Department of Pediatrics Annual Report – 2020

Message From the Chair

Jordan Scott Orange, MD, PhD

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is an honor to share with you the annual report of the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University. In a world where a nearly infinite amount of information is available, it means so much to us all here that you have chosen to learn more about pediatrics at Columbia and we are truly grateful. Since it has been some time since there was an annual report of the department, this one looks back a bit further than just a year.

The period covered by this report represents one of transition for the department as well as new initiatives and new growth, and of course all in the context of the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhanced focus on social justice.

In case it has been a while, or if you are new to learning about our department, we encompass 13 divisions (12 clinical) and exist as an integrated entity within Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Divisions and entities within other Columbia departments focus on conditions affecting children, and we are integrally linked together with these efforts as Columbia Children’s Health. As faculty at Columbia, we are solely responsible for supervising the care provided at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital (formerly the Babies Hospital of New York) and are also present at ColumbiaDoctors sites in Manhattan and Westchester, with meaningful additional sites throughout the region.


While we are the largest department of pediatrics in New York City, we have been intensely focused on how we can be more present, effective, and meaningful as a comprehensive children’s health entity in our region. We maintain a mission that spans the full breadth of conditions for which children require care, a robust and growing research enterprise, and many of the best educational programs in children’s health in New York (including our top-rated pediatric residency). Through a focus on the most rare and even novel conditions affecting children, we have a comprehensive team that brings true excellence to any concern faced by a child, including the most common. Importantly, we are here for the children of our local community, New York City, and beyond—no matter where their journey in health may take them.

I encourage you to peruse the pages of this report to learn about our progress, changes, and programs. We have added many new leaders, including new vice chairs and division chiefs who have brought vision, energy, and diversity to our department. We have some truly innovative research programs for children and presently have more NIH funding than any other pediatric department in the city, as well as the greatest number of NIH career development awards. We launched our Innovation Nucleation Fund and through it have advanced some of the very best ideas of our faculty that would otherwise have difficulty in finding paths forward. We have created a program for Promoting Overall Well-being, Engagement, and Resilience (POWER) in pediatrics to elevate our teams in their work and beyond. We have grown a philosophy and culture of inclusion, diversity, and anti-racist practices that are bringing currency to our teams, learners, and patients. And, of course, we have navigated the existential challenge of the initial wave of COVID-19 in New York City, while keeping our faculty, learners, staff, and patients safe and engaged—resulting in dozens of publications, new insights, and innovation for what the virus and pandemic mean for children.

The Department of Pediatrics at Columbia is a wonderful and impactful family and I invite you into our home through this report. I again thank you for spending some of your valuable time with us.

Most appreciatively,
Jordan Scott Orange, MD, PhD
Reuben S. Carpentier Professor of Pediatrics