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In Memoriam
We would like to pay tribute to the following alumni who have recently passed away. 

Whenever possible, we have included a link to an obituary. If you know of an alumna/us who has passed away recently, please send an email with a link to the obituary to alumni@mssm.edu.

 

In Memory

Daniel H. Present, MD

Passed away January 12, 2016.

 

It is with deep sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Daniel H. Present, MD, who in a five-decade career at Mount Sinai was at the forefront of research into the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

 

Dr. Present was the first researcher to show the effectiveness of an immunosuppressant, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), in fighting Crohn’s disease. It was known at the time that Crohn’s was an immune disorder and that 6-MP, a cancer therapeutic agent, had immune-suppressant properties, but a previous trial of similar medication for Crohn’s disease had failed. When Dr. Present published his results in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 1980, it changed the lives of thousands of Crohn’s patients.


Later, he studied the use of cyclosporine for severe steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis, and demonstrated that it could help avoid or delay colectomies in many of these seriously ill patients.

Additionally, in a third breakthrough in the late 1990s, Dr. Present studied cA2, also known as infliximab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, and showed, in another seminal paper in the NEJM, that it could help close fistulas in Crohn’s patients.

 

Dr. Present received his medical degree from the State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center in 1959 and completed postgraduate training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Early in his career at Mount Sinai, he was mentored by Henry D. Janowitz, MD, for whom the Division of Gastroenterology is named. In addition to being a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he was a voluntary physician and talented clinician who cared for thousands of patients over his career.

 

Over a decade ago, he and his wife, Jane, established an endowed fellowship at Mount Sinai (The Daniel and Jane Present-Andrew Levison Advanced Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease) to train graduates from outside institutions to become experts in the care of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and take their expertise back to their home institution to improve patient care and research there.  Dr. and Mrs. Present also maintained a foundation for clinical research into IBD. Upon his retirement from Mount Sinai in 2014, the foundation donated its principal in support of The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai.


We extend our deepest sympathies to Jane and their children, Douglas, Stephanie, and Tracy, at this difficult time.

 

Patricia S. Levinson

Passed away September 8, 2015.


We are sad to report that Patricia S. Levinson, Trustee, passed away this morning.  Pat joined the Boards of Trustees in 1981 when she was named President of the Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board, a group she first joined in 1961.  

 

Pat served on several Board committees; most recently on the Patient Care and Quality Assurance, Medical Education, and Community Relations Committees. She also served as a Board liaison to the Nursing Department for many years.

 

Pat had been co-chair of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) Advisory Board since its inception.  A champion of students, her personal commitment included the creation of the Robert and Patricia Levinson Student Center, and the endowment of scholarships and fellowships at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

 

She was a founding member and vice president of New York City's New Alternatives for Children, a director of Linkage House, and vice chair of the United Hospital Fund, as well as a member of Health First's Board of Managers of Senior Health Partners.  She was the recipient of a United Hospital Fund Distinguished Trustee Award for her leadership, guidance, and extraordinary service to Mount Sinai.


Pat will be deeply missed by those who served with her over the years, and by the students, patients and programs that benefited from her wisdom, leadership, and generosity.

 

She is survived by her husband, Robert A. Levinson, three married children, and five grandsons.  


At the family's request and in recognition of her lifetime work, a memorial service for Trustee Patricia S. Levinson will be held on Thursday, September 24, 2015, at 5 pm in the Leo C. Stern Auditorium, Annenberg Building, 1st Floor (enter through Guggenheim Pavilion, 1468 Madison Avenue at 100th Street or 1190 Fifth Avenue at 101st Street), followed by a reception in the West Lobby of the Annenberg Building.  We hope you will be able to attend. 


Dr. Lewis Burrows, MSH '63

Passed away August 24, 2015.


It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Lewis Burrows, MD, a specialist in the field of transplantation who performed The Mount Sinai Hospital’s first successful kidney transplant in 1967.


Respected by his colleagues and beloved by his patients, Dr. Burrows was a seminal figure in the creation of Mount Sinai’s transplant service, laying the groundwork for what has become one of the world’s largest transplant programs.


Among Dr. Burrows’ many contributions to the medical field was his work in creating a noninvasive technique known as functional imaging, using radioactive tracers to measure kidney blood flow and function. He also hypothesized that perioperative blood transfusions would reduce immunity and lead to an increased recurrence in colorectal cancer—a theory that was later confirmed in several studies and expanded to other malignancies.


In recognition of the excellent medical care Dr. Burrows provided to a family member, the Chasanoff family in 1998 established an annual visiting lectureship at The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute.

 

There will be a graveside funeral for Dr. Burrows at 11 am on Wednesday, August 26, at the following address:

Kensico Cemetery, Sharon Garden

273 Lakeview Avenue

Valhalla, New York


Dr. Jeffrey Silverstein, MSH '91

Posted on July 28, 2015.


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our colleague and friend Jeffrey Silverstein, MD.  A member of the Mount Sinai community for over 25 years, Dr. Silverstein was an excellent physician, a committed researcher, a popular teacher and an accomplished administrator whose high standards and strong work ethic were widely recognized.


Dr. John J. McMahon, MSH '94

Passed away June 7, 2015.


Dr. John J. McMahon was a cardiothoracic surgeon staff at Queens Hospital. He was also a house staff at Mount Sinai during his general surgery residency 1989-1994. Dr. McMahon was 54 years old at the time of his death. Dr. McMahon was a dedicated surgeon and a loyal colleague. 


Dr. Laura Fixman, MSH '93
Passed away April 1, 2015.

For more information, click here.   


Dr. Bruce Witkind, MSH '85

Passed away March 26, 2015.

For more information, click here


Dr. Hugh Biller
Passed away February 2015.


We, at the Mount Sinai Health System, are very saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Hugh F. Biller, MD, former Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. An internationally recognized educator and head and neck surgeon, Dr. Biller was a pioneer in conservative laryngeal surgical procedures. When he was named Chair in 1972, at age 37, he became Mount Sinai's youngest Chair appointee. Under his stewardship, the Department expanded rounds to include a number of key staff from different specialties, providing an early model of truly comprehensive care.

 

Dr. Biller authored more than 350 scientific articles and co-authored the book "Surgery of the Larynx" with Byron Bailey. He won numerous awards, served as President of Mount Sinai's Medical Board, and was a frequent and popular lecturer. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, colleagues, and friends. He was a devoted physician and educator, and it is with gratitude that we remember his many years of service to Mount Sinai and his patients.

 

Peter W. May, Chairman Boards of Trustees Mount Sinai Health System

Kenneth L. Davis, MD President and Chief Executive Officer Mount Sinai Health System

Dennis S. Charney, MD Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai President for Academic Affairs Mount Sinai Health System

Eric M. Genden, MD Dr. Isadore Friesner Chair Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Mount Sinai Health System

For more information, click here


Dr. Robert S. Siffert, MSH '51

Passed away February 18, 2015.

For more information, click here.

 

Dr. Bernard Mehl
Passed away January 30, 2015.

For more information, click here


Dr. William I. Glass, MSH '42

Passed away November 28, 2015. 

For more information, click here.

 

Dr. Barry Stimmel, MSH '70

Passed away November 24, 2014.


We are deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of Dr. Barry Stimmel on November 24, 2014. Dr. Stimmel was former Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Ombudsperson, and Dean Emeritus for Medical Education at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

 

Dr. Stimmel served as the Katherine and Clifford Goldsmith Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and was a member of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai.

 

For 50 years, Dr. Stimmel was a leader in medical education, patient care, and research in internal medicine, cardiology, and addiction medicine at Mount Sinai. He joined the Mount Sinai family after receiving his medical degree in 1964 from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He completed his rotational internship, internal medicine residency, and residency in cardiology at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

 

Dr. Stimmel played a key role in developing our medical school curriculum. When he completed his residency, he was appointed Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs. He served as Dean of Graduate Medical Education from 1996 to 2008, and developed the Consortium for Graduate Medical Education at Mount Sinai, comprised of 11 institutions and more than 1,800 house staff—one of the largest associations of its kind in the United States.

 

In his role as Ombudsperson from 2008 to 2014, Dr. Stimmel offered a safe and confidential setting for members of the Icahn School of Medicine community to discuss academic, professional, and personal issues.

 

As a pioneer in the field of addictive medicine, Dr. Stimmel was internationally known for his treatment and research of heroin dependency. He established Mount Sinai’s former Narcotics Rehabilitation Center in 1970, serving as Executive Director from 1975 to 2008. This was the first program in New York City to use methadone solely in an ambulatory care setting, and at its height treated more than 30,000 heroin users, serving as a multidisciplinary model treatment program for New York State. Dr. Stimmel also served on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Committee of Physicians for National Drug Control Strategy.

 

In 1982, Dr. Stimmel was awarded the Jacobi Medallion, the highest honor that The Mount Sinai Alumni bestows upon an individual.  In 2001, Dr. Stimmel was the first recipient of The Mount Sinai Alumni Award for Achievement in Medical Education. He was President of the Mount Sinai Alumni Association from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, he received the Mount Sinai Alumni Special Recognition Award which acknowledges and thanks individuals who have provided exceptional service to the Alumni Association.

 

Dr. Stimmel was founding editor of the Journal of Addictive Diseases, and the author of eight books, numerous book chapters, and more than 140 articles dealing with drug abuse, the effects of mood altering drugs on the heart, and pain control. In addition, he lectured extensively on issues in medical education, pain management, and substance abuse.

 

The Mount Sinai Alumni Association and the Alumni Advisory Council express our deepest condolences to Dr. Stimmel’s family, friends, and colleagues.

 

For more information, click here.


Dr. J. Lester Gabrilove, MSH '44

Passed away October 12, 2014.

The Mount Sinai alumni community deeply mourns the passing of our friend and longtime colleague, J. Lester Gabrilove, MD, one of the most beloved and outstanding physicians in the history of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. For more information, click here

 

Dr. Alvin Kahn, MSH '54

Passed away October 2, 2014.

For more information, click here

 

Dr. Arthur M. Figur, MSH '63
Passed away August 9, 2014.

It is with profound sadness and fond remembrance that we acknowledge the passing of our colleague and friend, Dr. Arthur Figur.


After graduating Dartmouth College and the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Figur devoted his life to the practice of medicine as an internist and hematologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital and The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1955.  His decades of service included his roles as President of the Association of the Attending Staff at The Mount Sinai Hospital, President of the Medical Board, Chief of Outpatient Hematology, and Medical Director of The Mount Sinai Hospital.


Dr. Figur was an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  He served as a distinguished member of the Medical Board and Credentials Committee.  He was a devoted mentor to medical students and taught the Medical School’s Art and Science of Medicine course since its inception.


In 1996, Dr. Figur was awarded the Jacobi Medallion, the highest honor that The Mount Sinai Alumni bestows upon an individual for distinguished achievement in the field of medicine and for extraordinary service to The Mount Sinai Hospital, The Icahn School of Medicine, and The Mount Sinai Alumni.


He was a life-long dedicated and accomplished athlete. He ran multiple marathons. Well into his 70s, he competed in numerous triathlons and Ironman events. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 60, biked cross-country at the age of 67 and won the 75-79 age division title in the US Masters Swimming One Mile Open Water National Championships at the age of 77. At the age of 80, he participated in the European Maccabi Confederation swimming competition in his native Vienna almost 75 years after having fled Austria as a young boy during World War II.


Dr. Figur will be greatly missed by all of us at Mount Sinai.  We extend our most sincere condolences to his family and to all who knew him.


The Mount Sinai Alumni Association: Lyris A. Schonholz, MD, President, Burton A. Cohen, MD, Vice President, Donald A. Bergman, MD, Treasurer, Mark S. Berman, MD, Secretary, and The Alumni Advisory Council. For more information, click here

 

Dr. Gene H. Stollerman, MSH '48

Passed away August 1, 2014.
For more information, click here.
 

 

Dr. S. James Baum, MSH '51

Passed away October 15, 2013.

For more information, click here

 


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