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General Internal Medicine Research

Dr. Monika Safford
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Monika M Safford, M.D.

Dr. Safford is a health disparities researcher with a focus on eliminating disparities in cardiovascular outcomes for individuals with cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, especially focused on vulnerable and high-risk populations. She has led four community-engaged behavioral interventional trials, including one actively in data collection funded by PCORI and NHLBI (for more information visit the Southeastern Collaboration to Improve Blood Pressure Control). She also has a large observational research program funded by NHLBI centered around the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. This national cohort study of over 30,000 black and white community-dwelling Americans was the first study to describe racial differences in urinary protein as a risk factor for stroke and heart attack; atrial fibrillation as a risk factor for heart attack; continued racial disparities in the risks of heart attack and especially death at presentation with heart disease; the harms of the Southern diet; and risks conferred by depressive symptoms and stress, among many others.

At Weill Cornell, Dr. Safford is co-PI on Cornell’s HRSA-funded Diversity Center of Excellence. She is also the chief architect of the Patient Activated Learning System, a novel user-driven information system designed to provide health related information in plain language and using state-of-the-art methods of risk communication and visual depiction of information.

Dr. Safford founded, and is an academic member of, the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Dr. Justin Choi
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Justin Choi, M.D.

Dr. Choi is a hospitalist whose research interest is in diagnostic test evaluation and prognostic models in the inpatient setting. His current research focuses on the diagnostic value of the serum biomarker procalcitonin in community-acquired pneumonia and other infectious diseases. He was awarded a KL2 career development award from the Clinical Trials Science Center (CTSC) to study the prospective development of a predictive model of serum procalcitonin testing in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in hospitalized older adults.

Dr. Sasha Fahme
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Sasha Fahme, M.D.

Dr. Fahme’s research focuses on the syndemic effects of armed conflict and forced displacement on women’s health in diverse humanitarian settings. She has conducted several years of clinical service and research on the health and human rights of Syrian refugee women and girls in Lebanon. Dr. Fahme designed a novel, peer-led, adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention for adolescent Syrian refugee girls displaced in a rural region of Lebanon bordering Syria. More recently, she co-led a study investigating gender disparities in COVID-19-related outcomes across resource-limited and conflict-affected settings in the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, she is leading a study examining the prevalence and determinants of sexually transmitted infections among vulnerable Syrian refugee women in Beirut.

Dr. Arnab Ghosh
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Arnab Ghosh, M.B.,B.S.

Dr. Ghosh’s research focuses on understanding the driving forces of healthcare disparities to improve healthcare outcomes for disadvantaged members of society. His goal is to make healthcare systems more equitable, reduce healthcare disparities, and build an evidence base in support of policies designed to mitigate these disparities. His earlier research in health disparities was to understand the relationship between value-based payment models and disparities in inpatient length of stay that measured hospital efficiency. Recently, his focus has shifted to the role of natural disasters in driving healthcare disparities where he served as a clinician, hospital administrator, and researcher after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and served vulnerable patient populations after Hurricane Sandy in New York City. He was on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City and led COVID-19 related research where he explored the role of neighborhood housing in creating COVID-19 related health disparities. He intends to combine his interest in health equity with clinical, administrative, and research experience in post-disaster zones. The methodological skills developed during his KL2 program concentrated on using observational data to uncover disparities in healthcare and knowledge in disaster medicine.

Dr. Christopher Gonzalez
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Christopher Gonzalez, M.D., M.Sc.

Dr. Gonzalez’s research aims to understand and leverage social and cultural behaviors to improve the health of diverse Hispanic populations in the United States. Through ongoing collaborations with investigators of the national Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (SOL), the Duke Network Analysis Center (DNAC), and New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research (NY-CDTR), he has explored the heterogeneity of health behaviors and health outcomes of the Hispanic population, with a specific focus on understanding the roles of migration, acculturation and social networks. His research predominantly assesses how these factors relate to inequities in cardiometabolic health, including obesity and diabetes prevention, but has also assessed their relation to COVID-19 and Hepatitis C. Dr. Gonzalez is funded by the National Institute for the Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and his research is informed by his practice of primary care in a federally qualified health center in a predominantly Hispanic community in New York City.

Dr. Parag Goyal
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Parag Goyal, M.D., M.Sc.

Dr. Goyal studies the impacts of geriatric conditions on outcomes among older adults with heart failure. He is supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the American Heart Association to explore the adverse effects of polypharmacy and the safety of common medication prescribing patterns in older adults with heart failure. This work forms the basis for ongoing efforts to develop interventions to optimize pharmacotherapy and improve outcomes for older adults with heart failure, At Weill Cornell, Dr. Goyal is also the Founding Director of the Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction Program, which is one of just a few programs in the country specifically dedicated to this condition.

Dr. Lisa Kern
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Lisa M Kern, M.D.

A general internist and health services researcher whose work has focused on how to improve healthcare delivery and how to advance the measurement of those improvements. Dr. Kern’s research portfolio emphasizes themes such as: the delivery of primary care, coordination of care between generalists and specialists, management of chronic disease, and payment reform. Dr. Kern’s work is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Commonwealth Fund.

Dr. Margaret McNairy
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Margaret McNairy, M.D.

A physician-scientist focused on improving health care in resource-poor populations in Haiti and Africa, particularly for HIV and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. McNairy's HIV research focuses on developing effective and practical models of care, which will reduce HIV-related mortality and decrease HIV transmission at the population level. She also evaluates cardiovascular disease risk factors and other chronic diseases in both HIV-infected and uninfected populations to understand the determinants of chronic diseases in these populations.

Dr. Iris Y Navarro Millan
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Iris Y Navarro Millan, M.D.

Dr. Navarro-Millán’s research focuses on factors that influence outcomes, particularly in cardiovascular (CV) disease among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The goals of this research portfolio aims to develop and implement evidence-based behavioral interventions for patients with RA with a specific target on CV risk reduction, diet, and exercise. The primary method to deliver these interventions is via the internet, which allows for a larger reach to patients, enhanced by the facilitation from peer coaches. Peer coaches are individuals who themselves have either RA or osteoarthritis and are trained to provide support to participants of these interventions. They guide participants to maximize the benefits they can obtain from these interventions. Other areas of Dr. Navarro-Millán’s work are in examining factors that affect morbidity and disability in patients with arthritis.

Dr. Navarro-Millán is an academic member of the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Dr. Erica Phillips
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Erica Phillips, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Phillips’ research efforts have focused on translating basic social and behavioral science theories into effective community-based interventions to address health inequities in high-risk populations.

Dr. Phillips is an academic member of the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Dr. Laura Pinheiro
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Laura Pinheiro, Ph.D., M.P.H.

A health services researcher working at the intersection of primary care and oncology with a focus on reducing health disparities. Her current research program includes a study to improve the uptake of breast cancer screening among vulnerable women, an evaluation of a cancer care coordination model, and several large, secondary database analyses using SEER-Medicare and Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.

Dr. Pinheiro is an academic member of the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Dr. David Scales
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David Scales, M.D., Ph.D.

As a hospitalist and sociologist, Dr. Scales's research interests lie at the intersection of medicine and social science. His current is focus on medical communication, for example, between patients and healthcare professionals or medical researchers to the public, which has led him to study the positive care effect (aka placebo) and medical misinformation. In collaboration with researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and Critica, an NGO, he has trained "infodemiologists" as science communication professionals to help push back against medical misinformation and build Covid-19 vaccine confidence in online communities, leveraging cross-disciplinary evaluation methodologies that provide insight into complex systems. An Arabic speaker, Dr. Scales also volunteers as an advisor to health-related NGOs in the Levant with particular emphasis on community health workers.

Dr. Martin Shapiro
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Martin Shapiro, M.D., C.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Shapiro is an accomplished health services researcher. His scholarship has largely focused upon access to care and disparities in health. His most prominent work has been the HIV Cost and Service Utilization Study (HCSUS), which enrolled a national probability sample of persons with HIV and has been widely-recognized for affecting policy in HIV care through studies of access, diffusion of innovation, costs and utilization, mental health, drug use, risk behavior, viral resistance, health outcomes, providers of HIV care, and the impact of the Ryan White Care Act on patterns of care for HIV. He also has studied racial/ethnic and socioeconomic influences on patterns of care, the impact of major diseases on disparities in life expectancy, the impact of copayments on access to care, scientific misconduct in investigational drug trials, patterns of scientific authorship and their appropriateness in the biomedical literature, the quality of pharmaceutical advertising, variations in the use of intensive care, attitudes of physicians to the care of persons with HIV, and appropriateness of patterns of laboratory testing in clinical care.

Dr. Shapiro is an academic member of the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Dr. Madeline Sterling
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Madeline R. Sterling, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.

Dr. Sterling is a general internist and health services researcher whose work focuses on identifying and addressing the social determinants of health among adults with cardiovascular disease. To do so, she uses quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as community-partnered approaches. Ultimately, she plans to design novel interventions to improve healthcare delivery for adults with heart failure, helping them to avoid hospitalization and have an optimal quality of life at home.

Dr. Sterling is an academic member of the Cornell Center for Health Equity.

Hunter College Research Faculty

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Elizabeth Gross Cohn, Ph.D., R.N., N.P., FAAN
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Sarit A. Golub, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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Regina Miranda, Ph.D.
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Tyrel Starks, Ph.D.

General Internal Medicine

Monika Safford, M.D., Chief

Blake Rambo, J.D., M.B.A., Administrator
Tel: (646) 962-5900
Fax: (646) 962-0508
GIM-Admin@med.cornell.edu

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