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We are a student-run, public health organization that works to bridge the gap between preventive care and medical treatment by providing nutrition and exercise education and professional resources to underserved communities in the greater Sacramento and Davis areas.


In November 2013, three undergraduates recognized the need for preventive health care in the underserved community of the greater Sacramento area. They noticed that though all the student-run clinics provide patients with the service of primary care, preventive care services, like professional dietary care and mental health education, were not as commonly provided. The idea for providing preventive care was first inspired by Mahtab’s mother, Ameneh Danai, a registered dietitian in the Bay Area. Ten years ago, due to her unhealthy lifestyle, Ameneh was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Today, after beating cancer, she lives an even more healthy lifestyle and pursued a career as an RD to help prevent such situations from happening to others similar to her.

After recruitment of the remainder of the board, R.I.V.E.R. partnered with YXPlosion, a public health nonprofit organization that serves over 20,000 economically disadvantaged community members in the Sacramento area, heading the nutrition and health education aspects of the organization. R.I.V.E.R. is also currently in the process of applying to grants and getting approved as a nonprofit organization. With the help of dietitians, physicians, and other health professionals, R.I.V.E.R. hopes to be established as a UC Davis affiliated student-run clinic, focusing primarily on providing preventive care in conjunction to primary care to the underserved community in the greater Sacramento Area. Rather than focusing on a specific underrepresented group, R.I.V.E.R.’s main goal is to expand on the underrepresented secondary healthcare services provided by the existing U.C. Davis student-run clinics. In collaboration with other clinics, R.I.V.E.R. hopes to establish a holistic groundwork for free health care services provided in the Sacramento area.



Bret Harte Elementary School’s health education program has been cut due to being part of an underserved community. RIVER developed the Healthy Heroes Program to be the exercise and nutritional education for the school to ensure that children develop a strong and early relationship with exercise, nutrition, and their health. Interns develop both exercise and nutrition curriculum as well as lead the activities alongside the 1st through 5th grade students.


Meet the R.I.V.E.R. team!


Maeher Parihar


Major: Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity

Minor: Psychology & Social and Ethnic Relations

Interests: Baking, drawing, reading, yoga, and dumb comedy tv shows

Career goals: Pediatric Psychiatrist

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER because of its unique intersection between nutrition and exercise and its emphasis on preventative health, specifically in underserved communities. After participating in a similar club in high school, I knew preventative health was something I wanted to pursue more seriously in college. RIVER provides so many amazing opportunities for members to expand their knowledge and passion for subjects like nutrition and exercise while also simultaneously building a community of dedicated and amazing students. My experiences in RIVER have helped me recognize my passion to pursue a career in medicine!

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Theodore Do

Vice President

Major: Human Biology

Interests: Hiking, running, origami, horror movies, volleyball

Career goals: Medicine, Research, Healthcare

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER because I believe that everyone should have the resources to obtain a fresh, vigorous lifestyle to achieve their greater goals. RIVER provides services to a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and instills healthy habits in children at a young age. Working with the passionate and dedicated interns of this organization, I have been able to learn more about the core components of preventative health and how they can be used to improve the wellness of our community.


Shinal Kumar

Health Coach Coordinator

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Minor: Spanish

Interests: Reading, working out, traveling, trying new foods, baking

Career Goals: Physician

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER in my first year because this organization aligned with a lot of my future career goals. I liked that RIVER focuses on preventive health and I hope to use that ideology as a physician. I also joined RIVER because I had a lot of interest in working with people on nutrition and exercise, and I’ve gotten a lot of chances to do that through Health Coach. This organization also has some of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve ever met and I really love the community we have here.

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Brian Luong

Co-Nutrition Director

Major: Molecular and Medical Microbiology

Interests: Weight lifting, listening to music, watching movies, sleeping!

Career goals: Physician

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I first joined RIVER because of my general interest in nutrition and exercise. Nutrition and exercise are two very important habits that go hand-in-hand in creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle. In the realm of preventative health, nutrition and exercise are important topics that we must discuss, and RIVER places itself right in the middle of that discussion. RIVER is a group of amazingly talented and passionate people who are always eager to educate others about these topics, and I am glad that I could be a part of this team.

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Kaitlyn Wong

Co-Exercise Director

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Interests: Reading, volleyball, baking, eating but not cooking

Career goals: Physical Therapy

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER because I loved their principles of serving the community and emphasizing preventative health through exercise and nutrition. I think preventative healthcare should be the most prioritized form of healthcare and doing my part to educate and help bridge health inequities in my community has been extremely fulfilling. The community in RIVER has provided me endless love and support that pushes me to become a better service to others.


Beatriz Medina Nuno

Co-Outreach Director

Class of 2024

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Interests: Reading, gym, traveling, and spending time with family and friends

Career goals: Physician’s Assistant

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I chose RIVER because I loved the principles it stands for. Coming from an underserved community myself I would love to be able to give back to such communities through enriching health education. I have stayed in RIVER for these reasons and because of the enriching and welcoming community here!


Ashwath Kannan


Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Interests: Drawing, sculpting, baking, playing volleyball, and taking long walks

Career goals: Dentist

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: My interest in exercise and nutrition stem from my longtime participation in sports and my love for eating yummy foods. The combinations of my passions and my belief in preventative health is what drove me to join RIVER. The club has provided me with a community of supportive, like-minded interns and also the opportunity to help others through meaningful services such as Health Coach. I believe preventative health is an underemphasized topic of healthcare that everyone can practice and it has the potential to reduce health disparities and improve lives.

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Anthony Weidner


Major: Double Major in Molecular & Medical Microbiology and Computer Science

Minor: Mathematics

Interests: Swimming, piano, stonks

Career goals: Software Engineer or Pathologist MD

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I think preventative healthcare is crucial for helping to reduce chronic diseases (e.g. hypertension, heart disease, etc.). Thus, by helping clients stay on track of their health, RIVER helps them live longer, better lives. 

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Malia Tieu

Health Coach Coordinator

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Interests: I love trying new foods, dancing, and binge watching David Attenborough documentaries!

Career Goals: Anesthesiologist or PA

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: The people in RIVER are truly what makes the organization so special. You can feel everyone's passion for preventative health and there is such a positive, welcoming atmosphere surrounding all the members. Also Health Coach is amazing hehe!

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Sean Chen

Co-Nutrition Director

Major: Molecular and Medical Microbiology

Interests: Listening to music, raves, weightlifting, reading, drawing, piano, being outdoors, cooking, watching shows

Career goals: Dentist

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER not only because I wanted to develop my client/patient interaction skills but because I wanted to learn more about preventative medicine and how it applies to different aspects of healthcare. Proper nutrition and daily exercise are two components I learned to incorporate into my life that have improved my physical and mental health, confidence, and overall sense of well-being. I wanted to do the same for others and help them realize the significance of preventative healthcare: prevention before intervention.


Andrew Tran

Mental Health Director

Class of 2023

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Minor: Music

Interests: Running, Sports, Cooking, Listening/Playing Music, Skateboarding, Traveling, Watching Movies/TV Shows

Career goals: Physician Assistant/Humanitarianism

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: To me, R.I.V.E.R is an organization where we put the community's interests first and foremost. Whether it is through Health Coach, ORE, or Health Team Lab, our members have a responsibility to help individuals achieve their health goals and to provide them the resources to live a healthy, fulfilling life. What makes R.I.V.E.R so special is the emphasis on preventative care which is such an essential aspect to providing safe and meaningful care to people with health problems. Implementing features of exercise and nutrition has taught me the importance of a holistic approach towards helping people from different backgrounds. In addition, R.I.V.E.R's mission to serve the underserved community aligns with my values as I aspire to use my acquired knowledge and skills to help underserved communities around the world. As the Mental Health Director, I aim to implement Mental Health as a new sector of R.I.V.E.R's preventative care vision to provide more beneficial resources for our community. It has been such a pleasure being surrounded by amazing, supportive students who really want to make a change for the better.

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Smriti Pathania


Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior 

Minor: Public Health

Interests: Drawing, painting, crocheting, being outdoors, making playlists, & watching shows!

Career goals: Physician/Healthcare

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER since I'm interested in preventative healthcare and enjoy working with others to help make positive changes in the community. The people in RIVER are very motivating and have helped me learn so much through out my time here. I really enjoy learning about nutrition and exercise health measures, and using this learned knowledge in my everyday life. The health coach experience has also been very rewarding and helped me grow many resourceful skills. I  think the organizations mission to work towards bridging the gap between preventive care and medical treatment is very important and aligns with my future career plans. I am excited to continue working with others and learn more throughout my time here!

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Lindsey Ta

Media Director

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Minor: Psychology

Interests: Hiking, kayaking, embroidery, spending time with family and friends, and watching shows/movies!

Career goals: Physical Therapist

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I have always had an interest in promoting health and well-being, so when I heard about R.I.V.E.R., I knew I wanted to be involved with an organization that works to underscore the importance of preventative health and strives to serve underserved communities. It has been such an honor to meet like-minded, determined individuals who aim to support not only our community, but each other.

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Juliet Beach

HTL Coordinator

Major: Human Biology

Interests: I enjoy writing, playing piano, reading, hiking, baking, and painting!

Career goals: Oncologist

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER in my freshman year as a way to learn about preventative health services and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community. I also joined to meet other people with similar passions as myself and ended up making a lot of great friends along the way.


Aivan Nguyen

Co-Exercise Director

Major: Anthropology

Minor: Community and Regional Development

Interests: Eating good food in good company :), trying/playing sports with friends, and all kinds of binge-worthy shows (taking recs btw)

Career goals: Not sure yet but interested in career/rehab counseling and other community and regional development type-roles

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I initially joined on a whim since a friend already in RIVER thought I might like it but I ended up loving its mission, programs, and the incredible people it drew in. I've such a great time learning how to promote preventative health practices and meeting other interns/members that are indescribably cool and I hope to continue doing so and improving the club! It's the meaningful connections and versatile skills through RIVER for me ;)


Monzerrath (Monze) Ramos Gonzalez

Co-Outreach Director

Class of 2024

Major: Clinical Nutrition

Minor: Psychology

Interests: Anything outdoorsy, baking, binging shows (especially anime) and finding new music from other countries!

Career goals: Community Dietitian

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: Coming from an underserved community myself, I got to see first hand how a lack of health education impacted communities likes my own. As a result, I knew I wanted to find opportunities where I could serve the underserved population, and I felt that R.I.V.E.R would allow me to do so. The ORE program especially piqued my interest as I have always loved working with kids and loved the idea of creating educative material for them!

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