Thank you to all those who joined us in welcoming the 1st year medical and graduate students!
Thank you to all those who joined us in welcoming the 1st year medical and graduate students!
Marie Claire Leger, M.D., PhD.
Diversity Champion and Clinique Clinical Scholar in Dermatology
At the recommendation of Dean Augustine M.K. Choi, four members of the Weill Cornell Medicine faculty have been named to endowed positions and scholarships by the Board of Overseers. Endowed professorships are among the most prestigious faculty appointments at Weill Cornell Medicine. The Diversity Champion for the Department of Dermatology, Dr. Marie Claire Leger is among the recipients and has been appointed as the Clinique Clinical Scholar in Dermatology. Dr. Leger is an assistant professor of clinical dermatology. Dr. Leger leads the Department of Dermatology’s recently established unit for the treatment of adverse reactions to tattoos and tattoo removal. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of tattoo complications and the evaluation of new therapies for improving tattoo removal procedures.
Dr. Joy Howell was recently awarded a Healthcare Leadership Fellowship by Weill Cornell Medicine and the Weill Cornell Physician Organization. The fellowship helps physicians to develop skills as physician-leaders. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Congratulations!
This year's 2018 Diversity award winners were announced during Diversity Awards Ceremony and Reception on April 23rd, 2018.
2018 Dean's Diversity and Dean's Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Awards
The inaugural Dean’s Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Awards supports excellence in research to improve the health of underrepresented minorities and/or reduce health disparities in healthcare systems and in clinical settings, either locally or globally.
Resident Awardees: Peter Kennel, Lauren Kelly, & Robert White
Medical/Graduate Student Awardees: Yoshiko Toyoda & Rachel Umans
Faculty Award Awardees: Jessica Ancker, Jennifer Downs , Erica Phillps, & Laura Pinheiro
Fellows/Postdoc Awardees: Elizabeth Luth , Fontasha Powell, & Mavee Witherspoon
2018 Pioneers in Diversity Awards and Laurie H. Glimcher MD Award
Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Rolake Alabi and Eric Kutscher
The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.
Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award – Dr. Anthony Ogedegbe
The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.
Administrative Staff Award – Sharon Brooks
The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.
Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award – Dr. Maurice Hinson
The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.
Laurie H. Glimcher MD Award for Excellence in Mentoring Women Faculty - Dr. Mary Charlson
The Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, Award for Excellence in Mentoring Women Faculty was established by Dr. Glimcher, Former Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in medicine by acknowledging superb women mentors.
On April 30th, 2018, the Offices of Community Service and Student Affairs honored the four student groups who received theMarcus M. Reidenberg, M.D. Award in Community Service Award for 2017 and 2018. This award recognizes the collective efforts of students for outstanding contribution to the community. The winners are:
Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights
The Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights (WCCHR) is a student-run organization that brings together volunteer clinicians and Weill Cornell students to provide forensic medical evaluations to survivors of torture, violence, and persecution who are currently seeking asylum in the United States. Since its founding in 2010, the WCCHR has conducted 426 evaluations for 364 individuals from 66 different countries and has trained 676 students in how to conduct such evaluations. In addition to serving individuals directly, the WCCHR is helping to revolutionize how asylum cases are managed in the United States by calling attention to the important, yet often unrecognized, role of medical professionals. The WCCHR is the first medical student-run asylum clinic in the United States. It has been lauded as “a model for the future” by the medical asylum community.
Weill Cornell Community Clinic
The primary mission of the Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC) is to provide high quality primary health care services to uninsured New Yorkers through consultation, treatment, referral services, preventative care and screening for permanent health care insurance programs. Concurrently, the WCCC also aims to educate medical students on the medical and social issues surrounding the care of underserved populations in order to foster a sense of civic responsibility and humanitarianism. Founded in 2003, the WCCC is a student-run free clinic of Weill Cornell Medical College and provides primary care, women's and mental health services for over 150 patients a year during over 350 patient visits.
Camp Phoenix was founded in 2000 by a WCMC alum, Paul Mullan, M.D. (Class of 2004) to enrich the lives of pediatric burn survivors and their siblings by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, and physically safe, all while training future physicians in the art of compassionate and empathetic care. Within this environment, campers build a support community based on sharing their stories and overcoming their disabilities. As their motto states, it’s “a place where kids can spread their wings and fly”.
Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program
The Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program was created to increase the enrollment rate of students who are underrepresented in medicine and support the next generation of healthcare leaders. It was founded in 1989 by Dr. Daniel Laroche (‘92) when he was a student here at Weill Cornell and has since expanded to medical schools across the country. Theintensive 10-week program facilitates mentorship between local high school students and current medical students while providing an opportunity for mentees to interact with physicians and other healthcare professionals. Through scientific lectures, research assignments, college essays, resume workshops, PBL sessions, and basic anatomy lessons, students are exposed to the intimacies of medicine while developing skills critical to their success beyond the conclusion of the program. Mentees who have produced extraordinary research papers and college essays are granted special recognition and book scholarships at a graduation ceremony.
Medical students (top photo), Joshua Adjei (4th year), Zara Adamou (1st year medical student), and Francesca Voza (2nd year) represented Weill Cornell Medicine Student National Medical Association Chapter at the Annual National Education Conference.
This year's 2018 inaugural day diversity speakers on April 23rd, 2018 were:
Hannah Valantine, MD, MRCP (Diversity Keynote Speaker)
NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
Senior Investigator, NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Adil Haider, MD, MPH (Surgery/Neurological Surgery Grand Rounds)
Kessler Director, Center for Surgery and Public Health
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Henry W. Foster, Jr,. MD (Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Rounds)
Professor Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Former Dean of the School of Medicine and Former Acting President Meharry Medical College
Diversity Speakers presented on the following topics: NIH Addresses the Science of Diversity: Focusing on Institutional Change(Dr. Valantine), Unequal Care: Causes and Solutions for Surgical Disparities in 2018 (Dr. Haider),and Achieving Racial/Ethnic Diversity For Medical School Faculties (Dr. Foster).
On April 17th, 2018, Dr. Romulo Hurtado, Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Research in Surgery, presented his recent work "Upper urinary tract pacemakers activity: An Ih funny current coincidence" on smooth muscle pacemakers that drive autonomic contractions in the urinary tract. We thank Dr. Romulo Hurtado for his efforts in research and contributions to the Weill Cornell Medicine community.
The President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) was established by former President Frank H. T. Rhodes in 1990. The PCCW is a group of highly accomplished and distinguished women alumnae of Cornell University working to champion female students, faculty, staff, and alumnae as they lead within their fields at Cornell University and across the world. This year, PCCW held an engaging two-day symposium celebrating 'One Cornell'. PCCW's annual meeting was held at WCM on April 14th. Dr. Rainu Kaushal was the keynote speaker discussing “One Cornell” collaborations between campuses. There were several breakout tours highlighting the WCM campus and its teaching and clinical activities. The participants were able to visit and tour the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island and the Weill Cornell Medicine Upper East Side Manhattan Campus. In addition, the attendees also had the opportunity to connect with the work of the PCCW, meet other successful alumnae, learn about university initiatives, and participate in student and peer mentoring sessions. Dr. Rache Simmons, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion presented an overview of the state of women at WCM and NYP, including data on our gender diversity in the medical school, residency programs and faculty. She discussed Dean Choi’s commitment to overcoming gender inequities in leadership and promotions including in Strategic Plan 4 (SP4).
Dr. Henri Ford, an alumnus of the Travelers Summer Research Fellowship (T-SRF) program, was recently named Dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Ford served as vice president and chief of surgery for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for over 13 years. He has been instrumental in aiding Haiti with medical care, including training doctors, and planting the seeds for improved health care infrastructure. In 2017, Dr. Ford visited the WCM campus as the Diversity Surgery Grand Rounds Speaker. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, congratulations!!
Dr. Cisse, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and of Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, was recently appointed the Leonard and Fleur Clinical Scholar. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, congratulations!!
Dr. Cisse, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and of Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, was recently appointed the Leonard and Fleur Clinical Scholar. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, congratulations!!
Angel M. Charles was recently awarded both the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Fellowship and a Doris Duke Research Mentorship Award. The long-term aim of her project is to develop a targeted immunotherapy that can treat HPV induced cancers with high specificity and minimal adverse effects. She is working in the laboratory of David Scheinberg at MSKCC that developed a T-cell receptor mimic (TCRm) monoclonal antibody (mAb) which is specific for a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) peptide (protein fragment) bound to a Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) complex, which presents antigens to T cells. The TCRm binds the HPV-peptide/HLA complex and induces killing of virus-infected cells. The short-term aim of her project is to identify and evaluate potential off-target binding of the TCRm to normal peptides in human tissue. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Congratulations!!
On March 20th, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey hosted a showing of the movie documentary "Agents of Change". WCM alumni, Dr. John Mitchell '73 and Dr. Frank Douglas '77 (and Alumni Association Special Achievement Awardee) shared their experiences as students on the Cornell University campus during the pivotal civil rights era of the late 1960’s depicted in the film. Dr. Wilson-Anstey moderated a discussion that included the alumni’s perspectives on changes and challenges in promoting diverse and inclusive educational curricula and learning environments through the lens of lessons learned in the intervening decades.
On Friday, March 16, 2018, eighty-six high school students successfully completed the Health Professions Recruitment Exposure (HPREP) program. Hani Li, 1st year medical student, gave welcoming remarks to open the ceremony. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life. The Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP) was created in 1989 by Dr. Daniel Laroche ('92). He developed the program while he was a medical student to increase the enrollment of student groups that are underrepresented in medicine. After a presentation by Dr. Laroche regarding HPREP at a Student National Medical Association (SNMA) conference, the SNMA adopted the program at other medical schools. HPREP is now a national program. At WCM, HPREP is a ten-week program held on Friday afternoons beginning in January. This year five HPREP coordinators: Aretina Leung, Han Li, Dianna Mejia, Anthony Mok, and Samir Touhamy II, organized the program. The students heard from many physicians and other health professionals regarding their career paths. In addition, HPREP students worked in small groups with medical students learning how to write personal statements, resumes, and research papers. Students were also educated on the medical school application process and how to apply for financial aid.Congratulations to the 2018 HPREP Graduates!
Medical students, left to right standing: Benjamin Gordon, Solomon Husain, Ariana Levin
Medical student second from the right standing: Lauren Tufts
Medical student first on the right sitting: Jaime Bernstein
Assistant Director of C-STEP, Ernest Daily, sitting second from the right
On March 13th, students and advisors of the C-STEP program at Syracuse University visited Weill Cornell Medicine. C-STEP students met with Ms. Allison Smith, Director of Admissions, medical students and Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey. A presentation focused on medical school preparation, the medical school application process, and on the medical student experience at Weill Cornell. Following the presentation, our medical students also gave them a tour of the medical school.
Dr. Caprice Greenberg was invited by the Department of Surgery to present the 3rd Annual Diversity Lectureship held on March 5th, 2018. Her presentation entitled, “Sticky Floors and Glass Ceilings” used empirical data to address the topic of gender disparities in surgery. Dr. Greenberg discussed interventions that can be adopted to address these disparities and achieve gender equity in surgery.
In collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the NYP Women Physicians Initiative led by Dr. Laura Forese, promotes support and provides valuable resources to assist our female attendings, faculty, and residents through educational lectures in a relaxed atmosphere. These insightful speakers discuss how to create a positive and proactive culture of support for our fellow colleagues, trainees and ourselves. On March 1, 2018, Dr. Janna Gordon-Elliott and Dr. Lyuba Konopasek led an informative and interactive panel discussion addressing stress and burnout and their consequences that affect women throughout their medical careers. During the interactive discussion, participants were paired-up into groups to focus on various issues of concern including: (1) drivers of burnout, (2) work and learning environment stressors, (3), vulnerabilities in women physicians, and (4) identifying risk factors. Additional discussions focused on the importance of supervisors and physicians involved in the training of residents and how to assist them in the development of strategies in self-care, resilience and professionalism for a positive and more productive experience within our institution and beyond.
On February 28th, our second WCM Breaking Bread Dinner was held and well attended by students, faculty, administrators and staff. Everyone was welcomed and encouraged to share their thoughts on diversity in a safe environment. The dinner dialogue was co-facilitated by Dr. Linnie Golightly (Associate Dean of Diversity) and Dr. Renee Alexander (Associate Dean of Students and Director of Intercultural Programs, Cornell University), who developed and won an award for initiating the Breaking Bread Dinner series on Cornell's Ithaca campus. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to share and candor. Please send ideas or suggestions for future Breaking Bread Dinners to Fatima Doumbia, email@example.com.
Recently, Dr. Romulo Hurtado received an NIH R21 entitled, "Live imaging analyses of the mechanisms required for coordinated urinary tract peristalsis in lower-order and higher-order mammalian species" from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, congratulations!!
Dr. Tiutan will be presenting his abstract “Utilizing the electronic medical record to assess lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) patients’ disease burden and health maintenance at an academic medical center’s primary care network“ at the Society of General Internal Medicine National Annual Conference in April 2018. He will present LGBT health data (specifically on diabetes, HTN and cancer screenings) collected from WCM’s outpatient electronic medical records system. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, congratulations!!
On February 28th, the medical students of Weill Cornell Medicine stood in solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the community of Parkland, Florida. “In medicine, we aim to eliminate the risk factors that are detrimental to the health of our patients. Gun access is one such risk factor that is modifiable and guaranteed to save lives,” said Barbara Elena Sahagún, Class of 2020. André Belarmino (holding the banner, on the left) Class of 2019, is an alumnus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—one of his cousins is a current student who survived the attack.
Call to action: Weill Cornell Medicine’s Office of Government and Community Affairs is seeking 12 faculty members to serve as “Discussion Leaders” during the upcoming “Dinner with Scientists” at Big Red STEM Day III February 27, 2018 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in the Griffis Faculty Club. Each “Discussion Leader” will be the host of one table during the Dinner and engage in meaningful discussion with high school students reflecting on their careers and personal educational paths to science/medicine.
Background: Big Red STEM Day is a full day, interactive event that brings together faculty, students and staff from Cornell University in Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech and the New York City Cornell Cooperative Extension to excite and encourage underserved high school students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related education and careers. The day features two hands-on workshops hosted by each of the Cornell partners, a keynote address, a networking opportunity and a panel discussion bringing together over one hundred individuals from diverse educational and personal backgrounds to highlight the importance and need for diversity, mentorship and education.
The inaugural Big Red STEM Day was held in November 2016 in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE). On February 27, the Cornell community will come together once again in partnership with the NYC DOE for Big Red STEM Day III. The theme of the day will be Health Tech. Prior to the day of the event, each high school student participating will have completed an application that details why they would like to participate and which 2 of the 4 workshops they would like to attend. Details of the workshops are still being compiled, however a sample program from Big Red STEM Day II is attached for reference.
Big Red STEM Day III Schedule:
Event Theme: Health Tech
1:00 – 1:25pm Snack and welcome
1:25 – 2:20pm Workshop 1
2:20 – 3:15pm Workshop 2
3:15 – 3:30pm Break
3:30 – 4:00pm Keynote by WCM Dean Choi
4:00 – 5:00pm “Research Shark Tank” or panel discussion
5:00 – 5:30pm Break and transition to dinner
5:30 – 6:30pm Dinner with Scientists
If you are interested in participating, please contact, Alessia Daniele, Manager of Government and Community Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-962-9485.
Dr. Monika Safford, Chief of General Internal Medicine at WCM, organized a dinner for the 2018 Atkins Visiting Professor and ProudtobeGIM week speaker, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair in Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Her GIM Ground Rounds talk focused on the "Population-wide CVD prevention in the era of precision medicine." WCM members who attended the dinner include: Drs. Monika Safford, Erica Phillips-Caesar, Jessica Pena, Marisa Censani, Keith LaScalea, Linnie Golightly, and Judy Tung.
WCM members serving on the Cornell University Provost's Task Force to Enhance Faculty Diversity is seeking feedback from WCM faculty regarding issues that relate to the recruitment/retention of URiM faculty in academic medicine. If you'd like to contribute feedback, please email Dr. Golightly at email@example.com. We thank you for your contributions!
WCM members are invited to the announcement of the opening of the Cornell Center for Health Equity. This event will occur as part of the “Proud to be GIM” week in January. Proud to be GIM is a national campaign promulgated by the Society of General Internal Medicine designed to attract students and trainees to choose a career in academic GIM. There are daily activities January 16th - 19th, with a poster meet and greet on the morning of the 19th with students, residents, and GIM faculty. List of events are below.
January 16th (Tuesday), 4:30 - 6:30 pm, Griffis Faculty Lounge "Meet and Greet" with Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo for URM students, trainees, and faculty. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is the Lee Goldman MD Endowed Chair in Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Medicine, and Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity at the University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine.
January 19th (Friday), 8:00 – 11:00 am, Griffis Faculty Lounge Poster "Meet and Greet" for students and trainees, with faculty invited at 10:30 am; the Meet and Greet is intended to showcase opportunities in GIM at WCM. 10:30-11:00, Announcement of the opening of the Center for Health Equity with remarks from the Dean and senior leaders.
March 15th - 16th (Thursday - Friday), SAVE THE DATE Health Equity Symposium (Details to be announced).
On Wednesday, January 10th, Dr. Joy Howell, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program Director and Vice Chair for Diversity in Pediatrics held a productive meeting between minority students and faculty. Attendees included Dr. Susana Morales from the Department of Medicine, Medicine Housestaff member, Mariella Ntamatungiro, Dr. Kevin Holcomb from Obstetrics, Dr. Khadijah Watkins from Psychiatry, Pediatrics Housestaff members, Allesandra Sugranes and Patricia Green. Drs. Marcus Lambert and Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey from the Office of Diversity and Student Life was also in attendance.
On January 5th, 2018, Dr. Joy Howell, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Diversity in Pediatrics, organized a Diversity Town Hall for the WCM community and members of the Department of Pediatrics. The event was co-facilitated by Dr. Renee Alexander, the Associate Dean for Students and Senior Advisor to the Dean at Cornell University, Ithaca campus. The aim of the forum was to foster open dialogue about diversity in medicine by creating an environment where students, residents, and faculty could share their experiences and discuss their perspectives about diversity and inclusion, real or perceived, without judgment. With the goal of developing a shared mental model of how diversity would benefit the department, participants were asked several questions that sparked discussion: How do you define/interpret diversity and inclusion? What does diversity mean within the context of WCM and within the Pediatrics department? Should we aim for a "colorblind" society? How does equality and equity differ? How should these concepts play within the selection process among medical school and resident candidates? The discussion led participants to think critically about the processes and procedures that facilitate advancement in medical careers and how institutions may need to change policies that have been instituted and integrated in the medical culture.
Community Perspectives in Medicine (CPIM) just finished its third year as an elective course for first year medical students to learn about social determinants of health and health disparities from community-based organizations representing underserved populations. This year, 15 students successfully completed the course, which was moderated by Andrea Liu, facilitated by Laura Deering and Eric Kutscher, advised by Dr. Linnie Golightly, and funded by Engaged Opportunity Cornell.
At the invitation of Dr. Joy Howell (Vice Chair for Diversity in Pediatrics), Dr. Joseph L. Wright (Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine) gave Pediatric Grand Rounds on December 12 and attended the WCM Holiday Diversity Mixer followed by dinner to discuss WCM URiM faculty recruitment/retention. The dinner was attended by: Drs. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey and Marcus Lambert (Assistant Deans of Student Diversity), Dr. Susana Morales (Vice Chair for Diversity in Medicine), Drs. Anthony Watkins and Kevin Holcomb (Diversity Champions for the Depts. of Surgery and OB-GYN, respectively), Dr. Maurice Hinson (Founder of Black and Latino Men in Medicine- BLMiM), Dr. Derek Masque (Quality Improvement Chief Resident, NewYork Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell) and Dr. Linnie Golightly (Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion).
On December 11th, the Offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Diversity and the Department of Medicine hosted their holiday mixer for students, faculty, and staff! The event was the largest, welcoming over 200 members of our WCM and Tri-I community to celebrate the end of the year with a festive toast and delectable treats. In addition, the many contributions during the year of our Diversity team and partners were acknowledged. Dr. Barbara Hempstead, Senior Associate Dean for Education, was given a heartfelt cheer for her development and establishment of the Office of Student Diversity in Olin Hall.
The Academic Medicine Career Development Conference, hosted by NYU School of Medicine and organized by Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians (BNGAP) was held December 1st and 2nd. The conference explored a range of professional development and leadership talks and workshops such as diversity and inclusion in the workforce, finding and financing an academic residency, navigating academic career opportunities in medicine, developing your academic medicine portfolio, as well as opportunities to expand your networks. Presentations were given by WCM members, including Dr. Susana Morales (Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine; Vice Chair for Diversity), Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey (Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life), and Dr. Nelson Sanchez (Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine; Chair of LGBT Steering Committee at WCM; and Vice President of BNGAP). Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster, the former Associate Dean of Diversity at WCM (currently Associate Dean of Diversity Education and Research and Associate Professor of Medicine at SUNY Downstate School of Medicine) also presented.
Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Student Life; Dr. Susana Morales, Vice Chair for Diversity in the Department of Medicine; Dr. Jessica Pena of the Division of Cardiology; Drs. Dwindally Rosado-Rivera, Jorge Munoz Pineda, and Mariella Ntamatungiro, internal medicine housestaff, medical student, Barbara Sahagun, and MD-PhD students, Nneoma Adaku and Camila Villasante attended the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) Annual Scholarship Gala at the New York Academy of Medicine as representatives of Weill Cornell Medicine. NHHF honored several esteemed members of the New York-New Jersey communities including New York City Deputy Mayor Herminia Palacio, MD; Dr. Maria Soto Greene, Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean of Rutgers –New Jersey Medical School, and other faculty and corporate executives, as well as multiple health careers scholarship students and their families.
On November 20th, our first WCM Breaking Bread Dinner was well attended by students, faculty, and staff and a great success. Everyone was welcomed and encouraged to share their thoughts on diversity in a safe environment. The dinner dialogue was co-facilitated by Dr. Linnie Golightly (Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion) and Dr. Renee Alexander (Dean of Students, Cornell University), who developed and won an award for initiating the Breaking Bread Dinner series on Cornell's Ithaca campus. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to share and candor.
The Office of Student Diversity hosted Dr. Sherilynn Black's lecture, "Developing A Climate that Supports Diversity in Science and Medicine." Dr. Black elaborated on the history and development of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity since her appointment as Director. As she began her position, she realized that there was a mismatch in what graduate trainees valued and what the biomedical environment offered. With support from Duke, she established an administrative unit and received institutional funding to foster an inclusive and diverse environment for trainees of all backgrounds. Over the years, Dr. Black has established programs and practices within her office such as the Postdoctoral Associate Program, and the Institutional Partnership Program consisting of 18 institutions (NC State, Hunter College, Harvard, University of Puerto Rico, Virginia Tech, and more). These programs have provided opportunities for the acquisition of administrative and grant writing skills, the establishment of external research collaborations, and the development of summer enrichment programs. Dr. Black has also work extensively in increasing faculty and administrative mentoring and engagement by providing training and professional development opportunities for mentors. In her new position, as Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development, she plans to use these previous strategies to enhance diverse faculty.
Alexendar Perez, MD/PHD students was recently named as one of the 30 Under 30 Forbes honorees as one of the 30 Under 30 Forbes honorees in Science. Congratulations, Mr. Perez!
Danae Vachata, co-founder of Dynamic Surgical & Mallium and former Travelers Summer Research Fellow (T-SRF) 2010 participant was recently named as one of 30 Under 30 Forbes honorees in Healthcare. Congratulations, Ms. Vachata!
Students, faculty, and staff welcomed and met with Dr. Sherilynn Black, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development at Duke University. Dr. Black spoke extensively about the challenges minority students encounter, such as finding suitable mentors to help them navigate the basic sciences. She discussed some of the strategies that she has developed and offered at Duke's Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity to help support minority students and train their mentors as well as feel a part of a community.
The Office of Student Diversity hosts Coffee Hour for the WCM community every other Friday. Students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to come and connect with fellow students and colleagues about issues affecting the community. Coffee Hour is open to all students, faculty, and staff of WCM. All are welcomed. The next Coffee Hour sessions are on Fridays: November 17th, December 1st, and December 15th. Please feel free to join us!
Rolake Alabi, MD/PhD student was awarded the National Medical Scholarships, Dr. David McDonogh Scholarship in Opthalmology/ENT. Congratulations Rolake!
On October 26th, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted its first Research Faculty Dinner. The dinner format is designed to provide an informal, collegial setting for those in research careers to meet each other and build community while learning about each other’s research. The Thursday night event featured a presentation by Dr. Erica Phillips-Caesar, WCM Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine from the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Phillips shared her research on the trending obesity epidemic across low-income ethnic minority populations in New York City. Her research explores the relationship between stress and the ability to lose weight as well as intra- and interpersonal eating environments that affect weight loss or gain and negative or positive changes in eating habits. The evening included an exercise utilizing the “Convoy Model” which encouraged attendees to explore their social relationships in order to evaluate whether their total number of relationships made them more or less prone to lose weight. The evening ended with an engaging discussion and networking amongst Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering research scientist.
In addition to the Breakfast Phone Rally, Dana Zappetti, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Weill Cornell Medical students, Karina Ruiz-Esteves, Amanda Acosta-Ruiz, and Raul Martínez-McFaline organized collection drives in response to the growing needs of Puerto Ricans in desperate need of food, and basic necessities. Generous donations from the campus community resulted in the collection of 2,110 diapers, 1,728 feminine hygiene products, 1,595 first aid supplies, 348 batteries and flashlights, 328 food items, 332 hygiene items, 253 baby food items, 176 school supply items, 45 package of baby wipes, 15 liters of water, and 2 bags of clothing. Karina, Amanda, and Raul thank the Weill Cornell community immensely with the following note: "Gracias! Thank you for standing with us during these difficult times. We are continuing to work for Puerto Rico in different ways; please keep an eye out for our future events!" Donations were given to Puerto Rican Family Institute, an organization in New York that works directly with Feeding America and el Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico. Students also organized a fund raiser with a local business hosting "Trivia Night" in efforts to raise funds for Puerto Rico. The donations collected amounted to more than $2200. All contributions were sent to "Students With Puerto Rico", an organization created by Puerto Rican students pursuing education in the United States. This organization was able to raise $250,000 which will be sent to Unidos por Puerto Rico to specifically buy water filters since the island is facing shortages of clean water.
Babacar Cisse, MD, PhD was recently appointed as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Assisting Attending Neurosurgeon at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. Originally from Senegal, Dr. Cisse joined the Weill Cornell Medicine/NYPH community initially for his neurological surgery residency. Congratulations, Dr. Cisse!
Dr. Elizabeth Kagan Arleo received the plaque honoring her as the 2017 Laurie Glimcher Awardee for Excellence in Mentoring Women Faculty. She was initially recognized at the 2017 Diversity Celebration in May. Congratulations, Dr. Arleo!
The Latino Medical Student Association hosted a Breakfast Phone Rally to help those in need due to Hurricane Maria. Students, faculty, and staff made more than 100 phone calls to members of congress asking for increased aid and for the repeal of the Jones Act to help hurricane recovery efforts and encourage long-term economic growth on the island.
Dr. Linnie Golightly, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion spoke at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium October 11th. In her talk, titled “2017: Diversity at Weill Cornell,” Dr. Golightly outlined WCM’s newly proposed strategic plan to enhance diversity. She also discussed current events and programs designed to build a sense of community and provide a more inclusive environment for all. Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life, provided additional insight on programs, events, and professional development opportunities offered to graduate and medical students. Drs. Golightly and Wilson-Anstey welcome the submission of ideas on diversity programs or initiatives that could benefit our community firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 2nd, a Women in Surgery Mixer was held. It was attended by ~40 women from various surgical fields. Dr. Rache Simmons (Chief of Breast Surgery and Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion) and Dr. Laura Forese (Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NYP/WCM) spoke about the importance of networking for women in surgery.
On September 20th, Sir Rodney Williams visited WCM hosted by the Brain and Spine Center. He spoke regarding “Honor Above Wealth, Healing the Body and the Society” and shared his experiences as a physician serving in Antigua and Barbuda. Sir Williams has ongoing collaborations with Dr. Caitlin Hoffman in Pediatric Neurosurgery. He met with Dean Choi and other faculty to discuss future additional collaborations with WCM. He also met with members of the WCM community at a reception in the Griffis Faculty Club following his talk.
Joy Dean Howell, MD was recently appointed Vice Chair of Diversity in the Department of Pediatrics. She is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Associate Attending Pediatrician at the NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. In her new role, she will be overseeing the department’s diversity initiatives for pipeline programs, students, and faculty. Congratulations Dr. Howell!
Tracy K. Paul, MD was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Assistant Attending Physician in the Division of Cardiology. Dr. Paul is an alumna of was also a former student in two of Weill Cornell Medicine’s pipeline programs! She participated in both the, Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure (HPREP) Program and Travelers Summer Research Fellowship (T-SRF) Program. Congratulations Dr. Paul! And Welcome home!
Dr. Nelson Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Medicine at WCM and Assistant Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering, was invited to serve on the NIH’s Advisory Committee to the Director’s (ACD) Diversity Working Group. The ACD is chaired by Dr. Hannah Valantine, the NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) and Keynote Speaker for WCM’s Diversity Week, which will begin April 23, 2018. Dr. Sanchez is the Chairperson of the LGBT Steering Committee at WCM, Chair of the LGBT Health Workforce Conference’s Executive Committee, and Vice President of Building the Next Generation of Academic. As a member of the committee, Dr. Sanchez will provide advice regarding the evaluation, and dissemination of impactful and sustainable programs that will enhance the diversity of the NIH-funded scientific workforce. Congratulations Dr. Sanchez!
On September 9th, the Department of Medicine Minority Housestaff Committee, Residency Training Program and Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted a Residency Diversity Open House for medical students. The students were welcomed by the Co-Chairs of the Minority Housestaff Committee, Dr. Susana Morales (Department of Medicine Vice Chair of Diversity), Dr. Linnie Golightly (Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion), and Dr. Lyuba Konapasek (the NYPH Graduate Medical Education Designated Institutional Official). Students had an opportunity to attend different sessions regarding the residency process. The open house provided the opportunity for medical students to ask panels questions about the application process for residency and hear experiences from current residents. In addition, students were able to network with residents from an array of departments: Anesthesia, Medicine, OB-GYN, Neurology, Pediatrics, Radiology. Dermatology, Radiation Oncology, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, and Surgery.
On Saturday, June 17th, Tri-I institutions: Weill Cornell Medicine, Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center gathered to reflect and discuss about the needs of the Tri-I community. More than 45 participants (students, faculty, and staff) attended this year’s SPARC Tri-I Diversity Retreat “Building Our Community: Diverse, Inclusive, and Strong.”
Summer students successfully completely this year’s programs. Students presented their independent research in front of Weill Cornell Medicine faculty mentors, students, and staff. Congratulations to all of our ACCESS, T-SRF, WISER, and Gateways summer students. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors!
Dr. Olaf Andersen, Director of the WCM MD/PhD program spoke with this year’s WISER students about pursuing studies as a physician-scientist and why it is important. He also discussed mentioned the different paths students can explore to see if they are interested in pursuing a dual degree. The WISER students took the opportunity to ask what would a Weill Cornell Medicine MD/PhD program look for in a prospective MD/PhD candidate.
On Monday, July 24th, 2017, students gathered at Rockefeller University to learn about different careers in science. Russell Ledet, SPARC Jr. keynote speaker, a graduate student at New York University (NYU) shared his personal journey and experiences being a father and student. He elaborated extensively on thehis obstacles he encountered and what eventually influenced him to attend graduate school later on.
Summer students met with Vice Dean of Research, Dr. Gary Koretzky to discuss about their interests in pursuing sciences. Dr. Koretzky advised the students to explore options available in the sciences and also look for experiences such as internships or mentors to further enhance their interests.
Students, faculty, and staff gathered on Tuesday, June 27th to meet Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of Sleep Disorders at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
On May 17th, 2017, Dean Augustine M.K. Choi joined our celebration for diversity and commended the immense efforts of those who foster and aid in cultivating our diverse community. In addition, Dr. Linnie Golightly, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion announced and honored this year’s Pioneers In Diversity Award and the Laurie Gilmcher Award recipients.
"If you’ve ever wished you had a higher degree but felt that it was too late or there were too many obstacles, three ambitious WCM employees may convince you otherwise. Juggling full-time jobs and caring for kids and/or elderly parents while pursuing a doctorate was no easy feat for Dr. Ruth Gotian, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey and Susan Kane. But the three women saw the challenge as a win-win situation: They could improve the educational programs they run at WCM while using their work as the focus of their graduate research."
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In a few weeks, Christian Saffran will turn 46, which means it is not a minute too soon for him to be starting studies this week that will lead to doctorates in both neuroscience and medicine.