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Mendelson Appointed to William and Sheila Konar Family Professorship

Highland Hospital Associate Chief of Medicine is first to receive honor

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


The Konar Professorship was created to enhance patient-centered care, especially for the elderly and complex patients. According to the William and Sheila Konar Foundation, the awardee will work to improve the health of the geriatric population and the patient experience through medical provider education, utilization of advances in information technology, the establishment of dashboards and metrics, a redesign of care delivery systems, and effective role modeling.


“We are honored to support Dr. Mendelson’s lifelong work on behalf of the elderly,” said Howard Konar of the William and Sheila Konar Foundation. “This is a cause we’re passionate about. We are impressed with Dr. Mendelson because of his dedication, accomplishments, and ability to help make meaningful changes in the field of geriatrics and palliative medicine.”


"Dr. Mendelson is an absolutely amazing physician,” said Sheila Konar. “As a Konar professor he will be able to share his expertise as a caregiver with other health care providers to make sure that all patients and their families have the best possible hospital experience.”


Championing the needs of elderly patients and determining the most effective care for them is a key driver for Mendelson whose career at Highland dates back to 1999. “It’s truly an honor for me to be the first recipient of this professorship and I am grateful to the Konar family,” said Mendelson. “We continue to make great strides in all aspects of geriatrics and palliative care. We continue to have meaningful success in not only improving patient specific outcomes but also improving the experience of the patient and family. I am privileged to work in an environment at Highland and at the University of Rochester where individuals are a priority.”


 “Dr. Mendelson’s recent appointment as the William and Sheila Konar Family Professorship is another highlight in his distinguished career and will have broad implications for geriatrics and palliative care in the future,” said Paul Levy, M.D., Chair, Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.


Mendelson’s specialized work in Geriatric Fracture care has earned him international acclaim. As co-founder of the Geriatric Fracture Center (GFC) at Highland Hospital, he lectures worldwide about topics related to fragility fractures, and is the author of numerous publications. With generous support of the John A. Hartford Foundation and through the American Geriatrics Society in collaboration with Brown University, Mendelson will disseminate this highly successful co-management model.


“Highland is proud of Dr. Mendelson and what he continues to achieve on behalf of our elderly patients and those around the globe,” adds Cindy Becker, Highland Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  “The generosity of the William and Sheila Konar Foundation will allow him to expand the boundaries of his work even further on behalf of this special population.”


“We are so grateful to the Konar family for the recognition their professorship brings to Dr. Mendelson’s work in geriatrics and palliative care,”  said Annette Medina-Walpole, M.D., Acting Chief, Division of Geriatrics & Aging, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “His accomplishments in patient care, education and clinical program development are exemplary.   He is a shining example of our University’s success in developing the next generation of academic leaders.” 



Mendelson is also the founder of the Palliative Care Consult Service at Highland Hospital; he also helped launch the Palliative Care Program at Strong Memorial Hospital in partnership with Timothy Quill, M.D. He has also been a leader in “Education Physicians for End of Life Care” (EPEC) and championing the “Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments” (MOLST).


An expert at clinical care and an experienced geriatrician, Dr. Mendelson is also an accomplished teacher, and mentor to students and residents.  “Dr. Mendelson’s skills in geriatrics and palliative care are exceptional and only matched by his compassion for patients,” said Robert McCann, M.D., M.A.C.P., Chief of Medicine, Highland Hospital. “His work has greatly enhanced the care we provide to patients and their families at Highland and we are immensely proud of this prestigious appointment.”



Founded in 1889, Highland Hospital has a history of innovative and personalized care. The hospital is a regional leader in specialties such as bariatric surgery, joint replacement, geriatric care, gynecologic oncology, prostate cancer treatment, women’s health services, and maternity. An affiliate of the University of Rochester Medical Center, the 261-bed organization and its 2,700 employees are committed to providing patient- and family-centered care. Go to find us on Twitter @HighlandHosp or visit our Facebook page under Highland Hospital to learn more. 

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Wendy Halik

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