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Minority House Staff Committee

The Minority House Staff Committee was established in 1995 in an effort to increase the number of residents who are traditionally underrepresented in internal medicine. The MHC is comprised of members of our house staff and dedicated faculty advisors. MHC activities include:

  • Assisting with residency recruitment efforts
  • Providing mentorship and working with the local Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapters
  • Promoting health equity for all patients through resident initiated research and outreach
  • Promoting professional, development and social networking activities

Committee Chairs, 2020-21

Aiya Aboubakr
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Aiya Aboubakr, M.D.

I was born and raised in Queens, New York to two immigrant parents, and my experience as a first-generation woman of color has shaped my approach to medicine. I studied Sociocultural Anthropology as an undergraduate student at Columbia University and developed an interest in understanding the extent to which a person’s environment determines their health and wellbeing. I then joined the Icahn School of Medicine as part of their Humanities and Medicine (HuMed) Program, where I was involved in the school’s Racism and Bias Initiative. As an internal medicine resident at Cornell, I have truly enjoyed serving the NYC community. I hope to pursue a career in gastroenterology, and am interested in colorectal cancer presentation, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease in minority and immigrant populations. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and exploring the city’s eclectic food scene and outdoor spaces.

Lindsay Clarke
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Lindsay Clarke, M.D.

Hi, I’m Lindsay! I grew up in New Jersey and went to Johns Hopkins University for undergrad where I studied Neuroscience. I then completed a masters in Physiology at Georgetown University, then stayed in D.C. for medical school at George Washington University. I was so excited to continue my medical training close to home in New York City, and plan to pursue a fellowship in Gastroenterology. I fell in love with Cornell for the incredible residents and faculty, its unmatched clinical opportunities, the diverse and unique patient population, and the commitment to diversity and inclusion. I have enjoyed the numerous mentoring opportunities for minorities within the greater NYP network – from high school and medical students to interns, and the mentorship cascade which facilitates connections with senior residents to fellows and attendings. The inter-departmental diversity open house was certainly a highlight of my interview season, and now as a resident has become one of my favorite events where I can meet applicants and help with minority recruitment. I’m looking forward to meeting you and sharing my experiences working at Cornell and living in this fantastic city!

Elizabeth Sanchez
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Elizabeth Sanchez, M.D.

Hi! I went to college at University of Florida in Gainesville, where I studied microbiology. I went on to study medicine at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, Colombia where my family is from. After medical school, I came to New York City and worked for two years as a research associate at the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. During this time I had the privilege to meet and work with an excellent and diverse group of people at Weill Cornell Medicine. I was impressed by this program’s investment in fostering programs to support and promote diversity and inclusion at all levels of training. When I applied for residency, I knew I wanted to stay at NYP-Cornell and be part of this welcoming and open environment. As a resident, I have the opportunity to work with an extremely diverse patient population on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. My experience here has been wonderful time of growth and learning!

Fabian Vargas
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Fabian Vargas, M.D.

Hi! My name is Fabian Vargas and I am a second year Internal Medicine Resident. Prior to joining Cornell, I studied Neuroscience at the University of Michigan and completed medical school at Brown. I am very passionate about diversity and inclusion, minority recruitment, and research in healthcare disparities. When looking for a residency program I looked for a place that also valued diversity and fostered programs to increase both recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in medicine. As part of the Minority House Staff Committee I have had the opportunity to participate in many events, from the mentoring cascade, to high school outreach events and community service. I have truly found a home here at Cornell. I have the privilege of working with a diverse and supportive group of faculty and residents who share my passion and serve as both role models and mentors. Most importantly, I have the opportunity to care for a diverse patient population in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. I could not be happier with my decision to have come to Cornell and look forward to meeting you soon!

Committee Members

Members of the Minority House Staff Committee, 2020-21
PGY 1PGY 2PGY 3
Ugochukwu Akpara
City University of New York School of Medicine
Aiya Aboubakr
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Asia Gobourne
Weill Cornell Medicine
Mikiyas Desta
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Michael Alvarez
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Marvah Hill Pierre-Louis
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Ashley Dixon
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Clarissa Andre
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Kristine Lacuna
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
Nicholas Gomez Banoy
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Emmanuel Attah
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
Cecilia Nicol
Weill Cornell Medicine
Justin Grenet
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Lindsay Clarke
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Hector Sepulveda Alemany
University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
Kimberly Loo
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Erica Corredera
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Antonio Velez
University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
Tamasha Persaud
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
Nigel Gwini
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Kenneth Vera
Yale School of Medicine
Choumika Simonis
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
William Jackson
Weill Cornell Medicine
Chanel Jonas
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
Chukwuma Onyebeke
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Sanchez
Universidad Nacional de Colombia Facultad de Medicina
Fabian Vargas
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Contact Information

Office of Diversity

Dr. Susana Morales, Vice Chair
Tel: (212) 746-1358
srm2001@med.cornell.edu

Diversity News

Education News

Related Links

Office of Diversity and Inclusion