Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions
curve gif

[May 25, 2012]

SUNY Downstate to Graduate New Health Professionals for New York and the Nation at Commencement Ceremonies May 30, with the Majority to Stay in New York State:

Dr. David Blumenthal and Dr. Joan Stanley to Receive Honorary Degrees and Deliver Commencement Addresses


SUNY Downstate Medical Center will send a new class of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, research scientists, and public health professionals into the world on Wednesday, May 30, at commencement ceremonies at Carnegie Hall. The majority of students will be staying in New York State to practice. For example, 61 percent of College of Medicine graduates will remain in the state to pursue their medical residencies.   

At the ceremony for the College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree and deliver the commencement address.

Dr. Blumenthal is a leading advocate for healthcare improvement and reform. As President Barack Obama's national coordinator for health information technology, he helped spearhead the creation of a nationwide electronic health information system. He currently serves as Samuel O. Thier professor of medicine and professor of health care policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and Harvard Medical School. He also serves as chief health information and innovation officer for Partners Health System, the largest health system in New England. The ceremony begins at 3:30 pm.

John L. Murad, Jr., JD, will present greetings from the SUNY Board of Trustees. Mr. Murad was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2009.

The late Arthur H. Wolintz, MD, will be remembered with an Ailanthus Award, the highest campus honor. Dr. Wolintz, a 1962 graduate of Downstate who is credited with helping to establish the subspecialty of neuro-ophthalmology, founded the Department of Ophthalmology at Downstate and served as its first chair. The award will be accepted by his daughter, Robyn J. Wolintz, MD.

The College of Medicine will graduate 194 new physicians, 119 of whom will remain in New York State and 87 in New York City. The School of Graduate Studies will grant PhD degrees to nine students, of whom four will remain in New York State, all in New York City. One PhD student also will receive an MD degree. The School of Public Health will grant 26 master of public health degrees.
Joan M. Stanley, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, will deliver the commencement address at the ceremony for the Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions and also receive an honorary doctor of science degree. Dr. Stanley is one of the nation's foremost leaders in nursing and nurse education. As senior director of education policy of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, she has been a driving force in promoting advanced practice nursing education and developing the specialty of clinical nurse leader. The ceremony takes place at 7:30 pm.

The College of Nursing will graduate 182 students. Bachelor of science degrees in the RN to BS and Accelerated BS programs will be awarded. Master of science degrees will be granted in nursing (clinical nurse specialist), family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, nurse midwifery, and women’s health nurse practitioner. Advanced certificates in family nurse practitioner will also be awarded.

The College of Health Related Professions will graduate 137 students, granting bachelor of science degrees in diagnostic medical imaging and physician assistant. Master of science degrees will be granted in medical informatics, midwifery, and occupational therapy. Bachelor of science in health sciences/doctor of physical therapy degrees will also be granted.

Downstate President John C. LaRosa, MD, will deliver greetings and closing remarks at both ceremonies.


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 eighth 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.