News and Highlights

August 2011

Lectures, Conferences, and Events

Dr. Marcia Angell Is 2011 Lubin Visiting Professor

Dr. Alvin Mushlin presents
Dr. Marcia Angell with plaque

Marcia Angell, MD, Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, was the Department of Public Health’s 2011 Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professor. During her visit to the Medical College on May 4, she met with medical students, faculty, fellows and members of the administration, and presented a formal lecture, "Conflicts of Interest in Medicine," at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium. Read more about the professorship, Dr. Angell, and her talk.

Dr. Art Sedrakyan Leads the Project on International Consortium of Orthopedic Registries (ICOR)
Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD, ScD, Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the Patient Centered Comparative Outcomes Program of Weill Cornell Medical College is the principal lead of the program’s first awarded project, along with Elizabeth Paxton (Kaiser co-lead) and Danica Marinac Dabic (FDA, co-lead). The first Conference of the International Consortium of Orthopedic Registries (ICOR) was held May 9-10, 2011, at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, MD. ICOR’s mission is to create a worldwide distributed registry network to provide a comprehensive evaluation of technologies used in Orthopedics, compare different devices/technologies and look at real world patient outcomes. It is envisioned to be an innovative network to advance FDA post-market surveillance in Orthopedics. The May meeting was sponsored by FDA and Cornell-Hospital of Special Surgery (HSS). Scientists from more than a dozen U.S. and international registries were among the 40 attendees. A supplement publication resulting from the workshop will follow in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The ICOR registries are in a process of developing a governance structure and research projects/plans. The organizing team led the discussion at the 12th European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFFORT) Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 3, 2011, and will further refine the plans at the Société Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopédique et de Traumatologie (SICOT) Congress in Prague in September 2011.

Dr. Lawrence Casalino is Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School
Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, MPH, The Livingston Farrand Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, served as the Harold W. Vaughan Visiting Professor in General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at Harvard Medical School/The Brigham & Women's Hospital May 19-20, 2011. During his visit he met with faculty, fellows, and operational leaders, and he gave the annual Harold W. Vaughan lecture. The title of his lecture was "Fundamental Transformation of Primary Care: Four Theses."

Dr. Casalino is Panelist on FTC Workshop on ACOs and Antitrust
Dr. Casalino was a panelist on two panel discussions at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop, “Another Dose of Competition: Accountable Care Organizations and Antitrust,” held in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2011. The purpose of the workshop was to seek input on the Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy, which discusses how the federal antitrust agencies will enforce U.S. antitrust laws when competing health care providers create new Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Dr. Casalino had previously participated in a panel workshop on ACOs last October that was co-hosted by the FTC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

Dr. Alvin Mushlin and Other Department Faculty Present at DALM Conference in Doha
Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Public Health, and William B. Borden, MD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health and the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Prevention, were among the more than 650 scientists, physicians and other health care practitioners who gathered in Doha, Qatar, last March to present and share the latest scientific research on the causes and treatment of diabetes, obesity and the metabolic syndrome. The XVII Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism (DALM) Symposium was co-chaired by Dean Antonio Gotto, Jr., Dean Javaid Sheikh of Weill Cornell in Qatar, and Dr. Rodolfo Paoletti of the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundations. Other speakers included Weill Cornell faculty Dr. Ronald Crystal, Chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine, and Dr. Louis Aronne, Clinical Professor of Medicine. Dr. Mushlin’s presentation was titled “The Importance of Diabetes as a Risk Factor for Vascular Diseases in Qatar.” Co-authors included Paul J. Christos, DrPH, MS, Lecturer in Public Health, and Laith J. Abu-Raddad, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell/Qatar. The event received publicity in Nature Middle East, Qatar Tribune, The Peninsula, AME InfoMy Science, Newswise, and Cornell Chronicle.

Dr. Gilbert Botvin Presents John Doris Memorial Lecture
Gilbert J. Botvin, PhD, Professor of Public Health, Professor of Psychiatry, and Chief of the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior in the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, was invited to give the 2011 John Doris Memorial Lecture for Cornell's Family Life Development Center, an interdisciplinary center within the College of Human Ecology, on April 6, 2011. Dr. Botvin presented a one-hour talk entitled "Preventing Adolescent Drug Abuse through Life Skills Training: Empirical Findings and Translational Challenges." In his talk, he discussed the importance of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse as public health problems and summarized his division's research in the etiology and prevention of adolescent substance abuse. He also described the challenges of moving from science to practice and the emerging importance of addressing those challenges through Type 2 translational research.

The Family Life Development Center (FDLC), established in 1974, is an interdisciplinary unit of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. Professor John Eckenrode is currently the director of FDLC. The Center promotes strategies that parents, mentors, service providers, policy makers, and researchers can use to prevent family violence, enhance youth development, and build stronger communities. The annual lecture is named after John Doris who was a professor of human development at Cornell and the founding director of FDLC.

Dr. Madelon Finkel Renews Medical College Agreement with San Marcos Medical College
Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, Professor of Clinical Public Health and Director of the Office of Global Health Education, was invited to San Marcos Medical College in Lima, Peru, to renew the Agreement between San Marcos and Weill Cornell Medical College. Dean Pedro Wong and Dr. Finkel had a signing ceremony in early April to reaffirm the relationship between the two medical schools. Dr. Finkel also visited the Dos de Mayo Hospital where she has an ongoing research project focusing on hypertension.

Dr. Madelon Finkel Serves on Fogarty Program Committee
Dr. Finkel, who is a Fulbright Senior Specialist, served on a special committee to review planning and training grants submitted to the Fogarty Program of the NIH. The Fogarty research training grants are designed to train researchers in less developed countries under the mentorship of researchers at U.S. universities. The purpose is to build sustainable research capacity at foreign universities.

Dr. Finkel Co-Presents Course for Residents and Faculty in Cochin, India
Dr. Finkel and Helen-Ann Brown, MLS, Chief of Information Services at the Weill Cornell Medical College Library, presented an eight-week course on Evidence-Based Medicine to residents and interested faculty at the AIMS medical college in Cochin, India. The course was presented live, in real time, via video and audio hook up. They plan to offer this course to other interested medical colleges around the world.

Dr. Joseph Fins Presents Talks at Universities and Governmental Organizations
Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics, the E. William Davis, Jr., MD Professor of Medical Ethics, Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry, presented the following talks in May 2011:

  • “Deep Brain Stimulation and Neuroethics: An Experiental Take on Scientific Progress.” Fellows’ Seminar, Bioethics Program. The National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD. May 11, 2011.
  • "Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College." Hastings-Yale Conference on Ethics Education. Yale School of Medicine. New Haven, CT. May 17, 2011.
  • "Justice, Clinical Research and the Minimally Conscious State." The President's Bioethics Commission. (Testimony by invitation.) New York, NY. May 18, 2011.
  • "What if Hippocrates went to Weill Cornell Medical College?" Alpha Omega Alpha Distinguished Lecture. Weill Cornell Medical College. May 18, 2011.
  • "Medical Humanities and the Measurement Trap." The National PRIME (Project to Rebalance and Integrate Medical Education) Conference on Medical Humanities, University of Louisville, KY. May 21, 2011.

On August 10 Dr. Fins also participated in a town hall discussion on the ethics of science at the end of life at a national summit on “The Science of Compassion: Future Directions in End-of-Life and Palliative Care.” The summit, which was held in Bethesda, MD, was convened by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a component of the National Institutes of Health. Its sponsors included several additional offices of the NIH as well. The summit’s aims were to examine the current status of end-of-life and palliative care research and practice, propose strategies to address current barriers to care, and prioritize action items to stimulate research in this area. Participants included scientists, researchers, health care providers, educators, representatives from professional organizations and members of the public.

Recent Presentations by Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martín
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health and Public Health in Reproductive Medicine, presented at several recent conferences: In late May she spoke on “Technology Transfer, Patenting, and the Gender Gap” at the 2011 Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology in Denton, TX. In late June she gave a presentation co-authored by Dr. Kristen Intemann titled “Scientific Dissent, Objectivity, and Public Policy” at the Third Biennial Conference of Society for Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice in Exeter, UK. She was also invited to speak on May 9 on “Promoting Socially Responsible Research” at the University of California at San Diego Science Studies Program.

Drs. Bruce Schackman and Rituparna Pati Present at IAS Conference
Bruce Schackman, PhD, Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Public Health, gave an oral presentation at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011 in Rome, Italy, July 17-20, 2011). The presentation was titled “The cost-effectiveness of on-site rapid HIV testing in substance abuse treatment: results of the CTN 0032 randomized trial.” Jared Leff, MS, Research Coordinator in the Division of Health Policy, was a co-author.

Rituparna Pati, MD, MPH, who recently completed a residency in General Preventive Medicine in the Department of Public Health, presented a poster at the IAS Conference. Dr. Pati’s presentation was titled "Factors associated with loss to clinic (LTC) among HIV patients not yet known to be clinically eligible for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Mozambique." Dr. Schackman was one of the poster’s co-authors.

Dr. Yuhua Bao Presents at AcademyHealth and NIMH
Yuhua Bao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Health Policy, gave a podium presentation at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in June 2011, in Seattle, WA. Her presentation, “Does missing data undermine provider quality profiling?” reflected work produced in collaboration with Andrew M. Ryan, PhD, MA, Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and the Walsh McDermott Scholar in Public Health.

Dr. Bao also gave a podium presentation at the 21st National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Conference on Mental Health Services Research in July 2011, in Washington, D.C. The title was “Medicare Part D, Generic Prescribing, and Adherence to Antidepressant Therapy.”

Dr. Yuhua Bao Participates in Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health
Dr. Bao served on the faculty of the Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health held July 17-22, 2011, at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division.

Celebration for Public Health in the 21st Century

(l to r) Dr. Rama B. Rao, Dr. Madelon Finkel, Dr. Oliver Fein, Amita Kulkami, Carolyn Schnall
At the General Faculty Meeting on March 29, 2011, the Department of Public Health celebrated the publication of Public Health in the 21st Century (Praeger Publishing, 2011), edited by Madelon Finkel, PhD, Professor of Clinical Public Health. Numerous Department faculty members contributed to the three-volume text.

Dr. Ravinder Mamtani Speaks on Travel Health Risks
Ravinder Mamtani, MB,BS, MD, MSc, Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean for Global and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, spoke about health risks of international travel in Doha at a “Medicine and U” lecture, part of a monthly series. He noted that statistics show that between 22 and 64 percent of travelers reported illnesses as a result of visiting a developing country. His talk was reported by Al Bawaba and the Qatar Tribune.

Dr. Oliver Fein on Panel for “Sick in America” Series
Oliver T. Fein, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Public Health and Associate Dean (Affiliations), was among the panelists who debated the merits of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on May 2 at Cornell University in Ithaca. The event was part of the third annual “Sick in America” series on health care, organized by the Cornell Undergraduate Health Cooperative. Dr. Fein called the PPACA “an act for the preservation of private health insurance” and noted that the initial version of the statue, with a large public option, had been “massively scaled back.” The event was covered by Cornell Chronicle.


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