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Drs. Joseph J. Fins and David J. Skorton Elected to Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

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Cornell faculty chosen for one of the highest honors in their fields

ITHACA, N.Y. (October 11, 2010) — Dr. David J. Skorton, president of Cornell University, and Dr. Joseph J. Fins, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. IOM membership is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Announced today at the IOM's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Drs. Skorton and Fins are among 65 new members and four foreign associates elected this year. "Each of these new members stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge, and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine and who has served as a model for others," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg.

"I am deeply honored to be a part of the Institute of Medicine, with its timely and critical focus on evidence–based advice to the nation on health and health care," says Dr. David Skorton, president of Cornell University, professor of medicine and medicine in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College and professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering. "To be able to recognize at the same time the election of Dr. Joseph Fins, an esteemed colleague and friend at Weill Cornell Medical College, makes this a double honor."

"I am grateful for this honor and for the opportunity to be joining an organization that has done so much for America’s health. I am also especially pleased to have been elected with President Skorton," says Dr. Fins, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Departments of Public Health and Medicine, professor of medicine, professor of public health and professor of medicine in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The Institute of Medicine recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. With this year's election, the institute counts 1,610 active members, 75 emeritus members and 93 foreign associates. The IOM is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues.

About President David J. Skorton

David J. Skorton became Cornell University's 12th president on July 1, 2006. He holds faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering on Cornell's Ithaca campus. He is a board-certified cardiologist, an attending physician at New York–Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and a member of the consulting medical staff at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca.

Before coming to Cornell, President Skorton was president of the University of Iowa (UI) for three years (2003–2006) and a faculty member at UI for 26 years. Co-founder and co-director of the UI Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, President Skorton has focused his research on congenital heart disease in adolescents and adults, cardiac imaging, and computer image processing. He has published numerous articles, reviews, book chapters, and two major texts in the areas of cardiac imaging and image processing.

A national leader in research ethics, President Skorton is charter past–president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first entity organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs. He has served on the boards and committees of many other national organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the American Society of Echocardiography and the Association of American Universities.

He is also a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health; a Master of the American College of Cardiology; immediate past chair of the Business–Higher Education Forum, an independent, nonprofit organization of Fortune 500 CEOs, leaders of colleges and universities, and foundation executives; life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co–chair of the advisory board for the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

President Skorton earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1970 and an M.D. in 1974, both from Northwestern University. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

About Dr. Joseph J. Fins

Dr. Fins is the author of more than 200 publications in medical ethics and health policy. His most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life's End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006). His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co–author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state.

Dr. Fins is President-Elect of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Governor of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Hastings Center Board of Trustees. He is an adjunct faculty member at Rockefeller University and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, The New York Academy of Medicine and The Hastings Center.

Dr. Fins received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, now known as Weill Cornell Medical College, in 1986. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in general internal medicine at NewYork–Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and an Attending Physician and the Director of Medical Ethics at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

About Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College

Educational historian Frederick Rudolph once described Cornell as "the first American university," in the sense that Cornell was in the vanguard of sweeping changes, brought about by the Land Grant movement, that created a characteristically American style of institution: coeducational, nonsectarian, egalitarian, and with a curriculum not focused on the Latin and Greek classics. With seven undergraduate schools and colleges, and seven graduate and professional schools, Cornell is a center of research and scholarship that draws students, faculty and staff from all around the globe, and is consistently ranked among the top research universities in the world. For more information, visit www.cornell.edu.

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell’s medical school, is located in New York City with a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, it is the first medical college in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. The college is affiliated with NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, www.med.cornell.edu.


John Rodgers
jdr2001@med.cornell.edu

Weill Cornell Medicine
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