'Mabuhay,' a word derived from the Tagalog language of the Philippines, literally means 'long live.' It is also used to express 'Welcome,' or 'Greetings,' and as a way of showing hospitality," says Alvin. He adds, "By establishing MHC, we not only hope to offer a welcoming space for this medically marginalized community but to also provide culturally sensitive care, particularly for the Filipino community that has much more limited services compared to other ethnic groups in the city."
Alvin immigrated to the Bay Area from the Philippines at a very young age and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Molecular & Cell Biology. Prior to medical school, he had worked at Genentech as a research associate and as a Hip Hop dance performer/choreographer. But it was his work as an AmeriCorps member doing medical outreach to San Francisco's homeless community that solidified his desire to enroll in medical school. As a medical student, Alvin organized projects that helped medically underserved children and families, helped coordinate efforts to promote diversity among UCSF staff and students, and worked as a research intern with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He has received numerous accolades, grants, and awards for his work both in medical school and in the community.
Currently, in addition to working as MHC's executive director, Alvin is conducting a research study at San Francisco General Hospital's Pediatric Asthma clinic. He hopes to pursue a career in Pediatrics.