• Press Release

Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Announces 2016 “What A Wonderful World” Honorees

  • New York, NY
  • (August 23, 2016)

In recognition of her contributions to music and her work on behalf of others, Dionne Warwick is this year’s musician recipient of the What a Wonderful World Award. The annual award will also be presented to a physician, a patient, and a philanthropist who have served to make the world better. The awards are presented by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

The awards to Ms. Warwick; Michael Leitman, MD; Karen Joyner; and Sharon Mahn will be presented at the 11th annual What a Wonderful World gala on September 26, 2016, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Highline Ballroom in Chelsea. The evening will include performances by Jon Faddis, Garry Dial, Erik Lawrence, and Broadway’s Rema Webb from “The Color Purple.”

“Musicians with physical and emotional challenges, from Broadway to subway, reflect one of the underserved populations we treat,” said Stephan Quentzel, MD, Medical Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. In addition to an evening of jazz, there will be a silent auction to benefit the Louis Armstrong Center’s clinical services across the Mount Sinai Health System and the New York musical community.

“We are proud of the breadth and scope of patients we serve and our growing research projects with doctors and nurses, from neonatal care to oncology and stroke,” said Joanne Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, the Center’s founder and director since 1994.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel,” said Ms. Warwick, a five-time GRAMMY® Award winner who has become a cornerstone of American pop music and culture. “I am thrilled to have been chosen to be honored. Music has a wonderful way of healing, not only the mind, but the soul as well.” Ms. Warwick’s 50-year career has established her as an international music icon and concert act. Known as the artist who “bridged the gap,” Ms. Warwick’s soulful blend of pop, gospel and R&B music has produced 75 charted hit songs and sold more than 100 million records.

The night’s physician honoree, Dr. Leitman, joined the Department of Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2005 and is presently Program Director of the General Surgery Residency and Chief of General Surgery. He is also the Associate Chief Medical Officer and the Chief of Graduate Medical Education as well as a Professor of Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Ms. Joyner, an avid music lover, novice playwright, and studio background vocalist, has spent months at a time hospitalized, undergoing numerous surgeries and procedures. Chronic illness and prolonged hospital stays took a toll on her spirits and emotional and physical well-being, but through work with the Louis Armstrong Center, she has realized music will always be an integral part of her “still very difficult, but hopefully now just a bit easier to bear, recovery.”  Ms. Joyner is proud to be the patient nominee of the 2016 Wonderful World award. During the evening she will join other musicians on stage to sing one of her favorite Elton John songs, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  

Ms. Mahn is a lawyer and the founder and CEO of Mahn Consulting, LLC, one of the premier legal and executive search and consulting companies in the world.  An avid philanthropist, Ms. Mahn is a member of The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine’s steering committee and co-chaired the 2015 Wonderful World gala. She runs marathons to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and she was named the 2004 "Woman of the Year" by the organization's New Jersey chapter. She currently mentors a female military veteran seeking to transition from the armed forces to the private business sector through the American Corporate Partner's (ACP) Veteran Mentoring Program.  

The 2016 Gala Chairs are Donna Sirlin, Helen Greenbaum, and Mara Greenwald. The evening’s emcees are Mercedes Ellington and WBGO’s Bill Daughtry.

TICKETS, TABLES, SPONSORS or ADS: https://philanthropy.mountsinai.org/wonderfulworld

About the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine
The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine is made possible by a generous gift from the David B. Kriser Foundation and through the estate of John H. Slade, directed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel from the late hospital trustee Richard Netter, and with additional support from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Helen Sawaya, Heather on Earth, and the Garry Dial Fund, among others. The Center is located at Mount Sinai Beth Israel's Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, 10 Union Square East (between 14th and 15th Streets) in Manhattan.

For more information about the "What a Wonderful World" Awards gala and the programs/services offered by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, please call: 212-420-2704 or visit their website at: www.musicandmedicine.org.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai advances medicine and health through unrivaled education and translational research and discovery to deliver care that is the safest, highest-quality, most accessible and equitable, and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 415 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the top 20 U.S. hospitals and is top in the nation by specialty: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” among the country’s best in four out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and No. 14 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.