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[March 11,2010]


SUNY Downstate Physician and Medical Student Win AMA Leadership Awards

SUNY Downstate medical resident Kaedrea Jackson, MD, MPH, and second-year medical student Rosalyn Elise Plotzker, were among the 30 honorees to receive Leadership Awards at the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s annual Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony on March 1, in Washington, DC.

Leadership Awards are presented in recognition of outstanding nonclinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service, and education. Dr. Jackson is one of only six residents and fellows nationwide to receive this year’s leadership award, and Ms. Plotzker is one of only 20 medical students selected for this signal honor.

Dr. Jackson is a fourth-year resident specializing in emergency medicine/internal medicine at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital Center. She entered the residency program after graduating from Downstate’s combined MD/MPH degree program and currently serves as speaker of the Council for the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, the largest and oldest professional organization of its kind.

This year, in recognition of her contributions to graduate medical education and to the health and well being of the community SUNY Downstate serves, Dr. Jackson was honored by the Women’s History Month Committee as one of the Extraordinary Women of Downstate.

Upon completing her residency, Dr. Jackson plans to go on working in diverse and underserved communities. “I believe that the best way to combat the health problems that affect these populations is through a combination of medicine, health instruction, and disease prevention,” she says.

Rosalyn Plotzker, student winner of the Leadership Award, believes that health care is a basic human right. While still an undergraduate, she became active in HIV education and prevention programs in Philadelphia, and later co-founded a citywide HIV-testing day campaign. She became adept at using the media to promote health education. In addition to a public service announcement, she produced and directed a documentary about two local HIV activists. She also worked with organizations in New Orleans and New York to aid the homeless and, shortly before entering medical school, volunteered in a home-based care program in Kenya.

Now a second-year student in the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate, Ms. Plotzker continues to hone her communications skills. “Stories Forum,” a student-run speaker series she helps organize, provides a humanistic supplement to medical education by inviting patients and their caretakers to describe their experiences. At the National American Medical Student Association convention early this March, Ms. Plotzker and another colleague were invited to present a poster on how the presentations help to change students’ attitudes toward illness and disease.


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.