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Student Profiles

PRIME-TIDE Student Profiles

PRIME-TIDE students come from a variety of backgrounds and tribal communities. Learn more about their unique lived experiences and motivations by reading their stories below. 


  • Sarah Gierok

    Sarah Gierok

    Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA
    Undergraduate: University of California Berkley

    "The mission of UC San Diego School of Medicine's PRIME-TIDE program is closely aligned with my reason for becoming a physician: I hope to be of service to American Indian communities and other populations who have historically been left behind when it comes to health care and other essential resources. I am a nontraditional medical student and career-changer. My life experience has shown me that societal problems don’t exist in a vacuum. Improving the health of our most vulnerable communities is necessary to bring about the overall healing our society needs, and the PRIME-TIDE program is training me to be a physician who will contribute meaningfully to this goal.

    Because my grandmother was forced to give up her tribal identity and assimilate into the greater American culture, my relatives and I didn’t get to experience a connection to our Native American culture and heritage. PRIME-TIDE also provides a unique and powerful way for me to rebuild a connection with my tribe and other native communities, and to help improve the health of these communities in new and concrete ways."


  • Steven Jump

    Steven Jump

    Hometown: Santa Paula, CA
    Undergraduate: Dartmouth

    "ᎣᏏᏲ ᏂᎦᏓ. I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. I grew up in Santa Paula, California and attended Dartmouth College where I majored in both Environmental and Native American Studies. Before medical school, I worked as a medical assistant and public health associate at the Seattle Indian Health Board in Seattle, WA. While at UC San Diego, I hope to continue growing my interests in integrating Traditional Indian Medicine in clinical practice and primary care. When not studying, you can find me running, beading, or sewing. Following PRIME-TIDE I hope to go back to serving Native communities though working at another IHS, tribal or urban clinic."

  • Rachel Maguire

    Rachel Maguire

    Hometown: Bloomington, IL
    Undergraduate: Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

    "I chose the PRIME-TIDE program because as a citizen of Chickasaw Nation and a future health care professional, I want to address inequities in our health care system, especially for Native American communities.  My prior experiences in diversity and inclusion programs in undergrad, community service with at-risk populations in a metropolitan area, and intertribal programs like the Native American Research Internship at the University of Utah have all given me a greater understanding of what underserved communities need from their health care providers. I am excited to be a member of PRIME-TIDE because participating in this program will not only provide me and my cohort invaluable public health knowledge and training, but will also help prepare us to provide proper care for our Indigenous patients. With the help of PRIME-TIDE, I am looking forward to a lifetime of advocacy and contributing to the betterment of our Native American communities."

  • Jessica Ross

    Jessica Ross

    Hometown: Riverside, CA
    Undergraduate School: San Francisco State University

    "I chose PRIME-TIDE because I am passionate about working with and empowering underserved and underrepresented populations. My cultural background as a Cherokee and Japanese American student motivated me to become a doctor who will advocate for my community and diminish barriers associated with access to health care. During my path to medical school, I worked as a case manager for the unhoused population. This experience exposed me to the dire need for services and the impact a lack of health care has on an individual. As a PRIME-TIDE student, I am grateful to be a part of a community where I can continuously develop my ability to become a compassionate, inclusive, and patient-focused physician better equipped to serve our Native communities."

  • Marissa Stinnett

    Marissa Stinnett

    Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA
    Undergraduate School: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

    "As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, I have always had a strong desire to connect to my heritage. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw how disproportionately the virus affected Native communities while working at the United American Indian Involvement Community Health Clinic in downtown Los Angeles. It was then that my longing to connect with my culture developed into a commitment to serve my Native community in the most impactful way possible: by providing equitable care to underserved indigenous populations as a future physician. Thus, I am honored and excited to be a part of PRIME-TIDE at UC San Diego School of Medicine. I believe this program will allow me to develop into the culturally sensitive, compassionate physician I aspire to become."

  • Dane Winter

    Dane Winter

    Hometown: Sacramento, CA
    Undergraduate: University of Colorado - Denver

    "I am excited to be part of the PRIME-TIDE program with its mission to train clinically competent, culturally sensitive physicians interested in serving Native populations. A family friend who graduated from UC San Diego School of Medicine nearly 40 years ago and travels to Alaska every month to provide care at an Indian Health Services clinic sparked my interest in working in Native health. After graduating from the University of Colorado, I had the opportunity to pursue clinical research at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where the trials included many Native families. The experience provided a first-hand glimpse into the bio-psycho-social challenges that urban Natives and those on Native lands encounter. At UNM, I also had the opportunity to witness culturally sensitive care where, at times, university physicians and traditional healers were present for the patient and their families. Bringing quality and culturally appropriate care to this underserved community is rewarding. Through the program’s mentorship, I hope to increase my cultural competence, and I look forward to gaining clinical experience at IHS hospitals and clinics. The Native population has been historically undercounted in the census, underserved by the medical community, and overlooked in medical research. Through the PRIME TIDE program, I hope to become a skilled physician who can help address the disparities in research and care for this distinctive and underserved population."


  • Kiersten Gabaldon

    Kiersten Gabaldon

    Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
    Undergraduate School: Occidental College

    "I chose PRIME-TIDE because I am passionate about the program's mission to promote health equity in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. As a Latinx and Native American student from New Mexico, I personally saw how socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic barriers limit health care access for Native populations. Given a one-month prognosis at fourteen years old, I experienced firsthand the consequences of these healthcare barriers, as the costs and availability of medical resources determined my lifespan. When I unexpectedly recovered within a year, I became determined to increase access and affordability of health care in underserved communities like my own. Prior to joining PRIME-TIDE at UC San Diego, I worked at an international consulting firm where I learned to integrate medicine, business, and technology to improve health care access on the patient and systemic levels. The PRIME-TIDE program understands the value of interdisciplinary collaboration by providing a dual degree education focused on cultural humility and community partnerships to address the public health challenges confronting Native communities. With a network of renowned mentors, community leaders, and like-minded peers, I am excited to empower AI/AN patients and combat systemic inequities."
  • Daniel Maldonado

    Daniel Maldonado

    Hometown: Chula Vista, CA
    Undergraduate School: University of California San Diego

    "I chose PRIME at UC San Diego because I wish to empower underserved communities and contribute to the lessening of health disparities. My experience volunteering has allowed me not only to give back to my own community but also to become better acquainted with other communities. I believe that by uniting people from different backgrounds and different perspectives, we can foster allyship and leadership to bring equitable and affordable health care to all. My experience volunteering at the UC San Diego free clinic, Palomar Hospital, and the migrant shelter in downtown as well as my perspective coming from a bilingual household and watching my mother navigate the health system as an English learner has affirmed and strengthened my desire to work collaboratively within and between our communities to increase access, emphasize prevention, increase education, and improve equity."

  • Katie Mostoller

    Katie Mostoller

    Hometown: Kennewick, WA
    Undergraduate School: University of Washington

    "Being Cherokee has shaped not only the way I conceptualize health, but also how I view my role as a future health professional. I revere my responsibility to provide care, education, and advocacy for the community that has aided my development as an Indigenous scholar. Throughout my life, I've enjoyed being involved in intertribal communities and programs dedicated to their advancement such as First Nations at University of Washington, University of Utah's Native American Research Internship, and the Summer Health Professions Education Program. I care deeply about my people and their health, and when it is my turn to serve them as a physician, I want to be able to provide the exceptional care they deserve. PRIME-TIDE is providing me with the tools and experience to contribute to health and healing in Native communities."

  • Linnea Rohdin-Bibby

    Linnea Rohdin-Bibby

    Hometown: Portland, OR
    Undergraduate School: University of San Diego

    "My decision to pursue medicine is driven by my commitment to serve communities that have historically had resources divested from them. Throughout my undergraduate years in San Diego, I spent much of my time working with local communities in their elementary schools and in a community garden. Located in a food desert, the community garden clearly highlighted inequities in the choices available to communities and the impact of this on their health and wellbeing. In PRIME-TIDE I am grateful to be in an environment where I am encouraged to pursue my passions and re-define how we understand and practice health care, particularly as it relates to the needs of our Native American communities. I know that this is just the beginning to a lifelong career in learning how to uplift and advocate for my patients."