In 2007, the medical center donated books to Africa. In 2009, 80 light microscopes formerly used by P&S and dental students were donated to an organization that provides materials for health care in Africa, and another 113 microscopes were given to New York area schools in need of scientific equipment.
The microscopes were no longer needed because the medical and dental schools now use virtual microscopy – digitized microscope specimens viewed on a computer screen – to teach histology and microscopic pathology. Students will be able to access the microscopic images anywhere at any time.
The microscopes donated for use in Africa were given to the Afya Foundation, which uses a computer-based inventory menu that allows international health organizations and professionals to select medical supplies from warehouses. The foundation, based in Yonkers, also matches professionals with medical office equipment and community outreach supplies.
Schools that received microscopes were St. Charles Borromeo School, Boys Harbor, Thornton-Donovan School, the Hale A. Woodruff School, Rice High School, and Stephen Gaynor School, all in New York; Smith Elementary School in Tenafly, N.J.; and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia, Caribbean.
In a thank you letter, Douglas E. Fleming Jr., headmaster at Thornton-Donovan School in New Rochelle, said four of the five microscopes the school received were given to the middle and high school science teacher; the other went to the lower school. “In all my 40 years plus the school has never been able to scope out life forms like it can now.”
Marlene Klyvert, a retired faculty member in the College of Dental Medicine, coordinated donation of microscopes to the schools. Robert Sideli, M.D., chief information officer for CUMC and an anatomic pathologist who supported the implementation of virtual microscopy labs, worked with the Afya Foundation.
The 2007 books donation was part of the digitization of the Health Sciences Library’s collection, done in part to free up space for renovation of the two lower levels of the library.