World-renowned cardiologist Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2013 Camino Real Award by the Research Institute of North American Studies "Benjamin Franklin" of the University of Alcalá (Instituto Franklin - UAH) in Spain. The award recognizes Dr. Fuster as a prestigious Spaniard whose lifelong professional work has contributed to the positive image and promotion of Spain in North America.
Dr. Fuster was presented the second-ever Camino Real Award on July 18 at the University of Alcalá by Spain's HRH Felipe de Borbón y Grecia, Prince of Asturias. During the award ceremony, HRH Felipe de Borbón highlighted how Dr. Fuster "knows how to 'españolear', how to promote the image of Spain, especially in that great country, so loved and so important to us, which is the United States."
"When I received the news that I was the award-winner, I thought to myself: 'How can this be possible?' It is never late to be amazed," says Dr. Fuster who also serves as Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health at The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Instituto Franklin - UAH is dedicated to the study of North America. It is named after Benjamin Franklin who served as the first ambassador from the U.S. in front of the Spanish court. Interestingly, the Camino Real Award is in the physical shape of a bell. The award's name refers to the former railways called Camino Real in Tierra Adentro and Camino Real in California used by the Spanish to travel from Mexico to the northern territories that are now part of the U.S. On the Camino Real railways bells were strategically placed to mark its passage. Today some of the bells can be seen along the old route of the railway.
In addition, at the award ceremony the tenor Plácido Domingo, the past recipient of the first-ever Camino Real Award, shared a few words about Dr. Fuster saying he enjoys "the admiration of everybody" because, among other reasons, he has managed to convey the philosophy of life of choosing a job that stimulates you.
Instituto Franklin - UAH's mission is to serve as a cooperative platform that unites Spain and North America with the objective to promote awareness and knowledge about the diversity of cultures that pertain to those territories. This mission is carried out through collaborations between University of Alcalá and American higher education institutions, public or private agencies, and associations in order to foster understanding and constructive collaboration on both sides of the Atlantic.
For the last three decades, Dr. Fuster has been a global leader in the field of cardiology in cardiovascular medicine, translational research and education. He specializes in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, and thrombosis. In addition, he focuses on the unique challenges of treating patients diagnosed with both diabetes and heart disease who have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Dr. Fuster leads the FREEDOM trial, the first long-term, multi-site trial that seeks to firmly establish a standard of care for this high-risk population. Dr. Fuster has published more than 900 research studies.
Dr. Fuster has served as past President of the American Heart Association, past President of the World Heart Federation, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Fuster is the General Director of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) in Madrid, Spain which was established to bring together leading Spanish cardiovascular researchers and funding to advance biomedical research. Also, Dr. Fuster is Chairman of the SHE Foundation (Science for Health and Education), which he created to improve total health in the population, especially in young people.
Dr. Fuster was born in Cardona (Barcelona), Spain. After receiving his medical degree from Barcelona University and completing an internship at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Dr. Fuster spent several years at the Mayo Clinic, first as a resident and later as Professor of Medicine and Consultant in Cardiology. In 1981, he came to The Mount Sinai Medical Center as head of Cardiology. From 1991 to 1994, he was Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He returned to Mount Sinai in 1994.
About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Icahn School of Medicine is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty members in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.
The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of just 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and by U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.
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