Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center Opens at Columbia University Medical Center

New Standard for Osteoporosis Treatment, Research, and Education<br /><br />Largest Osteoporosis Center in NYC Area

Sep 12, 2003


Columbia University Medical Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital announced the completion of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, a new standard for treatment, research, and education relating to the disease. The Center, the largest in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the largest in the U.S., is made possible by a generous donation by the Madeline C. Stabile Foundation, named for the late sister of Toni Stabile.

The gift by Ms. Toni Stabile, an award-winning investigative journalist and advocate for persons with osteoporosis, established and endowed the new Center and created the Madeline C. Stabile Professorship. The Center, which first opened its doors in 1997, will be rededicated as part of a celebratory event on September 15, 2003 at 4:30 p.m.

"The Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center sets the highest standard for osteoporosis care," said Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "We commend Ms. Stabile for her longstanding dedication to furthering osteoporosis research, education, and treatment. Her extraordinary support has made possible this specialized center where physicians and researchers are able to provide compassionate and comprehensive care."

The outpatient center, which treats over 3,500 patients per year, includes a Fracture Intervention Program for patients who have recently sustained osteoporotic fractures, state-of-the-art bone densitometry equipment, including bone densitometry testing with dual energy x-ray absorption (DEXA), as well as a complete laboratory facility.

"The Toni Stabile Center is dedicated to treating every patient as an individual, with unique concerns and issues, and offers therapies tailored to each person's specific needs," said Dr. Ethel Siris, Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center and Attending Physician at Columbia University Medical Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Madeline C. Stabile Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. "As part of an individualized treatment regimen, patients are provided with state-of-the-art approved therapies, or they may choose to participate in clinical research opportunities with the latest and most innovative approaches to care. All treatment is directed by a team of world-class physicians who are international authorities on osteoporosis and are at the forefront of research on osteoporosis."

"Also central to the Center's mission are education and prevention," said Dr. Siris. Each year, the Center performs over 8,500 bone density tests. Screenings are done for persons at risk for the disease, including post-menopausal women and older men, as well as patients with malabsorption disorders, those on glucocorticoids, and others. The Center also offers programs to educate physicians and the public about the disease.

The Center is located in the newly renovated ninth floor of the Harkness Pavilion at Columbia University Medical Center. The expanded space permits the Center to have two innovative programs: volunteers are available on site to talk with patients and offer support; secondly, there is a conference area for use by support groups.

Afflicting more than 25 million Americans, osteoporosis is a disorder in which bone becomes thinner, weaker, more porous, and much more susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis is the major cause of spinal compression fractures and hip fractures, accounting for 1.5 million fractures each year.

Certain risk factors are associated with an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis. These include: post-menopausal women; women with a family history of osteoporosis; women who are thin, petite, Caucasian, or Asian; women with diets deficient in calcium and vitamin D; men with low testosterone levels; persons with a history of fracture after age 50; persons over age 70; long-term smokers; persons who consume excess alcohol; persons who are immobilized for long periods; persons with certain medical conditions (kidney disease, malabsorption, overactive thyroid); and persons on certain medications (steroids, anti-seizure medications).

For more information about the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, please call Dr. Siris at 212-305-2529.

Background on Toni Stabile and the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center

The Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center had its genesis in Toni Stabile's personal struggle with the disease.

The concept and mission of the Center was first envisioned by Toni Stabile in the winter of 1992. On the evening after Christmas, Toni Stabile, an investigative reporter and world traveler with a TV award for service to consumers, heard the sound of a crack at the base of her spine. Whatever it was, she thought, by morning it would be all right. Instead, she awoke to intense pain. An x-ray showed that she had suffered a compression fracture. Four inches of her spine had collapsed because of osteoporosis she didn't know she had. To learn what had happened, she emptied six libraries of what they had on the subject—which wasn't much at the time. The most important thing she learned was that, with knowledge, she and other victims could have been saved from the ravages of osteoporosis and what can mean a literal change of life as well as body.

After hearing a speech by Dr. Ethel Siris, Ms. Stabile became her patient. The new prescription drugs for osteoporosis had yet to appear, and patient and doctor felt that more could be done to encourage research and raise awareness about osteoporosis, as well as giving more help to victims. They set about creating a department that could be a model for others. As a first step, a needed second bone density machine was donated by Toni Stabile's brother, Vincent A. Stabile. The Stabile Foundation then established the Madeline C. Stabile Professorship for Dr. Siris who became the Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center. The Center has since expanded in space, equipment, personnel and services to the model it is today.

A prolific freelance writer, Toni Stabile recently wrote a ground-breaking Reader's Digest article pointing out that osteoporosis can afflict men and women of all ages—not only elderly women. Ms. Stabile is also the author of three investigative books on cosmetics and family grooming products. The books have been published in several updated editions and have become definitive source books. Her investigative reports prompted the first Congressional hearings on cosmetic safety in twenty-two years, paved the way for mandatory ingredient listing on all cosmetic and grooming products from baby powder to lipstick, and prompted regulatory and industry reforms. Her work is being collected by the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.

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