Neil Calman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Erie Family Health Center
Dr. Neil Calman began his work as a physician advocate in medical school by reporting unethical and dangerous experiments performed on African-American women. When his complaints were ignored, he involved the press; the experiments were stopped, and he was asked to serve on the newly created human experimentation committee.
Dr. Calman is the president and co-founder of the Institute for Family Health. Under his leadership, the organization delivered more than 450,000 primary care, mental health and dental visits to more than 92,000 individuals in 2013. Dr. Calman also directed the formation of Bronx Health REACH in 1999, a coalition of 70 organizations dedicated to eliminating the impact of racial disparities on health outcome. Among its many activities, Bronx Health REACH brought more than 500 Bronx residents to Albany to educate 92 legislators about racial disparities in the health care system.
Neil Calman, M.D., is a Board Certified family physician who has been practicing in the Bronx and Manhattan for the past 30 years. He is president and a co-founder of the Institute for Family Health. Since 1983 Dr. Calman has led the Institute in developing family health centers in the Bronx and Manhattan, and in establishing training programs that have graduated more than 200 new family doctors with the special skills needed to take care of people in medically underserved communities. Under his leadership, the Institute for Family Health has grown to include more than 100 family physicians, family nurse practitioners, family practice residents and social workers who practice in 19 full time centers, including six in Ulster and Dutchess counties, and eight sites which care for people who are homeless.
Dr. Calman has a long history of public service. He has served on many government commissions, including Governor Cuomo’s Health Care Advisory Board, the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education where he is Chair of the Health Reform and Finance Subcommittee. His is also Chair of the Clinical Committee of the Community Health Care Association of New York State. Dr. Calman is the recipient of three National awards for his work in Public Health: the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Health Leadership Award, the American Academy of Family Physicians' Public Health Award and the Pew Charitable Trusts' Primary Care Achievement Award. His work has been documented in three book chapters, Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care by Fitzhugh Mullen, MD, To Give Their Gifts: Health, Community and Democracy by Richard A. Couto, and Caring for America by John R. Stanard.
Since 1999, Dr. Calman has led a project designed to eliminate racial and ethnic differences in health outcomes in the Bronx, funded by the Centers for Disease Control from 1999 to 2013. He is widely published on issues related to race and health policy, including Out of the Shadow (Health Affairs) Making Health Equality a Reality: The Bronx Takes Action (Health Affairs) and Separate and Unequal Care in New York City (Journal of Health Care Law and Policy.)
Dr. Calman is committed to the use of health information technology to improve health outcomes in underserved communities. In 2006, he received the prestigious Physician’s Information Technology Leadership Award, presented annually by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and in 2007, the he accepted the Davies Public Health Award on behalf of the Institute. In June 2008, the Institute for Family Health was awarded a New York Times Company Nonprofit Excellence Award for Excellent Use of Technology and Focus on Mission. Dr. Calman served on the executive committee of the citywide Primary Care Health Information Consortium, and on the New York State Department of Health’s Information Technology Stakeholder Group Planning Committee. From 2009 to 2014, he served on the National Health Information Policy Panel, and has published a chapter titled Electronic Health Records: The Use of Technology to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Health Outcomes (Medical Informatics: An Executive Primer).
In 2011, the Institute became one of the first Teaching Health Centers in the country, and initiated a family medicine residency program at its brand new Family Health Center of Harlem. In 2012, the Institute partnered with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to establish a Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, chaired by Dr. Calman.