Irina Linetskaya, MD, MPH – Vice President
Dr. Linetskaya is a physician committed to a life of healing and a deep understanding of low-income and minority youth. She met Dr. Winkleby in 1995 when she was selected to participate in the Stanford Youth Medical Program (SMYSP). Since then, she has assumed leadership roles in several youth mentoring programs. She brings expertise in youth empowerment and academic mentoring to the Board.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Dr. Linetskaya, then only “Irina,” was raised Jewish in an anti-Semitic Soviet Union. In 1977, the year she was born, her family was slated to immigrate to the U.S. to join her grandmother’s sister. However, just before their departure, the USSR closed its borders, and her family became trapped in the Soviet Union for eleven years. By the time Soviet borders reopened for Jewish emigration, the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl had melted down sixty miles away from her home in Kiev and both of her parents had passed away.
In the 11th grade, at the Hebrew Academy in San Francisco, Irina’s biology teacher told her
about SMYSP—she applied and was accepted. At SMYSP, she strengthened two
important concepts that would shape her future: diversity and community. Following
high school, Irina was accepted to Stanford where she majored in Human Biology with a
focus on Community Health. She was involved in several community service initiatives ranging from child-abuse prevention work to HIV/AIDS outreach.
During an on-site visit to Mission Neighborhood Health Center’s HIV clinic, an evening
clinic for HIV-positive Latino immigrants, Irina became deeply inspired by the center’s focused mission and impact on the Latino community. She spent her senior year in Ecuador learning Spanish and rejoined the HIV clinic as a summer intern promoting patient education.
In 2001, Irina started her training at Harvard Medical School. Fueled by her
commitment to social justice through health, she received her primary care residency
training at Montefiore’s Program in Social Internal Medicine in the Bronx, New York, a
program focused on delivering culturally tailored and justice-oriented medical care to
impoverished communities in the U.S. and abroad.
Still committed to diversity and social justice, Dr. Linetskaya offers comprehensive
primary care from a trauma-informed, mind-body perspective, with a particular focus
on LGBTQ+ care and HIV care. Fluent in Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese, Irina’s
patient panel is composed of diverse patients. She continues to travel the globe but calls
New York her home.