It is my privilege to assume leadership of our tremendously accomplished Department of Medicine during a time of great and important changes in healthcare.
Einstein/Montefiore’s outstanding and unique bond to the Bronx community is, for me, one of its main attractions. I believe that the hospitals of the future are those that are dedicated to serving their communities. Einstein/Montefiore’s exceptional effort to meet the needs of its large and diverse community has placed us at the forefront of the national healthcare reform.
Indeed, the success of Einstein and Montefiore’s efforts to serve the Bronx community are very noticeable. I am consistently struck by the high regard in which the people of the Bronx hold Einstein/Montefiore. At the Bronx VA hospital, where I have been seeing patients for the past 7 years, I have often encountered employees enthusiastically describing the care they and their family and friends have received as patients at Einstein and Montefiore; one was particularly proud of delivering her baby at Weiler. Ultimately, our patients are our shareholders, and we owe it, both to them and to the outstanding healthcare professionals who have built these “bragging rights”, to continue to provide excellent care.
Einstein/Montefiore is one of the leading institutions in basic, clinical, and translational research. Einstein’s 5 NIH funded research centers (CTSA, Cancer, Liver, Diabetes, and Aging) are a testament to the excellence in research of our institution. The merger between Einstein and Montefiore creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen the collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians. I plan to expand our research operations, focusing on translational research through increasing and enhancing the collaborations between our basic scientists and our clinicians and clinical investigators.
From medical students to fellows to senior faculty, mentoring is critical to academic success. I was encouraged and impressed with our Department’s mentoring program, launched by Dr. Elizabeth Kitsis, Dr. Marla Keller, and colleagues. Mentoring enriches both the mentee and the mentor—my own experience mentoring others has helped me grow as a physician-scientist. I look forward to seeing this program grow in faculty involvement at every level.
I consider quality improvement and community outreach as important as research, education, and clinical care. Our role as physicians goes beyond “fixing things when they are broken”. We need to prevent disease and improve the well-being of our community. In a recent NEJM article entitled “Graduate Medical Education in the Freddie Gray Era”, educators from the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine discussed efforts to revise their residency curriculum to help trainees recognize and change the circumstances responsible for Baltimore’s poor health outcomes. In the online comments section, a graduate of Montefiore’s Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine Residency Program described his training experience as “a well-regarded model of community-oriented primary care”. Another Einstein graduate echoed his thoughts, stating, “My alma mater has been both talking the talk and walking the walk of social/community based medicine in the south Bronx since 1970!” I am pleased to see that others are adopting Einstein/Montefiore’s outstanding model of social medicine and social justice. Together we will continue to lead the way, for the benefit of the people of the Bronx and the nation.
Yaron Tomer, MD, FACP
Chair, Department of Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Anita and Jack Saltz Chair in Diabetes Research