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Mount Sinai Hospital physician recognized with two awards for advances in thyroid research and care

August 15, 2007 -- A Mount Sinai Hospital physician is being recognized by his peers across North America for his lifetime of dedication to the advancement of patient care in the management and treatment of thyroid related diseases.

Dr. Paul Walfish

Dr. Paul Walfish of the Departments of Medicine, Otolaryngology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will receive both the Canadian Medical Association 2007 Medal of Service and the 2007 Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award of the American Thyroid Association.

Next week Dr. Walfish will receive the Canadian Medical Association 2007 Medal of Service in Vancouver for advancing the art and science of treating thyroid diseases worldwide. The award also recognizes recipients who have raised the standards of health care in Canada.

In October, Dr. Walfish will be honoured in New York, N.Y. with the Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Lectureship Award which recognizes established investigators who have made academic contributions to thyroid-related research and innovation. He is only the forth member of the American Thyroid Association to receive both this award as well as the American Thyroid Association’s Paul Starr Award which he was presented in 2004.

“It is certainly an honour and great privilege to be recognized by my peers through these awards,” says Dr. Walfish. “They bring public awareness to the importance of detecting and treating thyroid diseases that can be successfully managed by our health-care system for the benefit of all Canadian citizens.”

Dr. Walfish has earned many prestigious awards and honours for his work and global contributions to clinically managing thyroid disorders. He is well known for his pioneering work involving screening newborns for the detection of an underactive thyroid condition using a heel prick test.

Along with his colleagues at Mount Sinai Hospital, he also established the application of ultrasound and fine needle biopsy in North America to systematically investigate thyroid nodules for the early detection and treatment of thyroid cancer.

“Paul’s exploration and contributions in his field has helped to put our institution on the map,” said Joseph Mapa, President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital. “He is a bright mind and a big heart, with a devotion to providing the best medicine possible to our patients.”

Dr. Walfish studied medicine at the University of Toronto and received specialty certification in Internal Medicine in 1963. He was awarded a McLaughlin Foundation Fellowship and spent a year at Harvard Medical School furthering his clinical studies in endocrinology, after which he joined
U of T’s Department of Medicine as a clinical teacher and Medical Research Council of Canada

Dr. Walfish joined Mount Sinai Hospital in 1964, and gained international recognition by the early 1970s with important breakthroughs in the detection and treatment of thyroid disorders. The innovative strategies he helped to develop have raised the standards of patient care in North America for many thyroid diseases.

Dr. Walfish continues to publish extensively, and is actively engaged in basic science research programs at Mount Sinai, where his work focuses on using yeast and human cell systems to understand the molecular basis of thyroid hormone action and cancer.

As a clinician at Mount Sinai Hospital, he also continues to develop new strategies for the post-surgical management of thyroid cancer patients.

About Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital is recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, teaching and research. Its key priority programs are Women's and Infants' Health, Surgical Subspecialties and Oncology, Internal Medicine and Subspecialties, and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. It is a University of Toronto-affiliated patient care, teaching and research centre.

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For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Walfish, please contact:

Jodi Salem
Media and Communications Specialist
Mount Sinai Hospital
416-586-4800 ext. 8306