During Men’s Health Month in June, the Mount Sinai Health System’s Department of Urology held seminars and question-and-answer sessions to educate the public about diseases and medical conditions such as prostate and testicular cancer, and erectile dysfunction. To highlight the importance of exercise in maintaining overall health, Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, Kyung Hyum Kim, MD Chair in Urology, Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology, center in photo, led a fitness walk from The Mount Sinai Hospital to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park with faculty and staff.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai granted 24 diplomas to graduating residents and fellows from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, the Department of Ophthalmology, and Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery during a ceremony held at the Friends Meeting House on Thursday, June 23.
“Congratulations to the graduates, some of the best and brightest physicians and surgeons in America,” James C. Tsai, MD, MBA, President, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, and Chair of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai Health System, told the graduates and guests. “You carry the proud heritage of the nation’s oldest specialty hospital, which today provides the most complex care to patients throughout the United States and the world. We are confident that you will become leaders in your fields, providing the highest level of quality care and continuing to transform medicine in the twenty-first century.”
Under a clear blue sky in June, faculty, residents, and fellows from the Mount Sinai Health System’s Department of Neurosurgery came to bat in a friendly charity softball competition in Central Park. The 13th Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament, which supported the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and pediatric brain tumor research, drew more than 25 teams from academic medical centers around the country and Canada. Held each year in Central Park, the event is hosted by Columbia University’s Department of Neurological Surgery.
This year, Mount Sinai’s team beat Michigan Health System’s, but lost close games to teams from University Medical Center at the University of Alabama and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
DiversityInc, the nation’s leading publication in advancing excellence in diversity management, has ranked the Mount Sinai Health System No. 3 on its 2016 “Top 10 Hospitals and Health Systems” list, which, for the first time, establishes Mount Sinai as the highest-ranked health system in the New York City metropolitan area. This ranking reflects the accomplishments of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, the diversity center of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In 2015, Mount Sinai was ranked No. 5. Read more
More than 160 faculty and guests gathered recently to celebrate the trailblazing career of Kurt Hirschhorn, MD, during a dinner to honor two milestones—his 90th birthday and his 50 years as a leader and mentor in Pediatrics and Human Genetics at Mount Sinai. Among the participants were several dozen chief residents he mentored, many of whom are on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai today. Read more
The Mount Sinai Hospital recently became the first hospital in New York State and
the second in the nation to perform a kidney transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor to an HIV-positive recipient, the result of federal legislation that went into effect late last year making such transplants possible.
Led by Sander Florman, MD, Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, and the Charles Miller, MD Professor of Surgery, Mount Sinai is one of four medical centers in the country with federal approval to perform liver and kidney transplants under the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act.
“The new law is a win-win for everyone,” says Dr. Florman. “This represents the potentially largest increase to the organ donor pool in many years and could provide more organs for everyone.”
Prior to the HOPE Act, organs from HIV- positive donors were not legally allowed to be procured for transplant into patients with HIV—the only people eligible to receive them—which made organ waiting lists longer for all patients, including those without HIV. The average wait for a kidney from a deceased non-HIV donor is seven years in New York, according to Dr. Florman.
Alexandra Harry, 55, the first Mount Sinai patient to receive a kidney under the new law, called the transplant “a gift that has given me the opportunity for a better quality of life.” Since 2005, she had been on peritoneal dialysis, which had to be performed 10 hours each night. Ms. Harry says she learned about her eligibility to participate in Mount Sinai’s program only two weeks before she actually received
a suitable kidney, so the entire process was very quick.
A few days after her surgery this past spring, Ms. Harry said, “I felt an improvement almost immediately.” Her surgeon was Susan Lerner, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Medical Education at the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute. Shirish S. Huprikar, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases at the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, worked closely with the team to evaluate the appropriateness of HIV-positive donors.
According to Ms. Harry’s son, Aaron, 35, the transplant will enable his mother to travel more freely and see her extended family more frequently without the burden of carrying the medical supplies and equipment needed for her dialysis. “With this kidney, I see more
doors opening,” he says.
Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and Mount Sinai were the first to perform the transplants. Like Ms. Harry, all recipients must agree to participate in clinical research approved by each hospital’s Institutional Review Board under criteria set by the National Institutes of Health. Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center also have permission to perform these transplants.
At Mount Sinai, there are currently about 80 HIV patients waiting for a kidney transplant and 12 waiting for a liver transplant, says Dr. Florman. It has been estimated that this new source of organs could be enough for as many as 2,500 additional deceased donor transplants in the United States each year.
Dr. Florman recently participated in an Organ Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the White House. At the summit, senior administration officials and transplant specialists from hospitals, universities, foundations, and patient advocacy organizations created a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel with the goal of establishing a national clearinghouse of educational resources about transplant and living donation for patients, living donors, and the public.
“The need for organs for transplantation far exceeds the availability, and the waiting lists continue to grow,” says Dr. Florman. “People’s lives depend on these efforts, so we must find ways to increase the donor supply and also encourage living donation.”
Joseph E. Herrera, DO, was appointed Chair of the Mount Sinai Health System Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in July. The noted clinician, educator, and researcher previously served as Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where he introduced innovative therapies and helped build highly selective residency and fellowship programs. Dr. Herrera is also Associate Professor of Rehabilitation
Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine
at Mount Sinai. Read more
“We are very excited about introducing AposTherapy to treat chronic knee and back pain,” says Joseph E. Herrera, DO, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Developed in Israel, AposTherapy uses specially designed biomechanical shoes to retrain the muscles around the knee by adjusting the center of pressure when walking. By changing the foot’s point of contact with the ground, the device shifts the line of force closer to the center of the knee. Pods on the bottom of the shoes are calibrated for each patient by a specially trained physical therapist. Patients wear the shoes for up to two hours a day during their regular activities. The AposTherapy treatment is being offered as part of a study being conducted at Mount Sinai. The study has enrolled 73 patients. To learn more, visit mountsinai.org/apos or email RehabBIappt@chpnet.org.
Dr. Herrera is a non-paid member of the Medical Advisory Board of AposTherapy.
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
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