in the news

February 2016


Getting to know you….Ben Silver

Ben Silver has just moved to the big city and begun working to help with the newly formed Certified IT Group for Anesthesiology.  He will be responsible for coordinating support across the department and is in charge of the Anesthesiology Certified IT Group, reporting to Dr. Berman.

Ben has worked in technology and support for as long as he has been working.  He's been at startups, private high schools, and even Apple. Dr. Wood says that she does not need to go to the Apple “genius bar” anymore!

In his free time (whenever he can snag a lunch break) he likes to walk around and explore the city, see concerts and museums, and write terrible songs and poems.

Feel free to reach out with your phone questions, computer problems, and philosophical conundrums




Three new faculty started in January…welcome Drs. Chiu, Miltiades and Vail!

Felicia Y. Chiu
Emily A. Vail
Drs. Vail & Miltiades
Andrea Miltiades



January 2016

The Department of Anesthesiology wishes everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!



New AUA Members

The Columbia Department of Anesthesiology has 5 new AUA members.  Drs. Yocum, Kim, Ing, Hua and Danielsson were elected to AUA Associate Membership in December. “Young AUA” is a new type of membership to encourage junior faculty to attend the AUA annual meeting, network and meet academic faculty from all over the U.S. on both an academic but also social level. Congratulations!

More information about the AUA can be accessed at


Retirement Celebration for Dr. Robert Sladen and Dr. Eric Heyer

The Department held a retirement party for Drs. Sladen and Heyer on November 30th, 2015, which was attended by colleagues, friends and family.  We all wish them success and happiness for the next stage of their lives.


December 2015

The Simulation Center Opened on Tuesday, October 6th!

Several years ago, Dr. Margaret Wood envisioned creating a unique learning space for anesthesiology residents, fellows, and faculty. On October 6, 2015, this effort culminated in the opening of a new simulation center, originally named the Anesthesia Center for Education Research and Evaluation (ACERE). In recognition of Dr. Wood’s outstanding two decades of leadership of our Department, ACERE was renamed the Margaret Wood Center for Simulation and Education.   

The Margaret Wood Center for Simulation and Education will provide training to members of the Department as part of an effort to modernize education, increase patient safety, and develop team-building skills using the most advanced learning techniques.  The Center includes an operating room, a recovery room or ICU, a conference debriefing room, a standardized patient/task training room, and an anesthesia workroom.  The Center will utilize computer driven mannequins that have the capability to breathe, talk, and have a pulse. Procedural trainers for point of care ultrasound, echocardiography, central line placement, and bronchoscopy are available.  The simulation center has audiovisual capabilities in all rooms including the main hallway.   



Oliver Panzer elected to Apgar Academy of Medical Educators

Dr. Panzer has been elected to the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators.  Dr. Panzer has been particularly active in developing innovative ways to teach ultrasound imaging.  Joining the Academy is an honor and a recognition of his work and talents, but it also represents his commitment to join the activity of the Academy.  He will be involved in giving workshops on education, coaching fellow faculty members on their teaching, mentoring junior educators, and/or contributing to the committees of the Academy. 





Minjae Kim received SCCM 2016 abstract award

We would like to congratulate Minjae Kim as one of the recipients of the 2016 SCCM Star Research Achievement Awards. 

Title: Interaction Effects of Multiple Complications on Postoperative Mortality in General Surgery











Robert Maniker receives the FAER Education Award

Congratulations to our own Dr. Maniker who has received $100,000 for his project entitled “Validation of an Objective, Practical and Real-Time Assessment of Regional Anesthesia Procedural Skills”.    

The project will evaluate the practical use of a 7-item global rating scale (GRS) for the assessment of regional anesthesia procedure skills by direct observation. The Anesthesia Toolbox platform will be used to deliver uniform rater training materials and collect large-scale data on the tool’s implementation by multiple programs. The tool will be tested for validity of its results, and longitudinal data from multiple programs will be used to define normalized score distributions and build standardized learning curves. The overall goals are to define a procedure assessment with valid and interpretable results that will allow training programs to document the achievement of competency milestones over time and aid in early identification of trainees who may benefit from additional training modalities.





Dr. Meghan Prin receives the ASA Resident Humanitarian Award

Congratulations to Dr. Meghan Prin who received the ASA Resident Humanitarian Award for her services to Global and International Health.  She was presented with her award in San Diego at this year’s ASA meeting.











November 2015

Getting to know you….Anthony Guerne

Anthony Guerne has recently joined the Department as our new Simulation Center Manager and is responsible for the day to day running of the Simulation Center, and also helping the faculty and trainees learn how to implement simulation based education as a teaching methodology.

Anthony has a broad experience of running simulation scenarios so he very much understands crisis situations in many hospitals in the NY area.  He has also been an EMT – Paramedic in the Northshore – LIJ Health System.

His Professional Education includes:

  • Harvard University Institute for Medical Simulation Instructor Training Course, 2011
  • METI Corporation; “Essentials of HPS Training Course”, 2010
  • Laerdal Corporation “Sim Man Instructors Course”, 2009

His office is in the Simulation Center on PH5.   Please drop by to say hello, and see how he can help you with simulation education.

Anthony, we are delighted to have you on board!  Welcome!


Columbia at the ASA: San Diego

Columbia Anesthesiology was once again well represented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Anesthesiology in October with 76 presentations from residents, fellows and faculty.  Of special note were awards that went to Drs. Tom Yocum and Meghan Prin.  Dr. Yocum received two awards for his research entitled “Selective Pharmacologic Targeting of the GABAA Receptor α4 Subunit in Airway Smooth Muscle to Alleviate Bronchoconstriction” which was selected as one of the top ten basic science abstracts for the meeting and also won first place in the resident research contest.  Dr. Prin was awarded the “2015 ASA Resident Humanitarian International Global Health Service Award” for her work in International Global Health.


ASA Events Handbook


Dr. Curry Receives a Virginia Apgar Grant of $5,000 for 2015/16

The Apgar Committee felt that Dr. Curry’s project, “Making Professionals Professional: Explicit Teaching of Professionalism in a Residency Program” was well conceived and had the potential to impact the field of medical education.

Congratulations to Dr. Curry!










October 2015

Getting to know you….Frances Antonetty

Frances Antonetty has recently joined the Department as our new Grants and Contracts Manager and is responsible for the administration of grants both within and outside the Department.  She is also involved in working with Dr. Charles Emala in Research Administration.

Frances came to us from the Columbia Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics where she was a Grants Financial Administrator, and previous to that she spent 10 years as a Grants Administrator in the Department of Pathology at Columbia.  So she is very experienced.

Please welcome Frances to the Department. She is here to help you with your grants, and also provide you with information about NIH and other Foundation Grants.  All budgets for grants that are submitted by the Department whether they require a letter from the Chair or not should be prepared by Frances.  Her office is on PH5.

Frances, we are delighted to have you on board!  Welcome!



Dr. Sladen Receives Physician of the Year Award from Columbia Nursing

The Department of Nursing, under the leadership of Wilhelmina Manzano, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, NYP Healthcare System have established  Physician of the Year Awards. The Award formally acknowledges members of the medical staff who consistently practice with nurses, in a collaborative and collegial manner. Nominees are identified by their nurse colleagues, and supported by other professional staff.

Dr. Robert Sladen was nominated by a nurse colleague from Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Mirella Rivera, RN, CNIII in collaboration with her SICU colleagues and the CTICU nursing staff.

The selection from a field of many impressive nominees and a rigorous selection process is truly an accomplishment.  Dr. Sladen was selected 2015 Physician of the Year in the Attending Physician category. The ceremony took place September 9, 2015 in Myrna Daniels Auditorium with opening remarks from Courtney Vose, the VP and CNO of Milstein. The ceremony was attended by:
Dr. Steve Corwin, CEO, Willie Manzano, CNO, Andria Castellanos, COO along with other winners of the 2015 POTYA.

Congratulations to Dr. Sladen!



September 2015

Congratulations to Meghan Prin and Guohua Li!

Meghan Prin

Meghan Prin, M.D. has been named as the first recipient of the ASA Resident Humanitarian Service Award.  Meghan is an outstanding individual who represents all that this award was designed to recognize.  Meghan has been contributing to international and community service from the earliest time in her career, having worked with underserved and under resourced populations from New Jersey to Ecuador, and Sub-Saharan Africa.  However, she has not just worked in these settings - what she has done that separates her from the others is that she has analyzed and published the results of her experiences and even presented her experiences at our specialty’s premiere honorific society—the AUA in Nashville this year.  It is critical that if we, as a society want to truly make a difference to improving human health through international outreach, we must report our results and outcomes to result in generalizable knowledge.  Meghan has clearly done that and this award recognizes her contributions for which we all congratulate her. Congratulations Meghan!





Guohua Li

Congratulations to Guohua Li, MD, DrPh who has recently been awarded the Excellence in Science Award from the American Public Health Association’s ICEH Section.  As you know Guohua is the M. Finster Professor of Anesthesiology and Vice-Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes in Anesthesia and Critical Care and Director, Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University.  He is simply one of the world’s outstanding epidemiologists.  For those of you who have recently joined the Department as new residents or fellows and may not have met him yet you should know that Guohua has already influenced your lives in ways that you probably never knew!  It was Guohua’s studies and work on the risks of teenage driving that resulted in the graduated licensing programs that many of you experienced as you first started driving.  It was not always like that, and as a result of Guohua’s work thousands of teenagers and their passengers are alive today who would have died in automobile wrecks before graduated licensing.  At the other end of the age spectrum he showed that it was safe for commercial airline pilots to fly up to age 65 so that they no longer had to retire at 60 and legislation to allow that to happen was passed.  Prevention of injury is central to the provision of safe health care, anesthesia and critical care and Guohua is mentoring and leading many of the junior faculty and fellows in studies to evaluate the factors resulting in adverse or suboptimal outcomes.  Guohua is a superb, thoughtful and rigorous investigator and mentor and I encourage those of you who are really serious about pursuing excellent science to take any opportunity to work with him.  Congratulations to Guohua on this prestigious award and recognition from his colleagues.  Please take the opportunity to congratulate Guohua!



August 2015

Dr. Michael Weinberger, A New York Best Doctor For 2015!

Dr. Anis Dizdarevic, A New York Best Doctor For 2015!

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd publishes an annual guidebook titled – “Top Doctors: New York Metro Area” which lists those whom Castle, Connolly considers among the top 10% of the region’s physicians. Drs. Michael Weinberger and Anis Dizdarevic are listed in the Pain Medicine Section.

Congratulations to Drs. Dizdarevic and Weinberger! We are really proud of them both.

July 2015

The Allen I. Hyman, MD Professor of Critical Care Anesthesiology (in Anesthesiology) is Established

In May 2015, the Columbia University Trustees voted to establish this new endowed chair, following a generous donation from Dr. Hyman to fund this chair.

The Department also honors Dr. Hyman with a named lectureship devoted to the History of Anesthesia, which was started in 1982.

Allen I. Hyman, M.D. was born in New York City and received his BA degree from Columbia University in 1955 and the MD degree in 1959 from the Albany Medical College in Albany, New York.  Following a rotating internship in Mount Sinai Hospital he became a pediatric resident at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In 1961 he decided to become an anesthesiologist and joined our residency program here at the N.Y. Presbyterian Medical Center.  He followed with special research training in neonatal physiology here and at the Nuffield Institute of Medical Research in Oxford, England.

Having joined the faculty of our department in 1965, Dr. Hyman dedicated himself to critical respiratory therapy in small infants. In 1980 his clinical activity moved toward adult critical care and he was appointed Co-Director of the Surgery-Anesthesiology Intensive Care Unit.

Dr.  Hyman was the Acting Chairman of our department in 1985-86 and the Vice Chairman until 1993.  In 1987 he was awarded a yearlong Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship and was appointed Health–Aide to Senator Bob Dole.  In 1993 Dr. Hyman became Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer at the Presbyterian Hospital. He became Senior Physician and Special Advisor to the CEO in 1999 and remained in this position until his retirement in 2003.  The Department of Anesthesiology thanks Dr. Hyman and his family for their generosity in making this Professorship possible. This is a wonderful gift, and will enable the Department to further the important goals of critical care medicine in Anesthesiology. 

The Professorship in Critical Care Anesthesiology will be held by the Division Director for Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, and so the first holder of the Chair will be Dr. Robert N. Sladen.


Fahmina Jafri Appointed as Vice Chair for Finance

Recently the complexity of managing the finances of the Department has increased enormously reflecting both the growth of the Department and the necessary incorporation   of the various changes in the financial relationships among the Department, the Medical School and the Hospital.  The Department of Anesthesiology was fortunate in that we recognized early that these increases in financial complexity required us to recruit an experienced high level financial professional and we were doubly fortunate to recruit Fahmina Jafri, MBA as our Chief Financial Officer in 2009 from CitiGroup and a graduate from The Wharton Business School and The Stern Business School at NYU.In recognition of Fahmina’ s increased  responsibilities and importance to the financial health of the Department, effective immediately Fahmina will be appointed  as Department Vice Chair for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Every decision we make has financial consequences and conversely every financial decision we make has both downstream and upstream effects on our activities so that the financial leadership of the Department needs to develop financial modeling to understand and predict how proposed changes will affect us. Fahmina will provide the leadership for such financial insights, which will better position us to continue to prosper under an ever changing landscape. Please join me in congratulating Fahmina on her appointment as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.

Annual Academic Evening

Our annual Academic Evening was held on Wednesday, May 20th and Dr. Berend Mets, Eric A. Walker Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was the judge for the research presentations.

We are pleased to announce the winners!

Johanna Mergeche
First Place (Clinical Research)
Mentor: E. Heyer

May Rabadi
First Place (Basic Research)
Mentor: H.T. Lee

Emily Vail
Second Place (Clinical Research)
Mentor: G. Li

Maya Mikami
Second Place (Basic Research)
Mentor: C. Emala

Alisa Chen
Best Case Report Award
Mentor: E. Heyer

Congratulations to our winners, and to all of those who presented!



June 2015

Construction Work Starts on the Anesthesia Simulation Center

Construction started on the new Anesthesia Simulation Center in May 2015, after many months of planning.  Drs. Wood, Moitra and Pang celebrate!  The center which has a debriefing/conference room, ICU, OR and training room should open in September 2015.



New $15 Million Gift for Study of CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience: Implications for Pain Medicine – Research That Makes a Difference

The Department of Neurology and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative will house a $15 million Thompson Family Foundation Initiative in CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience

The Department of Anesthesiology participates in a school-wide effort to improve the diagnosis and treatment of chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (CIPN). Neurotoxic drugs are common components of treatment regimens to cure or slow the growth of solid tumors or hematological malignancies. Although these drugs help save the lives of cancer patients, they may cause substantial neurological impairment and induce persistent neuropathic pain. The Thompson Family Foundation has committed $15 million to launch a new Research Initiative in CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience, which will be jointly directed by Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, Ellen A Lumpkin, PhD and Richard Mayeux MD, MSc, Chair of the Department of Neurology. Joachim Scholz, MD of our Department and Michio Hirano, MD, will direct the Basic Research Core Facility of the Initiative. They will investigate the mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo and establish state-of-the-art behavioral testing facilities to assess somatosensory and motor functions in mice and rats. In collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Dermatology, Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Motor Neuron Center of Columbia University they will create new cell-based models of CIPN. These will include patient-derived somatosensory neurons for the study of genetic risk factors of the disease and the evaluation of mechanism-based neuroprotective treatment. The Basic Research Core Facility is supported by a two-year grant of $474,000.

Our congratulations to Joachim!

To read more about Joachim Scholz click here.



May 2015

Columbia at the Association of University Anesthesiologists Meeting (AUA)

Columbia Anesthesiology was very well represented at the 62nd Annual meeting of the Association of University Anesthesiologists in Nashville, once again underscoring its premier status as the exemplary training program for physician-scientists.  Ten scientific presentations were presented by departmental members, and 4 of these were honored by being selected for oral presentations.  These represented 25% of the total oral presentations selected for the meeting (exceeding the proportion contributed by any other single department).  The Department’s training heritage was even recognized when David Mintz (now at Hopkins) received the junior faculty award and acknowledged in his talk the critical role of the mentorship that he received at Columbia as part of the Apgar Scholars Program, played in launching his research career and obtaining his K08 award to study anesthetic neurotoxicity mechanisms.  The four highly competitive selected oral presentations from our department were delivered by Drs. Caleb Ing, Richard Levy, Tom Yocum and Maya Mikami, with Dr. Mikami also winning a resident research travel award.  So, congratulations Maya!  This award continues a long history of both junior faculty and resident research AUA awards garnered by departmental members in recent years.  This consistent high level of academic recognition for the research of our residents and junior faculty is a testament to the commitment of the department and mentoring faculty to fostering the development of the next generation of anesthesiology physician-scientists and all involved deserve our congratulations for another great year of recognition at the AUA.  What makes this recognition so very special, is that so many of our physician-scientists are also great clinicians, and are also outstanding role models in the operating rooms and intensive care units.

For details on the presentations – see more






April 2015

IARS 2015 Annual Meeting and International Science Symposium
Improving Health through Discovery and Education

March 21-24, 2015 | The Hilton Hawaiian Village – Honolulu, Hawaii

The department had a substantial academic presence at the annual meeting of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Dr. Minjae Kim's abstract entitled “Applying latent class analysis to perioperative risk stratification in patients undergoing intraabdominal general surgery” was selected for 2 categories 1) Best of Category (Perioperative Anesthesia) and 2) Best of  Meeting Finalist (One of 7 finalists). Other authors were Melanie Wall and Guohua Li.  Dr. Vivek Moitra presented a review course lecture entitled “Anesthesia Advanced Circulatory Support” and served on a panel discussion entitled “Optimization and preservation of organ function in the perioperative surgical home model.”  Drs. Gebhard Wagener and Anis Dizdarevic presented problem based learning discussions entitled  “A 60-year-old patient with low EF undergoing hepatic resection” and “Persistent post-surgical pain prevention, evidence based”, respectively.  Drs. Ing, Smiley, Sun, Whittington, Wagener and Dizdarevic served as moderators of multiple sessions.  A wide variety of research and clinical reports were presented by resident, fellow and faculty members from all departmental divisions including 12 research posters, 12 medically challenging cases and 5 resident e-Posters.

Lisa Eisler
Katie Gelber
Margaret Tejani      
Paul Weyker, Brandon Esenther, Anjali Rosario, Anis Dizdarevic


Columbia Department of Anesthesiology Announces a New Research Faculty Training Grant Program in Education

The Department of Anesthesiology is pleased to announce the establishment of a Columbia Department of Anesthesiology Research Training Scholars Pilot Grant Program to further the scholarly activity of faculty in the education research arena and improve resident education.  The goal of the project is to fund three research projects and then report and analyze the outcomes of this pilot research program.  The Department has funded three research projects with an award of up to $30,000 each.  These funds will come from my EM Papper Chair funds.  Guohua Li headed a research committee to evaluate these education grant applications.

Many problems with research education grants arise from the fact that there are no pilot studies, there is no testable hypothesis, no control group and there is no demonstration of feasibility.  Some of the criticisms leveled against previous efforts by other people in this field are that the studies have failed to show that the intervention (rather than an enthusiastic/gifted teacher) makes a difference.  Therefore, successful applications should have a great idea and a plan for testing that idea in a scientifically rigorous fashion--hence the choice of Guohua to chair this committee.  So the goal of these education grants is to have our departmental grants fund studies that ask and answer important questions in education—broadly defined—and will be expected to result in a publication and/or develop preliminary data to allow for the application to national foundations or other granting bodies.

These grants are not for curriculum development; rather it is hoped that they may lead to improved education measurement and /or performance assessment.  These grants might lie in the area of QA/QI projects, patient safety education, simulation projects or other scholarly/education research areas.

Congratulations to the first three recipients of our Research Training Scholars Grant Program

  1. Dr. Maya Jalbout Hastie
    Effectiveness of a Flipped Classroom Model in Anesthesiology Education.

  2. Dr. Robert Maniker
    Development and Validation of a Digital Game for Teaching Sonographic Anatomy to Resident Trainees.

  3. Dr. Parwane Pagano
    Impact of an Airway Simulation Course on Resident Medical Knowledge and Clinical Performance.


Congratulations to our new Chief Residents for 2015/16

Bill Jackson, Suzane Le, Rocco Addante, and Tim Cheng



March 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Lee, who has been elected to serve as an ABA examiner!

We have a number of ABA Examiners in the Department, ranging from Question Writers, Applied Examiners, and Oral Board Examiners – important because these individuals are role models for residents as they transition to independent practice through the ABA/ACGME process.

Allison Lee, MD has been an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) since October 2012. Prior to joining the faculty at CUMC, she was Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami from 2004 – 2012, where she also completed her residency and fellowship in obstetric anesthesia.

At CUMC her educational focus is in teaching the use of ultrasound in obstetric anesthesia and incorporating simulation in medical education. She is a member of the Simulation Committee, and has introduced in-situ simulation into the curriculum of the obstetric anesthesia rotation. Her current research interests include the effect of anesthetic/drug responses in labor and postoperative analgesia, genetic variants on pregnancy outcomes, and the effects of maternal position during cesarean delivery on neonatal acid-base balance.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Lee has recently been selected to serve as an examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology’s Part 2 Examination. She is looking forward to being a part of the ABA’s transition to using OSCEs as part of the oral examination process and to bringing this knowledge back to the department to help our residents and fellows prepare for the examination.





Columbia University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology