The Mount Sinai Medical Center Earns 'Circle of Life' Award from the American Hospital Association

Mount Sinai recognized for innovation in palliative and end-of-life care.

New York
 – July 26, 2013 /Press Release/  –– 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center has been honored with the Circle of Life Award by the American Hospital Association at a ceremony today in San Diego.  The award was accepted by R. Sean Morrison, MD, Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Director of the National Palliative Care Research Center and Professor of Geriatrics, Palliative and Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
"The American Hospital Association's Circle of Life Award honors palliative care programs that are innovators and national leaders in the effort to provide effective, patient-centered, timely, safe, efficient, and equitable care to seriously ill patients and their families,"said Dr. Morrison in accepting the award. "Since its inception in 1997, Mount Sinai's Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute has grown dramatically and now encompasses a broad array of clinical, educational and research activities. I am deeply honored to accept this 2013 Circle of Life Award on behalf of all the dedicated specialists on our interdisciplinary consultation team and our in-patient Palliative Care Unit. These experienced and compassionate physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, and licensed massage, art and music therapists help patients and families establish goals for care, make complicated decisions, manage symptoms, and maintain the best possible quality of life throughout the course of an illness and across all the settings where they receive care."

"We are very excited to be receiving the AHA's Circle of Life Award acknowledging Mount Sinai's excellence in palliative care," said David Reich, MD, Interim President of The Mount Sinai Hospital. "Our talented staff working at The Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute is helping people to live as comfortable as possible and for as long as possible while they are coexisting with one or more chronic conditions. The institute is also helping to improve the training of the next generation of doctors and nurses and other health professionals, so that people living in pain will have access to the expertise they need and have their symptoms treated both safely and effectively."

In its 14th year, the Circle of Life Award celebrates programs across the nation that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care. "This year's Circle of Life honorees exemplify the best in health care – providing compassionate care and helping patients and families facing complex health challenges," said Richard Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the AHA of the three programs honored.  "These innovative programs address critical needs so that patients can manage their health and live as fully as possible. They also reflect the different needs of their organizations, systems and communities as they provide the best care possible for those they serve."

Circle of Life nominations were reviewed by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration.  The committee visited programs that provide effective, timely, safe, efficient, equitable patient and family-centered palliative and end-of-life care; use innovative approaches to critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for the field; seek to address multi-faceted needs of persons living with serious illness; and, are actively working with other health care organizations, education and training programs, and the community. The programs selected serve as models for others.  For more information on the Circle of Life Award, visit

About the AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members come together to form the AHA.
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About the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute 
The Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute is a national leader in the effort to improve healthcare for people facing serious illness. Its mission is to deliver the highest quality of care to such patients and their families, and to advance the field of palliative medicine through clinical, educational, and research initiatives. Palliative Care provides medical treatment to improve quality of life during a serious illness. Palliative care is not the same as hospice. Palliative care provides medical treatment at all stages of illness and is provided at the same time as curative treatments. For more information, visit

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Icahn School of Medicine is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty members in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of just 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and by U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll.  Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.

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