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School of Medicine & Dentistry / Alumni / Alumni Awards / Wilder Award Recipients / 2013 - Elizabeth Almeyda and Steven B. Birnbaum

Elizabeth A. Almeyda and Steven B. Birnbaum

Elizabeth A. Almeyda ’74, ’78M (MD)

Elizabeth A AlmeydaDr. Elizabeth Almeyda is a renowned New York City plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic surgery of the body and face. One of the few women in a predominantly male field, she has distinguished herself as a practitioner who offers female patients a unique perspective that is reflected in her maxim, “Skilled hands; the eye of a woman.”

Dr. Almeyda received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Rochester in 1974 and her medical degree from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1978. She completed her internship and residency in general surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City and a residency in plastic surgery at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In 1986, she was appointed clinical instructor of surgery at Columbia University, a post she held for eight years. She has served as an associate attending physician at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital since 1987.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Almeyda has remained an active alumna of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. She volunteered her time during the Campaign for the ’90s and rallied support among her medical school classmates for their 30th reunion in 2008. It was her leadership that helped create the Class of 1978 Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based assistance to students. In addition to generously contributing to this fund, Dr. Almeyda has also supported the Medical Center Strategic Plan Fund.

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Almeyda has been member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons for 28 years. She belongs to the American Medical Women’s Association and the Spanish American Medical Society. An active member of the New York County Medical Society since 1987, she is past president and former treasurer, secretary, and vice president. Since 1993, Dr. Almeyda has served as a delegate to the New York State Medical Society. She is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Surgery, and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Almeyda and her husband, neurosurgeon George DiGiacinto, live in North Salem, N.Y. They have two children, Alexandra and Gregory.

Steven Birnbaum '78 (MD)

Steven BirnbaumDr. Steven B. Birnbaum is a staff radiologist at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Manchester, N.H. A strong advocate for radiation safety, he was one of the first practicing radiologists to raise awareness about the overuse of diagnostic imaging procedures that expose patients to high doses of radiation. Dr. Birnbaum’s initiative has become a model for radiation protection practices in hospitals nationwide.

Born and raised in Middletown, N.Y., Dr. Birnbaum earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University and his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his internship in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston and his residency in diagnostic radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Birnbaum then went on to the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital and New England Baptist Hospital for a one-year fellowship in cross-sectional imaging and interventional radiology. After completing his training in 1984, he spent the next 26 years as a staff radiologist at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua and at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H. In tandem with his clinical practice, Dr. Birnbaum was a clinical instructor in radiology at Tufts University School of Medicine from 1989 to 2004. In 2010, he joined the staff at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Birnbaum is a manuscript reviewer for the British Medical Journal and the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Birnbaum’s career-long commitment to radiation safety galvanized when a 2005 pedestrian accident seriously injured his then 22-year-old daughter. During her subsequent hospitalization, she underwent nine computerized tomography (CT) scans, several of which were not medically necessary This personal experience, coupled with what Dr. Birnbaum had seen in his own clinical experience, led him to develop a program to limit CT exposure to certain high-risk patient groups. A vocal advocate on the topic, he has spoken at more than 50 institutions and medical conferences across the country.

An active alumni volunteer for the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Birnbaum serves as the 1978 class agent and was influential in establishing the Class of ’78 Scholarship Fund. He has attended several alumni events held in the Boston area, including the New England regional campaign launch of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, and is a member of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society. In addition to his philanthropy to Rochester, he and his wife, Cyndi Jones, founded the Wildflower Camp Foundation, which provides summer camp scholarships for children who have lost a parent. 

The couple reside in Lexington, Mass. Between them, they have five grown children.