Asian man working with Dominican woman and teenaged boy at local food bak wearing masks


Proud To Be Part of Something Larger

ColumbiaDoctors has always understood that its role is to serve the community. Not just by providing essential care, but by participating and supporting our neighbors, working side-by-side to help solve problems we all face. As COVID-19 vaccines became available, Columbians joined forces with our neighbors to ensure that our community was at the front of the line, and there was a palpable air of hope and joy as our team members gathered to vaccinate and to be vaccinated.  

We saw tremendous courage and strength come from unnecessary tragedy, as racially motivated violence and resulting unrest shone a bright light on issues that must be addressed to achieve equity, justice, and inclusivity. We are incredibly proud of our deep roots in Washington Heights, and we're committed to helping the members of our community most affected by these deep-seated problems. By giving a voice to these issues and working towards real and lasting change, we're helping to make our community stronger. When that happens, we all win.

And, with the return to a more normal campus life this spring, we were reminded that our neighborhood has much to celebrate, as pointed out by Columbia medical students who turned to parody to welcome their peers to northern Manhattan.


Volunteer at the armory

Volunteers Pitch In to Vaccinate the Community

When the call for volunteers to staff the Armory vaccination site went out to CUIMC staff on the evening of January 13, Columbia University faculty and staff flooded the gates. Within a week, more than 1,700 Columbia faculty and staff members volunteered to assist on site. The crush of volunteers was so great that the volunteer registration page had to be temporarily taken down. 

Read More About the Vaccination Effort

Animated Hip-Hop Video Urges Viewers: “Let’s All Get the Vaccine”

A NewYork-Presbyterian neurologist teamed up with rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels to encourage communities of color to trust science and get vaccinated against COVID-19.


Local leaders and CUIMC faculty display new Healthcare Heroes Way street sign

CUIMC Celebrates Newly Co-Named Healthcare Heroes Way

Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) employees, elected officials, and community members gathered for an outdoor ceremony to celebrate the co-naming of 168th Street between Broadway and Fort Washington as Healthcare Heroes Way. The co-naming honors healthcare workers who have served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More About Healthcare Heroes Way

Hospital workers kneel during rally for Black Lives Matter

Disrupting the Effects of Racism

As all medical students know, medical school is a challenge. But for Black students and others underrepresented in medicine, racism is an additional challenge. With funds provided last fall by the Columbia University provost office, Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, MD, joined forces with Hetty Cunningham, MD, director of Equity & Justice in Curricular Affairs at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Hilda Hutcherson, MD, senior associate dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, to develop interactive workshops that foster healing and agency among medical students who have experienced racism.

Read More About the Workshops

Michelle Lee, MD, holds sign that reads "Racism is a Public Issue"

Perseverance and Pride: AAPI Healthcare Workers Get Personal About Racism

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, healthcare heroes from across NewYork-Presbyterian reflect on fighting COVID-19 and hate — and why it’s time to speak up for each other.

Read Their Stories

Community Practice Adds Dental Care Opportunities for Patients, Providers

Community dental practice

Affordable dental care can be hard to come by, especially in Upper Manhattan where demand is high and appointments are limited. To help address the dentistry needs of local residents, a new initiative called the community practice at the Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine (CDM) is expanding available care with extended hours and a modified practice model.

Read More About the Community Practice

Columbia Begins Vision Screening Program for NYC Public Housing Residents

Vision screening

Free onsite vision screening and eye exams are now being offered to residents age 40 and older at some New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complexes in Washington Heights and East Harlem as part of a study by researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Read More About the Program

A Fun Spin on “In the Heights,” Columbia Style

They stepped up in force to support the community during the height of the pandemic, but our next generation of Columbia doctors also made time for play. Here, they showcase our beloved Washington Heights home base in this cheeky parody of the breakaway Broadway hit, “In the Heights.”


Our Year at a Glance

COVID-19 Response/Vaccinations

  • 150,000+ Vaccinated by Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Battled Vaccination Hesitancy in Communities of Color
  • +1,200 Care Team Members Redeployed to Inpatient Care
  • 74% of All Visits Converted to Telehealth by April 2020

Supporting Faculty and Staff Well-Being: COPE Columbia

  • 250+ one-on-one counseling sessions
  • 260 support groups since March 2020

Addressing Structural Racism & Increasing Diversity

  • Task Force Launched to Address Racism
  • Departmental Diversity Initiatives
    • Increase Diversity Among Providers and Leadership
    • 26 Structural Racism Projects Receive Seed Funding
    • 49% of CUIMC Faculty are Female
    • 10% of CUIMC Faculty are Underrepresented Minorities
    • 28% of the Class of 2025 are Underrepresented Minorities