Icahn School of Medicine Restructures Admissions Criteria

At a time of unprecedented advancements in technology and science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has taken a bold step in restructuring its medical school admissions criteria to attract gifted medical students from a wide range of backgrounds through its new FlexMed program, which is the first of its kind in the nation.

Starting next fall, half of each medical school class will be guaranteed early acceptance to Mount Sinai during the sophomore year of college without having to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), or a traditional premed course load, under the school’s new FlexMed program. The students will come from majors as diverse as computational science and engineering, the social sciences, and genetics and molecular and cell biology.

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Cancer Researcher Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, Joins Mount Sinai

Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, a highly acclaimed researcher in cancer genetics, has joined Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer, and Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences.

Dr. Parsons succeeds Stuart Aaronson, MD, Jack and Jane B. Aron Professor, whose significant discoveries in molecular oncology include identifying the first normal function of an oncogene, and its role in growth factor signaling. Dr. Aaronson has been appointed Founding Chair Emeritus of the Department of Oncological Sciences, and will continue to lead his highly funded laboratory at Mount Sinai.

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Mount Sinai Queens to Go Live with Epic

In a continuing effort to standardize and improve patient documentation and care across facilities, Mount Sinai Queens will roll out Epic, the state-of-the-art electronic medical record system, in the Pharmacy, Emergency Department, and all inpatient units on Sunday, April 7. Last summer, it launched Epic in three ambulatory sites: Mount Sinai Queens Physician Associates, Family Health Associates, and the Cancer Program.

“The Mount Sinai Queens Epic Clinical Implementation will connect the campuses in Queens and Manhattan so there is a single electronic medical record for every patient,” says Kristin Myers, Vice President, IT, Epic Clinical Transformation Group. “This will facilitate improvements in efficiency, communication, care delivery, and patient safety for our patients.”

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Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board Honors Physicians for Work in Global Health

The third annual Awards for Outstanding Service to the International Community were presented to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai faculty members Nils Hennig, MD, PhD, MPH, and Ebby Elahi, MD, on Tuesday, March 5, by The Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board and its Young Women’s Division.

Both physicians have worked extensively with global health organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, and led numerous international medical missions on behalf of underserved populations.

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Educating the Community about Diabetes

Mount Sinai physicians, nurses, and diabetes educators participated in the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Diabetes Expo on Saturday, March 9, at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The Mount Sinai team of more than 70 volunteers provided free screenings for blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol, as well as eye exams, to approximately 500 individuals. Physicians were on site to interpret the screening results and discuss how participants could take better control of their diabetes.

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Arthur Klein, MD, Named President of The Mount Sinai Health Network

Arthur Klein, MD, a leader in health care management, has been named President of The Mount Sinai Health Network. In this new role, Dr. Klein will oversee The Mount Sinai Medical Center’s growing network of more than one hundred clinical relationships, including eighteen affiliated hospitals, five nursing homes, and twelve physician group practices throughout New York City, and Nassau, Suffolk, and
Westchester counties.

“Dr. Klein is known as an innovator in the evolving health care landscape,” says Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center.  “His leadership will help invigorate and integrate our growing network of hospitals, clinical practices, and polyclinics.”

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New Myelofibrosis Drug Holds Promise

In a phase I clinical trial, physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have identified the first drug that appears to stop the progression of myelofibrosis, a life-threatening blood cancer. The investigators found that, at low-doses, panobinostat (LBH589) successfully halted and reversed damage to the blood and bone marrow in several of the forty patients enrolled in the trial. Panobinostat, manufactured by Novartis, is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that affects the chromatin structure of malignant cells.

The study, led by Ronald Hoffman, MD, Albert A. and Vera G. List Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Program, and John O. Mascarenhas, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), was published online in the January 21, 2013, issue of the British Journal of Haematology.

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A Cure for One Patient Yields Hope for Others

Two years before seeking help from physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Rosemary McGinn, 53, was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. She went everywhere with an arsenal of snacks and juices that she ingested frequently to keep her blood sugar from dropping.

“When my sugar would suddenly crash, it was like I was drunk,” she says. “I would become very combative, not knowing what I was saying, and sway back and forth.”

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Roger J. Hajjar, MD, To Be Honored for Research

Roger J. Hajjar, MD, a pioneering Mount Sinai researcher who has published cutting-edge studies on heart failure, has been named the recipient of the 2013 BCVS Distinguished Achievement Award by the American Heart Association and the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. Dr. Hajjar, who is The Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine and Director of The Helmsley Trust Translational Research Center, will be honored at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions Annual Conference later this year.

“Dr. Hajjar will receive the award for his groundbreaking contributions to developing gene therapy treatments for cardiac disease,” says Joshua Hare, MD, who is President-elect of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. He will also be recognized for his work on behalf of the Council.

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New Graduate Courses in Public Health

The Graduate Program in Public Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai continues to expand its curriculum with new specialty tracks, an advanced certificate program, and a new name—it was formerly The Master of Public Health Program.

The public health program, which enrolls 60 new students each year, is part of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Three new courses of study include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Health Care Management, which complement the tracks that existed previously: Global Health, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Outcomes Research, and Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The courses are designed for students who want a strong foundation in community-based research, and experience in building population-based studies for disease prevention and health promotion.

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