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simonsfoundation.org

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Founded Year

1994

About Simons Foundation

Simons Foundation aims to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The foundation exists to support basic - or discovery-driven - scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of the world. The Simons Foundation's support of science takes two forms: it supports research by making grants to individual investigators and their projects through academic institutions, and, with the launch of the Flatiron Institute in 2016, it now conducts scientific research in-house, supporting teams of top computational scientists.

Simons Foundation Headquarter Location

160 Fifth Avenue 7th Floor

New York, New York, 10010,

United States

646-654-0066

Latest Simons Foundation News

Newly-sick 9/11 survivors see benefits from federal health program

Sep 8, 2021

Plus: 5 things to know about the NY Hero Act New York Cancer & Blood Specialists opens Ronkonkoma location Two decades after 9/11, some survivors have only just started feeling the physical repercussions. They started in June 2019 for Chris Sorrentino, when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer after months and months of "pain you couldn't believe," he said. Sorrentino had been on his way to work at the New York Stock Exchange when the planes hit the Twin Towers. He was back on the trading floor one week later, when federal officials wrongly claimed the air around Ground Zero was safe to breathe. "Even the stock exchange still had soot on the rafters," he said. By the time he got his diagnosis, Sorrentino was uninsured and facing a major surgery. Luckily, he had another form of recourse: the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides 9/11 responders and survivors with medical monitoring and treatment for related health conditions. Sorrentino is among more than 112,000 enrolled in the federally funded program, established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and later extended to 2090. New York City chips in 10% of the program's cost. Hundreds of first responders and survivors enroll each month, including 652 in June alone, according to federal data. Cancer is the third-most-common condition reported by fund enrollees, after chronic rhinosinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Sorrentino is one of nearly 700 who specifically contracted bladder cancer. Sorrentino calls the program a godsend. He enrolled as soon as he received his diagnosis, a process that involved submitting employment verification and sworn affidavits from witnesses to prove his proximity to the World Trade Center at the time. He enlisted lawyer and fellow 9/11 survivor Michael Barasch to help assemble the reams of paperwork. Several months later he was officially registered and his cancer certified as a 9/11-related condition eligible for coverage. In August 2019 he underwent a complex surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center to take out his bladder and build him a new one cut from his intestines. The procedure was successful, but it took months and multiple hospitalizations before his pain finally subsided. Last month he celebrated two years cancer-free. Sorrentino said he ultimately paid about $2,600 out of pocket toward the $400,000 in medical costs associated with his cancer treatment. Soon other survivors may not have access to such extensive financial support. Rising medical costs and growing membership in the health program put it at risk of a funding shortfall starting in 2025, members of Congress warned last month. The program's 2015 reauthorization came with $4.7 billion through fiscal 2025 and annual baseline appropriations of $570 million through 2090. Barasch said the growing number of program enrollees represents just a fraction of the survivors and first responders who are eligible. An estimated 400,000 people were exposed to the disaster and its aftermath, including the toxic dust from the towers' collapse and fumes from persistent fires, one study found. In August Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents portions of Manhattan's East Side and western Queens, introduced a bill that she said would fill that funding gap. It is slated to provide about $2.6 billion throughout the next decade. Sorrentino said he prays every day that he does not develop another health issue related to the disaster. He knows several people who are just now getting diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers and encourages others to schedule health evaluations at one of the health program's clinical centers, even if they feel healthy. "Don't wait for something to hit you," he said. —Maya Kaufman Feinstein endows new research chair with $5M gift from Simons Foundation Northwell Health's Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research has received a $5 million gift from the Flatiron District–based Simons Foundation and has endowed a new chair with it. The gift created the Simons Foundation chair in clinical research, which has Dr. Felicia Hill-Briggs as its inaugural recipient. She joined Feinstein in May from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, where she was professor of general internal medicine within the Department of Medicine. The endowment allows Hill-Briggs to create a "prevention core" to build research programs and clinical care initiatives to advance prevention efforts at Feinstein and Northwell Health, Hill-Briggs said. She was also appointed vice president for prevention at the health system. "We've learned a lot through clinical research on how we can intervene to promote healthier behaviors at the individual, community and systems levels," Hill-Briggs said. "But very little of that has made it into what we do on a daily basis." A least seven staffers will be brought on board, including faculty researchers, investigators and a data analyst, Hill-Briggs said. Her expertise is in diabetes prevention, but she hopes to bring on researchers in other disease fields, such as cancer, to expand programs the team can achieve, she said. The prevention core will be able to leverage Feinstein's existing research and data teams as well as Northwell's clinical teams for programs, Hill-Briggs said. An initial program includes implementing the strategies outlined in the Diabetes Prevention Act of 2009. The Department of Health and Human Services devised standardized curricula, training and resources for it, but there hasn't been a push to get them enforced in health systems nationwide, Hill-Briggs said. "It has been a decade since the act was passed in Congress and we're just now getting to implement it in our health care systems and our communities," she added. The new chair will also empower discovery and research for more effective and precise diagnoses and treatments for people with chronic conditions or diseases, Hill-Briggs said. "This new position will help us work on one of the most important and critical yet neglected areas of research and dissemination needed for population health: prevention," she said. Simons Foundation was founded in 1994 and reported $723 million in revenue in 2020. Feinstein has over 5,000 researchers and staff as well as 50 labs. It is home to over 3,000 clinical studies. —Shuan Sim 5 things to know about the NY Hero Act The state has designated Covid-19 as a serious public health risk that triggers new workplace-safety requirements under the New York Hero Act, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday. The Hero Act, or the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, requires the state departments of Labor and Health to implement enforceable minimum workplace-safety standards aimed at airborne infectious diseases. Although the Legislature passed the act earlier this year and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law, it can be implemented only once the state declares an illness to be "a highly contagious, communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health." Here are five things to know about the Hero Act. All private employers with worksites in the state are required to implement a safety plan to prevent employee exposure to airborne infectious diseases like Covid-19. Employers can adopt a template plan provided by the state Department of Labor or establish their own, as long as it meets or exceeds the act's minimum requirements. Employers must establish a plan within 30 days after the Department of Labor publishes the model standard and the relevant industry-specific template. Exposure prevention plans must include health screenings at the beginning of the workday, face-covering requirements, physical distancing requirements, handwashing or sanitizing facilities, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and the use of personal protective equipment. Employers must provide the appropriate face coverings and PPE. Employees covered by the plans include part-time workers, independent contractors, domestic workers, home care and personal care workers, day laborers, people working for digital applications or platforms, staffing agencies and contractors or subcontractors. Employees or independent contractors of the state, political subdivisions of the state, a public authority and other governmental agencies are not subject to the Hero Act. Employers and their representatives are barred from retaliation against any employees who report Hero Act violations or who refuse to work because they believe "in good faith" that their work exposes them or others to an "unreasonable risk of exposure" to an airborne infectious disease. Employers who do not adopt a prevention plan are subject to fines of at least $50 per day until they implement one. Those who fail to follow their adopted plan face fines of $1,000 to $10,000. Prevention plan templates and more details about the law are available on the Department of Labor's website. —M.K. New York Cancer & Blood Specialists opens Ronkonkoma location New York Cancer & Blood Specialists has opened a treatment center in Ronkonkoma, Long Island, it announced Tuesday. The 2-story building, located at 501 Hawkins Ave., was previously the Agnew and Taylor Hardware Store, a historic landmark that opened in 1898 in Brookhaven Town. The exterior has been preserved, and the interior holds 4,200 square feet on the first floor and 2,800 on the second floor. The space now contains seven examination rooms and 16 infusion chairs. The center is staffed by three hematology-oncologists and offers infusion therapies, clinical trials as well as financial and support services. The Port Jefferson, Suffolk County–based organization has signed a 15-year lease on the space. The site cost approximately $500,000 to set up, said Dr. Jeff Vacirca, CEO. The Ronkonkoma location was well-located for patients in the center of Long Island, so they would not need a long commute to receive care, he added. New York Cancer & Blood Specialists has over 40 locations that provide cancer treatment and services in the city and Long Island. Founded in 1977, it was formerly North Shore Hematology-Oncology Associates. —S.S. AT A GLANCE WHO'S NEWS: Mandana Varahrami has been appointed chief product officer of CipherHealth, the Midtown-based patient-engagement firm announced Tuesday. She was previously chief product officer at RapidDeploy, an emergency response tech company in Texas. MAGNET DESIGNATION: Good Samaritan Hospital has earned the Magnet Designation for Nursing Excellence, Catholic Health announced Tuesday. The American Nurses Credential Center recognized the Long Island hospital for its clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, nursing professionalism and teamwork. Good Samaritan is the only hospital on Suffolk County's south shore with this distinction, held by less than 9% of hospitals nationwide, it said. NEW TECHNOLOGY: White Plains hospital has acquired a PET/MRI scanner, making it the only health care facility in the Hudson Valley with this technology, it said Tuesday. The machine provides a comprehensive assessment for cancer detection and neurological conditions and is housed within the 252,000-square-foot, 9-story Center for Advanced Medicine & Surgery. CONTACT US: Have a tip about news happening in the local health care industry? Want to provide feedback about our coverage? Contact the Health Pulse team at [email protected]

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Simons Foundation Patents

Simons Foundation has filed 3 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Transcription factors
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1/28/2019

Genetics, Molecular biology, Biotechnology, Biological databases, Epidemiology

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Genetics, Molecular biology, Biotechnology, Biological databases, Epidemiology

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