Mount Sinai Health System Celebrates Its 36th Annual Crystal Party With Virtual Tribute to Front-Line Workers
Event commemorates $100 million raised for COVID-19 response and research
The Mount Sinai Health System celebrated its 36th annual Crystal Party on Thursday, May 6, by honoring the compassionate and tireless efforts of front-line health care workers, researchers, and students who helped save thousands of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual spring fundraiser, which is typically held under a grand cathedral tent to accommodate more than 1,000 attendees in the Central Park Conservancy, was replaced this year with a virtual tribute streamed online to viewers including trustees, leadership, staff, and supporters of the Health System. The event highlighted the $100 million raised for COVID-19 response and research, an ongoing effort spearheaded by Mount Sinai Health System’s Boards of Trustees Co-Chairmen Richard A. Friedman and James S. Tisch.
“It has been more than 400 days since the world as we knew it changed completely,” said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, in the tribute’s opening remarks. “Nurses went beyond the call of duty, taking on extra shifts and overtime. Doctors overcame unprecedented challenges, doubling up patients in rooms. Scientists and physicians worked tirelessly to discover the very best treatments, and operations was fighting to secure enough supplies including ventilators to keep the severely ill alive.”
Dr. Davis also acknowledged the “miracles” performed by Mount Sinai staff during one of the greatest health care challenges of modern time. During the first surge, the Health System treated more than 2,000 COVID-19 inpatients on a single day alone. “Our doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants saved thousands of lives. Our physician-scientists made some of the biggest breakthroughs in how to improve patient outcomes and treat the virus. And it was Mount Sinai virologists who developed the nation’s first antibody test. That’s why we need to take a moment to pause and pay tribute to how the Mount Sinai family collectively responded to this crisis and how we emerged stronger from it.”
The virtual tribute featured health care workers from across the system sharing first-hand accounts of the uncertainty and bravery they encountered during the onset of the pandemic last spring and how the Mount Sinai community came together to respond, treat, and mitigate the devastation of the then-unknown pathogen. Their efforts ranged from redeploying staff to assist overburdened hospitals in the hardest-hit communities of Queens and Brooklyn, to mobilizing medical students to triage equipment and source donation offers.
The funding raised for COVID-19 immediately helped support Mount Sinai’s scientific work, including the laboratory of Florian Krammer, PhD, Mount Sinai Professor in Vaccinology, which was the first in the United States to create a test to determine whether an individual had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It also supported the efforts of Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who was among the physician-scientists on the front lines. Dr. Merad organized teams of students and researchers to collect and analyze patients’ blood samples in order to find treatments for COVID-19.
Mount Sinai’s continued response efforts include the Center for Post-COVID Care, for patients with long-term symptoms from COVID-19 infection; the Institute for Health Equity Research (IHER), which formed amid the pandemic to understand how COVID-19 and other health issues affect at-risk communities including those of color, low-income, immigrant, uninsured, and LGBTQ; and the Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth, which was launched to address the mental health needs of Mount Sinai’s front-line workers.
View the Crystal Virtual Tribute here.
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 is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.