SOM Alumni Connections

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Dear New York Medical College Community: 
In recent days, our country has been gripped by outrage at the injustices we have witnessed. There is no place for racism in society today or brutality towards others in any form, and it is important that we stand strongly and united against racism and police brutality. As physicians and healers, we have a special responsibility to affect change in health care disparities and to channel our energy to push for changes in laws and leadership that will address the fundamental problems that have led to these continued inequalities and suffering. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to a large group of physicians and health care workers, once said, "Of all the inequalities that exist, the injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman." We all have an opportunity and a challenge to address racial injustice that still exists in health care. At New York Medical College (NYMC), the rich diversity of our students and alumni and the varied perspectives and personal experiences they bring to their medical education are integral to our community, and we must work even harder to ensure that we provide a safe, supportive environment where those diverse voices are welcomed and fully heard. I have faith that better days are ahead for all of us. I hope that you are all safe and well and look forward to once again seeing you in person. Read the School of Medicine (SOM) Summer 2020 Dean's Newsletter.
Jerry L. Nadler, M.D., MACP, FAHA, FACE 
Dean of the School of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology
Chancellor Hosts Town Hall Meeting 
Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., and the NYMC/Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) leadership gave a State of the College update to the community on June 3. It was the third online town hall meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Dr. Halperin took the opportunity to also address the other perpetual pandemic, racism and its lethal consequences. "We have been actively meeting to develop an action plan of what we can and will do better on our campus and in our own family," Dr. Halperin said. "NYMC cannot by itself rewrite 401 years of American history but what we can do and what we will do is strive to do our part to change that part of the American experience within our grasp. We will do that." View the Town Hall Meeting.
NYMC Celebrates the Class of 2020 with Online Pomp and Circumstance 
It may not have been a typical Commencement--yet NYMC's 161st and the TCDM's Inaugural Commencement celebrations were collectively a smashing success to behold. Not even the dictate to socially distance could put a damper on the tangible sense of pride and joy shared throughout the NYMC and Touro communities, as they collectively viewed the online pomp and circumstance via a YouTube video premiere at 7:00 p.m. on May 19. Read the full article on Commencement and view the video and photo gallery.
Days of Giving Raises More than $530,000 for Student Scholarships 
For two days on June 9 and 10, the NYMC community came together to raise $536,723 for student scholarships. A group of generous donors contributed funds to match the 233 gifts made during Days of Giving 2020. It was the most successful Days of Giving campaign to date. With increased scholarship support, students in the SOM, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences and the School of Health Sciences and Practice can focus on their studies rather than worrying about loan debt. The additional scholarship money comes at a time of great magnitude when the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in financial hardships for some students who fear they may have difficulty remaining in school. Read more about student scholarships.
NYMC Launches M.S. in Medical Ethics 
Starting this fall, NYMC will offer a Master of Science (M.S.) in Medical Ethics with courses that provide students with interdisciplinary training that will prepare professionals to address the ethical, legal, and social challenges in health care today and in the future. Graduates of the program will prepare to confront ever-evolving medical and health care ethics issues being faced today and in the future. Read the full article on the new masters and certificate in medical ethics.
Medical Students Assume Leadership Positions in the Student National Medical Association Board
Reba Gillis, top, and Kamila Evans, bottom, members of the SOM Class of 2021, were appointed to leadership positions with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the largest, student-run organization focused on the needs of medical students of color. Ms. Gillis and Ms. Evans were named national vice president and National External Affairs Committee co-chairperson, respectively, at the 2020 Virtual SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference in April. Read the full article on SNMA.
Medical Student Receives Prestigious U.S. Public Health Award 
Ebrahim Afshinnekoo, a member of the NYMC SOM Class of 2021, received the prestigious 2020 Excellence in Public Health Award by the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) in recognition of his commitment and work to improve health disparities and for exemplifying the USPHS' mission to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of the United States. Read the full article on Mr. Afshinnekoo.

Governor Cuomo Hosts Daily Briefings at NYMC 
Twice within the span of a month, the Center for Disaster Medicine at NYMC became the backdrop for New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Daily Press Briefing. First, on May 7, during his briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor expressed his enormous sense of gratitude for the courage shown by the health care workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. Read the full article on the May 7 briefing, view the photo gallery and view the video. Then, on June 9 -- which marked 101 days since New York State's first positive case of COVID-19 and Day 16 since the police-directed murder of George Floyd fueled protests and civic unrest throughout the U.S. -- Governor Cuomo returned to NYMC. This time he provided both an update on COVID-19 in New York and reflected on the current situation saying it is not just a moment for political protest, it is time for real reform. Read the full article on the June 9 briefing and view the video.
NYMC Collaborates with Regeneron for COVID-19 Clinical Drug Trials 
Drug trial at Westchester Medical Center puts NYMC among top researchers in the nation racing to find an effective treatment to fight COVID-19 
When COVID-19 first hit our shores in early March with no vaccine nor proven drug treatment in sight, new innovative collaborations sprouted up across the nation, as leading research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals joined forces to find a solution fast. Among them -- a collaborative clinical drug trial by NYMC and Regeneron launched at Westchester Medical Center (WMC) within the first few weeks. Seeking a partner with whom to establish a clinical drug trial that could be used to treat patients critically ill with COVID-19, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals proposed the collaboration -- not only for NYMC's state-of-the-art virology labs and internationally regarded experts -- but because of the College's decades-long involvement in the annual development of the influenza vaccine. Read the full story on the Regeneron clinical trials here.
NYMC Welcomes Two New Chairs to Lead Departments of Medicine and Neurosurgery
Neil W. Schluger, M.D., to Lead Department of Medicine at NYMC and WMC and Chirag D. Gandhi, M.D., to head up Department of Neurosurgery at NYMC 
Neil W. Schluger, M.D., top, has been appointed as the Barbara and William Rosenthal Chair of the Department of Medicine at NYMC SOM and director of medicine at Westchester Medical Center (WMC). The Rosenthal Chair was endowed in 2001 by William Rosenthal, M.D., and his wife Barbara. A significant contributor to scientific advancement in the field of gastroenterology, Dr. Rosenthal, who became the College's first endowed professor in 1969, trained generations of physicians who have contributed to the field of gastroenterology through research, teaching and clinical care during his decades-long tenure. Read the full story on Dr. Schluger.
Chirag D. Gandhi, M.D., bottom, has been appointed chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in the SOM at NYMC. Dr. Gandhi is a tenured professor of neurosurgery, neurology and radiology at NYMC and director of neurovascular surgery at WMC. As one of the few dual-trained neurosurgeons in the country, he has expertise in both cerebrovascular surgery as well as minimally-invasive endovascular neurosurgery. Read the full story on Dr. Gandhi.
GHHS Supports Student Volunteer Efforts Amidst Pandemic 
Members of the NYMC chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) are exemplars of compassionate patient care who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine and they are demonstrating just that-in spades -- during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support their fellow health care workers and boost morale, the GHHS is doing the yeoman's job of overseeing student volunteer activities and spearheading their own initiatives in response to the current crisis. Read the full article on the GHHS COVID-19 response.

As part of a team of doctors and engineers, Albert Kwon, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology, helped develop low-cost device to fill Covid-19-related ventilator shortage. Read Dr. Kwon's full profile.
Published a book recently? New York Medical College would love to hear about it. If you authored a recently-published book, please email the title of the book, a brief synopsis, image of the book cover and a short bio.

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