Who We Are?


The Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA) was founded in 2012 in Oakland, California and after a brief hiatus, began operating again in 2018. MISA works to expose pre-med/pre-health high school students to hands-on experience in a variety of health care settings that will provide them with a competitive edge as they begin their own career in health. Mentoring in Medicine & Science, the founder of MISA, partners with local health institutions and programs such as Alameda Health Systems, Samuel Merritt University, and private clinicians in the area to bring this valuable experience to high school from all across the country.


Each year, MISA staff works to serve as many students as possible throughout the academic year. Since 2018, the interests around MISA and the number of participants has continued to grow. 



Dr. Jocelyn Freeman Garrick, President
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.

Asha Vitatoe, Director
Asha 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.

Denae Reed PA-C, Shadowing 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.

Maritza Gomez, Program Coordinator
Maritza Gomez is a U.C. Berkeley graduate who studied public health and healthcare. Her focus lies in community health and for the past couple of years she has been coordinating year-round programs and internships for high school and college students interested in healthcare. She is the official day-to-day coordinator for MISA programs.