Dr. Hal H. Strelnick

Assistant Dean for Community Engagement
Bronx, New York
United States

Focus Areas



I grew up in the Midwest, the son of a physical therapist who worked for the Veterans Administration and an obstetrical nurse who taught natural childbirth. Their desire for a physician in the family yielded a bumper crop. My sister is an osteopathic family physician; one brother is a psychiatrist and the other a psychiatric social worker turned New Age healer and carpenter. I came East for education at Princeton and then Yale Medical School. On Match Day 1975, I found myself holding a computerized ticket to the Bronx. The Residency Program in Social Medicine (RPSM) and Montefiore almost instantly felt like home. Colleagues and faculty actually shared my values and concerns about social justice and urban family medicine! I have been here ever since, except for three years (1978-81) as a full-time National Health Service Corps (NHSC) doctor at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Center in the South Bronx. While in the NHSC, I completed a three-year fellowship in family systems at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. My responsibilities in the RPSM include teaching in the social medicine curriculum, advising residents on their social medicine projects, and leading the core courses on the U.S. health system and on epidemiology and evidence-based medicine. I also teach and lead community health collaborations at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where I am Assistant Dean for Community Engagement. As Director of the Division of Community Health and Einstein’s Institute for Community and Collaborative Health, I am helping the RPSM. department, and medical school develop partnerships with community based organizations, including the Bronx Health Link and Health People. I lead diversity health career programs, including the Bronx Science and Health Opportunities Partnership (BxSHOP) and our Hispanic Center of Excellence. My community work focuses on health disparities, environmental justice, and tobacco control and prevention. My nuclear family includes my son Ben who lives in Waitsfield, Vermont, and works year-round at the Sugarbush ski resort; my wife Deb Ellis, an attorney who is a master gardener and Executive Director of the NJ Coalition to End Homeless; my stepson John Ellis, a Women's Study major and senior at Vassar; and my step-daughter Mia Ellis who begins Tufts University this fall and plans to major in economics. When not writing grants, I'm playing tennis, canoeing, reading, or listening to NPR.