News Archive

July 2007 News Flashes

 

NEW GRANTS

Dr. Joseph Fins Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant

 
Joseph J. Fins, M.D.
Joseph J.Fins, M.D.
Joseph J. Fins, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, has received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research for his proposal, “Minds Apart: Severe Brain Injury and Health Policy.” The grant will begin in July 2007 and continue for three years. It will fund interdisciplinary research into how best to serve the needs of patients with severe brain injury and their families through better clinical services and the promotion of clinical research. The work is designed to improve clinician-family communication about brain injury, inform educational standards for professionals, and articulate a justification for research in patients who are unable to provide consent. Dr. Fins’ award was covered in Crain’s Health Pulse, MedicalNewsToday.com, Medilexicon.com, and Hospitalsworldwide.com. Read the press release. Dr. Fins’ efforts will result in a number of scholarly papers and a book to be published by Cambridge University Press.


FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS

Dr. Finsí Work Leads to New York State Palliative Care and Training Act

Joseph J.Fins, M.D.
Joseph J. Fins, M.D.

Joseph J. Fins, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, wrote the original draft of a palliative care and training act that was recently signed into law by the New York State Legislature as part of Governor Spitzer’s 2007 Budget Bill. Dr. Fins also analyzed and developed amendments to the Act, which provides $2.1 million in grants to medical schools and $2.5 million in grants to residency training programs. The legislation additionally establishes a statewide Palliative Care Education and Training Council that will serve as a resource center for best practices at the end of life and in palliative care. “The Palliative Care Education Training Act will meaningfully improve pain management and care at the end of life in New York State,” says Dr. Fins. “All New Yorkers should be grateful for the resources that will be directed to medical schools and residency programs statewide to train our future physicians on this compelling issue.”

 

Dr. Madhu Mazumdar Presents Lecture at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

 
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, recently presented an invited lecture at Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, NY, on the topic "Biostatistical Review of Experimental Medicine Research Papers: Dos and Don’ts." Dr. Mazumdar serves as a Statistical Editor for the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Rockefeller University Press.

 

 

Dr. Bruce Schackman Speaks at Prevention Effectiveness Conference

Bruce Schackman, PhD
Bruce R. Schackman, Ph.D.
(Photo by John Abbott.)
Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Health Policy, was a distinguished guest speaker at the 2007 Annual Prevention Effectiveness Conference and the 2007 Prevention Effectiveness Fellowship Graduation Ceremony of the Prevention Effectiveness Consortium on Health and Education (PECHE), held June 8 at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. The aim of PECHE is to improve the quality of life by reducing health and education disparities among economically disadvantaged minorities, especially the refugee and immigrant populations in metropolitan Atlanta. Dr. Schackman’s talk was titled “Using Prevention Effectiveness Tools in Resource-Poor Settings: Cost-Effectiveness of Rapid Syphilis Screening in Prenatal HIV Testing Programs in Haiti.”

 

Community and Public Health Programs Faculty and Staff Present at Harm Reduction Conference

Faculty and staff of the Division of Community and Public Health Programs and their associates attended the 18 th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, held May 13-17 in Warsaw, Poland. Herman Joseph, Ph.D., a Research Scientist at Rockefeller University and volunteer consultant at the Division’s Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics , presented a poster called “Introduction of Buprenorphine Treatment into a Large Jail System.” Ann B. Beeder, M.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, Eugenia Curet, Ph.D., Administrative Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, and Kim Alexander, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor in the Adolescent Clinic, contributed a poster titled “The Vincent P. Dole Institute for Research and Treatment of Opiate Dependence: An Integrated Biopsychosocial Model.” Another poster by Dr. Beeder, Anthony Martinez, M.D., now Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medicine, Dr. Curet, Andrew H. Talal, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Ira M. Jacobson, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Mr. Alexander was called “Model for Translational Medicine in Viral Hepatitis and Substance Abuse Treatment.” The conference was organized jointly by the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA), the Conference Consortium, and Cranstroun Drug Services. It was attended by more than 1,200 delegates from over 80 countries and covered a wide range of topics including illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex work, HIV/AIDS, young people, and prisons.

Dr. Curet and E. Maura Hays, LCSW, CASAC, also attended the 2007 National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse on June 5, 2007, at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, WI. They made a presentation to staff from various rural alcohol and drug programs, representing several states, on “Assessment and Treatment Needs of Female Substance Abusers.”

 

Marcus Reidenberg, M.D., Participates in CERTs “Think Tank”

Marcus Reidenberg, M.D.
Marcus Reidenberg, M.D.
Dr. Marcus Reidenberg, Professor of Pharmacology, Medicine, and Public Health, was an invited participant in a two day "think tank" sponsored by the CERTs program of the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality to develop ways to improve the national program for post-marketing surveillance of medications. The sessions were held May 22-23, 2007, in Rockville, MD.

 

 

Dr. Jorge Kizer Featured in Science Briefs

 
Jorge R. Kizer, M.D., M.Sc.
Jorge Kizer, M.D., M.Sc.
Jorge R. Kizer, M.D., M.Sc., Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health, was featured in a recent online Science Briefs article. The story discussed Dr. Kizer’s research into a connection between a heart defect called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) and stroke.

 

 

 

FACULTY PUBLICATIONS

 
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.

Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, was the lead statistician for the study, “Phase III randomized trial of conventional-dose chemotherapy with or without high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous hematopoietic stem-cell rescue as first-line treatment for patients with poor-prognosis metastatic germ cell tumors (GCT),” published in Journal of Clinical Oncology (2007). This was a 10-year long multi-center clinical trial led by Dr. R. J. Motzer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The study needed to be terminated at last due to poor accrual. The routine inclusion of HDCT in first-line treatment for GCT patients with metastases and a poor predicted outcome to chemotherapy was found to not improve treatment outcome. Marker decline during the first two cycles of chemotherapy provided useful information for predicting outcome. An editorial by Drs. Vaughn and Stadtmauer accompanied this paper commending the effort and called for improvement of accrual rate.

 

 
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, was the lead author of an article titled “Researching human oocyte cryopreservation: ethical issues,” currently published online in Fertility and Sterility. The co-author was Ina N. Cholst, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Reproductive Medicine. The article argues that although many fertility clinics offer oocyte cryopreservation services, there has been insufficient research into the safety and effectiveness of the procedures. It goes on to explore ethical issues involved in recruiting for study different categories of women who may be interested in the procedure, and makes recommendations as to who may be the best clinical trial subjects on the basis of the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.

 

 
Heejung Bang, Ph.D. Heejung Bang, Ph.D.
Heejung Bang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, was a coauthor of “Metformin & glitazones: Do they really help PCOS patients?” The article resulted from a collaboration with lead author Anush S. Pillai, D.O., Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine in Medicine, and Charles Green, both from The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. It was featured on the cover page of the June 2007 issue of the Journal of Family Practice.

 

 
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H., Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior, was a coauthor of an article published in the July 2007 issue of Qualitative Health Research titled “Smoking Cessation and Stress Among Teenagers.” The other authors were Gregory P. Falkin of Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research and Craig S. Fryer of the University of Pittsburgh. The article describes the obstacles young people face in quitting smoking, based on interviews with 54 teenagers in New York City. The authors found that the subjects frequently faced a lack of social support from family and friends, in addition to the stress of coping without cigarettes.

 

 
Samantha Boardman, M.D.
Samantha Boardman, M.D.
Samantha Boardman, M.D., Clinical Instructor of Public Health and Psychiatry, was the lead author of an article in the April 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry called “The Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island and the New York Press.” The other author was George J. Makari, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Their “Images in Psychiatry” feature discussed newspaper accounts of terrible conditions at a mental hospital that operated on Blackwell’s Island in New York City from 1828 until 1894.

 

Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health (Courtesy) in the Division of Community and Public Health Programs and Senior Vice President of the Addiction Research & Treatment Corporation, is the lead author of “Health Services for HIV/AIDS, HCV, and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs,” to be published in the July-August 2007 issue of Public Health Reports. The article reflects a study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in which Dr. Brown served as the Lead Investigator.

 

FACULTY PROMOTIONS

 
Anthony Martinez, M.D.
Anthony Martinez, M.D.
Anthony Martinez, M.D., has been promoted to Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medicine. Dr. Martinez graduated from Providence College and Medical School at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico. He completed the Fifth Pathway Program at New York Medical College, St. Clair’s Medical Center, and then went on to his residency in Internal Medicine at the Boston University Program of Internal Medicine, Roger Williams Medical Center, in Providence, Rhode Island. At both St. Clair’s and Roger Williams he had significant experience working in their drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. For the past year as a fellow in Addiction Medicine and a faculty member of the Division of Community and Public Health Programs, Dr. Martinez has played an integral part in the expansion of primary care services for patients in the substance abuse treatment centers. He serves as the primary care physician for many of the patients, and he has worked to promote screening for serious diseases and to integrate the patients’ medical care with the subspecialties of Internal Medicine. He has also facilitated buprenorphine treatment at the clinics. In addition, he screens and treats patients with hepatitis C at the Center for Hepatitis C and does research in this field. He also teaches psychiatry residents, physician assistant students and medical students.

 

WELCOME NEW FACULTY

 
Yuhua Bao, Ph.D.
Yuhua Bao, Ph.D.
Yuhua Bao, Ph.D., has been appointed Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Health Policy. Dr. Bao comes to Weill Cornell Medical College from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she was Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Administration. She previously was an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Assistant Researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. Dr. Bao received her B.A from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, her M.A. from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and her Ph.D. from the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. Her paper published in the December 2006 issue of Health Services Research,Is some provider advice on smoking cessation better than no advice? An instrumental variable analysis of the 2001 National Health Interview Surveys,” was selected as the journal’s 2007 John M. Eisenberg Article of the Year for excellent original research in health care policy.

 

Francoise Berthet, M.D., is a new Visiting Fellow in the Public Health Department. Dr. Berthet is pursuing an Executive Masters in Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She received her B.S. and M.D. degrees at Catholic University of Louvain in Bruxelles, Belgium, where she also did a residency in Pediatrics. She also completed a research fellowship in hematology/oncology at Hamato-Onkologie Labor at University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, and a research fellowship in immunology at Institute for Immunology, Laboatoire National de Sante, Luxembourg. She also earned a Pediatric Rheumatology University Diploma at Universite Rene Descartes – Paris V, and Hopital Necker-Enfants Malades, in Paris. Dr. Berthet has served in a number of positions at the Clinique Pediatrique of the Center Hospitalier de Luxembourg, most recently as Head of the Department for Pediatric Emergencies.

 

Henry Michael Ushay, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P., F.C.C.M., has been appointed Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics in Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics. Dr. Ushay completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University and his M.D. at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He went on to do a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. He also completed fellowships in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as well as an Attending Pediatrician and Medical Director of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit of Montefiore Medical Center. He has also been on the faculty of the Departments of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and has served as a pediatrician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and New York Hospital Queens.

 

Pina Christine Sanelli, M.D., M.P.H., has been appointed Associate Professor of Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Her primary appointment is in the Department of Radiology. She is also an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Sanelli received her M.D. degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine and her M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed residencies in Radiology at Albany Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital, and a fellowship in Neuroradiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before coming to Weill Cornell Medical College in 2001, Dr. Sanelli was an Instructor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. She is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Neuroradiology.

WELCOME NEW STAFF

 
Lauren M. Mercincavage
Lauren M. Mercincavage
Lauren M. Mercincavage has joined the department as a Research Coordinator in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Ms. Mercincavage received a B.A. in Psychology from Vassar College and is currently pursuing a Master of Health Science in Health Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has worked as a Research Assistant both at the Women’s & Children’s Health Policy Center at Johns Hopkins and at Massachusetts General Hospital, and has contributed as a coauthor to several published studies. She has also been a Teacher/Researcher at the May Institute Center for Early Childhood Education in Arlington, MA. In the Department of Public Health, Ms. Mercincavage will be working with Dr. Rainu Kaushal on the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC) project.

 

 
Rina Dhopeshwarkar
Rina Dhopeshwarkar
Rina Dhopeshwarkar is a new Assistant Research Coordinator in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. She will also be working with Dr. Rainu Kaushal on the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC) project. Ms. Dhopeshwarkar received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College and completed her Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases from Yale University School of Public Health. She has recent experience as a Research Assistant at the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, working on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project which evaluated an HIV structural intervention in India, and at the Yale School of Public Health working on the evaluation of internet technology applications in Lyme disease prevention.

 

 
Shannon Adrienne Mills
Shannon Adrienne Mills
Shannon Adrienne Mills has also joined the Department as an Assistant Research Coordinator in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. She completed a B.S. degree in Public Health with a Minor in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is pursuing a Master of Health Science at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has worked as Research Analyst Volunteer at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as an Executive Administration Intern at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD, as a Partner Relations Coordinator Intern at The Studer Group in Gulf Breeze, FL, and as a Lab Research Assistant at the University of North Carolina Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine. In addition to working with Dr. Rainu Kaushal on the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC) project, Ms. Mills will be assisting both Dr. Kaushal and Dr. Daniel Hyman on patient safety issues at the Komansky Children's Hospital.

 

EDUCATION NEWS

Three Students Receive Public Health Prizes

Weill Cornell graduates and faculty were honored at the 2007 Convocation ceremonies, a celebration that awards outstanding graduates, other medical students, faculty, and staff for distinguished achievement, dedication to scholarship and research, devotion to teaching or service, or demonstration of exceptional professional qualities. Prizes were presented on May 29. Among the students in the Class of 2007 receiving awards were three selected by the Department of Public Health:

Joanna Paladino and Kathleen Brodsky Forcier received the Elise Strang L'Esperance Prize in Public Health. This prize is awarded to the female students in the graduating class who best reflect the attributes and values of Dr. Elise Strang L'Esperance, who, with her sister, May Strang, founded the Strang Cancer Prevention Clinics at Memorial Hospital and the New York Infirmary.

Jakob McSparron was awarded the George G. Reader Prize in Public Health. This prize is given to the graduating students who in the judgment of the Department's faculty, show the most promise in the field of public health. Dr. Reader served as chairman of the Department of Public Health from 1972 to 1992.


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