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Press Releases

26 Doctors Receive Medical School Loan Forgiveness in Exchange for Commitment to NYC Health + Hospitals

$3 million loan repayment grants provided by the state's Doctors Across New York program

In 2019, the average medical student debt was $200,000

Jun 06, 2022

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced more than $3 million in total loan forgiveness grants for 26 physicians who commit to continue serving the public hospital system. The 26 physicians – with specialties ranging from pediatrics, psychiatry and emergency medicine – currently practice at NYC Health + Hospitals. The physicians will receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years to help cover their loans for medical school. The hospital system raised awareness and supported doctors in the program application process to increase New Yorkers’ access to care.

“Medical school debt drives too many early-career physicians away from the public hospital system and the community we serve,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Loan forgiveness programs like Doctors Across New York change the equation and help attract talented young clinicians to a career in public service with NYC Health + Hospitals.”

The grants were provided by the state’s Doctors Across New York Physician Loan Repayment program and will result in more than 75 years of combined service to support NYC Health + Hospitals’ commitment to offer high quality and accessible health care to the people of New York City. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median medical student loan debt was $200,000 in 2019.

“Loan forgiveness for medical school debt is an important way to invest in our healthcare workforce,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Eric Wei, MD, MBA. “Access to programs like Doctors Across New York is one of many reasons why NYC Health + Hospitals is a great place to start your career in medicine.”

“The United States has some of the highest medical school costs in the world, and that places an extraordinary burden on early career physicians,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Loan forgiveness programs like Doctors Across New York alleviate that burden and allows young doctors to focus where it matters most – on their patients.”

“Having been born and raised in New York, it is both an honor and privilege for me to be one of the Doctors Across New York awardees,” said Rebecca Pollack, MD, a neonatologist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “I am deeply grateful and appreciative to Doctors Across New York for this award, which strengthens my commitment to serve the NYC community with dedication and to provide optimal neonatal medical care at NYC Health + Hospitals / Lincoln.”

“New York is my home; it is where I met my spouse and am raising a family, and it has been a wonderful place to pursue my career as a physician,” said Gregory Hoge, MD, PhD, an internal medicine physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “Initiatives like Doctors Across New York ease the financial burden of medical training, and I am very fortunate to receive this award from NY state so I can continue caring for New Yorkers.”

“My sincere thanks to the State of New York for this opportunity,” said Melissa Headley, MD, a palliative care physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “I am honored to be selected as a Doctors Across New York recipient and look forward to continuing to serve with NYC Health + Hospitals at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.”

The following doctors received grants from Doctors Across New York:

  • BROOKLYN
    • Dina Finkel, Neonatology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
    • Yaniuska Lescaille, Gastroenterology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
    • Carolina Camacho Ruiz, Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
    • Emily Weber, Pediatric Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island
  • BRONX
    • Linelle Campbell, Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
    • Bobby Allen Garcia, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
    • Melissa Headley, Palliative Care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
    • Zachary Hena, Pediatric Intensive Care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
    • Gregory Hoge, Internal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
    • Michelle Montenegro, Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
    • Rebecca Pollack, Neonatology, Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
    • Amy Postelnik, Neurology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
    • Tahsin Rahman, Family Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
    • Arnoldys Stengel, Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
    • Daniel Sultan, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
  • MANHATTAN
    • Dustin Cummings, General Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
    • Haralambos Damanakis, Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
    • Anne-Sophie Janvier, Anesthesiology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
    • Destiny Judkins, Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
    • Syed Ali Raza Rizvi, Vascular Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
  • QUEENS
    • Annie Chen, Anesthesiology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
    • Fayola Fils-Aime, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
    • Marissa Goldberg, Psychiatry at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
    • Philip Howard, Pathology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
    • Gianmatie Ramdass, Internal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
    • Jasmeet Sandhu, Hospitalist / Internal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

Those interested in becoming a primary care physician at NYC Health + Hospitals can learn more at docs4nyc.org.