P&S Journal: Spring 1997, Vol.17, No.2
Alumni Association Activites
Incoming Alumni Association president Lewis B. Lane'74 convened the Sept. 18 council dinner program with a resolution that the association play a more active role in the day-to-day lives of students. To that end, he invited a panel of four student representatives to air any gripes they might have.
First-year student Emily Milliken'00 had praise for faculty, fellow students, and staff who helped make her transition to the rigors of medical school life as smooth as possible. Her only concerns involved feeding the body and mind, specifically the absence of a meal plan and dining facility at Bard Hall and the fact that the library closes at 11 p.m. Speaking on behalf of the second-year class, Evan Garfein'99 introduced the idea of a debit card for P&S students to be used with local community merchants. The card would be modeled on one used by students at Duke University. Among the key concerns of third-year student Rebecca Lambert'98 was the difficulty of banking, given required minimum balances. Senior Drew Helmer'97, who took an additional year to pursue a master's degree from the School of Public Health, complained about deteriorating facilities and equipment in need of repair in older campus buildings. Possible solutions to all concerns were discussed.
All ears pricked up at the council dinner on Nov. 19, when guest speaker William T. Speck, president of Presbyterian Hospital, addressed a topic foremost on the minds of many alumni: "Getting Together: Presbyterian Hospital's Planned Merger with New York Hospital." Although both hospitals will maintain their identities, he explained, certain subspecialty services will be shared. The merger, which will affect the hospitals and clinical practices but not the medical schools, will represent the largest health care merger in the world, making the combined system, once in place, the largest not-for-profit health system in the world.
The council dinner on Jan. 15, as per tradition hosted by the dean, was held at the Clark Conference Center in the Milstein Hospital Building to make room for the overflow crowd of alumni. Alumni Association president Lewis B. Lane'74 reported on progress, thanks to the Dean's Office, in addressing the concerns raised by students at the September meeting.
Dr. Pardes reviewed accomplishments and advances on the academic front and with the physical plant. He proudly announced, among other faculty appointments and promotions, the installation of Karen Antman'74, professor of medicine and chief of medical oncology, as director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in New York City. "One of the ways one measures the vitality of a medical school," he said, "is by the nature and extent of the research conducted there." Citing Columbia's outstanding record in research, Dr. Pardes announced the school's move from ninth place in 1989-90 to fourth place in 1994-95 in the ranking of public and private medical schools that received federal research grants and contracts. Also crediting the school's outreach to the community, Dr. Pardes concluded, "At P&S, we're concerned with two things: to be as good as we can and to bring that good to the people who need it most."