2023-2024 Public Policy Fellows
CHCI Public Policy Fellow Presented by Waymo
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
School: Texas Tech University
Degree: B.S. in Honors Science and Humanities
Placement: The Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar
José (he/him) is a first-generation Venezuelan-American, born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in The Woodlands, Texas. José’s experiences moving to a post-9/11 America opened his eyes to immigrants’ daily struggles in their search for the American Dream. Growing up in a highly affluent part of Houston, he encountered many financial and social obstacles that immigrants face in search of culturally competent medical care.
These experiences led José to enroll in the Texas Tech University Honors College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Honors Sciences & the Humanities, with a concentration in Medicine, Global Health, and the Humanities on a Pre-Medical track. At Texas Tech, José spent much of his time leading various service organizations, primarily in the Raider Medical Screening Society, an organization dedicated to providing free health care screenings to housing-insecure populations in Lubbock. José also interned for LatinX Voces, a non-profit dedicated to celebrating and amplifying all Latinx cultures, stories, and communities, as well as providing public health education and outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic to primarily Latinx communities nationwide. During his breaks from school, José worked as a Medical Assistant and Interpreter at a local community clinic, where most of the patient panel were Spanish-speaking undocumented immigrants. José’s clinical experiences exposed him to the difficulties immigrants face seeking affordable healthcare and the severe lack of medical professionals working in clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers in areas of need.
As the CHCI Public Policy Fellow, José plans on learning as much as he can about the intersections of public policy and medicine, particularly when they impact rural and medically underserved communities nationwide. Ultimately, José hopes to use his experiences as a Fellow to become a fierce public health advocate and leader for the community he will eventually serve as a Family Medicine Physician.