Yaakov Green (BSc ’17), now a fifth-year MD/MBA student at Yale University, was named one of York University's 2022 Top 30 Alumni Under 30. He is dedicating his career to solving structural issues in healthcare, with a focus on mental health.
This comes as no surprise. Yaakov has been an agent of positive change since his time at York and continues to actively contribute to his community. “At an institution as large as York, with countless student groups and initiatives, the opportunities to make an impact are endless,” says Yaakov.
Alongside Ben Shachar (BSc ’17), Yaakov co-founded the Random Acts of Kindness Project with the mission of spreading positivity throughout campus and promoting an inclusive environment for its students. With the help of a team of volunteers, the Random Acts of Kindness Project conducted several large-scale good deeds across campus. For example, the group sought to do their part in bringing smiles to their fellow students’ faces and alleviating some of the stress that is often felt across post-secondary campuses by handing out treats during holidays and hot beverages on particularly cold days.
"At an institution as large as York, with countless student groups and initiatives, the opportunities to make an impact are endless."
In 2017, the club had grown to become one of York’s largest, with over 1,000 members, $10,000 in sponsorship, and a partnership with KIND Bars. Similar initiatives have since been launched at other universities throughout North America.
“The experience taught me a great deal about leadership and the importance of community in promoting well-being,” says Yaakov.
Looking back at meaningful moments from his time at York, Yaakov reflects not only on founding the Random Acts of Kindness Project but also on his studies. “I had the privilege of meeting great mentors, such as Professor Robert Tsushima,” he explains. “I was lucky to join his lab, and I learned a lot from his course on the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Muscle Physiology.”
Throughout his educational career, volunteering, and work experiences, Yaakov has consistently maintained academic excellence. As early as high school, he was selected as one of the top 50 Canadian STEM entrepreneurs to be part of the first cohort of incoming students to be awarded the Schulich Leader Scholarship at university. Throughout his time as an undergraduate student at York, he maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.98/4 and received the Governor General's Silver Medal upon graduation for having one of the top three GPAs in his graduating class. He also received the Faculty of Science Gold Medal for achieving the highest graduating GPA in the Faculty of Science.
Now, in a dual MD/MBA program at Yale University’s School of Medicine, Yaakov has continued to maintain his academic excellence. He has conducted research on the social determinants of health, led operational improvement projects at Yale's hospital, and sat on the board of Yale’s innovation center. This year, he will begin medical residency training at Columbia University, specializing in psychiatry, where he will have the opportunity to deepen his clinical skills while caring for patients with serious mental illnesses.
While pursuing an MD/MBA, he also worked for the United States Federal COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which shaped his perspective on how healthcare systems can be improved in order to provide accessible, cost-effective, and equitable care to communities in need. Looking to the future, Yaakov hopes to contribute to solving structural issues in mental healthcare through optimizing care delivery and tackling health inequity.
“In the coming years, I hope to continue health systems work, whether through hospital leadership, entrepreneurship, or public policy.”
His advice to new students – “Keep exploring! Have an open mind to mentorship and to new opportunities, and don’t be afraid to lead change. You never know where it could take you.”
Yaakov was named one of York University's 2022 Top 30 Alumni Under 30. Learn more about the program and the impressive young alumni on the list.