The Community Pediatrics Program aims to improve the health and well being of the children in Washington Heights/ Inwood by enlarging the focus of care from one child to all children in the community. The program challenges the traditional methods of resident education and service by creating meaningful academic and community-based partnerships and by developing population health initiatives that address major threats to children's health.

Below are brief descriptions of our major programs, followed by more detailed descriptions, including outcomes. The Community Pediatrics Program is a collaborative effort between New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University, and the Washington Heights/Inwood communities. In all cases, programs are led by Columbia faculty. In many cases NYP Hospital plays a major role in funding and managing the programs.

  • CHALK (Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids) Center for Best Practices aims to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and its associated morbidity in Northern Manhattan (with a focus on school-aged children), and to promote a culture and create an environment in which healthy lifestyles are integral to the lives of all children.

  • Health Education Adult Literacy (HEAL) Program aims to improve the health literacy of the population served by developing culturally responsive health education materials using the basic tenets of health literacy. In addition, the program trains pediatric providers, community workers, and volunteers to address this issue.

  • Health Leads, a national program, works to break the link between poverty and poor health by mobilizing Columbia undergraduate volunteers to provide sustained public health interventions in partnership with the medical center, university, and community organizations. Health Leads volunteers address patients’ unmet resource needs systematically, as a standard element of patient care.

  • Lang Youth Medical Program is a medical pipeline program that prepares middle and high school students from the Washington Heights and Inwood communities for careers in biomedical science and medicine. The program is in its eighth year and serves approximately 70 children and their families.

  • Reach Out and Read Program is a national program that incorporates early literacy into pediatric primary care for children aged 6 months to 5 years. Our program, established in 1997, has enabled over 200 pediatricians at CUMC to “prescribe” and give out over 100,000 books to 45,000 economically disadvantaged children, many of who are from linguistically isolated families.

  • Turn2 Us is a school-based mental health prevention program, currently in two schools in Northern Manhattan that strives to enable youth to internalize healthy lifestyles through a variety of physical and psycho-educational preventive interventions.

  • WIN (Washington Heights and Inwood Network) for Asthma Program is a community-based intervention to reduce childhood asthma for families in Washington Heights /Inwood.

  • Training: All pediatric residents receive extensive training in Community Pediatrics throughout the 3 years of their residency. Using a service-learning model, the next generation of pediatric leaders is taught core concepts in community health, cultural competency, and legislative advocacy. In addition, we support a Community Pediatrics Track for residents with a specific interest in this area, mentoring them through their residency to develop community pediatric and public health skills while completing a project with one of our aforementioned programs.

    Child Health Data Profile 2013 (PDF)