Watch the video announcement here.

Newswise – New York, NY (March 12, 2024) – The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai today fulfilled its commitment to link medical care with public health by establishing a new Department of Public Health under the visionary leadership of Rosalind J. Wright, MD, MPH, of Horace W. Goldsmith -Professor in Child Health Research at Icahn Mount Sinai.

The Department of Public Health will bridge the school’s existing excellence in environmental medicine, population health, global health, infectious diseases, climate science, digital health, data science and artificial intelligence, community engagement and health equity, among others, to modernize and innovate in advance the public health response needed to address the growing challenges facing the country’s health system and society.

“For far too long there has been a disconnect between the research and educational focus of public health schools and medical schools,” said Dr. Wright. “Our changing climate, health disparities, social stressors, pollution, access to healthy foods and other pressing societal issues are traditionally studied in public health schools rather than medical schools. At Mount Sinai, we recognize that to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the diverse communities and patients we serve, we must think about them at the population and community level where patients live their everyday lives and not only have to think about the doctor. Patient level when they enter the clinic. This is much easier if everyone sits side by side and tackles these challenges together as a team.”

The Department of Public Health will use a transdisciplinary team approach to identify disease patterns, risk and resilience factors in the communities where Icahn Mount Sinai operates locally, regionally and globally to develop and implement the most effective interventions and treatments for all. The key to success will be for the school’s public health faculty to remain focused on addressing persistent health disparities and the social and environmental factors at community and individual levels that contribute to them.

“When you think about the factors in our lives that impact health – the food we eat, the products we use, the air we breathe, the psychological stress we experience – these permeate “Things enter our bodies, shape our biology and affect our health outcomes,” said Dr. Wright. “These are not just public health issues. These factors also impact patients and have a significant impact on their treatments and disease progression. We have not yet included them in our treatment programs, but this will provide significant benefits.”

“We used to try to understand the effects by looking at one factor at a time, like ‘What effect does lead have on the brain?’ But that’s not how the world works. We are exposed to several risk factors at the same time. “We are taking in many different things at once and need to understand their collective impact by looking at health threats as comprehensively as possible, rather than just individually,” noted Dr. Wright.

The new department will address the current and future challenges of aging public health infrastructures, pandemics, systemic health disparities, access to health care, climate change, and rapidly changing disease patterns, while advancing research and implementation opportunities in genomics, exposomics, and vaccine utilization, data science, and artificial tools Intelligence. The next generation of scientists, researchers, and clinicians will be trained to integrate data-driven methods into their practice while collaborating with communities, patients, nonprofit organizations, and health and other government officials.

“I am a trained critical care physician and enjoy working with teams to address complex problems,” said Dr. Wright. “I approach public health in this context to achieve the ultimate goal of better outcomes for our patients and communities.”

“Mount Sinai is known for its cutting-edge research in all public health disciplines that are integrated into the health care system and are essential to the communities Mount Sinai serves,” said Annetine Gelijns, PhD, chair of population health sciences and policy at Icahn Mount Sinai, whose department will work closely with the Department of Health. “There is a growing need for academic medical students who combine teaching, research and patient care in the first year after medical school. These individuals will more directly integrate public health with translational sciences because they have the training to improve health outcomes for our patients. This new department, working with Mount Sinai’s established expertise in related areas, provides the perfect environment for training the next generation of public health professionals.”

The department will integrate multiple graduate programs and extensive research efforts across all facilities at Icahn Mount Sinai, including the departments of Environmental Medicine, Population Health Science and Policy, and Global Health and Health Systems Design; the Arnhold Institute for Global Health; the Institute for Transformative Clinical Trials; the Institute for Climate Change, Environmental Health and Exposomics Health; and the Institute for Health Equity Research, among many others.

Dr. Wright will continue her role as director of Conduits, the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program at Mount Sinai, which will serve to better integrate the school’s programs with clinical and public health research.

“Icahn Mount Sinai has a strong and longstanding history in multiple areas of public and global health,” said Dr. Dennis S. Charney, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, dean of Icahn Mount Sinai and president of academic affairs for Mount Sinai Health System. “We have been instrumental in identifying the negative health effects of various exposures, particularly those related to lead and asbestos. Our commitment to public health has helped millions of people, and now is the time to do even more – especially when it comes to understanding the health impacts of climate change. With this additional focus, we will be one of the few medical schools focused on the negative health impacts of climate change. Dr. Wright will be a transformative leader as the first dean of public health at Icahn Mount Sinai. Her background and life’s work have prepared her for exactly this role.”


About Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metropolitan area with more than 43,000 employees in eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 300 laboratories, a nursing school and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances the health of all people everywhere by addressing the most complex health challenges of our time – discovering and applying new science and knowledge; developing safer and more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by providing high quality care to all who need it. By integrating its hospitals, laboratories and schools, Mount Sinai provides comprehensive healthcare solutions from birth to geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics, with patients’ medical and emotional needs at the heart of all treatments. The health system includes around 7,400 general practitioners and specialists; 13 joint venture ambulatory surgery centers in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. Hospitals within the system are consistently ranked Newsweek‘s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, the World’s Best Government Hospitals, the World’s Best Hospitals and the Best Specialty Hospitals” and by US News and World Report‘s® Best Hospitals and Best Children’s Hospitals. Mount Sinai Hospital is located on the US News and World Report® Best Hospitals Roll of Honor for 2023-2024.

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