Office of Diversity Enhancement

Who's Who in Diversity

Office of Diversity Enhancement

/uploadedImages/education/md-program/diversity/Irene Blanco, MD.JPGIrene Blanco, M.D., MS
Associate Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Associate Professor, Clinical Medicine
Location: Belfer Building - Room 507
Phone: 718.430.3091
E-mail: irene.blanco@einstein.yu.edu 

 
 

Irene Blanco, M.D., MS is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine as well as the Associate Dean of Diversity Enhancement at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center.  A rheumatologist by training, she 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 is focused 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.

 
 

Milton A. Gumbs M.D.
Associate Dean Emeritus, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Location: Belfer Building - Room 507
Phone:718.430.3091
E-mail: milton.gumbs@einstein.yu.edu
 

Established in 1982 as an expression of the Medical College’s strong commitment to "welcome students from all creeds and races," specifically, underrepresented minorities, the activities of the Office of Diversity Enhancement focus on medical student recruitment, development and coordination of academic support services, academic monitoring, and student counseling. As the department director, Dr. Gumbs provides leadership and oversight of these functions. Dr. Gumbs is also a member of the school’s Committee on Student Promotions and Professional Standards.

The academic rigors of medical school are well documented and it can often be more so for underprivileged minorities, many of who had to overcome economic, social and/or personal hardships in order to make it into medical school. With its "open door" policy, Dr. Gumbs and the Office of Diversity Enhancement’s assistant deans, Nilda I. Soto, MS Ed, and Yvette Calderon, M.D. provide the Medical College’s students with needed support services that enable them to achieve medical school and life success.

 
 
 

Nilda I. Soto, M.S. Ed
Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement;
Director, Einstein Enrichment Program
Location: Belfer Building - Room 507
Phone: 718.430.3091
E-mail: nilda.soto@einstein.yu.edu
 

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. The former offers educational components to minority and economically disadvantaged high school students during the school year and summer, while the latter places minority undergraduate students in the laboratories of Einstein researchers for a eight-week period during the summer.

Ms. Soto served on the New York State Minority Health Council through March 2010. As a member of the Minority Health Council, Ms. Soto worked with other council members in considering matters relating to minority health. In addition to her membership on the Minority Health Council, 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. Ms. Soto received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Fordham University.

 
 
 

Maria Marzan, EdD, MPH
Diversity Resource and Academic Advisor
Assistant Professor, Department of Family & Social Medicine
Location: Belfer Building - Room 507
Phone: 718.430.3419

Dr. Maria Marzan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of Community Based Service Learning (CBSL) housed in the Office of Diversity Enhancement. The CBSL Program oversees Einstein’s Community Action Network (CAN), a collaboration of Einstein medical students, faculty and communities in the Bronx. Einstein CAN student groups promote services and provide advocacy for vulnerable populations in the Bronx. The program offers support for students who want to make a difference in the community by serving as a clearinghouse for information and opportunities, providing guidance, assistance with logistical issues and seminars to develop leadership and other skills necessary for community engagement.

After earning a Bachelor of Science Degree at Hunter College, Dr. Marzan completed a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Care and a Doctorate in Health and Behavioral Sciences from Columbia University in New York City. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of community/public health, and medical education, she has worked enthusiastically as an administrator, educator, and patient advocate. Dr. Marzan began her career in community health as an administrator in clinical and educational programs for women and children in various community clinics in Spanish Harlem. She received awards under Mayors Dinkins' and Giuliani's administration from Race for the Cure for outstanding and innovative women’s health educational programs for under-served women. She subsequently joined Einstein’s faculty as co-director of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine Program, developing and expanding the curriculum in public health, the Medical Spanish Program and cultural competency. Dr. Marzan is the recipient of the distinguished Leo M. Davidoff Society Award for outstanding achievement in the teaching of medical students (May 2006) and The Einstein Community Health Outreach (ECHO) Clinic Award for outstanding service March 2009).

Dr. Marzan is a core faculty member of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, and a founding member of the Northeast Consortium on Cross-Cultural Medical Education and Practice Committee. She is a faculty adviser for the Office of Diversity Enhancement and the third year family medicine community projects. In addition, she mentors students interested in degrees in public health, community service, the ECHO clinic and other community health-related activities.

 
 
 

Dr. Melvin E. Stone, Jr., M.D., FACS
Academic Advisor, to the Office of Diversity Enhancement
Location: Jacobi Medical Center, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bldg. 1, 12th Floor Suite 1213
Phone:718.918.5573
E-mail: melvin.stone@nbhn.net
 

Surgeon cum Electrical Engineer, Dr. Mel Stone knows the importance of staying charged and powered up at all times. Born and raised in Chicago, Mel received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and his Master of Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in Electrical Engineering. He received his Medical Degree from the University of California at San Francisco in June of 1995. He completed his Trauma/Critical Care Fellowship in 2001 from the University of Maryland/Shock Trauma, one of our nation’s most prestigious training programs.

Mel Stone chose to make us his professional home beginning in 2001. He secured his Boards in rapid succession in General Surgery (2001) and in Surgical Critical Care (2002). He serves as the Surgery Clerkship Site Director, is a Co-Coordinator for the Surgery Resident Journal Club and is a Course Director and Instructor for both Advanced Trauma Life Support and Advanced Trauma Operative Management. Mel is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons, and a member of many professional societies. In both 2009 and 2010, Mel was singled out by the Jacobi Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program for his teaching. He was inducted as a Member of the Leo M. Davidoff Society at Einstein for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Medical Students in May 2009. Mel’s 24/7/365 responsibilities have not precluded him from lecturing or writing for academic journals.

His connection with clinicians and nurses is incredibly powerful, and his patience and warmth in working with families is a highly valued attribute. Mel acknowledges and thanks the people and team that he works with at Jacobi - especially the trauma/critical care staff. "What we do daily in the healthcare profession is vital and ranks among the most important contributions to society and community. My professional successes are impossible without my team."

Mel resides in Manhattan with his wife Janet Hernandez - also part of the Jacobi family - and with their two children Fiona Blue, five years old, and Matias Nathaniel, one and a half years old. Though Mel holds images of his patients, both past and present, close to his heart, no image is as precious to him as the one of his son Matias, fighting for his life in Jacobi’s NICU.

Mel plays guitar with the blues rock trio WolfHustler. He is a triathlete and occasional marathon runner. He is always striving to sparkle in the many facets of his life to be a better father, husband, guitar player and surgeon. When asked what he finds beautiful about patient care, Mel states, "There is nothing more beautiful than helping another human being. It isn’t about you, it is about everybody else, and once you understand this one truth, all of sudden you will get a lot more coming to you - that’s the secret."

 
 
 

Maddy Ebanks, BS
Administrative Assistant, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Location: Belfer Building - Room 507
Phone: 718.430.3091
E-mail: madeline.ebanks@einstein.yu.edu 
 

A native of Nueva Gerona, Cuba, Maddy’s family immigrated to the United States. A product of New York City’s public school system, she learned to speak English thanks to Bilingual Education classes which also allowed her to remain with her cohort. Maddy received a Bachelor of Science degree from Lehman College where she majored in Health Care Administration with a minor in Elementary Education. She graduated Cum Laude and was on the Dean’s List.

She served the East Harlem community as a public education advocate. In this capacity she helped raise awareness of the needs of the public school community, and collaborated with other elected officials, parents, pedagogical staff, and community members to procure resources needed to support the instructional practices of their respective district.

Maddy has over twenty years of experience in the health care administration field. She is familiar with the accreditation standards governing graduate medical education and the accreditation and privileging standards governing health care organization operations and professional affairs.

Maddy values the empowerment of self and others through information which is in sync with our department’s vision and mission. She is often heard saying, "an informed person is an army of one."

Maddy is a licensed New York State Notary.

 
 

The Einstein Enrichment Program

A. Julie Cruz, MA, MCDP
Manager, Office of Diversity Enhancement
- Einstein Enrichment Program
- Community Based Service Learning Program
Location: Belfer Building - Room 407
Phone: 718.430.4166 / Fax: 718.430.8841
 

Ana Julia started at Einstein as Counselor in November of 2006, and became Coordinator of EEP in September 2007. After assuming responsibility for the development of Einstein’s Community Based Service Learning program in 2013 with Dr. Maria Marzan, Ana Julia became Manager of the Office of Diversity Enhancement.

She came to Einstein from New York University where she was Assistant Director of Marketing and Coordinator of the Center for Career, Education and Life Planning. Ms. Cruz is also a counselor in private practice and volunteer grief counselor with ACCESS (Air-Craft Casualty Emotional Support Services). In addition to individual counseling, Ms. Cruz has designed and facilitated many workshops and seminars related to career development for both adolescents and adults in transition, and most is currently developing a service learning curriculum for Einstein’s CBSL program.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree, Master’s in Applied Psychology and Certificate in Adult Career Development from New York University, and has received the designation of Master Career Development Professional from the National Career Development Association. Julie is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, Association for Death Education and Counseling, National Association for Advisers for the Health Professions, and the National Career Development Association where she serves as mentor for counselors. She presented a poster with Dr. Marzan on Medical Pathways at the AAMC GDI Conference in August of 2012.

 
 
 

Deborah Negron Cordero, MS
Counselor, Einstein Enrichment Program, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Location: Belfer Building - Room 407
Phone: 718.430.4166
E-mail: deborah.cordero@einstein.yu.edu
 

A Bronx native, Deborah Negron Cordero assumed the Counselor position at the Einstein Enrichment Program in April of 2010. Deborah has been in the field of providing case management and counseling services for 15 years. Deborah received her Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Human Services from the Metropolitan College of New York in 2001, and went on to obtain a Master of Science Degree in the field of Counseling in 2006 from Mercy College. Deborah is a licensed school counselor in both the states of New York and Florida and is a member of American School Counselor Association, and the College Access Consortium of New York.

 
 
 

Medina Byars
Program Assistant-Einstein Enrichment Program, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Location: Belfer Building - Room 407
Phone: 718.430.4166
E-mail: medina.byars@einstein.yu.edu
 

Medina Byars has been with Einstein College of Medicine for over 26 years. She began working at the Van Etten Drug Treatment Program in 1981 doing billing, switchboard, and general clerical and reception duties. Medina continued her work at Einstein at Public Affairs formerly known as Public Information/Relations. By 1987 she moved to research, assuming the role of secretary for the Developmental & Molecular Biology formally known as Development Biology and Cancer Department. By 1989 Medina started to job share with another secretary in the Office of Minority Student Affairs – currently The Office of Diversity Enhancement. In 1991 Medina became the Administrative Assistant for the Einstein Enrichment Program and the next 17 years are history.

In addition to Medina’s Einstein career, she became an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Natural Health Professional. Medina graduated from the school of Integrative Medicine in 1993, earning Board Certification in Holistic Health Counseling. In 1994 she went to Everglades University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. Since 1988 Medina Byars has owned Visions of Health, a consulting service that provides a holistic approach to wellness.

 
 
 

Faculty Advisory Team

Dr. Maria Marzan
Family & Social Medicine
Phone: 718.430.3419
E-mail: maria.marzan@einstein.yu.edu  
Dr. Hal Strelnick
Family & Social Medicine
Phone: 718.920.4678
E-mail: hstrelni@montefiore.org  
Dr. Melvin Stone
Department of Surgery
Phone: 718.918.5573
E-mail: melvin.stone@nbhn.net  
 
 
 
Dr. Roger Duvivier
Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health
Phone: 718.405.8200
E-mail: jduvivier@aol.com  
Dr. Nora V. Esteban-Cruciani
Department of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases)
Phone: 718.405.8090 Ext 2602
E-mail: nesteban@montefiore.org  
 
 
 
 

Faculty Diversity Mentoring

Dr. Genevieve Neal-Perry
Associate Dean for Diversity Mentoring
Phone: 718.430.3151
E-mail: genevieve.neal-perry@einstein.yu.edu 
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