Research and Curriculum

Despite a marked improvement in the overall health status of citizens of the United States, not all Americans have benefited equally from improvements in care. Racial and ethnic health disparities in death, disease and disability still persist. While efforts to design and implement innovative solutions are underway to close the gap, strengthening the relationship between research, education, training, practice and policy as an integrated approach is critical to figuring out what works to improve the health and well-being of racial and ethnic minority groups. The Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs plays a key role in minimizing health disparities by enhancing our faculty, staff and students' capabilities through research and education, to engage with, and care for culturally diverse patient populations.

CMCA's scholarly-oriented endeavors include:

Conduits CCARP: CMCA co-directs the Centers for Community & Academic Research Partnerships (CCARP), a center of Mount Sinai's Conduits.

Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: CMCA was featured in the April 2010 edition of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine on Race on and Genes, and the December 2008 issue on Diversity and Minority Faculty Development.

Mount Sinai Summer Institute for NeuroAIDS Disparities: Funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, MSINAD is a collaborative program of the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank and the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The mission of MSINAD is:

  1. To stimulate research into NeuroAIDS disorders in minority populations
  2. To provide multidisciplinary education to young scientists interested in pursuing NeuroAIDS research
  3. To encourage entry of scientists from under-represented groups into the field

CMCA Irwin Gelernt Summer Research Scholar Program for 1st Year ISMMS URM Medical Students: The CMCA Summer Research Program was established to provide an 8-week mentored, summer research opportunity for first-year ISMMS medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine.

Golden Family Community Pediatrics Research Award Program: A unique partnership between the CMCA and the Division of General Pediatrics, the Golden Family Community Pediatrics Research Award provides medical students longitudinal, mentored, self-initiated projects, which target a unique question in community pediatrics. Objectives include, developing and supporting medical student interest in a broad array of community pediatric issues, increasing knowledge/awareness of issues related to children in the context of their families and communities, and cultivating ongoing mentorship relationships for students with mentors in community pediatrics. It is open to all ISMMS medical students.

CMCA's curriculum-oriented endeavors include:

Language Proficiency in Healthcare Program

The CMCA administers the LPHP which is a growing comprehensive initiative that houses and supports the Medical Spanish/Medicina en Español and Medical Mandarin programs. The primary goal of the LPHP is to develop, train and graduate proficient Spanish and Mandarin speaking, culturally-able physicians who can better meet the needs of culturally-diverse patients living in the surrounding communities.

  • Medical Spanish/Medicina en Español: As a result of a collaboration with the faculty from the Arts and Science of Medicine Courses, the subjects of the Spanish language courses parallel what students are learning in their medical training. The Spanish language curriculum was developed by Primera Languages, a company which specializes in teaching Spanish to professionals. ISMMS bilingual faculty supplements the teaching of Primera instructors by inviting students to observe them during their encounter with patients. Since 2005, three separate course modules, each with three language proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced), have been available to first- and second-year medical students.

  • Medical Mandarin: Medical Mandarin is a student-run organization at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Their mission is to enhance the patient experience by improving the interactions between Mandarin speaking patients and Mount Sinai healthcare providers. By offering language and cultural competency education, Medical Mandarin hopes to train current and future health professionals not only to become better communicators, but also to be better caregivers who understand the intricacies of Chinese cultural traditions, and their impact on healthcare. Learn more about Medical Mandarin.

CMCA Journal Club for Medical Students: Critical Review of Issues in Health Outcomes Disparities and Community Health

  • CLR 207 Culture Health and Community Illness Graduate Course in the Masters of Science and Public Health programs in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences
  • Medical School NEXUS Electives
    • Sex and Health
    • Deconstructing Race in Medicine and Health: Our Patients, Our Selves
    • Physicians for Human Rights – Health and Human Rights Medical School

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

Related Resources

Mount Sinai NeuroAIDS Disparities Summer Institute (MSINAD) – A program providing education and funding for research in NeuroAIDS disparities.