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SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center

STAR Health Center (SHC)

Community Advisory Group

Helping Out

photo of CAG bulletin board

The SHC works in partnership with our patients and the community to ensure that we are offering services most needed in Central Brooklyn. The STAR Community Advisory Group (CAG) is the primary vehicle for consumer involvement in program design, implementation, and improvement. Members include individuals who receive our services as well as those who are just concerned that people in their neighborhoods get the best possible health care.

The CAG has shaped the types of services provided by the SHC as well as the way these services are delivered. It has been instrumental in the development of a patient satisfaction survey which members administer monthly. It has also recommended additional peer education, mental health services specific to women's issues, substance abuse treatment, more appointment availability, peer education and buddy services, all of which have been incorporated into SHC services.

We are fortunate to have committed CAG members who volunteer their time and ideas to the betterment of the SHC, and their personal statements express why each of them have assumed this important responsibility. Our CAG members are also interested in hearing your ideas, so the next time you see one of the faces below, introduce yourself and let them know what health care services you think our community needs.


Gloria Guzman:

photo of Gloria Guzman

I began peer education with the Latino Community Commission for the Health Department of NYC. I continued working for other agencies on advocacy, support/outreach for clients living with chronic diseases. I am currently a senior peer leader for the STAR Program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. I have also been a member of the Community Advisory Group for the past nine years. My goal is to help clients empower themselves and to continue working with clients so that they receive quality care for better health.

Pamela Crawford:

I am one of the newest members of the Community Advisory Group (CAG). I have been in the healthcare field for over 20 years and I am a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor (CASAC). My main purpose and goal in joining the CAG is to give assistance and support to clients in their need to be educated about their health, wellness and medication issues.


Michael Anderson:

photo of Michael Anderson

I have been a member of the Community Advisory Group for over 9 years. Presently I am Health Educator at CAMBA Anti-Stigma project. I am also a Pre-Post Counselor. I do this work to advocate and lend my voice for clients that would otherwise not be heard.

Marilyn H. Whitehurst:

photo of Marilyn H. Whitehurst

I am a Community Advisory Group member because I am dedicated to assisting people who need help as I was once in need of assistance. I was introduced to the CAG team by Gloria Guzman, who has seen my work as a Peer Educator.

Thomas Powell, Jr.:

photo of Thomas Powell, Jr.

I joined the SUNY Downstate STAR Health Center Community Advisory Group team in order to serve as an advocate for all clients and their wellness concerns and their overall perspective medical care. I serve as the CAB Community Chair of recruitment and memberships (GMHC) I am also on CAB of Partnership For The Homeless; CAB member of Pantry at Momentum. I serve the public as a continued advocate. I also have experience as a Case Manager and Adherence Public Speaker. I believe that I am a people person.


Brenda Hopkins:

photo of Brenda Hopkins

I feel fortunate to be a member of the Community Advisory Group at the STAR Health Center. I am also an Advisory Board Member doing outreach work for Project Street Beat. My focus is to help people with their need and be a voice for people who need to be heard. I've been doing this work for over three years.



If you would like to become a CAG member, please print the CAG Membership Application (PDF) and give it to a SHC staff member or mail to:

Michelle Melendez, MS, LCSW, CASAC
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
STAR Program
450 Clarkson Avenue, MSC 1240
Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098

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