More synergy in public health between Methodist-Houston and Weill Cornell

A noted authority in health services research, critical care and geriatric medicine, Dr. Marc D. Silverstein has been appointed chairman of a newly created Department of Public Health at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. He has simultaneously been named professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. The announcement represents the seventh major joint appointment since The Methodist Hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College in 2004.

Previously, Dr. Silverstein was a clinical scholar at the Institute for Health Care Research & Improvement for the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas.

Dr. Silverstein said the mission in the Department of Public Health at The Methodist Hospital is to help researchers throughout the Hospital to design the best studies for more accurate and reliable results; to provide an informatics "engine" to quickly analyze and compare outcomes; to serve as a catalyst to drive forward innovative research; and to encourage sharing of best practices around the world to advance the science of evidence-based medicine. In order to best facilitate these goals, the department will initially develop divisions of biostatistics and epidemiology; outcomes and quality of care; medical informatics; and medical ethics and palliative care.

"The appointment of Marc Silverstein represents an important step in the unique and innovative partnership between Weill Cornell Medical College and The Methodist Hospital. A strong culture of collaboration between our two institutions will enable valuable public health research in Texas and beyond," says Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr., dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Other recent department chairs named at The Methodist Hospital include Dr. Stanley Appel (Neurology), Dr. Barbara Bass (Surgery), Dr. Robert Grossman (Neurosurgery), Dr. Michael Lieberman (Pathology), Dr. Miguel Quiñones (Cardiology) and Dr. Richard Robins (Medicine).

"Marc Silverstein understands and is dedicated to the mission of The Methodist Hospital, and throughout his career has worked to promote high quality, cost-effective health care through his academic activities," says Dr. H. Dirk Sostman, chief academic officer and chief medical officer of The Methodist Hospital and executive vice dean at Weill Cornell Medical College. "I am confident that he will lead the Department of Public Health to national recognition."

"I am very pleased by the appointment of Marc Silverstein and look forward to developing numerous collaborations between the public health departments of The Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College. There is much that we can do to improve the health and health care for the patients our institutions serve and to advance clinical research by working together," says Dr. Alvin I. Mushlin, the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health, professor of medicine and chairman of the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College.

As the parent academic department, the public health department at Weill Cornell Medical College serves in an advisory and oversight capacity to the department in Houston. A joint advisory committee ensures alignment of goals and objectives, facilitates academic recruitment, and fosters collaboration on research and educational programs.

A major collaborative grant in public health research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) called the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERT) has already been awarded jointly to Weill Cornell Medical College, The Hospital for Special Surgery and The Methodist Hospital. The $4 million five-year grant, led by principal investigator Dr. Mushlin and co-principal investigator Dr. Mark Callahan, chief of the Weill Cornell Public Health Department's Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, funds research into the outcomes and cost effectiveness of medical devices. In addition, Dr. Callahan, Dr. Silverstein and colleagues at the Hospital for Special Surgery recently received a seed grant sponsored by The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College for collaborative research on total joint replacement surgery.

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