Behind the Mask: Harrymir Remigio
#BehindtheMask is a series that spotlights the faculty, staff, and trainees in Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Today, meet Harrymir Remigio, Division Administrator for Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital and Integrated Women’s Health.
A busy department in a major academic medical center can see a lot of changes in nearly 13 years’ time. At Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, we’ve seen countless changes in staff and faculty, explosive growth in clinical and basic science research, the opening of new practice locations and redesigned clinical spaces, and have welcomed and said farewell to dozens of trainees across all subspecialties. During this period of substantial growth and change, Harrymir Remigio, Division Administrator for Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital and Integrated Women’s Health, has grown along with us.
Since joining Columbia in 2009 as a temporary employee processing charge entry, Remigio has touched nearly every aspect of our department. He has worked in numerous subspecialties, at outpatient practices and in-patient at two campuses, and has seen his two daughters, now 4 and 9 years old, delivered by Columbia Ob/Gyn.
“I’m in a female world – at work and at home,” Remigio said.
After starting off in charge entry, Remigio’s work grew to include insurance verification and eligibility. In 2014, he was hired as a full-time employee as a patient financial advocate, working with the maternal-fetal medicine division. Shortly after, he became the supervisor of the ultrasound unit at Herbert Irving Pavilion, then on to 51 West 51st Street, where he worked as the assistant practice manager.
“The transition was challenging – there are a lot of services at 51st Street, and it’s a different patient population than I worked with previously,” Remigio said. “Working with different service lines has given me a different view of our department. A lot of our patients cycle through multiple divisions, visit multiple locations, and seeing how interconnected services are gave me a different perspective. I was the supervisor of a large unit, I had to understand how those visits all intertwined.”
Remigio rose to the challenge, following his time at 51 West by joining the team at the Mothers Center, where his experience coordinating services between divisions was highly valuable. A multidisciplinary center that cares for pregnant patients with high-risk conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and neurological conditions, the Mothers Center officially opened in May 2018, with Remigio as the Manager of Practice Operations.
Working in this role, which required coordination of services not just within the department but with providers from specialties across the medical center, gave him insight into the importance of continuity throughout a patient’s journey.
“I developed a deeper understanding of our patient population, and how things need to be structured in order to provide the best care,” Remigio said. “We never really know what our patients are going through. Each patient is different, and we all have to try to serve our patient population as best as we can, and part of that is the structure behind the scenes. What's the workflow when a patient walks through the door, goes into the exam room, leaves the office, comes back for surgery or delivery? What’s the workflow for discharge and the postpartum visit? Through that entire process, we have to ensure we are meeting the patient’s needs.”
After more than two years at the Mothers Center, Remigio was promoted again – this time, to Division Administrator of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital, as well as the Division Administrator for Integrated Women’s Health. His hard work and dedicated service to the department have been recognized previously – in 2018, for the first-ever Department of Ob/Gyn Staff Appreciation Awards, he was given the Management/Supervisory Award, including a gift card and plaque.
“Even though there have been a lot of changes, and a lot of people have come and gone – and some come right back – you find yourself staying here for the people,” Remigio said.
During his long and varied time at Columbia, Remigio said that few things have shaped his perspective as much as his experience as a family member of a patient. When his youngest daughter was born, she was diagnosed with a rare and serious condition requiring surgical intervention that caused her to be admitted to the pediatric ICU for the first two months of her life.
“This allowed me to see things from a different perspective,” Remigio said. “It exposed me the importance of the inpatient care team. I saw my daughter’s care team do everything within their control to ensure that my baby thrived and became healthy. For me, that really reinforced that we have to serve our patients to the best of our ability.”