Rafael A. Lantigua, MD

Associate Director

Attended the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (Autonomous University of Santo Domingo).  Graduated from medical school in 1972.  Migrated to New York City to follow his mother's footsteps that had previously migrated to the United States in 1969.  Trained in Internal Medicine at Lincoln Hospital from 1973 through 1976 and from July 7, 1976 to June 1977 he served as a chief medical resident at the same institution.

On July 7, 1977 moved to Rochester, New York were he trained in Endocrinology at the School of Medicine of Rochester University.  In January 1980 he returned to New York City with an appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Assistant Attending at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He has moved-up to the rank of the University to become Professor of Clinical Medicine  since 1994; for over two decades, he served as the Associate Director of the Division of General Medicine at the Department of Medicine, and the Medical director of Associate in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is a member of the Admission Committee of Columbia University Medical School and member of the Internal Medicine Residency Committee. Since 1995, he has represented Columbia University at the American Medical Association (AMA) Section on Medical School, in 2010 he was elected member of the Executive Committee. On August of 2011, Dr. Lantigua was appointed Dean’s Advisor for Community Health at Columbia University Medical Center.

He has been actively involved in research on issues that affect the quality of life in minority population. He has served as co-investigator in a New York State Department of Health Program to promote awareness and education of cardio-vascular disease in the minority community. He also served as the principal investigator in the National Institute of Aging Study of issues of quality of life affecting the minority elderly. From 1998 -2008 he served as a Director of the Columbia Center for Active Life of Minority Elders, a Resource Center for Minority Aging Research sponsored by the National Institute of Aging and Co-Investigator in a study of the Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease in Latino Families. Since 1999 Dr. Lantigua has served as Deputy Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University. He has published more than 80 medical articles in peer- reviewed journals. A frequent speaker on health topics affecting minorities, he has been the co-chair of two major symposiums dealing with Hispanics' health in New York City.

Dr. Lantigua was co-founder, and past Chairperson of the Board of Alianza Dominicana, Inc., He is Co-founder and former Chairperson of the Board of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights.  He has served in multiple Boards of non-for profit organizations, such as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Institute for the Elderly, the Latino Commission on AIDS, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, and ARC Fort Washington Senior Center.

He is an active member of: Isabella Nursing Home Board of Trustees. On numerous occasions he has served in the Board of Directors of the Dominican Medical Society and was the president of the Society in 1996.  From 1988 to 1997 he served as a member of the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct.

He also served as a member of the Board of the Hispanic PAC U.S.A. and he is a member of the Board of Directors and the treasurer of the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund. From 1998 to 2002 Dr. Lantigua was a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Manhattan Empowerment Zone. On 2005, Dr. Lantigua was appointed to prestigious post of member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH).  He has also served as a member of the Greater New York Hospital Association advisory task force on Diversity in Health Care Leadership. Since 2006, he is Co-Director of the Community Engagement Resource Core of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University. In 2009, Dr. Lantigua was honored by the Legal Aid Society for his “pro bono” work in front of Federal Court, testifying as a health expert, in favor of Latinos Immigrants facing deportation.

He has been distinguished as a Grand Marshall of the Dominican Parade in 1983, and has been given an honorary professor degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo its Alma Mater and from the Universidad Technologica de Santiago, Dominican Republic. In 1998 he was conferred a Doctor Honoris Causa degree in Social Medicine by Spanish University of America., the same year, he received the “ Arnold Gold Award” in Humanism at Columbia University Medical School and in 2010 the Ewig Clinical Scholar Award (Department of Medicine, Columbia University) in recognition of outstanding quality in teaching. Dr. Lantigua has received the Key of the City of Miami and he has received commendations from the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan Borough Presidents, the Office of the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Also for the City Council of New York, the New York City State Senate, the U.S. Congress and from the New York City Comptroller, among others.