Black Men’s Health Forum  

skountzIn honor of the late Dr. Samuel L. Kountz, Jr., we sponsored an annual lecture in his name. Dr. Kountz, Jr., was the first African-American transplant surgeon in the United States. He was most distinguished for his pioneering work in the field of kidney transplantations, research discoveries, and inventions in renal science. Dr. Kountz, Jr. established the SUNY Downstate Transplant Program in 1965 and was appointed Chairman of the Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate.



The Office of Diversity Education and Research and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH) sponsored the 2nd Annual Dr. Samuel L. Kountz, Jr. Lecture on Black Men’s Health. This year’s lecture, Violence and its Impact on Black Men’s Health was conducted by Mr. Tendaji Bailey, Community Intervention Coordinator and Mr. Muhammed Rilwan-Muritala, 4th year medical student and Intern for the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI).


Dr. Samuel L. Kountz Jr. Diversity Awards Ceremony

This year we hosted our first ever Dr. Samuel L. Kountz, Jr. Diversity Awards Ceremony honoring the unsung heroes and outstanding men of Downstate. The award recipients were:

Samuel L. Kountz, Jr. Diversity Champions Award Outstanding Service Award Excellence in Mentoring Award
Clinton Brown, MD
Department of Nephrology
Officer Keith Callum
University Police/ Public Safety Department
Michael Joseph, PhD, MPH
School of Public Health
Anthony Joseph, MD
Department of Nephrology
Roger Le Doux,
Employee and Student Health Services
Michael Joseph, PhD, MPH
School of Public Health
  Officer Robert Keys III
University Police/ Public Safety Department
  Joseph Hawkins
Facilities Management & Development
  Victor Ruiz
Office of Admissions, College of Medicine


L to R: Christopher Roman, Roger Le Doux, Joseph Hawkins, Michael Joseph, Victor Ruiz, Keith Callum, Anthony Joseph

Women’s History Month

daleDuring Women’s History month, we celebrated the legacy of the late Dr. Dale Blackstock, a former faculty member in the Department of Medicine, by honoring women who passionately serve the Downstate community. The keynote address on Breaking the Glass Ceiling was conducted by Dr. Monica Sweeney. The award recipients were:





Dr. Dale Blackstock Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service Outstanding Service Award

Diversity Champions Award


Sydney, Butts, MD, FACS
Vice Chair and Chief,
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Department of Otolaryngology

Gracel Hodge-Canning
Library Clerk II
Classroom Services


Magda Alliancin, EdD, CHES
Employee Assistance Program Coordinator
Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Madge Edmead
Staff Assistant
College of Medicine


Mary Valmont, PhD
Director, Health Science Academy
Arthur Ashe Institute
for Urban Health
  Thelma Menns
Dietary Aide
Sodexo Healthcare
Food Services
Tracey Wilson, PhD
Community Health Sciences,
School of Public Health
  Dawn X. Qiu
IT Service Delivery
  Nancy Ruiz-Torchon
Exec. Asst. to the Chair
Department of Medicine
  Tanisha Ransom
Accounts Payable  Specialist
Division of Finance

Keynote Speaker: M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, FACP                           sweeny
Vice Dean for Global Engagement
Clinical Professor
Chair, Health Policy and Management

 Dr. Sweeney is a graduate of SUNY Downstate’s College of Medicine. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in Health Services Management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sweeney completed her residency training in internal medicine at Kings County Hospital Center/Downstate Health Sciences University, and is board certified in internal medicine.



honoring our women

L to R: Madge Edmead, Dawn Qiu, Magda Alliancin, Tanisha Ransom, Sydney Butts, Nancy Ruiz-Torchon, Gracel Hodge-Canning, Thelma Menns, Tracey Wilson, Anika Daniels-Osaze (program organizer), Uche Blackstock (daughter of Dale Blackstock), Monica Sweeney (keynote speaker)