A Message from President Riley

By Office of the President | Apr 30, 2024

SUNY Downstate Receives Historic Funding Boost to Continue Offering Clinical Services and Fulfill Its Educational Mission

Wayne J. Riley

In a recent update, I highlighted the collaborative efforts between The State University of New York (SUNY) and the Office of the Governor to initiate a Transformation Plan for SUNY Downstate’s University Hospital that would tackle ongoing challenges such as a deficit, inpatient services, and the aging infrastructure of the hospital building.

Over the past few months, Chancellor King and his team have engaged in extensive discussions with the Governor’s Office, city-state legislators, and labor partners to chart the most effective path forward. Through meticulous planning, outreach efforts, and ongoing dialogue, progress continues to be made toward implementing a comprehensive strategy for the hospital’s revitalization.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul allocated $300 million in capital funding and up to $100 million in operating support, which marks a pivotal moment for SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and University Hospital at Downstate. This substantial State of New York investment underscores a commitment to strengthening Downstate’s inpatient and outpatient clinical services and addressing systemic health disparities within the community. 

On behalf of the Downstate community, I express our deepest gratitude to Governor HochulSUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr., our elected officials, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, and especially State Senator Zellnor Myrie, and Assembly Member Brian Cunningham, for their unwavering support. We also extend our thanks to our students, faculty, staff, community members, and our union partners and leadership who have been instrumental in sustaining Downstate.

As part of the Governor’s final 2025 budget, these funds provide essential support for SUNY Downstate to maintain its position as a leader in medical education while continuing to deliver specialty services and other critical services tailored to combating systemic health inequities in Brooklyn.

The budget also directs the creation of an advisory committee to determine the hospital’s future. Chancellor King will sit on the advisory board with eight other members whom the Governor and state Legislative leaders will select. It will work over the next year, and a final report providing recommendations to renovate/reinvigorate UHD will be submitted to the Governor and Legislature no later than April 2025. 

I remain grateful for the dedication of our staff who diligently prepare for each day, the patients who entrust us with their care, our researchers who tirelessly strive to improve the lives of individuals through their innovative work, and critically, the students who select SUNY Downstate for their medical education and other health professions programs. 

We look forward to continuing to serve this wonderful community of central Brooklyn and beyond…and to educating the next generation of healthcare professionals to serve New York State, New York City, and the world!