Biostatstics and Research Design

Sebastian Placide featured on NY1 as a recipient of the Diversity in Medicine scholarship from AMSNY

Sebastian Placide

Sebastian Placide, MS2, was featured on NY1 as one of the first recipients of the Diversity in Medicine scholarship from the Associated Medical Schools of New York. This scholarship is funded through a grant by the New York State Department of Health with two main goals: the diversification of the medical workforce and to provide medical care to underserved areas of New York State, where recipients of the scholarship are required to give two years of service post completion of their training. When fully funded, 40 scholarships will support NY medical students looking to make a difference in our state. We congratulate Sebastian on this achievement, as he and our other wonderful recipient, Ms. Diana Perez (Einstein MS1) had to not only show need but a good moral character and a commitment to serving the underserved in order to be awarded this scholarship. Congratulations!

NY1 Report
Diversity in Medicine Scholarship


Office of Diversity Enhancement

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We, in ODE, are committed to developing a broadly diverse cadre of clinicians, researchers and educators who will promote health and address health disparities in our local community, in the nation and abroad.

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Einstein is dedicated to providing critical pipeline programs for racial/ ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged students, beginning in high school. These programs promote the educational advancement of underserved, economically and educationally disadvantaged students, giving them an opportunity to pursue and succeed in rigorous academic programs in the health professions. Hundreds of students benefit from Einstein’s pipeline programs each year.

  • The Einstein Enrichment Program

    The EEP is a New York state–funded Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) that offers grade 7-12 students opportunities to excel in the sciences and exposure to careers in medicine. The 15-week curriculum includes hands-on learning such as ambulance-bay prep, seminars, test-prep classes and more. Among our graduates are M.D.s, physician assistants and nurses. To qualify, students must demonstrate high academic school performance, good school attendance, and an interest in pursuing careers in health, medicine and/or science. The program runs approximately fifteen weeks each fall and spring semesters, and students over the age of 16 have the option of attending our five-week summer program.

    Alicia Martinez, Ed.D, MS,
    Janet Dwamena, MS,
    Rebecca Solivan, MS,

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  • The Einstein Enrichment Program Extension

    The Einstein Enrichment Program Extension (EEPx) offers alumni of the Einstein Enrichment Program a continuation of services such as counseling, career assessments and test prep support including MCAT and GMAT prep. EEPx hosts a Pre-med Symposium & Reunion for EEP alumni in addition to a 6-week summer program for alumni currently pursuing undergraduate degrees, or recent undergraduate degree recipients who are continuing on a medical career track. The program consists of a medical science class, luncheon seminars, career counseling and over 96 hours of clinical or research site placements with distinguished faculty. All participants will develop an abstract and present a poster on a topic related to medical science at Einstein at the end of the program.

    Alicia Martinez, Ed.D., M.S., and
    Janet Dwamena, M.S.,

  • Diversity Student Summer Research Opportunity Program

    DSSROP gives college sophomores and juniors an opportunity to do biomedical research in a mentored program. DSSROP is a part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program directed by Einstein’s Graduate Division in the Biomedical Sciences. The eight-week program consists of laboratory research, lectures by faculty, discussions on “hot topics,” and training in writing and oral presenting research work. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty member. Research assignments will be made based upon availability of research opportunities and according to the mutual interests of the faculty sponsors and student participants.

    Contact: Nilda I. Soto, MS-Ed,

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Pipelines from Our Einstein Partners

  • Hispanic Center of Excellence Summer Undergraduate Mentorship Program

    HCOE SUMP is a six-week summer program for college sophomores through recent college graduates. Our goals are to motivate students to pursue careers in medicine, build confidence and foster working mentorship relationships. The program provides students with shadowing and mentorship opportunities with Montefiore and Einstein physicians, workshops, lectures and research experience.

    Contact: Cara Stephenson-Hunter, Ph.d, M.S.,

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  • Montefiore Health Opportunities Program (Monte-HOP)

    Monte-HOP is a summer program that promotes, educates and encourages rising college freshmen through rising college juniors to pursue careers in health fields. Students gain valuable knowledge and professional skills through interactive workshops, mentorship by physicians, observation of physician-patient interactions, lecture activities and independent learning.

    Contact: Carol Whittaker,

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  • Bronx Community Health Leaders, (BxCHL)

    The Bronx Community Health Leaders is a mentoring, and community outreach groups run in conjunction with the Family Health Center of Montefiore Medical Center. Created in 2014, and entirely student led, BxCHL offers pre-health scholars the opportunity to volunteer in a multitude of community based clinical initiatives, provide and participate in near-peer and faculty mentoring, in addition to facilitating leadership and scholarly opportunities. BxCHL seeks to devise strategies that attract socially and economically disadvantaged scholars to pursue a career in medicine, and thus further promote the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in Primary Care.

    Contact: Juan Robles, MD,

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Our Team

Irene Blanco, M.D., M.S.

Irene Blanco, M.D., M.S.
Pronoun: She/Her
Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave, Belfer 507
Bronx, NY 10461


A rheumatologist by training, Dr. Blanco has a particular interest in connective tissue diseases, most notably systemic lupus erythematosus and how it affects underserved populations. Her research currently focuses on addressing health disparities in rheumatology through developing structured didactics within the rheumatology fellowship curriculum. At the medical school, Dr. Blanco focuses on further diversifying both the medical and graduate school, with the end goal of having Einstein graduates at the upper echelons of research and healthcare nationally and internationally.

Nilda Soto, MS-Ed

Nilda Soto, MS-Ed
Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Director, Einstein Enrichment Program

Belfer 507 718.430.3091

A native of the Bronx, Ms. Soto has been a member of Einstein's administration since 1990. In her role as assistant dean of diversity enhancement, Ms. Soto administers and supervises all minority student activities at the medical school and is involved in the recruitment, admission and retention of individuals underrepresented in medicine. She serves as director of both the Einstein Enrichment Program and the Minority Students Summer Research Opportunity Program. Ms. Soto served on the New York State Minority Health Council through March 2010. She currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives, as a member of the Board of Friends of the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University, and as Chair of the LeGrand Newman Scholarship Committee for the Northeast Region of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc.

Maddy Ebanks, BS-HSA

Maddy Ebanks, BS-HSA
Administrative Assistant
Office of Diversity Enhancement

Belfer 507 718.430.3091

A native of Nueva Gerona, Cuba and a product of New York City's public school system, Ms. Ebanks learned to speak English thanks to bilingual education classes that also allowed her to remain with her cohort. Ms. Ebanks majored in healthcare administration in college and holds a Bachelor of Science degree. As a public education advocate in East Harlem, she helped raise awareness of the needs of public schools and collaborated with elected officials, parents, pedagogical staff and community members to procure resources for education. Ms. Ebanks has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare administration. She is familiar with the accreditation standards governing graduate medical education and the accreditation and privileging standards governing healthcare organization operations and professional affairs.

Janet Dwamena

Janet Dwamena, M.S.
Program Assistant
Einstein Enrichment Program
Community Based Service Learning

Belfer 407 718.430.4166

Ms. Janet Dwamena serves as the program assistant for the Einstein Enrichment Program. She first joined the EEP team in 2018. She received her bachelor’s of science degree in communications and journalism from Suffolk University, and is currently pursuing her masters in Childhood Education at Fordham University. Ms. Dwamena functions as a liaison between students, parents and the EEP administration. She works very closely with the students on all aspects of the program and maintaining pertinent paperwork. She is very passionate about working with minority students from underrepresented populations and is dedicated to offering support and guidance as they persist to program completion, high school graduation and college entry.

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Office of Diversity Enhancement
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave, Belfer 507
Bronx, NY 10461


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