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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island Receives Addiction Medicine Research Grant From Hearst Foundations

Two Addiction Medicine Research Scholars Will Focus on Treating the Medical and Social Complications of Addiction in Brooklyn

Oct 24, 2017

Brooklyn, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island announced today its receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to study patients living with addiction in southwestern Brooklyn. The grant will fund scholarships awarded to Michael Stavros Radeos, MD, MPH, associate chairman and director for Quality Improvement for the Department of Emergency Medicine and Sassan Naderi, MD who will join NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island’s faculty as the director for In-service Education. Drs. Radeos and Naderi are the first Hearst Scholars in Addiction Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.

Their study will seek to develop a better understanding of the social and medical complications of addiction. Over the course of 2018, the researchers will focus on the approximately 17,000 emergency department visits annually by patients with substance use disorders who present at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.

“It is at a patient’s most vulnerable stage that we can make the greatest impact to prevent a downward spiral,” said Dr. Mark Kindschuh, chairman of Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “Based on the findings of our Addiction Medicine Research Scholars, we will have the opportunity to play a key role in designing and implementing new policies and practices to combat addiction.”

The study will include patients living with all forms of chemical addiction, including opioid misuse. Drs. Radeos and Naderi will determine the methodology for their research, defining scope and goals, in early 2018.

In 2016, there were 277 overdose deaths in Brooklyn, the second highest number of all boroughs. Coney Island and the surrounding neighborhoods of Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge have the highest rates of opioid painkiller overdose deaths in Brooklyn. More than 1,300 people in New York City died from a drug overdose in 2016, the highest year on record; 80 percent of these deaths involved an opioid, including prescription painkillers (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine) and heroin.

“With the growing number of patients in desperate need of assistance to free themselves from the grip of addiction, it is our role as a health care provider to find innovative solutions to help them,” said William A. Brown, NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island chief executive officer.

“Addiction — especially heroin and opioid addiction — has taken a heavy toll on our community, with too many lives lost and countless families struggling to help their loved ones who are battling this disease,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, former Chair of the Assembly’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. “Examining the medical implications of addiction has the potential to make the treatment and recovery process more effective for the patient and to eventually ease the financial burden that addiction has caused for our public hospital system as a whole.”

“Addiction has plagued neighborhoods across this city, and it’s so critical that we study this issue and find the most effective ways to combat its effect on our communities. NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island represent some of the very best in our community, and I’m thrilled to see them access the resources they need to fight this disease and ensure fewer families are faced with the crippling loss of a loved one due to addiction.” Assemblymember Pamela Harris

“In New York City, someone dies of a drug overdose every seven hours. As opioid abuse becomes more rampant, it is essential that health care professionals are armed with reliable data to treat patients. This new grant awarded to Coney Island Hospital will allow specialist doctors to study the causes and complications of addiction. This will be an important tool going forward, as we tackle the opioid crisis across the nation head on.” Council Member Chaim Deutsch

“I am very happy to hear that Coney Island Hospital will be receiving this grant from the Hearst Foundation to fund vital research on addiction in Southern Brooklyn. As the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in Brooklyn, few in our communities have been left untouched. In order for us to find solutions to the complex problems of substance misuse and addiction, we need more targeted, localized research. The work of Drs. Radeos and Naderi will help inform our approach to addressing these issues in our neighborhoods, and I look forward to hearing the results of their study.” Council Member Mark Treyger

“The Hearst Foundations are grateful for the opportunity to support NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island as they undertake this ambitious effort to address the rising tide of addiction in New York. We are hopeful that this program, under the leadership of Dr. Kindschuh and the Hearst Scholars, can serve as a novel and effective approach to better understanding addiction and treatment, and eventually be replicated by other medical centers.” George Irish, Eastern Director of The Hearst Foundations