CMCA Faculty and Staff

Gary C. Butts, MD
Dr. Butts is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Education, and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy, and Community Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. Dr. Butts is the recipient of numerous honors and awards and has authored a number of articles in professional journals. Dr. Butts has had several notable accomplishments in his career; some of his most significant accomplishments originate from his term as a Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health (1993-1998). In this capacity, he developed and implemented the Mayoral primary care expansion Communicare program for the New York City Department of Health, opening two community clinics to support improved primary care capacity for children and adults seeking health care in the public sector. He was also responsible for providing oversight to broker resources through the "Healthy Start NYC" Infant Mortality Initiative to support community-based partnerships to reduce barriers to early prenatal carewhich was successful in reducing infant mortality rates in targeted communities. Dr. Butts received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and his postdoctoral training from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).

Edward J. Ronan, PhD
Volunteer Consultant, Academic Learning and Support
Dr. Ronan is a retired faculty member of ISMMS. Dr. Ronan- provides consultation and academic support to ISMMS students in the basic science courses and USMLE preparation.

Ray Cornbill, MBA
A retired ISMMS faculty member, Mr. Cornbill is a consultant for the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) and provides career and research development coaching and mentoring to our Faculty Scholars, students, and trainees, in addition to supporting access to the tools and resources necessary to be successful in academic medicine.

Ann-Gel S. Palermo, DrPH, MPH
Associate Director of Operations
Dr. Palermo is primarily responsible for overseeing day-to-day activities and the implementation programs and activities that ensure the successful graduation of minority medical students, as well as the recruitment, training, and retention of minority faculty such that they are equipped to be a successful in academic medicine. Dr. Palermo is also an Assistant Professor in Medical Education and Pediatrics. She has worked in the area of community-based public health with a principal focus on issues related to social determinants of health using a community-based participatory research approach. Since 1999, Dr. Palermo has served as the chairperson of the Harlem Community Academic Partnership (HCAP), Inc. a nonprofit organization best described as a community and academic partnership with a community-driven and action-oriented approach to health research and health policy that is based on the social determinants of health. Dr. Palermo also serves as a board member of the East Harlem Community Health Committee and is former Board Chair of the Board of Directors for the Manhattan-Staten Island Area Health Education Center. She earned a Masters of Public Health degree (majoring in Health Policy) in 1999 from the University of Michigan and a Doctorate of Public Health in 2012 from the CUNY Graduate Center School of Public Health at Hunter College.

Sharon M. Batista, MD
Associate Director of Recruitment and Retention
Dr. Batista's research and clinical interests are focused on understanding the relationships between mental illness, especially addictive disorders, and severe and complex mental illness. Her work in these fields began during her medical training and psychiatric residency at Mount Sinai and while still a resident she began to publish in this area. Together with her mentor, Dr. Mary Ann Cohen, she has authored a book chapter in the Comprehensive Textbook of AIDS Psychiatry (Oxford University Press, 2007), and an ethics article in Psychosomatics (2007) entitled "DNR Versus DNT: Clinical Implications of a Conceptual Ambiguity." She is one of seven authors of a guide for clinicians working with HIV-positive patients, the Handbook of AIDS Psychiatry (Oxford University Press, 2010). Dr. Batista has also given a poster presentation for a project she conducted during her residency entitled "Survey of Current Practice Regarding Marijuana Abuse in Liver Transplantation Patients Prior to Transplantation" at the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine 2008 Annual Meeting. It was for this project that she was awarded funding from the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education/Janssen Resident Psychiatric Research Scholar Award from 2009 through 2010. Together with several colleagues, Dr. Batista presented a symposium at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting in May 2012 entitled "Trauma, PTSD, and HIV: Psychodynamic and Educational Approaches to Adherence in a Community Medical Setting."

Dr. Batista is currently studying the trends in and reasons for premature termination of treatment of persons receiving substance use related services at the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice.

Edward Poliandro, PhD
Associate Director, Diversity in Medicine Program; Culture and Health Work Group

Dr. Poliandro is responsible for coordination and integration of Culture and Medicine initiatives and implementation of new initiatives for high school/collegiate programs, medical students, residents, and faculty. Dr. Poliandro is also the Chair, Northeast Regional Consortium for Cross Cultural Medical Education.

Michelle L. Sainte
Assistant Dean for Administration of MSSM

Ms. Sainte has worked with the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs since its inception and serves as the administrative partner between CMCA and the Department of Medical Education in her role as Assistant Dean for Administration for all educational activities in the School of Medicine; this includes the Graduate School, pipeline programs, as well as professional development activities.

Carmen A. Duran-Santos
Office Manager and Executive Assistant

Ms. Duran-Santos has been with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for more than ten years. She manages the administrative operations of the CMCA and is the assistant to CMCA Director Gary Butts, MD.

Sherria P. McDowell, MPH
Program Manager

Ms. McDowell is the Project Manager of the HCOP NERA MedPrep program and works on other related special projects. She earned her MPH from NYU School of Education in Community Health.

Alyson Davis, MSW
Program Manager
Center for Excellence in Youth Education
Ms. Davis oversees CEYE programming, supports the CEYE Advisory Council, and works with other related education pipeline efforts throughout ISMMS. Ms. Davis has worked in the research field studying determinants of public health in the East and Central Harlem area for the past two years. She received her Master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in policy and research from Columbia University. Ms. Davis is committed to enhancing the quality of life for these communities through education and medicine.

Contact Us

Gary Butts, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy, and Community Affairs
Director, Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs
Tel: 212-241-8276
Fax: 212-241-3594
Send e-mail

Mailing Address:

Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
One Gustave L. Levy Place
Box 1035
New York, NY 10029

Office Location:

Annenberg Building
21st Floor, Room 21-70
1468 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10029


Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs