Overcoming Congenital Glaucoma

In the summer of 1998, Shavanne McCurchin noticed something odd about her 2-month-old son’s right eye. “The entire eye looked white,” she says, remembering that she thought she had accidentally sprinkled powder in his eye while changing his diaper.

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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.

An Appreciation Day for Residents and Fellows

The Mount Sinai Health System’s residents and fellows were treated to an inaugural Appreciation Day on Monday, January 12, sponsored by the Office of Graduate Medical Education. More than 300 residents and fellows located throughout the Health System’s seven hospitals took short breaks from their busy schedules to socialize with one another and enjoy ice cream, cookies, and brownies in what is expected to become an annual event. The Mount Sinai Health System serves as one of the largest residency training programs in the United States.

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.”

A Dose of Canine Affection at Levy Library

When a fluffy Pomeranian named Alice paid a two-hour visit to the Gustave L. and Janet W. Levy Library in November, more than 60 Mount Sinai Health System students, faculty, and staff visited her for a quick dose of canine affection.

In fact, Alice’s visit was so successful that the Levy Library plans to begin hosting visits from certified therapy dogs on the first Tuesday of each month starting in February, giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to unwind and relieve stress during lunchtime. Read more

Barnes & Noble Donates Books

Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt recently received 1,492 children’s books from Barnes & Noble’s 2014 Holiday Book Drive. The titles, suitable for toddlers to teens, included The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, The Berenstain Bears, the Harry Potter series, and lots of classics and award winners. They will be distributed to the hospitals’ emergency departments, OB/GYN clinics, the Child Family Institute’s Psychiatry Outpatient Department, and Community Services for Children and Families. “We were elated to receive this wide selection of children’s titles for our hospital programs,” says Kathleen Dalton, Director of Volunteer Services for Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt.

My Doctor Told Me I Have a Heart Murmur: Now What?


Normally blood moves through the heart smoothly in a nearly fractionless fashion called laminar flow. However when the velocity of flow increases, flow becomes turbulent and friction increases making flow audible to the healthcare provider using a stethoscope. This noise is called a murmur. Some murmurs occur when flow velocity occurs in response to physical conditions such as pregnancy or fever and do not represent a heart problem. However many murmurs occur from heart valve abnormalities or congenital heart disease and should be evaluated. The most common abnormal heart conditions causing murmurs are when heart valves fail to open properly (called valve stenosis) or when heart valves leak (called valvular regurgitation). Read more

TAVR: A Non-Surgical Solution to Aortic Stenosis

The aortic valve is the gate-keeper for blood to circulate from the heart to all parts of the body.

Narrowing of the aortic valve is aortic stenosis. This is a condition that can be congenital or develop over time as a person ages. Most commonly, as people age, this valve is susceptible to calcification leading to its narrowing.

Eventually as time goes by, symptoms of aortic stenosis such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, heart failure, fainting spells, and even death can occur. Read more

Thyroid Nodules: Common, but Most Are Noncancerous

Typing “thyroid nodule” into Google generates more than 683,000 results. Lumps and bumps in the thyroid are exceedingly common, especially in women. By age 50, up to 70 percent of women have one or more thyroid nodules, the vast majority of these are noncancerous. In fact, of all thyroid nodules, up to 95 percent are ultimately characterized as benign.

Largely because of the increased use of radiologic imaging, the incidence of thyroid nodules, and the incidence of thyroid cancer, is increasing. Though this (possibly artificial) rise in thyroid cancer may seem alarming, the fact is that even if a nodule is cancerous, thyroid cancer is by far one of the most curable cancers. In fact, cure rates for the two most common types of thyroid cancer are in the high 90 percentile range, approaching 100 percent. The American Cancer Society estimates that of the nearly 63,000 cases of all types of thyroid cancer occurring in the U.S. each year, and fewer than 1,900 result in mortality. Read more

Mount Sinai Reaches 100,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook

The Mount Sinai Hospital has attracted more than 100,000 Facebook “likes” (subscribers), making it the first hospital in the Tri-State area and one of only seven nationwide to attain this milestone.

The Mount Sinai Health System’s social media program is focused on thought-leadership initiatives, research and clinical education, and patient and employee engagement. More than 130 programs have been launched on 40 social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare, and Twitter. They include a month-long diabetes education campaign, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Nurses Week, and breast cancer survivor stories.