CUIMC Update - Nov. 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

CUIMC Update is a weekly e-newsletter featuring medical center news and the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and trainees. Please send your news, honors, and awards to Grants are provided by the Sponsored Projects Administration office.


Columbia’s Wellness Center Builds Foundation of Trust with Community 
Now in its fifth year, the Columbia Wellness Center improves public health in Washington Heights and Harlem by screening for cardiovascular disease, training community members in CPR, and helping local residents navigate health insurance enrollment and find free or low-cost clinical resources. Led by Columbia physicians Olajide Williams, MD, and Sidney Hankerson, MD, the center more recently served residents by offering vaccines and addressing vaccine hesitancy. Read more

VP&S Researchers Examine Toll of Poor Sleep Among Health Care Workers 
In a pair of recent papers, Columbia researchers and their collaborators have quantified the effect of the COVID pandemic on health care workers' sleep patterns. They found that over 70% of health care workers had at least moderate insomnia symptoms during the pandemic's first peak, and health care workers with poor sleep were twice as likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to their better-rested colleagues. Read more.

NYC Has Some of the Nation’s Largest Disparities in Cervical Cancer Rates 
VP&S research shows the rate of cervical cancer among women living in New York City neighborhoods with the lowest socioeconomic indices—populated predominantly by Black and Hispanic residents—is nearly two times higher than the rate among New Yorkers who live in the city’s neighborhoods with the highest socioeconomic indices, which are largely white. Read more

CUIMC Annual Toy Drive 
Each year, CUIMC hosts a holiday toy drive to collect new unwrapped toys for children ages 3 to 10. Toys are distributed to daycare centers, Head Start programs, and community-based organizations that serve families in the Washington Heights/Inwood community. Employees are encouraged to donate a toy through Thursday, Dec. 16. View drop-off locations.

In Case You Missed It: Fall Holiday Festival on Haven 
The Fall Festival, held Nov. 23 in Haven Plaza, was the final event in the 2021 CUIMC Employee Appreciation series. Hundreds attended the event, where colleagues enjoyed food, live music, and festivities, and the winners of the CUIMC Digital Steps Challenge were announced. Read more and view photos

Columbia Commons IPE Day: Call for Abstracts 
The Columbia Commons Interprofessional Education (IPE) Committee seeks faculty, staff, students, and community organizations to facilitate workshops for IPE Day on April 5, 2022, at CUIMC. The event’s theme is Interprofessionalism in Action: Strengthening Ethical, Responsive, and Accountable Care. The deadline for abstract submissions is Feb. 11. View guidelines.  

New Ways to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes Under Investigation at Columbia 
Columbia is one of 25 clinical centers in the world participating in type 1 diabetes studies through TrialNet, an NIH-funded international network of academic institutions at the forefront of type 1 research. The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center is enrolling relatives of people with type 1 diabetes who have not yet developed symptoms to find ways to delay or stop the process. Read more

VP&S Physician-Scientists Discuss the State of Stomach Cancer Research and Care 
Two new Columbia specialists in stomach cancer treatment and research—Ryan Moy, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, and Sam Yoon, MD, chief of Columbia’s new Division of Surgical Oncology and professor of surgery, answer questions about risk factors and treatment. Read more

Mailman Research: Ridesharing May Help Reduce Alcohol-Involved Crashes 
More rideshare trips mean fewer alcohol-involved accidents, finds a new study by Mailman researchers. Read more



Matthew Baldwin, MD, Medicine, will receive $1,337,996 over four years from Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “COVID-19 Lung Injury, ARDS, and Thrombosis: Acute Disease and Long-term Sub-Phenotypes.”

Satish Kumar Dhingra, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology, will receive $445,500 over two years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Deciphering the role of Plasmodium falciparum plasmepsin 2/3 amplifications in mutant pfcrt-driven piperaquine resistance.”


Batya Elul, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive $491,774 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a subaward of “Central African International Epidemiological Database to Evaluate AIDS.”


Maureen George, PhD, RN, Division of Scholarship & Research, will receive $2,447,470 over five years from the National Institute of Nursing Research for “BREATHE: An efficacy-implementation trial of a brief shared decision-making intervention among Black adults with uncontrolled asthma in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).” 



Marie Carmel Garcon, DNP, received this year’s Luminary Award from the National Indian Nurse Practitioners Association of America and was the keynote speaker at the group’s third national conference.

Cindy Veldhuis, PhD, has been invited to join the editorial board for the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Jennifer Withall, PhD, RN, won the Distinguished Poster award at the American Medical Informatics Association annual symposium.


The 43rd Alexander Ming Fisher Lecture presented by Monica L. Lypson: “A Story of Communication Skills in the COVID Context: using, developing, teaching, inspiring,” Nov. 30, 4:30 p.m., register here.  

P30 Center Annual Pilot Awards, due Dec. 1, view requirements

Columbia Nursing: A Brief History, Dec. 6, 3 p.m., register here

Mailman School of Public Health Centennial Distinguished Speakers Series: HIV & COVID-19: When Pandemics Collide, Dec. 2, noon, register here

CUIMC HR and Employee Resource Group Events

  • Roundtable Conversation - Goal Setting, Dec. 7, 1 p.m., register here.
  • CUIMC All ERG Meeting, Dec. 8, 1:30 p.m., register here
  • Burnout Awareness and Prevention Training, Dec. 14, noon, register here.
  • Stress Management and Self Care, Jan. 11, noon, register here

CUIMC Women in Science Lecture Series: "Perfectly Imperfect Pathways to Success: Fork in the Road,” Dec. 9,  4:30 p.m., register here.

School of Nursing Office of Student Life's Cookie Decorating Event, Dec. 9, 4:30 p.m., register here

CUIMC Virtual Career Fair, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. - noon. Departments, schools, and institutes: register here. Individuals: register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.