New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
|New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
of Mount Sinai
|Mount Sinai Health System|
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary North Building, opened in 1968
|Affiliated university||Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai|
|Network||Mount Sinai Health System|
|Lists||Hospitals in New York|
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, located at East 14th Street and Second Avenue in lower Manhattan, New York City, is one of the most prominent otolaryngology and ophthalmology hospitals in the world, providing primary inpatient and outpatient care in those specialties. Previously affiliated with New York Medical College, as of 2013 it is affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a part of the membership in the Mount Sinai Health System. Yearly, several hundred medical students compete for entrance into this institution for training but only seven each year are accepted into the ophthalmology training program and four into the otolaryngology program.
As of 2009, the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is working in partnership with "Project Chernobyl", to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer associated with radiation exposure from the Chernobyl disaster, which can take decades to develop. Thyroid cancer is a risk among some 200,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who now live the New York area.
The hospital was founded on August 1, 1820 by Edward Delafield and John Kearney Rodgers, both surgeons who were graduates of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons who did their clinical training at New York Hospital, and, in London, at the London Eye Infirmary. When they returned to New York in 1818, they made the first survey of eye diseases in the city, and, in response to the lack of eye care provided to the poor except in dire circumstances, opened the New York Eye Infirmary at 45 Chatham Street (which is now 83 Park Row), across from City Hall and near the Five Points neighborhood.
Gaining the support of prominent New Yorkers such as William Few – who became the first President of the Infirmary Board, from 1821 to 1828, Philip Hone, Benjamin Strong and David Hosack – the founder of Bellevue Hospital, money was raised for the new charitable venture, rules and regulations drawn up, and a Board of Directors formed on April 21, 1821. The hospital was incorporated by the New York State Legislature on March 22, 1822.
The new Infirmary was a success, treating 436 patients in its first seven months. It soon outgrew its original quarters, and moved, first to Murray Street across from Columbia College, then, with the help of an annual appropriation from the Legislature, to 139 Duane Street in a building leased from New York Hospital. This location was sufficient for several years, but the growing institution was forced to move numerous times, finally arriving at Second Avenue and 13th Street on April 25, 1856, in a building which is still in use. In 1890, additional floors were added, and in 1893 new pavilions were built, including the Schermerhorn Pavilion, designed by Stanford White, one of only structures by White still extant in New York City. In January 1968, the North Building was added to be the Infirmary's primary facility, and the original building was renovated for use as offices, lecture halls, clinics, library and other support services.
The Eye Infirmary had added a department for otology – problems of the ear – in 1824, and its annual reports referred to the hospital as the "Eye and Ear Infirmary" as early as 1840, but it was not until 1864 that the institution's name was officially changed to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary by act of the state legislature.
In 2014 the official name was changed to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai as a part of the merger between Continuum Health Partners and The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
In popular culture
The interior of the old infirmary was used in The Godfather, for the scenes in which Mafia Don Vito Corleone is in the hospital after being shot, and his son, Michael Corleone, attempts to protect him against gunman who are trying to kill him.
- 'Living With Radiation' Conference Commemorating Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Held at United Nations, Sponsored by New York Eye & Ear Infirmary
- Kara, Gerald B. "History of New York Eye & Ear Infirmary: One hundred fifty years of continuous service" New York State Journal of Medicine (December 1, 1973)
- Mattucci, Kenneth F. "Otolaryngology in America" Head and Neck Surgery (1996; 115:487-499)