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News Briefs

Reporters come to Sinai Neurosurgeons to have their questions answered. On October 14, Tanvir Choudhri, MD, inter- viewed by Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleisher of Kingston-WABC News about the unusual outbreak of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in Kingston, New York, was ques- tioned about the diagnosis, incidence, and the unusual nature of the cluster of cases. Dr. Choudhri described some of the special precautions used in the OR: “Instead of us- ing our usual power drills and other equip- ment that’s expensive but easier to do the procedure, we end up using disposable instruments to not take any chances.” On November 9 Roger Sergel from NY1-TV interviewed Isabelle Germano, MD, about her thoughts on a newly published article and commentary in the journal Epidemiology on a link between cell phone use and acoustic neuromas: “Mixed Signals on Cell Phones and Cancer” by David Savito and “Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Acoustic Neuroma,” based on a study done in Sweden. The study showed no asso- ciation between cell phone use of less than ten years with acoustic neuromas or brain tumors but raised the possibility, with con- siderable uncertainty, that long-term (more than ten years) cell phone use increases the risk. On March 30, Arthur L. Jenkins, III, MD, appeared on NBC’s Today show in a story on the advancements in treatment of chronic pain.

The Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit Blackout Evacuation Team was honored at the Mount Sinai Medical Center Employee Recognition Program on November 16, 2004. The program booklet had a section explaining the team’s contribution to Sinai. When the blackout occurred on that swelter- ing day in August of 2003, the available per- sonnel in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, which included RN’s, PCA’s, BA’s, and other medical and respiratory staff, had to triage, treat and transfer patients who re- quired ventilator support, blood pressure

monitoring and other attention. Due to issues in transitioning from supplied to generator power, the team chose to move the entire unit. The team evacuated patients down a flight of stairs eventually transferring critically ill pa- tients on handheld stretchers on their shoul- ders while other staff members manually ambu-bagged patients, guarded the endotra- cheal tubes, intracranial catheters and drains. It is a testament to their outstanding team- work, skill and efficiency that they achieved all of this while calming patients’ nervous families who were either calling or were actu- ally present, and did this without a single ma- jor patient mishap.

Valley Forge Scientific Corporation an- nounced that they are proud to manufac- ture the Malis® Bipolar Electrosurgical System, with their patented DualWave™ technology. The product was developed in conjunction with Leonard I. Malis, MD, FACS, Chairman Emeritus of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Malis designed and de- veloped the first bipolar coagulator in 1955 and pioneered the use of electrosurgery in the brain.

Course Director, Isabelle Germano, MD, organized the annual course, Advanced Techniques in Brain and Spine Surgery: An Intensive Review and Hands-on Practical Course, which took place at Mount Sinai on December 3-5. Many faculty from Mount Sinai participated: besides the majority of neurosurgeons, faculty from Neurology, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Orthopedics and Otorhinolaryngology helped teach the course. Outside guest speakers included Peter Black, MD, PhD,


Henry Brem, MD, Giovanni Broggi, MD, Rudolph Fahlbusch, MD, Joseph Piepmeier, MD, Vollker Sonntag, MD, Chandranath Sen, MD, William Tobler, MD, and Kenneth Yonamura, MD.

Dr. Tanvir Choudhri’s brother, Haroom Choudhri, MD, presented grand rounds on Wednesday, January 12. The title of his talk was Reconstruction Options after Thoracolumbar Corpectomy. Dr. H. Choudhri is an Associate Professor, Chief of the Section of Adult Neurosurgery and Director of the Neurosurgery Spine Service at the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Post proudly watched and listened as three of his residents presented talks at the 18th Annual Neurosurgery in the Rockies Conference held in Vail, Colorado, from February 27 to March 2. Harlan Bruner’s

Update on Former Residents

Joseph V. Queenan, MD, joined Hahnemann University Hospital in January 2005 to become the clinical service chief, Department of Neurosurgery, and has been appointed to the faculty of Drexel University College of Medicine. His specialties include spinal cord tumors, intrinsic brain tumors, cerebrospinal fluid anomalies and congenital diseases affecting the adult population.

Kathryn Ko, MD, was highlighted in a New York Post article of June 27 entitled “Women Make the Cut,” which featured women advancing in the ranks of neurosurgery. Dr. Ko, the author of The Survival Bible for Women in Medicine, is one of three women neurosurgeons on the staff of Cornell’s neurosurgery depart- ment and is Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Barnabas Hospital. When not on call, she is a figurative painter.

News Briefs continued from page 6

talk was entitled TSH Secreting Sellar Paraganglioma: Case Report and Literature Review; Simone Betchen debated with another resident—In the Patient with Temporal Lobe Seizures and a Normal MRI, is the “Standard” Lobectomy or a Tailored Resection Best? (Simone was assigned the Standard Lobectomy position), and Ronit Gilad presented Supratentorial Ewing’s Sarcoma: Two Case Reports and Literature Review. The meetings were held early and late in the day so the participants could enjoy the beautiful weather and conditions for skiing.

Dr. Joshua Bederson, who was elected Vice Chairman of the Cerebrovascular Section of the AANS/CNS in February, has had a very busy past several months. In March he was the first Henry Shenkin Visiting Lecturer at Temple University’s Department of Neurosurgery. The next month he directed the first AANS practical course on Multidisciplinary Management of Cerebrovascular Disease. In June he helped to organize the 4th Sardegna / Mount Sinai Joint Neurosurgery conference in Alghero, Italy, on the Island of Sardegna. Four Mount Sinai faculty were invited speakers: Dr. Bederson lectured on Surgical Options in the Management of Acute Cerebral Ischemia: Dr. Isabelle Germano’s talk described the Use of Frameless Stereotaxy for Extracranial Pathology; Dr. Frank Moore spoke about Modern Options for Stabilization of the Cervical Spine, and Dr. Eric Genden, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at Mount Sinai, explained Multidisciplinary Management of Head and Neck Cancers.

The Department showered Kathy Peralta with gifts of Mount Sinai memo- rabilia at a going-away party in March. On the nineteenth of that month, Kathy married Englishman Michael Pickering, and moved to Hull in Yorkshire, England. Kathy had worked in the department since January 1, 1998.

On Tuesday, April 5, Jamie Ullman, MD, participated in Mount Sinai’s Mini-Med- School. She and Dr. Steven Flanagan from Rehabilitation Medicine presented infor- mation on head injury—diagnosis, treat- ment and rehabilitation—to a large (600 people), curious and attentive audience. Mini-Med School is a free public science ed- ucation program designed for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to attend medical school, ever wished that they had paid more attention in high school biology classes, or ever desired a deeper understanding of the scientific topics that they hear about every day in the news. No prior science or medical background is required. Some of the listeners’ comments include: “Dr. Ullman was very passionate and that definitely came through to the audience;” “Dr. Ullman was superb! There was not one thing that I did not understand. A perfect lecture for lay people wanting to know more about head injury.” There were some members of the audience from high school and junior high school. The follow- ing comment had to come from one of them: “Thank you Dr. Ullman! Completely grossed me out! But I learned soo much.”

Congratulations to resident BrianSnyder, MD, on his election to the Young Neurosurgeons Committee of the AANS. This is a great opportunity for Brian to get more involved in national organized neuro- surgery and further his academic interests. His serving on the committee will continue a Mount Sinai tradition of representation: Dr. Isabelle Germano had been a prominent member, and Dr. Tanvir Choudhri will con- tinue his service for a little while longer.

Chirag Gandhi, MD, attended the Brainlab 2005 Resident Symposium in Munich, Germany, in April. The symposium combined an introduction to image guided neurosurgery with relevant neurosurgical lectures by attending faculty. All residents had to present an unusual clinical case: Dr. Gandhi’s presentation, “Embolization of a Carotid-Cavernous Fistula via the Superior Ophthalmic Vein Approach,”


earned him a $500 stipend awarded for the “Best Resident Clinical Presentation.”

At a gala luncheon in May 22 on the Spirit of New York, The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Greater New York Chapter, honored Ron L. Alterman, MD, with its President’s Award for his “devotion and dedication.” Also honored was Mount Sinai neurologist, Michele Tagliati, MD. Drs. Alterman and Tagliati with dystonia patient Paula Schneider at awards luncheon

On May 23, Dr. H. Richard Winn received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the oldest society of Neurosurgeons in the world. He was the youngest individual to receive the award. The Society cited Dr. Winn for his accomplishments as a leader in research, teaching and patient care, and for his out- standing contributions to academic neuro- surgery in the United States. During his career, Dr. Winn trained and/or mentored chairs of Neurosurgery Departments of multiple institutions in the United States, including UCSF, Oregon Health Sciences University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Iowa, University of Southern Illinois, Washington University (St. Louis) and the Cleveland Clinic.

In March, Dr. Winn was a visiting Professor and guest Lecturer at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah and in April at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. On June 17, he presented the Jacobsen Lecture in Neuroscience for the Neurosurgery Alumni Reunion/Teaching Day at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

David Johnson, MD, was recognized by the Neurology Department resident class of 2005 for dedication to patient care. He lectured on vertebroplasty at the AANS national meeting in New Orleans in April

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