MEET THE TEAM
PAYAL MODI, MD, MSC
Dr. Payal Modi is Director of the Division for Health Equity in the University of Massachusetts Emergency Department. She received her medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Modi completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Alpert Medical School of Brown University and her fellowship in International Emergency Medicine at Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Modi is committed to promoting health equity both locally and internationally. She has worked on a range of topics including mass casualty management, trauma training, Ebola response, pediatric illness, and sexual reproductive health with a personal interest in refugees and IDPs. Her research and projects have spanned across 4 continents and over a dozen countries including Pakistan, Liberia, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Haiti, and Thailand.
Her current projects include developing a trauma informed care pathway for victims of human trafficking, assessing the social determinants of health among the ED patients, and conducting medical evaluations for asylum seekers.
LUCY CANDIB, MD
Dr. Lucy M. Candib is Professor Emerita of Family Medicine and Community Health at University of Massachusetts Medical School. She practiced full spectrum family medicine with obstetrics for 40 years at Family Health Center of Worcester in an inner-city area serving vulnerable low-income families including immigrants and refugees. For the past 20 years, working together with immigration attorneys, she has conducted medical evaluations for persons seeking asylum in the U.S. She lectures regularly to students in the Health Professionals for Human Rights interest group, and is now involved with medical students, therapists, and other physicians in the formation of this UMass Med Asylum Clinic.
Dr. Candib continues to conduct medical asylum evaluations with students observing and documenting the process; she also works with interested physicians wanting to observe the process and learn this skill.
KAMLYN HAYNES, MD
Dr. Kamlyn Haynes received her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1997 and completed her residency in Combined Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University of Massachusetts in 2002. She has provided direct psychiatric care for teens in the Department of Youth Services for a decade and has provided forensic evaluations for mentally ill offenders. Since 2011, she has been the Department of Mental Health’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist for Central Mass. In all roles, she has worked with immigrant families and the majority of patients in her care have endured past traumas.
Throughout her career, she has taught medical students, residents and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows, winning teaching awards from each group. She completed the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Evaluation Workshop in Spring 2020 and is now a physician evaluator.
Learn more about our
Read the bios of our UMass Chan executive board.
Director of Operations
Dylan is a first year MD/PhD student at UMass Chan. He graduated from Harvard in 2020 where he studied Psychology with a secondary in Global Health/Health Policy. Before starting at UMass Chan, Dylan worked with various domestic and global populations impacted by structural, systemic, and social inequities. During college, he conducted research on sexual health stereotypes about sexual minority men and their consequences for patient-provider interactions/health outcomes and research on HIV status disclosure experiences, HIV stigma, and treatment adherence in South Africa. During his gap years, Dylan worked at MGH on a variety of projects increasing access to care in Sub-Saharan Africa through low-cost technological and pharmaceutical interventions and various psychosocial projects with these communities exploring anxiety, depression, stigma, and vaccine hesitancy. He also worked with researchers at Columbia characterizing healthcare delays/interruptions and understanding coping behaviors and social support during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. With the Asylum Clinic, he hopes to continue his prior work and use his experience with health equity to play a role in serving local communities of asylum seekers in the Worcester area.
Director of Communications
Lindon is a first year medical student in the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) track at UMass Chan Medical School. He graduated from UCLA in 2018 where he studied psychobiology. From preparing and serving dinner at the soup kitchen downtown to volunteering and fundraising for Alexandria House, a transitional home in Los Angeles whose residents were primarily women of color, Lindon has always been drawn to opportunities to help or improve access for marginalized communities. He is excited to support the Asylum Clinic to learn even more about how to incorporate health equity and advocacy efforts into his future career as a physician.
Events and Advocacy Coordinator
Erik is a first-year medical student in the Population Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) track at Umass Med. He attended Umass Amherst and majored in Microbiology, graduating in 2021. Throughout college he conducted research on neglected diseases primarily localized in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to medical school he worked as an EMT and Patient Care Technician in Springfield MA, where he learned more about the shortcomings of our healthcare system to meet the needs of many populations especially non-English speaking populations. Growing up in an immigrant family Erik appreciated the experience of adjusting to a new country and culture, despite the deep differences of the experience for those emigrating from the European continent, like his family did as compared to other parts of the world. Erik hopes to continually get more involved in healthcare accessibility for asylum-seekers, migrant, and refugee populations throughout his career.
Events and Advocacy Coordinator
Dorothy (Daisy) Massey is a current MS1 at UMass. She graduated from Yale in 2019 and conducted health disparities and COVID-19 research there before medical school. Previously, she helped Afghan refugees and their families, which sparked her interest in refugee health. She is also passionate about writing, and is currently working on a journalism project in the West Bank, Palestine. She is excited to increase understanding of refugee health through asylum clinic events, and is always open to ideas for new topics.
Student Outreach Coordinator
Liz is a first-year medical student in the Population-Based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) program. She graduated from Barnard College in 2021 with a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. During her gap year, she worked at a Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles, CA, where she helped patients access reproductive health services and supported survivors of intimate partner violence. She is invested in leveraging her power as a future physician to ensure patients have access to safe environments in order to thrive.
Physician Outreach Coordinator
Brian is a fourth-year medical student at UMass Chan Medical School. He graduated from Fitchburg State University in 2016 where he studied Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences. He grew up in Fitchburg and enlisted in the Navy after high school. This afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively and sparked his interest in human rights. Brian also worked as a medical scribe prior to medical school, where he met refugees and witnessed the significant hurdles they had to overcome while trying to seek asylum. He is passionate about human rights and hopes to help improve the connection between refugees and services here in Worcester County, as well as help improve medical education regarding the asylum process.
Reef is a first-year medical student and AHEC Urban Health scholar in the Social Inequity, Advocacy and Injustice pathway. She grew up in Amman, Jordan and moved to the US for university in 2014. She graduated from the Boston University with a BA in Neuroscience in 2018 and performed hearing regeneration and neuroscience research before starting medical school. As a Jordanian and Palestinian, she wants to increase health equity for underserved populations, in the US and back home, with a particular interest in caring for immigrant, refugee, asylee and IDP populations.
Rhea is a first-year student at UMass Med. She considers Oregon to be home but spent her middle school years at an International School abroad and has lived in Massachusetts most recently. She graduated from WashU in St. Louis in 2021 with degrees in Neuroscience and English Literature. Rhea did research in the English department on communication barriers between a person expressing pain and a person hearing about pain, which become especially pertinent when multiple languages and cultures are present. Her thesis rested on the foundational truth that stories of the body are told through the body. She is passionate about creating space both within the medical evaluation and Worcester community for asylum seekers’ stories.
Member At-Large / Care Navigation
John is a first-year medical student in the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track at UMass Chan. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where he majored in Biology while taking classes in sociology, public/global health equity, and gender and sexuality studies. While in undergrad, he spent two months working in Eastern Uganda as a rural community health and maternal and child health intern for a local grassroots health advocacy non-profit, where he developed his interest in advocating for the needs of global communities. After college, he worked as a clinical research assistant in HIV vaccine trials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he coordinated studies working with at-risk LGBTQ+ populations. He is excited to combine these passions for uplifting and advocating for marginalized patient populations in working with the asylum clinic and hopes to continue working with migrant/refugee communities as a future provider.
Diana Sibai is a fourth year medical student at UMass Chan and one of the original leaders of HPHR and the asylum clinic. Diana was born and raised in Homs, Syria and immigrated to the United-States when she was 15. She is very passionate about working with refugees and other underserved populations during her career, and is looking forward to starting residency in Family Medicine to become trained in providing full-spectrum care to communities in health shortage areas. Diana is also interested in global health and believes her work with HPHR/asylum clinic provides the unique opportunity to engage in global health efforts locally.
Omar is a medical student in the class of 2024, in the Population, Urban, Rural, & Community Health Track, and the Global Health Pathway. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019 where he studied neurobiology, human rights, and psychology. He is a current Fulbright Alumni Ambassador and a previous recipient of a Fulbright Student Research Award to Jordan studying adolescent refugee mental health. He currently serves as the Co-Director of the National Physicians for Human Rights Student Advisory Board, and as the Communications Director of the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project. Previously involved as the events and advocacy coordinator of the Asylum Clinic & HPHR, he now serves as an upperclassman mentor for the organization.
Sabine Shaughnessy is a third-year medical student at UMMS planning to specialize in Family Medicine. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she majored in anthropology. After college, Sabine worked as a maternal health advocate at a community health center in the Bronx. As a former Worcester Asylum Clinic coordinator, she noticed an opportunity for medical students to better support Asylum Clinic clients in meeting their socioeconomic needs. This led her to co-develop and implement a care navigation program within the Clinic to connect asylum seekers with community resources and services.
Nadine is a second-year medical student in the AHEC urban health pathway at UMMS. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. After graduation, she completed an AmeriCorps VISTA service year in the greater Ann Arbor area where she assisted with the organization of a food pantry as well as a children’s after-school program. As a Palestinian-American, she is particularly interested in being involved with the Middle Eastern community and resettlement efforts in her future career.
Natasha is a second-year medical student in the Global Health Pathway at UMMS. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Before beginning medical school, she worked in an infectious disease lab. She has worked extensively with Syrian refugees during her undergraduate studies. As the child of immigrants from Lebanon, Natasha hopes her work with HPHR will further her understanding of the refugee experience in the US.
FORMER STUDENT EXECUTIVE BOARDS
2021-2022: Suhasini Gupta, Natasha Bitar, Nadine Kridli, Ariba Memon, Abhinaya Gunasekar, Courtney Chan, Stephanie Choi, Talia Campbell
2020-2021: Grant Garcia , Carley Herbert, Sabine Shaughnessy, Kassandra Jean-Marie, Aya Abou-Jaoude, Omar Taweh
2019-2020: Diana Sibai, Sabahat Rahman, Eric Romo, Deidre Buckley