News and Highlights

February 2011

Welcome New Faculty

Matthew J. Press, MD, MSc, has joined the Department as Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Assistant Professor of Medicine. He is also an Assistant Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. He was recently appointed the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Quality of Care Research (see more in Honors, Awards, and Appointments section). Dr. Press received an AB degree in Public Policy, and then an MD, both from Brown University. He completed an Internship and Residency in Categorical Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Weill Cornell Medical College, he was a Clinical Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and an Ambulatory Care Special Fellow at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. He also completed an MSc in Health Policy Research from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Press is a Diplomate in Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine. His research focuses on health care quality issues such as hospital readmissions and coordination of care. Dr. Press currently hosts the “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Health Policy Podcast,” a monthly interview series with health policy experts (available at In addition, he was chosen to serve on the Ad Hoc Communications Committee for the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Thomas R. Campion, Jr., PhD, MS, has joined the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics as Instructor in Public Health and Instructor of Public Health in Pediatrics. He earned a BA in organizational studies and German from the University of Michigan, followed by MS and PhD degrees in biomedical informatics from Vanderbilt University. In his master's research he evaluated an inpatient provider sign-out system, showing unanticipated usage by non-physicians as well as discipline-specific use to inform process improvements and future software development. His dissertation research addressed social, organizational, and contextual characteristics of clinical decision support systems for intensive insulin therapy. This work identified novel sources of variability including data entry, dosing overrides, and other sociotechnical interactions. Dr. Campion also has experience developing, implementing, and supporting clinical information systems. His research interests include clinical decision support systems, health information exchange, social theory, unintended consequences, and workflow analysis. He has published 8 journal articles (6 as first author) and a book chapter.

Joshua E. Richardson, PhD, MLIS, MS, has joined the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics as Instructor of Public Health in Pediatrics and Instructor in Public Health. Dr. Richardson received his BA degree from San Francisco State University, his MLIS from San Jose State University, and his MS and PhD from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). His doctoral dissertation focused on community-based physicians and their perceived needs in relation to clinical decision support technologies within vendor applications. Dr. Richardson's research interests include user-centered evaluations of clinical decision support applications and health information technologies, health information exchange, organizational behavior, and health care communication. While earning his MS and PhD, he was a National Library of Medicine Biomedical Informatics Follow, a Project Manager, a Researcher in the OHSU Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, and a lecturer in four courses. He also has experience as a librarian and Information Specialist. His is the author of 8 journal articles (4 as first author) and has presented his research in a number of symposia.

Ziyad Mahfoud, PhD, MS, has joined Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar as Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Prior to coming to WCMC-Q in September 2010, he served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics and School of Public Health of the University of Kentucky (2001–2004) and as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the American University in Beirut (2004-2010). Dr. Mahfoud holds a BS and an MS in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Florida. Dr. Mahfoud’s research interests focus mainly tobacco and HIV/AIDS. He is particularly interested in youth and tobacco, pregnancy and tobacco, and HIV among most at risk populations. He has published numerous papers in both areas and was recently a guest editor for a special issue of AIDS about the MENA region. He is currently the principal investigator on a research project entitled "Feasibility Study for Smoking Cessation Intervention in Pregnant Women Attending Primary Care Clinics" and was the principal investigator on a project entitled "Narghile: A Family Affair" funded by the Research for International Tobacco Control. He was also a collaborator on a project entitled "Impact of Community Based RCT to improve mental health of Palestinian refugee youth" (2007-2010), funded by the Welcome Trust.

Sheikh Mohammed Hamad Jassim Al-Thani,MBBChB, has joined the Department as Assistant Professor of Public Health/Qatar. Dr. Al-Thani is Director of Public Health for the Supreme Council of Health in Doha, Qatar, and is based at Hamad General Hospital of Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha. He is also a member of the Executive Board of Health Minister’s Council, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, and Chairperson of the Addiction Center Committee. Dr. Al-Thani completed his MBBChB degree at the Faculty of Medicine of Cairo University, Egypt, and his Internship and Residency in Community Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation. He is certified by the Arab Board in Community Medicine. His research has included studies of missed opportunities for immunization of young children in Qatar, the epidemiology of measles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the prevalence of smoking among governmental mental health workers in Jeddah.

Melinda Ann Chen, MD, MS, has been appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Chen received her BA in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MD from Drew/University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. She completed a Residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She recently earned her MS degree from the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where she was an AHRQ Fellow in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research. For her master’s degree, she designed and implemented a multi-center observational study to understand how primary care physicians coordinate care for their patients outside of office visits. This study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (see more in Publications section), with her advisor Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, as senior author, and with her other advisors James Hollenberg, MD, Walid Michelen, MD, and Janey Peterson, EdD, MS, as additional coauthors. She has also researched breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Before coming to Weill Cornell, she worked as a primary care physician at the Developmental Disabilities Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital. She also has previous experience coordinating the Computer Street Academy, a non-profit community educational center in East Oakland, California. Dr. Chen’s honors and awards include the Charles R. Drew Gold Medal, the Drew/UCLA Primary Care Research Award, and membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She is also currently an Instructor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she works as a primary care physician.


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