(New York, NY – May 23, 2019) — Raja M. Flores, MD, Founding Chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Health System, was honored by New York University with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, which recognizes his accomplishments and services to NYU as both a student and alumnus. The award was presented on Tuesday, May 21 at the 2019 College of Arts & Science Baccalaureate Ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall.
Dr. Flores attended NYU from 1984 to 1988, receiving a full scholarship through the Higher Education Opportunity Program. “I am honored to receive this award and grateful for the opportunities I received. The scholarship helped me achieve my dreams and I’m happy to give back,” he says. Now as an alumnus, he has been deeply involved in helping students. On a professional level, he provides guidance to medical students and opportunities to shadow him in the operating room, and as benefactor, scholarships that enable them to pursue their dreams. Dr. Flores is also an active member of the NYU Arts and Science Board of Overseers.
“I was very humbled to receive this award because I’m the one who feels like I owe so much to NYU for giving me the opportunity to live out my dreams” says Dr. Flores, who is also the Steven and Ann Ames Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Flores is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon known for his technical skill and life-long work on lung and esophageal cancer, mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. He established the VATS lobectomy, a minimally invasive approach using three small incisions, as the gold standard in the surgical treatment of lung cancer. He has one of the largest VATS lobectomy experiences in the world and has published and presented this data at national and international meetings. His research has produced more than 200 publications and he was the Principal Investigator of a $4.8 million RO1 grant, to study the effect of asbestos contamination in the town of Libby, Montana.
After Dr. Flores received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at NYU, he went on to complete a master’s degree in biostatistics from Columbia University. He then attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he received his medical degree in 1992. He then spent five years at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, completing a General Surgery Internship and Residency. From there, he pursued a Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Faber Cancer Institute/CALGB in Boston, and his Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, Mount Sinai West, and South Nassau Communities Hospital are ranked regionally.