Neil S. Calman, MD, FAAFP
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Institute for Family Health
Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Calman is a Board Certified family physician, and the president, CEO and co-founder of the Institute for Family Health. Since 1983, Dr. Calman has led the Institute in developing family health centers in the Bronx, Manhattan (where he practiced for 38 years) and in the Hudson Valley. Under his leadership, the Institute has been successful in establishing health professional training in medicine, nursing, administration and mental health. In 2012, through an affiliation between the Institute and Mount Sinai, Dr. Calman became Professor and Chair of a new Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where family physicians now practice and teach with full clinical privileges in the Mount Sinai Health System and its seven affiliated hospitals.
For fifteen years, Dr. Calman has been a leader in the national effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, leading to the Institute’s designation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a National Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities. This work has been supported by funding from CDC and the National Institutes of Health, as well as a number of health care foundations. Dr. Calman’s published essay, Out of the Shadows (Health Affairs, Jan/Feb 2000) details his experiences in dealing with racism in the care of his patients. “Making Health Equality a Reality: The Bronx Takes Action” (Health Affairs, Mar/Apr 2005) describes the community based legislative action that has evolved from this grassroots effort to address institutional racism in medical care. “Separate and Unequal Care in New York City” (Journal of Health Care Law & Policy 2006) reports on the Institute’s investigation of discrimination in NYC hospitals.
In an effort to help create the next generation of leaders in health care, the Institute operates three residency training programs in family medicine designed to train providers to serve the medically underserved, including two in Manhattan, focused on urban communities, and one in Kingston, NY, focused on rural communities. Dr. Calman is a longstanding member of the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education and the Board of the Community Health Care Association of New York State. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the New York eHealth Collaborative and was appointed by the Obama Administration as an expert in the care of vulnerable populations to HRSA’s HIT Policy Committee where he served on the Meaningful Use Subcommittee for 5 years. Dr. Calman now co-chairs the Subcommittee on Consumer Engagement.
Through Dr. Calman’s interest and expertise in health information technology, the Institute, in 2002, became one of the first community health center networks in the country to implement a fully integrated electronic medical record and practice management system (Epic), improving both preventive and chronic care treatment outcomes throughout its centers. In recognition of this achievement, Dr. Calman received the prestigious 2006 Physician’s Information Technology Leadership Award, presented by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In 2007, the Institute received the HIMSS Davies Award in Public Health in recognition of its development of public health functionality into its EHR. In 2008, the New York Times recognized the Institute with its Non-profit Excellence Award in the Use of Technology and Focus on Mission. In 2011, the Institute initiated a project with the National Library of Medicine to hyperlink diagnoses, medication names and test names to the NLM Medline Plus database which is available free in the public domain. This project received a HRSA Innovations Award in 2011 and this free functionality is now in use by EHR users across the country. In 2012, the Institute received the Organization of the Year award from the e-Health Initiative that lauded the organization for innovations that are shared openly with other health care providers, a fundamental principle of everything the Institute undertakes.
Dr. Calman is the recipient of many national awards for his work in public health including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leadership Award, the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Public Health Award, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Primary Care Achievement Award and the Physician Advocacy Award from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession. He is recipient of the distinguished Kanter Prize from the Health Legacy Partnership and the Felix A. Fishman Award for Extraordinary Advocacy from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
In addition to authoring numerous scientific articles, Dr. Calman’s work has been the subject of book chapters in three important works by others: one on the history of family medicine (Caring for America, by John Stannard), one on not-for-profit leadership in healthcare (To Give Their Gifts, by Richard A. Couto) and one on primary care in America (Big Doctoring in America, by Fitzhugh Mullan).
When asked which of his achievements he is most proud of, Dr. Calman readily relates the message that can be found on the opening screen in the new kiosks that are newly installed in the Institute’s centers: “No one is turned away.”