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Mount Sinai Health System

Stony Brook University Hospital. File photo

By Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D.

In a unique type of collaboration, Stony Brook Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System have entered into a formal affiliation agreement that combines the strengths of both organizations to create positive change in biomedicine, the delivery of care to our communities and the education of the next generation of health care professionals.

The affiliation of Stony Brook Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System is based on our common values, as well as a reverence for translating basic biomedical science into new cures for human disease and a commitment to providing health care professionals of the future the most advanced approaches to both didactic and experiential learning.

We also share the commitment to using robust clinical evidence to determine the very best medical practices that improve the quality of care delivered to our patients. Both institutions seek to apply our understanding of human health and disease to the entire population we serve, through our leadership positions in the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program and other avenues, so that all will benefit from our efforts.

Often, when people hear the word “affiliation,” it is thought that there is a merger or acquisition; however, this is not the case — Mount Sinai is not buying Stony Brook or vice versa. It is an agreement that allows collaborative efforts to flourish and heighten academic, research and clinical care synergies.

This means boundless opportunities on a number of fronts. For example, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will develop joint graduate and medical educational programs, maximizing the strengths of existing master’s and doctoral programs at each institution. Students will have the opportunity to take classes on both campuses, allowing them to learn new techniques and expand their exposure.

In addition, the combining of two research powerhouses has immense promise to influence both institution’s abilities to make major breakthroughs by moving discoveries made at the very basic level and bringing them to the bedside faster — all to improve diagnostics and treatments. We believe that the joint efforts will yield greater discoveries than would arise from either institution alone. Mount Sinai and Stony Brook have already taken steps in this direction by investing a combined total of $500,000 to introduce new research programs, with the intent of receiving collaborative external funding.

The areas of focus include biomedical engineering and computer science; drug discovery and medicinal chemistry sciences; neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry; basic biology and novel therapeutics; and public health and health systems. The alliance will capitalize on Mount Sinai’s strengths in biomedical and clinical research and health policy and outcomes and Stony Brook’s expertise not only in the School of Medicine but also in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences and in departments such as mathematics, high-performance computing, imaging and the physical and chemical sciences.

It is a momentous time for academic medicine, health care, our respective students, faculty and staff and for the communities we serve across the Island and into Manhattan. The partnership allows both institutions to look at new ways to be innovative and bring the benefits of our shared transformation to our patients.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky is senior vice president of Health Sciences and dean of Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

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A professor and student at Stony Brook University School of Medicine look at a medical scan. File photo

Two major power players in the field of medical help and research have come together to form a new partnership.

Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System, of New York City, have joined together to create more academic research opportunities to streamline and expand clinical care initiatives.

While they are not the first school of medicine to connect with a health system on Long Island — Hofstra University’s School of Medicine works with Northwell Health — this certainly means new breakthroughs are on the horizon in Suffolk County.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University said that each institution will be bringing its biggest strengths to the table, thus making each other stronger.

Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine has strong biomedical, clinical research and health policy expertise, while Stony Brook University boasts programs with advanced mathematics, high-performance computing, and physical and chemical science departments.

Combining math and science programs together will help students become well rounded, and open up the possibility for new programs.

A press release said Stony Brook students will also be able to gain experience in areas of medicine that the university doesn’t currently offer, like observing and learning from heart transplants and other pilot programs. And students from either institution are now welcome to take classes at the other.

But this liaison is going beyond students.

Kaushansky said this partnership will improve patient care at both Stony Brook University Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital by allowing patients to easily seek services from either hospital.

This is a great endeavor that should be encouraged and supported by the community. Not only does this teaming help students get a more in-depth education and give professors more opportunities for expanded lessons, it will in turn help the residents of the North Shore by improving the care that the local hospital can offer through the new discoveries and breakthroughs the new partnership will make.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University; said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.; and Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City shake hands during the signing of the agreement for the two hospitals to partner. Photo from Stony Brook University School of Medicine

By Talia Amorosano

Two major medical institutions have agreed to team up, and the partnership could lead to big scientific breakthroughs.

In order to create more academic research opportunities and streamline and expand clinical care initiatives, Stony Brook Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City, have entered into a comprehensive affiliation agreement. The change will promote inter-institution collaboration encompassing all five of Stony Brook’s Health Science schools, Stony Brook University Hospital, all 25 academic departments of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System facilities and Medical School, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai inclusive of seven hospitals and an expanding ambulatory network.

Facilitators of the partnership believe that the expansion of clinical trials and research opportunities for both institutions will prompt research and studies that could lead to major discoveries, especially in the treatment and understanding of disease.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University, noted that the alliance will make use of the strengths of each individual institution.

“What we both get out of the affiliation is enhanced possibilities for science and education,” he said. “Multiple groups of investigators [with members from each institution] work together and look at things in slightly different ways.”

In a press release, he noted Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine for its strong biomedical, clinical research and health policy expertise and Stony Brook University for its advanced mathematics, high-performance computing, and physical and chemical science departments to illustrate the point that these institutions can accomplish collaboratively more than each can do alone.

“In the long term were gonna roll out more and more in the way of clinical interactions,” said Kaushansky, who mentioned Stony Brook’s recent recruitment of two new cardiac surgeons from Mount Sinai. “We don’t do heart transplants, but Mount Sinai does.”

He emphasized the new potential for patients to easily seek services from either hospital. In fact, joint research programs ranging from fields of biomedical engineering and computer science to medicinal chemistry science, neurology, psychiatry, therapeutics and more are currently in the works.

“Stony Brook Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are two powerhouses of research that when partnered will definitely yield more than just the sum of their parts.”

—Lina Obeid

In terms of education, University students will now be afforded the unique opportunity to take classes offered on either or both campuses, and participate in a variety of summer programs geared toward students of all ages. The two schools plan to facilitate joint graduate and medical educational programs in a wider range of subjects than ever before, and have agreed to invest a collaborative $500,000 for the development of academically challenging pilot programs to be supervised by a joint committee.

“The joint pilots in research have immense promise to advance health at the most exciting time in the biomedical sciences, including advanced computational, bioinformatic and engineering approaches,” said Lina Obeid, MD, dean for research and vice dean for scientific affairs at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “Stony Brook Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are two powerhouses of research that when partnered will definitely yield more than just the sum of their parts.”

Other leaders of each institution have already expressed similar enthusiasm about the affiliation, which was effective immediately upon signing, and many have verbalized hopes that groundbreaking research will take place as a result of this strategic partnership.

Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, said, “Together [Mount Sinai and Stony Brook] will use our outstanding resources to create changes in medicine.”

“Each institution has so much to offer,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., “this is an opportunity that will prove to be beneficial to all — now and in the future — as we explore and grow this incredible collaboration.”

Looking toward the future, Kaushansky said that Stony Brook has more affiliation agreements in the works, contingent upon state approval.

“We are working very hard with our friends in the state of New York to get approval for affiliation with Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport,” he said.

Also pending is a potential partnership with John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. “In April, Mather Hospital asked a number of healthcare systems — us included — whether they were interested in affiliating with Mather Hospital, and we said yes,” Kaushansky said. “We made a proposal to the Mather hospital board … and they were supposed to decide [with whom they wish to affiliate] back in June.”

About a year ago, Kaushansky said he wondered aloud how it is that the insistution could make a bigger impact on clinical medicine, education and research. He now expresses confidence that Stony Brook’s affiliation with large city medical center, Mount Sinai, and future mutually-beneficial partnerships with Long Island hospitals and medical centers, is the most surefire way to achieve such an impact.