NYAM Talks Health and Economic Benefits of Locally Grown Food


Iago Galdston Lecture

New York Academy of Medicine
Image: nyam.org

A pioneer in the health care investment field, Dr. Mitchell Blutt serves as chief executive officer of Consonance Capital in New York City. With more than three decades of experience in the field, he oversees the company’s private and public equity investment divisions. Outside of his work, Dr. Mitchell Blutt maintains membership in the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).

According to a recent report by NYAM, allocating more money to purchasing fresh food grown in New York State could not only be an economic boon for the state’s farmers, but also provides an opportunity to improve the health of residents in a number of public settings. Childcare facilities, adult care centers, food pantries, and other public-facing entities often rely on tax dollars to help fund a portion of their operations. By spending that money on fresh, New York-grown food, the agencies could help the people who depend on their services realize a decreased risk of developing chronic diseases.

The state spends nearly $1 billion each year on food for these institutions. Only 10 percent of that amount, however, goes to purchasing foods that are locally grown in New York. In the report, NYAM recommends that figure be upped to 25 percent, which not only will bring more fresh-grown food to New Yorkers, but will also help spur the state’s farming industries through local investment.


Weill Cornell Researchers Announce Dissolvable Medical Device

Weill Cornell Medical College pic

Weill Cornell Medical College
Image: news.weill.cornell.edu

Dedicated to the advancement of medical science, Dr. Mitchell Blutt has promoted and supported research in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Mitchell Blutt leads as CEO of healthcare investment group Consonance Capital and serves on the Dean’s Council of Weill Cornell Medical College.

In July of 2017, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College announced the creation of a dissolvable device that could decrease the risk of damage to internal organs during the closing phase of surgery. The device was developed largely due to the practice experiences of Dr. Jason Spector, a plastic surgeon and professor at Weill Cornell. Noting that medical science at the time offered no way of protecting the vital organs during surgical wound closure, thus leaving many patients at risk of internal damage, he consulted with biomedical engineering professor Dr. David Putnam.

Dr. Putnam reported that his graduate student, Nicole Ricapito, had developed a material that was not only strong enough to protect intestinal tissue and flexible enough to pass through a minimally-invasive surgical incision, but also capable of dissolving in the patient’s body. Drs. Putnam and Spector used this compound, made of polyethylene glycol and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), to craft a device that effectively protected mouse intestines during abdominal suturing and then rapidly dissolved in the abdominal cavity.

The researchers found that because DHA and polyethylene glycol both dissolve when exposed to water, the device would break down in less than three hours with no lasting effects. Encouraged by these results, the researchers are currently moving toward pre-clinical testing, to ensure that the technology is safe and effective enough to introduce into the commercial market.

The 2017 Population Health Summit


2017 Population Health Summit  pic

2017 Population Health Summit
Image: nyam.org

A pioneer in the field of healthcare investing, Dr. Mitchell Blutt holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The first medical doctor in the healthcare investment business, Mitchell Blutt currently applies his expertise as the CEO of Consonance Capital and he is also a member of the New York Academy of Medicine.

The New York Academy of Medicine is a public health organization that specializes in urban health advocacy. Founded in 1847, the organization actively engages in research and policy studies in addition to other programming initiatives and events for those engaged in the public health professions.

One such event, the 2017 Population Health Summit, is scheduled for December 11, 2017, at the academy’s facility in New York City. The New York State Health Foundation is sponsoring the summit, which focuses on population health and the many factors that can affect it. For example, past workshops have addressed the importance of coordination between the health care and social service sectors as well as the non-medical determinants of a population’s overall health. Additional information on this year’s event, which is designed as a retrospective on the successes and challenges of all four past summits, can be found at www.nyam.org.

New Parkinson’s Disease Research Maps Out Inhibitory Processes

Neurotransmission pic

Image: oist.jp

As CEO of Consonance Capital, Dr. Mitchell Blutt guides private equity funds and health care investments. Community focused, Dr. Mitchell Blutt supports a number of nonprofits and is a past board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is working to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Impacting 10 million people across the globe, Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that results in deterioration of physical function, with uncontrollable tremors leading to nerve cells misfiring and dying within the brain. Still incurable, Parkinson’s disease is not fully understood by medical researchers.

A recently published study by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University revealed the protein that blocks the proper transmission of neural signals that underpin higher brain functioning. Neurotransmission enables neurons to communicate signals effectively and transfer them in ways that allow seamless sensory motor functioning.

The chemical messengers contained in vesicle endocytosis within the nerve terminal are essential in transmitting neurological signals. When the process of endocytosis is inhibited during times of heavy use, processes breakdown and sensory perception of motor control is affected. Understanding this inhibitory process promises to offer a vital step toward tailoring treatments to actual neurological conditions in ways that have a positive for among patients.