Allie (Alexandra) Brown, MD (PGY1)
Alexandra Brown was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with Bachelor degrees in Biology and in French and completed a Master's of Arts in French Cultural Studies at Columbia University's Reid Hall campus in Paris, where she wrote her thesis on the role of rap in French culture. Prior to attending medical school at the University of Vermont, she worked for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organization, in Switzerland.
She has always been focused on working with medically underserved populations and has worked at Planned Parenthood of Baltimore, as a counselor for surgical patients, for AmeriCorps in Baton Rouge as a Breast and Cervical Cancer Outreach coordinator, and now is thrilled to work at Farrell Community Health Center.
She is fluent in French and learning Spanish, in order to better serve her patients. She enjoys full-spectrum family medicine, treating patients from birth through delivery and end-of-life care.
Rebecca Halvorsen, MD (PGY1)
Rebecca was born in Dunfermline, Scotland and raised in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. When she matriculated at The College of William and Mary, she had not yet uncovered the path that would lead her to medicine. She spent a semester abroad in Kenya and Tanzania studying wildlife management and conservation. While there, she began to understand the complex relationship between culture, politics, conservation, and health care and her priorities shifted. After graduation, she returned to East Africa and spent eight months volunteering with underserved populations and studying public health in rural Kenya, where she presented her original research on the effect of community health workers to the local council and key stakeholders in the local health system.
As a medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Rebecca was committed to serving her peers and her local community. Her enthusiasm for helping others succeed was apparent in her work as a writer for the school’s medical note taking service, as well as in the hand-drawn study guides she created for her classmates, which continue to be passed down to subsequent classes. Outside the classroom, Rebecca volunteered with HOPES, the EVMS student-run free clinic, working directly with uninsured patients as a student clinician, as well as analyzing and working to improve HOPES’ delivery of care through quality improvement projects.
Rebecca is excited to join the Columbia CFCM team and continue to pursue her interests in full spectrum family medicine, global health, and working with underserved populations. She is particularly excited about the opportunity to learn Spanish and get to know the Washington Heights and Inwood communities.
In her free time, Rebecca enjoys rock climbing, hiking, tasting new foods, and exploring her new home in NYC with her partner, who is a pediatrics resident at Montefiore.
Elizabeth Han, DO
As a child of international scholars, Elizabeth had already travelled to five continents and lived in two countries by the age of eight. Her parents emphasized the virtue of serving their local community and further reaching out to underserved areas through volunteering. Over the years, Elizabeth accompanied her parents on their service trips and grew up to identify as a global citizen. At the age of 13, after graduating from elementary school in Seoul, Korea, she decided to move on her own to Seattle. With the support of her parents, she made a cross-continental move to live with a host family that they had found on the Internet. As a young immigrant in the U.S. living on her own, she began to cultivate her interests in global health, community medicine, and immigrant health through volunteering and participating in community service.
After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she worked as a professional dog trainer as well as a data coordinator for quality improvement projects at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston. She continued to volunteer at shelters and taught at adult schools for immigrant adult students. These years of eclectic experiences along with the values her parents imparted from childhood ultimately led Elizabeth to her goal of pursuing family medicine with emphasis on public health and community medicine for the underserved. She is thrilled to join the family medicine program at Columbia University, where she will have the privilege to train with other dedicated and passionate residents and faculty.
Kevin Hu, MD (PGY1)
Kevin was born and raised in New York City. He studied biochemistry at Oberlin College, and medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a person and professional, Kevin is committed to social justice, and process engineering and improvement. Current side projects include leadership skills development, and studying Spanish. For fun - Kevin sings, dances, and engages in an occasional StarCraft ladder match.
Danielle Isenburg, DO (PGY1)
Danielle was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and minor in Geography from Bucknell University. During her junior year, Danielle studied abroad which fostered a love of cultures and people’s stories. Additionally, Danielle volunteered multiple times in a health clinic in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua, and it is here that her passion for community medicine and desire to be a family physician was born.
In 2013, Danielle returned to the Garden State and began medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly UMDNJ-SOM). Here, Danielle had the privilege to provide free health care with the student-run Camden Community Health Center and serve as Executive Director. During her third year, Danielle was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and was the recipient of the 2017 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Additionally she received recognition for academic achievement and commitment to the community by being awarded the 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Family Medicine and the 2017 Community Service Award.
Danielle is honored to be training in family medicine and admires the empathy and solidarity of the family physicians she has had the privilege to learn from. Danielle desires to practice medicine in an underserved, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse community. She has a strong interest in integrative and preventative medicine as well as hospice and palliative care. Danielle is thrilled to have matched at Columbia CFCM where the faculty and residents are truly the real deal.
The COPC curriculum and emphasis on developing a deeper understanding of the Washington Heights community is what drew her in. The opportunity to combine both an opposed and unopposed education model through training at The Allen, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center allows for a community hospital experience while having access to the resources of a large academic institution. Lastly and most importantly, every person that she met from CFCM was genuine, passionate, and driven to be their best for the community they serve—this humbled and inspired Danielle, and makes her grateful to complete residency training at Columbia.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys running and hiking, experimenting with new recipes, traveling to new cities and exploring coffee shops with her husband Ray. She is thrilled to be living in Bergen County, NJ again close to family and friends. Danielle tries to live by her favorite quote from Mother Teresa-- “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving.” She hopes to carry this reminder with her through residency training at Columbia and her future career as a family physician.
Molly (Mary) Warren, MD (PGY1)
Molly Warren was born and raised in the small town of Homer in Upstate, New York. It was in this small town that she began to appreciate the need for and impact primary care can have on communities, particularly through volunteering at her local community hospital. During her undergraduate time at Cornell University, Molly worked as a primary school teacher trainer in Rwanda, further exposing her to working in underserved communities. In the Ithaca area, Molly volunteered with local immigrant farmworkers by teaching ESL. She completed a degree in Human Biology, Health, and Society at Cornell with a minor in Global Health.
After college, Molly worked for two years at the National Institutes of Health conducting clinical research in diabetes and obesity. She went to medical school at Georgetown University with the goal to pursue family medicine and became intimately involved in the Washington, D.C. community. Molly worked as a coordinator for the HOYA Clinic, a student-run free clinic located in the largest emergency family homeless shelter in D.C during her time at Georgetown. As a National Health Service Corps scholarship recipient in medical school, Molly was devoted to pursuing primary care in underserved communities from the beginning. Her family medicine rotation on an Indian Health Service site in New Mexico solidified her interest in going into Family Medicine.
After spending a month in Ecuador during her fourth year of medical school, Molly is devoted to providing health care to Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. She is excited to begin her career in Family Medicine at NYP / Columbia Community and Family Medicine, where she can continue to pursue her interests in integrative medicine, advocacy, and policy work in New York City.
Heather Belle, MD (PGY2)
Heather was born and raised in Tampa, Florida with the desire to be a physician since she was three years old. Heather started volunteering at her local community hospital at the age of fourteen, and she has been in love with medicine since. Heather studied at the University of Florida where she was named one of eight Lombardi Scholars. Through the Lombardi Scholarship, Heather studied abroad in Merida, Mexico; Cuzco, Peru; and Johannesburg, South Africa where she performed various health sanitation projects and research on HIV/AIDS. During her undergraduate career, Heather performed research at Moffitt Cancer Center where she was named an American Cancer Society Fellow for her work in microarray protein phosphatase gene analysis where she identified two potential oncogenes. Heather found her interest in geriatrics, volunteering extensively at Oak Hammock, a local Gainesville assisted living center and memory support unit for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Heather is a proud member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she served several years as the academics chair and was presented the Most Outstanding Greek Scholar Award at the University of Florida. Heather received undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and Cell Science and Spanish, graduating cum laude with honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Heather pursued her interest in geriatrics and hospice/palliative care with her scholarly project titled, “A Study of Geriatric Medicine” in which Heather volunteered weekly at various independent living, assisted living, nursing home, and hospice sites throughout the central New Jersey area while also working on a reflection comparing the various sites. Heather was appointed to SGA as the representative of Saidi College, one of three learning communities that make up the College Advising Program (CAP) at RWJMS where Heather worked with the other CAP representatives to foster a sense of family and mentorship within the medical school by organizing monthly events to promote community and friendly competition. Heather also served as Co-Vice President for the Medicine Interest Group at RWJMS during medical school, organizing various lunch lectures, panels, and events.
In her spare time, Heather enjoys running in Central Park and taking ballet classes in NYC. Aside from being located in beautiful NYC, Heather’s passion for studying abroad made Columbia an obvious choice for residency with its COPC project in the Dominican Republic as well as her opportunity to work with a vast urban, underserved population that is largely Spanish speaking. Heather hopes to work long term with the geriatric underserved community as she feels they are a group that frequently falls under the system’s radar. Heather is excited to start her career as a physician and could not imagine a better place to do it than Columbia-New York Presbyterian surrounded by people who are kind and share the same passion as her.
Louis Cicatelli, DO (PGY2)
Sheerin Habibullah, MD (PGY2)
Sheerin was born in a small town in India and spent the first several years of her life in the southern most state in India. It was in India where she was first exposed to the huge disparities in access to healthcare that people experience through social and physical environments. This background forms her foundation of interest in Family Medicine, studying health disparities, and working in an underserved community.
She later moved to the United States where she now calls Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to be her home. After high school, she pursued a B.A. in Public Health Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. She continued to develop her interest in Community health, global health, and health disparities during these four years. During college, she also was in the Editor-in-Chief of Epidemic Proportions, a Public Health Research Journal, as well as Model UN, and volunteering at the International Rescue Committee. She also completed a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management.
After college, she went to medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. There, she was was part of the International and Urban community interest program and spent all of her primary care rotations working in urban underserved communities. She spent her time working at CrossOver clinic, a clinic that provided healthcare to the uninsured population in Richmond.
Sheerin chose Family Medicine because of its focus on the person and the opportunity to practice holistic care to people of all ages. The speciality also lends itself to true population and community health, making it a natural choice for Sheerin. She chose to come to Columbia because of it's unique location and dedication to serve this urban, underserved community. She was drawn to the strength of the academics as well as the dedication to research and passion for all of the diverse areas of Family medicine. In her spare time, Sheerin is most likely to be found behind a camera working on her photography or painting. She also loves exploring New York City, its art galleries and restaurants.
Danielle LaSalandra, DO (PGY2)
Born and raised in Stamford, CT Danielle initially became interested in medicine as a child when her parents pursued several different types of integrative treatments. She learned to see the many different opportunities available and wanted to be a part of the movement towards furthering medical knowledge and understanding. She graduated from the University of Virginia in biology and Italian and then completed a masters at Georgetown University in physiology and biophysics with a focus in complementary and alternative medicine. Following this time, she decided to work in the healthcare field before starting medical school.
Her diverse experiences included administrative assistant and medical assistant at an OB-GYN practice, Naturopath administrative assistant, and intake coordinator at a grief and trauma counseling center. Her passion has always been in viewing medicine as a manifestation of mind, body, and spirit, which fit particularly well with the osteopathic philosophy. At the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, Danielle was actively involved in her school. She served on the academic affairs committee as the curriculum representative, treasurer of the neuro-psychiatry club, and founder of the integrative medicine chair in the American Medical Student Association club. She also had the opportunity to study Ayurvedic medicine in India for a month.
During her medical school career Danielle was fortunate enough to be inducted into Sigma Sigma Phi service fraternity and Psi Sigma Alpha academic honor’s society. She is proud of her ability to treat patient’s osteopathically and is always excited about ways to spread awareness. Danielle’s areas of medical interest include integrative medicine, adolescent medicine, and behavioral health. She chose family medicine because it encourages a holistic, patient-centered approach that emphasizes the needs of the community. It allows physicians to treat individuals of all ages, and to serve as an important unifier in patient care. Danielle is so excited to see where medicine takes her, and is grateful to be part of such a supportive and innovative program at Columbia. Aside from medicine, some of her other interests include Latin ballroom dancing, singing (she used to train in opera!), and spending time being lazy with her cat.
Rajat Lamington, MD (PGY2)
Rajat began his journey to become a doctor from New Delhi, India, where he was born and raised. His grandfather’s wish before he passed away was to see him carry on the legacy and practice medicine. With this in mind, Rajat made a very bold decision to enroll himself at the age of seventeen in a six year MD program at Odessa National Medical University in Ukraine, one of the oldest and prestigious schools in Europe. He graduated summa cum laude and ranked first out of his graduating class. Rajat will never forget his experience in Ukraine, a beautiful country with an affluent culture, which happened to become besieged by war and uncertainty. Although it was a troubling time to be in Odessa, Rajat persevered, passed the European Licensing exam, KROK, top of his class, and made the first attempt by an Odessa National Medical University student to transfer and complete his medical rotations at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
New Delhi to Odessa is a big change culturally and mentally for any ambitious kid, but Rajat knew he could not stop there. Apart from his medical studies, he also joined Research with the Department of Surgery at Columbia and co-authored an abstract “Impact of Positive Surgical Margins on mortality after Radical Prostatectomy by disease risk group”, that was published in the American journal of Urology.
After completing his rotations, Rajat decided to prep for USMLE Step 3 and gained more administrative experience at the Renal Research Institute/Fresenius Medical Care North America. Alongside his professional experience, he also volunteered his time with the Research Team at the Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training and tutoring South Asian American adolescents in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at a local tutoring institute.
Rajat feels that Family Medicine is a program that trains physicians to be exceptional doctors with this multidisciplinary and holistic viewpoint. So it came as no surprise that when the time came for him to choose the best program that matched his ambitions and provided exceptional training, he returned to the Columbia family. Community oriented approach of the program, world renowned academic leaders as faculty, enormous opportunities for research and innovation and highly inspiring and friendly residents were a few reasons that made this top tier program, Rajat’s first choice. Outside of medicine, Rajat is a food connoisseur, likes to travel, go biking, finding the best places for ice cream in New York City and de-stressing on Sunday’s at church.
Rebecca Leeds, MD (PGY2)
Mary Claire Abbot, MD (PGY3)
Mary Claire’s awareness of community health began early as she grew up hearing stories of her mom’s work as the school-health physician in a system that served many immigrant families. Interest in immigrant health led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Spanish and to spend a summer in Madrid working with Sub-Saharan African immigrants there. After graduating from Wesleyan University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, she worked for two years as a clinic manager at a free clinic serving low income and immigrant families in Arlington, Virginia. Her wide-ranging responsibilities at Arlington Free Clinic helped her appreciate every level of the teamwork that goes into providing excellent primary care.
At Drexel University College of Medicine, Mary Claire was able to bring her experience to the student-led Health Outreach Project (HOP) Clinics of Philadelphia. She helped advance the HOP organization in a variety of roles: as a Co-Coordinator of weekly clinics at a shelter for women and children; as the Board Leader overseeing four distinct community clinics; and as an Executive Advisor working on the development of a fifth clinic. These clinics served patients who may otherwise not have had access to quality care: immigrants, intravenous drug users, and the developmentally disabled. For the time and energy spent on these projects, Mary Claire received the Physician’s Society Award for Community Service and the Outstanding Community Service Award upon her graduation from Drexel. Her academic performance earned her the Nathan Samuels Prize for Excellence in Family Medicine and election to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society.
An interest in immigrant health and the desire to be at a residency program that offers fully integrated abortion training were two main reasons that Mary Claire chose to apply to Columbia-NYP Family Medicine Residency. She chose to train here after meeting the wonderful faculty and residents.
Stephanie Arnold, MD (PGY3)
Stephanie Arnold, MD studied Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University before earning her Doctor of Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. A strong advocate for public health, Stephanie worked for three years as Assistant Director of A Capitol Women’s Health Clinic in Richmond, VA prior to medical school. Her areas of interest include women's health, primary care for the LGBTQ population, childhood trauma and health literacy.
Laura Belland, MD (PGY3)
Born and raised in Ohio, Laura attended The Ohio State University where she double-majored in microbiology and French and minored in violin performance. She graduated cum laude with Honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, Laura pursued a two-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where her work focused on understanding the molecular properties involved in early cell migration.
Laura continued up the East Coast to attend medical school at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she co-founded Mount Sinai’s 10-week Music and Medicine nexus course for students. She received grants to develop a performance series in which medical students and professional musicians from the NYC area play music for patients at Mount Sinai and for seniors out in the East Harlem Community. Laura also co-founded the Palliative Care Interest Group and was co-leader of the Geriatrics Interest Group. After her third year of medical school, Laura pursued a scholarly research year focused on disparities in care for older adult patients treated in the emergency room. She presented her research at several national research conferences, and is second author on two published peer-reviewed articles. With an interest in global health, Laura received a scholarship to travel to rural Madagascar where she researched sexual health practices among teenagers and taught basic sexual health classes for eight weeks. Laura was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and to Alpha Omega Alpha.
Laura chose NewYork-Presbyterian/CUMC’s family medicine program because of its ties to the community of Washington Heights and Inwood. She was particularly drawn to The Allen Hospital, where residents do their inpatient, OB, and surgery rotations, which feels like a community hospital but is staffed with world-class physicians. She is excited to train at a top-tier hospital while serving an underserved population. Outside of medicine, Laura enjoys music, food, movies, and exploring NYC.
Jenny Borhman, DO (PGY3)
In NW Philadelphia, born and raised, outdoors was where Jenny spent most of her days. Her love of nature and beautiful spaces drew her to the University of Richmond, where she continued to devote herself to service of the natural and built environment as well as the people in is a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and president of the Students for Environmental Awareness and Action. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with membership to Phi Beta Kappa she joined served in AmeriCorps National Civilian Service Corps followed by AmeriCorps HealthCorps at Drexel University 11th Street Family Health Center.
After witnessing the accumulated stress in patients and staff members at 11th Street, Jenny sought training in Yoga, Reiki and Integrative Health Counseling and created a healing space and the supportive position of Wellness Coordinator at the health center. Two years later, Jenny enrolled at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. There as vice president of Med Students for Choice she advocated for increased training on reproductive health and women's options in the state of WV. She was chosen to be a graduate teaching fellow in Osteopathic Practices and Principles during which time she taught and tutored first and second year students in manual diagnosis and treatment, as well as receiving additional training in the field.
Jenny moved to New York with her son and partner during her 4th year of medical school. New York Presbyterian stood out above all other programs with opportunities to study integrative medicine and women's health, a commitment to the underserved neighborhood of Washington Heights with protected time for research which would benefit the community, and the friendly family like atmosphere among residents and faculty. When not at work, you might find Jenny swing dancing, laying in the sun, playing in neighborhood playgrounds with her toddler son, or creating something deliciously healthy in the kitchen.
Daniela Fanto, MD (PGY3)
Daniela was born in New York, after which her family moved to Rome, Italy where she spent the majority of her childhood before moving back to the US. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago. Daniela was on the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s List for Scholastic Performance throughout her degree. She was inducted as a member for Golden Key International Honor Society and elected by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as a delegate to the International Mission on Medicine.
She moved back to Europe to study medicine at the University of London, St. George’s Hospital. Among various academic and clinical achievements, she received an outstanding achievement in the Medical and Biomedical Skills Course. She remained an enthusiastic participant of the medical community as a member of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal Society of Medicine and the British Medical Association. Following completion of her medical degree, she began clinical training within the NHS (National Health Service). During this time, she gained her full General Medical License and also worked as a medical writer publishing two peer-reviewed medical education books and two case studies for international medical journals.
Daniela is proud to have achieved her goal of attending the New York Presbyterian-Columbia Family Medicine Program, particularly after being so impressed with the program’s genuine dedication to the Washington Heights community. This dedication was clear through activities like the community-oriented primary care projects and the medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The excellent and engaging residents, faculty and staff during her initial visit solidified her decision to attend residency here. Daniela’s interests outside of medicine include traveling, playing the banjo and attending concerts.
Hyowoun Jung, MD (PGY3)
Hyowoun graduated from Amherst College cum laude with an interdisciplinary major in International Social Justice. Her thesis examined the historical and social conditions under which Kenyans give and volunteer based on her fieldwork and interviews with Kenyans. Hyowoun received a Projects for Peace grant founded Hope for Kibera, a community based organization to empower youth in slums and to promote health education in schools. After graduation, she joined Teach for America to inspire and promote excellent science education for middle school students in the Bronx.
Hyowoun's decision to go into medicine stemmed from her passion to empower individuals and communities through healthcare, education and advocacy. At the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Hyowoun led the Family Medicine Interest group and Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association and continued her work with communities locally and abroad. Locally, Hyowoun was actively involved with the student-run free clinic and Homeless Outreach. She received the Distinction in Community Health for her extensive work on the "Establishment of the Library Resource Outreach Center and Initial Survey to Understand the Demographics and Needs of the Homeless Population." She was the co-investigator of Global Health Task Force International Collaboration Study and was selected to join the Global Health Pathway.
Hyowoun chose to train at the New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Family Medicine for the following three reasons: the unique opportunity to serve the diverse population of Washington Heights; the program's commitment to innovative community based health intervention and research; and the exceptional faculty dedicated to training future leaders of primary care. Hyowoun's interests in medicine include maternal-child health, medical education, and international health. She is a member of the NYSAFP Education Commission. In her spare time she enjoys Zumba, yoga, hiking, traveling, cooking, and painting.
Rebecca Roach , MD (PGY3)
Hi there! My name is Becca and I'm a small town girl hacking it in the big city of New York. I am from outside of Buffalo, NY and did my undergraduate training at University at Buffalo where I studied Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Political Science. I have always been interested in the way politics and medicine influences each other both here and abroad. As an undergraduate, I spent time in Rwanda, South Africa, and Haiti, during which I realized my passion for providing medical service to those in serious need. I went to medical school in Syracuse, NY at SUNY Upstate Medical University and am looking forward to starting my residency in Family Medicine here at Columbia!
I feel that Family Medicine is an incredible specialty that gives the opportunity to study all areas of medicine, while also providing the tools to handle the social barriers that so often impede patient health. Along with global health and healthcare policy, I am very interested in Obstetrics and Gynecology along with learning/performing procedures of any kind. I choose NY-Presbyterian Columbia because it will allow me to be at a world renowned academic center while training in a small, community-based hospital. Columbia's commitment to social justice via primary care is evident through many initiatives including their COPC month. However, it was really the faculty and residents who sold the program for me — I felt like I have found a group that works hard and is passionate about helping others, but still knows how to have fun and enjoy their work.
When I'm not working or studying medicine, I love to be outdoors. I enjoy going to the beach, swimming, hiking, running, skiing/snowboarding, and exploring Central Park with my puppy. I am also passionate about traveling, brunching, watching TV (no GOT spoilers, please), and cheering on my NY Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, and the Buffalo Bills!