Our Staff

Dr. Jocelyn Freeman Garrick, Founder and President

Jocelyn Freeman-Garrick Dr. Freeman Garrick was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and attended medical school at the University of Southern California. She trained in Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Jacobi/Montefiore Emergency Medicine Residency Program in New York, serving as chief resident during her final year in 2001. She is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician who, after completing her residency, obtained a Masters in Science in Epidemiology from Cornell University. Dr. Freeman Garrick is currently an attending physician at Alameda County Medical Center- Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. Contact Dr. Freeman Garrick at jgarrick@mimscience.org.



Asha Vitatoe, Program Manager

ashaAsha Vitatoe received her B.A. from Emory University in African American Studies and has been working in Youth Development for the past eight years. She began working with youth in Atlanta and moved back to the Bay Area five years ago to continue that work. As a dedicated Youth  Development professional she has worked hard to develop and deliver quality programming and mentorship. An Oakland native, Asha is passionate about working with young people to identify, pursue and achieve their goals for their future. Contact Ms. Vitatoe at avitatoe@mimscience.org.


Mareme Diakhate, Program Coordinator

Mareme picMareme was born in Senegal and grew up in Oakland, CA. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College of CA where she earned her B.S. in Health Science. She was also part of the Healthy Ambassador Program (HAP) during her high school years, where she was first exposed to the health inequalities that were in her communities. After the joining HAP, she has joined many more pre-health programs, such as Stanford HCOP and Health Career Connection, which have increased her interest in health and social service work. Prior to starting her position at MIMS, Mareme worked in different nonprofits, one of which being an AmeriCorps VISTA at East Bay College Fund. These experiences have increased her interest in health and non-profit work. Mareme is also passionate about social justice and public health. Outside of work, she enjoys being around family and friends, cooking and catching up on her shows. She is excited to be utilizing her background, in both health science and social service work, to execute her role as a MIMS Program Coordinator, successfully. Contact Mareme at mdiakhate@mimscience.org.

Denae Reed, Mentor Coordinator


Denae Reed has been a Physician Assistant for 18 years with a focus in Emergency Medicine and Forensic Examinations for Sexual Assault Victims. For the past 15 years she has worked at Alameda Health System, Highland Hospital in Oakland, California.   Her other areas of clinical practice have included Women’s Health, Adolescent and Geriatric Care in the Bay Area. Mrs. Reed graduated from the 32nd PA Class at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, in Los Angeles, after receiving her B.S in Health Science, with a Minor in Human Biology from CSU, Hayward. She is an Oakland native, married, with 3 amazing children, and 1 grandchild. She finds her career to be very rewarding and enjoys going to work. She has a passion for mentoring, and enjoys traveling, spending time with family/ friends, and watching football /basketball at all levels. Contact Denae at dreed@mimscience.org.


Leonardo (Leo) Rodriguez , HCC Summer Intern


Leonardo Rodriguez is a rising senior at Wesleyan University majoring in Science in Society. After Wesleyan he plans to pursue a master’s in public health and ultimately obtain a career in mental health care. Leo’s interest in public health and health education comes from exposure to his family’s medical challenges. Due to those experiences, Leo’s main goal is to help low-income, people of color, especially immigrants, get the care they need. Toward that end, in summer 2013 Leo participated in the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute program and conducted research on patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The following summer he participated in Upward Bound on Berkeley’s campus where he supported low-income, high achieving high school students. At Wesleyan University, Leo tutors elementary school students in a variety of subjects. In his free time, Leo enjoys playing soccer, power lifting, and expanding his photography portfolio. Contact Leo at intern@mimscience.org.


Bakare Awakoaiye, Summer Intern


Bakare Awakoaiye is an Oakland native and a MIMS alum; having participated in the Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA) in 2011. Currently, he is a rising junior studying biology at Howard University in the Honors Biology program, where he has remained on the Dean’s List since beginning at Howard. While in the honors program, he conducted research and study on bacteriophages, and is working with Dr. Mark Burke studying the neuro-pathophysiological effects of SIV. At Howard, he is involved with several organizations including the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Association and the Health Professions Society. He also works as a math and science tutor, and volunteers at a Washington, DC middle school. He completed a surgical internship at the UC Davis Medical Center last summer, and was able to observe a number of surgeries firsthand. The Bishop O’Dowd High School graduate was a recipient of the school’s Scholar-Athlete Award and the Board of Regents Award. His interest in medicine began at a young age after participating in the MISA program. Growing up, Bakare wanted to pursue his passion in science, but at the same time, make a difference in the communities around him. Supported by his parents and grandparents, his path began to solidify after countless hours of volunteering, shadowing physicians at a nearby practice, and accompanying doctors during ER rounds during the MISA program. In his spare time he enjoys playing bass guitar, spending time with his family and friends, and reading science-fiction novels. Contact Bakare at intern@mimscience.org.