News Archive

November 2006 News Flashes

 

DEPARTMENT NEWS

State of the Department of Public Health

 
Alvin I. Mushlin, M.D., Sc.M.
Alvin I. Mushlin, M.D.,
Sc.M.
On September 26 and October 3, Dr. Alvin Mushlin, Chairman of the Department of Public Health, presented the State of the Department of Public Health to faculty and staff. The report’s theme was “Reaching milestones and charting new directions.”

Dr. Mushlin highlighted major events and accomplishments of the Department during the fiscal year 2005-2006. These included the establishment of the newly named and reorganized Division of Health Policy and the appointment of Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., as Chief; the appointment of Shari Midoneck, M.D., and Lisa Kern, M.D., M.P.H., as the first Laitman Clinical Scholars; the founding of the Department of Public Health at The Methodist Hospital and the appointment of Marc Silverstein, M.D., as Chair; and the initiation of the K-30 Clinical Investigation program. He highlighted faculty appointments and awards and the Department’s major research projects and grants. He congratulated the faculty as well for the more than 100 journal articles and six books they published over the year.

Dr. Mushlin also discussed the expansion of the Department’s education and training programs, as well as the significant philanthropy the Department received this past year. After presenting Department statistics for the fiscal year, he concluded by laying out predictions and future goals for the Department in the areas of research, education, and service.

Read more about the State of the Department of Public Health FY 2005-2006


FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS

Dr. Mark Callahan Cited by PO for his Evaluations of Pay for Performance Programs

 
Mark A. Callahan, M.D.
Mark A. Callahan, M.D.
Mark Callahan, M.D., Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, has been cited by the Weill Cornell Physician Organization (PO) for his role its efforts to negotiate quality bonus programs with its seven group contracted managed care plans. Its goal is to participate in pay for performance programs that measure Weill Cornell physicians’ use of evidence-based guidelines. The PO reports in its October 2006 newsletter that Dr. Callahan’s participation has been critical to its success in avoiding programs that require substantial resources to implement without yielding any significant results. According to Dr. Callahan, “The science of measurement and validation of quality is still in its development. As evidenced by these health plan initiatives, it’s going to be applied to physician practices going forward despite the flaws. Our biggest challenge is to become leaders in measuring and figuring out a new methodology to account for the complexity of patients we serve at an academic medical center.”

 

Drs. Joseph Fins and Nicholas Schiff in News for Research with Minimally Conscious Patients

 
Joseph J. Fins, M.D.
Joseph J.Fins, M.D.
The recent work of Joseph Fins, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry, and Nicholas Schiff, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience and Public Health, to identify and help minimally conscious patients has generated an enormous amount of media coverage.

On October 15 at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Atlanta, they were part of a team of researchers, from Weill Cornell Medical College, the Cleveland Clinic, and the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, New Jersey, who presented two posters on the partial restoration of movement and speech through deep brain stimulation in a severely brain damaged 38-year-old man who had been in a minimally conscious state for six years. They were able to document significant improvements in his movement, communication ability, and ability to eat by mouth. Dr. Schiff led the scientific effort and Dr. Fins addressed the neuroethical implications of the work. Their presentation was covered by The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, La Nacion (Argentina), and News-Medical.net.

 
Nicholas D. Schiff, M.D.
Nicholas D. Schiff, M.D.
Drs. Fins and Schiff were also sought for expert commentary on the discovery of mental activity in a severely brain injured woman, in a study led by brain researcher Adrian Owen at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England, and published in the journal Science. The Science article described functional M.R.I. tests that showed active language processing areas in the woman, who was thought to be in a vegetative state. In an article in The New York Times, Dr. Fins said that the imaging techniques used in the study could help identify which patients are most likely to emerge [from a vegetative state to minimal consciousness, and possibly to full consciousness]—once the tests are studied in larger numbers of unconscious people. Comments from Dr. Schiff and Dr. Fins on this case appeared in many other newspapers in the United States and England, and both discussed the findings on several radio and television programs.

In addition, Dr. Fins was quoted in a New York Times article on end of life decisions, including advance directives and resuscitation orders. He commented that the way doctors sometimes initiate discussions about DNR (do not resuscitate) orders with family members can lead to disputes. Identified as the author of A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End, Dr. Fins observed that, “We focus on the minutiae of one organ system at a time, fostering hope when there is nothing but the grim reality that the patient will die. Then all of a sudden we tell the family it’s futile and we’re surprised that they’re surprised,” he said. He also thinks it is misguided to focus on DNR orders. “Instead of talking about futility, we should be discussing what has utility, like pain management, comfort, closure.”

 

Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martín Appointed Vice Chair of IRB

 
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Ethics, has been elected Vice Chair of the Internal Review Board (IRB). Dr. de Melo-Martín has been a member of the IRB since joining the Medical College in 2005, and she also assists researchers in designing ethical studies. As Vice Chair of the IRB she is authorized to review human subject research protocols that need expedited review, as well as all others.

Dr. de Melo-Martín also presented at two recent conferences: At the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) 2006 Annual Meeting, held October 26-29 in Denver, she was part of a panel session called “Finding New Voices: What Have Bioethicists Being Missing?” She also was part of a panel session on “Valuing Biomedical Sciences: The Need for Scientists to Engage in Ethical Reasoning,” at the Society for Social Studies of Science 2006 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C., November 1-5.

 

 
Heather T. Gold, Ph.D.
Heather T. Gold, Ph.D.
Dr. Healther Gold Profiled in American Cancer Society Newsletter

Heather Gold, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy, was profiled in October in the American Cancer Society’s online newsletter, Eastern Progress Online: News from New York and New Jersey. The article on Dr. Gold, “Breast Cancer Researcher Examines Disparities,” describes her grant project to analyze disparities and treatment outcomes among women with early breast cancer.

 

Dr. Madelon Finkel’s Public Health Rotation Receives Continued High Praise

 
Madelon L. Finkel, Ph.D.
Madelon L. Finkel, Ph.D.
The Medical College’s innovative Public Health Clerkship, directed by Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Public Health, is frequently praised for providing students with an in-depth opportunity to understand and analyze current health care policy issues. The rotation includes field assignments to health care organizations and agencies, as well as lectures, seminars, group collaboration and research, and oral and written reports. The following except from a recent email by medical student Elizabeth Enschede, Class of 2007, to Carol Storey-Johnson, M.D., Senior Associate Dean of Education, expresses the appreciation many students feel for Dr. Finkel and the Clerkship experience: “I felt the course looked critically at pertinent issues in health care and health care reform with a balanced and provocative structure. It was a terrific feeling to tackle these issues that I had been confronting on the wards and in my preceptors' offices since the beginning of school and to do it in a way that was organized, interesting and inspiring at times. The best thing about this course was how much our in class dialogue allowed me to learn from my classmates. It is a terrific learning experience and I appreciate how much Dr. Finkel puts into it to make it that way.”

 

Kenneth Griffin, Ph.D., M.P.H., Presents at International Conference on Adolescent Drug Abuse

 
Kenneth W. Griffin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Kenneth W. Griffin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Kenneth Griffin, Associate Professor in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior, attended a conference funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse called “Adolescent Drug Use: Building Capacity for School-Based Prevention Programs,” which took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, in early October. This international conference focused on capacity building and best practices in youth drug abuse prevention in schools and communities and was attended by secondary school and university educators, researchers, government officials, and interested members of the community. Dr. Griffin presented on best practices in prevention.


 

 
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H., Presents at American Psychological Association Annual Meeting

Dr. Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Assistant Professor in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior, was selected for inclusion in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Early-Career Investigator Poster Session at the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting this year in New Orleans. Her poster was based on her dissertation study, entitled “Women in Relationships with Drug Users: The Experiences of Indo-Trinidadian Women.”

 

Public Health Department Faculty and Staff Present at International Urban Health Conference in Amsterdam

On October 25-28, members of the Department of Public Health attended the 5th Annual Conference on Urban Health, held this year in Amsterdam. The theme of the conference, which was organized by the Municipal Health Service of Amsterdam under the auspices of the International Society for Urban Health, was “Population mobility and its effect on urban health.” From the Division of Community and Public Health Program, Ann B. Beeder, M.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, Anthony Martinez, M.D., Instructor, and Cecilia Schamisso, R.N., Supervising Nurse of the Adult Services Clinic, presented a poster called “Model for Translational Medicines in Viral Hepatitis and Substance Abuse Treatment.” From the Division of Health Policy, Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., Chief, and Paul Teixeira, M.P.H., Research Analyst, presented a poster called “Offer and Acceptance of Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C Urban Methadone and HIV Clinic Patients.”

 

Faculty and Staff of the Adult and Adolescent Clinics Attend Congress on Heroin Addiction and Present Paper

Eugenia Curet, Ph.D., Administrative Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, and Kim Alexander, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor in the Adolescent Clinic, attended the 7th European Congress on Heroin Addiction & Related Clinical Problems held in Bratislava, Slovakia, October 6-8, 2006. The event was sponsored by the European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association and the Slovak Professional Societies for Dependencies on Psychoactive Substances. Dr. Curet presented a paper written by herself, Ann B. Beeder, M.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, Herman Joseph, Ph.D., a Research Scientist at Rockefeller University, Ms. Alexander, Cecilia Scamisso, R.N., Supervising Nurse of the Adult Services Clinic, and Hector Rodriguez, L.C.S.W., Social Work Supervisor in the Adult Services Clinic, called “The Vincent P. Dole Research and Treatment Institute for Opiate Dependence: An Integrated Biopsychosocial Model for the Treatment of Methadone Maintained Patients.”

 

Dr. Victor Sidel Plans Social Medicine Session for AAMC and Presents Paper

 
Victor W. Sidel, M.D.
Victor W. Sidel, M.D.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) had a session on "Social Medicine, Medical Humanities and Community Medicine" on October 30 at its Annual Meeting in Syracuse, which runs from October 27 to 31. This session was the AAMC’s first on that topic. Victor Sidel, M.D., Adjunct Professor in the Division of Medical Ethics, was one of the organizers. He also co-chaired the session and gave an introduction on "The Meaning of Social Medicine." In addition, he organized an exhibit at the meeting on behalf of the Montefiore Medical Center Department of Family and Social Medicine on "Innovations in Social Medicine Education."

Dr. Sidel also spoke at a program held at the New School on October 25 called “Growing Nuclear Dangers: Preventing the Use of Nuclear Weapons,” at which he was one of the panelists providing expert analysis of the current global nuclear weapons situation with specific concern for damaging public health through the destruction of our environment. The event was co-sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, of which Dr. Sidel is a founding member, and the Wolfson Center for National Affairs at the New School.

 

Drs. Phillip Barie, Soumitra Eachempati, and Fredric Pieracci Present at American College of Surgeons 92nd Clinical Congress

Phillip Barie, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, Soumitra Eachempati, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, and Fredric Pieracci, M.D., Resident in Surgery and General Preventive Medicine, were among the leading physician-surgeons from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center who participated in the American College of Surgeons 92nd Clinical Congress, held in October in Chicago. The theme of the meeting was “Working Together Toward Humanitarian Ideals.” Dr. Barie spoke on “Postoperative Pneumonia: Strategies for Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment,” Management of the Elderly Surgical Patient,” and “Prevention of Nosocomial Infections on the Surgery Service.” Dr. Eachempati presented an “Update on Mechanical Ventilation.” Dr. Pieracci presented two talks at the meeting: “Insurance Status, but not Race, Predicts Perforation in Adult Patients with Acute Appendicitis,” and “Substernal Thyroidectomy, Compared to Conventional Cervical Thyroidectomy, is Associated with Increased Morbidity and Mortality.”

 

 
Sandy Saintonge, M.D.
Sandy Saintonge, M.D.
Dr. Sandy Saintonge Speaks at Alumni Event and Receives Housestaff Award

Sandy Saintonge, M.D., a Public Health Fellow in General Preventive Medicine, was a featured speaker at the biannual Weill Cornell Medical College Alumni Reunion, held October 13-14. Dr. Saintonge talked about improving cross-cultural understanding and the importance of cultural competence. During the weekend event, she was also presented with a 2006 Distinguished Housestaff Award in Public Health.

More information about the event.

 

Dr. Robert Millman Discusses Potential Hazards of Mixing Medications

 
Robert B. Millman, M.D.
Robert B. Millman, M.D.
Robert Millman, M.D., Professor and Chief of the Division of Community and Public Health Programs, recently appeared on CNN’s Paula Zhan Now and ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss the dangers of mixing prescription medications. His opinion was sought in the wake of the death of Anna Nicole Smith’s son, who was taking methadone and two kinds of antidepressants. Dr. Millman said that while mixing medications is usually not fatal, taking drugs together can increase or decrease the potency of one or another. He also said that sometimes patients don’t reveal to doctors which medications they are already taking.

 

Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H., Quoted in New York Sun Article on Air Quality in Lower Manhattan After Terrorist Attack

 
Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H.
Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Nathaniel Hupert, Assistant Professor in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, was featured in an article in The New York Sun that discussed potential health consequences of people exposed to the air and dust in lower Manhattan after the attack on September 11, 2001. Dr. Hupert, who was among the first tenants let back into the Ground Zero area in 2001 and still lives there today, discussed the effects on pets in the area. His own dog developed cancer one year after the attack, and he knows several neighborhood dogs that also died seemingly prematurely. Calling dogs "our canary in the coalmine," Dr. Hupert recommends that the city's World Trade Center Health Registry incorporate questions about pets into its surveys to gather scientific data.

 

Dr. Allan Gibofsky and Colleagues Receive Rave Reviews for Health and Wellness Seminar on Arthritis

 
Allan Gibofsky, M.D., J.D.
Allan Gibofsky, M.D., J.D.
Allan Gibofsky, M.D., J.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Public Health, organized and presented a Health & Wellness Seminar on October 31 at the Uris Auditorium of Weill Cornell Medical College. Also participating were Melanie Harrison, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Research Professor of Public Health and Medicine, and Bryan J. Nestor, M.D., Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. The topic was “Arthritis Revisited: New Concepts for an Old Disease.” Drs. Gibofsky and Harrison, both Rheumatologists, and Dr. Nestor, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, reviewed the different kinds of arthritis and other conditions of the muscles and bones, with emphasis on new medical and surgical options available. Numerous audience members made a point of commenting on how impressed they were with the presentation and how extremely helpful they found the material.

 

FLIP Sessions Showcase Research of Fellows and Residents

As part of the Public Health Department’s ongoing effort to help train its postdoctoral fellows and residents, the FLIP (“Fellows Life in Progress”) sessions were initiated this fall to provide a forum for fellows and residents to present ongoing or planned research projects and to discuss related educational topics. In addition to the fellows and residents, program directors and faculty who supervise them or are involved in their research projects attend the FLIP sessions, as well as other faculty who can provide expertise to help with the design and refinement of their studies.

 
Heather C. O’Donnell, M.D.
Heather C. O’Donnell, M.D.
Heather O’Donnell, M.D., Fellow in Health Services Research, was the first to present, on September 6. Dr. O’Donnell described her research project on medical errors and the use of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s MERS-TH system for error reporting. Her study analyzes why there are gaps in medical error reports and looks for ways to improve their accuracy, completeness, and usefulness.



 
Fredric Pieracci, M.D.
Fredric Pieracci, M.D.

On September 13, Fredric Pieracci, M.D., Resident in General Preventive Medicine, described his project, “A Prospective Study of End of Life Care: Discussions in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.” Among the issues he has uncovered so far are that providers appear to favor aggressive treatment despite patient and family preferences to the contrary, and that there is a need for improved communication so that patient preferences can be known and respected. Dr. Pieracci is investigating factors that influence the nature of end of life discussions in the SICU and whether or not they occur at all.

 
Victoria Blinder, M.D.
Victoria Blinder, M.D.
On October 18, Victoria Blinder, M.D., Fellow in Public Health and Hematology/Oncology, described a study in which she is participating. The Principal Investigator of the study, “Ethnicity and Return to Work in Breast Cancer Survivors,” is Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D, Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The co-PI is Ellen Chuang, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, and co-investigators include Department of Health faculty members Heather Gold, Ph.D., Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H., and Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S. Dr. Blinder is working on a questionnaire to sort out the many intersecting factors that can influence whether or not a woman who has been treated for breast cancer returns to work. She also described previous studies on this topic, including their limitations.

 
Sandy Saintonge, M.D.
Sandy Saintonge, M.D.

Sandy Saintonge, M.D., Resident in General Preventive Medicine, presented a talk on November 1 called, “Is the routine utilization of the transcutaneous bilirubinometer indicated in the post discharge evaluation of jaundice in newborns?” Dr. Saintonge discussed current practices for screening for hyperbilirubinemia, which if untreated can lead to acute and long-term health consequences, in infants born at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She presented a preliminary study design for measuring how many cases are being missed and what the consequences are for missed cases.

Among the other faculty members who have attended and provided feedback at FLIP sessions are Alvin Mushlin, M.D., Sc.M., Chairman and Acting Director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Elizabeth Nilson, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Dr. Mark Callahan, Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Director of the Fellowship Program in Health Services Research, Lisa Kern, M.D., M.P.H., Heather Gold, Ph.D., Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D., Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H., and Anthony Martinez, M.D., Fellow in Addiction Medicine. All faculty members are invited to attend future sessions and to share their ideas and suggestions. This participation will greatly enhance the fellows’ understanding of research issues and methodology.

FACULTY AND STAFF PUBLICATIONS

Bruce Schackman, PhD
Bruce R. Schackman, Ph.D.
(Photo by John Abbott.)
Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Health Policy, is the lead author of “The Lifetime Cost of Current HIV Care in the United States,” a major study appearing in the November 2006 issue of Medical Care. The study projects the cost of treatment for HIV-infected adults using current standards of care, and it provides guidance for policy makers so that appropriate funds are allocated for HIV care and prevention. News of the publication was also covered by WebMD.

Read the press release.

 

 

Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, has had her paper, “Some Design Issues of Strata-Matched Non-Randomized Studies with Survival Outcomes,” accepted for publication in Statistics in Medicine. The article will appear in the issue dated December 15, 2006 (Volume 25, Number 23).



 

 
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Ethics, is the lead author of “New methods for deriving embryonic stem cell lines: are the ethical problems solved?” published in Fertility and Sterility, September 28, 2006. The co-authors are Zev Rosenwaks, M.D., Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Joseph J. Fins, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry.

Dr. de Melo-Martín also recently published “Furthering Injustices Against Women: Genetic Information, Moral Obligations, and Gender,” in Bioethics, 20(6) (2006), pages 301-07.

 

 
Victor W. Sidel, M.D.
Victor W. Sidel, M.D.
The paperback edition of Terrorism and Public Health, by Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel, M.D., Adjunct Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, was released in October. The book, whose subtitle is “ A Balanced Approach to Strengthening Systems and Protecting People,” was originally published in 2003. The new edition has a long epilogue that describes changes that have occurred in the world from 2003 to 2006 regarding terrorism and its public health implications.

 

 
Yolanda Barrón-Vaya, M.S.
Yolanda Barrón-Vaya, M.S.
Yolanda Barrón-Vaya, M.S., Senior Research Biostatistician in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, is a co-author of an article called “Antiretroviral Therapies Associated with Lipoatrophy in HIV-Infected Women,” which was accepted for publication in AIDS Patient Care and STDs. The lead author is Phyllis C. Tien, M.D., of the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


 

Andrew C. Leon, Ph.D., M.S., Professor of Biostatistics in Psychiatry and Professor of Public Health, is the lead author of “Antidepressants and Youth Suicide in New York City, 1999-2002,” an article published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The research was motivated by Dr. Leon’s work on the FA advisory committee that examined pediatric antidepressant use and suicide attempts or ideation. This article focuses exclusively on suicide deaths among New York City youth. Kenneth Tardiff, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Public Health, is one of the article’s co-authors.

 

FACULTY PROMOTIONS

 
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H.
Madhuvanti Mahadeo, Dr.P.H., has been promoted to Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior. Dr. Mahadeo holds a B.Sc. and an M.P.H. from the University of Miami at Coral Gables and a Dr.P.H. from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. Since joining the Department in 2005, she has been the project manager of a multi-site drug prevention dissemination trial funded by the National Institute of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a role in which she oversees the planning, implementation and day-to-day management of the study. Dr. Mahadeo is also taking on the position as chair of the Women's Health Research Group. In the coming months, she will be identifying faculty throughout the Medical Center who are doing Women's Health research and will help to organize collaborations and meetings to foster idea sharing.

 

WELCOME NEW FACULTY

 
Wei Xiong, Ph.D.
Wei Xiong, Ph.D.
Wei Xiong, Ph.D., has been appointed Instructor of Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Xiong completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China, and then completed another M.S. and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has worked as a Lecturer at Tianjin University. His research focuses on stochastic processes, queueing theory, and simulation. Since joining the Weill Cornell Department of Public Health in 2005 as a Research Data Specialist, he has assisted Dr. Nathaniel Hupert, Assistant Professor of Public Health, on developing simulation models for staffing and capacity planning of HIV/AIDS ART clinics in resource-limited settings. He will continue to apply his research to challenges in global health and emergency preparedness. 

 

 
Joseph T. Cooke, M.D.
Joseph T. Cooke, M.D.
Joseph T. Cooke, M.D., has been appointed Associate Professor of Clinical Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Cooke holds a primary appointment as Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and is a member of Weill Cornell Pulmonary Associates. Dr. Cooke is also the Patient Safety Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and an Associate Attending Physician at NYPH/WCMC and Hospital for Special Surgery. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Cooke will be collaborating with Dr. Mark Callahan, Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, on research in the area of quality of care.

 

WELCOME NEW STAFF

 
Renee A. Razzano, A.M.
Renee A. Razzano, A.M.
Renee A. Razzano, A.M., has joined the Department as a Research Coordinator in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Before coming to Weill Cornell, Ms. Razzano worked as a research coordinator in the Division of Government Relations, Policy and Research of the Food Bank for New York City, and as a litigation associate at BDO Seidman, LLP. While earning her master’s degree in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, she was a Public Policy and Research Intern at America’s Second Harvest and a Social Service Administration Intern at the City of Evanston, Illinois, Department of Mental Health Services. She has also served as a domestic violence counselor and legal advocate and as an editorial board member of Advocates’ Forum. Ms. Razzano will be working with Dr. Mark Callahan on various projects, including the CERT grant and the Qatar diabetes study.

 

 

Anna Monica Sabio
Anna Monica Sabio has joined the Division of Community and Public Health Programs as a Social Worker in the Adult Services Clinic. Ms. Sabio, who is earning a Master of Social Work at New York University, has been employed as a social work intern at Coler Memorial Hospital in New York City; as an employment counselor, administrative assistant, and children’s program coordinator at Thomas House Temporary Shelter in Garden Grove, California; and as an online tutor and test preparation developer.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Dr. Mark Chassin is 2006 Lubin Visiting Professor

Drs. Finkel, Chassin, and Mushlin
Drs. Finkel, Chassin, and Mushlin

On October 25, Mark Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., spent a day at Weill Cornell Medical College as the 2006 Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Public Health. The Lubin Visiting Professorship was established by a gift from Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Public Health and Director of the Office of Global Health Education, in memory of her parents. The Professorship supports an annual visit and lecture by a prominent speaker on significant public health policy concerns, and brings important, timely issues in health care to the attention of students and faculty at the Medical College.

Dr. Chassin is the Edmond A. Guggenheim Professor of Health Policy and the founding Chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has served as the Health Commissioner of New York State Department of Health. His work has focused on the interface between academics and public policy, especially concerning quality of care.

At the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium, Dr. Chassin gave a thought-provoking presentation called “Why Our Hospitals Are Not as Safe as They Should Be.” Postulating that hospitals should be (but aren’t) as safe as other intrinsically high-risk institutions, such as nuclear power plants, he explored why breakdowns in safe practices occur and discussed the broad changes that need to take place in thoughts and actions when dealing with medical errors. He outlined the imperatives for instilling an institutional culture in which errors can be examined with the goal of improving safety, and defined high-reliability organizations as ones that reduce serious adverse events by installing comprehensive systems that anticipate errors and compensate for them before they do harm. Colleagues at the Cornell Ithaca campus took part in the colloquium via videoconferencing.

Before and after the lecture, Dr. Chassin met with Public Health faculty and medical students in a number of individual and small group sessions to further explore health policy issues.

 

Public Health Department Faculty and Staff Honored with Service Awards

This year, eight faculty and staff members of the Department of Public Health were presented with service awards by the Medical College.

 
Linda M. Gerber, Ph.D., with Anthony Mustalish, M.D.
Linda M. Gerber, Ph.D., with Anthony Mustalish, M.D.
For 25 years of service: Jeffrey E. Diaz, A.C.S.W., Director of the Employee Development Center, and Linda M. Gerber, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in Medicine and Director of the Biostatistics and Research Methodology Core.

For 20 years: Joseph J. Fins, M.D., F.A.C.P., Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry.

For 15 years: Sonia Austrian, D.S.W., Associate Professor of Clinical Public Health, Lecturer of Social Work in Psychiatry, and Director of the Employee Assistance Program Consortium.

For 5 years: Pamela L. Buchbinder, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Public Health and Clinical Psychiatry; Jeanette M. Cruz, Social Work Assistant in the Adult Services Clinic; E. Maura Hays, M.S., Social Worker in the Adult Services Clinic; and Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Assistant Professor of Public Health.

A special cocktail reception was held to honor employees with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service in 2006. A luncheon was held for those with 5 years of service.

More information on the ceremonies.

 

Visit by Representatives from Italy’s Lombardy Region Department of Health

On October 11, 2006, a group of professionals from the Department of Health of Italy’s Lombardy Region toured the Weill Cornell Medical College Public Health Department to learn about the Department’s activities as well as about the medical college as a whole. The visit was arranged by Domenico Mignone, M.D., a Cornell alumnus and the official physician of the Italian Government in New York. Steven Rosalie, Associate Provost for International Initiatives and executive Vice Dean for Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Public Health and Director of the Office of International Medical Education, served as hosts for the visitors.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Eugenia Curet, Ph.D., Coordinates New Internship Practicum

 
Eugenia Curet, Ph.D.
Eugenia Curet, Ph.D.
Dr. Eugenia Curet, Administrative Director of the Adult and Adolescent Services Clinics, has coordinated a new internship practicum to train professionals in the field of addiction medicine and mental health. This year there are four interns: two from NYU Graduate School of Social Work, one from Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work, and one from Adelphi University Graduate School of Social Work. Dr. Curet coordinates the practicum with the schools and provides the field instruction and supervision along with Maura Hays, M.S.W., one of the social workers in the Clinics.

 

Public Health Faculty to Present at Rogers Colloquium

November 1, 2006, 1 - 2 p.m.
Mark Callahan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Public Health and Medicine
“ Rating Hospital Quality: the US News & World Report Approach”
Chief, Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research
Kips Bay Building, 411 East 69th Street, 3rd Floor Conference Room

November 8, 2006, 1 - 2 p.m.
Rainu Kaushal, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Director of Pediatric Quality and Patient Safety, Komansky Center for Children’s Health, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
“Health Information Technology: A Tool to Improve Patient Safety”
Uris Faculty Room A-126, 1300 York Avenue

Upcoming Department Seminars and Conferences

All divisions of the Department sponsor seminars in which current or prospective research is discussed. The departmental grand rounds, the Medical Ethics seminars, the Biostatistics and Epidemiology conferences, and the Outcomes and Effectiveness Research in Progress seminars have been approved for Continuing Medical Education credit. Unless otherwise noted, the following presentations will take place in the third floor conference room of the Kips Bay Building, 411 East 69 th Street. Please call Maritza Montalvo at 746-1264 for more information. For more upcoming events, please see the Department of Public Health Academic Calendar.

November 3, 1 - 2 p.m.
Outcomes and Effectiveness Research Research-in-Progress Seminar
Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Wei Xiong, Ph.D.
Instructor of Public Health
Eric Hollingsworth
Research Data Specialist
Weill Cornell Medical College
"Modeling Roll-Out of HIV Prevention Strategies in Resource-Limited Countries: The Case of Male Circumcision"

November 9, 3 - 4 p.m.
Biostatistics and Epidemiology Research Seminar
Sara Olson, Ph.D.
Assistant Attending Epidemiologist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“Estrogen, Genetics, and Endometrial Cancer: The EDGE Study”

November 16, 12 – 1 p.m.
Prevention & Health Behavior Research-in-Progress Seminar
B. J. Casey, Ph.D.
Director, Sackler Institute & Sackler Professor of Developmental Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry
Weill Cornell Medical College
“The Adolescent Brain and Risk for Substance Abuse”
*Note time change 12 – 1 p.m.

November 17, 12 – 1 p.m.
Outcomes and Effictiveness Research Research-in-Progress Seminar
Kahyun Yoon-Flannery, M.P.H.
Research Coordinator, Department of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
Stephanie O. Zandieh, M.D., M.S.
Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College
Rainu Kaushal, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics,
Weill Cornell Medical College; Director of Quality & Patient Safety, New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Komansky Center for Children's Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“Physicians and Ambulatory Electronic Health Records at New York-Presbyterian Hospital: I Can't Get No... Satisfaction”

November 21, 12 – 1 p.m.
Public Health Grand Rounds
Louis J. Aronne, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Director, Comprehensive Weight Control Program
Weill Cornell Medical College
“New Approaches to Obesity Treatment”

November 30, 2006, 11 a.m.
Department of Medicine Grand Rounds
Co-sponsored by the Department of Medicine
and the Department of Public Health
Daniel W. Fitzgerald, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of International Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Weill Cornell Medical College
Bruce R. Schackman, Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Health Policy
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“Eliminating Congenital Syphilis in Haiti”
*Location: Uris Auditorium, 1300 York Avenue

November 30, 2006, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Medical Ethics Research Seminar
John Whyte, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Moss Rehabilitation Institute
“The Doctor-Patient Relationship and Brain Injury”

December 11, 2006, 1 – 2 p.m.
Community and Public Health Programs Research Seminar
Anthony Martinez, M.D.
Instructor of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College

December 12, 2006, 12 – 1 p.m.
Public Health Grand Rounds
Peter Bach, M.D., M.Sc.
Associate Attending Physician, Biostatistics & Health Outcomes Group
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
“Impact of Computed Tomography Screening for Lung Cancer on Lung Cancer Outcomes”

December 14, 2006, 3 – 4 p.m.
Biostatistics and Epidemiology Research Seminar
Yolanda Barrón-Vaya, M.S.
Senior Research Biostatistician
Department of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“Group Randomized Trial and Multilevel Modeling”

January 11, 2006 , 3 – 4 p.m.
Biostatistics and Epidemiology Research Seminar
Madhu Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Chief, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“Group Sequential Methods for Cluster Randomization Trials”

January 18, 2006, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Medical Ethics Research Seminar
Eric Cassell, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Public Health
Weill Cornell Medical College
“The Evolution of the Doctor-Patient Relationship”

January 23, 2006, 12 – 1 p.m.
Public Health Grand Rounds
David Lansky, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Health Program
Executive Director
Personal Health Technology Initiative
Markle Foundation
“Leveraging Clinical Information Networks to Address Population Health Goals: A Common Framework for Quality Measurement, Public Health and Clinical Research”

January 25, 2006, 1 – 2 p.m.
Prevention & Health Behavior Research-in-Progress Seminar
Shari Midoneck, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine & Public Health
Associate Attending Physician at the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center
Laitman Clinical Scholar in Prevention

January 26, 2006, 12 – 1 p.m.
Outcomes and Effectiveness Research Research-in-Progress Seminar
David Battleman, M.D., M.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Public Health (Courtesy)


EAPC Workshops

The Employee Assistance Program Consortium (EAPC) will be offering a series of workshops in the fall covering stress management and communication skills. These include a special three-session workshop on stress management for the holidays. These workshops are free but reservations are required. Further information for the workshops and the EAPC is available at http://www.youreapc.us/Workshops.shtml.


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