Vassar on the Front Lines

Voices from a Pandemic


From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the greater Vassar community have been on the front lines of this worldwide public health crisis—as medical professionals, as providers of essential services, and in many other, often unforeseen ways.

In this ongoing storytelling project, Vassar alumnae/i, students, and parents have paused in the midst of their vital work to contribute their first-hand accounts. We thank them for their testimonies, which are snapshots of precarious moments in time during a still-unfolding story. We invite you to share your own experience.

Seiji Hayashi ’91

Dr. Seiji Hayashi is the Chief Transformation Officer and Medical Director at Mary’s Center, a community health center that provides primary health care, family literacy and social services to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. He is an experienced leader in primary care, quality improvement and health policy at the local and national levels. Dr. Hayashi has been chronicling his experience as a primary care physician in Washington, DC on his personal Facebook page.

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Philip D. Cooke ’91

Philip D. Cooke is the Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in Manhattan. Since March 11, he has been working to ensure the Harlem Hospital Center patient care staff’s needs are being met.

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Ethan Weiss ’91

Dr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist specializing in general cardiology at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. His special interests include preventive cardiology, genetics of coronary disease, risk assessment, and heart disease in the young. He was part of a UCSF contingent that traveled to New York City to assist hospitals in their treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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Michael D’Urso ’11 & Dennis D’Urso ’11

Michael D’Urso ’11 is a resident at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, and also serving a rotation at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, in Brooklyn, NY. Dennis D’Urso ’11 is a resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL

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Christine Yu Moutier ’90

Dr. Christine Yu Moutier ’90 is Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She received her medical degree in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and went on to become a practicing psychiatrist, professor of psychiatry, a dean in the medical school, and Medical Director of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla, CA. She has provided testimony and briefs on suicide prevention before the U.S. Congress and has even presented at the White House.

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Navin Ariyaprakai ’05

Dr. Navin Ariyaprakai is double boarded in Emergency Medicine and EMS & Disaster Medicine. He has been responding to EMS calls since 2000. Dr. Navin, as he is known, currently works as the Program Director for EMS & Disaster Fellowship at Newark (NJ) Beth Israel.

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Rachel Rivera ’89

Dr. Rachel Rivera is an Infectious Disease Specialist at Prism Health North Texas in Dallas, Texas. She graduated with honors from University Of Texas Medical School At San Antonio in 2007.

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Jeb Weisman ’82

Jeb Weisman, PhD, is the Director of Global Health Informatics at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health (AIGH) within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He is responsible for leading a team of software engineers, machine learning experts, data scientists, and researchers to build analytics and visualization tools and platforms at the AIGH. The Institute’s premiere analytics platform, ATLAS, supports transformative public health work on local and global scales, as well as providing a resource for researchers and policy-makers.

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Office of Alumnae/i Affairs & Development (OAAD) at Vassar College
161 College Avenue, Box 14, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603-0014