Message from the Chair

“I am always mindful of the axiom of my predecessor at Mount Sinai, the late Professor Irving J. Selikoff, the father of occupational medicine in the United States, who said, ‘Statistics are people with the tears wiped off.’”

The Department of Preventive Medicine was established in 1967 and reflects Mount Sinai’s deep and abiding commitment to the community and to disease prevention. Unlike other fields of medicine, which treat and cure illnesses, preventive medicine focuses on preventing diseases before they occur. With 117 million American adults suffering from at least one chronic disease known to be preventable , our Department is committed to discovering long-term, cost-effective strategies that improve health not only in the United States, but also around the world.

As one of the leading medical school departments in preventive medicine, we are at the forefront of confronting the grand challenges that face American medicine today. Since our founding, the Department of Preventive Medicine has:

  • Built the nation’s largest and most successful program in children’s environmental health. We have also been designated a Collaborating Centre in Children’s Environmental by the World Health Organization — making Mount Sinai one of the two centres of this type in the United States.
  • Built America’s largest academic program in occupational medicine. We have also provided diagnostic and treatment services to over 20,000 of the men and women who served in New York City in the days, weeks, and months after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Developed a broad range of educational programs that include undergraduate medical school courses, the MPH program, residency programs, and post-doctoral fellowships. We are also building a new PhD program in epidemiology, in partnership with the Institute for Translational Epidemiology.
  • Provided biostatistical support to over 40 federally-funded research projects across Mount Sinai, including the Tisch Cancer Institute and the WTC Data Center.
  • Linked to a young and vibrant global health program – Mount Sinai Global Health, and we are working to expand research and education in global health across Mount Sinai.

As rates of diseases continue to rise, now, more than ever, we must focus on the causes of chronic diseases — not merely deal with their consequences. On behalf of the Department of Preventive Medicine, I invite you to peruse our website and learn more about our innovative programs and groundbreaking research.

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc
Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine
Dean for Global Health
Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Children's Environmental Health Center