Researchers Receive Robin Chemers Neustein Award

Leticia Tordesillas, PhD

Leticia Tordesillas, PhD, and Elizabeth Heller, PhD, are the recipients of the 2015 Robin Chemers Neustein Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, which was created to encourage and support female research scientists at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Tordesillas works in the laboratory of Cecilia Berin, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Her research is focused on how to establish immune tolerance to foods for the treatment of food allergy. In particular, she is studying how regulatory T cells induced by epicutaneous immunotherapy are generated and suppress anaphylaxis. Read more

“Story Time” for Pediatric Patients

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai recently launched a “Story Time” program for pediatric patients, an initiative designed to ease their anxiety in the hospital waiting room and to acquaint them with best-selling books that also happen to have a medical-friendly theme: The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor, for example, and Magenta Gets Glasses from the “Blue’s Clues” series. “Story Time” occurs at two locations: the main hospital and the nearby Ear Institute.

Heisman Trophy Winner Visits Pediatric Patients at Mount Sinai

University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, recently visited patients at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai, where he hosted a live show from the hospital’s television studio in The Child Life Zone and fielded live calls from patients watching in their rooms. The event was sponsored by The Companions in Courage Foundation, whose founder, NHL Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, also attended. Mr. Mariota conducted a special Skype session in the Lion’s Den, an interactive playroom, where he spoke with pediatric patients in other hospitals.

Skilled Quilters Donate Baby Blankets

Expert quilter Lee Ebs visited the Pediatrics Playroom at Mount Sinai Beth Israel on Tuesday, January 20, with dozens of donated baby blankets made by members of Empire Quilters, a nonprofit organization in New York City that is comprised of dedicated quilters. Marcia Graham, CCLS, Senior Child Life Specialist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Pediatrics, was on hand to accept the colorful blankets and incubator covers that will be used by pediatric patients and premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “Patients and their parents greatly appreciate these quilts and covers,” says Ms. Graham. “Their colors and designs brighten the look of the child’s room and the NICU, taking away the institutional feel. They definitely add a child-friendly touch.”

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hosts Pediatrics Party

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s pediatric inpatients from 2014, along with their families, were treated to a “Holiday Carnival,” funded by Protravel International, on Sunday, December 7, at the hospital’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center. Nearly 100 Protravel volunteers participated in the annual event, which featured a DJ, a magician, face painting, arts and crafts, popcorn, hot dogs, and a visit from Santa. Patients and their siblings also received a variety of toys and games.

What to Know about Childhood and Teen Obesity

We commonly hear that two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and that adult obesity has risen at an alarming rate over the past 30 years. What is less commonly heard is that the rate of obesity has risen nearly three times faster in adolescents as compared to adults in the past 30 years! Importantly, 70 percent of obese teens become obese adults, and adult obesity has been linked to other serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer. Thus, the teen years represent a particularly crucial time to reach kids and help them build healthier habits that they can continue into adulthood.

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“Medical Mall” Concept in Brooklyn

The opening this year of Mount Sinai Doctors Brooklyn Heights brings coordinated, efficient and quality outpatient medical care to the borough for the very first time.  Medical care at this office, located at 300 Cadman Plaza West (One Pierrepoint Plaza) on the 17th and 18th floors, is community-based and convenient.  I am the medical director of what our patients have been referring to as “medical services under one roof” or a “medical mall”.   I’m also the medical director of WESTMED Practice Partners, a company that builds and manages large centers like this for comprehensive outpatient care.

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Study Finds Food-Allergic Children Subject to Bullying

Children with food allergies are frequently bullied by classmates but experience less psychological distress when their parents are aware of it, according to researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, who surveyed 251 families during their visits to Mount Sinai’s Jaffe Food Allergy Institute in 2011.

The study—published online in the December 24, 2012, issue of Pediatrics—found that as many as 45.4 percent of the children, ages 8-17, reported being bullied, and 31.5 percent reported that food allergy was the reason.

“Parents and clinicians need to ask children with food allergies if they have been bullied,” says the study’s lead author Eyal Shemesh, MD, Chief of the Division of Behavioral and Developmental Health in the Department of Pediatrics at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Bullying is prevalent. Kids often don’t tell their parents, and it is important to know this is an issue.”

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Big Apple Circus Event Supports Pediatric Patients

The Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation (CCF) hosted its 26th annual Big Apple Circus benefit in November, raising more than $735,000 to support the Department of Pediatrics at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai.

Over the years, the benefit has raised more than $14.7 million for the Department of Pediatrics. The proceeds have been used to renovate the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and undertake current renovations in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Each year, children who attend the benefit receive a backpack loaded with donated products such as books, DVDs, stuffed animals, and toy trucks. This year, the CCF donated 100 extra backpacks to children living in two Brooklyn communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay.

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