Loan Mitigation Pilot Program: 2023 Recipients
The ASN Loan Mitigation Pilot Program (LMPP) aims to reduce the loan burden of future nephrology leaders. Please join ASN in congratulating this year's recipients.
Yaritzy Astudillo, MD
Dr. Astudillo is an incoming pediatric nephrology fellow at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. A native New Yorker, she completed her undergraduate studies in Biology at SUNY Stony Brook followed by medical school at the New York Medical College and residency at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. Dr. Astudillo is a passionate advocate for children's health, understanding social determinants of health, and advancing health equity. She is excited to begin her fellowship training and is looking forward to exploring many nephrology interests. Outside the hospital, Dr. Astudillo enjoys spending time with family, particularly running after her toddler son, Henry, and beating her husband at Wordle.
Kettia Guillite, MD
Dr. Guillite is currently a third-year Internal Medicine Resident at Nassau University Medical Center. She was born and raised in Haiti. She moved to Florida in 2010 where she attended Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University and completed her undergraduate studies in liberal arts with a concentration in biochemistry. Dr. Guillite obtained her medical degree from St. Georges' University. Since the early years of her medical studies, she had a particular interest in kidney physiology which is why she decided to pursue a fellowship in Nephrology. She matched with Montefiore Medical Center and will start the fellowship program in July 2023.
Rafael Portela Colon, MD
Dr. Rafael Portela-Colon is a PGY-3 Internal Medicine Resident at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and an incoming nephrology fellow at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Rafael was born in Puerto Rico and lived in a small beach town in the north of Puerto Rico called Vega Baja.
He completed his bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras and subsequently completed his doctoral degree at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. While in medical school, he faced many challenges, including Hurricane Maria while in second year of medical school and earthquakes while in fourth year of medical school. Nevertheless, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina to complete his Internal Medicine Residency. Starting in July 2023, he will continue his academic journey in the Nephrology fellowship in Penn State Hospital, Pennsylvania. His areas of interest include diuretic resistance and home dialysis. He also feels passionate learning about healthcare disparities and plans to be an advocate of accessible health to minority groups, especially his Latino community. In his free time, he likes playing video games, watching Survivor, and going to the beach.
Bianca Saenz, MD
Dr. Saenz is a pediatric resident with the Baylor College of Medicine Program in Houston at Texas Children's Hospital. She is from Mission, Texas "the 956" located at the Texas-Mexico border region known as the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Saenz cites her family as her inspiration for her work ethic and pursuit of education. Her father a migrant worker, now pharmacist, and her mother, a schoolteacher, now licensed professional counselor, being the first in their families to graduate from college. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is an alumnus from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston where she completed her medical school training.
As a resident, Dr. Saenz has found that nephrology suits her curious nature. Her current professional interests include pediatric lupus nephritis, neonatal nephrology, quality improvement in pediatric renal transplantation and recruitment of diverse applicants.
Dr. Saenz looks forward to becoming a pediatric nephrologist so she can be an advocate for a special population of children. As her hometown is set in an a largely Spanish speaking medically underserved area, she hopes to represent her community well and further contribute to better access to pediatric nephrologists.
Jordy Salcedo-Giraldo, MD
Dr. Jordy Salcedo-Giraldo is a third-year Pediatric Resident at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. He completed his undergraduate training in Biochemistry at Lehigh University followed by medical education at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. After residency, he will be continuing his training in Pediatric Nephrology at Children's National in Washington, DC.
Christel Wekon-Kemeni, MD
Dr. Wekon-Kemeni (known to his patients as Dr. Dub) is a Chief Resident in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina and is from the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, earned his medical degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, completed his residency training in Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, and earned his board certification in General Pediatrics in the Fall of 2022.
He is the creator of the Black Man, M.D. Blog, a blog originally created to document his experiences throughout his medical training that has since evolved into an entity designed to inspire others by sharing helpful information about becoming a medical doctor, highlighting minority healthcare students and professionals, providing scholarships to minority high school students, and more!
He is excited to begin his fellowship training in Pediatric Nephrology at Emory University/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where he will further pursue his interests in medical education, advocating for underserved populations, and increasing access to equitable healthcare. Outside of the clinical setting, he loves to blog, read/listen to audiobooks, watch sports, play board/video games, and spend quality time with his wife, friends, and family!