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Archives - 2006

Archived news from the year:

2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


Dr. Lee Goldman Meets Community Leaders

On Thursday, October 26, 2006, Dr. Lee Goldman, Executive Vice President and Dean, officially greeted community leaders and local elected officials during a community breakfast hosted by the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) Office of Government and Community Affairs at the Faculty Club.  In his message to more than eighty community-based leaders present, Dr. Goldman shared his vision for CUMC and talked about the valuable health contributions that our faculty, students, and staff have made, and will continue to make, to improve community health.   Dr. Goldman also responded to community leaders’ questions and concerns about Medical Center programs and services.  He reiterated that as a world class Medical Center, CUMC must continue to collaborate with the community and share best practices to improve overall health.

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Take Time for Health 2006
Health 2006
Once again Fort Washington Avenue was the place to be in Washington Heights as on Sunday September 17th thousands participated in the fifth "Take Time for Health: Celebrating Humanism and Community 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 health screening booths, information tables, and family-friendly activities.  Staff members screened residents for conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV.  The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine mobile van was also on hand to provide free oral health check-ups.  Children had a chance to play games while they applied for their library cards, drew, and be treated to clown and puppet shows.  The fair also featured an afternoon long slate of entertainment, including performances by Centro Cultural Ballet Quisqueya, Conjunto Folklorico of Alianza Dominicana, and Milly Quezada.

Health 2006
Health 2006

Welcoming people to the fair, Associate Dean Ross Frommer 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.”

"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.

Health 2006This year’s Humanism and Community honorees, Bishop Gerald Walsh from the Church of St. Elizabeth, Lorraine Tiezzi, from CUMC’s Mailman School of Public Health, and Milly Quezada, Dominican merengue singer, received awards in recognition of their efforts to improve the health and well being of the Washington Heights/Inwood community.  Ms. Quezada certainly enlivened the awards ceremony when she led all those on stage, including New York City Councilmen Robert Jackson and Miguel Martinez, in an impromptu merengue and bachata dancing lesson.

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Summer Youth Employment at Columbia University Medical Center
Summer Youth EmploymentFor the twelfth year, CUMC partnered with the City of New York and community based organizations to provide a worksite for 150 young people from the local community.  The youth were placed throughout hospital and university departments including the Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Research Park, Columbia Business School, Columbia University Employment Information Center, and the Department of Athletics. The program gives youth in our community an opportunity to work in an academic environment and to learn about the various career tracks available within health care.  We want to thank all the departments that took part in our program; especially our Morningside campus Human Resources Office who collaborated with us to increase the number of  students working at the Morningside Campus.
Summer Youth Employment Summer Youth Employment

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Columbia/CUNY Awards Health Sciences Internships
Columbia/CUNY Awards On March 23rd, more than fifteen City University of New York (CUNY)  students residing in northern Manhattan and participating in the Health Sciences Internship Awards Program were awarded scholarships at a reception held in their honor at the Faculty Club. The Health Sciences Internship Awards Program was established in 1995 with the goal of supporting students in the Washington Heights/Inwood and Harlem communities enrolled in allied health professions, including medical laboratory, radiological technology and occupational and physical therapy.   The awards provide financial assistance that enables economically disadvantaged students to obtain their New York State certification and begin their careers.

Students enrolled in the program are currently completing internships at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and New York University Medical Center.  “It is our goal to prepare students for successful employment at our Medical Center and other hospitals and academic centers across the City,” stated Sandra Harris, Assistant Vice President for Government & Community Affairs at CUMC.

The program was made possible through the efforts of the former New York City Council Member Stanley E. Michels, CUNY and Columbia University. They sought to address the need to increase employment opportunities in upwardly mobile health professions for community residents at CUMC, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and other institutions.

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College of Dental Medicine Expert Testifies Before City Council
December 27, 2006 - On December 14th, 2006, Dr. Courtney Chinn testified before the New York City Council Committee on Health.  Dr. Chinn, who did his training in pediatric dentistry at Columbia, is a United States Department of Health and Human Services Head Start Fellow in Pediatric Dentistry, a combined College of Dental Medicine and Mailman School of Public Health program.

The hearing focused on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's proposed plan to restructure school based oral health services, and Dr. Chinn was asked to discuss the state of oral health care for children in general.  He spoke about the high and growing prevalence of common dental diseases - mostly tooth decay but also trauma/broken teeth, as well as gum problems, bite problems, and less frequent diseases and conditions of the tongue, cheeks, and other "soft tissues" of the mouth -- forms of ordinary tooth decay that are fundamentally preventable.  For about 5% of all children, the ongoing pain is so bad that it makes it difficult to eat, sleep, speak, learn, or behave normally.

Dr. Chinn noted that about 80% of pediatric dental caries can be found in 25% of the population: primarily children from minority, low income, and immigrant families - many of whom are in the New York City Public School system.  The sad irony is that those children with the greatest need often have the least access to dental care.  That is why safety net programs like school based oral health care and many of the programs that Columbia runs are so important.

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Senator Clinton Recognizes Mailman School Dean
December 27, 2006 - Noting that Dean Allan Rosenfield of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health is, "an extraordinary leader in public health and has served as a mentor for generations of educators, public health students, and researchers," the American Schools of Public Health (ASPH) has renamed the ASPH/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Health Fellowship Program in his honor.  The fellowship program was initiated in 2004 for graduates of ASPH-member schools of public health and will now be known as the Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship. 

On December 7th, 2006 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) entered remarks into the Congressional Record to honor Dean Rosenfield.  Senator Clinton acknowledged his work to improve women's health both in the United States and around the world, and for his work on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, innovative family planning studies, and strategies to address the tragedy of wholly preventable maternal deaths in resource-poor countries.  Dean Rosenfield was among the earliest to voice the ethical challenges of decreasing transmission of HIV to newborns by treating mothers with antiretroviral drugs before delivery, without consideration of ongoing care and treatment of mothers.  He has spearheaded programs in resource-poor settings that not only prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but also provide comprehensive clinical services to women.

Rosenfield Fellows will be trained to help prevent HIV infection, improve care and support and build capacity to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Fellows also participate in immunization program activities in support of global polio eradication, measles mortality reduction, regional measles elimination and general global immunization activities.  They receive mentoring and support from dedicated CDC employees in the field.  The mission of this fellowship program is to train the next generation of global health leaders, and, as noted by Senator Clinton, "it is fitting that this program honors an individual who is a foremost leader in global health."

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Columbia Hosts (Healthy) Diabetes Breakfast in Albany
Fighting the diabetes epidemic was the topic of discussion at the first Columbia University Center for Community Health Partnerships (CCHP) information session for the New York State Legislature.  Drs. Robin Goland, Co-Director of the Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, Olveen Carrasquillo, Principle Investigator for CHUM, and Amy Freeth, Medical Director of the Clinical Research Division at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, were on hand to brief Albany lawmakers, staff, and others on diabetes, its causes, its effect on New Yorkers, and strategies for preventing and treating the disease.  Center Director and Vice Dean, Allan Formicola, served as moderator.

About thirty people stopped in for a healthy breakfast and to hear from Columbia's experts on the subject.  Serving as co-hosts for the event were Senators Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) and John Sabini (D-Queens), as well as Assemblymen Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), and Cliff Crouch (R-Chenango County).  This event was the first in a series Columbia's CCHP hopes to host on health disparities, and speakers made special notice of the disproportionate affect diabetes has on communities with large numbers of underrepresented minorities and in rural areas.
Assemblyman Felix Ortiz(D-Brooklyn)
welcomes people the Columbia
UniversityCenter for Community
Health Partnerships(CCHP) information
session in Albany.Dr. Olveen Carisquillo
looks on.

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Breakfast with Manhattan Deputy Borough President

The Offices of Government & Community Affairs at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) hosted a community breakfast for Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis at the Faculty Club.  The breakfast, attended by community leaders, elected officials, as well as CUMC and NYPH administration, faculty, and staff, gave the  Deputy Borough President an opportunity to introduce Borough President Scott Stringer? s agenda relating to issues of interest to northern Manhattan leaders.  Among the key issues addressed were domestic  violence, immigration, housing, health and education. 

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CUMC Recognized for Support of Broadway Malls

On May 11th, The Broadway Mall Association (BMA) recognized CUMC with its Eugene Hyde Award.  Named after BMA' s founder, the Hyde award was presented to CUMC for its support of BMA? s efforts to beautify and maintain the Broadway Malls between 165th and 168th Streets and Mitchell Square Park.  Above, Robert Lemieux, Deputy Vice President for Facilities Management, accepts the award on behalf of CUMC.  To his left is BMA President Robert Herrmann and to his right are BMA Vice President Margaret Doyle and Helen Morik, Vice President for Government and Community Affairs at New York Presbyterian Hospital.  New York Presbyterian was also recognized with the Hyde Award.

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Lions Roar Once Again as Columbia Wins Medical Center Challenge
The 8th Annual Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K road race was held March 5th, 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, runners adjourned to Coogan's for good food and good fun.

For the second year the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) competed against the New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) for the Medical Center Challenge trophy. CUMC had won the first ever challenge last year. This year more than sixty students, faculty and staff ran for CUMC and brought the prize home again for Columbia. Peter Angevine from Neurosurgery was the top male Finisher, while P&S student Deirdre Kelleher led the way on behalf of the CUMC women. John Mann, from the Psychiatric Institute finished fourth overall among men in his age group.

The challenge was cosponsored by CUMC, NYP, the Seasons of Wellness Initiative, and the Columbia University Athletic Department. The trophy remains on display in the Dean's suite.

Several members of the CUMC team gather before
the race

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State Senate Health Committee Chair Speaks at the Medical Center
New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, a Republican form Long Island, was the featured speaker at the third Columbia University Medical Center Public Policy Lunch. About twenty people joined Dean Fischbach to hear Senator Hannon, the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, discuss health care issues facing New York State. Among the topics discussed were Medicaid reform, homeland security, oral health, state support for biomedical research, and stem cell research. Of course there was also a lot of talk about politics and the 2006 elections.

Senator Hannon chats with Dean
Fischbach before the third CUMC
policy lunch.
Senator Hannon addresses those gathered at the
lunch. Pictured are (l to r), Dennis Johnson, Dean
Fischbach, Senator Hannon, Steve Shea, and
Ellen Geisow

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February 13th is Stem Cell Research Lobby Day in Albany

On February 13th, patients, researchers, people from the business community, and others will gather in Albany to advocate for stem cell research in New York. Earlier this week, the New York State Assembly passed legislation that would devote $300 million of state money for stem cell research. A similar bill is pending in the State Senate. As Dean Fischbach recently noted:

Stem cell research has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of human biology and lead to treatments for some of the most debilitating diseases, like Parkinson's, ALS, and juvenile diabetes. Current federal policy has severely restricted the funding available for this important work, and, in the absence of leadership from Washington, states must assume a leadership role. New York State has some of the finest medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other research institutions. If we do not act, we risk being left behind. At Columbia, we are doing exciting work with adult and human embryonic stem cells. As the Dean, I know how hard it is to recruit and retain top notch scientists in this field. Passage of A-6300 (the Assembly bill) will help New York remain a leader in stem cell research, and in all biomedical research, as we should be.

If you would like to be a part of this lobby day, please contact the New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research for further information and to register.

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Columbia Joins New York City Police Foundation in Successful Effort to Push Congress to Provide Further Assistance for 9/11 First Responders
January 3, 2006 - Just prior to recessing for the holidays, Congress included language in an appropriations bill that will provide New York City with $125 million to continue to address 9/11 related unemployment insurance and first responder health care needs. The bill language mentions Project COPE as one of the specifically uses of the funds. In the wake of 9/11 Columbia and the New York City Police Foundation worked together to create Project Cope, a highly successful program which provides mental health care services to police officers, civilian members of the department, and their families.

Ellen Stevenson, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, and Pamela Delaney, Executive Director of the Police Foundation, were among about a dozen people, which included New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Chief Peter Hayden, who went to Washington to lobby for the funding. While in D.C, the group met with members and staff from the House and Senate Leadership and Appropriations Committee to inform them of how New York City’s first responders still have, even four years later, ongoing health care concerns, and how funding is needed to help meet those needs. They also participated in a press conference with New York Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer and Representatives Vito Fossella, Carolyn Maloney, and others from the New York delegation.

Earlier in fall, Congress had recognized the importance of Project COPE and provided $350,000 for the program. This is in addition to the $200,000 Congress provided last year. While the exact amount of the $125 million that will go for Project COPE has not yet been determined, the bulk of the funds will likely go for respiratory health needs of firefighters, these funds, along with the $550,000 Congress has already awarded Cope, will allow Columbia and the Police Foundation to continue the program and meet the mental health needs of New York's Finest. Ellen Stevenson and Pam Delaney (first and second fromt he left) join Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representatvies Charles Rangel, Vito Fossella, and Carolyn Maloney at a press conference in Washington to support funding to meet the health care needs of New York's first responders.

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Last updated 12/10/2007

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