World-Renowned Glaucoma Researcher and Clinician Named to Top Posts at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Apr 25, 2012


An internationally recognized glaucoma researcher and clinician, George A. "Jack" Cioffi, MD, has been appointed chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, effective March 1.

Dr. Cioffi joins the academic medical center from the Legacy Health healthcare system in Oregon, where he served as chief medical officer and senior vice president. He was also the R.G. Chenoweth Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology at the Devers Eye Institute and professor of ophthalmology at Oregon Health & Science University.

Dr. Cioffi, who has contributed to more than 200 publications, is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Glaucoma and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Glaucoma Research Foundation. His research focuses on how circulatory changes in the optic nerve may lead to glaucoma.

"Columbia's department of ophthalmology has always been committed to glaucoma prevention and research. With Dr. Cioffi's appointment, I am confident we will make even greater strides in combating this leading cause of blindness," says Dr. Lee Goldman, dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences at Columbia University Medical Center.

"Ophthalmology covers a broad spectrum of eye conditions that can have a devastating effect on patients, including glaucoma, cancer, and vision loss," said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, Chief Executive Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "We are pleased to welcome Dr. Cioffi as the new Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. Many patients and their families will benefit from his leadership and world class expertise, as well as the high quality, compassionate care we provide."

"I look forward to working with my colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center as we seek to advance the research and treatment of diseases of the eye, as well as educate future generations of ophthalmologists," says Dr. Cioffi.

As chief medical officer at Legacy Health since 2006, Dr. Cioffi oversaw patient safety and quality, graduate and continuing education, and medical and staff research. He helped lead Legacy Health's "Big Aims" initiative, which succeeded in significantly reducing hospital-associated infections and inpatient mortality to best-in-class rates.

Dr. Cioffi has earned numerous awards during his career, including the Clinician-Scientist Award from the American Glaucoma Society, the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the 2010 Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Award from the Glaucoma Research Foundation in San Francisco.

Dr. Cioffi graduated magna cum laude from the University of Vermont and received his medical degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina. He completed his residency at the University of Maryland, where he was chief resident. Dr. Cioffi has been listed among Castle Connolly's "America's Top Doctors" since 2002.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians & Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree. Among the most selective medical schools in the country, the school is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York State and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, visit

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,797 deliveries and 195,294 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 19,376 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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