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.
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.
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.
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: www.sarnoffendowment.org
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.
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.
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.