Biostatstics and Research Design

Sebastian Placide featured on NY1 as a recipient of the Diversity in Medicine scholarship from AMSNY

Sebastian Placide

Sebastian Placide, MS2, was featured on NY1 as one of the first recipients of the Diversity in Medicine scholarship from the Associated Medical Schools of New York. This scholarship is funded through a grant by the New York State Department of Health with two main goals: the diversification of the medical workforce and to provide medical care to underserved areas of New York State, where recipients of the scholarship are required to give two years of service post completion of their training. When fully funded, 40 scholarships will support NY medical students looking to make a difference in our state. We congratulate Sebastian on this achievement, as he and our other wonderful recipient, Ms. Diana Perez (Einstein MS1) had to not only show need but a good moral character and a commitment to serving the underserved in order to be awarded this scholarship. Congratulations!

NY1 Report
Diversity in Medicine Scholarship


Office of Diversity Enhancement

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We, in ODE, are committed to developing a broadly diverse cadre of clinicians, researchers and educators who will promote health and address health disparities in our local community, in the nation and abroad.

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Student Groups

The Community Based Service Learning Program

Community Based Service Learning Program (CBSL) is an educational program offering direct service-learning opportunities for medical and graduate students. Our mission is to provide our students with opportunities in which to engage with the Bronx community and have an impact on health and social justice issues. Students learn, share and nurture the skills needed for their roles as future physicians, scientists and compassionate professionals needed to work in our ever expanding communities in the Bronx. As a collaboration of Einstein students, faculty and the communities of the Bronx, we support all students who want to make a difference in the community by serving as a clearinghouse for information and opportunities, providing guidance, and offering program planning and leadership skills training. CBSL provides early career exposure via experiential education, trainings, workshops and seminars to develop leadership and community engagement skills.

  • AIRE (Advocacy for Immigrants’ Rights and Equity)
    promotes the social justice mission of Albert Einstein College of Medicine by serving immigrant populations. We collaborate with Terra Firma, a medical-legal clinic in the Bronx that integrates medical, mental health and legal services for immigrant children.
  • BODY (Bronx Obesity Diabetes and You)
    is an exercise and nutrition activities program with elementary school children at P.S. 89; a community garden at the Montefiore-Einstein Hospital; and engaging Bronx community leaders through grassroots outreach to effect educational efforts that can help change attitudes and improve health.
  • ECHO After School Program
    focuses on health education for elementary school children at P.S. 294 in the South Bronx. The program is dedicated to working with children in grades 3 to 5 in order to explore various topics such as nutrition, physical activity and human anatomy.
  • Einstein Buddies
    is dedicated to serving the special needs population in the local community. Through various educational and physical activities, the students hope to help improve their populations’ ability to perform everyday functions of daily living. Additionally, they host lecture series with guest speakers in order to increase awareness and dispel misconceptions regarding people with special needs and the challenges they face.
  • EiSci (The Einstein Science High School Mentoring Program)
    focuses on mentoring and exposing Bronx high school students to careers in science and medicine. Einstein medical and graduate students meet with high school students in a bi‐monthly after-school program. Consistent mentoring groups are established to foster connections between students in the program and Einstein students.
  • HEART (HIV Education and Rapid Testing)
    provides weekly HIV testing at Lehman College in partnership with the Adolescent AIDS Program at Montefiore. HEART also offers sex education at neighboring middle and high schools throughout the Bronx. More recently, HEART has joined with Project Brief at Jacobi Medical Center, where members conduct rapid HIV testing to patients in the Emergency Department. HEART members receive training from AAP and Jacobi on HIV testing, peer education, sexual history taking and sexual health counseling.
  • H4H (Hoops for Health)
    works with students at the local PAL (Police Athletic League) and with Doctors for a Healthier Bronx to expose the young people of the Bronx community to science and medicine or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Students encourage professional development and inspire lifelong learning in this population through athletic engagement. Additionally, the students emphasize the importance of staying physically active and healthy.
  • HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program at Einstein)
    seeks to provide educational and health resources to the homeless and high-risk populations of the Bronx. By volunteering at the Living Room, a homeless safe haven in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, and a syringe-exchange site run by New York Harm Education Educators (NYHRE), members seek to provide resources that are often too inaccessible in these communities. HOPE also involves the entire Einstein community in our outreach efforts to bring attention to the significant social and medical issues that these communities face.
  • PACT (Patient Advocate ConnecTion)
    connects medical students with chronically ill patients from the Bronx. Over an 18-month period, students have the opportunity to develop relationships with these patients and serve as their advocates, while also gaining insight into the experiences of patients coping with chronic illness and their interactions with the healthcare system.
  • SPHERE (Space in Prisons for Health Education for Re-Entry)
    provides health education at the Edgecombe Correctional Facility in Washington Heights. Einstein students in SPHERE collaborate with the Social Medicine residents at Montefiore to design and lead health workshops directly relevant to the inmate population, including HIV prevention, hepatitis C awareness, nutrition and how to navigate the healthcare system in New York. Ultimately, we aim to be positive health advocates that empower incarcerated populations with knowledge and resources to successfully reintegrate into the healthcare system upon release.
  • START (Students, Teachers and Researchers Teach)
    is a volunteer program that brings our love of science to the elementary school classrooms of PS89. We do hands-on science modules with first and second graders and work with their teachers to design modules that work with the NYSC Scope and Science curriculum. Participants will come with us to PS89 (a 5-minute drive from Einstein) and participate in hour-long modules every other week. You will receive all materials and information for the modules in advance, and we are always looking for new, creative ideas. Our goal is to make science fun and easy to understand for all students.
  • TEACH (Together Educating All Children in Hospital)
    provides experiential education for pediatric inpatients and their siblings, with a multifaceted goal in mind: bonding time, play time and learning time. TEACH aims to transform hospital playrooms into areas of recreation, friendship and discovery in learning.

Heather Archer-Dyer, MPH, CHES,
Alicia Martinez, MS,
Medina Byars, CNHP,

Learn more

Pipeline Programs

Einstein is dedicated to providing critical pipeline programs for racial/ ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged students, beginning in high school. These programs promote the educational advancement of underserved, economically and educationally disadvantaged students, giving them an opportunity to pursue and succeed in rigorous academic programs in the health professions. Hundreds of students benefit from Einstein’s pipeline programs each year.

  • The Einstein Enrichment Program

    The EEP is a New York state–funded Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) that offers grade 7-12 students opportunities to excel in the sciences and exposure to careers in medicine. The 15-week curriculum includes hands-on learning such as ambulance-bay prep, seminars, test-prep classes and more. Among our graduates are M.D.s, physician assistants and nurses. To qualify, students must demonstrate high academic school performance, good school attendance, and an interest in pursuing careers in health, medicine and/or science. The program runs approximately fifteen weeks each fall and spring semesters, and students over the age of 16 have the option of attending our five-week summer program.

    Alicia Martinez, MS,
    Deborah Negron Cordero, MS,
    Medina Byars, CNHP,

    learn more
  • The Einstein Enrichment Program Extension

    The Einstein Enrichment Program Extension (EEPx) offers alumni of the Einstein Enrichment Program a continuation of services such as counseling, career assessments and test prep support including MCAT and GMAT prep. EEPx hosts a Pre-med Symposium & Reunion for EEP alumni in addition to a 6-week summer program for alumni currently pursuing undergraduate degrees, or recent undergraduate degree recipients who are continuing on a medical career track. The program consists of a medical science class, luncheon seminars, career counseling and over 96 hours of clinical or research site placements with distinguished faculty. All participants will develop an abstract and present a poster on a topic related to medical science at Einstein at the end of the program.

    Alicia Martinez, MS, and
    Medina Byars, CNHP,

  • Diversity Student Summer Research Opportunity Program

    DSSROP gives college sophomores and juniors an opportunity to do biomedical research in a mentored program. DSSROP is a part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program directed by Einstein’s Graduate Division in the Biomedical Sciences. The eight-week program consists of laboratory research, lectures by faculty, discussions on “hot topics,” and training in writing and oral presenting research work. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty member. Research assignments will be made based upon availability of research opportunities and according to the mutual interests of the faculty sponsors and student participants.

    Contact: Nilda I. Soto, MS-Ed,

    Learn more     Apply Now

Pipelines from Our Einstein Partners

  • Hispanic Center of Excellence Summer Undergraduate Mentorship Program

    HCOE SUMP is a six-week summer program for college sophomores through recent college graduates. Our goals are to motivate students to pursue careers in medicine, build confidence and foster working mentorship relationships. The program provides students with shadowing and mentorship opportunities with Montefiore and Einstein physicians, workshops, lectures and research experience.

    Contact: Cara Stephenson-Hunter, MS,

    Learn more
  • Montefiore Health Opportunities Program (Monte-HOP)

    Monte-HOP is a summer program that promotes, educates and encourages rising college freshmen through rising college juniors to pursue careers in health fields. Students gain valuable knowledge and professional skills through interactive workshops, mentorship by physicians, observation of physician-patient interactions, lecture activities and independent learning.

    Contact: Carol Whittaker,

    Learn more
  • Bronx Community Health Leaders, (BxCHL)

    The Bronx Community Health Leaders is a mentoring, and community outreach groups run in conjunction with the Family Health Center of Montefiore Medical Center. Created in 2014, and entirely student led, BxCHL offers pre-health scholars the opportunity to volunteer in a multitude of community based clinical initiatives, provide and participate in near-peer and faculty mentoring, in addition to facilitating leadership and scholarly opportunities. BxCHL seeks to devise strategies that attract socially and economically disadvantaged scholars to pursue a career in medicine, and thus further promote the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in Primary Care.

    Contact: Juan Robles, MD,

    Learn more

Our Team

Irene Blanco, M.D., M.S.

Irene Blanco, M.D., M.S.
Pronoun: She/Her
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave, Belfer 507
Bronx, NY 10461


A rheumatologist by training, Dr. Blanco has a particular interest in connective tissue diseases, most notably systemic lupus erythematosus and how it affects underserved populations. Her research currently focuses on addressing health disparities in rheumatology through developing structured didactics within the rheumatology fellowship curriculum. At the medical school, Dr. Blanco focuses on further diversifying both the medical and graduate school, with the end goal of having Einstein graduates at the upper echelons of research and healthcare nationally and internationally.

Nilda Soto, MS-Ed

Nilda Soto, MS-Ed
Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Director, Einstein Enrichment Program

Belfer 507 718.430.3091

A native of the Bronx, Ms. Soto has been a member of Einstein's administration since 1990. In her role as assistant dean of diversity enhancement, Ms. Soto administers and supervises all minority student activities at the medical school and is involved in the recruitment, admission and retention of individuals underrepresented in medicine. She serves as director of both the Einstein Enrichment Program and the Minority Students Summer Research Opportunity Program. Ms. Soto served on the New York State Minority Health Council through March 2010. She currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives, as a member of the Board of Friends of the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University, and as Chair of the LeGrand Newman Scholarship Committee for the Northeast Region of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc.

Heather A. Archer-Dyer, MPH, CHES

Heather A. Archer-Dyer, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor, Family and Social Medicine
Director of Community Health Outreach
Director of Community Based Service Learning (CBSL)

Belfer 507 718.430.3419

Ms. Archer-Dyer joined the department of Family and Social Medicine as the Director of Community Health Outreach and Assistant Professor. Among her skills and accomplishments are managing medical and graduate student practica and internship experiences, working with communities to advance public health, developing public health projects for students and developing and implementing many successful public health presentations and workshops. A Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with a graduate certificate in Health Information Technology, Ms. Archer-Dyer has been a resident of the Bronx on and off for 18 years and is an active volunteer on several task forces and coalitions in the area. Ms. Archer-Dyer is excited to take the reins of the Community Based Service Learning program from Dr. Maria Marzan.

Alicia Martinez, MA

Alicia Martinez, MS
Program Manager
Einstein Enrichment Program
Community Based Service Learning Program

Belfer 407

Ms.Martinez joined Einstein in November of 2017 as the Program Manager for the Einstein Enrichment Program and Community Based Service Learning program. She has worked in higher education in various capacities over the last 18 years, has served as a conduct officer and Title IX investigator and has extensive experience in leadership development and event management. She has facilitated many workshops, seminars and conferences related to leadership development and transitioning to college. Ms. Martinez has a Master’s degree in organizational leadership and is a member of the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, the Association for Title IX Administrators and Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

Deborah Negron Cordero, MS

Deborah Negron Cordero, MS
Einstein Enrichment Program Counselor
Office of Diversity Enhancement

Belfer 407 718.430.4166

A Bronx native, Deborah Negron Cordero has been part of the Einstein Enrichment Program since 2010. Deborah received her Bachelor's Degree from the Metropolitan College of New York in 2001, and her Master of Science Degree in the field of Counseling in 2006 from Mercy College. As a licensed school counselor, Deborah provides individual and gourp counseling to our high school pipeline students in addition to facilitating career development workshops, coordinating college visits, and aiding students in the college application and admissions process.

Maddy Ebanks, BS-HSA

Maddy Ebanks, BS-HSA
Administrative Assistant
Office of Diversity Enhancement

Belfer 507 718.430.3091

A native of Nueva Gerona, Cuba and a product of New York City's public school system, Ms. Ebanks learned to speak English thanks to bilingual education classes that also allowed her to remain with her cohort. Ms. Ebanks majored in healthcare administration in college and holds a Bachelor of Science degree. As a public education advocate in East Harlem, she helped raise awareness of the needs of public schools and collaborated with elected officials, parents, pedagogical staff and community members to procure resources for education. Ms. Ebanks has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare administration. She is familiar with the accreditation standards governing graduate medical education and the accreditation and privileging standards governing healthcare organization operations and professional affairs.

Medina Byars

Medina Byars, CNHP
Administrative Secretary
Einstein Enrichment Program
Community Based Service Learning

Belfer 407 718.430.4166

A Bronx native, Ms. Byars has been at Einstein for more than 37 years. She started at the Van Etten Drug Treatment Program doing billing, switchboard and general clerical and reception duties and continued her work at Einstein in public affairs. She next moved to research, assuming the role of secretary for the Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology. She moved on to job-share with another secretary in the Office of Minority Student Affairs, now the Office of Diversity Enhancement, and in 1991 became the administrative assistant for the Einstein Enrichment Program. Ms. Byars is also an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Natural Health Professional.

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Office of Diversity Enhancement
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave, Belfer 507
Bronx, NY 10461


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