About the Department of Pediatrics

History of Harlem Hospital Center

Harlem Hospital began in a converted mansion at the foot of East 120th Street and the East River of Manhattan on April 18, 1887. This 20 bed, there-story dwelling operated and ambulance service and , as a municipal hospital, provided medical care for the  poor living in the rapidly growing district north Central Park. In, 1900, the City bought land on the East Side of Lenox Avenue from 136th Street to 137th Street – Harlem Hospital’s current site. In the years that followed, Harlem Hospital would have role in healthcare in the Harlem community.


The Columbia University Affiliation

Since 1962, Harlem Hospital has been affiliated with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons under an agreement with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. All attending physicians have academic appointments on the Columbia faculty and Harlem Hospital Center's Department of Pediatrics serves as one of the main teaching units of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. All facilities of the University are available to Harlem's house officers.



Harlem Hospital’s Pediatrics Program provides comprehensive training to equip residents to face any challenge in the field of pediatrics.

Some of the facilities available to the residents include:

  • Computerized medical record system which provides easy access to important medical information about patients, including laboratory testing, diagnostic procedure results, EKGs, hospitalization notes, outpatient notes, etc.
  • Free online access to numerous medical journals, evidence based databases and textbooks from Columbia University's and Harlem Hospitals websites.

Departmental Programs

Child Life - Child Life Specialists are trained professionals who provides emotional support for families and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences related to healthcare and hospitalization.

A.I.R. Harlem - A.I.R. Harlem (Asthma Intervention and Relief) is a care coordination program founded in 2001 at Harlem Hospital Center that provides home-visiting services to families of children with asthma. Our Community Health Workers work with families to improve medication compliance, develop customized asthma-action plans, address environmental triggers in the home and provide concrete strategies to keep children healthy and out of the hospital.

Injury Prevention Program - The Harlem Hospital Injury Prevention Program (HHIPP) implements educational efforts and programs in the hospital and throughout the community to reduce injuries in all age groups. The program has a mission to develop young people into leaders and provide practical methods to keep children free of traumatic injury.

Baby Friendly - Harlem Hospital Center was the first hospital in New York City to receive Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Designation, through the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Baby Friendly is about promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding by following the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program - The sickle cell center at Harlem Hospital includes the crucial involvement of many services, team members, and resources, including pediatric primary care, pediatric and adult hematology, adult primary care, cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, social services, neuropsychology, ophthalmology, general and orthopedic surgery services, nursing, laboratory services, blood bank, and a transition program for sickle cell patients making the transition from pediatric to adult medical care. The goal is to provide state-of-the-art comprehensive services to patients with sickle cell and other hematologic diseases in Harlem and beyond.

The Harlem Dance Leadership Program - The Harlem Dance Leadership Program (HDLP) started in 1989 and is designed to engage inner city kids to participate in positive, fruitful and safe activities. HDLP provides support in areas such as performing arts, cultural exchange/outreach trips, outdoor recreational activities, child life activities, advocacy, counseling, tutoring, etiquette classes, and pre- professional leadership skills and follow along services.

Asthma Outreach Program - Community health workers reach out to families of our Asthma patients to assess the home condition.