The first half of the program, “Testing for Cancer Risk in the Jewish Community: Medical and Halachic Perspectives,” will feature a discussion led by Dr. Edward Reichman, professor of emergency medicine and professor of education and bioethics at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Nicole Schreiber-Agus, director of the Program for Jewish Genetic Health. Reichman and Schreiber-Agus will provide halachic and medical insight into the prevalence of BRCA gene mutations in Ashkenazi Jewry and the ways that genetic testing and counseling can reduce the risk of carriers developing certain cancers in the future.
The second part of the program, “Oocyte Cryopreservation: Freezing Eggs, New Technologies to Help Single Women and Cancer Patients,” will take a close look at the painful question of whether Orthodox Jewish women who may not be able to have children later in life—whether because of illness, future cancer treatments, or marriages close to or beyond menopause—should take advantage of a new medical technique called oocyte cryopreservation, which enables women to freeze their eggs and maintain the potential for the future conception of a child. As cryopreservation technologies are constantly being re-innovated and improved, Rabbi Dr. Zalman Levine, the director of the Fertility Institute of New York and New Jersey, and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, an expert in reproductive technology bioethics and halacha in addition to his position as vice president for university and community life at YU, will give an overview of the emerging halachic discussions that arise in this ever-changing field.
Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System Reach Agreement to Establish Joint Venture for Einstein
Dear Members of the YU Community,
I am pleased to report that our ongoing work has resulted in a dynamic plan to create a joint venture for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University made an announcement confirming that the key terms of an agreement have been reached, with the unanimous endorsement of their respective Boards. The parties are committed to finalizing this as soon as possible.
The announcement read as follows:
“Building on the agreement originally announced in May, the Boards of Trustees of Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University announced today that they have agreed on the principal terms of an agreement with respect to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While subject to final documentation and regulatory approval, the parties are proud to continue their longstanding relationship as part of Einstein’s future as a top-tier medical school and research institution.
The agreement deepens the bonds between Montefiore and Einstein, further integrates the institutions’ faculty, students, and staff, and aligns operations to best advance science and medicine. Montefiore and Yeshiva look forward to sharing further details about this historic agreement in the months ahead.” Read the rest of this entry…
Program for Jewish Genetic Health Initiative Provides First Affordable Testing for Common Ashkenazi BRCA Mutations to Low Risk and Uninsured
An unprecedented initiative from the Program for Jewish Genetic Health, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein College for Medicine in conjunction with Montefiore Health System, will enable men and women of Ashkenazi heritage to undergo testing for the three most common Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA mutations at a fraction of the commercial price. The first of its kind in the United States, the initiative will provide testing to individuals regardless of their BRCA-related cancer histories or their insurance or financial situations, which have been barriers to date.
“Most insurance companies currently require people to already have had family members with cancer if they want to be covered for genetic testing,” said Dr. Susan Klugman, medical director for the Program for Jewish Genetic Health, director of the division of reproductive genetics at Montefiore and professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health at Einstein. “We aren’t willing to wait for that.”
Students, Faculty and Alumni Honored as Points of Light at Hanukkah Dinner
Students, faculty and alumni who embody the mission of Yeshiva University were recognized as “Points of Light” during the dinner portion of Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation, held at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria on December 14.
“The lesson of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people must cast the light of our values onto the world,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “Tonight, we publicize the lights that represent the past, present, and future of Yeshiva University.”
Graduate Program Will be Offered in Partnership With Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System
Yeshiva University will introduce a new master of science degree program in speech-language pathology (SLP) in fall 2015. Students enrolled in the new program will have the opportunity to learn from the experienced clinicians and faculty of the Montefiore Health System and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and will have access to resources at both institutions. The program is approved by the State of New York Department of Higher Education and is seeking Accreditation Candidacy with the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). The official opening date is pending CAA accreditation.
Dr. Linda Carroll will direct the new program in speech-language pathology.
The five-semester graduate program is designed to prepare students to become speech-language pathologists who are capable of working in hospitals, rehabilitative centers, university or college clinics, specialized clinical settings or private practice. The program was developed by Linda Carroll, Ph.D., speech pathologist, Department of Otolaryngology, Montefiore Medical Center, who will serve as director. Dr. Carroll is also an experienced voice therapist and was recently named a Fellow of ASHA.
“This master’s program is not only responsive to the needs of YU students who are interested in the health sciences, but also critical to the community as it seeks to hire accomplished speech-language therapists,” said Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at YU. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Carroll, a nationally recognized expert in the field, lead this initiative.” Read the rest of this entry…
YU Undergraduates Participate in Cutting-Edge Summer Scientific Research Program at Einstein
After a challenging year of academic study as a biology major concentrating in molecular and cellular biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, Liat Weinstock, of Cedarhurst, New York, isn’t spending her well-deserved summer break at camp or on a beach. Instead, she’s working with Dr. Rebecca Madan’s pediatric infectious diseases team on a research study examining the effects of certain drug-resistant bacteria on transplant patients after their operations.
From left: Natan Tracer, Liat Weinstock, Shira Kaye, Hadassa Holzapfel, Adi Cohen, Esther Kazlow, Jacqueline Benayoun, Bracha Robinson and Tamar Ariella Lunzer
“If we’re able to uncover some new information about how our immune system works and recovers, we can then change how we practice medicine to better treat patients with diseases,” said Weinstock. “My responsibilities here have been especially interesting to me because they almost feel like detective work—I find clues in patients’ charts that lead me to the correct labs and test results to determine whether a patient will fit our study or not. Putting together all the clues and coming up with an answer is an exciting ‘Eureka!’ moment.”
Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University Come to Historic Agreement for Future of Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Agreement Enhances and Strengthens Shared Missions in a More Sustainable Model
Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University have come to an historic agreement to build upon a longstanding, 50-year relationship that has trained generations of physicians and medical researchers. A new entity will be jointly formed by Montefiore and Yeshiva, with Montefiore assuming greater responsibility for the day-to-day operations and financial management of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and with Yeshiva remaining the degree-granting institution with a key role in the educational aspects of the entity. Montefiore has agreed to assume significant governance and financial responsibility for the new Einstein entity.
“This agreement marks an important milestone for the future of each of our institutions as well as for healthcare as a whole,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore. “We look forward to further strengthening Einstein as a major research institution that spans the scope from bench science to healthcare delivery transformation.”
The agreement enhances and strengthens the organizations’ shared missions of research, teaching, patient care and community service and will ensure Einstein remains a leading medical school.
“We are undertaking this historic process of transforming our relationship with Montefiore and Einstein to match the extraordinary opportunities and challenges in the healthcare environment of the 21st century,” said Richard M. Joel, president, Yeshiva University. Read the rest of this entry…
Project TEACH Volunteers Create Interactive Science Modules for Children in Hospitals
Explosive milk fireworks, bridges built from gumdrops and suspenseful egg drop competitions: they may sound like wacky science experiments gone awry, but these are all fun and educational activities for children that may soon be coming to a hospital near you.
Yosefa Schoor, left, and Laura Taieb, right, work with children in Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to create a volcano.
Welcome to Project TEACH – Together Educating All Children in Hospitals, a joint initiative from Yeshiva University undergraduates and students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in which volunteers design, develop and implement a series of science and humanities modules for pediatric patients. The program currently operates in eight hospitals in New York, with over 270 volunteers running informational and recreational activities for children and their families. Its largest event took place this spring, when more than 30 YU students constructed volcanoes with patients at Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
Veterans’ Head Injury Examined by Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Roadside bombs and other blasts have made head injury the “signature wound” of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Most combat veterans recover from mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, but a small minority experience significant and long-term side effects.
Now, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in cooperation with Resurrecting Lives Foundation, are investigating the effect of repeated combat-related blast exposures on the brains of veterans with the goal of improving diagnostics and treatment. Read the rest of this entry…
Researchers to Study Diabetes Self-Management and Behavioral Interventions
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, yet as many as 60 percent of type 2 diabetes patients do not follow treatment plans prescribed by their health care provider and about 50 percent fail to meet treatment recommendations for control of blood glucose levels. Consistent adherence to oral medications and injectable insulin, both used to keep blood glucose levels in check, is particularly challenging among young patients and ethnic minorities. Consequences are significant: lack of adherence can lead to or exacerbate eye disease, kidney disease and nerve damage.