Mount Sinai School of Medicine Receives 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service

The Association of American Medical Colleges honors Mount Sinai School of Medicine with the annual award in recognition of the institution's commitment to underserved communities.

New York, NY
 – November 13, 2009 /Press Release/  –– 

In recognition of its longstanding commitment to communities underserved by the current health care system, Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been designated the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award recipient for Outstanding Community Service. This honor is given to one institution annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  

Our community-oriented programs have thrived, establishing themselves as leaders in the field. We take great pride in carrying on Mount Sinai's tradition of service and it’s an honor to have our efforts recognized with the Spencer Foreman Award, said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Not only are we eliminating disparities in care, but we’re creating the new American physician—a doctor who is aware and also part of his or her community." 

In its press release, the AAMC cited Mount Sinai’s "continued commitment to New York's most vulnerable population and for weaving educational opportunities into its numerous outreach and community initiatives."

Mount Sinai has vowed not to let any existing programs fail, and fills in funding gaps when philanthropic support wanes—no small feat for an institution that provides more than $75 million in uncompensated care each year, the AAMC said. "The school also passes along its excellence in service by helping other academic medical centers start similar programs. MSSM focuses on underserved groups, with special attention to adolescents, home-bound, mostly elderly, patients, and minorities."

Among Mount Sinai’s notable community programs, three were specifically referenced by the AAMC, including the Adolescent Health Center (AHC), which was the first adolescent-specific health service in New York State and the largest freestanding provider of outpatient adolescent health services in the world.  Treating 10,000 adolescents each year, the AHC offers age-appropriate, free, comprehensive care. In demonstrating sensitivity to teenage health concerns, AHC has served a critical role in establishing patient trust and rapport, resulting in an 88 percent return rate for a second visit, and lower pregnancy rates for AHC patients when compared to the national, state, and city averages. The Center recently expanded its services to treat patients as young as 10.

Also recognized by the AAMC is the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors (MSVD), which provides medical care and psychosocial support to homebound patients and their families, with 5,000 home visits to Manhattan patients annually. The average MSVD patient is 81-years old, with 90 percent of those treated qualifying for Medicare. The program trains approximately 200 medical students, residents, and fellows annually in the provision of home care.

David Muller, MD, Dean for Medical Education who as a Mount Sinai resident founded MSVD 15 years ago, said, "Winning the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service is a wonderful reminder that the mission of both our School and Hospital has historically been caring for the underserved. What began as charity care over 150 years ago has evolved into fruitful collaborations between our students, doctors, and investigators on the one hand, and community leaders on the other."

Mount Sinai’s Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA) was mentioned by the AAMC for its work to eliminate health care disparities. One of only 13 federally funded Centers for Excellence for Minority Health in the nation, the Center receives funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration through Title VII. The Center's numerous activities include educational pipeline programs, minority affairs, diversity initiatives, support for medical students and trainees, and cultural programs within Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

About the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service
The Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service honors member institutions with a longstanding, major institutional commitment to addressing community needs. The award recognizes exceptional programs that go well beyond the traditional role of academic medicine and reach communities whose needs are not being met through the traditional health delivery system. The award was renamed in 2007 to honor Spencer "Spike" Foreman, MD, who established the award in 1993 while serving as chair of the AAMC.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.