Harlem Hospital has significantly upgraded its Department of Ophthalmology by hiring Columbia Professor James Auran to be its new Chief of Ophthalmology, and entering into an affiliation agreement with the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute of Columbia University Medical Center.
Under the agreement, several Columbia ophthalmology residents began rotating through Harlem Hospital in July, 2015. The residents will spend one-quarter of their residencies at Harlem Hospital.
The affiliation agreement will enable Harlem Hospital to increase its eye patient capacity by between 20 and 50 percent and to provide their patients with better service.
“This agreement is a real boost for the community,” Dr. Auran said. “We hope to work on increasing outreach by, for example, offering more glaucoma screening.”
He said the affiliation agreement with Harlem Hospital has also made Columbia’s residency program more attractive to potential applicants. “When we were interviewing candidates, the affiliation with Harlem was viewed a big plus,” Dr. Auran said, “because of the opportunity to work in this neighborhood and get clinical experience. Harlem has a lot of things Columbia doesn’t have, like a Level 1 Trauma Center.”
Dr. Auran, whose specialty is cataract surgery, will remain a Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia.
“Both institutions have much to learn from each other in terms of techniques and medical knowledge,” he said. “I already feel I’m bringing things back to Columbia and bringing things from Columbia to Harlem.”
A graduate of Harvard with a biology degree, Dr. Auran received his medical degree at Cornell University. He began his dental practice at Columbia in 1988 and joined the full-time faculty in 2005.