Family Medicine: A Specialty for All Ages

Family medicine is a model of care that focuses on caring for patients of all ages throughout their lives, with an emphasis on understanding the whole person and the communities where they live. Today, family physicians are in high demand due to the increased awareness of the importance of primary care in realigning our health care system to support the triple aims of the Accountable Care Act (ACA); better health care for individuals, better health outcomes in the community, and lower health care costs.

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GI Field Forges Ahead in Treating IBD

More than one million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), primarily Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Affecting people of any age, race or gender, IBD causes chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s can strike in any part of the system, while ulcerative colitis is only found in the large bowel. Patients’ symptoms vary widely, but the most common are diarrhea, abdominal pain or both.

As with many other digestive disorders, patients with IBD are constantly on a quest to find the right treatment regimen to relieve the symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. This search for effective IBD treatments was one of the many topics my colleagues and I discussed during Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

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Honoring Excellence in Nursing

When colleagues nominated Joshua Lasseigne, BSN, RN, CHPN, a hospice and palliative care nurse at The Mount Sinai Hospital for a clinical excellence award, they summarized his exceptional skills in a nomination letter. “He truly helps patients and families through the darkest hours of their lives with a soft voice of hope and strong loving hugs,” they wrote. “He has a passion for nursing, a sense of optimism, and is an excellent role model and mentor.”

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Compliance for Influenza Vaccinations Sets Record

After launching a much-publicized campaign in October to promote the influenza vaccination for faculty, staff, and students, the Mount Sinai Health System will report a record rate of vaccination compliance to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for the 2013 – 2014 influenza season.

Typically, vaccination rates for health care workers are around 60 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Health System’s overall compliance rate was 82 percent at the start of April.

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Postoperative Painkillers: Avoiding Addiction

It seems like a week doesn’t go by without some high profile celebrity addiction story making the nightly news. The unfortunate reality that addiction to prescription medications has reached epidemic proportions in our society has many patients concerned that a trip to the operating room might render them a pain-pill addict. But when it comes down to it, to be able to make the right decisions for their own health, people need to put the hype into the proper context.

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Mount Sinai Opens First Observation Unit for Emergency Department Patients

The Mount Sinai Hospital is the first in New York City to open an observation unit for Emergency Department (ED) patients who do not meet criteria for inpatient admission, yet require further short-term evaluation and treatment before they can be discharged safely. The 20-bed Rapid Evaluation and Treatment Unit (RETU) is adjacent to the ED and is staffed by physicians, physician assistants, nurse managers, nurses, case managers, and social workers who work as a team to better assess and coordinate patient care. Similar units will be rolled out at hospitals throughout the Mount Sinai Health System in the coming months.

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A Patient Gives Back to the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute

As a college sophomore, Joanna Adler was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare illness called Wilson’s disease, and underwent an urgent liver transplant at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Today, 16 years later, Ms. Adler remains close to her physician, Leona Kim-Schluger, MD, the Sidney J. Zweig Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Associate Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute. Ms. Adler is also a strong supporter of Mount Sinai, which she credits for saving her life.

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