Retrospective Cohort

Alumni newsletter of the New York State Preventive Medicine Residency Program

Residency Funding

The PMR program is supported by a patchwork of funding sources: NYSDOH funds from the federal Maternal & Child Health Services and Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grants, a grant from the American Cancer Society, and recent partnerships with the NYSDOH Bureau of Immunizations and with he Institute for Family Health in Kingston NY. As a non-hospital-based residency program, we have never had access to Medicare Graduate Medical Education funding, the lifeblood of other residency programs.

Even with all those sources of funding, we are only able to support six residents – enough to ensure a great educational experience for the residents, but in no way enough to meet the needs of state and county health departments in New York.

The federal Block Grant allocations, which comprise 63% of our budget, have eroded over the years with cuts in federal funding, and we are facing threats of even deeper cuts. One part of the budget we are having to cut back on is travel to national meetings. Please send a donation to the PMR Alumni Fund to help cover that important part of residency training!

Faculty spotlight- Marc Stern, MD MPH

Marc Stern has been a part of our program almost since its inception, initially as a member of the Residency Advisory Committee and more recently – for over a decade – as the director of our wildly popular Journal Club. “Wildly popular” and “Journal Club” aren't phrases generally found in the same sentence, but under Marc’s direction, Journal Club has earned that description. It draws a crowd of PMRs, Dental Public Health Residents, DrPH students, faculty, and the occasional MPH student.

In the mid-90’s, Dr. Stern pointed out the importance of incorporating Evidence-Based Medicine – also known as Critical Appraisal of the Literature – into the residency curriculum to prepare PMRs to be life-long learners. Every year, the residents review articles illustrating all the major study designs, subjecting the article to pitiless scrutiny to find every flaw in the design and analysis. Each monthly session is led by a different resident, with coaching by Marc as they prepare for the discussion. The residents’ hard work in preparing for Journal Club and Dr. Stern’s exceptional leadership combine to make it a great part of our program. It earned him a unanimous vote by the residents as the first winner of our Preventive Medicine Faculty Excellence Award in 2008.

When Marc joined the PMR faculty in the 1990’s he was at the Stratton VA in Albany and later became the assistant medical director of the NYS Department of Corrections. Seven years ago, he moved to Olympia WA first as the medical director of the Washington State Department of Corrections and now as a consultant in correctional health, a crucial area for preventive medicine. With the aid of telephones, email, and videoconferencing, he has continued to direct our Journal Club, even from 3000 miles away.

Retrospective Cohort – Volume 2, No. 1

Lynn Berger, Kyong Park, Elizabeth Whalen, Richard DalCol

Retrospective Cohort – Volume 2, No. 1

Retrospective Cohort – Volume 2, No. 1

Gus Birkhead, first PMR director, is now the Deputy Commissioner and Director of the Office of Public Health at the NYS Department of Health. Despite all his DOH responsibilities, he still makes time for the PMR program, this year serving as Richard Dal Col’s advisor and as a Residency Advisory Committee member.

Kelley Brix, the first assistant PMR director, is now the program director for the US

Department of Defense-Veterans Administration Transition in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness Programs. In other words, she’s a federal agent.

Susan Hayes, the program’s first coordinator is now a public health nurse, last seen wearing a suit and working for the Office of Health Systems Management at DOH, but not seen in the past several years. Retired, perhaps?

Updates about yourself or about fellow residents you’re still in touch with Elective rotation ideas for current residents Job openings you’d like to help publicize or jobs you’re looking for

Please send any of the above to: Mary Applegate, MD MPH UAlbany School of Public Health 1 University Place Rensselaer, NY 12144