Community Programs & Initiatives

Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) is committed to contributing to the health and well-being of our neighbors. CUIMC offers community programs and initiatives, spanning college prep programs for youth, school-based dental clinics, community-based participatory research, and clinical home visits for our community’s most vulnerable residents. The CUIMC Office of Community Service Programs works to connect our local community with our valuable resources. Each year, these programs serve tens of thousands of community residents. Click on the sections below for an extensive, but not all-inclusive, list of community programs and initiatives. 

Youth Education and Pipeline Programs

  • America Reads Program: For more than 20 years, the program has partnered with local elementary schools with the goal of ensuring that all children read independently and on grade level by third grade.
  • Biostatistics Epidemiology Summer Training Diversity Program (BEST): The program works to expand and diversify the behavioral and biomedical sciences’ workforce by introducing undergraduates from underrepresented populations to biostatistics and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease research.
  • Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO): The program facilitates science and neurosciences-related activities for local youth and the general public to expose them to science.
  • CURE High School Program: The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center CURE summer program encourages high school and undergraduate students to pursue careers in cancer research and provides mentorship. CURE aims to strengthen the pool of underrepresented minorities, economically disadvantaged groups, and first-generation college students entering into cancer-related research fields. 
  • NERA MedPrep Academy Program: A free summer enrichment program targeting traditionally underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged college freshmen and sophomores interested in attending medical school.
  • Program to Inspire Minority Undergraduates in Environmental Health Science Research (PrIMER): A research program for full-time, undergraduate underrepresented minority, and underserved students from the New York City area who are typically underrepresented in STEM fields. Participants gain valuable research experience in environmental health sciences.
  • State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP): A free high school and college preparatory program designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related STEM fields.
  • Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP): A free six-week summer enrichment program for first- and second-year college students from groups who are underrepresented in health professions. Every year, the program accepts 80 participants.
  • Summer of Translational Aging Research for Undergraduates (STAR U): The goal of STAR U is to increase diversity in the field of neuroscience and aging. Every year, the program provides mentorship and training to 10 to 12 young scientists who have unique experiences and perspectives.
  • Summer Program for Underrepresented Students (SPURS): A biomedical research program which provides research fellowship experiences to undergraduate students from Universities in the City of Greater New York. The program provides meaningful training in biomedical research and enhance the students’ ability to achieve a career in biomedical research and/or medicine.
  • Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP): A program for undergraduate students that works to increase interest in and knowledge of public health and biomedical science careers.
  • Summer Research Program for Science Teachers: Established in 1990, the program contributes to the improvement of secondary students’ understanding of science by providing their teachers with experience in the practice of science.
  • Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP): For more than 20 years, SYEP has placed local youth in CUIMC departments. Every year, more than 100 participants gain first-hand work experience and foster mentoring relations.
  • Young Docs: A program by the Black and Latino Student Organization (BALSO), Young Docs aims to attract minority students to the medical field by exposing them to the fun/exciting sides of medicine and science. The program visits local elementary schools and high schools and participates in mentoring events and science fairs.

Community Clinics, Health Education, and Outreach

  • APOYO: An adolescent pregnancy program with the mission to educate, support, and provide resources for pregnant adolescents in the Washington Heights area by fostering collaborative relationships between medical student mentors and participating adolescents.
  • Community DentCare Network: Since 1996, the College of Dental Medicine’s Community DentCare program has worked to provide patient-centered dental services to Northern Manhattan’s low-income, underserved, and uninsured residents.
  • School-Based Dental Clinics: The backbone of the Community DentCare program is a network of seven school-based clinics that provide a range of on-site services. The program is accessible to all students and no out-of-pocket payment is required. Each year, an average of 15,000 visits are provided to community residents.
  • Mobile Dental Center: Linked to five community-based practices, the Mobile Dental Center travels to day care centers, Head Start programs, and senior centers throughout Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. Yearly, the Mobile Dental Center provides more than 3,000 visits to underserved children.
  • ElderSmile Program: The program offers prevention, education, screening, and treatment services for seniors in northern Manhattan through mobile van visits to senior centers.
  • Columbia Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership (CHHMP): A student-run clinic that provides free, quality medical care and health services to the homeless or uninsured community in upper Manhattan.
  • Columbia Nursing Opioid Overdose Training: With a mission to combat the opioid epidemic, the program has trained thousands of local residents in the use of Narcan, the opioid-overdose antidote.
  • Columbia Student Medical Outreach Program (CoSMO): A student-run clinic that provides free, high-quality primary health care to the uninsured population of Washington Heights.
  • Columbia University Harm Reduction Clinic: A student-run clinic that provides free medical care and blood-borne infection screening to drug users and sex workers in Washington Heights, many of whom have faced discrimination elsewhere in the health system.
  • Community Research Forums: Throughout the year, the Office of Government & Community Affairs presents several Community Research Forums that are free and open to residents of our neighboring communities. These forums allow community residents to learn about the latest research spearheaded by Columbia faculty.
  • Community Wellness Center: The Zuckerman Institute’s Community Wellness Center provides health resources to area residents.
  • Healthy Haven: A yearly event to promote health and wellness in our community.
  • Harlem Health Promotion Center (HHPC): A collaboration of commuity, academic, and public health stakeholders to impove the health and well-being of the Harlem community. Since 1990, HHPC has been working with Harlem leaders and community members through research, education, advocacy, and service delivery.
  • The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center’s (HICCC) Community Outreach and Engagement Office (COE): COE brings together a team of experienced researchers, clinicians, and community health educators. Working with community stakeholders and community members and HICCC cancer patients and their families, the office is committed to reducing the burden of cancer.
  • Medical Center Neighborhood Fund (MCNF): The MCNF is dedicated to raising funds for local nonprofit organizations that offer vital services and opportunities in northern Manhattan.
  • Project Medical Education: A full-day program that aims to provide community stakeholders with an in-depth look at the overall operations of our medical center.
  • Q Clinic: A free student-run clinic that provides primary care services, physical exams, STI/HIV screenings, health management, subsidized medications, PrEP, and flu shots. The clinic welcomes all patients especially those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and/or part of the queer community.
  • VP&S Human Rights and Asylum Clinic: The Asylum Clinic is a student-run clinic that provides pro-bono medical evaluations to adults and children who are seeking asylum in the United States.
  • Young Men’s Clinic: Through a partnership with NYP Ambulatory Health Network, the clinic focuses on male sexual and reproductive health issues and provides confidential health services to adolescents to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STI/HVI infection and transmission.
  • Zuckerman Institute Outreach and Education Programs: The programs showcase the groundbreaking research of the Zuckerman Institute in creative ways for school children, families, after-school groups, and adults.

Clinical Research and Community-Based Participatory Research

  • All of Us: CUIMC is the lead partner of All of Us Research Program, which is a historic effort to gather data from 1 million or more people living in the United States to advance individualized prevention, treatment, and care for people of all backgrounds.
  • Cancer Population Science Program: The Cancer Population Science Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center conducts observational and interventional studies that focus on primary prevention, early detection, health outcomes, and the delivery of cancer care to diverse communities.
  • Community Engagement Core Resource (CECR): Fosters community-engaged research through structured training and practical experience.
  • Columbia Community Partnership for Health (CCPH): CCPH connects residents to health and social services, organizes health lectures, operates a bilingual health library, and facilitates access to health research.
  • CTSA-Community-Based Participatory Research Scholars and Awards Program: An innovative training and pilot funding opportunity for Columbia University faculty and administrators of not-for-profit organizations serving Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
  • Genetic Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s Disease in Hispanics (EFIGA): A study of Alzheimer’s disease in Caribbean Hispanics.
  • Manhattan Vision Screening and Follow‐up Study in Vulnerable Populations: A vision screening study focused on underserved, vulnerable New York City residents living in affordable housing buildings in Harlem and Washington Heights.
  • New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence: The center works to remove cultural and linguistic barriers in mental health care in New York State.
  • Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS): A research study of stroke and stroke risk factors in the Northern Manhattan community conducted at the Neurological Institute Division of Stroke and Critical Care.
  • Washington Heights/Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP): Works to identify risk factors and biomarkers for aging and Alzheimer’s disease in a multi-ethnic cohort that includes Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic participants.

NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Programs*

  • ANCHOR (Addressing the Needs of the Community through Holistic, Organizational Relationships): A program that works to identify the health-related social needs of Northern Manhattan/South Bronx Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and address their identified needs through referrals to local community-based social service organizations. 
  • Avon Foundation Breast Imaging Center: A dedicated screening facility offering imaging services in a supportive, private, and comfortable setting.
  • Behavioral Health Crisis Program: The program offers comprehensive behavioral health outpatient clinical services for children, adolescents, and adults to meet the needs of our community.
  • Center for Community Health & Education: A community and school-based program providing comprehensive medical, mental health, and health education services for underserved adolescents and adults in Washington Heights, Inwood, Harlem, and the Bronx.
  • Center for Community Health Navigation: The center supports the health and well-being of patients through the delivery of culturally competent, peer-based support in the emergency department, inpatient, outpatient, and community settings.
  • Center for Family and Community Medicine: The center works to enhance the health of our community through education, service, research, and academic-community partnerships.
  • CHALK (Choosing Healthy and Active Lifestyles for Kids): CHALK is an integrated obesity prevention program that aims to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in Northern Manhattan and to create environments in which healthy lifestyles are integral to the lives of all children.
  • Community and Faith-Based Program: The program partners with community and faith-based organizations to improve the health of members in its communities.
  • Community Hearing Health Collaborative: The collaborative works to address the needs of hearing-impaired infants and newborns by supporting, educating, empowering, and connecting families to resources.
  • Compass Program: Compass is a comprehensive program for transgender and gender-diverse children and adolescents in a safe, welcoming, and nonjudgmental space.
  • Family Peace Trauma Treatment Center: The program provides mental health services to children ages birth to 5 years (0-5), and their primary caregivers, who have been exposed to various forms of trauma including violence and abuse.
  • Health Home: An intensive care management service program for Medicaid patients with complex and high-cost medical conditions.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network (ACN): The ACN provides primary care to children and families in communities throughout Manhattan with the goal to improve the health and quality of life for residents in New York City's underserved communities.
  • Lang Youth Medical Program: A six-year science enrichment program that mobilizes the resources of NYP and CUIMC to prepare young adults from the Washington Heights and Inwood community for careers in biomedical science and medicine.
  • Manhattan Cancer Services: The program works to reduce cancer outcome disparities among uninsured New Yorkers.
  • Project STAY (Services to Assist Youth): The program provides medical, gynecological, psychological, and case management services to people with HIV and at risk for HIV, STIs, and hepatitis C. The program provides services to youth on site and in the community.
  • Reach Out & Read: A pre-literacy program that highlights the importance of reading for children aged 6 months to 5 years.
  • School-Based Health Centers: Seven school-based health centers serving 23 public schools in Harlem, Washington Heights/Inwood, and the Bronx.
  • Smoking Cessation: Facilitates provider and community education activities on smoking cessation topics.
  • The Uptown Hub: A youth opportunity hub in Washington Heights and Inwood that serves youths aged 14 to 24 years who have been or are at risk for involvement with the juvenile or adult judicial systems.
  • Transitions of Care Program: Works to strengthen continuity of care between NYP inpatient units and subsequent settings to reduce the risk of avoidable readmissions to the hospital and/or emergency department.
  • Turn 2 Us: A mental health promotion and prevention program in partnership with the NYP Ambulatory Care Network, Columbia University Community Pediatrics, former NY Yankees Captain Derek Jeter;s Turn 2 Foundation, and local elementary schools.
  • Waiting Room as a Literacy & Learning Environment (WALLE): The program addresses the social determinants of health by providing targeted health education and resource referrals to patients.
  • WIN for Asthma: A partnership between NYP, CUIMC Pediatrics, and community members that provides culturally sensitive support and education to children with asthma and their caregivers.

*A number of NewYork-Presbyterian programs are in collaboration with CUIMC and/or involve CUIMC faculty, staff, and/or students.