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[November 14, 2006]
SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been honored by inclusion in President George W. Bush’s inaugural Higher Education Community Service Roll. SUNY Downstate was one of 11 SUNY campuses to make the list. The honor roll supports the civic engagement mission of the nation’s 4,140 colleges and universities. State University of New York Chancellor John R. Ryan commended the SUNY campus winners.
This new recognition program was designed to increase public awareness of the contributions that college students are making within their local communities and across the country through volunteer service, such as SUNY Downstate’s Community Service Project. The Honor Roll’s emphasis this year was on recognizing service activities performed in response to the Gulf Coast and Atlantic hurricanes of 2005. The program also identifies and promotes community service model programs and practices in higher education. 
SUNY Downstate was cited for its students’ participation with Habitat for Humanity repairing homes in Florida damaged in last year’s hurricane season. Downstate’s student volunteer community outreach programs also included teaching proper nutrition and the dangers of obesity to high school students in Brooklyn; providing influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations to people over 50 or with chronic conditions; and informing local young people about the opportunities in careers in medicine and health. 
Downstate’s Community Service Project is coordinated by Michael Harrell, assistant vice president for governmental and community relations.
The Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.