Rounds ’08

Social Medicine Rounds @ Montefiore 2008

For past Social Medicine Rounds, click on the year:
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 20102011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015




January 8: Adrienne Asch “

Recognizing Death While Affirming Life: Questions for Health Decision Making

Binswanger Auditorium 4:30-6PM

Health professionals dealing with patients and families who are dealing with significant illness and disability should think about their patients’ short- and long-term futures. Advance directives, health care proxies, medical and non-medical concerns will be discussed. The talk will draw on an article that appeared in the Hastings Center Report in 2005. “Recognizing Death While Affirming Life”

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January 22:

First Annual Harold Wise Lecture:

Jo Ivey Boufford

“Is America’s Health Policy Healthy?”

Cherkasky Auditorium


Dinner will follow in the Hospital Cafeteria

Montefiore Medical Center is pleased to announce a special Social Medicine Rounds honoring the founder of the Residency Program in Social Medicine (RPSM). Our special guest speaker, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, will deliver The First Annual Harold Wise, MD Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Boufford, the President of the New York Academy of Medicine, a graduate of the RPSM in Social Pediatrics, and Director of the RPSM from 1973 to 1982, will speak on “Is America’s Health Policy Healthy?” A reception will follow the lecture.

Dr. Wise was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1937, completed his premedical and medical education and received his MD degree in 1961 at the University of Toronto. He served as a general practitioner in the first community cooperative clinic organized in Saskatchewan and then moved to San Francisco, where he worked for the Permanente Medical Group and completed his first year of residency in Internal Medicine at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital. His work in the Bronx began in 1964. After completion of his residency in Internal Medicine at Montefiore in 1966, he served as the Director of Ambulatory Services and Home Care at Morrisania City Hospital, which was then affiliated with Montefiore. In 1966 Dr. Martin Cherkasky, the Director of Montefiore, named Dr. Wise the Director of the Neighborhood Medical Care Demonstration, which in 1969 became the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center, one of the first community health centers supported by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. At the MLK Health Center Dr. Wise developed the Residency Program in Social Medicine, in which Drs. David Kindig and Jo Ivey Boufford were among the initial residents. Dr. Wise also played a leading role in establishing interdisciplinary teams to treat families at the Center and wrote and lectured extensively about these and other ways of providing community-oriented primary care. He was concerned that although the OEO had established over fifty neighborhood health centers in the United States, employing 700 physicians and providing medical care for over 1 million underserved patients, the physicians working in these programs were for the most part ill-trained in primary medical care, interdisciplinary team practice, community relations, social advocacy, research and teaching. When Dr. Wise years later moved into private practice in internal medicine in Manhattan, he developed new socially-oriented ways to treat his patients, including “family reunions.” His death in 1998 was mourned by his many colleagues, patients, students and friends. Dr. Boufford is President of The New York Academy of Medicine and Professor of Public Service, Health Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. She served as Dean of the Wagner School from June 1997 to November 2002. Prior to that, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from November 1993 to January 1997, and as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 1997 to May 1997. While at HHS, she served as the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1994*1997. From May 1991 to September 1993, Dr. Boufford served as Director of the King’s Fund College, London England. The King’s Fund is a royal charity dedicated to the support of health and social services in London and the United Kingdom. She served as President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal system in the United States, from December 1985 until October 1989. Dr. Boufford was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC for 1979*1980. She served as a member of the National Council on Graduate Medical Education and the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1997*2002. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Health Care Strategies and serves on the boards of the United Hospital Fund, the Primary Care Development Corporation, the Village Center for Care, and MHRA. She was President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration in 2002*2003. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1992 and is a member of its Executive Council, Board on Global Health and Board on African Science Academy Development. She was elected to serve for a four-year term as the Foreign Secretary of the IOM beginning July 1, 2006. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the State University of New York, Brooklyn, in May 1992. She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2005. She has been a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine since 1988 and a Trustee since 2004.

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February 12

Michael Fine, MD:

Health: The Key to A Just Health Care System


Health is defined from the perspective of anthropology, sociology, entomology, policial science and philosophy as the equal ability of individuals to function in the relationships appropriate to their place in the lifespan and cultural context.

Using this definition, we are able to draw useful distinctions between personal and population health, a medical services marketplace, and discomfort, pain and suffering, and then describe, a rational health care system, built from collaborative, population-based primary care practices, based on the definition and developed out of the distinctions the definition lets us draw.

This definition of health directs our attention to the ethical imperative to equalizing life chances.

Arguing that we have wealth extraction system, not a health care system, we discuss the need to redirect substantial medical services spending to education, housing, and public safety.

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February 26:

Ben Schaefer, MD

“Dr. David and Goliath, Inc – Stand Up for your (Patient’s) Rights”

RPSM Third Floor Conference Room


Evermore, the medical profession appears to be under the dictate of outside forces, such as the pharmaceutical and insurance industries as well as government, which directly and indirectly influence how medicine is practiced . Physicians themselves have facilitated this process, and in some cases, the integrity of the profession has been undermined. Some professional organizations see their role merely as representing physician’s interest, and few if any put patient advocacy first. This talk will give an example of how pharmaceutical marketing compromises physicians and how a novel physician organization encourages physicians to stand up and put the interests of their patients first.’

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March 11,

Nicholas Freudenberg

“Changing Corporate Practice to Improve Population Health:

A New Strategy for Public Health?”

RPSM Third Floor Conference Room


Today decisions by corporate executives and managers in the food, alcohol, tobacco, automobile and pharmaceutical industry often have a greater impact on population health than the decisions of health providers or public health officials. In this talk, Nicholas Freudenberg describes the pathways by which corporate decisions on product design, advertising, retail distribution and pricing affect patterns of health and disease and inequities in health . He also examines how public health professionals and advocates have acted to modify corporate practices that harm health and assesses the relevance of this paradigm for public health practice and research.

Freudenberg is Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Hunter College and Interim Director of CUNY’s new Doctor of Public Health Program. He also founded and directs Corporations and Health Watch (, a website for researchers, providers and activists who seek to reduce corporate practices that harm health.

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March 25

Joseph Ross

Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry

RPSM Third Floor Conference Room


Dr. Ross will discuss issues surrounding the relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry, supplementing the discussion by providing an overview of research he has conducted on the issue and examining suggestions for whether and how this relationship should be regulated.

Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate degrees magna cum laude in biological science: neuroscience and psychology at the University of Rochester and his medical degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. After completing his post-graduate training in primary care internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, Dr. Ross completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at Yale University, earning a masters degree in health sciences research. His research interests include examining factors which affect the use or delivery of high quality care for older vulnerable populations, evaluating the impact of state and federal policies on the delivery of appropriate and higher quality care, and issues related to conflicts of interest and medical professionalism. You can visit his faculty page with links to several of his articles by clicking here.

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April 1: (special rounds)

Shira Shavit, MD and Lori Kohler, MD

Primary Care and Incarceration

location to be announced.


Drs. Shavit and Kohler will speak about incarceration and its impact on patients in the primary care setting. The talk will also include information about job opportunities in California for graduating residents that include loan repayment.

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April 8:

Drs. Barry Levy and Victor Sidel,

“Activists in Social Medicine:

Social Justice, an End to Armed Violence,

and Public Health”

Location to be announced


Drs. Levy and Sidel, activists in medicine and public health, have served as Presidents of the American Public Health Association and are co-editors of a series of books on public health published by Oxford University Press in collaboration with APHA. In their presentation they will discuss the ways in which two of their recent books, War and Public Health and Social Injustice and Public Health, may be useful in education, practice, research, and advocacy in Social Medicine.

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April 29, 2008:

Rounds in the Community:4:30-6PM

A Visit to the Ampark Neighborhood School “Walking the Labyrinth: Promoting Well-Being and Building Community”

Betty Lopez Towey, Principal-Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, Amalgamated-Park Reservoir Housing Community

The labyrinth is an ancient tool for walking meditation. The Ampark School uses the labyrinth with staff to support self care and community providing a unique opportunity to see each other in a different light. During the Labyrinth walk together we address specific community issues from a different and more enlightened perspective. The school also offers this experience to others who are connected to the community by way of the DOE, public health, parents, and in general to teachers and other adults who simply wish to learn more from the labyrinth. We will have an opportunity to experience this walking meditation ourselves.

See our posting about this rounds for more information.

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May 6, 2008:

Dahlia Wasfi, MD

The New Iraq: Genocide

RPSM 3rd Floor Conference Room


A few decades ago, the republic of Iraq had a first-world healthcare system known as “the jewel of the Arab world.” Since the first Gulf War in 1991, however, destruction of electricity power grids and water sewage treatment plants incapacitated Iraq’s public health services. Economic sanctions during the next 13 years stifled reconstruction and blocked medications, journals, and equipment from entering the country. Since the Shock and Awe invasion of 2003, occupation has further devastated Iraq’s hospitals. U.S. and U.K. military use of depleted uranium since 1991 has brought cancer and death to the Iraqi people and coalition military. The first step in ending the genocide in Iraq is to end the occupation. Healing can then begin through support of Iraqi hospitals.

There is also more information on the following websites:

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May 13:

Victoria Gorski, MD

Practice Improvement

RPSM 3rd Floor Conference Room


The ACGME requires residents to acquire competence in Practice-based Learning and Improvement and in Systems Based Practice. With the support of HRSA grant funding, family medicine residents; faculty and staff at Montefiore’s Family Health Center and Williamsbridge Family Practice are participating on Continuous Quality Improvement Teams. The teams are working to improve the practices’ success in promoting and facilitating smoking cessation efforts and in improving care for people with diabetes. Third year residents will lead their teams in reporting on the aims for their teams’ work and on the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles completed this year.

Family Medicine PGY-IIIs: Yadiera Brown, Eric Churchill, Rashiah Elam Gabriella Gellrich, Rebecca
Middleton, Kim Nguyen, Robert Roose, Sharon Welch

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May 20, May 27 and June 10:

Social Medicine Project presentations

Graduating RPSM residents

All the 2008 Social Medicine projects are available at a separate posting. Please read them!

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June 24:

4:30-5:30 (we will end 30 minutes early)

Global Health Opportunities for Residents:

Moderator: David Herzenson

Anagha Loharikar, MD

Adam Richards, MD

James Fausto, MD

Residents will discuss their experiences working overseas.

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July 8: Film Night
Selections from Unnatural Causes (2008 PBS Documentary)
with a discussion led by
Jonathan N. Tobin, PhD
Director of Education & Training
Institute for Public Health Sciences
Yeshiva University

“Unnatural Causes” is a 2008 PBS documentary series which will address America’s glaring socio-economic and racial inequities in health, and search for root causes. We will see evidence that there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care, or unlucky genes. The social conditions in which we are born, live and work, profoundly affect our health, well-being and longevity.

For a posting about this Social Medicine Rounds, please see this link.

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Tuesday, July 22
“Men and Health: An Oxymoron”
Michael Kimmel, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
Binswanger Auditorium

Professor Michael Kimmel is a well-known educator and leading scholar on men, masculinity and gender issues. He is the author or editor of more than twenty volumes, including Manhood in America: A Cultural History (1996) and Men’s Lives (2007) and The Gendered Society (2007). He is also a most engaging presenter who is frequently featured in newspaper articles and TV programs addressing men’s issues.

“Real Men don’t get Sick, ” one African man put it pithily. In this presentation, Dr. Kimmel will raise the issue of how the ideology of masculinity – what we think it means to be a man — affects men’s health-seeking behavior, and suggest some ways that engaging men in gender equality might actually benefit men. This issue seems especially relevant this month when there is a NYC health campaign focused on Men’s Health Issues.

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August 26: Canceled: Have a nice summer!

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Dr. Jean Silver-Isenstadt

Dr. Jean Silver-Isenstadt

September 9: Jean Silver-Isenstadt, MD, PhD,
The National Physicians Alliance,
4:30-6PM Moses II Library
On Tuesday, September 11, Dr. Jean-Silver Isenstadt, the founding Executive Director of the National Physicians Alliance spoke at Social Medicine Rounds about the work of the NPA since its formation in 2005.
She began her presentation with Broken Covenant, a short film which captures the issues and events surrounding the birth of the NPA; it is available on the NPA website.  The Alliance developed from a core group of AMSA (American Medical Student Association) ex-presidents who wanted to create an “AMSA beyond AMSA,” i.e. a physician’s organization that could better express the values animating AMSA.  These core values, as identified by NPA’s founders, were: service, integrity and advocacy. Read the rest of this posting here.

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  	Cara Muhlhahn, Certified Nurse Midwife (left) with Mayra and David Radzinski in the documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN, directed by Abby Epstein.

Cara Muhlhahn, Certified Nurse Midwife (left) with Mayra and David Radzinski in the documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN, directed by Abby Epstein.

September 23, 4:30-6PM
Dr. Rebecca Williams, MD, MPHE
“The Business of Being Born”
RPSM 3rd Floor Conference Room

“The Business of Being Born” is a passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth, anchored in a scene in which its executive producer, Ricki Lake, the actress and former talk-show host, gives birth to her second child in a bathtub. That graphic scene, and several other unblinking sequences of home birth attended by a midwife, are intended to erase any stigma from the situation. Practiced widely in Europe and Japan, home birth has largely disappeared in the United States, the documentary states, because of an image as a primitive, unsanitary ritual.” (from the New York Times 1/9/2008)

To read our posting about this movie, click here.

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October 14: Election Forum on the Health Plans of Presidential Candidates McCain & Obama
4:30-6PM Cherkasky Auditorium

Mr. David Tukey of the McCain campaign and Dr. Leonardo Trasande of the Obama campaign will discuss the healthcare proposals of the two presidential candidates.  This talk is intended to allow the Montefiore community to hear the viewpoints of the major candidates on health policy.

The following links will provide background information for this forum:

McCain Palin 2008

Obama Biden campaign

The Commonwealth Fund’s analysis of the candidates’ health reform proposals

Election 2008 commentary by Physicians for a National Health Care Program

Articles published in the 9/24/2008 New England Journal of Medicine including pieces by Barak Obama and John McCain

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October 28: Mehret Mandefro, MD:
TruthAIDS: A case for Visual Medical Advocacy
in association with the Research-based Health Advocacy Course
RPSM 3rd Floor Conference Room

Dr. Mandefro, a Montefiore Primary Care graduate and current Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Fellow, will discuss TruthAIDS, an NGO dedicated to prevention of HIV.  Her presentation will focus on the intersection of race, class, and gender in relation to HIV disease and the creative use of film and digital media in promoting health and wellness as a human right.

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November 11: Homer Venters, Healthcare for Detained Immigrants

Please see our posting about Dr. Venters and his work on behalf of detained immigrants.

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November 18:
Orientation month presentation by RPSM Interns
During Orientation Month we have challenged the interns to understand the ways in which violence impacts upon our clinical practice.   We have
asked them to propose a community intervention to address this problem. Please come hear what they have learned and what they propose.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
4:30 pm – 6:00pm
3544 Jerome Ave (3rd floor conference room)

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December 9: Lori Cohen
Sanctuary for Families
“Understanding Human Trafficking”

Please see our posting for more details on this presentation:

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December 23: Canceled: Have a Happy Holiday

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