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[May 18, 2015]

Gala Honoring the Late Dr. Anne Kastor to Support the Brooklyn Free Clinic

Music and Story-telling Will Fill an Evening of Celebration on Thursday, May 21

Brooklyn, NY – The Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC) of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the borough's only student-run, physician-supervised free primary-care clinic for adults without insurance, is throwing a party to mark eight years of service to the community.

As part of the celebration, the clinic will be dedicated to its late founding physician, Anne Kastor, MD, who passed away in 2013 at age 49. The gala will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm at 501Union (501 Union Street) in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Tickets are $50 for SUNY Downstate students and $100 for other sponsors.

“Dr. Kastor was extremely devoted both to her patients and her students, and a radical educator and compassionate physician,” said Emily McDonald, a third-year Downstate medical student who volunteers at the clinic. “Music and storytelling will fill this inspirational evening, reflecting the unwavering optimism of all of the volunteers involved in the BFC through the years.”

“The story of the clinic and its volunteers and patients is an important one to tell. It has resonance beyond the gala itself into healthcare disparities in our city and elsewhere. The BFC is not only a primary care clinic, but a rich educational opportunity for students to become socially conscious healthcare providers.”

Martina Santarsieri, a first-year medical student at SUNY Downstate and an organizer of the event, says, “The gala gives us an opportunity to reflect on the incredible power that a group of like-minded individuals can have, and to celebrate the long-lasting change they have created. But it will also remind us that there is more to be done and provide us with the inspiration to keep going.”

The BFC was founded in 2006 by medical students attending Downstate. It has grown to include a full-fledged nursing student volunteer program, HIV/HCV counseling and testing, STI testing, physical therapy and psychiatry, specialty referrals, and free prescriptions on many common medications.

In addition, the clinic has developed into a community presence that provides disaster relief, as it did in Red Hook and Far Rockaway after Hurricane Sandy, and offers preventative screening at community fairs such as the Atlantic Antic and the Brooklyn Flea. It also participates in the We Are All Brooklyn Fellowship, a program for non-profit leaders with diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds focused on solving quality-of-life issues affecting their communities.

To secure tickets for the event, please contact Emily McDonald at:

Phone: 631-678-2192

For more information about The Brooklyn Free Clinic, please visit:


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 twelfth 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. For more information, visit