Mount Sinai

On June 8, 2016, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai released news of its Department of Health System Design and Global Health. The program is the first in the nation to utilize the strengths of U.S. health care systems and integrate them into global health systems.

A Worthy Leader

Leading this evolutionary integration and development project is Dr. Prabjot Singh, MD, PhD. Director of The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, Dr. Singh plans on having both departments work together in transforming and improving global healthcare.

Dr. Singh wishes to address typical but significant issues and borders surrounding global healthcare, namely quality healthcare at affordable costs and prevention as well as sustainable treatment. In order to achieve these goals, Dr. Singh stressed the need to break down the borders between U.S. health systems and the rest of the world.

According to Dr. Singh, “Our new Department, in conjunction with The Arnhold Institute for Global Health, will focus on training practitioners, designing new methods and developing solutions that collapse this barrier. The groundswell of interest from across the Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn School of Medicine signals a promising future.”

A Global Vision

The Mount Sinai Hospital already has built a stellar reputation in the world of medicine and healthcare. According to U.S. News & World Report, Mount Sinai is ranked amongst some of the top hospitals nationwide. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is also lauded as one revolutionaries in clinical and basic science research.

Essentially, Mount Sinai’s Department of Health System Design and Global Health will focus on transcending the borders and hurdles global healthcare faces. The Department will create better healthcare systems based on cost-effective business strategies and advanced technology.

Running these healthcare models will be a diverse faculty with expert-level backgrounds from economic and policy analysis, operations research, data science and interaction design. The well-rounded staff complete with the collaboration of Mount Sinai’s multiple departments is expected to reform and break the challenges surrounding global healthcare practices and accessibility.

Jenna Salisbury

Photo: Wikidot

A study by Mount Sinai researchers lead by Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, exposes a largely under-reported health threat to people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines: toxic waste. The result of this waste is the loss of 829,000 years of healthy lives in 2010, when the study was conducted. These numbers are as staggering as good health years lost to malaria and air pollution in the countries studied. In 2010, people prematurely lost 1.45 million healthy years due to air pollution and 725,000 years were lost because of malaria. Given that toxic waste is the third major cause of loss of good health years, it should no longer be overlooked.

The types of toxic waste people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines are exposed to include lead, asbestos and chromium. Currently, about 8 million people are exposed to these “industrial pollutants,” which means they are highly susceptible to developing cancer, anemia or heart disease.

An even bigger concern is the effect toxic waste has on children and pregnant women, a demographic that makes up two thirds of the studied population. Dr. Chatham-Stephens explains, “If a woman is pregnant, the fetus may be exposed to these toxic chemicals… the prenatal to early childhood period is the time when individuals are very vulnerable to some toxic exposures, such as lead’s impact on the developing nervous system.” This is extremely pressing since a projected 35 million additional people are likely to be affected by toxic waste sites not included in the study.

However, now that policy makers are aware of this research, they will be better prepared to implement solutions. The removal of toxic waste from sites near communities will drastically improve the number of healthy years lived by the population in that area. As other studies have discovered, one of the keys to alleviating poverty is improving quality of life and healthcare. Once developing countries decrease toxic waste, it is likely that human wellbeing will improve and thus effect economic growth.

Mary Penn

Sources: Mount Sinai Hospital
Photo: Sci Dev Net