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hink sorting your own trash for recycling is a challenge? The Health Sciences Environmental Health & Safety department makes sure solvents, silver, and lead are separated from the more than 42 tons of hazardous waste generated here each year. But the amount of waste will decrease as the multi-pronged recycling program takes full effect.

"Wastes will be reduced, costs will be cut, and the environment will benefit too," says Dr. Robert Lewy, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and regulatory compliance for the Health Sciences.

Some of the recent recycling targets are the laboratory solvents xylene and alcohol, which account for nearly a quarter of the yearly waste total. The two largest consumers of these chemicals are the surgical pathology and dermatopathology laboratories, which use substantial amounts of xylene and alcohol in a variety of tissue-processing and staining procedures.

Given their reliance on these chemicals, these two laboratories under the guidance of Environmental Health and Safety have been the first to pilot recycling technologies for xylene and alcohol. Last September, the surgical pathology laboratory installed a chemical recycling machine manufactured by CBG Biotech of Columbus, Ohio. Dermatopathology is set to follow suit in March. The recycling equipment purifies the used solvents by filtering out contaminants.

Recycling these chemicals will significantly reduce both purchase and disposal costs, Dr. Lewy says. It is too early to quantify how much money will be saved, but the recycling machine, to date, has been able to recover a sizable amount of high-quality, reusable solvent. In addition to the cost savings, these efforts are promoting a "greener environment" by preventing pollution.

The xylene and alcohol initiative is the latest development in an effort that began in June 2000, when the Institutional Health and Safety Council, a group responsible for monitoring environmental health and safety at the Health Sciences campus, began looking at the waste streams. No formal recycling program was in place, so with the support of the council, which Dr. Lewy chairs, Environmental Health & Safety initiated one. The effort coincides with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's push to conduct hazardous waste inspections at universities.

Besides decreasing the amount of waste generated, Environmental Health & Safety is streamlining the overall disposal process. Historically, the university would pay a hazardous waste disposal vendor to package and remove waste every few weeks from individual laboratories, an expensive and time-consuming process. According to Dr. Lewy, the system is improving and, with the council's approval, two chemical waste storage rooms are being "carved out" in the Black Building and the Audubon Business and Technology Center. With these storage facilities, the disposal vendor now comes in once a month and eventually will be onsite every few months, saving money and effort.

Another major effort has been silver recovery from X-ray film developing waste. Environmental Health & Safety identified more than 30 laboratories at Health Sciences that process film. Silver recovery systems were installed to prevent the silver from literally going down the drain. The university collected five pounds of the metal, which it then sold to a recycler. The effort last year also gathered 6,000 pounds of scrap film containing silver, enabling these materials to be disposed of properly, rather than mixed in with other waste and sent to a landfill.

Lead from computer monitors, mercury from fluorescent lights, and batteries also are recycled. "Older computer monitors each have about 5 pounds of lead so we estimate we saved over 5,000 pounds of lead from going into landfills," Dr. Lewy says.

"Our programs represent a multi-faceted attempt to protect the environment, while saving money at the same time," Dr. Lewy says.

Anyone with ideas, questions, or comments should call Environmental Health & Safety at 305-6780 or send e-mail to

New York Gov. George E. Pataki was surrounded by neighborhood schoolchildren and hundreds of nurses and other healthcare workers at CPMC Jan. 25 when he signed into law the historic Health Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act. Under the new law, hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics statewide will receive funding to address healthcare shortages by increasing salaries, providing more training, and adding benefits to hiring packages. Also present at the signing were State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Government and Community Affairs held an introductory breakfast Feb. 1 to welcome new City Council members Robert Jackson, left, and Miguel Martinez. The two spoke about their commitment to serving Northern Manhattan and fielded questions.

he crown logo long associated with the Mailman School of Public Health will soon give way to a newer, more modern look.

"The Mailman School is at a key moment in its history," says Dr. Allan Rosenfield, dean of the school. "Applications to our master's and doctoral programs have doubled in the past 10 years, our research support has increased dramatically, our service programs are among the most extensive of any school, and we have a new home where many of the school's departments and centers will be together under one roof. It is a turning point, and we redesigned the school's visual identity to reflect its position as a leader in public health for the 21st century."

"Our new identity expresses our ability to foster collaboration and synergy among many disciplines—locally, nationally, and globally," says Randee Sacks, director of communications for the school. "It is modern, clean, and dynamic, allowing us to build our brand around the Mailman School, while maintaining our connection with Columbia University."

Implementing the new logo and changing the look of the Mailman School will not be accomplished overnight.

"The first phase is currently under way," Ms. Sacks says. "Thanks to our designer, we've put together a style guide that will help us use the new logo consistently, building our brand visually over time." The guide, which will be available on the school's web site, will be a useful tool for anyone working on projects that will include the Mailman School logo, such as brochures, presentations, and other collateral material. It contains specifications for color, fonts, and other design issues.

Right now, the focus is on creating materials that Mailman School staff and faculty will need immediately, such as new stationery and business cards. Additional phases of the transition process will focus on the Mailman School's visual identity on the Internet and the development of electronic templates.

"Dr. Rosenfield has encouraged all faculty and staff at the school to begin to incorporate the new logo in materials and projects as soon as possible, and we expect to be fully transitioned over to the new Mailman visual identity by September 2002," Ms. Sacks says.

For additional information regarding the new logo, contact the school's Office of Communications at 305-5635 (x5-5635) or email Randee Sacks at

r. Mehmet C. Oz, associate professor of surgery at P&S and director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian, participated in the World Economic Forum held in New York Jan. 31-Feb. 4. A focus of the meeting was global health. Dr. Oz has participated in other World Economic Forums and was elected a Global Leader for Tomorrow, a select group of individuals under age 40 who were singled out by the WEF for their challenging and innovative ideas.

Dr. Oz, as head of the health initiative of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow, spearheaded formation of a major policy report, titled "The Possible Human," presented at the New York meeting. A key message of the report was the importance of joining the private and public sectors to address global—and local—health policy.

"By mobilizing the private sector to appreciate the significance of health in their communities—both for their employees and in the community at large—we can create a bottom-up, grass roots effort that has the potential to improve the health of all Americans," Dr. Oz says.

An executive summary of the report was prepared by a group that includes the Columbia University Alliance of Health Management, a multidisciplinary health management research and education center founded by P&S, the Mailman School of Public Health, and Columbia's business school.

r. Richard F. Daines has been named president and CEO of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Dr. Daines served as the hospital's senior vice president for medical affairs and medical director since May 2000. Before joining St. Luke's-Roosevelt, he had a long career at St. Barnabas Medical Center in the Bronx, the last six years of which were spent as senior vice president for professional affairs and medical director. Dr. Daines, a board-certified internist and critical care specialist, received his M.D. degree from Cornell.

Dr. Marianne Legato, professor of medicine at P&S and founder and director of the Partnership for Women’s Health, traveled to Tokyo to deliver the keynote address, “Women’s Health Update: Sharing for Better Practice,” at Japan’s first symposium on gender-specific medicine. The symposium was sponsored by the Center for Health Care and Public Concern and focused on gender and health in the 21st century. Dr. Legato, third from left, is pictured with, far left, Linda Willet of Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Legato’s daughter, Christiana Killian; and Mitsuko Shimomura, right, president and CEO of the Center for Health Care and Public Concern.