End of Year Message
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Posted by: Andrew Law
FROM: Dennis S. Charney, MD
Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
President for Academic Affairs
Mount Sinai Health System
As we speed towards the end of 2015, is gives me great pleasure to reflect on the collective accomplishments of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) community.
The challenges posed this year have been considerable, including the ongoing integration of Mount Sinai Health System programs and personnel, rising costs, and a fiercely competitive extramural funding environment. Nevertheless, together we have applied intelligence, creativity, determination and hard work to achieve admirable successes on all fronts.
Through the remarkable efforts of our world-class scientists, ISMMS has been awarded record funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our rise to 14th in NIH grant support among U.S. medical schools is a considerable achievement under any circumstances, but especially so in the face of shrinking federal budgets and extremely selective award criteria. This success is a testament to the transformative research that is the hallmark of our School, the vision of our research leaders, and the enormous dedication of our entire scientific community.
We have made significant strides towards building a cohesive Mount Sinai Health System this year. The School is a close academic partner to the seven member hospitals, laying a foundation for growth and prosperity that will serve us well into the future. System chairs, hospital presidents, site leaders, faculty, and administrators have united in the common cause of rationalizing, streamlining, and coordinating services across campuses, while at the same time setting high bars for the scope and quality of clinical care that we provide to Mount Sinai’s large and diverse patient population. The migration of 17 additional clinical departments systemwide into Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice in 2015, and the related appointment of hundreds more physicians to our faculty, bring us ever closer to having a single platform for delivering the highest standard of care to all of our patients, while at the same time maximizing efficiency and productivity for our clinical practices.
Educational programs at ISMMS are thriving. The caliber of matriculating students in both the MD program and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has never been higher. The ongoing rollout of the curriculum redesign in the MD program ensures that Mount Sinai remains a leader in curricular innovation. We have successfully integrated clinical teaching activities at all levels – medical students, house staff and fellows, and Continuing Medical Education – into the Health System, including having required clerkships, electives, and clinical and research mentorships at each Manhattan member hospital. Rising student applications and enrollment in many of our Graduate School programs reflect our growing reputation for educational excellence. The inaugural class for our Master’s in Health Care Delivery program, which includes our first distance learning module, has entered its second year, while the initial cohort for our new master’s program in Biostatistics matriculated this autumn.
We take great pride in the diversity of the ISMMS student body, and are deeply committed to ensuring a culture of respect and tolerance. Our differences are cause for celebration, helping us to grow both as individuals and as a community. Students and trainees have been working closely with ISMMS leaders and faculty to develop and maintain an open dialogue that fosters a supportive and collegial learning environment in which concerns about racism and bias are addressed swiftly and thoroughly.
ISMMS is increasingly engaging in academic affiliations that complement our breakthrough scientific, education, and clinical programs. Our expanding relationships with innovation leaders such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Google Life Sciences, Apple, and IBM promise collaborations that will take biomedicine to the next level. As examples, a joint ISMMS-Google Life Sciences program, now in its second recruitment year, offers research fellowships to both students and residents. Similarly, partnerships with the consulting firms McKinsey and Company and Deloitte provide ISMMS students with exciting internship opportunities that are integrated into their ISMMS training.
While we have seen the departure of some important School leaders this year, we are truly fortunate to have outstanding individuals step into these roles. We congratulate those who have been promoted from within, and welcome those who are new to ISMMS. We applaud the incredible efforts of all in mastering the details of their new positions to ensure smooth transitions, and then applying their own unique perspectives to enrich our programs.
In summary, 2015 has been a busy and productive year. It has brought out the best in all of us as we pursue a common goal of moving Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ever forward as a leader in education, research and clinical care. I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to our remarkable institution. My very best wishes for a wonderful winter season and a successful 2016.