UCLA Filipino alumnus recognized for improving health in an underserved population

Harold Sarmiento and Bobby Rimas Photo courtesy of Bobby Rimas

On Saturday, June 11, 2022, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Filipino Alumnus Harold Sarmiento, an Infectious Disease Nurse Practitioner at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center where he serves LGBTQ+ patients as both a provider and health advocate, graduated with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from UCLA and was recognized for an “Outstanding DNP Project for Improving Health in an Underserved Population” in the area of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in Primary Care.  More specifically, Mr. Sarmiento’s project focused on improving the health of the LGBTQ+ community through preventive medications, practices and training.  Mr. Sarmiento indicated that “The LGBTQ+ community has unique challenges such as less access to quality health care and insurance and often result into poorer health outcomes.  Additionally, the LGBTQ+ community is also at-risk for and disproportionately affected with HIV infections.”

Mr. Sarmiento participated in several UCLA graduation ceremonies that recognized the completion of his Doctorate degree.  One of the UCLA graduation ceremonies included the UCLA Lavender Graduation in which Mr. Bobby Rimas attended.  Mr. Bobby Rimas is the Past Chair/President of the UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association and currently serves as Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, Adjunct Legal Studies Faculty Member at the University of La Verne, a Paralegal at a Downtown Los Angeles law firm that specializes in complex litigation matters and the Vice Chair of the Special Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Stonewall Democratic Club.  Mr. Rimas graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History from UCLA and a Master of Legal Studies degree, cum laude, from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.  Mr. Rimas stated that he was “…extremely proud and not surprised that Mr. Sarmiento not only graduated with his Doctorate degree, but was also recognized for a project that dealt with improving the health in an underserved population. In June 2021, I was very honored to present Mr. Sarmiento with the Charles E. Harless Graduate Student Leadership Scholarship Award at UCLA’s Lavender ceremony. Prior to earning his Doctorate degree, Mr. Harold Sarmiento received his Master of Science in Nursing with emphasis on Adult-Gerontology Primary Care at UCLA’s School of Nursing and often devotes his spare time helping others despite a very busy schedule. I very much look forward to learning about his future accomplishments.”  Mr. Rimas and Mr. Sarmiento both currently serve on the UCLA Lambda Alumni Association Board of Directors.  The UCLA Lambda Alumni Association sustains a network of LGBTQ+ alumni and friends to support one another, UCLA students, and the greater LGBTQ+ community.

Celebrating at UCLA’s Lavender Graduation at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, from left, is Harold Sarmiento, Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduate and Bobby Rimas, Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles and Adjunct Legal Studies Faculty Member at the University of La Verne. n

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