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Sinai Firsts

Clinical Firsts

1953

The new Mount Sinai Hospital at 550 University Avenue opens with the only outpatient department in Toronto that offers prenatal instruction and diabetes education in four languages. The next year, the Hospital adds the city’s first Social Services Department.

1955

The Department of General Practice opens with the first Family Practice Unit in a large city hospital in Canada.

1969

Mount Sinai purchases one of Toronto’s first mammography machines and the city’s first ultrasound equipment.

1974

Mount Sinai launches Canada’s first Patient Representation Program

1974
Endocrinologist Dr. Paul Walfish develops a test for newborns with congenital hypothyroidism and a way to correct it. This procedure is now standard practice throughout the world.
1980
Mount Sinai is named the site of the first National Breast Screening Study.
1981

The Ontario Ministry of Health selects Mount Sinai as the site of a new High Risk Perinatal Unit, the first academic program of its kind in Canada.

1984
Mount Sinai and Toronto General collaborate on Toronto’s first heart-lung transplant.
1987

Dr. Allan Gross and his team perform Canada’s first fresh tissue hip transplant. Five years later, his team performs Canada’s first knee joint transplant.

1988
The Maternal/Fetal Medicine group introduces invasive fetal intervention procedures to monitor and treat rare blood disorders in mothers and babies.
1992
Mount Sinai’s Department of Nursing is selected as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing, the only hospital department in the world to earn that distinction.

Dr. Robert Morrow and team perform Ontario’s first intravascular-intrauterine blood transfusion and the Hospital establishes Toronto’s first Bone and Tissue Bank.
1995
Mount Sinai is named “possibly the best all-around hospital in the country” in the publication, The Best Hospitals in North America. 
1996

In partnership with the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai establishes the Heather M. Reisman Chair in Perinatal Nursing Research, Canada’s first endowed chair for nursing research.

1998

The first Surgical Skills Centre in North America opens at Mount Sinai in collaboration with the University of Toronto. The Centre provides high-tech equipment to teach basic and complex surgical procedures through repeated hands-on practice.

2001

Mount Sinai opens Ontario’s first multidisciplinary Chronic Pelvic Region Pain Unit to provide a pain-focused approach to disorders that affect over 50% of women and are often under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed and poorly treated.

2005

Mount Sinai wins the 2005 Healthy Hospital Innovator Award and receives Level One recognition from the National Quality Institute’s Healthy Workplace Progressive Excellence Program.

2006

Mount Sinai Hospital is named a Top 50 Employer in the Greater Toronto area by Mediacorp Canada Inc., an honour that it now receives annually

2007

Dr. Paul Walfish, the long-time Mount Sinai staff endocrinologist was named to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour, capping an amazing year in which he earned three other major honours. Dr. Walfish has been at Mount Sinai since 1964 as both a scientist and a clinician, whose activities have focused on numerous thyroid related diseases, including post-partum thyroiditis. He is most known for his pioneering work involving screening newborns for the detection of an underactive thyroid condition using a heel-prick test.

2009

In a Canadian first, doctors at Mount Sinai and The Hospital for Sick Kids successfully performed a heart intervention on an unborn baby. A team of doctors led by Dr. Greg Ryan, Maternal – Fetal Medicine Specialist at Mount Sinai and Dr. Edgar Jaeggi, Cardiologist and Associate Scientist at SickKids, expanded the baby’s aortic valve while the child was in the uterus.

2010

Mount Sinai becomes the first acute care hospital in Canada to make geriatrics a core strategic priority.

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, through Cancer Care Ontario, grants Mount Sinai a new Peritoneal Malignancy Program to surgically treat patients with rare, advanced cancers of the abdominal lining.

2011

The first program of its kind in North America, Mount Sinai’s launched its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Integrated Care Program. Developed by Dr. Shoo Lee, Mount Sinai’s Pediatrician-in-chief, the program involves parents in the day-to-day care responsibilities of pre-term babies in the NICU and as a result empowers parents to be the primary caregiver of their babies while building up their confidence as new moms and dads. Since the launch, research has strongly demonstrated that babies significantly benefit from this new model of care with faster growth rates, increased breastfeeding rates and lower infection rates.

2012

Mount Sinai Hospital marked an historic occasion in May 2012 with the opening of six newly built floors on the Murray Street side of the Hospital. The first patients in the new floors moved into the David & Stacey Cynamon Mother and Baby Unit, located on two of the six floors. The new floors are part of the Hospital's multi-year capital redevelopment project, supported by the Province of Ontario and philanthropic support that will help the Hospital continue to deliver excellence in patient and family-centered care.

2013

Ontario’s only human milk bank opened at Mount Sinai. The Rogers-Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank, began collecting, pasteurizing and distributing donated breast milk to hospitalized infants across Ontario in spring. Using the gold standard of safety and infection control, the milk bank is being used as an example across North America.  The Rogers-Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank is a located at Mount Sinai and is a partnership between Mount Sinai, Sunnybrook and SickKids.

2013

Mount Sinai launched the first workplace support program targeting people who are struggling to balance full-time jobs with caring for loved ones with dementia at home. The Reitman Centre Working CARERS program received a $2.84 million federal grant to allow employers to offer the program to their employees as a way to alleviate stress-related illnesses, depression and burnout that affects caregivers in the workplace. BMO Financial Group, in partnership with Ceridian Lifeworks, has signed up as the first corporate partners.

2013

Mount Sinai became the first hospital in Canada to acquire a Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) test, a new technology capable of measuring circulating breast cancer cells through a blood test.  Currently in trial stages and used primarily for research, the CTC test can be used to predict outcomes in breast cancer patients and holds enormous potential for personalized treatment, especially for women with breast cancer that has advanced beyond the early stages. This test is another tool used by the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre which treats over 33,000 patients annually and continues to offer the latest approach to treatment for its patients.

2015

Mount Sinai became the first hospital in Canada to achieve Magnet® recognition, a prestigious, international credential that measures nursing excellence and patient care, issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

 

 


 

 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 

    

Research Firsts

1986

The Lunenfeld’s Dr. Tony Pawson receives international acclaim for discovering how cells communicate with each other.

1994

Dr. Katherine Siminovitch, an investigator in the molecular genetics of rheumatic and auto-immune diseases, discovers a genetic marker for a fatal condition called  Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Genetic counselors across North America begin using this marker for their diagnoses.

1995
Tony Pawson discovers a domain within cells that is altered when a normal cell becomes a cancerous one.
1996
Dr. Joseph Culotti uses earthworms to make important breakthroughs in our understanding of how our nervous systems develop and how cancer cells form and spread.
1997
Drs. Tony Pawson, John Roder and Jeff Henderson discover a gene responsible for connections between the two sides of the brain—a major step towards understanding congenital brain defects.
1998

Drs. Isabella Canaggia and Stephen Lye make a major advance in  our understanding of pre-eclampsia, the major cause of death in pregnant women.

Drs. Irene Andrulis, Shelley Bull and colleagues publish a landmark study on the prognosis value of a molecular genetic marker as a predictor of clinical outcomes for women with node-negative breast cancer.

The Lunenfeld now has more recipients of the Medical Research Council Distinguished Scientists awards than any other University or Research Institute in Canada.

2001

Mount Sinai researchers discover that the Mgat5 gene and a family of sugar- binding proteins act as a key regulator of T cells in the immune system, a discovery that could lead to new drug development and treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases, as well as cancer and HIV.

Researchers publish a study finding that blood insulin levels appear to be a reliable predictor of whether women with breast cancer will survive over the long term,  which women with breast cancer will respond well to treatment and which are at high risk of dying.

2005

Dr. Andras Nagy and his team develop Canada’s first two human embryonic stem cell lines, giving researchers across the country new potential and hope for eventually discovering treatments and cures for many chronic and fatal diseases.

2006

Dr. John Roder makes national headlines for his groundbreaking research characterizing a gene that’s implicated in schizophrenia and depression.    

Dr. Steven Gallinger and colleagues make headlines for their colon cancer findings, which could help develop a test to predict who will or won’t get the disease.

2007

Dr. Andrea Jurisicova reveals that pre-conception exposure to environmental pollutants diminishes the fertility of mother’s future offspring.

2007

Dr. Daniel Durocher and his team discover how the BRCA 1 gene (which is mutated in a large fraction of familial breast cancers) can be guided to repair DNA damage. The finding, published in top journal Science, could significantly advance breast cancer research.

2007

Dr. Katrina MacAulay paves the way toward new treatments for Type 2 diabetes when she creates a “genetic roadblock” to improve blood-sugar regulation.

2007

Dr. Julia Knight discovers that increased vitamin D levels during adolescence may reduce risk of breast cancer later in life by over 30 per cent.

2008

Dr. Daniel Drucker reveals that a once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes could  effectively replace the more common twice-daily injection.

2008

Dr. Rayjean Hung studies tens of thousands of lung cancer patients to reveal new genes associated with predisposition to this type of cancer, which kills over 18,000 Canadians every year.

2009

Dr. Daniel Durocher discovers the causative gene for RIDDLE syndrome, a genetic immunodeficiency disorder, enabling effective diagnosis of this disease.

2010
Dr. Kathy Siminovitch and colleagues identify three new genes that increase risk for a devastating liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), which destroys bile ducts in the liver.
2011
Dr. Andras Nagy discovers that a promising technique, which allows normal cells to be re-programmed to behave like primitive stem cells (allowing them to be coaxed into forming any cell type in the body), also induces mistakes in the genetic material of these cells.  His work informs the development of safer methods to generate these cells, which are expected to be the starting material for many types of regenerative medicine.
2011

Dr. Mei Zhen discovers how nerves work to coordinate muscles to allow movement.  Her research turns previous understanding of this process on its head.

2012

In the first study of its kind published in Molecular Cell, Mount Sinai Hospital researchers in the labs of Drs. Daniel Durocher and Frank Sicheri, as well as colleagues in Seattle, have uncovered the structural mechanism by which a specific protein inhibits the DNA damage response in the cell—a discovery that deepens understanding of genetic “protection” responses, and which opens the door to new, more sophisticated cancer therapies. Mutations in genes involved in the DNA damage response frequently contribute to cancer formation and are also involved in infertility and immune deficiency. Therefore, targeting the proteins that regulate DNA repair could lead to new types of therapeutics for these diseases.

2012

Dr. Jeff Wrana and his team at the Lunenfeld garnered media attention for their major discovery about the way that cancer spreads. They were the first group of researchers to discover that proteins produced in normal (non-cancerous) cells near the environment of a cancer tumour are negatively influenced by the cancer cells and therefore affect the cancer’s ability to spread. Their discovery offers potential to transform the way cancer is treated, such as the development of drugs that could prevent cancerous cells from sending out their messages to normal cells.

2013

Mount Sinai researchers led by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran demonstrate that, when treated with insulin very early on in the disease cycle, the progression of diabetes can be halted in its tracks.

2014

An international consortium of researchers, led by Dr. Andras Nagy of Mount Sinai’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, discover a new class of stem cell which could eventually lead to new ways of treating illnesses. They were are also the first to map out, in unprecedented detail, the process a cell goes through to revert back to a stem cell, making it the encyclopedia for this biological process.

2014

Mount Sinai Hospital launched a unique telemedicine program enabling perinatal psychiatrists to conduct appointments with patients remotely through their personal computers. This program provides highly accessible care to those who might otherwise not receive necessary treatment: new or expecting mothers who need support addressing psychiatric conditions such as post-partum depression and anxiety.