Lenox Hill Hospital Gives Its Sports Medicine Program a New Home


Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, today announced that the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT), the world’s first hospital-based facility committed solely to the study of sports medicine for more than 40 years, has a new home.

The new $6.2 million, 7,800-square-foot space at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, located at 210 East 64th Street, represents another significant addition to the 147-year-old specialty hospital. NISMAT’s new state-of-the-art location was made possible by the philanthropic support of The Hess Foundation, long-time supporter of NISMAT and Lenox Hill Hospital.

The new space will allow the sports medicine program, which provides physical therapy for world-class athletes and weekend warriors alike, to provide its patients with personalized rehabilitation services and access to its world-renowned research, including a new state-of-the-art biomechanical research lab in which to study human motion.

In addition to the 1,200-square-foot biomechanical research lab, the new location includes a 1,200-square-foot physical therapy rehabilitation gym, specialty clinics for runners, golfers and tennis players, a new waiting and reception area, male and female locker rooms, three new private treatment rooms, a new hand therapy suite and a dedicated space to conduct comprehensive fitness assessments and individualized nutrition consultations.

“The new biomechanical research lab will greatly improve our ability to evaluate athletes. When we do biomechanical analysis of throwing motions, tennis serves and golf swings, we needed higher ceilings,” said Stephen Nicholas, MD, director of NISMAT. The new space features 12-foot ceilings and enough space to allow the program’s physical therapists and researchers to work side by side.”

Established at Lenox Hill Hospital in 1973, NISMAT was founded by James Nicholas, MD, who performed four knee surgeries on New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath throughout the Hall of Famer’s career, and Leon Hess, owner of the New York Jets. Mr. Hess first met Dr. Nicholas when he was a physician for the team. Together they became dedicated to understanding the causes and treatment of athletic injuries.

“My family is proud to continue the ground-breaking work first started in this institution more than 40 years ago,” said Marlene Hess, a lifetime trustee of Northwell Health. “We are very happy to help NISMAT begin a new chapter and support its mission to continue to provide new research and new innovative treatments for sports-related injuries.”

NISMAT is now under the direction of Dr. Nicholas’ son, Stephen Nicholas, MD, and has continued to play a key role in advancing the field of sports medicine, as well as redefining its focus. The world-renowned research, teaching, and treatment center was the world’s first hospital-based facility committed solely to the study of sports medicine. Once perceived as a discipline concerned only with repairing athletes' traumatic injuries, sports medicine is now recognized as a science that expands the understanding of the relationship between exercise and fitness at all levels, across every age group.

“The philosophy at NISMAT is to treat the athlete, not just the injury, with a focus on all aspects of the demands placed on the athlete. Clinicians and researchers work together as a team to provide comprehensive care,” said Elliott Hershman, chair of orthopaedics at Lenox Hill Hospital.

NISMAT has produced many landmark research studies in the past 40 years that have set the standard for how sports injuries are treated, how injuries can be prevented, and how best to prepare athletes to perform in their chosen sports and recreational activities.

One of unique attributes of NISMAT is that in addition to its ongoing research efforts, it is also a very active teaching and treatment center. Over three quarters of a million patients have passed through the doors of NISMAT, benefiting from the state of the art rehabilitation technology and medical expertise. This has allowed NISMAT to make numerous breakthrough contributions to the field of sports medicine, including:

•The recognition of sports medicine as a multidisciplinary field
•The inclusion of sports medicine as part of orthopedic training, now mandatory for all orthopedic residency programs
•The invention of the “Lenox Hill Brace” – currently one of the most widely used braces for knee instability in the world
•The Nicholas Manual Muscle Tester (MMT), a portable hand-held device for measuring muscle strength
•The profiling of athletes to match individual strengths and weaknesses to appropriate sport or exercise
•One of the first fellowships in sports medicine for orthopedists
•The concept of having a physician on the side line during athletic events before, during, and after the game
•The first modern arthroscopic surgery performed in New York City

To learn more about NISMAT call 212-434-2700 or click here.