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[January 15,2010]


SUNY Downstate President John LaRosa Endorses Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act:

Proposed Legislation Would Increase Performance and Efficiency of SUNY’s Academic Medical Centers

SUNY Downstate Medical Center President John C. LaRosa, MD, today urged passage of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act proposed by Governor David Paterson.

“If passed, this legislation will be of enormous benefit to the State University of New York and City University of New York systems, and especially to the four SUNY academic medical centers,” said Dr. LaRosa.

SUNY Downstate is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, a borough of 2.6 million. Downstate provides critical patient care, advances medical and scientific knowledge, and trains people to enter the health professions. Said Dr. LaRosa, “The legislation proposed by the Governor will significantly improve Downstate’s ability to perform the services the Brooklyn community depends upon.” 

The legislation will provide long overdue relief from burdensome regulations and help campuses with tuition policy, financing, land use, construction, and public-private partnerships. It also will dramatically increase efficiency in operations and procurement. Last, it provides reforms for the three SUNY hospitals that will make it possible for them to provide better patient care.

“Despite SUNY Downstate’s history of success, today’s difficult economic climate poses major challenges,” said Dr. LaRosa. “The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act is a timely answer to making SUNY and CUNY better equipped to deal with the current economic downturn.”

The legislation will also generate employment. SUNY estimates that the act will create more than 10,000 new jobs statewide and invest over $8.5 in capital construction that will support over 43,700 direct and over 21,800 indirect construction jobs. 


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.