Mount Sinai Hospital

The Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute is one of the first and currently largest academic palliative care centers in the country. Through its clinical, education, and research programs, the Hertzberg Institute aims to improve the quality of life for persons living with serious illness and their families. Established in 1997 with a grant from the United Hospital Fund of New York and subsequently endowed in 1999 by the late Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg, the Hertzberg Institute was among the first five palliative care programs to receive a prestigious advanced certificate in palliative care by the Joint Commission. The Hertzberg Institute resides in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and is partners with the newly established Patty and Jay Baker National Palliative Care Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The Hertzberg Institute’s mission is to advance the field of palliative care by developing and evaluating new models of clinical care, comprehensive educational programs, and NIH funded research. Clinical services are provided by teams of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains, licensed massage and yoga therapists, and creative art therapists to hospitalized patients on the Wiener Family Palliative Care Unit or throughout the Mount Sinai Health System, as well as to patients and families living in the community.

Joan Christopher, RN, BSN, CHPN

Joan has been working in palliative care for the past four years, after spending most of her career at the now-shuttered St Vincent’s Hospital in lower Manhattan. Her own experience with her mother’s cancer diagnosis has given her a deep well of compassion to draw from when working with her patients and their families.

Maureen Leahy, RN, BSN, MHA, CHPN

Maureen has seen the many faces of the dying process. She lost her father to cancer, lost her partner to a sudden heart attack, and has battled her own cancer diagnosis and treatment process. She finds that notions of surrender and acceptance can help patients when facing the fear, pain, and abandonment that can come with a protracted illness.