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Faculty & Housestaff Recognition
June 18, 2020

Leadership Amidst the Pandemic

A message from the chair, Steve Abramson

This week we celebrated faculty and housestaff at the Department of Medicine Annual Awards Ceremony. Like all of 2020, it was no usual event. Instead, it became an opportunity to thank so many for their contributions to the battle against COVID and to reinforce the fact, as the COVID pandemic ebbs, that other battles remain, as we work together to confront the evils of racial injustice. The COVID experience brought out the best in so many individuals—faculty, staff and residents—who oversaw the care of more than 6,000 COVID patients in our hospitals.
       Leadership was the key to our Department’s COVID-19 response. Conditions changed almost daily, new ICUs were opened and stacked like Jenga blocks, residents and fellows were redeployed, and hundreds of clinical faculty were recruited from our practices to serve as ward attendings. Their collective efforts were a model of selflessness, courage, and efficiency. So many dedicated individuals were involved that calling out a small number by necessity overlooks the contributions of others. That said, we could not have worked through the COVID tsunami without the extraordinary leadership of the chiefs of medicine at each of our hospitals—Brian Bosworth, Doug Bails, David Stern and Frank Volpicelli—who were at the helm making daily decisions not in the MD training manual. The ICUs, in the eye of the storm, were led superbly by Dan Sterman and Doreen Addrizzo-Harris. Mark Pochapin, Katy Wesnousky, Eric Goldberg, Kathy Hochman, Patrick Cocks and the chief residents worked assiduously to identify and redeploy both house staff and attendings as part of the COVID Army. Each division director stepped forward to care for patients in their specialty and to work to provide the clinical faculty to join the wards. And we should not forget the remarkable 52 medical students who graduated early to join the medical and emergency medicine teams at the height of the crisis.
       The award ceremony was also an opportunity to recognize, and be grateful for, the amazing talent, academic leadership and stewardship of three individuals: Mark Mulligan, Michael Phillips and Judy Hochman. As an academic medical center devoted to evidence-based decisions and discovery, we are singularly blessed by the talent of these individuals in providing sure guidance to our community at a time of crisis.
       Thus, at the frontlines for months, members of the department worked tirelessly under the most difficult of conditions, emotionally and physically exhausting. Your skills as physicians and resiliency as individuals are beyond compare. I salute you with the greatest appreciation.

DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE
TOWN HALL

Please join us for a very important discussion:
“Racism and Initial Department Action Plan”

Friday, June 19, 2020 - 12:00-1:30pm

Event number (access code): 120 478 7970
Event address for attendees 

Call-in information:
+1 646 754 2524 NYUMC WebEx Toll
+1 855 698 2663 NYUMC WebEx Tollfree

LEADERSHIP

Renee Williams, MD, MPHE
Associate Program Director, GI
Director, DIMOND Program

"I cannot thank Renee enough for her leadership in the department in a variety of ways, certainly as the head of DIMOND, and then in the last few weeks working hard to address the racial issues that need correction. She’s an amazing leader, one of many that we’re fortunate to have here in the Department of Medicine."

FAMILY CONNECT

Katherine Hochman, MD
Director, Hospitalist Program
Assistant Chief, Medicine Service Tisch Hospital

"It’s a privilege to recognize and thank Kathy for her work directing the hospitalists, who were truly the leaders of the leaders. Kathy was able to spearhead the group, those within the hospital and those who were unable to be there, in her role as both a hospital director and in leading the NYU Family Connect program. She is a tremendous, valuable member of the department."

RESEARCH

Mark Mulligan, MD
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology Director, NYU Langone Vaccine Center

Judith Hochman, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences Co-Director, CTSI Director, Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center

"We are truly blessed to have both Mark Mulligan and Judy Hochman as leaders in our faculty… What each has contributed in response to the COVID crisis, in terms of advancing knowledge and bringing researchers together, has been extraordinary."

STEWARDSHIP

Michael Phillips, MD
Associate Director for Clinical Services,
Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Chief Epidemiologist

"What can one say about Mike Phillips' leadership and stewardship among all that was happening? In responding to the crisis, providing sage advice, and being calm, Mike was a great person to navigate these issues that changed daily and to guide our response."

INSPIRATION

Patrick Cocks, MD
Director, IM Residency Program

"I tell Patrick he has the hardest job at the medical center, and I think he understood what I was saying this year. Patrick is an inspiration for all of us, particularly in his leadership of the many residents who went through very, very difficult times. Patrick was there for them, he was there as a hospitalist, and really showed the type of leadership that gets us through such a crisis."

INDEFATIGABILITY

Doreen Addrizzo-Harris, MD
Associate Division Director, PCCM Fellowship Director

"We all know what a great physician and program director Doreen is. During this crisis, she was responsible for helping to bring together the ICUs at each of our sites, and finding people from outside NYU to come in as intensivists. I don’t know that we could have held together all of the intensive care units across our system without Doreen’s leadership and perseverance."

IN MEMORIAM

Albert Goodgold, MD
Sydney Mehl, MD
Nisar Quraishi, MD


A Q & A with Brian Bosworth, MD,
Chief of Medicine, Tisch Hospital

What was a day like during the height of the patient surge?
We had been meeting and planning about our pandemic response since January. Then, as COVID patients began to pour in, we added new units on a regular basis. Instead of thinking, “What's happening next week or tomorrow?” we focused on, “How are we going to get through the next 12 hours?” We worked closely with facilities, with nursing and respiratory therapy, and of course with the provider teams, with one objective—to care for these patients.
       At the height, there were COVID medicine patients on every patient floor in Kimmel—including pediatrics, all the surgical floors, the transplant floors—and also the same at Tisch. The added space was a lifesaver.

Did the supply chain hold up?
They did an extraordinary job. While there were periods when we had thin levels of certain material, and others when we were more comfortably sourced, we were never without anything that was needed to keep our staff, faculty, residents, and patients safe and well-protected. Michael Phillips and Jennifer Lighter from the infection prevention control group were extraordinary; they kept updating recommendations as we had more information. It’s amazing how quickly you burn through PPE, but we never got close to the danger zone.

We assume that COVID may not be an isolated incident going forward. What are some of the lessons for future use?
This is something that we're looking at very carefully. We’re creating a number of “after-action” reports: What happened over the last three months? What did we do well, and what are areas to improve on? We have a good playbook for making sure we have units that are set, primed, and ready to go within a day's notice. Certainly should things ramp up, we would have to recreate the COVID army. We are continuing to partner with other departments for critical care, which was such an instrumental part of our ability to truly save patients.
       We learned quickly how to be nimble with dialysis care and bronchoscopy. Luis Angel’s tracheostomy work was groundbreaking; it allowed us to safely suction patient airways with minimized risk, and a care plan that we will implement in appropriate patients. One of the biggest challenges from the patient/family side was not having any visitors. From a public health standpoint, it was necessary, but it was really difficult for families. The NYU Family Connect program was extremely instrumental.

What is your most lasting impression?
The communication and collaboration between NYU Langone—Tisch, Kimmel, Brooklyn, and Winthrop— and Bellevue and the VA. We were constantly exchanging ideas and concerns. It felt like the entire NYU community came together. I think that was the real success story.


Deparment of Medicine Annual Awards

Teacher of the Year, Inpatient

Michael P. Janjigian, MD

Teacher of the Year, Outpatient

Mathew Kladney, MD

Teacher of the Year, ICU

Nishay Chitkara, MD

Teacher of the Year, NYU Langone-Brooklyn

Daniel Sartori, MD

Resident of the Year, PGY 1

Youssef Ahmed Elnabawi, MD

NYU Langone Brooklyn Resident of the Year, PGY1

Mithi Hossain, MD

Resident of the Year, PGY 2

Jordan A. Scher, MD
Michael S. Shen, MD

NYU Langone Brooklyn Resident of the Year, PGY 2

Yahya Ali, MD

Resident of the Year, PGY 3

Ofer Z. Fass, MD
Caroline W. Motschwiller, MD

NYU Langone Brooklyn Resident of the Year, PGY 3

Morris Jrada, MD

Cardiology

Fellow of the Year:
Maxine Stachel, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Alana A. Choy-Shan, MD

Gastroenterology

Fellow of the Year:
Maureen Whitsett, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Renee Williams, MD, MHPE

Geriatric Medicine

Fellow of the Year:
Heeyoon Kim, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Amna B. Buttar, MD

Hospice and Palliative Care

Fellow of the Year:
Derek Moriyama, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Joseph Lowy, MD

Hematology & Medical Oncology

Fellow of the Year:
Ramachandra Reddy, MD
Teachers of the Year:
Hematology: Shella Saint Fleur-Lominy, MD, PhD
Medical Oncology: Yelena Novik, MD

Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Fellow of the Year:
Alexander Hrycko , MD
Teacher of the Year:
Sapna Mehta, MD

Nephrology

Fellow of the Year:
Ranjeeta Motwani, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Harminder Chawla, MD

Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

Fellow of the Year:
Alok Bhatt, MD
Teacher of the Year:
Roxana Sulica, MD

Rheumatology

Fellow of the Year:
Allison Guttmann, MD
Teachers of the Year:
Johannes Nowatzky, MD
Peter M. Izmirly, MD

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