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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Commencement 2018

Speakers for 2018

SUNY Downstate Medical Center graduates heard from Dr. Marie A. Bernard, this year's Commencement speaker and President's Award recipient at Downstate's College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health Commencement Excercises. Dr. Edgar O. Mandeville, Dr. Richard Allen Williams, and Dr. Stanley J. Goldsmith will receive Doctorate of Science, Honoris Causa degrees as well. SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall will be in attendance.

Maimonides Medical Center's Dr. Thomas Smith will serve as Commencement speaker for Downstate's College of Nursing and the College of Health-Related Professions ceremony. Along with Brookdale University Medical Center's Dominick Stanzione, Dr. Smith will also receive the President's Award. Downstate's commencement ceremonies include a distinguished lineup of leading forces in medicine, research, higher education, and applied sciences.

This year, speakers and honorary degree recipients will address more than 600 Downstate students along with their families and friends as they graduate from Downstate's five schools including the College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health, College of Nursing, and the College for Health-Related Professions.


College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health Commencement Excercises

photo of Marie Bernard

Marie A. Bernard, MD
Commencement Speaker and President's Award Recipient

Marie A. Bernard, Commencement Speaker and President's Award recipient for Downstate's 51st commencement ceremony. Dr. Bernard is the Deputy Director of the Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for the Department of Health and Human Services—overseeing 2.5 billion in aging and dementia research for the Institute.

Dr. Bernard's leadership and research has helped to advance the care of aging populations, particularly as it relates to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia. To date, Dr. Bernard has secured and tripled AD research funds to $1.8 billion, working to achieve the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease goal of prevention and cure by 2025.

Before her current roles, Dr. Bernard held several positions of leadership and academia including the endowed professor and founding chair of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine and Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Oklahoma City Veterans Medical Center.

Dr. Bernard received her medical doctorate from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


photo of Stanley J. GoldsmithStanley J. Goldsmith, MD, FACP, FACC, FACNP, FSNMMI
Honorary Degree Recipient

Dr. Stanley J. Goldsmith, a SUNY Downstate College of Medicine alumni, will receive the Doctorate of Science, Honoris Causa degree at Downstate's 51st commencement. Dr. Goldsmith is internationally known for his leadership in nuclear medicine, nuclear oncology, radiopharmaceuticals, and cancer therapy.

Dr. Goldsmith is currently a professor of radiology and the Director Emeritus of Nuclear Medicine at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Before his current roles, Dr. Goldsmith held positions of leadership at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Nassau County Medical Center.

He has contributed over 180 papers to the medical scientific literature, and over 40 book chapters and review articles. He has been listed in "The Best Doctors of America," "Who's Who in America," and "Best Doctors in Cancer" for over a decade.


photo of Edgar MandevilleEdgar O. Mandeville, MD, FACOG
Honorary Degree Recipient

Dr. Edgar O. Mandeville will receive the Doctorate of Science, Honoris Causa degree at Downstate's 51st commencement. Known for his activism for access to healthcare for communities of color, Dr. Mandeville serves as the Assistant Clinical Professor at Columbia University Medical Center and is Chairman Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harlem Hospital, as well as Chairman Emeritus of the Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health.

Before his current role, Dr. Mandeville served as a major in the 48th Tactical Hospital in the United States Air Force before starting his Queens private practice which he ran for more than 25 years.

Dr. Mandeville graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1966 and has been in practice for 51 years. He currently practices at Harlem Hospital Center and is affiliated with Long Island Jewish Medical Center Northwell Health and New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens.


photo of Richard Allen Williams

Richard Allen Williams, MD, FACC, FAHA, FACP
Honorary Degree Recipient

Dr. Richard Allen Williams will receive the Doctorate of Science, Honoris Causa degree at Downstate's 51st commencement. Dr. Williams is a renowned cardiologist known for trailblazing the idea of "humane medicine"-a concept he developed to transform the way medicine is taught and practiced in the United States, to provide enhanced care for diverse and vulnerable communities.

A leader in advancing medical school curriculum, Dr. Williams founded the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) in 1974 and served as its president for ten years. He also became the first chairman of the Board of Directors and started the ABC Newsletter. The ABC established the endowed Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship for Black Medical Students in his honor in 1980. Dr. Williams then founded the Minority Health Institute (MHI) in 1987; he is President and CEO of the latter organization. Recently, he served as President of the Charles R. Drew Medical Society in Los Angeles and was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Williams received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and is a proud graduate of SUNY Downstate's College of Medicine.


College of Nursing and the College of Health-Related Professions

Thomas Smith, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Commencement Speaker and President's Award Recipient

Dr. Thomas Smith is this year's Commencement Speaker and President's Award recipient for Downstate's 51st commencement ceremony for the College of Nursing and School of Health-Related Professionals. Dr. Smith serves as Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services at Maimonides Medical Center where he leads nearly 1,500 nurses and 150 advanced practice nurses and oversees patient care delivery across the center's continuum of care.

Smith's groundbreaking research and leadership within the nursing and patient care delivery industry has cultivated greater understanding in addressing the healthcare needs of vulnerable and diverse populations-fostering environments for nurses' professional development through practice, education, and scholarship.

Before his appointment at Maimonides Medical Center, Smith served as Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President at Cambridge Health Alliance, and Senior Vice President for Nursing at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Smith received a Master of Science in Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing from Boston University and a Doctorate in Nursing from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.


photo of Dominick Stanzione

Dominick Stanzione, MPA, FACHE
President's Award Recipient

Dominick Stanzione is a President's Award recipient for SUNY Downstate Medical Center's 51st commencement ceremony. As President and Chief Executive Officer at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center and Chief Operating Officer of One Brooklyn Health, Mr. Stanzione has a deep understanding of healthcare operations and an unmatched 30-year record of service and excellence within the Brooklyn community.

Before his appointment at Brookdale, Stanzione served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Maimonides and President and Chief Operating Officer at Long Island College Hospital, as well as holding positions at Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens and St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of NY.

A Brooklyn native, Stanzione graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, earned his BS degree in Physical Therapy at the College of Health Related Professions at SUNY Downstate, and received his Master's in Health Care Administration from New York University. Stanzione is a Fellow of the American College of Health Executives and has received several professional awards and honors.


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