Melanie Bernitz Appointed Senior Vice President for Columbia Health

January 25, 2021

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I write to share that I have appointed Dr. Melanie Bernitz to the newly created position of Senior Vice President for Columbia Health, in recognition of the critical role of Columbia Health and Dr. Bernitz’s unwavering commitment to our community.

Dr. Bernitz has served as Associate Vice President and Medical Director of Columbia Health since 2016. This followed her tenure as Executive Director of the Student Health Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and time as a resident, chief resident, and faculty member in Columbia’s Center for Family and Community Medicine, where she remains an Associate Clinical Professor. 

From the very early stages of the current crisis, Dr. Bernitz has served as one of the experts advising me and executing the University’s response to this pandemic as a member of the COVID-19 Task Force. Many of you have gotten to know her through the information sessions, community meetings, and health updates that she either participates in or generates herself. She also is an essential liaison with City and State health departments. All of this while continuing to quickly, effectively, and thoughtfully marshal the resources of her department to meet the needs of our community during this unprecedented crisis.

The mission of Columbia Health has always been to advance the wellbeing of the Columbia University community. This past year, the office went above and beyond in its response to the current world health crisis. Columbia Health is comprised of more than 150 medical providers, therapists, psychiatrists, disability specialists, health promotion specialists, violence prevention and support specialists, nutritionists, peer counselors, support staff, and administrative professionals, all of whom remain deeply committed to providing the highest level of services for the entire community despite the enormous obstacles before them as we continue to endure the effects of this pandemic. And for that, we are forever in their debt.

Dr. Bernitz will report to Senior Executive Vice President Gerry Rosberg in her new role. I know I represent everyone within the Columbia community in thanking Dr. Bernitz and Columbia Health for their tireless care of our students and our community.

With deepest appreciation,

Lee C. Bollinger