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Profiles of Courage: Cindy Neunert, MD

BY Kadesha Washington

Over the next few weeks, we will share stories from our front line heroes. These “Profiles of Courage” will feature the great work of our pediatric oncology & hematology doctors, nurses, care providers, and staff in the face of COVID-19. We hope you enjoy their stories as a source of hope and inspiration in these very uncertain times. 


Cindy Neunert, MD is a pediatric hematologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, she continues to see and treat her young patients. However, she is also using her expertise to help those directly affected by the coronavirus.

“I’m working with the hospital’s COVID teams to develop treatment plans for adults and children,” Neunert said. “Across the hospital, we are joining together to care for these patients. In my small way, I am helping to support my colleagues.”

The Doctor Is In

When she is not assisting in the hospital or seeing children in the clinic, Neunert conducts telehealth visits. Telehealth visits allow Neunert to “see” her patients while they stay home and stay healthy. During one of those “virtual” visits, she shared a sweet moment.

“One of my young patients had just gotten a new puppy. He was so excited to show me. It made my day to see him enjoying such a wonderful, happy moment.” Besides caring for her patients, Neunert shared that, “Supporting them through what is a disruptive and scary time is one of the best parts of my job.”

The “New” Normal

Having support is just as important for our doctors as it is for our patients. “It’s so hard right now because our usual ways of showing support are lost behind masks,” said Neunert. “We are not able to hug each other or just sit and talk as we usually do.” But she told us about one powerful moment during a particularly long work week.

“One day, those of us on service all ordered food and had lunch together in a “socially distanced” way. Just taking the time for that interaction felt very normal and helped me get through.” 

Neunert added, “I have such wonderful co-workers! The amazing team that I work with is my daily support and the Department of Pediatrics helps so many of us by providing safe transportation, meals, and links to additional resources.”

We’re thankful for Dr. Neunert’s hard work and dedication as she goes above and beyond to keep all patients safe!


Have an inspiring story to share? We would love to hear from you! Contact Kadesha Washington at kw2718@cumc.columbia.edu.

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