Home | CU | Jobs | Contact Us | Find People | Map | A-Z Dept |
Columbia University Medical Center logo, Define the Future - Government & Community Affairs
About us
Government Affairs
Community Affairs
Friends and Neighbors

 Contact Us
 630 West 168th Street
PH-132, Box 62
New York, New York 10032
Tel: (212) 305-8060
Fax: (212) 342-3914

Archives - 2005

Archived news from the year:
2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


Dyckman Scholars for 2005/2006 Announced
On October 27th, Community Board 12 recognized the Dyckman Institute Scholarship Fund winners for the 2005/2006 academic year. The Dyckman Institute Scholarship provides financial support to outstanding students from the Washington Heights and Inwood area who attend Columbia College. This year’s recipients are freshman Arcania Garcia, sophomore Vera Tseylikman, junior Brenda Cepeda, and senior Katherine Paez.

Chairman Martin Collins conveyed his congratulations to the scholarship winners, noting, “We recognize the level of academic excellence these students have achieved and join in congratulating them and wishing them well as they continue their education at Columbia College.” Only Arcania and Vera were able to attend; Brenda and Katherine had academic commitments that made it impossible for them to make it uptown.

“Columbia University is the quintessential urban university,” said Ross A. Frommer, deputy vice president for government and community affairs and associate dean at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). “I think it is wonderful that students from our area, a quintessential urban neighborhood, will have the experience of attending Columbia College.”

The Dyckman Institute Scholarship supports Columbia’s financial aid program and helps make it possible for students from northern Manhattan, who may not otherwise be able to afford the full cost of attending college, to go to Columbia. The Dyckman Institute Scholarship is one of 300 individual need-based scholarships available to Columbia students. Its origins can be traced to Alexander Hamilton, one of Columbia’s most illustrious students. Hamilton’s widow, Eliza, donated the building and land for the Hamilton Free School—the first school in Washington Heights in 1818. In 1860, the school became the Dyckman Library, the first free public library in upper Manhattan. In the early 1920’s, the Library became the Dyckman Institute, which operated both a museum devoted to local archeology in Inwood Hill Park and a publishing house. In 1943, the trustees of the Institute decided to dissolve it and to establish a scholarship fund at Columbia College for Washington Heights/Inwood students.

More than twenty-five undergraduate students from Washington Heights/Inwood are receiving over $550,000 in need-based scholarships from Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students from the Washington Heights/Inwood area, regardless of where they attend high school, who are interested in learning more about Columbia College and the Dyckman Institute Scholarship should contact the Admissions Office at (212) 854-2522 or go to http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/.

Ross Frommer and Martin Collins congratulate
2005/06 Dyckman Scholars, Vera Tseylikman (L)
and Arcania Garcia (R) at the Community Board 12
meeting on October 27th

| TOP |

Congressman Rangel Supports Vision Care at Columbia
On October 24th, Congressman Charles B. Rangel was the guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by the Department of Ophthalmology. Congressman Rangel and Bud Grant, founder of the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Foundation gave Columbia $19,000 to operate a student sight saver program. This program arranges for medical students to go out into the community and provide vision screening to underserved populations. The Foundation’s mobile vision screening van took part in the 2005 Take Time for Health Fair in September.

Joining Congressman Rangel (second from the left)
at the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma
Foundaiton event were (L to R) Bud Grant from the
Foundation, Stanley Chang, Chairman of
Ophthamology, James Tsai, Director of the Glaucoma
Division, Steve Shea, Senior Associate Dena for
Clinical Affairs, and Paul Lipson, Chief of Staff to
Congressman Jose Serrano

| TOP |

Local Kids Come Out To Cheer for the Lions
November 5th was Inwood-Manhattan Little League day at Baker Field as kids from the league came to cheer on the Columbia football team against Harvard. All little league players accompanied by a paying adult received free admission to the game as well as a souvenir football. The kids got to meet the Columbia Cheerleaders as well as Columbia’s mascot, Roar-ee the Lion. The weather was great and a good time was had by all. It was not, however, a perfect day, as the Lions fell to Harvard 55-7.

| TOP |

Senator Schumer and Ian Lipkin Discuss Avian Flu
Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Columbia University Medical Center Mailman School of Public Health, joined with New York's senior United States Senator, Charles E. Schumer to discuss avian flu. Senator Schumer asked Dr. Lipkin to join him at press conference to discuss the potential dangers of the disease and what can be done to combat it.

Dr. Lipkin, an infectious disease specialist, spoke about the steps that the federal government, as well as the New York State and City governments, needed to take in order to stop avian flu from spreading and how the public health community needed to prepare and respond should an outbreak ever occur in New York. Joining Senator Schumer and Dr. Lipkin were Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Dr. Anne Moscona, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Research of Pediatrics at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.

At the press conference, Senator Schumer discussed his plans to urge Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, the treatment for Avian Flu, to temporarily suspend its patent so as to allow others to manufacture the treatment. Roche would still earn royalties. The fear is that Roche can not ramp up production enough to meet what would be an enormous demand should an avian flu outbreak occur. Other drug makers will need to start producing Tamiflu, something they can not do unless Roche opens up its patent or Congress steps in, which Senator Schumer noted was also a possibility. Shortly after the press conference, Roche announced that it would let other manufacturers produce Tamiflu.

| TOP |

Take Time for Health 2005 a Slam Dunk Hit
Fort Washington Avenue was the place to be in Washington Heights on Sunday September 25th as thousands of residents participated in the fourth "Take Time for Health Day," a health fair that focuses on the importance of wellness and community. The event, sponsored by Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Health Sciences Advisory Council, and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, featured more than a quarter mile's worth of screening booths, information tables, and family-friendly activities. Staff members screened residents for conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV. They also provided free dental and vision checkups. Children had a chance to play games while they applied for their library cards, draw, and be treated to clown and puppet shows. The fair also featured an afternoon long slate of entertainment, including performances by Parlor Entertainment, Children's Arts & Sciences, Ballet Quisqueya, and Conjunto Folklorico of Alianza Dominicana.

Welcoming people to the festival, Associate Dean Lisa Mellman said  At Columbia University Medical Center we have three missions, education, research, and patient care, all three which involve working with the community and all three of which are on display here today.

"Our top priority is always our patients and their families," said Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "I am proud of our health care professionals who dedicate their lives and expertise to caring for our community and I am pleased to be a part of this special event celebrating the importance of compassionate care, preventative medicine, and community service."

"Holding this event gives children and their families an awareness of the medical center and how we can be a resource for the community. It also teaches them things, like obesity prevention which we have tried to focus on this year, that can keep them healthier throughout their lives," said Sandra Harris, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Affairs at CUMC and director of the health fair.

As part of the festival, three individuals -Yvonne Stennett, Executive Director of Community League of the Heights, Dr. Mary McCord, a CUMC faculty member and Allan Houston, basketball star received awards in recognition of their efforts to improve the health of New York's communities.

Additional sponsors of the event included Community Premier Plus, New York Presbyterian Community Health Plan, Community Board 12, Pfizer, Curves, Coogan's Restaurant, and the X Café.

| TOP |

ALS on the State Legislature's Agenda
Over the summer, New York State Assemblyman Adam Bradley (D-Westchester) paid a visit to the Columbia University Medical Center to meet with Dr. Hiroshi Mitsumoto. Dr. Mitsumoto, a professor of Neurology, is one of the country's foremost clinical experts on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. Assemblyman Bradley has a personal interest in combating the disease and has introduced legislation, along with Senator Vincent Liebell, (R-Westchester) that would create a New York State ALS registry. The registry would create a database of genetic and epidemiologic data for all ALS patients in New York which researchers could use to try to better understand the causes of this devastating neuromuscular disease. Assemblyman Bradley toured Columbia's Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Center and had a chance to discuss the latest developments in ALS research and clinical care. Dr. Mitsumoto also relayed some ideas that he had to improve the Assemblyman's bill, suggestions which Assemblyman Bradley hopes to incorporate as he tries to push the bill through when the Legislature returns in January.

Dr. Mitsumoto, Assemblyman Bradley,
and Pam Yosh from the New York
Chapter of the ALS Association confer
in the halls of the Gehrig Center

| TOP |

Frommer Chosen for AAMC Leadership Position
Ross A. Frommer, Deputy Vice President for Government and Community Affairs and Associate Dean of Columbia University Medical Center has been chosen as the Chair Elect of the Steering Committee for the Government Relations Representatives (GRR) group at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The steering committee coordinates the activities of the GRR which serves as a networking and information sharing forum for government relations representatives form medical schools and teaching hospitals from across the country. The steering committee also works with AAMC staff to shape and advance the organization's legislative agenda. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity and honored that my colleagues have chosen me for this position." said Ross. The appointment will become effective January 1st, 2006, when the current Chair Elect, Alberto Cardenas, Director of Federal Relations at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, assumes the Chair.

| TOP |

Senator Bingaman on Campus

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) visited Columbia University Medical Center and the New York Presbyterian Hospital to get a first hand demonstration of applications of some new medical technologies. First, Dr. Desmond Jordan showed him the latest in patient safety monitoring equipment and then Dr. Steve Shea gave the Senator a demonstration of IDEATel, a demonstration project that monitors diabetes patients using telemedicine. Senator Bingaman was especially interested in this as it could be very useful in a rural state like New Mexico.

| TOP |

Columbia University Medical Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Malcolm X Scholarship
On May 20, the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) hosted a luncheon at the Faculty Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Malcolm X Scholarship at Columbia. The luncheon was attended by members of the Malcolm X family, previous scholarship recipients, President Lee Bollinger, Dean Gerald Fischbach, elected officials, and members of the community.

Established by Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, and Columbia twenty-one years ago, the scholarship is awarded annually to minority students at the College of Physicians & Surgeons who demonstrate academic merit and show financial need. The scholarship helps to further the education of future physicians interested in medical and public health problems prevalent in underserved communities. The Malcolm X scholarships have provided assistance with tuition and living expenses for thirty-five medical students who now practice in fields as diverse as anesthesiology and pediatrics in hospitals and clinics across the country.

The first recipient of the Malcolm X scholarship and the event's keynote speaker, Carol Brown, graduated from P&S in 1986 and today specializes in gynecologic oncology and surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Brown received the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development Award for her research in cervical cancer and was named one of "American' s Leading Physicians" by Black Enterprise magazine. In addition to surgery for gynecologic cancers, she focuses on fertility-sparing treatments for ovarian and cervical cancer, screening and prevention of cervical and ovarian cancer, and treatment of cervical and vulvar dysplasia and carcinoma-in-situ.

Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, Associate Dean for the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs at P&S, is particularly proud of the accomplishments of Malcolm X scholars: "Our past scholars have made important and long-standing contributions to the healthcare of African Americans at all stages of - life from birth to the senior years. This year's recipient, Adler Perotte, is likewise destined to make a significant difference in the amelioration of healthcare disparities."

| TOP |

Community Organization Receive Grants Neighborhood Fund Awards Ceremony
On May 20th, Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute hosted the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund awards ceremony at the Wintergarden located at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. More than 60 organizations located within the Washington Heights and Inwood communities received grants to continue their ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life in the community.

The Medical Center Neighborhood Fund was founded as a joint effort of Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute to enhance the quality of life in the Washington Heights/Inwood community. The Fund is dedicated to raising funds for local, nonprofit organizations that offer vital services and opportunities in northern Manhattan.

Jean Armitage, Director of the Neighborhood Fund, has been with the Fund since its inception. At this year's ceremony, she was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the Fund for over 20 years.

Each year an organization is presented with the Tapley award, an additional grant for an organization that has done outstanding work within the community. This year's recipient of the Tapley award was the Washington Heights Child Care Center. The Center provides care for about 75 community children in a full day program.

| TOP |

Washington Post's Connolly Speaks at the Medical Center
Ceci Connolly, a National Staff Writer with the Washington Post, was the featured speaker at the second Columbia University Medical Center Public Policy Lunch. About twenty five people, including David Hirsh, Executive Vice President for Research, joined Dean Fischbach to hear from Ms. Connolly and to discuss health care and how the media reports on these issues. Much of the discussion focused on medical ethics issues, namely stem cell research and end of life care. Ms. Connolly has written extensively for the Post on stem cell research and had also just recently covered the Schiavo case in Florida.
Dean Fischbach, Ceci Connolly, and David Hirsh
together before the second CUMC Pulic Policy Lunch

| TOP |

Columbia University Celebrates the Realization of a Mutual Dream
In a celebratory breakfast held on March 10th, 2005, Columbia University recognized and honored community members and funders that helped to establish the Adair Medical and Dental Clinic. "Planning and building a free standing primary care facility in today's times are difficult tasks" said Dr. Gerald Fischbach, Executive Vice President of Columbia University Medical Center, referring to the special collaboration that took place among community advocates, elected leaders, community based organizations, foundations and local government to make the Thelma C. Davidson Adair Medical Dental Clinic a reality.

The event was marked with a special dedication to the late Marshall England, a Harlem community activist and to Dr. James McIntosh, Harlem Hospital Center, for their resolve to bring comprehensive oral and medical primary care services to northern Manhattan.

The Thelma C. Davidson Adair Center, a freestanding primary care facility is a leading example of a university and community joining together to realize a mutual dream; an easy to access, state-of-the-art medical and dental facility with special emphasis on serving families and seniors.

| TOP |

Congress Comes to Columbia
A bipartisan group of ten Congressional health policy staffers and a representative of the Bush Administration spent two days at Columbia as part of Project Medical Education (PME). PME is a program sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges that aims to educate policy specialists and other key decision makers about how academic medical centers like Columbia work and the challenges they face. Over the last five years hundreds of Members of Congress, their staffs, local legislators, and other leaders have spent time on medical school campuses and teaching hospitals across the country as part of PME.

Columbia hosted a PME in 2002 but this PME was unique in that it focused largely on public health and disaster preparedness, areas in which Columbia has particularly unique strengths. The Mailman School of Public Health National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) cosponsored the program with Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) Office of Government and Community Affairs.

Participating in the program, all from the New York Congressional delegation, were Heather Langdon from the office of Senator Charles Schumer, Anjlui Srivastava (Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton), Eben Carle (Congressman Sherwood Boehlert), Jean Doyle, (Congresswoman Nita Lowey), Deborah Darcy (Congressman Steve Israel), Munir Madyum (Congressman Jose Serrano), Emily Gibbons (Congressman Eliot Engel), Judi Brewer (Congressman John McHugh), and Joe Solvedere (Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney). Also joining the group was Lauren Robitaille, who works for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, and Karina Aguilar form the Department of Health and Human Services Region II office.

After flying up from Washington on a Monday morning, the PME participants came to campus where they met up with several others from New York who also took part in the program. Deans Gerald D. Fischbach and Allan Rosenfield welcomed the guests and then Sandra Gold of the Gold Foundation took them through a mock white coat ceremony similar to the one medical students go through as they enter medical school.

The program in earnest then began with a presentation lead by Mailman Associate Dean Irwin Redlener on the NCDP. This included information on the World Trade Center evacuation and the work the Center is doing on disasters and children.

After lunch it was off to the FMRI lab where Dr. Joy Hirsh gave a demonstration of functional imaging. For one member of the group, Joe Solvedere, the session was especially informative, as he actually went into the FMRI machine.

Dr. Ian Lipkin then showed the group the Greene Lab which is home to the Northeast Biodefense Center and before heading to a Public Health class, the PME participants had the opportunity to hear from Nobel Prize winner Richard Axel who spoke about his work and his experiences in Stockholm last December. He also asked those in attendance to make sure that science had the opportunity to succeed in the United States and to not let ideology interfere with the work that American researchers do. Dean Fischbach noted, "Three out of the last five Nobel Prize winners in Medicine have come from New York, two from Columbia. I am thrilled that the Congressional staff has an opportunity to hear from Richard. He truly is a uniquely gifted scientist."

The first day ended with a dinner where the participants had the opportunity to sit and chat with both medical and public health students. New York Presbyterian President and Chief Executive Officer Herb Pardes also stopped by to meet the group and say a few words about the issues that major teaching hospitals are dealing with today.
Day two began bright and early with a session at the Morningside Heights campus in Low Library with Dr. David Hirsh, Executive Vice President for Research. Dr. Hirsh spoke of the overall research enterprise at Columbia but also talked about his experiences as a researcher. While Members of Congress and their staffs are certainly familiar with National Institutes of Health budget and policy issues, they are often unfamiliar with how it all affects individual scientists, especially young scientists.

The group left Low Library and headed back up town to a demonstration by Dr. Desmond Jordan of the new Patient Health Monitoring system. Dr. Jordan spoke of how technology is changing patient care, but also about how it is affecting the costs of health care. There then followed a series of short presentations on a myriad of subjects including the use of technology in teaching, Nursing education, the HIV/AIDS work that Columbia is doing, Medical Center finances, and the clinical enterprise.

After a, for the most part healthy, lunch the PME participants headed across Broadway to the Berrie Center to meet with Dr. Robin Goland. Dr. Goland spoke about diabetes prevention and treatment. All over the country, but especially in communities with large minority populations like Washington Heights, we are seeing significant increases in diabetes. Dr. Goland impressed upon the staffers the importance of programs and policies that promote a well balanced diet and exercise.

The final stop of the day was the dental school where Dean Ira Lamster spoke on dental education and lead the group on a tour of the dental clinics. Although not talked about as often as other health issues, oral health is an essential part of overall health. The PME came to a close with a quick graduation a reception at Coogan's.

At the end of the program Dean Rosenfield noted, "The PME participants had an opportunity to see the Mailman school and hear from Irwin and Ian. They also had a chance to attend one of our classes and learn about the work we are doing to deal with HIV/AIDS. Most importantly they had an opportunity to meet our students. I believe they understood the importance of public health research and education."

Ross A. Frommer, CUMC Associate Dean for Government and Community Affairs and one of the two principal organizers, said, "Like the PME we did in 2002, I think this one was a huge success. In their two days on campus, the PME participants of course were only able to see a small, but hopefully representative, sample of the myriad of educational, patient care, research, and administrative, activities that go on everyday at CUMC. Despite the limited time period I do feel they had an excellent opportunity see Columbia and learn about what a major academic medical center is all about. Hopefully they will take this knowledge back with them use it as they are dealing with health issues that come before Congress.

One of the participants, Eben Carle, summed up his experiences as follows: From a policy standpoint, too often healthcare and public health are reduced to ones and zeros - basic numbers waiting to be cut or boosted in the budget. The Columbia PME made policy briefs three-dimensional. It illustrated the importance of our public health infrastructure and, particularly by putting their very talented staff on display, highlighted the exceptional work being done in Washington Heights. It was time well spent."

| TOP |

Lions Roar as Columbia Wins First Medical Center Challenge
The 7th Annual Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K road race was held March 6th, as runners celebrated the strong community ties and rich cultural diversity of northern Manhattan. More than 2,200 runners of all ages, including world class competitors and local celebrities, took to the streets of Washington Heights, starting and finishing, with a loop through historic Fort Tryon Park, at the Armory National Track and Field Hall of Fame at 168th and Fort Washington Avenue. A collage of musical groups including gospel, bagpipes, merengue, klezmer, salsa, and brass bands serenaded the runners along the route. After the race, all adjourned to Coogan’s for good food and good fun.

This year the Columbia University Medical Center competed against the New York Presbyterian Hospital for the first ever Medical Center Challenge trophy. NYP President and CEO Herbert Pardes was the race’s Honorary Starter. More than fifty students and employees ran for CUMC and brought the prize home for Columbia. Alex Montero was the top male Finisher, while Maryann Fiebach lead the way on behalf of the Columbia women.

The challenge was cosponsored by CUMC, NYP, Be Fit to Be’ne’Fit program, and the Columbia University Athletic Department. Associate Dean Ross A. Frommer presented the trophy to Dean Fischbach at the March 8th CUMC Town Hall meeting.

CUMC and NYP runners gather before the race.
Ross Frommer presents the MedicalCenter
Challenge Trophy to Dean Fischbach.

| TOP |

CUMC Helps "Give Kids a Smile"
As part of the American Dental Association’s national Give Kids a Smile Day, the School of Dental and Oral Surgery provided kids in the Washington Heights community with free dental care and a visit by Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Carly Patterson in Columbia’s pediatric dental clinic. SDOS also hosted a press conference that included a presentation by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). The report showed greater oral health disparities among New York children compared to the rest of the country.

In Harlem, about 400 children were scheduled to receive treatment during the event. More than 80 kids received oral health screenings at Public School 128, the Audubon School. Children with severe problems were quickly sent to the SDOS pediatric dental clinic. SDOS plays a key role in serving northern Manhattan through its Community DentCare Network, which provides dental services through eight school-based clinics and a mobile dental van.

Nationwide, more than 10,000 dentists provided free dental care for more than 500,000 children at 1,700 locations as part of the event. There is a dental health crisis among children in the U.S., with 4 to 5 million American children experiencing tooth decay severe enough to cause pain and infection every day.

| TOP |

Subway Signs Updated
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has updated its signs in the 168th Street subway station to reflect the Medical Center’s new name. Now when people enter and exit the station they will know that the Columbia University Medical Center and the New York Presbyterian Hospital are just upstairs.

| TOP |

Last updated 8/23/2007

CUMC Home | At Columbia University | Affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital | Comments | Text-Only Version