Headshot of Reza Hessabi, MD

Hello! I’m Reza, and I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of UCLA’s Minority Housestaff Organization! I’m a Southern California native who went to UCLA where I got a Neuroscience degree and a MENAS minor. After graduating college, I moved to Chicago without an apartment to work as the Grassroots Fundraising intern for Obama for America (OFA) in 2012. Eventually I got that apartment, but then quickly moved to Denver to work as a Field Organizer for OFA.

After losing all social skills while studying for the MCAT, I went to New Orleans for graduate school at Tulane. While there I paid for my schooling by sweeping floors in the ceramics department, and volunteered with Daughters of Charity, a nonprofit run by nuns, to teach diabetes education classes. When I eventually came back home to Southern California, I started teaching for Kaplan. Meanwhile I volunteered with another non-profit (there’s a theme here!) to develop Orange County’s first refugee/asylee health insurance pipeline. We used a first-of-its-kind grant from the county to help newcomers to the states get checkups and enroll in Medi-cal.

Each experience taught me how important the physical structure of our society is to health. More importantly, I learned how the legal structure we’ve created can actively harm the poorest and historically oppressed.

It’s why as a medical student at Dartmouth I worked with a national medical society’s lobbying arm in DC. I wanted to educate myself about these systems, so I could better learn how to dismantle them. Now that I’m a part of the MHO, I’m excited to work on creating a more just and equitable environment for all of us to work!

When I’m not getting heated about systemic injustices, I slog through my backlog of unplayed video games, valiantly attempt to convince other people that “real” hiking exists in LA, and spend time with my partner and our cat, Kabob.