On a warm, sunny Friday at the end of May, students in Einstein's Masters of Science in Bioethics (MBE), Masters of Science in Clinical Research Methods (known as the clinical research training program, or CRTP) and Masters of Public Health (MPH) programs gathered in Lubin Dining Hall with faculty mentors and lecturers, family members and friends for a commencement luncheon honoring the three programs' degree and certificate recipients. The range of the programs, which are co-sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center and/or Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, was matched by the diversity of the 20 graduating students, comprising an international collection of PhDs, MBAs, DDSs and MDs -- including two recent Einstein medical school graduates (Drs. Adam Ezra Goldman-Yassen and Marissa Kummerling).
Dr. Paul Marantz, director of the Center for Public Health Sciences, associate dean of clinical research education and associate director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, offered welcoming remarks before introducing keynote speaker Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, president of The New York Academy of Medicine, as well as 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 Medical School. Dr. Boufford noted the importance of programs like the MBE, CRTP and MPH in training graduates to become "change agents for health" during what she described as a "transformational time in health care." Explaining how the Affordable Care Act places emphasis on investing in community interventions, she also noted "It is the responsibility of researchers as 'truth seekers' to employ evidence-based research to inform policy that will improve the health care system."
During the conferment of diplomas, Dr. Tia Powell, director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics and of the MBE program, presented three bioethics graduates with their degrees. (A fourth student graduated in absentia.) Next, Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum, director of the CRTP, introduced the 12 graduates of her program. In turn, these students presented awards to Drs. Shlomo Shinnar and Hillel Cohen recognizing their selection as Best Clinical Research Training Program Mentor and Teacher of the Year, respectively. Finally, Dr. Cheryl Merzel awarded the MPH diplomas to four while also acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the program's faculty and administrative staff, and emphasizing the critical role of community partnerships.
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