Kasra Behizad

Kasra Behizad is an MD candidate at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. While completing his bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of Southern California, Kasra partnered with the South LA community to implement various empowerment-based programs for middle school, high school, and college-aged youth. He has completed over 200 hours of training in Popular Education approaches to youth empowerment and has led training workshops for other facilitators. His interests include the development of community-based interventions rooted in empowerment, and innovation within clinical models of care in underserved settings. Kasra’s experience in empowerment education and his work with youth in South Los Angeles makes him highly-suited to serve as a founding organizer of the Youth Health Leadership Program at USC.

Artine Arzani

Artine Arzani is an incoming medical student. His interests include community health, youth empowerment, health economics and policy, and regenerative medicine. His past experiences have included serving as a mentor in the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program in South LA. While a student at the University of Southern California, Artine began his journey to address health inequity through education by starting Trojans for Smoking Awareness, a student advocacy group that taught high school students about the risks of e-cigarettes and other inhaled drugs. Since graduating USC with a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and minor in Health Communications, Artine has combined his passions in health empowerment and medicine by cofounding the Youth Health Leadership Program and by working in an interventional pain and regenerative medicine clinic. 

Vadi Esmailizadeh

Vadi Esmailizadeh is an MPH and MBA Candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carey Business School. Prior to starting her graduate degrees, she received her bachelor’s of science in Anthropology from UCLA. For over 10 years, Vadi has worked in a number of community-based empowerment programs throughout the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. She then developed her interested in health when she started working as a neurology research assistant in UCLA's Emergency Department and a community health educator to promote the awareness and prevention of strokes in English, Spanish, and Persian. After graduating, she began working as a medical scribe in several UCLA multispecialty community clinics and cofounding The YouHeaL Program.  These experiences have made her passionate about effective policy and program development that aim to reduce health disparities in access and affordability. Her interests include health economics, pharmaceutical drug pricing, access, and policy. 

Daphne Remulla

Daphne Remulla is an MD Candidate at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her interests include health education and serving underserved populations in South Los Angeles. She has experience providing health education and youth empowerment through non-profit organizations such as Peer Health Exchange and i.am College Track Boyle Heights and East Palo Alto. She currently serves as Curriculum Representative for her medical school class and has past work experience developing, editing and implementing curricula to meet the needs of its students. Daphne is well-suited to continue implementing the Youth Health Leadership Program at USC given her proven ability to facilitate group sessions, cooking demonstrations and physical activities, develop new curricula, and critically evaluate areas of improvement.

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH, is a tenured professor in preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the USC and Director of Community Outreach and Education at the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research. Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar in culture and community health, with an emphasis on Hispanic/Latino health. She is strongly engaged in community participatory and population-based research and serves as a community/academic broker for culturally and community grounded research. Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati has been instrumental in developing and testing effective interventions that utilize innovative communication strategies, outreach activities, community engagement, and partnership development to enhance community health. She has a strong record of extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health including a prestigious RO1, and has been awarded the NIH’s 10 Year Common Fund Award and the American Public Health Association Health Education and Health Promotion Award. Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati’s extensive research background and experience developing evidence-based practices makes her highly qualified to guide various aspects of the Youth Health Leadership Program at USC, including its outcome evaluation. With her guidance, the program is able to implement academically recognized protocols for evaluating the health benefits and overall impact of the project.

Rosa Barahona

Rosa Barahona serves as the Project Manager of the Center for Health Equity in the Americas within the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She has managed and led the implementation of numerous health education and promotion campaigns, bridging academia with community-based settings and working with promotores de salud. Rosa has facilitated work on award-winning programs such as Tamale Lesson, Es Tiempo, Su Corazon Su Vida, the National Latino Tobacco Control Network, Hispanos/Latinos Unidos en Casinos, Unidos Por la Salud, and Regale Salud. Rosa is particularly qualified to supervise the implementation of the Youth Health Leadership Program at USC given her extensive experience overseeing community-based interventions. Under her guidance, the USC team has been able to develop and implement a culturally appropriate program that directly meets the health needs of the community.

Dominic Grisafe

Dom Grisafe is an MD/PhD Candidate training in chronic disease epidemiology at USC. His interests include applied statistics and health-related quality of life. Dom has served as the principal statistician on the USC team for the Youth Health Leadership Program at USC, analyzing the impact of the intervention on anthropometric measurements and health-related behaviors of participants.