Fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine

The Fellowship Program in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Medicine is an ACGME approved interdisciplinary fellowship (3 fellows per year). Applicants who have completed (or will complete) an ACGME approved residency in one of the following disciplines are eligible to apply:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Surgery

The diversity of clinical training programs at the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital provides an ideal setting for interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration across disciplines and specialties that participate in the care of this patient population. The year long experience encompasses the medical, psychosocial, and spiritual domains of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. We are committed to excellence and preparation of future leaders in the clinical, educational, and research areas of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Program Director

Craig D. Blinderman, MD, MA, FAAHPM is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Blinderman maintains an active inpatient and outpatient palliative medicine clinical practice. His academic and research interests include: decision-making at the end of life, role of palliative care in public health, medical ethics, and the integration of palliative care in medical education. He also has a strong interest in teaching and developing programs to improve students and residents' skills in communication and care for the dying.


Rotation Months /Weeks

Inpatient Consult Service (WCMC)

2 blocks

Medical Ethics (CUMC)

½ block

Hospice (VNS)

2.5 blocks

Pediatric Palliative Care (at Elizabeth Seton Rehab Center)

1 block

Long Term Care/Hospice (at Calvary Hospital)

1 block


1 block


4 weeks

The fellows have an active role at all sites of the fellowship while working with the respective IDTs. One month of elective time is offered to pursue research or a clinical rotation including: Ethics, Radiation Oncology, Integrative therapies, Interventional Pain Medicine, Consultation Psychiatry, Pediatric Oncology, Geriatric Medicine or Neurology/Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Rotation Sites

  • New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (Milstein Hospital): Inpatient HPM Consultation, Clinical Ethics
  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center: Inpatient HPM Consultation
  • Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center: Skilled Nursing Facility (for Pediatric Track only)
  • Calvary Hospital (Bronx): Long Term Care Rotation/Hospcie
  •     **Calvary Hospital is a long term acute care specialty hospital providing palliative care services for adult advanced cancer patients and others with a life threatening illness)

Fellows will attend lectures on multiple topics including

  • Pharmacology of analgesics
  • Pathophysiology of pain and other symptoms
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacologic management of pain and other symptoms
  • Interventional pain medicine procedures
  • Hospice
  • Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Ethics
  • Critical care
  • Genetic disorders
  • Family care
  • Spiritual care
  • Communication
  • Existential distress
  • Palliative care in patients on ECMO, LVAD technology
  • Withholding and withdrawing life sustaining treatment
  • Comfort Care / Providing End of Life Care
  • Bereavement

These lectures will be provided by the Palliative Medicine faculty and faculty from the Departments of: Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurology, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Clinical Ethics, Pediatrics, Radiation Oncology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gynecology and from the Schools of Public Health, Social Work and Nursing.

Participation in clinical research will be offered with faculty in the

  • Department of Medicine at both Columbia and Cornell campuses
  • By special arrangement based on area(s) of interest

Research topics include

  • Clinical outcomes in palliative care
  • Measurement of pain, symptoms, and caregiver burden
  • Quality improvement projects for care delivery

Opportunities for self-reflection will be provided by chaplaincy, social work and narrative medicine

  • Monthly debriefing session for our fellows is supervised by a chaplain and social worker
  • Monthly narrative medicine training sessions are part of our commitment to building a reflective practice and enhancing the fellow’s clinical practice with the narrative competence to “recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness.”

Exposure to the administrative aspects of Hospice and Palliative Medicine will occur both in the hospital and home hospice settings.

Didactics include

  • HPM Fellowship Core Lecture Series (weekly)
  • Research Seminar Series (monthly)
  • Journal Club (monthly)
  • Pain Medicine Educational Activities
  • Departmental Grand Rounds (weekly)
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine Grand Rounds (monthly)
  • Bi-campus Case Conferences Columbia and Cornell (quarterly)
  • View Schedule

Teaching Faculty

The diversity of different clinical training programs at the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian (the Sponsoring Institution) provides an ideal setting for interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration, within the IDT's, but also across the different clinical disciplines that participate in the care of the patient population, adult and pediatric.

Hospice and Palliative Medicine faculty are drawn from a variety of disciplines including, Hospice and Palliative Medicine (CUMC and rotation sites), Psychiatry, Narrative Medicine, Pediatrics, Radiation Oncology, Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Emergency Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurology, Social Work, Nursing, Pastoral Care, Critical Care, and Ethics.

Core Clinical Faculty

Craig D. Blinderman, MD, MA, FAAHPM, Director, Adult Palliative Care Service and Fellowship Program Director
Shunichi Nakagawa, MD, Director, Inpatient Adult Palliative Care Consult Service
Peri El-Shanawanny, MD, Associate Fellowship Program Director
M. Hamza Habib, MD, Interventional Pain and Palliative Care Physician
Ana I. Flores, MD, Palliative Care Attending Physician
Ron Adelman, MD, Division Chief, Geriatrics and Palliative Care (Weill-Cornell Medical Center)
Randi Diamond, MD, Geriatrics and Palliative Care (Weill-Cornell Medical Center)
Sonal Mehta, MD, Geriatrics and Palliative Care (Weill-Cornell Medical Center)
Shila Pandey, NP, Inpatient Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
Suzanne Zampetti, NP, Inpatient Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
Lindsey Wright, NP, Inpatient and Outpatient Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
AnnaMaria Giehl, NP, Inpatient Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner (per diem)
Fran Heller, MSW, Senior Palliative Care Social Worker
Lauren Yuill, LMSW, Palliative Care Social Worker
Sarah Wichman, LMSW, DSW, Palliative Care Social Worker
Cristina Ramirez, SW, Palliative Care Social Worker
Maria Becerra, RN, Care Coordinator, Outpatient Palliative Care Service

Adjunct Faculty

Kenneth Prager, MD, Director, Clinical Ethics
Jon Levenson, MD, Director of HIV Liaison Psychiatry Service
Rita Charon, MD, PhD, Director, Narrative Medicine Program

Current Fellows 2017-2018

Rachel Bernstein, MD
Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo
Residency: Case Western Reserve University (Emergency Medicine)
Previously worked as an attending ER physician at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Masaya Higuchi, MD
Medical School: Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan
Residency: Southern Illinois University (Medicine)
Fellowship: University of Hawaii (Geriatrics)
Previously was an Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Emily Lu, MD
Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine
Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian-Weill Cornell  (Medicine)
Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian-Weill Cornell  (Nephrology)

Kathryn Palumbo, MD
Medical School: University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center
Residency: Brown University (Pediatrics)
Fellowship: Columbia University/NewYork-Presbyterian (Children’s Hospital of NY) Pediatric Intensive Care

Graduate(s) of the Program


Christopher Adrian, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Residency and Fellowship: UCSF (Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology)
Currently: Visiting Professor, Writers’ Workshop, The University of Iowa

Ana Isabel Flores, MD
Medical School: Universidad Autonomia de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina
Residency: Lincoln Medical Center
Currently: Palliative Care Attending Physician at Columbia University Medical Center

Eberechi Nwogu-Onyemkpa, MD
Medical School: Yale School of Medicine 
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 
Currently: Palliative Care Attending Physician at Palliative Care and Hospice at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI

Elizabeth Yoo, MD
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Residency: Icahn School of Medicine Mt Sinai at Elmhurst
Currently: Hospitalist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY


Jemella Raymore, MD
Residency: Winthrop University Hospital Internal Medicine Residency
Currently: Palliative Care Attending Physician at Huntington Hospital, Long Island

Anna Hennon, MD
Residency: University Hospitals Cleveland Internal Medicine Residency 
Fellowship:  NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Fellowship in Geriatrics
Currently: Attending Physician at Weil-Cornell Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care

Rana Zahiri, MD
Residency: University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Psychiatry Residency 
Currently: Private Psychiatry Practice in San Diego, California


Naila Moghul, MD
MD: The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan
Residency: Columbia University Anesthesiology Residency; 
Other: Pain Fellowship, Albert Einstein Medical College
Currently: Attending Physician, Palliative Care Service at Beth Israel-Mt Sinai, New York, NY

Shane Peterson, MD
MD: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency
Currently: Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine Department, Salem Hospital, Oregon


James "Hank" Horak, MD
MD: Baylor College of Medicine
Residency: Baylor Affiliated Hospitals
Currently: Medical Director, St. Charles Hospice, Bend, Oregon 

Alana Sagin, MD
MD: Jefferson Medical College
Residency: Lawrence Family Medicine Residency Program
Currently: Attending Physician, Palliative Medicine, Penn


Bradley Hayward, MD
MD: Temple University School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine Temple University Hospital
Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care, NYU-Langone 
Currently: Attending physician in Pulmonary Critical Care at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY

Audrey Tan, DO
Director of Division of Palliative Care
Department of Emergency Medicine 
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
DO: Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience
Residency: Emergency Medicine SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital Center
Currently: Attending ER Physician at SUNY Downstate


David Chmielewski, MD
MD: University at Buffalo, State University of New York 
MA: Columbia University Teachers College 
Residency: Internal Medicine NYU
Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center
Currently: Hospice Medical Director, Hospice of Rockland County

Dorothy W. Tolchin, MD, EdM
MD: Harvard Medical School 
EdM: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Residency: PM& R Harvard/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Fellowship: Neuromuscular/EMG Harvard/ Brigham and Women's Hospital/MGH

For further information please contact

Craig D. Blinderman, MD, MA, FAAHPM
Program Director, HPM Fellowship

601 W. 168th Street Suite 37/38
New York, NY 10032
Office: 212-305-3071
Fax: 646-317-6306
E-mail: cdb21@columbia.edu

Jivanny Rodriguez
Administrative Assistant to Dr. Blinderman and Fellowship Program Coordinator

601 W. 168th Street Suite 37/38
New York, NY 10032
Office: 212-305-6299
Fax: 646-317-6306
E-mail: sjr2850@cumc.columbia.edu
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