UCLA-Blum Center Partnership and Initiative

HGD is proud and excited to announce it’s new partnership with the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America. As part of this partnership, UCLA Blum Center will fund and support 3 students to participate in HGD’s diabetes awareness and support program. HGD is committed to providing quality medical care, particularly as we witness a rise in non communicable diseases.

With the leadership and guidance of Dr. David Cutler (UCLA) and Dr. Tania Desgrottes (HGD), this project will provide HGD the resources and tools to provide quality care in the area of diabetes.

As participants of the trip, UCLA students will be supporting local efforts to strengthen diabetes interventions in Petit Goave by helping to institute more comprehensive testing, treatment, and education and by helping to establish the Henri Gerard Desgranges Foundation (HGD) clinic as an ongoing resource in the area for those suffering from diabetes. UCLA students will be documenting their story throughout the trip, and will develop policy briefings focused on health issues present in Petit Goave.


Erik Peña

Erik Peña is currently working on his M.A. in Latin American Studies with concentration in History and Public Health. He received a B.A. in History and Political Sciences from UCLA. His research interests are in popular health beliefs, shamanism, and traditional medicine. More specially, Erik explores sending sickness through supernatural means in the Dominican-Haitian border region. Additionally, he is an Assistant Academic Counselor for The UCLA Global Studies and International Development Studies.


Rebecca Barber
Rebecca Barber is graduating in June 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Biomedical Research, as with College and Departmental honors. During her time at UCLA, Becky co-founded a medical clinic in an underserved community in Mexico and the student-run group Flying Samaritans at UCLA. Her passion for global health and helping the underserved was initiated through several volunteer trips to Nicaragua with Global Medical Training at UCLA. Becky also performs biomedical ethics research at UCLA under Dr. Tiffany Cvrkel and participates in genetics research under Dr. Utpal Banerjee.


Lyolya Hovhannisyan

Lyolya Hovhannisyan is a senior College and Departmental Honors student at UCLA, majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. She is the co-founder and co-president of Flying Samaritans at UCLA, which has a mission to provide free medical care and preventative health education in an underserved community in Mexico: Colonia Margarita Moran. She is involved with T.E.A.C.H. (Together Educating and Advocating community Health) as a site coordinator and publicity chair. Additionally, Lyolya has conducted research with Dr. Cathy Lee about the relationship between hormones and diabetes, and with Dr. Andrew Charles at the UCLA Headache Research and Treatment Program about migraine mechanisms.


We are looking forward to working with these talented and passionate UCLA students throughout the upcoming months, and we will look forward to their reports from the field in March!

To learn more about the UCLA HGD Initiative and the Henri Gerard Desgranges Foundation, please visit http://hdgfoundation.org/.
and http://blumcenter.ucla.edu/news/item?item_id=93172

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