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Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital paid tribute Sept. 25 to Florence and Herb Irving, leading benefactors in the history of the medical center, with a luncheon in the Milstein Hospital Building. Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, announced that the stretch from 165th Street to 168th Street on Fort Washington Avenue will be named Florence and Herb Irving Way. A video tribute showed how the Irvings' major support has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, especially in the field of oncology. Speakers were Dr. Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean; Dr. Henry Ginsberg, Irving Professor of Medicine and director, Irving Center for Clinical Research; Dr. Fredi Kronenberg, professor of clinical physiology and rehabilitation medicine and one of the first Irving scholars; Dr. Karen Antman, Wu Professor of Medicine and director of the Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dr. Pardes; and Herb Irving. Pictured is Florence Irving holding a framed letter from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commending the Irvings for "serving an example for us all" for their commitment to giving back to community. Joining Mrs. Irving, from left, are Dr. Fischbach, Herb Irving, and Dr. Pardes.

Columbia University Health Sciences has initiated a new "Welcome Program" that familiarizes new staff and faculty with university culture during their first week on the job.

The half-day program, which began in July and has welcomed more than 350 new employees, replaces Human Resources' two-hour orientation program. The Welcome Program includes an opportunity to network and see a video clip titled "Setting the Standard," excerpted from the medical center's 75th anniversary film that communicates Columbia's accomplishments and future goals. The program also includes information about HIPAA regulations, information technology, customer service, security, and fire safety. Participants have an opportunity to obtain their IDs on the same day of the program.

Starting this month, a welcome address will be made at the program each week by senior-level administrator "ambassadors" who will communicate the mission, value and pride of the institution, and share their own experiences at Columbia. Kevin Kirby, vice president for administration and senior associate dean for administration at Columbia University Health Sciences, will speak Oct. 16.

New employees should receive a welcoming letter from their department administrator inviting them to participate in the welcome program during their first week at Columbia. Soon they will be able to receive a welcome packet that includes letters from the dean, their department head, a benefit booklet and selection forms, and a "Getting Around Campus" guide.

To register for the program, administrators are required to go online at Human Resources' new Web site, and click on Welcome Program Registration Form under the administrator's tool kit section. The administrator can generate a template letter to the new hire that can be printed on department letterhead and sent with the welcome packet.

The Welcome Program is part of the "Hiring Improvement Process," a new initiative that began earlier this year and is composed of more than 25 volunteers from research, clinical and central administrative units. The program is headed by Kathleen Crowley, director of Environmental Health & Safety. Martha Torres, director of Human Resources, implements the program.

Family-Centered AIDS Program Gets USAID Award

MTCT-Plus, an initiative coordinated by the Mailman School of Public Health that provides comprehensive services to HIV-infected mothers and their families in resource-poor countries, has received a $65 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Currently, MTCT-Plus provides supporting care and treatment services to 12 demonstration sites in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The USAID award will enable the initiative to expand care and treatment over a five-year period to support additional sites and to increase the number of patients enrolled at current sites. The support will also enable MTCT-Plus to demonstrate the effectiveness and feasibility of its program in a wider variety of settings, serving as a model for larger-scale treatment efforts in the future.

A new scholarship program for MPH students has been initiated through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mailman School of Public Health with the goal of strengthening the future public health workforce based at CDC. This program will provide full support for two Mailman students each year to pursue their degrees at the school and to complete internships and practica in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health. Following their training, students will join the staff of CDC in Atlanta.

Celebration for New Chairman

Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean, left, joins Dr. Andrew Marks, the guest of honor at a dinner celebrating his new position as chairman of the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics. The celebration by faculty and friends took place at the Casa Italiana restaurant of Columbia's Italian Academy, at the Morningside campus Sept. 11.

Arthur Palmer, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, has been appointed acting chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Before joining Columbia in 1992, Dr. Palmer was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Dr. David Hirsh, the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, who had been chairman of the department since 1990, is now executive vice president for research at Columbia.

Pie's On the Menu at SDOS BBQ

The School of Dental and Oral Surgery held its annual fall BBQ event at Columbia's Baker Field on 218th Street Sept. 20. The day of festivities, which included sports, games and a bake sale, was sponsored by the SDOS Student Council and the Alumni Association. Three hundred attendees watched Dr. Stanley Freeman, clinical professor of prosthodontics and operative dentistry, and dental student Ruba Fakhoury'06, right, participate in a pie-throwing contest.

Bard Orchestra Performs Brahms

The Bard Chamber Orchestra, composed of P&S students and physicians, rehearsed all day on Sept. 13 culminating with a performance of "Brahms Requiem" that evening in the P&S Alumni Auditorium. The annual fall event featured Stefan Samuelson'06 as baritone soloist, and George Mathew, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, conducting. Joining the orchestra was a choir comprised of outside and P&S vocalists.

Columbia Ph.D. Student Presents Dance Festival

Members of the dance company Centro Cultural Ballet Quisqueya perform Sept. 6 at DANZA Washington Heights, the first Dancenow/NYC Fall Dance Festival to take place at Highbridge Park. Columbia Ph.D. student Marcy Auerbach'05, founding director of the festival, organized the event with fellow classmates Carina Storrs'05 and Dorca Almanzar'04 and several other Ph.D. students. Two hundred and fifty people watched eight dance groups perform. Columbia was a co-sponsor of the event.

TV Show Premieres

A TV show starring Dr. Mehmet Oz, professor of surgery, premieres on the Discovery Channel Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. The show, "Second Opinion with Dr. Oz," opens with a discussion on weight loss and obesity, with guest star Oprah Winfrey. Each of the 13 scheduled shows will deal with a single healthcare topic.

Saying Goodbye to Security's George Smartt

Members of security staffs at Columbia University Health Sciences and Morningside campuses, faculty and friends joined in saying a fond farewell to George Smartt, assistant vice president for security, who retired from Columbia last month. Mr. Smartt was with Columbia for 18 years, after completing 21 years with the New York City Police Department.

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, the Percy and Joanne Uris Professor of Pathology, professor of genetics and development, and director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics, received a five-year, $5 million grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America to create the Specialized Center of Research in Lymphoma. The center is aimed at understanding the pathogenesis and improving the diagnosis and treatment of B cell-derived non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It will include several laboratories and core facilities at Columbia as well as at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Elaine Larson, professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research in the School of Nursing and professor of epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health, has received a National Institute of Nursing Research's Pathfinder Distinguished Research Award. Dr. Larson received the award for her groundbreaking research on infectious diseases that has influenced national practice and policies related to hand hygiene in health care settings.

Jeanne Mager Stellman, professor of clinical health policy and management, and Steven D. Stellman, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, received the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal at a ceremony in St. Louis last month for their work on Agent Orange.

Kim Hopper, who was recently appointed associate professor of clinical sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School, was awarded the 2003 Anthony Leeds Prize of the Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology, a unit of the American Anthropological Association. The prize was awarded for his book, "Reckoning with Homelessness."

Kristine Gebbie, director of Health Policy and Health Services Research at the School of Nursing, in collaboration with the Mailman School of Public Health, the School of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, P&S, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has been awarded almost $850,000 over two years from Health Resources and Services Administration to provide bioterrorism training and curriculum development, including continuing education. Columbia is the only university in the country that was awarded funds for both continuing education and curriculum development.

The New York State Psychiatric Institute is holding a memorial service Oct. 16 for Steven Papp, deputy director for administration for 25 years. Mr. Papp, who died July 29, was also director of administration of the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the institute and associate vice president in the Faculty of Medicine at P&S. The service will be held at 4 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of PI.