The Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board has provided seed funding to support the creation and implementation of more than 200 new and innovative projects and programs, many of which have been integrated into The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Funding emphasizes social service programs and education for staff and patients in the hospital and the community. Below are some of the projects funded over the past 35 years:
- Kidzone TV: KidZone TV is a state-of-the-art interactive production and internal broadcast studio within Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. It produces live programming three times a day, seven days a week for pediatric patients and families, and broadcasts programs throughout Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital on a dedicated channel. It became particularly important during the early stages of COVID-19 when pediatric patients could not receive visitors. Funding was threatened in 2020 and the Auxiliary Board stepped in to fund an essential Child Life Specialist position without whom all the technology resources for patients would have been greatly reduced or discontinued. This position insured the continuity of KidZone TV’s programming.
- The Parenting Center Video: A parenting education and discharge video was created and is presented to all new parents during their inpatient stay and upon discharge.
- Adolescent Health Center Programs: This center delivers comprehensive, integrated, confidential medical and mental health services and prevention education to young people ages 10 to 26. It serves approximately 12,000 patients per year. Services include primary health care; dental care; counseling; mental health services; family therapy; sexual and reproductive health; and nutrition, fitness, and wellness. All programs and services are provided at no cost to patients.
- The Partnership for Excellence in Social Work Practice (2016): This Simulation Learning program in the Department of Social Work Services at The Mount Sinai Hospital program provides state-of-the-art education to social workers. Professional actors are trained to portray patients with specific conditions and situations. They work with two facilitators in small group sessions, allowing the social workers to interact with the patient/family being portrayed by the actors. Facilitators then provide feedback to the social workers. The simulation aims to become a model for health care social work and to transform social work education and practice.
- Mount Sinai Human Rights Program: This program seeks to advance health, dignity, and justice, both locally and globally, by providing pro bono, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive medical assessments, mental health evaluations, and access to social services and continuity medical care to U.S. asylum seekers who are survivors of torture and human rights abuses. The program also aims to inspire and educate health care professionals, students, and the broader community about the protection and advocacy of health and human rights. The Auxiliary Board provided seed funding for patient transportation, supplies, food, and clothing.
- Icahn Mount Sinai Student-Led Programs: The Auxiliary Board has funded several programs that provide enrichment for underserved children in the community. These include:
- MedStart is designed for middle-school students (sixth to eighth grade) who are interested in science and medicine.
- MedDOCS is an after-school program for high school students interested in science and medicine that offers mentoring, activities, and lectures from medical and graduate students.
- First Generation Scholars Program provides one-on-one mentoring and assistance with college applications for high school students who are the first in their families to go to college.
- East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP): A student-run, physician-supervised health clinic that provides confidential, free health services, including primary and specialty care to uninsured and underinsured patients from East Harlem. Included are social work services, mental health counseling, women’s preventive health, nutrition, and legal aid. The Patient Assistance Fund at EHHOP was instituted in 2016.
- Woman to Woman: Founded by a member of the Auxiliary Board, this program provides emotional, educational, financial, and practical support to women with gynecologic cancer. It includes peer mentoring programs as well as support groups and has become a model for programs nationwide.
- Pet Therapy Programs (Pet Assisted Therapy and Paws and Play): Paws and Play is the facility dog program at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. It pairs animal-assisted therapists with certified child life specialists and art therapists to provide therapeutic interventions for patients, families, staff, faculty, and trainees. The first facility dog, Professor Bunsen Honeydew, arrived at Mount Sinai in 2017, and had a huge effect on the patients’ and families’ ability to cope with their fears and anxieties during a very stressful time. When it became apparent that one facility dog was not sufficient to meet the needs of a growing pediatric population, the Auxiliary Board provided funding for the purchase of a second facility dog named Amos.
- Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) Program: This crisis intervention program for survivors of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence provides immediate assistance and support in hospital emergency rooms throughout New York City. Discreet follow-up counseling and information is available for survivors, their families, and friends. SAVI trains volunteers to serve as patient advocates. When a survivor is admitted to the hospital, volunteers meet the patient, offering support and assistance.
- Linkage House: A housing program for older adults providing safe and affordable housing in a complex in East Harlem, Linkage House connects residents with health care, community programs, and educational and recreational activities. The Auxiliary Board provided the initial funding for an onsite social worker.
- Mount Sinai Parenting Center Website: The website provides information and videos for parents of children from newborn to 5 years old. Topics include typical physical and emotional growth and how parents can help and support their children in developmentally appropriate ways.
- Teen Parenting, Education, and Prevention Programs: These programs are geared to teen moms, their children, and their support networks. Programs intended for young mothers include a Summer Employment Program and Opportunities for Careers in Allied Health. Other programs, including information about birth control, are aimed at young fathers or the sisters of the young moms.
- Palliative Care: Mount Sinai’s palliative care program was founded by an Auxiliary Board member and was one of the first in the country. Palliative care is a comprehensive, team-based medical specialty that focuses on managing symptoms; providing physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and emotional support; assisting with social services; and discussing the condition and treatment options. The program works with the patient, family, and doctors to help improve quality of life, and provides an added layer of support to seriously ill patients, their families, and their health care providers.
- Resource Entitlement and Advocacy Program (REAP): REAP helps reduce unnecessary admissions and emergency room visits by providing a centralized source of information, advocacy, and assistance in obtaining government benefits and entitlements. REAP connects patients to community and legal resources and assists patients in navigating the health care system. REAP staff work directly with patients and their families and provide expert consultation and ongoing education to social workers, physicians, and other staff.