• Press Release

Mount Sinai’s Raja Flores, MD, Honored with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award at NYU 2019 CAS Baccalaureate Ceremony

  • New York, NY
  • (May 22, 2019)

Raja M. Flores, MD, Founding Chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Health System, was honored by New York University with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, which recognizes his accomplishments and services to NYU as both a student and alumnus. The award was presented on Tuesday, May 21 at the 2019 College of Arts & Science Baccalaureate Ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall.

Dr. Flores attended NYU from 1984 to 1988, receiving a full scholarship through the Higher Education Opportunity Program. “I am honored to receive this award and grateful for the opportunities I received. The scholarship helped me achieve my dreams and I’m happy to give back,” he says. Now as an alumnus, he has been deeply involved in helping students. On a professional level, he provides guidance to medical students and opportunities to shadow him in the operating room, and as benefactor, scholarships that enable them to pursue their dreams. Dr. Flores is also an active member of the NYU Arts and Science Board of Overseers. 

“I was very humbled to receive this award because I’m the one who feels like I owe so much to NYU for giving me the opportunity to live out my dreams” says Dr. Flores, who is also the Steven and Ann Ames Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Flores is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon known for his technical skill and life-long work on lung and esophageal cancer, mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. He established the VATS lobectomy, a minimally invasive approach using three small incisions, as the gold standard in the surgical treatment of lung cancer. He has one of the largest VATS lobectomy experiences in the world and has published and presented this data at national and international meetings.  His research has produced more than 200 publications and he was the Principal Investigator of a $4.8 million RO1 grant, to study the effect of asbestos contamination in the town of Libby, Montana. 

After Dr. Flores received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at NYU, he went on to complete a master’s degree in biostatistics from Columbia University. He then attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he received his medical degree in 1992. He then spent five years at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, completing a General Surgery Internship and Residency. From there, he pursued a Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Faber Cancer Institute/CALGB in Boston, and his Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: 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. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in 4 out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently 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 top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. 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.

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