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CEO Recognized for Lifetime of Leadership

Friday, January 8, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kerri McCabe
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CEO Recognized for Lifetime of Leadership
(from: Mount Sinai Inside)

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, is known for investigations that shaped the research agenda and early treatments of Alzheimer's disease.  He is also recognized as a leader who placed Mount Sinai on a strong growth trajectory.

What many may not know is that Dr.Davis was also a varsity track and field athlete at Yale University, where he completed his undergraduate education in 1969.  Yale recently presented him with the 2009 George H. W. Bush '48 Lifetime of Leadership Award, an honor given to Yale alumni athletes who make significant breakthoughs in their professions.

"Ken Davis and I have been very close friends and colleagues for 30 years.  At every phase of his career, both as a scientist and as an administrator, he has been a spectacular leader and role model," says Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Mount Sinai Mediacal Center.  "Ken inspires
those around him to be great, because he expects even more from himself.  This award is the culmination of a lifetime of achievements.  I am so proud to work with him to bring Mount Sinai to the top of the world's biomedical institutions."
 
Kurt L. Schmoke, a three-term mayor of Baltimore and master of ceremonies at the 500-seat dinner honoring Dr. Davis, pointed to a number of the leader's accomplishments.  He noted, for example that prior to Dr. Davis's appointment as CEO in 2003, Mount Sinai was losing millions of dollars per year.  Following five years of improved finanical performance, Moody's investor Service upgraded the Hospital's rating to A2 in July 2009 and commended Mount Sinai's leadership for its "culture of accountability" in helping achieve this outcome.  Additionally, the Medical Center was named among the nation's top 20 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, earning Honor Roll status for the first time in its history.
 
The Medical School has also experienced tremendour growth, both in funding from the National Institutes of Health ( NIH), which now ranks its 18th among medical schools- up from 25th in 2004- and in the recruitment of renowned researchers and scientists.  On an individual basis, Mount Sinai scientists rank among the top five in the nation in their ability to compete for NIH funding.  Mount Sinai medical and graduate studetns and house stadd are among the best in the nation, and the clinical faculty provides state-of-the-art personalized care.
 
Wayne E. Keathley. Preseident and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospitals, remarks, "This award reflects Dr. Davis visionary and transformational leadership of Mount Sinai during a period of great uncertainty to our position of strength and promise.  We commend the Yale University Athletic Department for the well-wearned recognition to our leader, colleague, and friend, Dr. Kenneth L. Davis."
 
The Bush Leadership Award also acknowledged Dr. Davis's career in psychiatry and psychiatric research, noting that he was the first director of Mount Sinai's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), a comprehensive clinical and research facility funded by the National Institute of Aging.  ADRC's intitial grant was one of the first and largest disbursements for Alzheimer's diseases research.
 
During the ceremony, Dr. Davis's groundbreaking work in Alzheimer's research was commemorated with a plaque now hanging in the trophy room of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale.

Furthermore, Dr. Davis was recognized for revolutionzing Alzheimer's clinical trail design by developing the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale.  This tool, Schmoke explained, is now the most popular measure used to characterize the noncognitive and cognitive behavioral dysfunctions manifested by Alzheimer's patients.  He also explained how Dr. Davis's Alzheimer's diseases research lef to the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the first four out of five agents- the cholinterase inhibitors- that are currently used to treat this illness.
 
In addition to the ADRC directorship ceremony presentations related how Dr. Davis was the first director for several other organizations, including the Schizophrenia Biological Research Center at the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Silvio Conte Neuroscience Center for the Study of Schizophrenia, and the Seaver Autism Center.  It was noted how his work in schizophrenia has let to a new understanding of the role of myelination and white matter and oligodendrocytes in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, establishing an entirely new way of viewing and studying this disease.  This work, seen as revolutionary just a few years ago, has now been widely replicated.
 
A permanent storyboard at Yale details these and other aspects of Dr. Davis career, including other awards he has recieved.  Among these are the career development award at the Veterans Adminstration and the A.E. Bennett Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry.  From the American College of Neuropschopharacology, Dr. Davis received the Joel Elkes Research Award, Daniel H. Efrom Research Award, and the Paul Hoch Distinguished Serivce Award.  He also served as the organization's president in 2006.  Dr. Davis has been honored by the Ameircan Psychiatric Association. and in 2002, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
After graduating magna cum laude from Yale, the storyboard chronicles how Dr. Davis was valedictorian for Mount Sinai School of Medicine's second graduating class in 1973, receiving the Harold Elster Memorial Award for highest academic achievement.
 
The George H.W. Bush '48 Lifetime of Leadership Award is given biennially to distringuished professionals from a broad range of fields.  Past recipients include Edgar M. Cullman, a collegiate track and field athlete and former chair of General Cigar. Mr.Cullman has been active on Mount Sinai's Boards of Trustees since 1957.  In 2001, the honor went to Calvin Hill, a track and football with the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, and the Cleveland Browns.  Schmoke, who is currently Dean of Howard University School of Law, received the award in 2007.

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