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Nerys Benfield

Greetings to the Einstein community. We hope you enjoy our inaugural newsletter from the office of diversity and inclusion.

For many of us this has been a year of challenge and a year of loss—we have lost friends and family to a pandemic that has disproportionately affected our communities of color, we have lost leaders like John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg who dedicated their lives to social justice, and we have experienced the repetitive trauma of seeing black lives taken with little accountability. But we have also gained strength—in our dedication to our shared humanity, in our understanding of the way we can all contribute to the work for justice, and in the demands for accountability we know are necessary to make true systemic change.

This newsletter highlights achievements, opportunities, and teachings from our diverse and inspiring Einstein community. We seek to amplify these voices because all should be heard and all should be valued. Feel free to reach out anytime with your thoughts and ideas.

Thank you and in solidarity,

Nerys Benfield, M.D., M.P.H

Senior Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion

News and Events

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by remembering Einstein community members who have enhanced medicine and diversity.

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Hispanic Heritage Month

Einstein LMSA hosted several events throughout the month.

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Use Your Voice

Use Your Voice: Effective Protest and Advocacy

On October 28, the office of diversity and inclusion hosted a virtual program featuring panel discussions, presentations, and workshops aimed at educating participants about current advocacy work being done in the Bronx and beyond. Attendees learned strategies and techniques that helped them become better changemakers. You will be able to listen to the recording on the diversity@Einstein website soon.

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Bronx Hope

Bronx Hope Summer Program

Einstein provided a virtual summer program to promote the educational advancement of students who are underrepresented in medicine. This summer, 46 students participated in the science and medicine program. Check them out!

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D&I Annual Report

See an overview of our campus statistics and diversity & inclusion initiatives. Learn More

D&I Climate Survey

Review the summary of the results from Einstein’s 2019 institutional survey of climate and culture at the College of Medicine. Learn More

D&I Town Halls

A series of town halls on addressing systemic racism were held in June. You can view videos or read transcripts from these five meetings to learn what was discussed. Learn More

Highlights, News and Honors

Obioesio Bassey, Diana Perez, and Juan Vazquez

Obioesio Bassey, Diana Perez, and Juan Vazquez

Congratulations to Einstein medical students Diana Perez, Obioesio Bassey, and Juan Vazquez, recipients of this year’s Diversity in Medicine scholarships given by the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY). Of the 22 post-baccalaureate applicants from around the state vying for this competitive honor, three of the five selected to receive these coveted AMSNY scholarships were our Einstein students, validating their dedication and commitment to working with underserved communities. Learn More

Elise Mike

Elise Mike, MSTP

Elise Mike was selected as a 2020 recipient of the National Medical Fellowships (NMF) Dr. David Kearney McDonogh Scholarship in ophthalmology/ENT. This scholarship is awarded to underrepresented minority medical students who are committed to academic excellence, research, leadership, and service and have an interest in a career in ophthalmology/otolaryngology ENT specialties. Elise was also a featured panelist at a workshop, titled “Educational Pathways for Blacks in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Exploring Barriers and Possible Interventions,” hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Terry-Ann Chambers

Terry-Ann Chambers, M.D.

Einstein celebrates Dr. Terry-Ann Chambers and Dr. Alexandra Bastien for being awarded the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Mentoring Grant. This grant provides funding up to $5,000 to mentor/mentee pairs who submit a project that addresses the goals of the committee on professional diversity. These goals include promoting ASA membership of diverse backgrounds and addressing issues that affect members’ professional development. Dr. Chambers and Dr. Bastien are working on addressing equitable healthcare delivery in the perioperative setting. They’ve proposed a process in which clinicians use a “Clinical Empathy” mobile application to help them better identify with the patient and address implicit bias.

Earle Chambers

Earle Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H.

This summer, Dr. Earle Chambers was appointed director of research in family and social medicine at Einstein and Montefiore. In this role, Dr. Chambers will help determine the priorities and focus of the department’s research agenda and manage the resources available for the research faculty. He is currently an associate professor of family and social medicine and of epidemiology & population health, and a member of the leadership team for the New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research at Einstein. Once appointed, Dr. Chambers said, “one of the things I want to do is lead the development of a health equity research lab, which would provide dedicated resources at Einstein to support interdisciplinary studies of social determinants of health and the inequities that result in harmful outcomes for some people.” Learn More

Lauren Roth

Lauren T. Roth, M.D.

Dr. Lauren Roth, of pediatrics, was appointed co-chair of the of the LGBTQ Health and Well-Being SIG of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA). The purpose of the LGBTQ SIG is to provide a forum within the APA for members to share and advance research at various stages of development, innovative teaching activities and ideas, and advocacy efforts in support of LGBTQ children, youth, parents, and members of the health professions including students, residents, faculty, and practitioners. Lauren is also a member of Einstein’s LGBTQIA Health Curriculum Working Group and an alumna of Einstein.

Chinazo Cunningham

Chinazo Cunningham, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Chinazo Cunningham was selected to receive the Edward J. Davis Community Service Award from the Legal Action Center, which does critical work to fight discrimination against people with criminal records, addiction, and HIV. The virtual award ceremony is on October 6. Learn More

Christina Gonzalez

Cristina M. Gonzalez, M.D., M.Ed.

Join us in sending congrats to Cristina M. Gonzalez, M.D., M.Ed., as she was promoted professor of medicine in the division of hospital medicine this year. She conducts medical education research focused on health equity. Specifically, Dr. Gonzalez designs, implements, and evaluates interventions seeking to enable physicians to recognize and manage their implicit biases in clinical encounters across all specialties. She has multiple ongoing projects and is open to new talent joining her lab. She can be reached at crgonzal@montefiore.org.


Tanya Johns

Tanya S. Johns, M.D.

Dr. Tanya Johns was named associate professor of medicine (nephrology).

Irene Blanco

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

Dr. Irene Blanco was named professor of medicine (rheumatology).

Recommend students, faculty, and staff who have received awards, promotions, and honors by emailing fanta.sissoko@einsteinmed.org


Here are some of the diversity and inclusion resources. See our website for more resources.


Anti-Racism Library Guide

View the Einstein library’s curated guide to anti-racism resources. This is an active document; if you have resources to recommend, please enter information here.

Einstein Student Collective for Action on Diversity

View this resource guide compiled by Einstein students. Learn More

Protest and Advocacy FAQs Diversity

View these Protest and Advocacy FAQs. Learn More


Anti-Racism Primer

Learn helpful terms and concepts for understanding and addressing structural racism. Watch Video

Grand Rounds Presentation

Listen to Dr. Nerys Benfield discussing “Black Voices in Academic Medicine: Transforming an Inequitable System.” Watch Video

Anti-Racism Presentation

Listen to Dr. Irene Blanco discussing “Anti-Racism in Education”. Watch Video


National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)

Einstein’s office of diversity and inclusion will be creating a mentoring group through the NRMN. The NRMN connects highly knowledgeable and skilled mentors with motivated and diverse mentees, and disseminates innovative, evidence-based best practices to improve mentoring relationships at institutions across the country. Keep an eye out for an email from Dr. Benfield that will include registration information. Learn More

Connect with Us!

Visit our @Einstein Diversity website and our intranet page to access the resources and information highlighted, and much more! And, follow us on instagram at DiversityatEinstein.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine