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Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health and NYC Health + Hospitals Announce 2022 Winners of CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants

Winners will examine impacts of COVID-19 on lung function, maternal and child health outcomes, underrepresented minority youth, and respiratory recovery

Sep 14, 2022

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and NYC Health + Hospitals have announced the 2022 awardees of the CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants, an initiative to support collaborative, interdisciplinary COVID-19 research that will address both the pandemic and root causes of health disparities in New York City. Each winner will receive up to $25,000 to support their research project funded by Icahn Mount Sinai.

The CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants, which were launched last year, will support new COVID-19 research, with an emphasis on projects related to disease control for large communities, informatics and decision support systems, addressing structural racism and social determinants of health, translational science research, and evidence-based interventions and policies. The projects will also address the long-term effects of COVID-19, social and environmental determinants of COVID-19, and maternal and child health related to COVID-19.

“We are delighted to support the second cohort of research studies under the CURE-19 collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals to continue groundbreaking research addressing the impact of COVID-19,” said CURE-19 Co-Director Rachel C. Vreeman, MD, MS, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Health System Design and Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. “The pandemic continues to exacerbate longstanding social, economic, and health inequities for vulnerable communities in New York City and around the world. The CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants help us develop and expand innovations that address these challenges. Ultimately, they will enhance equitable care and strengthen our pandemic response for the most vulnerable.”

“CURE-19 holds great promise for solving several puzzles brought on by the pandemic, especially those affecting vulnerable people, including children and the underrepresented,” said CURE-19 Co-Director Joseph Masci, MD, Chair of Global Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Icahn Mount Sinai. “It is a welcome addition to the resources already dedicated to these issues. The wide-ranging scope of the four research projects we are funding this year reflects both the breadth of the pandemic’s impact and the diverse ways we are working to meet the needs of our community.”

The 2022 research grant winners and their projects include:

  • Effects of COVID-19 on Underrepresented Minority Youth: Kara S. Bagot, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Icahn Mount Sinai, and her team will identify the psychosocial and health consequences of the pandemic—such as depression, anxiety, and substance use—on underrepresented minority and low-socioeconomic-status youth; they will also develop intervention methods to improve social and behavioral outcomes for these high-risk groups.
  • Impact of Structural Racism on Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19: Alison Lee, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine), and Pediatrics, at Icahn Mount Sinai, and her team will examine how structural racism—such as segregated residential communities near environmental toxins—can contribute to disparities in maternal and child health amid the COVID-19 pandemic; they will also study how structural racism increases the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during pregnancy and the impact of racial/ethnic inequities on health outcomes across the course of life.
  • Effects of Music Therapy to Treat Post-COVID Respiratory Symptoms: Joanne V. Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System, and her team will assess the effectiveness of clinical music therapy to treat adults previously diagnosed with COVID-19 who are experiencing shortness of breath; they will use live music to focus on respiratory symptoms related to breathing control and other symptoms including fatigue, sleep, depression, and anxiety, to determine the direct impact of playing wind instruments and singing to improve respiratory strength—potentially a benefit to COVID-19 long haulers. 
  • Long-term Impact of COVID-19 on Lung Function: Muhammad Khurram Perwaiz, MD, Chief Interventional Pulmonology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, and his team will study the recovery patterns of COVID-19 to increase awareness about the long-term effects on lung function by identifying risk factors that prohibit long-term recovery and effective therapies to treat this condition; they will also contribute to developing guidelines for effective care after hospital discharge, especially for patients within an urban community hospital in an area serving vulnerable populations.

The research pilot projects are part of a larger partnership known as the COVID-19 Unit for Research at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (CURE-19), a collaboration between Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health and NYC Health + Hospitals’ Global Health Institute that was formed during the initial peak of the pandemic in 2020. CURE-19 translates data, experiences, and lessons from clinicians at the Mount Sinai Health System, Elmhurst hospital, and Queens hospital into research to both learn and respond to the global pandemic. The Mount Sinai, Elmhurst, and Queens hospitals also have a longstanding academic affiliation agreement and joint residency programs, and have previously collaborated on training, patient care, and research. The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, which specializes in global health systems and implementation research, supports four strategic global partnerships that build more resilient health systems by leveraging academic and health system partners to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

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 several 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.

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

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.