Friends of Odysseus (FOD): Man-2-Man Series

September 2021 - Dr. Brian Hainline, MD

Welcome to the Friends of Odysseus (FOD) Man-2-Man Series at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). The Man-2-Man Series is a monthly discussion group connecting physicians of color with ISMMS medical students who are underrepresented in the field of medicine. The mentorship discussions occur in a relaxed, cigar lounge-style atmosphere where Black and Latino men can have open conversations about life, work environment, and career paths. The series features FOD Director, Reginald Miller, DVM and ISMMS physicians of color as special guests, in-depth interviews, open dialogue, and Q&A with the attendees. The goal is to build brotherhood and a network of resources. If you have any questions and/or want to join our meetings and listserv, please feel free to contact us at

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Previous Meetings

Dear Friends,

We want to invite you to participate in our next Game Plan session on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). Our guest speaker is Raja Flores, MD, Thoracic Surgeon, Mount Sinai Health System.

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Dr. Raja Flores, MD


Dr. Raja Flores is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon known for his technical skill and life-long work on lung and esophageal cancer, mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. His research has produced over 250 publications and he is the Principal Investigator of a 4.8 million dollar RO1 grant to study the effect of asbestos contamination in the town of Libby, Montana. He is currently investigating the health effects of mold exposure on New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants. Dr. Flores is currently an active member of the Manhattan Community Board 11 in East Harlem, New York. He was educated at NYU, Einstein, Columbia, and Harvard. He is Professor and founding Chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC.

February 2021

Dear Friends,

We want to invite you to participate in our next Game Plan session on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). Our guest speaker is Dr. Gary Butts, MD, Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Mount Sinai Health System.

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Dr. Gary Butts, MD


Dr. Gary Butts is currently Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  He is a visionary leader with more than 20 years of experience designing, developing, and managing DEI programs and executive-level academic healthcare strategies. Since 2014, he has been Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Mount Sinai Health System and Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy and Community Affairs for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  These roles and responsibilities have evolved substantially since he was recruited to design, develop, and lead D&I organizational structure and medical school programs in 1998.

Dr. Butts has overseen developing one of the nation’s (if not world’s) most comprehensive, full-thickness, and impactful DEI programs for a health care system. In these roles, Dr. Butts is responsible for oversight, management, and integration of all aspects of diversity programs and policies for the Mount Sinai Health System to ensure diversity and inclusion as an integral core institutional value and resource across the health system, including the medical and graduate schools (over 3,800 faculty and 650 students), graduate medical education (nearly 3,000 trainees) and the Mount Sinai Health System hospitals (42,000+ employees). The five domains of work include advancing demographic diversity; learner, employee, and faculty inclusion; health disparities research; education and training; and community engagement.

In 2019, he co-founded the Diversity Innovation Hub (DIH): A Mount Sinai Venture, which he directs. A first for a health care system, the DIH intentionally intersects priorities of diversity and inclusion with innovation and technology, addressing the lack of inclusion of women and people of color in the health innovation and technology space by expanding the diversity and capacity of entrepreneurs with tech and innovation pipelines targeting high school, college, and medical students and resident trainees. 

Dr. Butts is currently leading a Task Force to Address Racism across the health system. Under his tenure, the medical school and health system have been recognized annually by Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED), the Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ inclusion and quality care, and by Diversity Inc. for the Top 10 Hospitals and Health Systems for four consecutive years, achieving #1 ranking in 2017 and 2018.  Also, MSHS achieved status as Forbes Top 20 employers for Diversity in the nation in 2018 and 2019, and the Diversity Innovation Hub was awarded the Rock Health Diversity Innovations award in 2020.

Dr. Butts has been the leading senior representative and voice for diversity deans and leads in New York through Associated Medical Schools of New York, chairing the Committee on Diversity and Multicultural.

Affairs since 2006 and has mentored dozens of DEI leaders for medical schools and health systems. Dr. Butts holds joint appointments as a Professor with tenure in the Departments of Pediatrics, Medical

Education and Environmental Medicine/Public Health.

January 2021

Dear Friends,

We would like to invite you to participate in a new series called "Game Plan." Our first meeting has been finalized for Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics.

Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Joseph Herrera, DO, Chair, Department of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mount Sinai Health System.

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Dr. Joseph Herrera, DO


Dr. Joseph E. Herrera was appointed the Lucy G. Moses Professor and Systems Chair for the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance for the Mount Sinai Health System. He joined Mount Sinai following the completion of an Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine Fellowship at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. He completed his residency and served as Chief Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through the combined program of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Herrera is fellowship-trained in fluoroscopic guided and ultrasound-guided procedures for painful spine and joint conditions. The American Pain Society named him an American Pain Scholar. He has also received various awards for his clinical work, such as Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors, New York Times Super Doctors, and Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Herrera currently serves as an Official Medical Provider for Red Bull North America. He evaluates, treats, and maximizes the performance of Red Bull sponsored athletes. He served on the New York State Athletic Commission. He was appointed Chief Team Physician for USA Boxing Metro, affording him the opportunity to treat and evaluate amateur and professional athletes. He was awarded the Rocky Marciano Physician of the Year Award for Excellence in Sports Medicine. He has authored and edited the textbooks “Manual to Musculoskeletal Medicine” and “Essential Sports Medicine.” He is the Chief Editor of the medical journal “Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine.” He also has publications in various textbooks and journals.

Dr. Herrera’s research and clinical interests include human performance, disruptive technologies, concussion, sports-related injuries, electrodiagnostic studies, and fluoroscopic guided spine and joint intervention. His interventional procedures include but are not limited to interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections, discography, and radiofrequency neurotomy.

November 2020

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Dr. Brian Coakley, MD


Dr. Brian Coakley is an Assistant Professor of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. 

Dr. Coakley received a bachelor’s of arts in biochemical science from Harvard University, and a medical degree from the Oregon Health and Science University. He completed his general surgery residency at The Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York, NY). During his residency training, he also completed a two-year research fellowship in the Department of Oncological Sciences in cancer immunology at Mount Sinai. His research during this fellowship focused on the utilization of myeloid-derived suppressor cells as a delivery vector for tumor-specific therapies. After residency, he went on to complete a pediatric surgery fellowship at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital (Vancouver, Canada) and finally a pediatric surgical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

He is a fellow of: the American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Surgeons; American Pediatric Surgical Association, Children’s Oncology Group; and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology. Dr. Coakley maintains an active clinical practice spanning the breadth of general and thoracic pediatric surgery. He has a specific interest in the management of pediatric solid tumors, including the employment of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for the treatment of children with forms of intra-abdominal sarcomatosis. His practice includes performing cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC for children with multiple advanced tumors, including desmoplastic small round cell tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, peritoneal mesothelioma, Ewing’s sarcoma, undifferentiated sarcoma, and germ-cell tumors. 

February 2020