International Travel Safety Policy

The below applies to: all Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai faculty, trainees, students, and staff

Introduction

Each year, hundreds of faculty, staff and trainees from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) travel internationally to engage in research, clinical service, professional teaching, and to present their work at conferences. As part of their participation in these activities, Mount Sinai travelers must recognize that there are certain inherent risks associated with traveling and working abroad.  While ISMMS supports these international academic endeavors and the sharing of clinical knowledge and skills, it also recognizes the importance of mitigating known risks to its employees and trainees participating in Mount Sinai Travel.

Individual travelers are responsible for following the guidelines set forth in this policy and for taking reasonable measures to protect their own health, safety and security. Each department and institute should ensure that their faculty, staff and trainees have reviewed this policy and that their travelers comply with its requirements before traveling.

This policy covers all international travel, with additional requirements for certain high-risk destinations. It is managed by the Office of Global Operations, on behalf of the Office of the Dean.

Definitions & Scope of Policy

Travel Abroad/International Travel: any travel outside of the 50 states of the United States of America and the District of Columbia. Travel to U.S. territories (including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States Minor Outlying Islands) are also considered travel abroad.

Mount Sinai Travel: Traveling abroad on Mount Sinai business or as part of a Mount Sinai sponsored activity

Mount Sinai Travel by Faculty/Staff: Faculty and staff at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), while performing any academic, research, clinical, or programmatic work abroad on behalf of Mount Sinai.  Mount Sinai travel by faculty and staff includes, but is not limited to:

  • Mount Sinai-funded or sponsored participation in an international conference or meeting
  • Participation in teaching/training, research or clinical activities on behalf of Mount Sinai
  • Travel on behalf of Mount Sinai International
  • Faculty-led travel with trainees
  • Any other travel funded or sponsored by Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai Travel by Students: ISMMS students who are currently matriculated in the Medical Education program and/or the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, while traveling abroad on behalf of Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai travel by students includes, but is not limited to:

  • Travel on a program or trip that is Mount Sinai managed, organized or sponsored
  • Experiences for which the student receives (or will receive) ISMMS academic credit and/or fulfills degree requirements
  • Travel funded by Mount Sinai, e.g. to participate in an international conference or meeting, or travel funded by a Mount Sinai-administered grant or award

Mount Sinai Travel by Residents/Fellows: ISMMS residents and fellows who are currently enrolled in a Mount Sinai residency or fellowship program and who are performing any academic, research or clinical work while traveling abroad on behalf of Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai travel by Residents/Fellows includes, but is not limited to:

  • Graduate Medical Education (GME)-approved international rotation for credit (with signed Program Letter of Agreement)
  • Presentation at an international conference on behalf of Mount Sinai
  • Participation in teaching/training, research or clinical activities on behalf of Mount Sinai
  • Any other travel funded or sponsored by Mount Sinai

Expectations of Travelers

Checklists

All trainees, faculty and staff are required to follow the Office of Global Operation’s Pre-Departure checklist prior to travel as well as any additional prerequisites from one’s department or program.

Travel Registration

In order to assist Mount Sinai trainees, faculty, and staff in the event of an overseas emergency, it is imperative that the Office of Global Operations have accurate location and contact information for travelers.

Therefore, all trainees, faculty and staff planning to travel internationally are required to register their trips in advance with our Travel Registry. The Travel Registry is managed by the Office of Global Operations and is a secure database that maintains important contact information for both domestic and international travel.

Register your trip in any one of the following ways:

Mount Sinai High-Risk Travel Application Form

Trips to certain high-risk locations require further review by Mount Sinai, which may require travelers to take additional pre-travel measures to mitigate health, safety, or security risks.

Definitions of high-risk locations are based on the International SOS travel risk ratings, which can be found by visiting the International SOS portal and selecting Global Risk Ratings from the left menu. 

High Risk Travel
For countries and regions that have an International SOS travel risk rating of HIGH, the following guidelines apply:

  • Students, residents and fellows are required to submit a Mount Sinai High-Risk Travel Application form to the Office of Global Operations within a reasonable amount of time (preferably several weeks) before the travelers’ departure date. The director of OGO will consult the appropriate Dean for final recommendation. Travelers will also be required to contact International SOS (by phone or email) for an itinerary-specific security briefing about their planned destination country(s) and should continue to be in touch with OGO and International SOS up to the time of departure as travel conditions may change.
  • Faculty and Staff are not required to submit a Mount Sinai High-Risk Travel Application to the Office of Global Operations; however, they are strongly encouraged to contact OGO for additional health, safety, and security support. Faculty and staff are also advised to contact International SOS (by phone or email) for an itinerary-specific security briefing about their planned destination country(s).

Extreme Risk Travel
For countries and regions that have an International SOS travel risk rating of EXTREME, the following guidelines apply:

  • Students, residents and fellows may not travel on behalf of Mount Sinai to countries or regions that have an EXTREME designation.
  • Faculty/staff planning travel to a country or region on this list should contact the Office of Global Operations to get further information and resources about these destinations, including itinerary-specific advice from global security professionals. Note that Mount Sinai insurance excludes certain high-risk countries. Contact the Office of Global Operations if you have questions.

Acknowledgement of Risks and Release form

Students, residents and fellows are required to read and sign the ISMMS Acknowledgement of Risks and Release form before engaging in any international travel.

ISMMS Resources for Travelers

Mount Sinai has established a comprehensive International Travel Risk Mitigation Program for individuals on Mount Sinai Travel. This program consists of two parts, International Travel Medical Insurance underwritten by AXIS Insurance company and International Travel Medical and Security Assistance and Risk Services provided by International SOS. In combination, these two services ensure that international travelers have access to the services they require to ensure safe, secure, responsible travel, and in the event of an urgent or emergent health need, have access to adequate healthcare services.

  • International SOS (Emergency Evacuation Coverage and Support)
    International SOS provides a variety of services for Mount Sinai travelers, accessible worldwide via one 24/7 phone number: +1 215 942 8226.  (You may be asked for Mount Sinai’s membership number, which is 11BYSG000018.)  Services include emergency medical and security evacuation/repatriation assistance, 24-hour access to International SOS coordinating doctors and multilingual assistance professionals, routine and emergency medical advice and referrals, 24-hour access to a global team of security experts, outpatient case management, guarantee of medical expenses, and other services. For an overview of services, please click here or watch this video outlining ISOS’ services.
  • AXIS (International Travel Medical Insurance)
    The travel medical insurance policy linked to International SOS and underwritten by AXIS provides Mount Sinai travelers with coverage for urgent and emergent medical care while on Mount Sinai Travel and for up to 14 days of international personal travel in conjunction with a Mount Sinai trip. In addition, it can provide some coverage for dental emergencies and a bedside visit or emergency reunion in case of hospitalization. For a more comprehensive list of benefits and exclusions please click here.

Eligibility & Enrollment

Enrollment and coverage under the International Travel Risk Mitigation Program is provided to eligible students, residents, fellows, faculty employees, and staff employees. In order to be eligible for coverage you must be on “Mount Sinai Travel” for some or all of your international travel. For a definition of “Mount Sinai Travel” please refer to section 2 of this policy.

In order to enroll in the International Travel Risk Mitigation Program, you must register your trip as described in section 3B of this policy. No separate registration with AXIS is required. Should AXIS’ services be needed, ISOS will work behind the scenes with AXIS to coordinate payment on your behalf.

The Office of Global Operations can advise in cases when there is uncertainly whether a particular trip should be considered Mount Sinai Travel. For questions, please call: +1 212-241-1668 (business hours only) in advance of your trip.