Deborah Schwarz, RPA, CIBE

Deborah Schwarz, RPA, CIBE, Director, Office of External AffairsExecutive Director, External Affairs Chief Communications Officer

Campus Phone: 212.305.7013
Campus Fax: 212.342.5657
NJ Office Phone: 212.304.7810
NJ Office Fax: 212.304.7811

Before making the move to healthcare communications in 1991, Deborah worked as a Physician Assistant at Columbia University Medical Center for 12 years in adult and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. As Founder and Executive Director of the Office of External Affairs for the Department of Surgery, Deborah has taken on ever-expanding responsibilities in the field of healthcare communications and outreach. She enjoys developing innovative approaches to communicating with the Department's varied audiences, from patients and referring physicians to researchers and industry representatives.

With her staff of 9 full-time employees, Deborah oversees:

  • creation of physician- and patient-education materials, such as videos, websites, special letters, brochures, indications cards, and newsletters;
  • planning, fund-raising, and administration for special events, including CME programs, grand rounds, and special consumer-oriented events, such as Pancreas Cancer Awareness Day, Transplant Day;
  • development and management of physician websites;
  • ad campaigns and targeted outreach to patients, referring physicians, and the media; and
  • relationship-building with collaborative industry.


  • Marcom 2006 Honorable Mention for Winter 2006 Healthpoints, "Tranplantation: Where We've Been, Where We're Going"
  • 2006 Platinum Marcom Creative award for Healthpoints summer, 2006 issue, "Clinical Trials: Impacting Your Health"
  • 2004 Platinum MarCom Creative award for best Medical Newsletter
  • 2003 Big Apple award for Best Brochure from the New York chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY) for "Surgical Innovations Report: A Physician's Resource"

"After years as a Physician's Assistant in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, I feel proud and very comfortable marketing the clinical and research capabilities of the Department of Surgery. I believe our clinicians deliver superior healthcare in a timely, sensitive and professional manner. This is hard to find!"

"Health care communications is all about letting our internal and external audiences know who we are and what we are about. We want to educate and inform the people who call us looking for specialists, and ultimately transform them into satisfied patients and referring physicians. We want to collaborate with our departmental colleagues to help them get the right message out, in the right tone, and to the right audience."