thrilled to be a member of the Department of Family and Social Medicine training alongside physicians who actively oppose oppression, colleagues who see the pursuit of justice as integral to the practice of Family Medicine.

Amy LaCount, MD
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Amy was born in Japan and raised in metro Detroit, Michigan. She studied Human Biology with a track in race and gender at Brown University. In college, Amy was heavily involved in activism, especially learning from the Providence Youth Student Movement, a grassroots organization dedicated to empowering South East Asian youth in shaping their community. She also helped to found Bluestockings Magazine, a feminist magazine and website designed to uplift marginalized voices. She took two years off to work in nonprofit organizations and spend time in Tokyo before starting medical school at Warren Alpert. In medical school, Amy helped to re-develop and lead an elective on Healthcare for the Underserved, which highlighted anti-racist critical theory, and welcomed community leaders into conversation. She was also involved in writing the medical school portion of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, a campus-wide initiative to make Brown a safer and more supportive environment for all students.

Michelle Pena, MD
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Michelle was born and raised in New York. She is a Bronx native with a strong love for her Latino community. She graduated valedictorian from the Bronx Academy of Health Careers on the Evander Childs campus just down the street from Montefiore's Moses Campus. She then graduated cum laude from the CUNY City College of New York’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. Sophie Davis was a unique 7 year B.S./M.D. program with a commitment to recruiting underrepresented minorities and creating primary care physicians who work in under-served communities. During her time at Sophie Davis she learned about the social determinants of health and further strengthened her commitment to serving her Bronx community. She completed her last 2 years of clinical training at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine where she was involved as a senior volunteer at the Brooklyn Free Clinic and was the president of her school's Family Medicine Interest Group. Throughout the years she has been actively mentoring minority youth through her local church and has also volunteered in her local emergency room at St. Barnabas hospital. In her free time she enjoys singing, dancing, and spending quality time with loved ones. She is excited to return and fulfill her dream of serving her beloved Bronx community as a part of the Montefiore family.

Crystal Romero, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Crystal graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Arts and Sciences, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and minors in Organic Chemistry and International Relations. She then went on to pursue Masters of Public Health (magna cum laude) from Florida International University, where she focused on infectious diseases. Subsequently, she began medical school at the George Washington University. As a medical student she chose to become involved in a health policy track, which gave her the opportunity to become actively involved on Capitol Hill. One summer she served as an extern with CDC Washington office where she became actively involved in women’s health policy. She has served as a medical director for a summer at a rural medical camp in Gujrat, India and prides herself on being culturally sensitive. As a Puerto- Rican American woman she has been actively involved in helping her classmates, as well as, hospital staff learn medical Spanish using NIH proven programs. Throughout medical school she served as a volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corp and was actively involved in investigating Zika outbreaks in pregnant populations. Women’s health is not the only thing she is passionate about. As the first in her family to graduate from high school she is passionate about education and helping others attain their educational goals as a tutor for homeless women. Crystal is passionate about patient centered care, health policy, and medicine overall.

Chioma Unegbu-Ogbonna, MD
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Chioma graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Public Health. She then took a year to work as an assistant behavioral therapist for autistic students from ages 3-15 years old.

Chioma’s passion for bettering her community and increasing minority representation in healthcare has been expressed through the several service-based programs and organizations she has participated in prior to and throughout her medical school career. As an executive board member of the Junior Urban Medical Pioneers Program, she helped create interactive science sessions and simulation labs for high school students in Camden, NJ and neighboring towns to fortify their breadth of knowledge, encourage them to graduate high school, and pursue college. She also served as the vice president of her school’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter; helping them achieve the SNMA community service chapter of the year award. Chioma enjoys several hobbies including fitness, dancing, game of thrones, and brunch. She is very excited to have matched at Montefiore and looks forward to becoming part of the Monte family!

Sarah Watler, MD
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Sarah was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Sarah served the disability community by working as a personal attendant for a woman with quadriplegia and by providing swim lessons and physical therapy for children with disabilities in the Special Needs Aquatic Program. She completed the UC San Diego Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program as part of the 2013-2014 inaugural class. While pursuing her medical degree at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Sarah volunteered at the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project in general primary care and as a psychiatric clinic manager. To pursue the elimination of health disparities and to promote the well-being of underrepresented in medicine students, she served as Vice President of Internal Affairs for the UCSD Chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and acted as a Chief Leadership Officer in Medical Students for Justice (MS4J). She is excited to live outside of California for the first time in order to practice medicine at a program that truly shares her values.