Faculty Profile

Dr. Jonathan M. Giftos, M.D.

Jonathan M. Giftos, M.D.

Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine)

Areas of Research: Applying harm reduction principles to clinical care of patients who use drugs; managing patients with opioid use disorders in correctional settings; improving reentry to community for justice-involved patients

Professional Interests

Dr. Jonathan Giftos is the Clinical Director of Substance Use Treatment for the Division of Correctional Health Services at Rikers Island, where he oversees diversion, harm reduction, treatment and reentry services for incarcerated patients with substance use disorders. He is also the medical director of the opioid treatment program (OTP) for the NYC jail system, in which he also provides clinical care -- including the provision of methadone and buprenorphine maintenance treatment -- to incarcerated patients with opioid use disorders. Prior to this role, he served as the Director of Clinical Education for CHS, where he developed curriculum, provided clinical supervision and supported the educational goals of medical students, residents and attendings caring for patients affected by the criminal justice system. He remains closely affiliated with Montefiore and the Primary Care & Social Medicine residency program, and currently serves as a voluntary attending in the Bronx Transitions Clinic at Montefiore's Comprehensive Health Care Center (CHCC) in the South Bronx.

His professional interests lie at the intersection of addiction, incarceration and public health. Situated in the jail system, he collaborates with community health centers, academic health centers, and the New York City and State departments of health to advocate for justice-involved patients with opioid use disorders. He advises cities and states around the country on the provision of substance use treatment -- including methadone and buprenorphine -- in correctional settings, and he has partnered with Physicians for Human Rights to advocate for evidence-based treatment for patients with cases before drug courts. In 2016 he partnered with VOCAL-NY and SIF-NYC to organize healthcare workers in support of Safe Consumption Spaces (SCSs) and continues to partner with community based organizations to advocate for humane drug policy. He sits on the board of directors for St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction in the Bronx, and in 2017 was honored by VOCAL at their annual gala for his ongoing contribution to the harm reduction community. A proud member of Montefiore's Coalition Against Racism, Dr. Giftos is committed to dismantling structural racism in the healthcare system and was a proud co-author of A Letter to Our Patients on Racism, a call to action that has been cosigned by over 3000 medical students and physicians. 

Dr. Giftos completed medical school at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2012. While there he was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, of which he also served as President. He completed residency and chief residency in the Primary Care & Social Internal Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore Medical Center. During his training, he also completed the Harvard Macy Program for Postgraduate Trainees where he developed his skills as a clinician educator. In 2016 he became credentialed as an HIV specialist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. 

Selected Publications

1. Giftos JM, Tesema, L. When Less is More: Reforming the Criminal Justice Response to the Opioid Epidemic. ABA Judges Journal. Winter Issue, 2018. 

2. Giftos JM, Kaba F, Johnson CJ, MacDonald RF. Jail-Based Initiation of Buprenorphine/Naloxone Treatment for Patients with Opioid Use Disorders. Presented as Oral Abstract, AMERSA Annual National Conference. November 2017.

3. Giftos JM, Mitchell A, MacDonald, RF. Medicine & Mass Incarceration: Education and Advocacy in the NYC Jail SystemAMA Journal of Ethics (2017)19(9), 913.

4. A Letter to Our Patients on Racism. Medium. July 2016. (one of 9 original co-authors). 

5. Giftos, JM. Community Health Workers: Key to Reducing Disparities in End-of-Life Care. Geripal.org. September 2013. 

6. Bloom-Feshbach, K., Casey, D., Schulson, L., Gliatto, P., Giftos, JM., & Karani, R. (2016). Health literacy in transitions of care: an innovative objective structured clinical examination for fourth-year medical students in an internship preparation course. Journal of General Internal Medicine31(2), 242-246.

7. McKee, M. D., Fletcher, J., Sigal, I., Giftos, JM., Schechter, C., & Walker, E. A. (2011). A collaborative approach to control hypertension in diabetes: outcomes of a pilot intervention. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 

More Information About Dr. Jonathan Giftos

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Research Information