Feinstein Institutes establishes professor in Women’s Health Research

Feinstein Institutes establishes professor in Women’s Health Research
(From left to right) Dr. Stacey E. Rosen, benefactors Saul and Iris Katz, and Dr. Elizabeth Cohn at the 9th annual Katz Institute for Women’s Health Lunch & Learn event held in Boca Raton, Florida in February 2024 (Credit: Northwell Health/Jason Jackman)

Thanks to a generous endowment from women’s health advocates and philanthropists Iris and Saul Katz, Northwell Health and its home of medical research, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, have established the Iris and Saul Katz Professor in Women’s Health Research in response to a national movement aimed at addressing the health care disparities facing women.

Elizabeth Cohn, vice president of health equity research in the Institute of Health System Science at the Feinstein Institutes, has been appointed the inaugural recipient of the position, the first of its kind at Northwell.

The appointment follows first lady Jill Biden’s recent announcement that $100 million in federal funding would be allocated for women’s health research, the first major step from a White House initiative launched last November to prioritize the unique health care needs of women.

“While women’s health is now recognized as a national priority, Northwell has been addressing this issue for more than 15 years by creating solutions to close health gaps through the Katz Institute for Women’s Health, a network of more than 750 dedicated women’s health experts,” said Dr. Stacey E. Rosen, executive director of the Katz Institute for Women’s Health, senior vice president of women’s health at Northwell and the Partners Council Professor of Women’s Health. “We’re at the beginning of a new era of growth that will elevate our women’s health research expertise and improve clinical care, thanks to the collaboration of the Feinstein and Katz institutes, the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Cohn and the visionary generosity of Iris and Saul Katz, who were trailblazers in identifying the gaps and supporting the need for specialized women’s care.”

Cohn is a nurse leader and renowned translational nurse-scientist. With more than 25 years of experience at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, she specializes in health equity, precision medicine and community-engaged research.

She has been recognized as the Obama White House Champion of Change in Precision Medicine and Health Equity and is an award-winning speaker and author.

“Elevating women’s health and translational research is not just about improving health care outcomes for women; it’s about advancing the well-being of entire communities and fostering a more equitable society,” said Cohn. “I am thankful to the Katzes for their generous support, and I am eager to enhance our national presence through innovation, collaboration and a steadfast dedication to raise health for all.”

Cohn will be formally recognized as the Iris and Saul Katz Professor in Women’s Health Research in October at Northwell’s Celebration of Excellence event, which brings together philanthropists, physician-scientists and clinical leaders to honor newly endowed professors and chairs who are shaping the future of health care.

Endowment provides the financial stability that allows Northwell to make strategic investments in a rapidly evolving health care environment and recruit the physicians, researchers and academic scholars who are propelling groundbreaking research and advancing medicine.

“We are proud to support Dr. Cohn, who shares our passion to ensure that the health care needs of women are no longer overlooked,” said Iris Katz. “We are finally making some headway nationally in women’s health research, and we’re excited to see how she will raise the standard of research and care in this critical area.”

“Northwell has the bandwidth and the systems in place, and we believe this is a moment in time when we can lead the nation in advancing women’s health research through this endowment,” added Saul Katz.

For the last 16 years, Iris and Saul Katz have been the driving force behind Northwell’s mission to address gender disparities and create a new, transformative model of women’s health care.

In 2008, they founded the Katz Institute for Women’s Health, which has grown into a vast network of clinical experts and specialized services and resources throughout Northwell’s footprint that address every aspect of a woman’s health through every age and stage of her life.

The Katzes’ support also enabled Northwell to build Katz Women’s Hospitals at both Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park and NSUH.

Most recently, their generosity established the Katz Women’s Surgical Center at Glen Cove Hospital, which has become a premier destination for women’s surgery and features the latest advances in breast surgery, breast reconstructive surgery and preventative mastectomy, gynecological and urological procedures, and advanced robot-assisted surgery.

Over the last three years, the center has increased women’s access to high-level care by as much as 60 percent for breast surgery, 40 percent for plastic surgery and 200 percent for gynecologic surgery.

“Integrating women’s health seamlessly across our health and research initiatives is not just a necessity; it’s the right thing to do,” said Karina Davidson, dean of academic affairs; director and professor, Institute of Health System Science, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research; senior vice president of research, Northwell; and the Donald and Barbara Zucker Professor in Health Outcomes. “We express profound gratitude to the Katzes for recognizing this vital need and for their unwavering support of Dr. Cohn in advancing the health and well-being of women everywhere.”

“Dr. Cohn is highly regarded as a nurse-scientist and a champion for women’s health and medical research,” said Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes and the Karches Family Distinguished Chair in Medical Research. “Her dedicated advocacy and leadership are an inspiration recognized by this endowment.”

The Katzes also serve as lead sponsors of the annual Katz Institute Luncheon and Fashion Event and the Summer Hamptons Evening, which collectively have raised $17 million to date for women’s health programming and research across Northwell. Supporters of the Katz Institute and these events advance the Outpacing the Impossible campaign, a comprehensive $1.4 billion fundraising effort to support Northwell’s promise to the people it serves.

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