New Psychiatric Program at The Mount Sinai Medical Center Addresses Special Needs of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

The new program provides for an on-site psychiatrist to assist in the identification and management of psychiatric and psychological disorders in patients with MS, including depression.

New York, NY
 – February 26, 2009 /Press Release/  –– 

The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at The Mount Sinai Medical Center has announced a pioneering program to provide psychiatric care specifically for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Jennifer M. Finkel, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has joined the faculty of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center (CGD) Center. Making a psychiatrist specifically trained in MS available to patients is extremely rare in this field.

The program is funded by a three-year clinical grant from MS Hope for a Cure, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to finding a cure for MS and providing funds to MS care centers. The newly-launched program provides for an on-site psychiatrist to assist in the identification and management of psychiatric and psychological disorders in patients with MS. The program includes the screening of depressive disorders in the MS population and evidence-based medication management (psychopharmacology). In this new role, Dr. Finkel will provide both outpatient and inpatient consultative psychiatric services to the MS Center’s patients. She will be available for initial psychiatric evaluations, psychopharmacologic recommendations and will also be available for collaborative projects with clinical staff. These services will be provided to patients free of charge.

This is a major advance for patients with MS because many are dealing with psychological disorders as well as their disease, said Dr. Fred D. Lublin, Director of Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai. "The goal here is also to increase education and improve awareness that MS patients are dealing with psychological issues that need special attention."

We are delighted to help enable this critical component in the treatment of MS patients at Mount Sinai, said Elissa J. Levy, President of MS Hope for a Cure. "The psychiatric services made possible by this grant will not only serve the patients of the CGD Center, but will also serve as a model for other MS centers in recognizing the importance of addressing the disease in its totality from the emotional symptoms to the physical."

Dr. Jennifer M. Finkel will serve as the MS/Psychiatry consultant at the CGD Center for the duration of this grant. After completing a psychiatry residency at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Finkel completed the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-supported Goldman Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis and Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which provided her with the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the psychiatric manifestations of multiple sclerosis.

Upon completing her fellowship, Dr. Finkel joined the Mount Sinai faculty and has continued to work closely with the MS community for the past four years. Since joining the faculty, Dr. Finkel has served as the primary psychiatric MS consultant to the CGD Center as well as the primary geriatric consultant for The Mount Sinai Hospital. She is dually boarded in both Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine and is an expert in the psychiatric manifestations of medical illness. She is currently the Associate Director of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Consultation Psychiatry and also serves on the Mount Sinai Ethics Committee.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.