Unique Public-Private Collaboration with Celgene To Accelerate Important Cancer Discoveries


Left: Erik Lium, PhD, Senior Vice President of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners; and Steven J. Burakoff, MD, Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine

The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and three other leading U.S. academic institutions recently established a pioneering research consortium to accelerate the discovery of new treatments for cancer.

In addition, Celgene Corp., a global biopharmaceutical company, paid $50 million to enter into four public-private collaboration agreements with each member of the new consortium for the option of developing and commercializing novel cancer therapeutics arising from their efforts. Read more

Hospital Updates


I continue to get feedback from employees that they are still hearing the hospital is closing.


Please encourage your colleagues to check in here for updates and information.




NYSPQC Obstetrical Improvement Project’s 2015 Quality Improvement Award

I am happy to announce that Mount Sinai Beth Israel is the recipient of the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative (NYSPQC) Obstetrical Improvement Project’s 2015 Quality Improvement Award. This award supports the goal of advancing improvements in identifying maternal hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders. Through the NYSPQC Maternal Hemorrhage and Hypertension Initiative, we have contributed to improving and ensure the quality of obstetrical care, as well as infant health and safety.

Thank you to our entire Labor and Delivery and Mother Baby Staff and Teams for their great work and collaboration with NYSPQC Obstetrical Improvement Project!

Hospital Operational Changes:

Medical/surgical consolidation updates as of Aug. 4th:

  • 4 Linsky Neurology floor patients have been relocated to 9 Dazian Pod B
  • 4 Linsky Neurology step down patients have been relocated to 9 Dazian Pod D
  • 6 Linsky Family Medicine patients have been relocated to 8 Linsky
  • CCU patients formerly on 9 Dazian have been temporarily relocated to 10 Dazian Pod A

I also want to shine some light on the work being done in Behavior Health, especially with our Opioid Treatment Program at 125th Street. I have asked Dr. Grant Mitchell, Chairman of Psychology Department, to provide us with an update below.

Thanks for continuing to check in,



Primary Care Unit at our OTP Program

Mount Sinai Beth Israel operates one of the first and now the largest opioid treatment program in the United States. In an effort to provide integrated health care to decrease morbidity, mortality and hospitalization rates, MSBI recently opened an integrated Primary Care Unit (PCU) at our OTP program at 125th Street. The Primary Care Unit (PCU) is supported by funding from New York State and 100 patients have already enrolled in the program. Primary care is provided to any OPT patient who is interested in selecting the clinic as their primary care provider. The PCU operates in the same location and hours as the clinic for the convenience of our patients. Patients are seen by appointment, but walk-ins are also welcomed. OTP staff employ case management techniques to maximize adherence with appointments. The program has attracted the attention of the NYC Commissioner of Health and Mental Health as well as the U.S. Surgeon General, both of whom visited the program since its inception.

U.S. Surgeon General Visits Model Opioid Treatment Center

The United States Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, recently visited the Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) at East 125th Street, one of the hospital’s 11 licensed addiction treatment clinics, to get a first-hand view of a facility that is successfully addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Dr. Murthy received an overview of the program and participated in a roundtable discussion with OTP leadership and staff about the growing abuse of opioids. He learned how Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s OTP—one of the first, and now the largest in the United States—is transitioning from centers that primarily provide methadone treatment to comprehensive outpatient programs that offer onsite, integrated addiction treatment, primary care, and behavioral health care. The East 125th Street OTP is the first Mount Sinai Beth Israel clinic to offer this comprehensive care.

Leadership and staff regularly meet with elected officials and community members to get updates and obtain input on how best to serve patient needs and we discuss how collaboration at the community level is a critical component of our success. Dr. Murthy’s visit was a wonderful opportunity to offer suggestions that may have the potential to influence national policy on opioid addiction treatment and serves as an example for others.



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Members of the Mount Sinai panel included, from left, Ross L. Cagan, PhD, Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics; Matthew Galsky, MD, Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology; Joshua Brody, MD, Director, Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program; Steven J. Burakoff, MD, Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute; and Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Health System.

At the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival, a public gathering dedicated to the global exchange of ideas, faculty and staff from the Mount Sinai Health System provided attendees with complimentary skin cancer and heart health screenings, and participated in panel discussions on topics that included drug prices, living organ donations, gene-editing technologies, and ways to improve health care globally. The festival is presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic magazine.

In a panel discussion on “Cancer Breakthroughs: The Promise of New Treatments,” specialists from the Mount Sinai Health System discussed significant advances being made in personalized vaccines and immunotherapies. The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is involved in clinical trials that are exploring multiple approaches to immunotherapy, including intratumoral injections that are being used in combination with traditional treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Read more

Early Skin Cancer Screening Minimizes Complications

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Melinda Sacks receives a skin cancer screening from Morgan Rabach, MD, Clinical Instructor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

When Melinda Sacks joined hundreds of other attendees at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, to receive a complimentary skin cancer screening by dermatologists at the Mount Sinai Health System, the clinician told her she had a suspicious spot on her face that should be checked by a specialist as soon as she returned home to Stanford, California.

Ms. Sacks says she was surprised by this because “I thought it was a birth mark.” But the small pigmented spot with a clearly defined edge was a lentigo maligna—an early form of melanoma, in which the malignant cells are confined to the tissue of origin. By catching the disease at an early stage, Ms. Sacks was able to have it removed without further complications. Read more

Mount Sinai Queens Heralds a New Era of Community Health Care with Opening of Ambulatory Pavilion


From left: Darren Fitzpatrick, MD; Ugo Ezenkwele, MD; Brian Radbill, MD, FACP; and Fernando C. Carnavali, MD, at the Mount Sinai Queens Ambulatory Pavilion

Against a backdrop of an evolving national health care system increasingly focused on preventive medicine, outpatient surgical procedures, and other efforts to keep people healthy and out of the hospital, Mount Sinai Queens has opened the doors to its new Ambulatory Pavilion, a $175 million facility that allows it to better serve the health needs of its community and significantly expands its medical and surgical capabilities.

Mount Sinai Queens is located in the heart of Astoria and serves the communities of Western Queens and beyond. With the addition of the Ambulatory Pavilion and continued expansion, it is positioning itself to care for more patients and extend its geographical reach throughout New York City’s largest borough. Read more

U.S. Surgeon General Visits Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Model Opioid Treatment Program Facility


The U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, greets patient Gloria Harrison as other patients look on.

The United States Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, recently visited Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Opioid Treatment Program at East 125th Street, one of the hospital’s 11 licensed addiction treatment clinics, to get a first-hand view of a facility that is successfully addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic. Mount Sinai’s model opioid treatment program was among the sites recommended to Dr. Murthy by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Read more

Researchers Identify Genes That Predict Damage in Donated Kidneys

HI_RES_MURPHY (1)Kidney transplantation is the most common type of organ transplant surgery in the United States with over 17,000 kidney transplantations performed in 2014, according to the National Kidney Foundation. However, long-term survival still remains a challenge. While there is no actual crystal ball to predict whether a transplanted kidney will later develop fibrosis – a chronic injury that is a major cause of allograft loss after the first year – a team of researchers, led by Mount Sinai’s Barbara Murphy, MD, System Chair, Department of Medicine, Murray M. Rosenberg Professor of Medicine, Dean for Clinical Integration and Population Health, has identified a panel of 13 genes that does just that. These recently discovered 13 genes are highly predictive of decline in renal function and eventual loss of transplanted kidneys. Read more

Medical Students Dared to Enter the Tank

Mount Sinai School of Medicine Photo by Robert Caplin

Joseph Mari, Susan Lerner, MD,; and Marc Napp, MD grill the medical students after hearing their patient safety and quality care improvement proposals.

InFocus 7 at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai culminated with third-year medical students participating in the School’s first Med Ed Tank—a series of student pitches modeled after the popular ABC television series “Shark Tank.” InFocus weeks are part of the School’s new MD Program curriculum, where students are immersed in innovative courses outside of the classroom to focus their training on research methods, global health, service learning, leadership, scientific innovation, and patient safety and quality care—the latter being the focus for InFocus 7. Read more

Philanthropic Gift Advances the Mission of Family Medicine and Community Health Department


Neil Calman, MD, left, with Gail and Alfred B. Engelberg

The newly named Alfred and Gail Engelberg Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was officially unveiled during a recent plaque dedication and reception that honored Alfred B. Engelberg and his wife, Gail May Engelberg, for their generous $4 million gift.

“Mount Sinai is the only academic medical center in Manhattan to recognize that training family physicians who are capable of providing high-quality and low-cost care in urban neighborhoods is essential to the health and well-being of New York City,” said Mr. Engelberg. “We are proud to support this effort.” Read more

President’s Breakfast

I had the opportunity to have breakfast with a dozen employees on Tuesday morning.  I hosted a President’s Breakfast where employees who go “Above and Beyond” are recognized.  Each and every employee who attended demonstrated the excellence that lives at MSBI. These individuals bring something quite remarkable to their jobs every day.  What a pleasure it was to spend an hour with them and hear their stories.

I have had a number of questions about the future of our Graduate Medical Education programs.

I’ve asked Dr. Michael Leitman to update us.


Susan Read more