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New Center Aims to Keep Residents Safe from Bioterrorism Attack

June 05, 2017

The New York Medical College is making major investments in its Valhalla facility, hoping to become a leader in bioterrorism and disaster training. The college unveiled the new center devoted to helping train medical professionals and first responders how to identify, manage and treat victims of biological and chemical attacks. The facility, which is being run out of the medical college, will be called the Center for Excellence. Officials say it will offer the kind of repetitive specialized training normally only available at military facilities. Dr. Robert Almer says his goal is to make sure first responders can handle any disaster that could arise. "If you don't practice, what you learn, suffers and begins to fade away," he says. The center is coming to fruition due to large grants from state politicians. Officials say they hope it’s fully operational in a couple of months.

NYMC Leadership: 
Robert W. Amler, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice and vice president for government affairs
Michael J. Reilly, Dr.P.H. ’10, M.P.H., Director of Center for Disaster Medicine, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Science, and Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine

News 12 Westchester

Senator Murphy Announces Hudson Valley's First Center Of Excellence

June 05, 2017
Murphy announces Hudson Valley’s First Center of Excellence - June 5, 2017- Valhalla, NY – Chemical and biological terrorism is a real, ever-present threat. Rapid advances in genetic engineering have opened the door for small terrorism groups to tailor and easily turn biological viruses into weapons. Test tube terrorism has sadly become part of the norm. 
On March 20, 1995 in Japan, members of a cult movement released sarin in the Tokyo subway system during rush hour, killing 12 people, severely injuring 50 and causing temporary vision problems for nearly 5,000 others. On September 18, 2001, one week after the September 11 attacks, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news offices and two U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others with another 30,000 forced to undergo treatment.
One of Senator Terrence Murphy’s many responsibilities is the safety and well-being of the more than 300,000 people he represents in the 40th Senate District. New York Medical College (NYMC) has answered the threat and taken a giant leap toward making the lives of New Yorkers safer by creating a new Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters. The Center is the first of its kind in the Mid-Hudson Region.
Senator Murphy, who led the way in securing funding for the Center, was among the speakers at the event announcing the Center’s opening, which included Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, and Keith Olson, President of the Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester County. Dean Robert Amler, M.D., MBA, Vice President of Government Affairs at NYMC, served as moderator.

NYMC Leadership: Robert W. Amler, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice and vice president for government affairs

Everything Croton

Here and Now

June 05, 2017

At 10 a.m., Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will hold an announcement, New York Medical College, 7 Dana Road, Valhalla. 

State of Politics

Systematic Review of Valbenazine Shows Its Efficacy

June 02, 2017

In April, 2017, valbenazine (Ingrezza) became the only medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a specific indication for treating tardive dyskinesia (TD). 
This usually irreversible condition typically results from the use of dopamine receptor blockers to treat psychiatric disorders and is characterized by involuntary, repetitive, and aimless movements. Moreover, because patients’ social contacts may find these involuntary movements disconcerting, TD may further stigmatize many patients already stigmatized because of a psychiatric diagnosis.

To evaluate the clinical utility of valbenazine — a reversible inhibitor of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) — Leslie Citrome (pictured), MD, MPH, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, recently conducted a systematic review of all available clinical reports of studies of valbenazine for the treatment of TD. Citrome then extracted the principal results of these studies and used them to calculate the number needed to treat (NNT) and the number needed to harm (NNH) for relevant outcomes. These two numbers are measures of a drug’s effect size, either positive (for NNT) or negative (for NNH), and indicate how many patients must be treated with one agent instead of another to obtain one more outcome of interest.

NYMC Faculty: Leslie L. Citrome, M.D., M.P.H., clinical professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences

MD Magazine

Suicide Risk Is High for Psychiatric Patients Long After Discharge From Care

May 31, 2017

New research confirms that psychiatric patients are at high risk for suicide immediately after being discharged from a mental health care facility, and that risk can remain high for years. "Discharged patients have suicide rates many times that in the general community," said a team led by Matthew Michael Large of the University of New South Wales in Australia. One psychiatrist in the United States said the study highlights the need to help patients long after they've been discharged from care.

Dr. Ami Baxi directs adult inpatient services at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She agreed that the study "emphasizes the importance of closely monitoring patients who were recently discharged from a hospital and patients who were admitted with suicidal ideation or behaviors."

NYMC Faculty: Ami S. Baxi M.D., instructor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences


Westchester Community College, Touro sign nursing transfer agreement

May 30, 2017

Westchester Community College and The Touro College and University System will work together to streamline the process for WCC nursing graduates to receive a bachelor’s degree from Touro. The Valhalla community college and Touro, the nonprofit school system that operates New York Medical College, signed an articulation agreement on WCC’s campus May 18. The agreement will provide a streamlined transfer process for Westchester Community College’s graduates with an associate degree in nursing to enter the bachelor of science in nursing program offered by Touro. The program, offered by the Touro School of Health Sciences, is called the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or RN to BSN. Starting in fall 2017, the Touro will offer the RN to BSN program on the New York Medical College campus in Valhalla.

NYMC Leadership: Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer

Westfair Online

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin Inducted into the Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame

May 28, 2017

The induction was part the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester's 9th annual In the Company Women luncheon on Friday, May 12 at the Doubletree in Tarrytown. This year’s honorees at the luncheon were Millie Hernandez-Becker, president and CEO of Skyqueen Enterprises; YWCA Board member, Patricia Mulqueen; Dr. Jin Li, neurologist with Westchester Medical Center. Keynote speaker for the occasion was Lauren Leader- Chivèe, co-founder and CEO of All in Together, a nonprofit campaign dedicated to engaging American women in politics and civic action. YWCA board member and Global Head of Bloomberg Corporate Communications, Monica Bertran, served as Master of Ceremonies.

NYMC Faculty: Jin Li, M.D., Ph.D., clinical associate professor of neurology

The Pelhams

Nine Iranian American Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

May 27, 2017

On May 13th, 2017 nine highly accomplished Iranian Americans, including IA-100 member Mohammed Farzaneh, were awarded the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding achievement in their personal and professional lives, as well as their commitment to the preservation of their Iranian culture and heritage and noteworthy citizenship to the United States.

The U.S. Congress sanctions the Ellis Island Medals of Honor and recipients' names are listed in the Congressional Record. Six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists, and others are among the remarkable group of individuals to have received the award. One of the 2017 Iranian American honorees is Shaheen Tedjarati: Dr. Tedjarati is the Associate Director of OB/GYN and Chief of Gynecologic Oncology & Robotic Surgery and an Associate Professor at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

NYMC Faculty: Sean Shaheen Tedjarati, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology


Could a Century-Old Drug Help Ease Autism Symptoms?

May 26, 2017

The study involved just 10 boys, aged 5 to 14, with autism. This was the first human trial to attempt to replicate encouraging results seen in work with mice, the researchers noted. The drug is called suramin. Dr. Matthew Lorber, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, reacted to the findings with caution. "The improvement in the children studied was robust," he noted, "which is cause for hope, since we do not have any approved treatments for the root of autism. "Unfortunately," Lorber added, "the study was so small -- only five children actually received the medication -- that we cannot come to any real conclusions." The upshot, Lorber said, is that "until suramin is tested in a much larger group of people with autism, we cannot move ahead using it as a potential treatment. In addition, suramin in traditional doses can have serious side effects, and it is important that doctors do not start using it for children with autism because the data is scant, and we need much more scientific research."

NYMC Faculty: Matthew Lorber, M.D., M.P.A., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences


A Genetic Mutation Provides a Potential Explanation for the Recent Spread of Zika Virus

May 26, 2017

The Zika virus may have undergone a genetic mutation that enabled it to become the serious public health concern we are battling today, according to the latest research from a team of researchers from the U.S. and China. In a paper published in Nature the researchers explain that Zika virus isolates from the recent outbreak in the Americas were much more infectious in mosquitoes than Zika virus isolates collected in Cambodia in 2010. The increase in the virus’s infectivity in mosquito was likely due to a genetic mutation found in a particular non-structural protein. “This research helped us understand how and why the Zika virus, which we’ve known about since the 1940s, suddenly spread so quickly,” said Pei-Yong Shi, a professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “The current study used a well-adapted laboratory mosquito strains. The next step is to examine whether field mosquitoes could recapitulate the same conclusion.” The researchers who participated in this work included scientists from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, along with collaborators from Dr. Gong Cheng’s team at the Tsinghua University, and other participants from the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, the Southern University of Science and Technology, and the New York Medical College.

UTMB Health

Nora Bergasa, M.D., Chief of Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, Receives 2017 Heritage Innovation in Healthcare Delivery Award

May 26, 2017

Nora V. Bergasa, MD, Chief of Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, was recognized with the 2017 Heritage Innovation in Healthcare Delivery Award, presented by Heritage Provider Network, the nation’s leading physician-led managed care organization, and Crain’s Custom Studio. The award recognizes an innovator in the development of new modes of diagnosis, treatment, and care who actively improves the delivery of services and improves the quality of health care. The winners were announced at a luncheon at the New York Athletic Club.

NYMC Faculty: Nora Bergasa, M.D., professor of medicine

NYC Health + Hospitals

New York Medical College, Westchester Medical Center Health Network Sign Academic Affiliation Agreement

May 25, 2017

Valhalla-based New York Medical College and the Westchester Medical Center Health Network entered into a long-term academic affiliation to strengthen both organizations' academic medicine, clinical care and research programs.

Under the 12-year agreement, Westchester Medical Center, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the network's Behavioral Health Center — all in Valhalla — will serve as the primary teaching sites for NYMC medical students. NYMC officials will also aim to help other hospitals within the network provide a similar level of education for future students.

NYMC Leadership: Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer



Becker’s Hospital Review

George Liakeas, MD establishes concierge practice in collaboration with Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, LLC

May 25, 2017

Castle Connolly Private Health Partners, LLC ("CCPHP"), a leading membership-based (or "concierge") practice conversion and support company, is pleased to announce a collaboration with Dr. George Liakeas to establish a concierge practice. George Liakeas, MD, Medical Director of Lexington Medical Associates, is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has been practicing in Manhattan for over 16 years. His superb bedside manner and clinical acumen have earned him respect among his colleagues and patients – who know him best as "Dr. George".

NYMC Faculty: George P. Liakeas, M.D., clinical assistant professor of family & community medicine

News 12

5 Ways The Real World Is Not Like College

May 25, 2017

As so many commencement speakers will be reminding tens of thousands of graduates over the next few weeks, real life truly begins the day after graduation. As students look toward the future with hope and in all likelihood, a bit of apprehension, it is important to take the best of the college experience along to the next stage and, at the same time, remember that the real world has its own rulebook to which newcomers must adapt if they want to succeed.

NYMC Leadership: Alan Kadish, M.D., president



The Huffington Post

Ossining Science Research Students Excel at International Science and Engineering Fair

May 25, 2017

Four Ossining High School students who qualified for an all-expense paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair each won special awards at the competition this month. Also in the cellular and molecular biology category, the team of Lior Raz-Farley and Michelle Zhang received an honorable mention from the American Statistical Association. They presented research on the significant effects of natural killer cell migration through the blood brain barrier may have on infantile spasms, a form of epilepsy. This dynamic duo worked together at New York Medical College this past summer.

NYMC Faculty: Lior Raz-Farley and Michelle Zhang were mentored by Jana Veliskova, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cell biology and anatomy, obstetrics and gynecology and neurology, and Libor Velísek, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cell biology and anatomy, pediatrics, and neurology



WMCHealth and New York Medical College Announce Long-Term Affiliation

May 24, 2017

New York Medical College (NYMC) and the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) announced a long-term Academic Affiliation Agreement (AAA) that will serve to strengthen the academic medicine programs as well as the clinical care and research practices of both NYMC and WMCHealth, of which MidHudson Regional Hospital is a member.

NYMC Leadership: 
Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer
Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the Board of Trustees
Alan Kadish, M.D., president

Poughkeepsie Journal

Changes to Visa Program Put Foreign-Born Doctors in Limbo

May 24, 2017

Just a few months ago, the future appeared promising and certain for Dr. Sunil Sreekumar Nair. A citizen of the United Kingdom, he was completing his residency in internal medicine at a Brooklyn hospital, and he had accepted a job in a hospital near Fort Smith, Arkansas, a rural area with a severe shortage of doctors. Hospitals in distressed urban neighborhoods also rely on foreign-born medical school graduates to fill medical residencies that might otherwise go vacant. “Who else is going to do the work if we lost them?” asked Conrad Fischer, the medical residency program director at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Nair is chief medical resident. “We would have to close down.” This year, for the first time in five years, the number of applicants for H-1B visas dipped below 200,000. However, immigration experts say it’s too soon to attribute that drop to Trump’s policies or anti-immigrant and refugee rhetoric in the U.S.

NYMC Faculty: Conrad Fischer, M.D., adjunct associate professor of medicine

PBS Online

Helping Ease Kids' Fears After Manchester Terror Attack

May 23, 2017

As reports of the carnage at Monday's Ariana Grande show in Manchester, England, continue to pour in, many teens with tickets to concerts during the coming summer music season may be reluctant to attend an event. But child and adolescent psychiatrists say it's important that parents let their teens follow through on their plans, even if the adults themselves are anxious about their letting kids go out. "It's never good for teenagers to learn the lesson that they need to avoid things that scare them," said Dr. Matthew Lorber, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "You have to face your fears.

NYMC Faculty: Matthew Lorber, M.D., M.P.A., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences


Heritage Provider Network And Crain's New York Business, Custom Division, Announce Winners In The 2nd Annual Heritage Healthcare Innovation Awards For

May 22, 2017

Heritage Provider Network (HPN) one of the nations most experienced and effective physician led value based care organizations and Crain's Custom Studio, a division of Crain's New York Business, today announced the winners in the 2nd annual Heritage Healthcare Innovation Awards. The awards honored those innovators who have most improved the access to and quality of affordable healthcare in the communities they serve in the greater New York area.

Heritage Innovation in Healthcare Delivery Award: Nora V. Bergasa, MD, MACP, FAASLD, AGAF, Professor of Medicine, New York Medical College; Chief of Medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan: Recognizing an innovator in the development of new modes of diagnosis, treatment and care who actively improves access to services and improves the quality of healthcare overall. 

NYMC Faculty: Nora Bergasa, M.D., professor of medicine

NBC 12

Scientists One Step Closer To 3-D-Printed Ovaries To Treat Infertility

May 20, 2017

The list of things that can be created with 3-D printers keeps getting longer: jewelry, art, guns, food, medical devices and, now, mouse ovaries. Scientists have used a 3-D printer to create a mouse ovary capable of producing healthy offspring. And researchers hope to create replacement human ovaries the same way someday.

To use the technology in humans in the future, doctors could remove follicles from a woman before she starts chemotherapy. They would put that tissue into a larger, 3-D-printed ovary scaffold, then transplant the device into the patient when she finishes treatment. "I find this paper very exciting," says Kutluk Oktay, who specializes in fertility restoration at New York Medical College and was not involved in the work. Oktay cautions that much more research is needed to see whether this approach would work in humans. However, he is optimistic. "I think it does open a new avenue in the area of reproductive biology and fertility preservation," Oktay says.

NYMC Faculty: Kutluk Oktay, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, medicine, and cell biology and anatomy