PUBLIC HEALTH AT A CROSS ROADS -
The Role of Social Workers.

An important panel discussion on the state of public health and the role social workers can play was held on Monday, October 24th, co-sponsored by the Helen Rehr Center and the Social Work Section of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). At this event tribute was paid to the late Dr. Barbara Brenner, a distinguished social worker and expert in public health, who played a leading role in the growth of the NYAM Social Work Section .

An expert panel of leaders in public health and social work shown here discussed the challenges ahead and steps that must be taken to strengthen the health and well-being of Americans.
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Melissa Begg, ScD, is the Dean of the Columbia School of Social Work. Dr. Begg is a population health scientist who has devoted most of her 30+ year career to developing the strongest possible evidence base for human health and well-being. She previously served as Columbia's Vice Provost for Academic Programs and co-director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Begg has led a number of NIH-funded training programs, including two aimed at promoting diversity in the academy. As an academic administrator, she has focused on convening interdisciplinary scientific teams, developing innovative curricula, creating academic mentorship programs, and building a more diverse research workforce.
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Elaine Congress, MSSW, MA, DSW, LCSW (Moderator), is the Associate Dean and Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. At Fordham, she heads the dual MSW/MPH program with Mt. Sinai. She is co-chair of the NYAM Social Work Section and on the SW board at APHA. Elaine's recent books are Health and Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research; Behavioral Science in the Global Arena: Global Mental, Spiritual and Social Health; and Behavioral Science in the Global Arena: Global Health Trends and Issues.

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Nicolas Yip is a recent MSW and MPH graduate. His career reflects his focus on clinical social work, healthcare administration, and public health. Nicolas currently works as Manager, Behavioral Health Integration at Mount Sinai, where he oversees the implementation of behavioral health programs in the primary care setting. The goal of these programs is to reduce gaps in access to care for mental health services. In his spare time Nicolas works as the Director of Operations for the New York Strangers Sports Organization, addressing the health needs of youth in underserved communities such as Chinatown.