The Columbia Center for the Health of Urban Minorities


Other Health Disparity Programs at Columbia University Medical Center (CHUM)

1. Kellogg Scholars and Health Disparities Program

Contact Person:Luisa N. Borrell, D.D.S., Ph.D . Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health; Associate Program Coordinator, Columbia University Health & Society Scholars Program.

Address: 100 Haven Avenue, Tower III-29G, New York, NY 10032
Program Description: Scholars at the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, at Columbia diversity focus on the social determinants of population health. The major themes of research projects at the Department of Epidemiology are:

  • examining the role of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease on population health, including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and neighborhood characteristics
  • eliminating health disparities through a population health approach
  • studying disparities in health through the role of life course epidemiology
  • improving population health through social policy

Other core faculty members associated with the program at the Mailman School of Public Health include:
Bruce Link, Professor, Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences; Co-Director Columbia University Health & Society Scholars Program
Sharon Schwartz, Associate Professor, Epidemiology; Director Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program
Ezra S. Susser, Professor and Chair, Epidemiology
Robert Fullilove, Associate Professor, Sociomedical Sciences; Associate Dean for Minority Affairs
Kathryn M. Neckerman, Associate Director, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Sociology; Program Coordinator, Health & Society Scholars Program
Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Professor, Population & Family Health
Mary Northridge, Associate Professor, Sociomedical Sciences

2. Community Pediatrics

Contact Person: Matilde Irigoyen, MD , Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health (Population and Family Health), Assistant Attending
Address: 622 West 168 th Street, Vanderbilt Clinic 4-402 New York, NY 10032
Telephone: 212 305-6227
Program Description:
Community pediatrics is a perspective that enlarges the focus of care from one child to all children in the community. The traditional approach of caring for individual children in the medical practice setting does not adequately address many of the major threats to our children's health. Problems such as infant mortality, obesity, domestic violence, intentional and unintentional injuries are better addressed by a community pediatrics approach. Children and their health needs are best understood and attended to within the interlinking contexts of biology, family, and the community.

Over the last ten years, CHONY has realized the importance of working collaboratively with agencies and stakeholders in the Washington Heights Inwood community to address health issues in the community. By developing partnerships, both the Hospital and the community can benefit from each other’s strengths and abilities in order to optimize child health outcomes, and services delivered are more closely aligned with the community’s self-perceived needs. Forming truly reciprocal partnerships, based on mutual trust and respect, is not an easy or quick process; rather it requires patience, continual honest communication and a high level of dedication to achieving mutually agreed-on goals. Once such a partnership is established, it can provide the foundation for building effective programs that result in the improvement in the health and well-being of the community’s children.

Community Pediatrics is now embedded in the culture of the training program and informs the development of all community based programs. Residents provide meaningful resources to community based organizations and gain knowledge and experience about community based work and the context in which their patients live and provide leadership for community health projects within the institution.

The Division of General Pediatrics has an active agenda of health services research projects. These projects focus on the complex health needs of poor children and families living in urban communities.

  • Alternative models for elementary school health services
  • Co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse
  • Descriptive epidemiology of childhood injuries
  • Effectiveness of community based partnerships to address child health disparities 
  • Injury Prevention
  • Models for graduate medical education
  • Randomized clinical trial to test the efficacy of a paraprofessional home visitation program

3. Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians

Contact Person:Claudia Calhoon, MPH , Program Director, Physician Advocacy Fellowship Center on Medicine as a Profession

Address: 630 W 168th Street, P&S Box 11, New York, NY 10032
Telephone: (212) 342-4769
Program Description:
The Medicine as a Profession initiative created the Soros Service Program for Community Health (SSPCH) in 1999 to teach medical students about professionalism in a community context. From 2000 to 2003, SSPCH partnered with community-based organizations in Baltimore and New York City to offer three types of educational experiences to medical students: a pre-clinical fellowship, a summer internship, and a clinical clerkship.

Over the four years that the program operated through the foundation, approximately 150 students from across the United States participated in one of these three programs. Of the 150, approximately 130 received grants from OSI for their participation, and the remaining students participated voluntarily or received school credit.

In 2003, the SSPCH initiative undertook a devolution process. The initiative’s community partners in Baltimore and New York decided to adopt the initiative and to adapt it to local needs. They created two nonprofit organizations, Baltimore REACH and Doctors for Healthy Communities (DHC), which will continue to offer educational opportunities to students.

The 2005 program brochures for Baltimore REACH and DHC are available in the Guidelines section. For more information on Baltimore REACH programs, please contact Barbra Levin at; for DHC programs, contact Avigail Ziv at Baltimore REACH and DHC plan to launch their own websites in 2005, and applicants should refer to these organizations directly for funding opportunities.

Between 1999 and 2004, OSI operated the Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians to support a cadre of physician advocates with expertise in achieving system or policy social change at the local, state, and national level. The program was designed both to advance advocacy as a core professional value for physicians and to enable doctors to develop or enhance skills that they could use in advocating for their patients and communities. Thirty-two fellows in thirteen states received fellowships to implement projects in partnership with advocacy organizations addressing issues such as Medicaid coverage and enrollment, health care access, pediatric oral health, environmental hazards, and high quality educational opportunities for young children.

In January 2005, with OSI's support, the program moved to the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. The program continues to seek new applicants and to serve as the convener both for past OSI grantees and new fellows that are funded by IMAP. A complete list of OSI Soros Advocacy Fellows may be found in the Grantees section. For more information about the Physician Advocacy Fellowship at IMAP, please contact Claudia Calhoon at or visit

4. Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD)

Contact Person: Ana F. Abraido-Lanza, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences,  Mailman School of Public Health

Address: 722 West 168 St, 5th floor, SMS, New York, NY   10032
Telephone: 212-305-1859
Program Description: The purpose of this program is to increase the number of underrepresented ethnic minority students who receive graduate research training in Sociomedical Sciences and Epidemiology. The program is available to ethnic minorities who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. In order to be eligible for the IMSD program, students must have been accepted into any of the Masters programs in the Departments of Sociomedical Sciences or Epidemiology. The IMSD provides partial tuition coverage, a graduate research assistantship placement with a faculty mentor, and travel to one scientific conference per year. Students in the IMSD program attend a bi-weekly seminar course that provides workshops on research methods, statistical analyses, scientific writing, techniques and coping strategies for success in graduate school, and research career and professional development. A separate application is required. For more information, contact the Program Director, Dr. Ana Abraído-Lanza, at (212) 305-1859, or visit the Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) website.

5. General Medicine Fellowship Program

Contact Person:Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D. MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine & Public Health, Policy and Management (Center for Community Health Partnerships).

Address: 622 West 168 th Street, PH8E-105, New York, NY 10032
Telephone#: 305-9782
Program Description: Columbia University's Division of General Medicine offers a two-year post-doctoral Fellowship program in General Internal Medicine. We believe that fostering the development of the future generation of leaders in General Internal Medicine is of the greatest importance to the national agenda to achieve excellence in primary care and generalist medicine and to the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center's goal of providing leadership to this enterprise. Accordingly, the goal of our fellowship program is to train future leaders in academic primary care. Building on existing degree programs at Columbia, our fellowship offers a choice of emphasis in the following areas: minority health & health disparities research, community based participatory research and community based hypertension research.

There are four main components to the fellowship: course work leading to a master's degree; a core didactic program consisting of a weekly Division research meeting, a weekly clinical conference, and a journal club; two primary care clinical sessions per week; and at least one research project leading to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Each Fellow is assigned to a research advisor and to a mentor within the Division of General Medicine who monitors overall progress of the Fellow and his or her research. At the conclusion of the fellowship, trainees have a broad exposure to primary care research and the necessary in-depth research training to begin careers as independent clinical investigators. We enroll up to two fellows per year, for whom federal funding has been secured.

6. Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program at Columbia University

Contact Person: Bruce Link, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology,  and Sociomedical Sciences (in Psychiatry), Mailman School of Public Health
Address: 722 West 168th Street, Room 1609, New York, NY   10032
Telephone: 212-305-4547
Program Description: The Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program is designed to build the nation’s capacity for research, leadership and action to address more effectively the broad range of factors affecting health. The program is founded on the principle that progress in the field of health depends upon collaboration and exchange among the social, behavioral and health sciences. The goal of this interdisciplinary national program is to improve health by training scholars to:

  • rigorously investigate the connections among biological, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health; and
  • develop, evaluate and disseminate knowledge and interventions based upon integration of these determinants.

The program is designed to produce leaders who will change the questions asked, the methods employed to analyze problems and the range of solutions offered to improve the health of all Americans.

Each year the program will enable up to 18 outstanding individuals who have completed doctoral training to engage in an intensive two-year program at one of six nationally prominent universities. Columbia University is one of the participating sites. Others are Harvard University; University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley; University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania; and University of Wisconsin.