Faculty & Staff

Whitney Adair

Michael Allegretti

Laura Backup

Karen Brudney

Susan Chimonas

Sheila M. Rothman


IMAP, through an agreement with Columbia University, funds the Center on Medicine as a Profession (CMAP).  Those listed below are CMAP employees.

 


 

Sheila M. Rothman, Ph.D.

Professor of Public Health

Sheila M. Rothman is a Professor of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons.

Trained in social history, she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research has explored American attitudes and policies past and present toward women, persons with mental disabilities, chronic diseases, and those at risk for genetic disease. Her books include Woman’s Proper Place: a History of Changing Ideals and Practices 1870 to the Present (1978), Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Experience of Illness in American History (1994). The Willowbrook Wars: Bringing the Mentally Disabled into the Community (co-author) (1984, reissued 2005). Her most recent book, The Pursuit of Perfection: The Promise and Perils of Medical Enhancement (co-author) (2003), examines the development, promotion, and use of hormonal therapies and genetic technologies.

Sheila Rothman has also written on the meaning of new technologies for individual and group identity and health policy. See Rothman SM, Rothman DJ “The Hidden Costs of Organ Sales,” American Journal of Transplantation June 2006 and Rothman SM, Rossario N, Rothman DJ, “The impact of information technology on organ donations: Private Values in a Public World,” in Blumenthal D, Rothman DJ Professionalism in a New Information Age (Rutgers University Press, 2010). Brandt-Rauf SI, Raveis VH. Drummond, N. Conte JA, Rothman, SM. “Ashkenazi Jews and Breast Cancer: The Consequences of Linking Ethnic Identity to Genetic Disease.” American Journal of Public Health November 2006.

Sheila Rothman has a long interest in Human Rights and Medicine. Together with David Rothman, she has published articles in The New York Review of Books on how AIDS came to Romania, medical accountability in Zimbabwe, the impact of organ donation policies in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines on socially disadvantaged groups. Trust is not Enough: Bringing Human Rights to Medicine (2006) is a collection of these articles.

Sheila Rothman’s current research focuses on the relationships between medical professional organization, health advocacy organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry. See Rothman SM, Rothman DJ “Marketing HPV Vaccine: Implications for Adolescent Health and Medical Professionalism,” Journal of the American Medical Association August 2009 and Rothman SM, Raveis VH, Friedman A, Rothman, DJ “Health Advocacy Organizations and the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Analysis of Disclosure Practices.” American Journal of Public Health January 2011.

 

Susan Chimonas, Ph.D.

Research Scholar

Susan Chimonas, Ph.D, is a national expert in the field of physician-industry relationships and conflict of interest in clinical care. She has written extensively about the issues in peer-reviewed journals and has played a critical role in the development of stronger conflict of interest policies at healthcare organizations around the country.

After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, Dr. Chimonas earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2000, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University's Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.

As lead author in a 2005 article in Health Affairs, she analyzed how drug companies and medical organizations influenced the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed guidelines for physician-industry relationships. Dr. Chimonas explored the influence of industry relationships on individual physicians in a 2007 piece in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that used focus groups to explore physicians’ attitudes towards drug representatives. Dr. Chimonas has also evaluated state laws mandating disclosure of pharmaceutical company payments. As first author on a 2010 publication in Health Services Research, she devoted particular attention to the Vermont legislation.

A major theme of her work has been gauging the extent to which the medical profession has risen to the challenge of conflict of interest. Her work demonstrates that medicine’s record is very mixed. In a 2011 article in Academic Medicine, Dr. Chimonas reported the results of a survey of medical schools’ policies to manage conflicts of interest in clinical care – revealing that fewer than one quarter of schools had enacted policies that meet recommended standards.

The failure of physicians and medical institutions to effectively manage industry ties is perhaps most dramatically evident in Dr. Chimonas’ research on transparency. As lead author of a 2010 piece in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Chimonas evaluated the accuracy of conflict of interest disclosures in orthopedic publications – finding that, among authors receiving $1 million or more from orthopedic companies, fewer than half of their publications mentioned the company payments.

Dr. Chimonas has also explored remedies for managing conflict of interest. She served on a task force created by IMAP and the ABIM Foundation in 2004, which developed recommendations aimed at academic medical centers. She also served on a task force charged with developing equally rigorous standards for professional medical associations. She has also developed tool and resources to promote ethical physician-industry relationships, including IMAP’s COI curriculum and best practices toolkits

 

Whitney Adair

Research Associate

Whitney graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in History and Science with a Focus in Medicine and Society as well as a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy. During her time at Harvard, Whitney was the Editor-in-Chief of Synthesis, a national undergraduate history of science journal. She also worked as a Resource Advocate with Health Leads in Boston Medical Center, where she connected new mothers and their families with health resources. Her senior thesis investigated the scientific conflicts and debates surrounding synthetic sweeteners in the 20th century, their presentation by the media, and the studies' reception by the public. She has also done research on the cultural protection of other consumables in light of health concerns, including work on SPAMR and its cultural importance in the Pacific. Whitney joined CMAP in July 2012, and coordinates the Center's annual advocacy Merit Awards conference as well as conducts research concerned with conflicts of interest within the medical community and fiscal transparency in health institutions.


Michael Allegretti

Financial Coordinator

Michael Allegretti graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After spending three years in Italy working for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, he joined the Columbia University administrative staff. He manages the financial affairs and human resources for both the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine and the Center on Medicine as a Profession. His fiscal responsibilities include analyzing, preparing and managing budgets, monitoring grants and fund disbursements and reporting university data related to both centers' financial activities. Michael holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

 

Laura Backup

Research Associate
Laura Backup graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and minor concentrations in biology and psychology. As an undergraduate, she performed public health and medical ethics research for the Penn Center for Bioethics. Her topics of investigation included school-entry vaccine mandates, vaccine production and distribution, organ-donor registration policies, and physicians’ dismissal of noncompliant patients. After graduation, she performed health outcomes research as a Research Assistant for a scientific consulting firm specializing in the development of patient-reported outcome measures. She joined CMAP in July of 2013, and currently serves as a Research Associate on a project evaluating conflict of interest policies at Academic Medical Centers.


Part-time faculty/staff

Karen Brudney, M.D. 

Faculty Associate
Karen Brudney, M.D. assists CMAP in it's project on physician involvement in interrogation and detainee affairs. Her work at the Center focuses on physicians' conduct in dual-loyalties situations and the appropriate rules and regulations set by professional medical associations.

At Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Brudney is the director of the Infectious Diseases/AIDS Clinic , and the director of the tuberculosis service at NY-Presbyterian Hospital. She has extensive experience in tuberculosis management, having developed and helped to establish the National Tuberculosis Control Program under the Sandinista government in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Subsequently, she has worked continuously in the tuberculosis control program in the New York City Department of Health and Mental hygiene and served as a consultant to the WHO tuberculosis program, evaluating tuberculosis programs in South America.

As the Infectious Diseases Clinic Director at Columbia, she leads a multi-disciplinary staff of nurses, physicians, social workers, health educators and peer educators treating patients with AIDS. She has developed a medication adherence program, Jumpstart, which has served as the model for AIDS treatment programs throughout New York City as well as in the Dominican Republic and numerous countries that were former Soviet Republics. She has taught physicians and health educators from these countries under the auspices of the Open Society Institute annual program, “Anti-retroviral treatment for Vulnerable Populations”. She was the Principle Investigator of a five year US National Institute of Health Fogarty International Center training program for HIV care in the Dominican Republic and conducted clinical and behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and stigma.

 

Get Our Medical Professionalism Newsletter

Thank You for signing up for the IMAP News and Alerts.