Three #InstituteInnovators are Honored by Acclaimed Health Organizations for Leading the Way in Family Medicine

January 09, 2017

From left, Cynthia Kim, LCSW-R, Dr. Seema Shah and Dr. Jonas Telson


New York, NY (January 9, 2017) – Three Institute for Family Health clinicians have received honors from leading health organizations for their work in the field of family medicine.  Cynthia Kim, a clinical social worker, and Drs. Seema Shah and Jonas Telson, both family physicians, have demonstrated excellence in serving medically underserved communities through their work at the Institute.

Cynthia Kim, LCSW – R, the Institute’s Director of Behavioral Science and faculty for the Mid-Hudson Family Medicine Residency Program, was selected by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation (STFM) as one of ten recipients of the 2017 New Faculty Scholar Award. Ms. Kim will be recognized for the award during the 2017 STFM Annual Spring Conference in May.“I believe STFM has truly welcomed, embraced and valued the contribution of behavioral science faculty in a way that no other family medicine forum or organization has done,” said Kim. “I feel excited, inspired and more committed than ever to a profession and arena of education that I truly love working with. It is a privilege to be a teacher of family medicine and a privilege as a behavioral science faculty member to have this incredible opportunity!”

An Institute clinical research fellow, Dr. Seema Shah, MD, MPH, was recently selected by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award. The Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award is presented annually to recognize a community physician who contributes with distinction to the education and training of medical students. Dr. Shah will be honored during an AOA Induction Banquet Luncheon in February.

“I am thrilled to have received this award and represent the Institute and family medicine in this way. I enjoy working with the medical students and exposing them to the full-scope care we can provide in urban family medicine,” said Dr. Shah.

Finally, Dr. Jonas Telson, a third year resident in the Institute’s Mid-Hudson Family Medicine Residency Program, has been accepted as a 2017-2019 HEAL (Health, Equity, Action & Leadership) Initiative Fellow. Dr. Telson was selected because of his dedication to serving vulnerable populations in underserved communities both domestically and abroad. The HEAL Initiative’s mission is “to create, scale and sustain a pipeline of health professionals to care for the poorest communities at home and abroad.” Dr. Telson will work half of the year in Chiapas, Mexico and the other half in Shiprock, New Mexico on the Navajo reservation.

“I am honored to have been accepted into a program which shares my values: that health is a human right,  generated at the community level and that local actors must be supported and respected. I believe that global health is an important and rewarding endeavor and I am excited to return to the developing world where I began my training,” said Dr. Telson.

Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health, and Chair of the Alfred and Gail Engelberg Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Mount Sinai, was delighted. “These awardees represent family medicine at its best, and demonstrate the importance of the Teaching Health Center program, which permits community health centers such as the Institute’s in Kingston and in Harlem to function as teaching sites. Every day these individuals provide primary care and behavioral health care to patients with tremendous needs, simultaneously serving as role models for students and residents.”

Congratulations to each of our deserving and dedicated #InstituteInnovators.