Finding Sparks of Light in Dark Days

November 6, 2023

These have been very difficult weeks and months for so many around the world, and my heart truly breaks when I watch the news or read the headlines. There’s a reason why “may you live in interesting times” is considered a curse. It has certainly been no blessing to live through it, and I know so many people are feeling everything from grief and pain to anger and confusion. I encourage everyone on my team, and elsewhere in the college, to take advantage of the many resources available to help process the overwhelming emotions that come with these troubled times.

As we make our way through these waning days of 2023, I know it can be difficult to find sparks of joy, but I remain committed to finding them. Some of them are in the Fall 2023 issue of our department newsletter, with reports of our successful efforts in Salzburg, the amazing outcomes we’ve had with focused ultrasound for tremor, and our high-tech new Och Spine unit on the second floor of the hospital. We’ve added an amazing new spine surgeon and continue to host innovative professional development courses. Most importantly, our patient quality metrics are above industry benchmarks. 

Looking ahead, I am delighted to announce that we will be hosting the 2024 annual meeting of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS), one of the most important gatherings of neurosurgeons each year. Dr. Michael Kaplitt and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield are taking the lead with me on that important meeting. Later in 2024 NewYork-Presbyterian will be co-hosting the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery. Drs. Mark Souweidane and Neil Feldstein are leading that effort, along with colleagues from NYU Langone and Mount Sinai. Our patient caseload continues to grow, and our award-winning faculty grows with it. To ensure that we maintain our highest standards of care, Dr. Ibrahim Hussain will take on the role of Quality and Safety Czar, overseeing all our practice in a role originated by Dr. Eric Elowitz and held most recently by Dr. Robert Snow.

Our research faculty continue to win grant awards to pursue their investigations, and we are always amazed and gratified by the support we receive for the Children’s Brain Tumor Project (CBTP). That important research lab, which focuses 100% of its time on the seriously underfunded field of pediatric brain tumors, recently raised $1 million at its annual No Laughing Matter comedy night. We are grateful for the families, friends, and communities affected by a child’s brain tumor, who support this critical work. (See photos and news from the comedy event here on the CBTP site.)

Yours in good health,

Dr. Phil Stieg

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787