Education Research Service
The Center for Family and Community Medicine (CFCM), at the Columbia University Medical Center, seeks to enhance the health of our community through education, service, research, and academic-community partnerships.

Dr. Richard Younge has been promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Richard Younge has been promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine (in the Center for Family and Community Medicine) at Columbia University Medical Center, effective April 1st, 2014. Dr. Younge became the Director of the Center for Family and Community Medicine at Columblia University Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Younge has received research grants and awards from NIH, American Academy of Family Physicians and New York State Department of Health. 

Dr. Pooja Shah received a grant award from the Weil Foundation

Pooja A Shah, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at CUMC, in the Center for Family and Community Medicine, received $30,000 from the Weil Foundation for the 2014-2015 academic year to implement a 100-hour Integrative Medicine training program in New York-Presbyterian Hospital / CUMC's Family Medicine Residency Program.


Dr. Urmi Desai has been selected as a fellow for the 2014-2015 Emerging Leaders Program

Dr. Urmi Desai has been selected as a fellow for the 2014-2015 Emerging Leaders Program by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

This yearlong fellowship offers training, tools, and support for new faculty and those who are transitioning to leadership roles. As part of the program, she will attend and present at the annual STFM conferences, participate in leadership workshops and engage in a longitudinal practicum.


Dr. Carmen Dominguez-Rafer has won STFM's Excellence in Education Award.


Dr. Dominguez-Rafer will be accepting the award at the STFM Annual Spring Conference in San

Antonio on May 5th, 2014.

This award recognizes you as a model of excellence in education.  You embody STFM's core

values of diversity, excellence, integrity,  learning, nurturing, openneess, and relationship

centeredness.  Your  career has been devoted to resident and medical student education,  including

taking your program from a fledgling residency to a  well-established program that innovates and recruits on a national  level and your establishment of an annual trip to the Dominican  Republic to connect your residency and residents internationally to  your community.  Because of your strong mentorship and role modeling,  many of your former residents have gone on to faculty positions.


Tar Wars Comes Back to PS4

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recently, physicians and medical students returned to PS4 for our annual Tar Wars presentation for students in 5th grade.  Led by Dr. Anita Softness, who coordinates Tar Wars, the program has been a hit at our school for more than seven years! 

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for students in 4th and 5th grade students.  The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term, image-based consequences of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth.  A follow-up post contest is conducted at the school, state, and national level to reinforce the Tar Wars message.  After a visit from doctors to her classroom, Ms. Cabral said, "I'm sure after experiencing 'Tar Wars', my students will encourage members of their family to stop smoking".  For more information about this program and the poster contest, click here!

Special thanks to Andrea Hausel, from Columbia University and Dr. Anita Softness, Tar Wars Coordinator, for making sure our school is always at the top of the list for receiving this great program!  Check out the photos below from the Tar Wars presentation at PS4!

Click to play this Smilebox collage


Posted by The Librarian at Thursday, November 14, 2013 to this post


CFCM Welcomes the 2013 First Year Residents

In June, CFCM welcomed the 2013 First Year Residents to the Family Medicine Program.  The six residents are (pictured below):  Zane Martindale, MD, Anoop Raman, MD, Emily Holt, DO, Christine Chang, MD, Olivia Perlmutt, MD, Michael Spertus, MD


CFCM Hosts 14th Annual Residents Graduation Ceremony

The 2013 Residents Graduation Ceremony was held on Thursday, June 27, 2013.  This marked the 14th year of the Famly Medicine Residency Graduation Ceremony.  Those who graduated includes (pictured below): Drs. Bonnie Chang, DO, Jillion Harris, MD, Venis Wilder, MD, Lisa. Singh, MD, Mona Dalal, MD, Parham. Khalili, MD.  Congratulations to all!!


Recipent of the 2013 Family Medicine Director's Award:


Ruth Barragan, Residency Program Coordinator



Melanie Bernitz, MD, was appointed to the position of Executive Director of Student Health Services (SHS).

Melanie is responsible for all aspects of SHS including medical, mental health, wellness and administrative services, as well as designing and administering the medical centers health insurance plan. Melanie will work closely with the Deans, Associate Deans and Program Directors of the health sciences schools (Medical, Dental, Nursing and Public Health), and programs (in the Biomedical Sciences, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and the Institute for Human Nutrition) to advance the health of students and promote their academic achievement.

Dr. Bernitz, a 1997 graduate of the University College London Medical School, joined Student Health Service in 2003, as a primary care physician after serving as a resident and faculty member in Family Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. She became Clinical Coordinator for the SHS in 2008, and was the Interim Director of the Student Health Service during 2012. She will be receiving her Master's in Public Health from Columbia University in October 2012.


Recipents of the 2012 Family Medicine Director's Award:


Maria Diaz-Gil, Department Administrator

Dr. David Rosethal, Director of Behavioral Science


Family Medicine faculty members and residents are in the New Columbia Medicine Magazine, Fall 2011


Dr. Richard Younge, Dr. Jim Spears, Dr. Mary Jo Fink, Dr. Mattew Spitzer, Dr. Danny Neghassi and Dr. Crissaris    Sarnelli were featured and interviewed. Read the full article


2011 the Allen Hospital Physician of the Year Award


Mary Johanna Fink, MD received 2011 the Allen Hospital Physician of the Year Award on September 28th, 2011, at the 6th Annual Physician of the Year Awards given by the Allen Hospital of New York-Presbyterian Department of Nursing to acknowledge physicians for their shared commitment to providing a collaborate, collegial environment which supports the highest standards of quality patient care and enhances all aspects of clinical practice.

Dr. Fink is one of two Family Physicians who participates in and teaches intra-partum obstetrics on the Allen Hospital OB/GYN unit. She also serves as the Attending Physician on the Inpatient Family Medicine Services. Dr. Fink's "passionate dedication to improving the health and well-being of women and families is deeply inspiring". An "exceptional communicator and educator" Dr. Fink "fosters interaction and connection as a means of broadening knowledge and generating ideas to advance patient care interdisciplinary teamwork".


Student Based Medical and Dental Program

Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership (CHHMP), a student based program who serves the homeless is doing great things.   You can also learn more about the CHHMP Program by watching the CHHMP Video or visit the website CHHMP Program.














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