Dr. Michelle Gong Elected to National Leadership Role

Michelle Gong, MD, MS, chief of the divisions of critical care and pulmonary medicine within the Department of Medicine at Montefiore Einstein, has been elected to the Board of Directors and Executives of the American Thoracic Society as secretary.

The American Thoracic Society is the world’s leading medical society dedicated to the advancement of global respiratory health and treating critical illness through multidisciplinary collaboration, education and advocacy. Its more than 16,000 members in 133 countries include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and researchers focused on critical care, pulmonary disease, and sleep disorders. The society’s mission includes leading scientific discoveries, advancing professional development, making an impact on global health, and transforming patient care.

The secretary position amounts to election as the organization’s president after two years. Dr. Gong will serve a one-year term as secretary, followed by president-elect, and then president and immediate past-president. Her leadership on a national level further enhances Montefiore Einstein’s reputation for excellence in critical care and pulmonary medicine.

“I wanted to take on a larger leadership role in the society because it’s been a foundational anchor for me throughout my career, and I have been thinking about how it can serve a critical care community that is broader and more diverse than ever before,” says Dr. Gong. She plans to develop more formal opportunities for members to hone their leadership skills in a chosen area, be it clinical, research, administration, or operations, and to better support mid-career physicians.

I’m always asking, 'How can we learn to make the care that we give better every time?'

Michelle Gong, M.D., M.S.

An NIH-funded researcher for over 20 years with a focus on acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis, among other areas, she is driven by a desire to improve bedside care. She is clinical trialist in acute critical illnesses, leading NIH-funded network trials in ARDS, COVID-19, acute respiratory failure and sepsis. She has leveraged evidence-based best practices to develop new protocols around sedation, delirium, and early mobilization in the intensive care unit that have reduced the time patients spend on ventilators, length of stay, hospital costs, and patient complications while in the ICU.

“We want to use the best science and the best data in order to provide the best care,” says Dr. Gong. “I have a keen interest in improving outcomes, through clinical trials, and improving quality, through research that looks for ways to deliver care to our patients more effectively. I’m always asking, ‘How can we learn to make the care that we give better every time?’”

Dr. Gong has led Montefiore Einstein’s division of critical care medicine since 2019 and pulmonary medicine since 2020. “We congratulate Michelle on this honor and are confident she’ll bring the same consummate leadership she contributes here as chief of two major divisions to her role at the American Thoracic Society,” says Eric Epstein, MD, professor of endocrinology and interim chair of the department of medicine.

Says Dr. Gong, “Working at Montefiore Einstein with this group of immensely talented, smart, motivated, devoted physicians, who are integrating research, science, clinical care, and quality into a seamless fabric, is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my career. A key element of my leadership style is listening to the diverse voices of those I work with, looking for consensus, and then translating those ideas into initiatives that can serve the larger community. My goal is to bring that approach to the American Thoracic Society as well.”

The Department of Medicine wishes her every success in her new role.