Public Release: 

Mount Sinai and YAI/NIPD Network join forces to further quality of care for people with autism

Cooperation between institutions will offer greater access to state-of-the-art-evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and services

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

New York, NY - The Seaver and New York Autism Center for Excellence at Mount Sinai School of Medicine announced today that it is entering into an affiliation with the YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities (YAI/NIPD) Network to offer enhanced programs and greater access to diagnostic services for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Mount Sinai School of Medicine -- an institution committed to accelerating scientific discovery and translating those discoveries into better diagnostic tools and treatment -- is excited to partner with the YAI/NIPD Network, comprised of seven not-for-profit agencies serving individuals with developmental and learning disabilities for nearly 50 years. The partnership will bring the highest levels of quality care and access to state-of-the-art evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and services for patients with ASD.

"The goal of this endeavor is to create a premier autism center in New York. Mount Sinai's expertise in research and evaluation and the YAI/NIPD's Network's capacity and reputation in services and treatment will create a unique program," said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and CEO, The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "We believe this combined venture will serve as a model for other programs throughout the country."

"The need for the provision of treatment and services for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder has never been greater," said Joel M. Levy, CEO, YAI/NIPD. "We are certain that the YAI/NIPD Network's partnership with Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Seaver and New York Autism Center for Excellence will play a pivotal role in addressing this pressing need."

ASD affects more children today than diabetes or Down syndrome. It is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions and repetitive patterns of behavior. In some children, hints of future problems may be apparent from birth; sometimes the signs are not so clear.

Mount Sinai has been at the forefront of autism treatment and research for several years. The Seaver and New York Autism Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, funded in part by a major grant from the Seaver Foundation since 1993, involves an interdisciplinary approach to the study of autism which includes family/genetic studies, brain imaging studies, and biological, autoimmune, neuropsychiatric, and psychosocial and medication treatment studies. In 2003, the Center was named a Center of Excellence by the NIH and awarded a grant as part of the Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) Centers Program initiative. Mount Sinai is one of only eight such centers around the country.

"I am so pleased to be a part of this journey," said Eric Hollander, MD, Chairman of Psychiatry and Director of the Seaver and New York Autism Center for Excellence at Mount Sinai. "Combining forces with the YAI/NIPD Network will benefit many patients and families dealing with this disease. Both institutions are equally committed to furthering a singular mission, to provide the highest quality of care and access to evaluation, diagnosis treatment and services for all patients with ASD."

YAI/NIPD Network will hold its 27th Annual International Conference "Pathways to Success in Developmental and Learning Disabilities: Innovative Programs, Strategies and Policies that Work" on May 1-5, where Dr. Kenneth L. Davis will formally announce the partnership and Joel M. Levy will share the framework of the affiliation with the public.

  • 9:30 A.M., Monday, May 1 - Keynote address by Andrew Cuomo, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Candidate for New York State Attorney General, on "Promoting the Rights of People with Disabilities."
  • 10 A.M., Monday, May 1 - Official announcement and proclamation signing of Mount Sinai-YAI/NIPD Network Autism Affiliation.
  • 10:10 A.M., Monday, May 1 -- Five-year-old Samantha, who was diagnosed as a toddler on the Autism Spectrum, will receive YAI/NIPD Network's Profile in Excellence Award. When she came to the New York League for Early Learning's Harry H. Gordon School in the Bronx at 18-months, she would not speak or acknowledge anyone. Today, she bursts into the classroom with a beaming smile and booming "Hello everybody! How are you today?" Samatha's mother, who also has a son on the Spectrum, will be joining her.


For more conference information, visit For press inquiries, contact Lynn U. Berman at or 212-273-6199 (w) or 203-981-6938 (cell).

YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network is a family of seven not-for-profit health and human services agencies serving 20,000 people with developmental and learning disabilities daily in more than 400 community-based programs throughout the New York metropolitan area and Puerto Rico. Established in 1957, the YAI/NIPD Network is recognized nationally for its conferences, training seminars and publications.

Located in Manhattan, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized for ground-breaking clinical and basic-science research, and innovative approaches to medical education. Through the Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Mount Sinai trains biomedical researchers with an emphasis on the rapid translation of discoveries of basic research into new techniques for fighting disease. One indication of Mount Sinai's leadership in scientific investigation is its receipt during fiscal year 2005 of $174.1 million in research support from NIH. Mount Sinai School of Medicine also is known for unique educational programs such as the Humanities in Medicine program, which creates opportunities for liberal arts students to pursue medical school, and instructional innovations like The Morchand Center, the nation's largest program teaching students and physicians with "standardized patients" to become not only highly skilled, but compassionate caregivers. Long dedicated to improving its community, the School extends its boundaries to work with East Harlem and surrounding communities to provide access to health care and educational programs to at risk populations.

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