Join us for IPA Hands on Training

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

We welcome all members of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai community to join us on Monday, May 9th for Qiagen Bioinformatics Day. Levy Library provides access to IPA Pathways Analysis, an intuitive web-based applications for quickly analyzing and accurately interpreting the biological meaning in your genomic data. Come learn more about this powerful tool at a hands on workshop. See flyer below for more details.

Training Seminar- Mt  Sinai- May 9th - Print flyer

Register for Workshop 1

Register for Workshop 2

Levy Librarian Receives Institute for Medical Education Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulation to Levy Librarian Rachel Pinotti for receiving a 2016 Institute for Medical Education’s (IME) Excellence in Teaching Award. Rachel was honored in the “Excellence in the Service of Education” category.


The IME’s Excellence in Teaching Awards honor faculty, students and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching and have made meaningful contributions to the educational activities across the Mount Sinai Health System.


Year of the Nurse Continues with Nursing Resource Trainings

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

As Year of the Nurse continues at Levy Library, we are proud to offer multiple training sessions on three premiere nursing resources – Nursing Reference Center Plus, CINAHL, and ClinicalKey Nursing.

The trainings will be conducted by representatives from EBSCO Health (Kathy Jensen) and Elsevier (Tammy Purcell). Kathy & Tammy are both registered nurses who understand the busy needs of clinical nurses, as well as the educational needs of nurses conducting research.

Trainings will be offered at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel. All registered attendees will receive a complimentary Levy Library tote bag.

Please visit out registration page to find a date/time/Mount Sinai location that works best for you. 

NRC Plus Training MSH 05.11  ClinicalKey Nursing Training MSH 05.25

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

Mount Sinai Nurse Interview Series: Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN, CCRN

Amanda Anderson MSN, MPA, RN, CCRN, is a critical care nurse who currently works in nursing administration at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Amanda also serves as a contributing editor at the American Journal of Nursing, and her writing has appeared in AJN, Pulse, Scrubs, Journal of Hospital Ethics, and various nursing publications. You can find Amanda on Twitter @ajandersonrn, on her personal blog,This Nurse Wonders, or zipping around Manhattan on her trusty bike.


What were your main priorities when you went into nursing, especially in the areas of quality and safety?

When I finished nursing school, I started in the intensive care unit as a new graduate. I don’t think I had any specific quality or safety priorities, per say, except survival. My first year was a blur, and I struggled to find my footing amidst things I had never experienced before – working in a big city, working with people of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, keeping up with the endless learning and new clinical information.

To process the stress and change that I found myself surrounded by, I turned to writing. After work and on my days off, I wrote about the care I had given, the things I had seen, and the stories that my patients had started in my world. For many years, nobody read my blog, or my writing. I don’t even think my own mother read the words that flowed out of me — my search for meaning or clarity for the things I daily dealt with at work. But I didn’t mind, and kept writing my stories of care for myself.

This practice brought me through many difficult patient care situations, many ethically complicated cases, and it painted my life for the first seven years of my career, which I spent at the bedside. When I look back on the words I crafted – about the family members that embraced me as their loved one died beside us, the silent moments on night shifts, and the crazy hours – I’m transported back to the stories that I lived at the bedside.

After about seven years of nursing, I started a dual degree masters’ program out of Hunter and Baruch Colleges that combined degree programs in nursing administration and public administration. During my second semester, I was approached by Dr. Diana Mason, a professor of mine at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, about a pilot project that she had launched the semester before. She asked me to serve as a peer writing mentor, assisting students with academic and professional writing and research construction, and I quickly became the director. Writing, it seems, had played more of a part in my career than I had realized. I went on to develop a program that has served hundreds of students in the past three years and is currently undergoing research.

A little over a year ago, while working as a per diem critical care float at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, my manager asked me to consider a nursing supervisor position. I accepted, and worked until last September, when Maddy Pearson, the then-new Chief Nursing Officer of MSBI, asked me to work in a new writing-heavy capacity, managing special projects and developing the communications of our patient care services department for the first time. Since, my writing has carried me through ghost writing, newsletter development, survey writing and validation, the beginnings of research creation, and the construction of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s first Stories of Care Rounds, which we’ll launch this year during Nurses Week.

My whirlwind start as a new graduate in the ICU sent me towards writing for comfort and contemplation, and has moved me forward in each stage of my career. Believe it or not, this ties directly back to the original question about safety and quality – writing to process stress, trauma or change is actually a well-researched evidence-based practice called reflective writing, or narrative writing. Although not many schools offer it as a discipline, the research is astounding; Dr. James Pennebaker, often thought of as a pioneer of the science, has gathered data showing direct health and emotional benefits after consistent engagement in the practice. Quality improvement initiatives incorporate reflection to combat falls and other events in hospitals, leading to improvement in safety and quality. Others find reflective writing as a way to combat depression or treat other mental health diagnoses, and the science of narrative medicine, largely founded here in NYC, has to do with the practice of engaging patients in their own road to healing through writing.

When I first opened the blog window and began typing my first story of care back in 2007, I had no idea that this research existed, or that I’d be impacting my health, my career, or the safety or quality of my care simply by writing. It makes me happy to see the thread of words woven throughout my career path, and to strive each day to really engage nurses in the same benefits that writing has bestowed upon me. I think this is important partially because I believe nursing as a profession will only improve with further education of the public through stories of what we do, but mostly because of writing’s incredible impact on each person pushing the pen.

What do you think are your major accomplishments in these areas?

While in graduate school, I had the privilege of interning at the American Journal of Nursing for three semesters. I fulfilled my clinical placement requirements, but I also began to see the great importance of curating information to nurses as a whole, and I started to realize how powerful words are for reaching large audiences and shaping practice. After graduation, I was offered a contributing editor title, and a seat on the editorial review board, which feels like an incredible honor an accomplishment in and of itself.

As contributing editor, I coordinate a column that will begin to be printed in June of this year. This column, at the request of Shawn Kennedy, the editor in chief, speaks specifically to new graduate nurses, and will be titled “Transition to Craft.” In it, I pull research and evidence on varying topics that we don’t typically discuss in nursing school, but are often very difficult to manage as new graduates  – dealing with stress, communicating clearly, organizational skills – things that we don’t necessarily do large, technical research studies on, but that often keep us up at night as new clinicians. This platform, this voice, and this place from which to draw other nursing voices into the public light from, feels great.

I’ve also really loved and felt privileged to develop the voice of MSBI. Although we are sometimes limited by tools and resources, we’ve started carving out a bit of a place for ourselves in the MSHS web world, and I have felt happy to see our nurses coming forward to engage in new initiatives, and new modalities of care. We’re in the process of launching our Council Structure, and our Strategic Vision is transparent and visible to all on our new intranet Patient Care Services website. We’re sharpening our awards and recognition structure, and everybody in leadership is really working to engage bedside nurses in all we do. It’s hard, but when I leave a meeting where all disciplines and levels are present at the table, it feels like a major accomplishment, and very rewarding.

We’re also launching our first Stories of Care rounds on May 10, 2016, during Nurses Week. I’ve organized this event to mirror an event called “The Bedpan Confessionals,” that I’ve curated and led for Hunter since 2014. This narrative event at MSBI will be modeled similarly — writers will meet to review edits and changes in their story of care, and together, we’ll “sculpt” their stories for a public audience. What I love most about this event model, is that at Hunter, we pair expert writers and experienced nurses along with new writers, and we all craft our stories together. Amy Berman, senior policy officer and world-renowned writer and speaker for the John A. Hartford Foundation, Kenya Beard, nursing diversity scholar and academic, and a host of other published writers, joined in past events, alongside students and new writers. I hope to accomplish the same mix of experience at MSBI, and look forward to helping nurses see that their words and stories aren’t just entertaining or interesting, but healing, and that they already possess the skills to share them, too.

What personal experience has inspired you professionally?

I don’t know if I can pinpoint one professional experience that inspired me. I didn’t go into nursing for any reason in particular – I was a confused college sophomore who had a conversation with an old hippy friend that encouraged me to “pick a trade.” Since then, I’ve come to realize that nursing is likely the most dynamic and inspiration profession that exists. I’ll try to pick a few:

I’m inspired by my very first preceptor, Victoria Gill, who is the best intensive care nurse I have ever met. I’m inspired by the doctors that I’ve worked with who have sat with me beside critical patients until they stabilized, who aren’t afraid to get dirty at work, and who have become friends and mentors. I’m inspired by patients who have overcome grave illnesses with poise, and beauty, and kindness. I’m inspired, too, by the ones who have been outwardly cranky and awful, only to warm with time and effort. I’m inspired by nurse researchers like Linda Aiken who spend their lives fighting for things like staffing and work conditions, without much press from major media outlets, or the public. I’m inspired by nurse writers that publish quietly, like Cortney Davis, and by nurses everywhere, who, no matter how busy or understaffed or unfair or unattractive their jobs may be, commit to work as hard as they can every day, because they never stop seeing who they work for – the people in the beds who depend on them.

In your opinion what is the biggest opportunity you see for nurses in research?

First, I think nurses need to realize just how crucial the role of nursing research actually is. For example – hourly rounding is based on nursing research. Rapid response processes and standards – nursing research. Interdisciplinary communication – nursing research. Just about every, single problem at the bedside could be turned into research, led by nurses, if it hasn’t been already.

I think the biggest hang-up, and perhaps the biggest opportunity, is making research methods translatable to nurses. We’re busy at the bedside, yes. But maybe if the process of creating a study, getting it off the ground, sticking with it, its benefit, and bringing it to completion was a bit less intimidating, we’d get excited about it and do it. When I was a new nurse, I had a terrible experience with a very ethically complicated family and their mother’s death. I was so moved by what I thought should have happened, that I connected with a bioethicist and began working on a potential pilot project that would allow us to screen patients and their families on admission, so that we could start end of life discussions and bioethics consults early on. The pilot never came to realization, but a monthly moral distress journal club, did. At the end of my time at that hospital, my colleagues thanked me for all of the meetings I led – research allowed them a chance at discussing the ethically complicated cases and scenarios they faced on a daily basis.

I’m a big nerd, so I like to read the fine print and analyze the details of results and methodologies of studies. But this isn’t for everyone. So I’d say that what nurses might start with is to follow that spirit of inquiry we all have in our guts, and chase it with the question, “Huh. Could this turn into research?” Maybe yes, maybe no. But you never know what you might find along the way.

Article in the Spotlight

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we’re taking a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at a multi-author article with contributions by Dr. Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences, and the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. Ruth Loos, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits Program in the Charles R. Bronfman Institute of Personalized Medicine.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

Article Summary: This is the largest Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) meta-analysis for BMI.

genetic studies

BACKGROUND: Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Schadt’s profile

Dr. Loos’ profile

Academic Medical Illustrators Participate in the Art of the Brain Exhibition

Members of the Icahn School of Medicine’s Academic Medical Illustration Department are honored to be included in the Art of the Brain exhibition, currently on display at the Grady Alexis Gallery in Manhattan.


ISMMS Medical Illustrators Christopher Smith, MA (left) and Jill Gregory, MFA (right)

Organized by The Friedman Brain Institute, the Art of the Brain showcases photographs and illustrations that celebrate the beauty of the brain as seen through the eyes of some of the world’s leading researchers and medical illustrators.

With the aid of the latest technological advances, as symbolized by these images, scientists are better able to understand how the brain works and accelerates the development of new treatments for many brain disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, Drug Addiction, Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease.


Figure 1 – Illustration of a pituitary tumor by Jill Gregory, MFA and developing brain in an embryo by Christopher Smith, MA

The Grady Alexis Gallery is located at 215 East 99th Street and is open 10-6 Monday through Thursday, 12-4 on Friday and 10-1 on Saturday. The Art of the Brain exhibition is on display from March 14-19, 2016.

For more information about commissioning custom illustrations or animations from the Academic Medical Illustration department, please visit or contact AMI’s Manager, Jill Gregory, at

For more information on The Friedman Brain Institute and Brain Awareness Week events, please visit

Need Help Improving Your BLAST® Search? Bioinformatics Support Services Coming Soon to Levy Library!

Last week Levy Librarian Rachel Pinotti, MLIS traveled to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to attend a course offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics (NCBI) called A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.  The course was designed to help librarians learn to use several databases administered by NCBI including Nucleotide, Gene, Protein, Structures, dbSNP, and MedGen.  The course also covered use of NCBI tools such as BLAST® and Cn3D.  Through lectures, demonstrations and exercises, the class learned the purpose of these important resources, how to use them, and how to assist and support users of these tools at their institution.

LibsGuide to NCBI 2

The week-long course wrapped up with a tour of the National Library of Medicine, including the library’s impressive Rare Books and Special Collections room which contains such gems as Dr. Marshall Nirenberg’s Nobel Prize and a first edition copy of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.


Says Rachel, “I came out of the course with a clear understanding of the central dogma of molecular biology and of how to utilize sequence data databases.  Search techniques needed in these databases is quite different than searching traditional literature databases such as PubMed.  I am excited to develop services to support basic and translation scientists here at ISMMS improve their search capabilities and make more meaningful use of the incredible tools offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics.  The quality and quantity of sequence and variation data accessible through these tools is really quite amazing.”

Rachel can help with improving your BLAST® search and can help you navigate through a GenBank flat file or Gene record. She can be reached at

LibsGuide to NCBI 1

Levy Library Education & Information Forum Wrap Up

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

Thanks to everyone for making the first ever Levy Library Education & Information Forum a great success. The event took place on Tuesday, March 8th in the Mount Sinai Hospital Guggenheim Atrium. Our visitors learned about library resources and services and gave us valuable feedback about how we can better serve the Mount Sinai community. Medical Illustrators Chris Smith and Jill Gregory and representatives from the Masters in Healthcare Delivery Leadership program also participated in the Forum. We also offered attendees a booklet featuring our Women in STEM interview series in celebration of International Women’s Day.

We’ll see you all next year!

Image Today 6-02-49 PM

Image Today 6-03-09 PM


Farewell to a Legend – Levy Library Honors Dr. Carol Porter: Part 2

Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN

Chief Nursing Officer / Senior Vice President

Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of the Department of Nursing

Associate Dean of Nursing Research and Education

Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC

  1. What were your main priorities when you became the Chief Nursing Officer and Chair of Nursing especially in the areas of quality and patient safety?

In January 2005 I was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer of Mount Sinai Hospital. I brought my strong background of clinical operations, quality and interdisciplinary collaboration to this position. My focus was to improve the quality of patient care, nursing practice and to promote the profession of nursing at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Improvements are accomplished and sustained by interdisciplinary teams from the clinical frontline up. Having learned this in my career I started my CNO position spending time on every patient unit/service finding out what worked well and what the challenges were that needed my focus and support. I asked a very important question over and over – “tell me what you have identified as an issue or have asked for over the past 5-10 years even if you have never got this approved”.  I found if I did not make it clear that I welcomed hearing about the long term requests as well as the current requests I may miss an opportunity for improvement.

In fact my “M.O.” has always been that “I want to hear everything from the small issues to the large ones” and which gives me the opportunity to be of assistance.

My reputation grew as a “go to” person who focused on improvements.

From the beginning I worked through my Nursing Leadership team and front line nursing staff to make improvements in nursing practice, patient care delivery and to support a safe and positive nursing practice environment that supports excellent patient care. I also focused on promoting professionalism in nursing and have mentored numerous nurses on their journey to become expert nurses and nursing leaders. I wanted frontline nurses and advanced practice nurses to reflect on the importance of their work and the impact that they have on a patient and their family during all aspects of life.

I have a true open door policy and have always been very approachable at any time. I am accessible to anyone that needs my assistance. I have been known on many occasions to redirect my day dependent on an urgent request from a colleague.

Building trust based on honesty and transparency creates a spirit that supports wanting to know the true issues that get in the way of excellent patient care and nursing practice. I have been able to assist in numerous instances to improve quality and patient safety through the identification of issues by frontline staff and clinical leadership.

Nurses are an integral part of all quality and safety improvements that are achieved. They are a profession that is consistently interacting with the patients and families which gives them an opportunity to make a significant impact on improvements in care and safety.

  1. What do you think are your major accomplishments in these areas?

We have made significant improvements in the quality of patient care delivery through promoting the interdisciplinary team model. Bringing interdisciplinary teams together to work on identifying issues and working on improvements is a comprehensive approach and draws strength from multiple perspectives and expertise from the teams.

We have developed a practice environment that empowers nurses to take charge of their nursing practice and strive to achieve higher professional goals. We celebrate their professional achievements and contributions to the profession of nursing.  We promote ongoing education and professional development for nursing staff and have been able to sustain a nursing workforce where over 78% have BSN and higher degrees in Nursing. The literature points to higher quality and safety in patient care when the nursing workforce has a BSN or higher degree in nursing.

We developed the MSH Center for Nursing Research and Education (CNRE) into a recognized entity and have held numerous ongoing programs to address the educational needs of the nurses. In 2008 we established our Global Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA) as part of the CNRE. We have had over 230 nursing leaders from many countries around the world participate in an immersion experience with our nursing teams. We have found that the exchange of information between the MSH nurses and the international nurses is rewarding for all parties involved.

We have been fortunate to move nursing forward professionally as evidenced by sustaining our ANCC Magnet Program Designation from 2004 thru 2018. I have also represented Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens Nurses on a national and global level and we have made a significant mark in the profession.

I became the inaugural Edgar M. Cullman, Sr Chair of the Department of Nursing which was endowed by the Cullman family and established in 2010. The convocation was a great day for MSH Nursing. I became the first Chair of Nursing at MSH and during the Convocation ceremony in 2010 I represented every current nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens as well as paving the path for future Chairs of Nursing at MSH.

  1. What personal experience has inspired you professionally?

I have had many inspirational moments with patients as well as with nurses.

I am humbled by the ability of nurses to make such a significant impact on the well- being of patients and families. Conveying kindness, caring and safety is what nurses do so well. Nurses are able to add the human face to caring. They recognize and take actions to ensure that patients are treated with dignity and respect and honor special requests that have a real impact on the well-being of the patient and family.

  1. In your opinion what is the biggest opportunity you see for nurses in research?

Nurses are involved in many aspects of research as primary investigators,   co-investigators, members of research teams and primary nurses caring for patients involved in research protocols.  Nurses are important members of research teams in translational research and clinical trials.

Nurses as partners in research add a comprehensive dimension to studies. Nurse researchers are sought after for their expertise and value to research teams. Chief Nursing Officers should ensure that they encourage and support the important role that nurses have in research.