Mount Sinai Introduces New Genetic Screening Tests

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory’s Executive Director, Lisa Edelmann, PhD, left, and Director, Ruth Kornreich, PhD

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory’s Executive Director, Lisa Edelmann, PhD, left, and Director, Ruth Kornreich, PhD

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in January introduced a new panel of comprehensive pan-ethnic carrier screening tests for 281 genetic disorders, the largest currently available. Mount Sinai’s NextStep Carrier Screening also includes the most comprehensive panel of tests for 96 diseases found in the Ashkenazi Jewish population and is the first of its kind to address the largely overlooked needs of the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish populations.

“Building on years of in-house genetic research and technology adaptation in our clinical laboratory, we created tests that not only expand the number of diseases screened, but also increase the breadth of coverage, to improve carrier detection rates and provide more accurate residual risk estimates to patients,” says Lisa Edelmann, PhD, Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory within the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences. Read more

Genetic Testing Under Way in Connecticut

Genetic Testing Under Way in Connecticut

In Mount Sinai’s Branford, Connecticut, laboratory, Research Associate Courtney Pietropaolo prepares DNA samples for sequencing.

In its first full year of operation, the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in Branford, Connecticut, has become an integral part of the Mount Sinai Health System’s efforts to better diagnose and treat disease.

The 16,400-square-foot facility, located 85 miles from New York City, has the high-throughput equipment to sequence thousands of samples monthly to uncover variations in DNA that code for Alzheimer’s and coronary disease, and cancer, among other diseases. Read more

Study Supports Palliative Care for Cancer Patients

Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, M.Sc

Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, M.Sc

Advanced-stage cancer patients who received palliative care required shorter durations of radiation treatment and had shorter hospital stays, according to a recent study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“Radiation therapy is very effective at relieving pain, but the standard two weeks of treatment may be too long or burdensome for some patients, given the state of their illnesses,” says the study’s senior author, Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, M.Sc, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, and Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We showed that shorter course treatments can be equally, if not more, effective, especially when combined with other forms of therapy that put patients first, and not the tumor.” Read more

Mount Sinai Launches TV Advertising Campaign

The Mount Sinai Health System launched its first television commercials as part of its “For you. For life.” campaign in local markets on Sunday, January 10, an effort that extends to national markets beginning Monday, January 25. The commercials supplement an extensive print advertising campaign that began in 2015, which spotlighted Mount Sinai’s commitment to lifetime compassionate care, innovative medical education, and breakthrough research. Read more

Protecting the Brain From Bipolar Disorder

Sophia Frangou, MD, PhD

Sophia Frangou, MD, PhD

Individuals whose siblings have bipolar disorder are at high risk for developing mood disorders themselves. However, siblings who remain psychiatrically healthy may have a natural ability to rewire their brains that compensates for their genetic risk. These findings, led by Sophia Frangou, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, were published in the January 5, 2016, issue of Translational Psychiatry. Read more

A Pioneer in Multiple Myeloma Joins Mount Sinai

Bart Barlogie, MD, PhD

Bart Barlogie, MD, PhD

Bart Barlogie, MD, PhD, a world-renowned physician who introduced the first curative therapy for multiple myeloma, a multidrug regimen known as Total Therapy, recently joined The Tisch Cancer Institute as Director of Research in the Multiple Myeloma Program.

Dr. Barlogie will work with the program’s leader, Sundar Jagannath, MD, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), to develop new therapies to treat the disease, which is characterized by cancerous plasma cells that form in the bone marrow and crowd out normal, blood-forming cells. Their collaboration helps make Mount Sinai the nation’s premier myeloma program. About 26,850 new cases of the disease occur in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Read more

Thoracic Surgery Patients Perform Free Chamber Music Concerts

From left: Nadir Aslam; Kristin Olson; Andrea Wolf, MD; and Andrew Kaufman, MD

From left: Nadir Aslam; Kristin Olson; Andrea Wolf, MD; and Andrew Kaufman, MD

Kristin Olson and Nadir Aslam, professional musicians who met when they were treated for recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) at The Mount Sinai Hospital in August 2015, ardently believe in the power of music to soothe and heal. After treatment, they asked their surgeons—Andrea Wolf, MD, and Andrew Kaufman, MD, both Assistant Professors of Thoracic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai—if they could perform free baroque chamber music concerts for staff, patients, and visitors. Ms. Olson, an oboist, and Mr. Aslam, a violinist, have since given two performances with guest musicians in the Guggenheim Pavilion, and now are working with the Mount Sinai Department of Volunteer Services to start a regular series of concerts.

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Opens New Café in Linsky Lobby

From left: Jay Aldieri, Regional Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Mount Sinai Health System; Nympha Meindel, RN, Chief Administrative Officer, Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Susan Somerville, RN, President, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, at the ribbon-cutting for Who’s on First?

From left: Jay Aldieri, Regional Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Mount Sinai Health System; Nympha Meindel, RN, Chief Administrative Officer, Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Susan Somerville, RN, President, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, at the ribbon-cutting for Who’s on First?

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s new café—Who’s on First?—opened in December with an expanded menu that for the first time includes non-kosher as well as kosher food options, a “Cuisine of the Day” station, weekly specials, a salad bar, hot food bar, and a “Grab & Go” section. Located in the Linsky Lobby of the hospital’s main entrance at 280 First Avenue—the same location as the previous cafeteria—Who’s on First? is open 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. Four hundred employees participated in a contest to name the new café. The winning entry was from Lydia E. Hosbach, Administrative Assistant, Patient Representative Department, who received a 32-inch flat-screen TV.

Wholeness of Life Awards

From left: Laurie Chameides, LCSW; Rabbi H. Rafael Goldstein, DMin, BCC, Director of Clinical Services, Center for Spirituality and Health, Mount Sinai Health System; and Michotte Nabua, RN

From left: Laurie Chameides, LCSW; Rabbi H. Rafael Goldstein, DMin, BCC, Director of Clinical Services, Center for Spirituality and Health, Mount Sinai Health System; and Michotte Nabua, RN

Two Mount Sinai Health System employees recently received 2015 Wholeness of Life Awards from the HealthCare Chaplaincy NetworkTM for their commitment to teamwork and professional relationships in providing compassionate and respectful care to patients in crisis. A third Wholeness of Life Award was given posthumously to the family of Beth Faitelewicz, RN, a nurse who served in the Emergency Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Read more

Kravis Children’s Hospital Partners with San Diego Zoo

Lori Lerma, MS, interviews Rick Schwartz during a live taping in the Child Life Zone.

Lori Lerma, MS, interviews Rick Schwartz during a live taping in the Child Life Zone.

Patients and families at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai recently enjoyed a television broadcast hosted by Lori Lerma, MS, Senior Child Life Specialist, and her guest, San Diego Zoo Global Ambassador Rick Schwartz, where a new partnership between Kravis Children’s Hospital and San Diego Zoo Global was announced.

The partnership adds the San Diego Zoo Kids Channel, a new and innovative closed-circuit television broadcast channel featuring family-friendly, animal-oriented shows to the existing programming offered at Kravis Children’s Hospital by KidZone TV. The hospital is the first in New York State to provide the channel, which has more than 16 hours of content. Read more