2023 Baton Awards Recognize Six CUIMC Administrators

Columbia University Irving Medical Center has honored six staff members with 2023 Baton Awards that recognize team players who contribute to the overall success of the medical center. 

While many awards recognize individual achievements, the Baton Awards highlight the importance of teamwork in contributing to the medical center’s success. The awards were created in 2009 to recognize individuals who “go the extra distance to make sure that if a teammate fumbles, they are there to catch the baton and who trust their colleagues to take the baton from them when they pass it along, understanding that any success is a shared one.”

The 2023 awards were presented at the Dec. 6 meeting of the CUIMC Administrators Network. 

Recipients of 2023 Baton Awards:

Robert Armada, Senior Director of Compliance for Clinical Finance and Operations, College of Dental Medicine

Robert Armada joined CUIMC in 2010. He is responsible for a range of compliance activities, including billing compliance, health information and informatics, and requirements related to the school’s Article 28 facility. He works closely with faculty, staff, and students at the school in addition to working with colleagues across the medical center.

Ashley Boyce, DEIB Staff Engagement Manager, CUIMC Central Administration

Ashley Boyce joined CUIMC in 2018 and has played a pivotal role in leading diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts at CUIMC. Her team's hiring initiative—Project PossAbility—earned recognition from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities in 2021 and received the Diversity Healthcare Leaders Award for CUIMC in 2022. This year Boyce received the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Excellence Award.

Michelle M. DiVito, Department Administrator, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Michelle DiVito has been with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology for more than 18 years, initially serving as the senior director of research administration and leading the department into the top five of NIH-funded OB/GYN departments in the country. She was promoted to department administrator in 2020. Today, with a team of more than 20 direct reports, she manages a department with around 600 faculty, staff, and trainees and an annual operating budget of more than $185 million.

Moshe Kelsen, Chief Financial Officer, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Moshe Kelsen is responsible for planning and organizing the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center’s financial affairs and administering its various educational, community, and research programs. Alongside HICCC director Anil Rustgi, MD, Kelsen leads efforts to identify and prioritize initiatives that will streamline and enhance research activities across the institution. Kelsen also serves as the administrative lead for the HICCC Clinical Trials Diversity Initiative and is a member of the center’s senior leadership team. He serves on committees for space and planning, clinical trials, translational and clinical research, and oversight of shared resources.

Henry Lee, Associate Director of Institutional Reporting and Analytics, School of Nursing

Henry Lee has been instrumental in developing new innovative methodologies that change and enhance the school’s workflow and support the growth of the school. He has spearheaded enhancements to systems for reporting and efficiencies in workflow, streamlined financial reporting for the school, and built relationships university-wide as he implements analytics goals. 

Gilbert Smith, Administrative Director for the Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health

In his role at the Center for Infection and Immunity, Gilbert Smith is responsible for the coordination, direction, and implementation of all administrative and financial activities of the center. He oversees financial affairs for the center, including short- and long-range strategic planning and budget forecasting; all grant, subcontract, and contract proposals; and purchasing, accounts payable, and payroll. Smith also supervises administrative staff and manages facilities, equipment, and space operations.