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Posted 26 days ago

PALH is excited to announce the candidates for the upcoming PALH Student Alliance Elections! 

You can still nominate yourself by 5/22 prior to elections.

Additionally we also have spaces for our different PALH Committees including Advocacy, DEI, CME, Mentorship and Scholarship teams.

Elections will take place at our General Session Meeting on 05/22/2023 at 9am. You can join us in person or register for the virtual option here.

Student Chair-Elect 

  • Carlos Silva PA-S

Carlos Silva is a first-year PA student at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Fort Myers, Florida.

He was born in Anaheim, California, and raised in a primarily Spanish-speaking Mexican American household. He lived for several years in western Mexico, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Medicine from the University of Colima. He graduated at the top of his class and was awarded a scholarship to conduct research in pediatric osteosarcomas in Mexico City. He received the Academic Excellence award during his intern year and, upon graduation, provided a year of service to an underserved community in rural Mexico.

While living abroad, he gained a deeper understanding of the nuances of providing medical care to Latino populations. He contrasted this experience with the significant barriers, both cultural and linguistic, that Spanish-speaking individuals face when seeking healthcare services in the United States. Because of this, he hopes to continue being involved with national and state professional associations in projects that serve Latino communities and support legislative efforts that benefit those most in need.

After continuing his healthcare career in the United States, he worked for several years in Lee Health's Academics Department before being invited to join FGCU's PA program as part of the class of 2024. He was elected as the Student Academy Representative for AAPA and FAPA. He is passionate about healthcare legislation and policy, promoting Latino participation in healthcare careers, and enhancing the quality of care for underserved, Spanish-speaking communities.

He has served as an active member of his program's Diversity Committee and editor/contributor of the committee's newsletter, Diversity Digest, through which he has spearheaded initiatives to teach Medical Spanish and improve cultural competency skills among the cohort members. These experiences, along with those gained as a member of the PALH Student Alliance and Advocacy and Legislative Committee, have given him an in-depth understanding of the challenges Latino individuals face when accessing quality healthcare and equipped him with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the highest quality of care to this population and become an advocate for their well-being.

"My goals as PALH’s Student Chair-elect and the Student Alliance are to engage in initiatives and promote policies that improve access to healthcare services and the quality of care Latino patients receive, advocate for adopting Medical Spanish coursework in PA programs based in areas with significant Spanish-speaking populations, and increase recruitment of Latino students into existing PA programs. Additionally, I aim to raise awareness amongst PA students on issues affecting Latino patients and their social determinants of health and emphasize the importance of acquiring cultural competency skills to improve the care they provide.

I am deeply committed to the cause of Physician Associates for Latino Health, and I share our caucus members' passion for improving the lives of our patients. I can be an asset to this caucus as the future President of its Student Alliance and help further its goal to improve the care and outcomes of Latino patients in the United States."


  • Adriana DaCosta PA-S

Adriana DaCosta graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and B.S.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Texas. She then went on to pursue a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Texas. During both undergraduate and graduate school, Adriana was heavily invested in coaching and mentoring the UT powerlifting team. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, Adriana worked for a year and a half in a residential treatment facility for teenage girls and also worked as Personal Care attendant for a patient with Cerebral Palsy, as an ABA therapist for CARD, and as a home health aide for geriatric patients. Following graduate school she worked for 8 years as a Research Assistant studying alcohol addiction in animal models.

Adriana now attends Duke and is very invested in the Latino Medical Student Association and mentors biweekly with SALUD ( Student Advocacy, Leadership, Unity, and Diversity) discussing racial and health disparities with Latinx high school students. Adriana hopes to take her bilingual and future medical skills back to Texas and work in areas with high immigrant populations, so that she can make a difference in the lives of people in her community. She is very driven and would make a great addition to the student alliance.


  • Adela Ruiz PA-S

Adela Ruiz is currently a second semester Physician Assistant student at Florida Gulf Coast University and a first-generation Nicaraguan American. The bulk of her medical experience prior to PA school was in an urgent care center in Miami, FL. There, she was particularly affected by patients with a lack of access to healthcare and healthcare system knowledge. She has worked predominantly with Latino patients in several Miami communities, including volunteering at the local children’s hospital.

As a PA student, she is involved with the diversity committee of her cohort and is responsible for providing monthly articles to help broaden the cohort’s medical and cultural perspectives. She also participates in a weekly effort to teach key medical Spanish to her classmates. Her favorite part of working in healthcare is working with diverse patient populations, as she enjoys giving back to her community. Though working in healthcare is gratifying, Adela is interested in learning how to improve patients’ lives through systemic change. Her personal goal as a PA is to improve overall community health by considering the social determinants of health when treating patients. She especially wants to address the obstacles which impede the Latino community from seeking and obtaining healthcare.

In her spare time, she enjoys being active by biking with her family, exercising, and kayaking. She also enjoys television, reading, and attempting to improve her cooking skills.

“I am passionate about advocating for the Latinx community in healthcare and this position would allow me to hone practical skills to better serve and advocate for my patients in the future. I am excited about working with PALH and the Student Alliance and to participate in committee projects.”

Regional Directors

4 Positions Available and Puerto Rico Regional Director

  • Emily Krause PA-S

Emily Krause is a clinical year PA student at Mercer University in Atlanta, Ga. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Behavior. During her undergraduate studies, she volunteered at Mercy Health Center in Athens, Ga. She also volunteered at the South Georgia Farmworkers Project, where PA students and preceptors provided medical care to a largely Spanish-speaking population of farmworkers. There she saw the importance of eliminating language barriers particularly when building a trusting relationship between the patient and provider. 

Compelled by her experiences and with a desire to immerse herself in Spanish, Emily completed an internship with CerviCusco in Cusco, Peru. There she developed health education materials, participated in cervical cancer screening campaigns, and developed and implemented evidence-based health promotion programs.

Following her time in Peru, Emily moved to Santiago, Chile and volunteered with the Chilean Red Cross. She worked in the largest homeless shelter in Chile, providing food, clothing, and aided in the triage process. Emily continued to live in Chile for the next 2.5 years, teaching English and 5th and 6th grade science. She immersed herself in the culture and language and became the first in her family to not only speak Spanish, but to be fluent.

Prior to PA school, she also worked as a Medical Assistant in a pediatric outpatient office and in a cardiology office. She greatly enjoyed the patient interaction and these experiences gave her a growing desire for deeper medical knowledge. Shortly after beginning PA school, she established the Mercer Medical Spanish Club to engage herself and classmates in learning Spanish medical terminology. In her weekly meetings, she developed activities including patient interviews and case studies in order to practice using Spanish in the medical setting.

Emily is excited to continue to advocate for all of her future patients and to work particularly with the Spanish-speaking community.

"I would like to be considered for this position as I would love to become more involved in PALH and the Latinx community. I am very interested in working with the PALH, the AAPA, and PAEA to align our initiatives and better advocate for our patients. As a current PA student, I am interested in working with fellow students to improve PA education in regard to Latino health. I am a very dedicated and driven person and enjoy collaborating with others towards a common goal."

  • Emily Moya PA-S

Emily Moya is currently in her second year of PA school in the first PA program at San Juan Bautista School of Medicine (SJBSOM) and in Puerto Rico! Since day one, she has pushed her limits as a student in a new culture and healthcare system. Educating the community about the PA profession has become a passion that she implements everyday especially now that she is in her clinical year. She serves as the president of the Advanced Practice Providers Society (APPS) at SJBSOM; an interest group that represents the PA and NP professions. She previously graduated from Campbell University School of Medicine (CUSOM) and earned a masters degree in Biomedical Science with a focus in research in which she investigated the nature of Lewis Blood Group Antigens and their association with gastrointestinal bacteria and viruses as well as the histopathologic comparison of end stage renal disease and a newly transplanted kidney. During her free time at CUSOM, she would also volunteer with the Campbell University Community Clinic where she counseled and provided medical care to farmworkers that resided in the rural areas of lillington, North Carolina. After graduation, she continued her interest for research as a student researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Health. She collaborated with a board-certified dermatologist with the goal of helping those suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). She later pursued a position as a clinical research coordinator where she focused on several clinical trials that explored the efficacy of vaccinations for COVID-19, influenza, pneumonia, among other diseases. She hopes to continue her love for biomedical research as a certified PA in the future. Apart from her scholarly interests, she is also a cupcake aficionado and a foodie. 

“As a Latina, being part of the PALH as regional director would be an honor and would allow me to continue advocating for my community and guide other Pre-PA students in their path to PA-C”

  • Juliana Feeny PA-S

Juliana Feeney is a didactic student at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. She entered Hofstra as a dual degree student and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Physician Assistant Studies. During her undergraduate years, Juliana worked as a biology, chemistry, and calculus tutor to underserved schools of Long Island through the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program. Through tutoring, she found a love for teaching and hopes to include education in her future career. Juliana also worked as a Resident Assistant within the Honors College, where she was able to use her leadership platform to run diversity and social programming.
Juliana has volunteered at her local Ambulance Corps for the past seven years and became a certified EMT in 2020. She felt inspired by many of her co-workers during the height of the COVID pandemic and was trained to give vaccines and do contact tracing. The Ambulance Corps has taught her not only how to work well in emergency situations but also shed light on the different needs of those within her own county.

Within Hofstra’s PA program, Juliana serves as the SAAPA Student Diversity Committee Representative and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee President. With her classmates, they have been able to organize guest speakers and plan events to serve those within the Long Island area. Their last event included running a baby goods drive for minority mothers in need. In her free time, Juliana loves to crochet, cook and explore the city! Juliana hopes that becoming a Physician Assistant will allow her the clinical knowledge and position to be able to give back to her community. After graduation, she hopes to stay in the NYC area and continue working with the PALH in any way she can!

"Working with PALH will provide me with the position to serve my community and to become more involved in Latino health issues. I have witnessed discrepancies in healthcare and want to be an advocate for making large-scale changes within the medical world.”

  • Maribel Welwood PA-S

Maribel Wellwood is a first-year PA Student at Northern Arizona University in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in Human Nutrition.

Before PA school, she worked as a Medical Assistant in a Community Health Center and volunteered at Peacework Medical and Phoenix Allies for Community Health, which predominantly serves Latino patients. Her Leadership roles include director for the Phoenix Allies for Community Health, President of Legacy Leaders, an organization focused on equipping youth and adults with the skills to become purposeful leaders in their communities.

As a PA student, she is the chair of the Multicultural Committee of her cohort and has planned and scheduled cultural events that highlight diversity within the profession.

“I would like to be considered for the Regional Director position because I want to become more involved with PALH’s initiatives, all while empowering la comunidad. Estamos mejor juntos!”

  • Anabel Caceres PA-S

Anabel Caceres is a first-year PA student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

She was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States along with her family at a young age. Growing up in a country whose culture and language was very different from her own, she empathizes with the Latino community and understands the struggles faced by many immigrant families living in this country today.

Anabel attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Before attending PA school, she worked as a registered nurse in the neonatal ICU for five years. During this time, Anabel developed close relationships with many Spanish-speaking families, which gave her glimpses into cultural practices beyond what she knew from her Cuban heritage. She was also certified as a medical Spanish interpreter to assist other healthcare professionals when it came time to have conversations with families about their babies health.

After moving to North Carolina, Anabel worked in the NICU at UNC Hospital, where she noticed there was an even greater need for Spanish-speaking healthcare providers. She also got to learn a little more about the unique issues Hispanic families were facing in North Carolina.

While at Duke, Anabel serves as a chair for the Student Alliance Committee for Interprofessional Education within the School of Medicine. As a future PA, combined with her previous experience as a nurse, she understands the major role that interprofessional collaboration plays in providing high quality care and is excited about continuing to foster interprofessional alliances among all the different members of the healthcare team. Anabel is also passionate about education, and has volunteered with Student U, an organization in Durham that provides tutoring and homework assistance to first-generation, underserved high school students. She also helped celebrate Hispanic Heritage month by writing a blog post on the Duke PA website about what Hispanic Heritage means to her.

When not reading Cecil Essentials of Medicine and other thrilling PA textbooks, Anabel loves reading fiction as a pastime. Her favorite genres are mystery/thriller and YA fantasy.  If you ever need a book recommendation, or want to discuss a recent bestseller, she’s your girl! Anabel also has a 1-year old Goldendoodle named Obi Caceres who loves eating both his food and everything that’s not his food, and he definitely keeps her on her toes.

“I am running for the position of Regional Director of the Student Alliance because I would like to empower and raise up the voices of Latino students in healthcare. As regional director, I would be honored to work alongside other important PA organizations such as AAPA and PAEA to bring awareness to healthcare disparities that affect the over 62 million Latinos that live in the United States and work together with other Alliance members to provide solutions”


Maria Calzada 3 days ago   Remove

Congratulations to the candidates for your involvement and activism. I first joined PALH as a student in 1998 and was so proud to find that there was a group that represented my people and a language and terminology that explained what I had chosen to study. Adelante!

Paola Gonzalez about 8 hours ago   Remove

We are pleased and excited to have PA Student involvement in the organization and hope to see it continue to grow.

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