Messages From Leadership

Ali Gharavi

The Department of Medicine at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons is the home for a diverse community of health care providers, scientists, and administrators who are dedicated to bringing diversity, equity and inclusion to all aspects of our academic missions. We strive to recognize diversity across all of its dimensions: race, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and disability. These core values not only serve the principles of justice and equity, but are also necessary ingredients for achieving excellence in clinical care, education, and research.

We have been serving the diverse communities of Washington Heights and the greater New York area for the past century. Our institution, in partnership with NewYork Presbyterian Hospital, has provided care to all those in need during successive health care crises such as the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1990’s or most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud that in these critical moments, all members of the department have selflessly come together to provide the highest standard of care for our patients. 

Diversity and inclusiveness are requirements for truly impactful research. Over the years, we have participated in research projects that aim to increase representation of underrepresented minorities in biomedical research such as the MESA, eMERGE or the All of Us studies. Participation in these studies also provides many training opportunities for the next generation of researchers. 

We strive to recruit and develop faculty, trainees, and staff that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. The Department of Medicine’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, led by Dr. Christopher Irobunda, has developed dedicated mentorship and career development programs for underrepresented minorities. We achieve this through investments in recruitment, training, and research programs. Finally, our department contributes to many community service and education programs at CUIMC.  

I invite you to explore our website to learn more about this initiative.

Ali Gharavi, MD
Jay Meltzer Professor of Nephrology and Hypertension (in Medicine)
Chief, Division of Nephrology
Interim Chair, Department of Medicine

Christopher Irobunda, MD, PhD

Welcome to the Department of Medicine, Office of Faculty Development. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.

The Department of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is widely acclaimed and widely honored. The department and its various subspecialties/divisions and their contributions to medical education, patient care, and biomedical/clinical research is second to none in the world.

The mission of the office is to promote a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the entire department of medicine and to help the department in identifying, attracting, and maintaining underrepresented trainees, faculty, and individuals that embody the department’s core values of excellence in the aforementioned areas including community outreach and service.

We strive to make sure that our underrepresented minority trainees, faculty, and staff feel a sense of belonging, support, appreciation, and respect for who they are. We achieve this through concrete initiatives that originate from each division’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committees (which are reviewed by the DOM DEI Executive Committee. These initiatives include mentoring, advocacy, pipeline programs, community service, lecture series, support groups, and accountability measures.

Christopher Irobunda, MD, PhD
Jim Ovia Associate Professor of Cardiology
Vice Chair, Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Department of Medicine