Neil Calman, MD, is a board-certified family physician who has practiced in the Bronx and Manhattan for more than 30 years. He is the president and a cofounder of the Institute for Family Health. Since 1983, Dr. Calman has led the Institute in developing family health centers in the Bronx, Manhattan, and the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York State. In 2012, Dr. Calman became the Chair of the new Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Calman leads the Institute in a variety of cutting-edge programs: in 2002, the Institute became one of the first community health center networks in the country to implement a fully integrated electronic medical record system, improving both preventive and chronic care treatment throughout its centers. In recognition, Dr. Calman received the 2006 Physician’s Information Technology Leadership Award, presented annually by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
In April 2009, Dr. Calman was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve on the national Health Information Technology Policy Panel, which makes recommendations on the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure. He also has been appointed to the Health Policy Roundtable of the Aspen Institute, a group charged with delineating the values and principles on which the United States should base its future health care system.
For his work in public health, Dr. Calman has received several national awards: 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 National Physician Advocacy Merit Award given by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and its partner, the Center on Medicine as a Profession (CMAP) at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Most recently, he was awarded a 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 1999, Dr. Calman became project director of a multiyear grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work towards eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes in the Bronx. His 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. Dr. Calman has written about other experiences as a physician and their policy implications. No One Needs to Know (Health Affairs, Mar/Apr 2001) recounts his first experience in a cover up of medical errors and suggests changes that need to be made in our system to protect our patients. So Tired of Life (Health Affairs, May/June 2004), a personal narrative, documents his struggles in caring for an elderly woman in her home who asks for his help in ending her life.