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About the Department

News and Events*

*The articles below were reprinted from the Rutgers RWJMS - The Dean's Weekly View


July 2018

$3M Grant Supports Rutgers Initiative to Study Tobacco 21 Laws

Congratulations to Shawna V. Hudson, PhD, professor and research division chief, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, who was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, along with co-principal investigator Christine Delnevo, PhD, director of theCenter for Tobacco Studiesat Rutgers School of Public Health and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The team will study the effectiveness of Tobacco 21 laws in the hopes of helping determine how tobacco control policies aimed at young people can be strengthened to improve their health and avoid untimely deaths due to tobacco-related illness.

Tobacco 21 laws raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old. Today, five states, including New Jersey, and more than 310 cities have enacted this policy, and passage of similar laws is spreading quickly. Because of the novelty of Tobacco 21 laws, however, it is unclear how successful this type of policy change is, researchers say. Using this new grant, Dr. Delnevo and Dr. Hudson, who also is a research member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and professor of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences in the School of Public Health, will examine how the adoption, implementation and maintenance of these policies impacts public health outcomes, while also using the evidence to determine the impact on racial and ethnic disparities.

Learn more about the grant and team's work here.


Family Medicine Residency at CentraState Partners with VNA

The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Family Medicine Residency Program at CentraState Medical Center has partnered with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey to open a new health center in Freehold Borough in which medical school residents will train. The VNA is in the process of refurbishing a former supermarket in the borough, which will include administrative offices on one side for the VNA and a primary care clinic on the other.

Medical school residents and faculty will staff the clinic, Greater Freehold Community Health Center, offering comprehensive primary care services for the entire family, including health screenings and education, prenatal care, podiatry, behavioral health, nutrition counseling and diabetic education to individuals and families free of charge. Additional services offered to patients that also provide training and education to residents, include: sports medicine, gastroenterology, geriatrics and ophthalmology.

Read more in recent news articles by NJBIZ and


March 2018

This article appeared in March 15, 2018 Patients First! Updates about Rutgers Health initiatives.

Family Medicine's CPC+ Program Reports Great Success in Clinical Quality Metrics

Family Medicine at Monument Square (FMMS) and Family Medicine at Monroe, as part of Comprehensive Primary Care Project Plus (CPC+), recently submitted the clinical quality metrics for reporting to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), achieving the 70th percentile or higher for six of the clinical quality metrics, thus meeting the highest bar of success that CMS sets for CPC+.

This achievement is due to the hard work of all FMMS and Family Medicine at Monroe staff, clinicians and IT team members, say Cathryn Heath, MD, and Elizabeth Clark, MD, MPH, both associate professors of family medicine and community health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

These quality metrics show that the practice performed equal to or better than 90 percent of U.S. practices in the areas of tobacco screening and cessation, controlling high blood pressure, and lack of imaging for low back pain. It also met or exceeded performance requirements in the areas of breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening.

The practice plans to use the data to identify additional opportunities to improve the care provided to patients, including increased outreach efforts for patients with diabetes and additional services to improve patient engagement. Congratulations on your achievements thus far!


CentraState Honors Drs. Swee and Tallia

From l-r: David Swee, MD; John Gribbon, president and CEO of CentraState; Nancy Barone, vice president of development for the CentraState Healthcare Foundation; and Alfred Tallia, MD.

Congratulations to David E. Swee, MD, professor and former chair of family medicine, and associate dean for faculty affairs, and Alfred F. Tallia, MD, MPH, professor and chair of family medicine and community health, who were honored at the 56th Annual Celebration Ball to benefit CentraState Medical Center in Freehold.

Dr. Swee and Dr. Tallia received the Excellence in Healthcare Award for their support and leadership of the Family Medicine Residency Program at CentraState, which is sponsored by the medical school.


May 2017

Edward J. Ill Awards Recognizes Dr. Tallia
Dr. Al Tallia is pictured (left to right) with former Senator Peter Inverso and Ken Miller, president, BD Diabetes Care
Alfred Tallia, MD, MPH, professor and chair of Family Medicine and Community Health, was one of this year's honorees at the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine awards. Dr. Tallia received the Peter W. Rodino, Jr., Citizen's Award in recognition of his distinguished service in advancing and promoting the health and well-being of the people in New Jersey. Dr. Tallia, who is an alumnus of the medical school, is nationally recognized as an expert in quality of care, organization, and function of health care in the United States, particularly at the primary care and health system levels.

Dr. Tallia was recently elected as treasurer of the National Board of Medical Examiners Executive Board, for which he has served as a volunteer for more than 20 years as part of USMLE Step 3 examination committees, the Family Medicine Subject Examination task force, the USMLE Budget, Finance and Audit, and Test Accommodations committees, the centennial steering committee, chair of the USMLE evaluation program, as a board member, and executive board member-at-large, among other roles. Dr. Tallia chairs the Composite Committee governing the USMLE program, the common licensure assessment pathway for all foreign and domestic medical school graduates. Congratulations, Dr. Tallia!


April 2017

New Report Identifies Local High-Utilizer Hotspots

The Office of Community Health, along with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, has released the Greater New Brunswick Hotspotting Report, an analysis of the geography and factors associated with high utilizers of health services in the greater New Brunswick community. Many of the high utilizers -- patients who visited New Brunswick emergency rooms five or more times in a two-year period or had three or more hospital stays -- are concentrated in 10 percent of the census blocks and eight buildings and apartments complexes in New Brunswick and neighboring Franklin Township, which are designated "hotspots."

The study, funded by The Nicholson Foundation, was conducted along with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter's University Hospital. Maria B. Pellerano, MA, MBA, MPH, assistant professor; Eric Jahn, MD, professor and senior associate dean of community health; and Alfred F. Tallia, MD, MPH, professor and chair -- all of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the primary authors of the report -- indicated that this information is a critical first step in determining how to improve care and lower costs for some of the area's most in need residents. Working with local health providers and partners, they hope the report can be used to develop targeted programs to keep the patients healthy and out of the hospital.


November 2016

In Honor of Our Veterans...

VTCI team McGarry Wilson Soto Quinones
Pictured, l-r: George Wilson, LPN, VTCI patient care coordinator; peer veteran Miriam Soto-Quinones; and Barbara Jo McGarry, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Community Health.
Friday, November 11, 2016













Today, as the nation celebrates Veterans Day, we honor all individuals among our faculty, staff, students, and friends who served in the military.

As one of the first medical schools in the country to sign on as part of the Association of American Medical Colleges to assist in the national Joining Forces effort, we have been deeply committed to educating health care professionals to better serve the health needs of our nation's veterans through our interprofessional continuing education programming.

Most recently, the team at Family Medicine at Monument Square was part of a state-funded initiative to provide free primary care services to veterans in any branch of service, through the Veterans Total Care Initiative (VTCI). You can learn more about this exceptional program by clicking the link below.

October 2016

Faculty Members Lead International Symposium on Precision Medicine

Cancer Symposium speakers_Lin

Pictured (L-R): Lorna Rodriguez, MD, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Mark G. Kris, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Alfred Neugut, MD, PhD, Columbia University's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Pan-Chyr Yang, MD, PhD, National Taiwan University (NTU); Kun-Huei Yeh, MD, PhD, Cancer Research Center at NTU College of Medicine; Chiun Hsu, MD, PhD, NTU College of Medicine; Karen WeiRu Lin, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Wynn Huey-Wen Yien, MD, PhD, YongLin Healthcare Foundation; and Dennis Lai, MD, NTU Alumni Association of North America.

Karen WeiRu Lin, MD, assistant dean for global health, and Lorna Rodriguez, MD, director of precision medicine for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, participated in an international cancer symposium Oct. 14 in New York City focused on "State-of-the-Art Precision Medicine for Cancer Therapy in East Asia." Dr. Lin served as "master of symposium" for the event, which was sponsored by National Taiwan University and the YongLin Healthcare Foundation and featured a panel of national and international experts in the field. Dr. Rodriguez's discussion focused on whether precision medicine in oncology can be instituted as point of care.


July 2016

Students Aid Medically Underserved Statewide

The Community Oriented Primary Care Interdisciplinary Summer Program (COPC) has for 16 years immersed graduate and undergraduate students in community service projects that serve poor and medically underserved populations throughout the state. Through the program, students learn the value of working on a team and gain a better understanding of community medicine. 

Ten Rutgers students are participating in this year's program, working at six different sites. The program has been overseen for the past nine years by J. Anna Looney, PhD, assistant professor of family medicine and community health, who works with social service and healthcare organizations to place the students.

Pictured above standing in the back row, left to right, are: Michael Briski, Toyin Dada, and Becky Temkin, all of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Jamie-Lynn Eldridge, School of Social Work; and Amanda Lowney, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Seated in the front row, left to right, are: Dr. Looney; Su Cappello and Riddhi Virparia from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy; and Colin Scottand Abhinav Gabbeta from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

The medical school students in COPC are all rising second-year students, many of whom continue working on projects throughout medical school which result in earning a Distinction in Community Service designation along with their medical degree. 


June 2016

Dr. Bhattacharyya to Lead NJAFP

Dr. Adity BhattacharyyaAdity Bhattacharyya, MD, associate professor of family medicine and community health, and former program director of the medical school's Family Medicine Residency at Capital Health, will be sworn in as the new president of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians next week at its annual Scientific Assembly in Atlantic City.

For the past year, Dr. Bhattacharyya served as president-elect of the organization, which has nearly 2,000 members consisting of active family physicians, residents in family medicine, and medical students interested in the specialty. A chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, NJAFP is the believed to be the largest primary care medical society in the state. 

Best of luck in your new role!


Dr. Ciminelli Named NJ Family Physician of the Year

For the second consecutive year, a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School faculty has been named New Jersey Family Physician of the Year. Maria F. Ciminelli, MD, assistant professor of family medicine and community health and program director of the medical school's Family Medicine Residency at CentraState Medical Center, was selected for the honor by the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP).

Dr. Ciminelli was recognized June 11 at NJAFP's 2016 Scientific Assembly in Atlantic City.

Among other critieria, NJAFP's Family Physician of the Year Award is granted to a physician who provides his or her community with compassionate, comprehensive and caring medical service, and who is a credible role model, emulating the family physician as a healer and human being to the community, and as a professional in the service and art of medicine. Last year's recipient was Martha Lansing, MD, associate professor and vice chair of family medicine and community health at the medical school.

Congratulations, Dr. Ciminelli, on your achievement!