• Press Release

Mount Sinai Leader in Rehabilitation Medicine Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

  • (November 20, 2014)

Kristjan T. Ragnarsson, MD, the Lucy G. Moses Professor and Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System received the Frank H. Krusen, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) during a ceremony which took place on Saturday, November 15, in San Diego, California.  Dr. Ragnarsson received the award for his outstanding contribution to the specialty in the areas of patient care, research, education and administration.

The award was established by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1972 to honor Dr. Krusen, a founding father of the academy and early developer of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialty. Dr. Krusen, the Academy’s fourth president, was the first recipient of the award that now bears his name.

"We are very proud of Dr. Ragnarsson and congratulate him for this outstanding honor,” said Dennis Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System.  “He is recognized internationally for his commitment to the care of all patients with physical disabilities.   Under his leadership, Mount Sinai has participated in ground breaking clinical trials in physical and rehabilitation medicine, including technological advances for paralyzed individuals. ”

“Dr. Ragnarsson has made many contributions to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and to the field,” said Kurtis M. Hoppe, President of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. ”We are proud to honor him with our most prestigious award.”

Dr. Ragnarsson has served as the Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1986. He is responsible for the growth of both the clinical and academic programs of Mount Sinai’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, which has been consistently ranked among the top 20 rehabilitation centers by U.S. News and World Report. He has also served in various leadership roles at Mount Sinai, including as President of the Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Board and Chair of the School’s Faculty Practice.

“I see this award as a recognition for all of my colleagues in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai—our physicians, nurses, therapists, and researchers,” said Dr. Ragnarsson. “This award would not have been possible without the support of Mount Sinai’s leadership over the last 28 years, which has allowed us to build the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine to what it is today.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Ragnarsson has served as an external reviewer of several academic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation programs in the U.S.; has been consultant to medical school deans and search committees for various U.S. medical schools; and has been active in several national professional organizations. On behalf of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation organizations, he has testified before Congress, presented to federal commissions, and met with several leaders of federal agencies.

He has been highly recognized for his work as a clinician and as a physiatrist. In addition to his AAPM&R award, he has received other numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award by ASIA, Distinguished Service Award and the Gold Key Award by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the Howard A. Rusk, MD Humanitarian Award by the World Rehabilitation Fund. He has published more than 170 articles and book chapters and has given more than 140 presentations in his field.

Dr. Ragnarsson completed his medical studies at the University of Iceland in 1969 and a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at NYU Medical Center, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in 1974, where he also completed a clinical fellowship in spinal cord injury research in 1975. He served on the faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine between 1976 and 1986.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

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