News & Events

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Auxiliary Celebrates Centennial "Art of Caring" Awards

  NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Auxiliary Celebrates Centennial "Art of Caring" Awards
From left to right: Steve Corwin (executive vice president and chief operating officer) , Phyllis Semegran (President Auxiliary), Peggy Dodge (Auxilian) , Paula Roberts (Director, Social Work), Herb Pardes (president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital), Elsa-Grace Giardina, (Director, Center for Women's Health), Audrey Weiderlight (Past President, Auxiliary), Rita Hamburg (Director Rehabilitative Medicine), and Marianne Wyman (Auxilian).

NEW YORK (Mar 18, 2008)

Celebrating its 100th year, the Auxiliary of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center has presented a total of $100,000 in "Art of Caring" awards to individuals, departments and programs throughout the medical center that exemplify the its mission of supporting the Hospital's ability to promote the health and welfare of the community. The primary recipient, the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia's Center for Women's Health, received support to fund Auxiliary Scholars whose work addresses risk for heart disease and stroke among medically underserved women. The Auxiliary, founded 1908, has provided assistance to disadvantaged patients and founded a nursery school and library at the Hospital. Today the 39-member Auxiliary supports the Hospital through programs including volunteering as companions for cancer patients, supporting programs for faculty development and by purchasing medical equipment for the Hospital.



Center Honors Dr. Jane H. Morse at Columbia University Medical Center Faculty Club

The Center for Women's Health and the Office for Gender Equity honored mentor and colleague, Dr. Jane Morse, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine. Dr. Morse is world-renowned for leading the team that discovered the gene that causes familial primary pulmonary hypertension.

Throughout her career, Dr. Morse has been an exceptional role model for all academic scientists, particularly those who are women. Through her dedication and boundless energy, she continues to inspire and mentor young female physicians and medical students at Columbia. She continues to be in the vanguard for her many contributions to Columbia and her extraordinary commitment to the education and training of a generation of students, residents and fellows. Along with a number of other supposedly "retired" Columbia faculty, Dr. Morse was cited in the most recent issue of P&S Journal for pursuing a second career in research and teaching. Those of us who have interacted with Dr. Morse over the years are grateful for her encouragement, counsel and wisdom.


Center Reaches Milestone

Pictured in photo above, from left: Joseph Tenenbaum, M.D., Edgar Leifer Professor of Clinical Medicine; Dr. Lewis, Ms. Hanover; Eisa-Grace Giardina, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and director, the Center for Women's Health; Audrey Weiderlight, Ph.D., president, NYPH Auxiliary, and Ms. Walas.

Pictured in photo above, from left: Joseph Tenenbaum, M.D., Edgar Leifer Professor of Clinical Medicine; Dr. Lewis, Ms. Hanover; Eisa-Grace Giardina, M.D., Director, the Center for Women's Health; Audrey Weiderlight, Ph.D., president, NYPH Auxiliary, and Ms. Walas.

The Center for Women's Health celebrated its 10th anniversary with a luncheon at the Century Association. Donna Hanover, the author, actress and former First Lady of New York was the keynote speaker. Linda Lewis, M.D., former dean of students at P&S, was honored for her outstanding work in mentoring two generations of medical students, including the increasing numbers of young women who have made such an impact on medicine in the last 25 years. Kathleen Walas, president of the Avon Foundation, was honored in recognition of the foundation's continuing commitment to breast cancer research and treatment programs, especially at CUMC where Avon established the Avon Products Foundation Breast Center for breast cancer research, clinical care, education, and community outreach. Through its award to the Center for the development of faculty, the Avon Foundation has supported original research by CUMC faculty .

Reception Celebrates 10 Years at the Center

To honor the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Women's Health, a reception was held at the home of Patricia and Alex Gabay. Members of the Advisory Committee, Deans Joseph Tenenbaum and Linda Lewis, faculty at the Center, P&S medical students, house staff, and friends celebrated the program and the concept of developing young scholars in women's health. Mrs. Gabay, a member of the Advisory Committee, has been a strong advocate of the concept that coordinated women's health will improve the health of families and has been concerned about dissemination of information about gender-specific health.


Dr. Giardina Chairs Strategic Planning Committee of the Sarnoff Foundation

  Sarnoff Cardiovascular Foundation - Dr. Anne Taylor and Dr. Elsa Giardina
  Sarnoff Board of Directors members, Anne Taylor, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Columbia University Medical Center and member of Scientific Board and Director; and Elsa Giardina, Director, at the Sarnoff Scientific meeting, May 2007.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Sarnoff Foundation, Dr. Elsa-Grace Giardina, Professor of Clinical Medicine, was selected to co-chair the Strategic Planning Committee. Dr. Giardina, a member of the Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Endowment for two terms, nominated by the former Executive Vice-Presidents, Dr. Herbert Pardes and Gerald Fischbach. The Foundation, founded by Stanley J. Sarnoff, M.D., medical innovator and scientist, seeks to develop and implement a program that establishes funds, selects medical student candidates, and administers research fellowships in cardiovascular medicine.

Since its inception the Foundation has supported more than 200 medical students whose goal is to pursue basic and clinical cardiovascular research. In addition, the Foundation supports the competitive Sarnoff Scholar Award to facilitate the transition from residency and fellowship training to young faculty. More information about the Sarnoff programs for sponsoring a student or precepting in a laboratory in cardiovascular research may be found on the Sarnoff website:


Columbia University's Center for Women's Health Receives Grant from Office of Women's Health for Women at High Risk for Heart Health Problems

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has awarded a $350,000 grant to the Center for Women's Health at the Columbia University Medical Center for the project, Heart Health in Action, based on an initiative from the Office of Women's Health (DHHS) for "Enhancing, Improving and Evaluating Outcomes on Comprehensive Heart Health Care Programs for High Risk Women". The award was granted to five US institutions including Yale University; the University of California, Davis; the University of Minnesota; and the Fox Valley Women's Heart Clinic and Columbia University.

Columbia's submission outlined a plan to reach the community from the model of the Center for Women's Health. The mission of the grant is to deliver coordinated, multi-disciplinary health care to minority women with the metabolic syndrome living in Washington Heights-Inwood, Northern Manhattan and to learn the barriers to implementation to proper diet and physical activity. The investigators will promote women's heart health through education, awareness, screening and risk assessment, diagnostic testing and treatment, lifestyle modification and rehabilitation, and tracking and evaluation.Elsa Giardina, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, is the Principal Investigator.

Center Partners with Northern Manhattan Women to Achieve Heart Health

When it comes to maintaining heart health, women in Northern Manhattan face numerous challenges. Often burdened with the responsibilities of being sole providers for their families, caretakers for children or grandchildren and hampered by inadequate education and employment opportunities, many neighborhood women lack the time and resources to maintain healthy diets and exercise. A program envisioned by cardiologist, Elsa-Grace Giardina, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, is reaching out to women at risk for heart disease and stroke.

The program, Heart Health in Action, identifies patients with components of the metabolic syndrome, which includes hypertension; an abnormal lipid profile characterized by low HDL-cholesterol and high triglycerides; high blood sugar and increased waist size.The project has screening, education and awareness, behavior modification, and tracking and evaluation components. The program received funding from the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Heart Health in Action seeks out participants from the outpatient areas of CUMC, NYPH and the community, aiming to identify those who are not yet sick but are at risk for heart disease and stroke. Once a woman agrees to be included, the team coordinators discuss risks and suggest therapeutic lifestyle changes. All are given free pedometers and educational materials reinforcing the curriculum and guide those in the program to take steps to reduce weight and increase physical activity.

CUMC is one of six centers nationwide  designated by the government to  improve, enhance, and evaluate outcomes of comprehensive heart health care programs for high risk women. Columbia’s focus on women in the community – in this case, Caribbean Hispanic and African American – is unique. “This has been a very positive experience for participants because we are partners in their health,”, Dr. Giardina says.

Beyond Bias and Barriers

On February 28, 2008 Joan Steitz, PhD, Sterling Professor of Molecular, Biophysics and Biochemistry Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University delivered the annual lecture of the Office of Gender Equity and Office of Student Affairs. The discussion, "Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering" was followed by a panel discussion led by Jeanine D'Armiento,MD, PhD, Dean Office of Gender Equity; Lisa Mellman, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and Elsa Giardina, MD, Director, Center for Women's Health. At Yale, Dr. Steitz established a laboratory dedicated to the study of RNA structure and function. Dr. Steitz was a member of the original Committee that discussed and identified issues associated with maximizing the potential of women in academic science and engineering, from the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. More than 130 students, fellows, and faculty attended the lecture that focused unique issues faced by women in medicine and science.

CUMC Celebrates January 28, 2009: Elsa Giardina, New York Academy of Medicine Trustee

Elsa Giardina, professor of clinical medicine/cardiology has been named a trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine's board of directors, joining Columbia colleagues Linda Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School; Mary Lake Polan , MD, MPH, PhD, adjunct professor of obstetrics & gynecology; and board chairman Thomas Q. Morris, MD, Alumni Professor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine. Dr. Giardina a proponent of gender equity in research, education, and clinical care for women and a longtime advocate for the health of urban women, will serve a four-year term.