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UPD Launches Doublemap Bus Tracker App for Shuttle Services!

graphic of bus tracker

In case you missed the exciting news last week—SUNY Downstate has a new tool that will make the daily parking hassle on campus much easier!

Enhancing the technology and accessibility of services on campus remains a top priority. So, I am happy to announce our new DoubleMap Bus Tracker App. The app can be downloaded to any smartphone and allows users to track the SUNY Downstate Shuttle Service in real-time. This means you will be able to see the estimated time of arrival of a shuttle at each of Downstate parking lots as well as the transportation hubs at Nostrand Ave. and Winthrop St., Church Ave., and Nostrand Ave., and Church Ave. and East 18th St.

There are three shuttle routes – RED, BLUE and GREEN. You will be able to see which route stops at your location. The DoubleMap App will also allow shuttle users to wait in their cars or the subway station—out of the elements—until the shuttle arrives.

I’m excited to share this new service with all of you and look forward to continuing to improve the day-to-day campus experience with future advancements and innovations.

For full schedules and instructions on how to use and download the DoubleMap Bus Tracker App, please click on this link to the Transportation and Shuttle Services webpage.


SUNY “Shared Governance 101”

Shared Governance 101 photo 1

Shared Governance 101 photo 1

Shared governance is one of the cornerstones that define higher education – yet there are many misperceptions about what it actually means and how it is best implemented. On January 6, 2020, Downstate was privileged to be visited by Dr. Gwen Kay, President of the University Faculty Senate, who has been visiting campuses across the SUNY system to lecture on “Shared Governance 101.”

Dr. Kay has been President of the Faculty Senate since 2017, a role that also provides her a seat on the SUNY Board of Trustees. She has been a member of SUNY Oswego’s faculty since 2000, where she specializes in 20th-century American history. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine and Science from Yale University.

The University Faculty Senate (UFS) is the official body through which faculty across the SUNY system engage in governance of the University. UFS is a representational body, comprised of members elected from each SUNY campus for set terms of office. It is an advisory body, meaning that UFS has the power to recommend and endorse, but does not have fiscal or final decision-making authority.

At the campus level, each SUNY campus elects representatives to UFS who also serve as part of the governance structure at their own campus. And while every campus implements its model of shared governance somewhat differently, said Dr. Kay, the core concept is broadly the same for all: shared governance is “the structures and processes through which faculty, professional staff, administration, and governing boards participate in the development of policies and in decision-making that affect the institution.” In the Downstate model, those elected to the University Faculty Senate represent both the faculty and professional staff.

Collectively, these bodies have the same ultimate goal, said Dr. Kay. “We all want the best outcomes for our students.”

Most academic institutions, including SUNY, recognize that faculty should have a primary role, through a well-established governance structure, in formulating policy in the “academic space,” related to such things as curricula, methods of instruction, academic standards/rules, and assessment. Further, faculty should have significant input – again, through their governance structure – into other areas that affect the academic functions of the institution, including but not limited to, the budget, planning processes, institutional assessment, searches for key leaders, and policy.

Shared Governance 101 photo 3

Shared Governance 101 photo 4

Dr. Kay outlined indicators of good shared governance. It is important, she said, that those who contribute to the shared governance process have a collective understanding of the roles played by each of the key constituents (the Board, the President, and the Faculty) – and of the importance of staying within their own lanes.

The goal is to build consensus among all bodies. She believes that in the best shared governance models, joint decision-making is built on trust and respect, with strong communication and transparency being key. 

I would like to thank Dr. Nicholas Penington, Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology/and UFS Presiding Officer and all of our elected governance representatives for hosting Dr. Kay’s visit to our campus. In addition to her seminar, Dr. Kay also met with our Chief Academic Officer and Distinguished Service Professor, Pascal James Imperato, MD, MPH&TM, MACP, our UFS officers and alternates, and with our Centerwide Faculty and Professional Staff Executive Committee.    


For more on shared governance, check out:

Dr. Kay’s presentation

SUNY’s Shared Governance website

and Downstate’s Faculty Governance site


Downstate’s representatives to the University Faculty Senate are:

Presiding Officer| Nicholas Penington, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Medicine/School of Graduate Studies

University Faculty Senator| Anika Daniels-Osaze, Ed.D., Director, Office of Diversity Education and Research

University Faculty Senator| Brigitte Desport, DPS, OTR/L, BCP, ATP, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions

University Faculty Senator| Alexander Schwartzman, M.D., MBA, FACS, Clinical Professor and Interim Chair of Surgery, College of Medicine

University Faculty Senator| Ninfa Mehta, M.D., Professor of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine

University Faculty Senator, 1st Alternate| Alithia Alleyne, CMHFA, Program Administrator for Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions

University Faculty Senator, 2nd Alternate| Laura Martello-Rooney, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies

University Faculty Senator, 3rd Alternate| Rauno Joks, M.D., Associate Professor and Chief of allergy and Immunology, College of Medicine

University Faculty Senator, 4th Alternate| Jasmin Thomas, OTD, MS, OTR/L, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions.


Governor Cuomo's 2020 State of the State

Governor Cuomo

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo convened his 10th State of the State Address—laying out a progressive agenda for 2020 that touched on civil rights, health care, the environment, public safety, and economic development. I want to express our strong support for Governor Cuomo’s programs announced during his address on Wednesday. These programs will greatly benefit our students, patients, the community of Brooklyn, and the entire state. 

As an academic medical center dedicated to attracting economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students into healthcare professions, we could not be more thrilled at the Governor’s proposal to expand the Excelsior Scholarship program, as well as his commitment to expand opportunities in higher education.

Additionally, the Governor’s proposal to convene a Medicaid Redesign Team is critical to meeting the healthcare needs of our citizens, as are his proposals to provide additional protections for patients.

On behalf of this great institution, I am proud to work with the Governor’s office to advance his agenda and serving citizens in the great state of New York. I look forward to a brighter future for all of our constituents as the Governor’s proposals become reality.

For those who missed it, you can watch Governor Cuomo’s full 2020 State of the State Address here!


School of Public Health

New Study from Dr. Hoepner Links Obesity During Pregnancy to Lag in Child Development

photo of Lori A. HoepnerTelling new research from Lori A. Hoepner, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, suggests that children born to overweight or morbidly obese mothers may be at a higher risk of not reaching full development potential—finding that a mother's obesity during pregnancy may affect the cognitive development of their child as the years progress.  The study zeroed in on this discovery after finding lagging motor skills and lower IQ in young boys whose mothers were morbidly overweight while pregnant. The study’s team of researchers found that the cognitive differences examined in these young boys were similar to children exposed to lead in the early stages of their development.

Dr. Hoepner’s study hypothesized that maternal obesity and greater gestational weight gain would be associated with lower IQ, and that associations would be stronger among boys.  Her study also evaluated whether a more nurturing home environment would change the long-term development of the at-risk child— examining the child’s at-home environment and assessing how parents engaged their children and whether there was stimulation from books and toys.

2 photos showing maternal obesity

The study monitored 368 mothers and their children, all from comparable socio-economic backgrounds and urban neighborhoods, during pregnancy, and then after birth when the children were ages three and seven years old. “At age 3, the researchers measured the children's motor skills and found that maternal obesity during pregnancy was strongly associated with lower motor skills in boys. At age 7, they again measured the children and found that the boys whose mothers were overweight or obese in pregnancy had scores 5 or more points lower on full-scale IQ tests, compared to boys whose mothers had been at a normal weight.” Although maternal obesity during pregnancy exclusively affected the development of young boys (with evidence suggesting young girls are not cognitively-impacted by maternal obesity), a nurturing home environment was found to lessen the negative impact of obesity.

Although additional studies will need to be conducted to make clear why obesity in pregnancy would developmentally affect a child later in life—the link to obesity, as well as to dietary and behavioral differences, as a determinant of cognitive development is significant and a major contribution to science that could prove to enhance equity beyond healthcare.  As we know, a child’s cognitive development and IQ often forecasts their adult-level of success, both financially and educationally. 

Many thanks to Dr. Hoepner for her groundbreaking work and insightful contribution to science.

CLICK HERE for Dr. Hoepner’s full study.

School of Health Professions

SOHP’s 2019 End-of-Year Recognition Event

photo of families at tables for event

Each holiday season, The School of Health Professions (SOHP) hosts an end-of-calendar year recognition event—an opportunity to provide relevant training to its internal body, to recognize the incredible work of its esteemed faculty and staff, to honor institutional entities that contributed to the success of SOHP throughout the year, to give back to children in need, and finally to build bonds among one of the most hardworking professional groups. 

On December 17th, the first part of the program featured a training segment highlighting the “nifty” features of the new classroom technology “Promethean Board” that is now in each SOHP classroom and facilitated by Brett Laurance of the Downstate Academic Computing/Information Technology division. 

holiday event 1

holiday event 2

Next up, SOHP Dean Allen Lewis, PhD, CRC, presented awards to faculty and staff for outstanding work in the areas of school-wide contributions, collaboration, and research.  

The event also honored an entity at Downstate that has been instrumental in SOHP’s success—The Human Resources (HR) division was honored for its unwavering commitment to SOHP.  Judith Dorsey introduced the key members of her HR team for acknowledgement.

Shortly after awards and honors was perhaps the most heartwarming portion of the event—those invited from around the Downstate campus were encouraged to bring a holiday gift for the children receiving medical services in Suite N, the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology clinic of the hospital.

holiday event 3

holiday event 4

Of course, as it is the season of all things festive—the event ended with fun activity that encouraged the holiday spirit and a great deal of camaraderie, a holiday ugly sweater contest and scavenger hunt, followed by a delicious spread for the more than 100 participants. 

This event is nothing short of a success each year, and the 2019 edition was no different. I’d like to take this moment to thank those who brought this event to life: Dean Lewis for hosting the event, Alithia Alleyne for leading the work of SOHP Program Administrators, the overwhelming participation of many students and community volunteers, and the notable photography services provided by SOHP/DMI alumna, Huldah Longdon-Pierre.


Research Roundup

New Study Suggests Antiretroviral Therapy Does Not Restore Disease Immunity Among Previously Immunized HIV Patients

photo of pills

In research news, a new study led by Downstate researchers, in collaboration with Oregon Health & Science University, showed that, despite successful antiretroviral therapy (ART), antigen-related memory to vaccinations that existed before HIV infection was not salvaged—even after full immune reformation.

According to national statistics, two-thirds of HIV-positive patients in the U.S. are on an ART regimen. ART works by keeping the level of HIV in the body low (the viral load) and increasing CD4 T cell counts, allowing the immune system recover and stay strong.

Typically, these CD4 T cells “remember” viruses and respond in large numbers when exposed again. However, the study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, suggests that although successful in effectively treating HIV, ART has the ability to hinder virus-memory in some HIV-positive patients.

One of the Study’s Principal Investigators, Michael Augenbraun, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair, Department of Medicine and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital Center, notes that should this loss of HIV-immune associated amnesia exist for other pre-infection vaccinations or viruses, it would have significant implications for the overall health status of HIV patients, including:

  • Providing an explanation for chronic inflammation and “accelerated aging” observed among people with HIV
  • Suggesting a loss of protective immunity and an increased risk for common acute or chronic viral infections among people with HIV, regardless of whether they are on an ART regimen
  • Suggesting a potential loss of protection against such common childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, pertussis (whooping cough) and others, for which these patients were previously vaccinated as children, prior to HIV infection, and not restored by ART

Dr. Augenbraun cautions that, while this study only examined immunologic responses to smallpox vaccination and not to specific clinical outcomes, it builds on previous studies and evidence pointing to HIV-associated immune amnesia—contributing to the mounting support for earlier aggressive treatment in HIV infected individuals before they suffer significant damage to their immune system.

Should future studies identify broader HIV-associated immune amnesia, it could mean that a significant proportion of the 1.1 million people in the U.S. and more than 23 million people worldwide living with HIV have diminished protection from previous immunizations.

I want to thank Dr. Augenbraun and our team of pioneering researchers for this critically important discovery—helping to drive improved healthcare for those living life HIV.


New Faculty

Department of Otolaryngology’s Ofer Azoulay, M.D. & Sara Abu Ghahem, M.D.

We are thrilled to welcome Sara Abu-Ghanem, M.D. and Ofer Azoulay, M.D, to SUNY Downstate’s Department of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Abu-Ghanem is an otolaryngologist with expertise in voice, airway, and swallowing disorders, obtained her Bachelor of Science, Master of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology, and a Doctorate of Medicine from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. She went on to residency training in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center affiliated with Tel Aviv University Sackler Medical School, Israel. Rounding out her academic training, Dr. Abu-Ghanem completed two years of clinical fellowship in Laryngology and Bronchoesophagology at Stanford University School of Medicine and New York University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Abu-Ghanem first joined Downstate as Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and has recently also joined the faculty in the Department of Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center. Dr. Abu-Ghanem has published numerous scientific articles and is an active participant in national and international conferences.

Dr. Azoulay is a Surgical Otolaryngologist with expertise in Head and Neck Cancer, robotic surgeries, and head and neck microvascular reconstruction. He is an Assistant Professor and Chief of Robotic and Microvascular Head and Neck reconstruction for SUNY Downstate and is affiliated with Kings County Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, and NYPMH Brooklyn. 

Dr. Azoulay earned his medical degree and completed his residency training in Otolaryngology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Kaplan Medical Center, Israel. He later pursued advanced training and completed his fellowship in Head and Neck and Microvascular Head and Neck reconstruction. Additionally, Dr. Azoulay served as Attending in Service at NYU Langone Health. 

His main clinical and research interests include: head and neck cancer and reconstruction, thyroid and parathyroid, salivary glands, skin cancer, facial nerve paralysis, facial reanimation, and laryngeal diseases.

Please join me in giving Drs. Abu-Ghanem and Azoulay a very warm Downstate Welcome!

photo of Ofer Azoulay, MD

Ofer Azoulay, MD

photo of Sara Abu Ghahem, MD

Sara Abu Ghahem, MD


President's Seal

Pediatrics Global Health Initiative, Downstate’s Dr. Fordjour Takes Ghana!

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photo group 2

Maternal mortality rates across the world are staggeringly high, especially in developing, third-world nations. Just five years ago, the maternal mortality rate in developing countries stood at 239 per 100,000 live births with numbers increasing in rural communities, versus 12 per 100,000 live births in developed countries. These numbers have decreased in the recent years, but there is still much progress to be made.

Sub-Saharan maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortalities have begun receiving much-needed attention over the years—as such, Ghana has been at the epicenter of the conversation and mitigation efforts. Significant progress has been made in reducing the number of mothers who die from complications during labor and after childbirth in the last decade.  In 2015, it was reported that Ghana’s rate was 380 (below the sub-Saharan Africa average of 510), making it the country with the lowest number of deaths in the West African region.

photo group 3

Still, the year-on-year change has been slow and efforts to further reduce the number has been hampered by provider shortages, illiteracy, and inefficient transportation—making the support of international agencies, governments, and global health initiative partnerships that much more critical.

Enter Lawrence Fordjour, M.D., FAAP, and Downstate’s Department of Pediatrics’ “Making Every Baby Count” (MEBCI)—a global health initiative that strengthens capacity and skills to improve the quality of care around the time of birth for mothers and their babies. The program follows a four-pronged approach:

  1. builds healthcare provider clinical capacity by delivering a detailed training curriculum for health personnel.
  2. ensures commodities such as basic resuscitation devices are accessible in the target health facilities.
  3. increases stakeholder ownership of newborn care by liaising with relevant national and regional policy makers, facility managers, local communities and the general public.
  4. improves national leadership capacity to ensure that newborn care features prominently on the national health agenda, receives appropriate funding and sustainable uptake. 

Dr. Fordjour’s individual work to drive-down Ghana’s maternal mortality and morbidity rates stretches over a decade, but through the Department of Pediatrics’ MECBI initiative, his work has gone the extra mile and has lent itself to extending Downstate’s mission of eliminating health disparities to our brothers and sisters on the continent.

Dr. Fordjour and MEBCI’s goal in the short-term is to launch training programs in Neonatal Resuscitation, with hopes to ultimately decrease the neonatal mortality and improve Ghana’s neonatal outcomes in the long run.

pair of photos

group photo

In the Winter and Fall of 2019, in collaboration with Ghana Health Service and Kybele, Dr. Fordjour, accompanied by Pediatric Chief Resident Dr. Gurpreet Kaur, M.D., conducted training in Accra, Ghana, at Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH)—the regional referral hospital that serves a population of over 4 million—touching the Nima, Maamobi, Kanda, Accra new town, Kotobabi, Osu, La, Adabraka, Achimota, and Central Accra regions.  

The trip was centered around providing neonatal resuscitation training to health care providers, nurses, and doctors. Fourteen providers were trained with follow-up clinical mentorship in the delivery ward and participated in simulation exercises using video-recorded simulation and debriefing to reinforce the delivery room experience.

A Designated Resuscitation Team (DRT) was created to attend high risk deliveries. Designated areas, specialized medical equipment and transport was dedicated to the DRT team to address respiratory, thermoregulation, and safety problems. Additionally, ongoing monitoring of the morbidity and mortality in the delivery area and NICU was established to assess short and long-term progress of the regional rate. Future collaborations will be aimed at monitoring the training and helping to establish neonatal training programs at Greater Accra Hospital that can be spread to district and community hospitals.

Dr. Fordjour plans to extend his MECBI work to Uganda in the coming years and has plans for future project collaborations in Ghana under the SAVING LIVES AT BIRTH (SLAB) initiative. SLAB calls on the brightest minds across the globe to identify and scale innovations for pregnant women and newborns around the time of birth. USAID, the government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, Korea International Cooperation Agency, and the Department for International Development all support this highly visible program.

I would like to take this time to salute Dr. Fordjour for his inspiring and influential work to address global health disparities plaguing the most vulnerable, and often forgotten, populations. Thank you working selflessly to professionally, and personally, advance the mission of Downstate.



2019 Employee Recognition, Dr. Joseph DeRose 50 year Recognition

photo of DeroseI would like to thank the 252 employees, collectively representing 4,690 years of service to Downstate, who celebrated anniversary milestones on December 9th. To all those honored, thanks for your commitment and dedication to excellence that has made Downstate such an outstanding institution! You exemplify the best of who we are.

Among the many honorees was Joseph DeRose, M.D., Associate Professor of Family Medicine, who was honored for 50 years of service to Downstate.

Except for two years of active military duty (1967-1969) serving as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Public Health Service Outpatient Department in Washington, D.C., Dr. DeRose has had a continuous relationship with SUNY Downstate since he attended this institution as a medical student where he earned the M.D. degree in 1963.

Upon graduation, he embarked upon an internship and residency in Medicine at Kings County Hospital and he served as Chief Resident in his third year. The following year, he became the first Chief Resident in Medicine at SUNY Downstate. From 1969 to 1975, Dr. DeRose was Medical Director of University Hospital's Outpatient Department and also had appointments to Kings County Hospital (Visiting Physician) and Swedish Hospital (Medical Consultant) during this time.

In 1976, Dr. DeRose transferred from Internal Medicine to the Department of Family Medicine (then known as Family Practice) where he has continued as an internist and assumed a significant role in teaching Family Medicine residents and medical students. Clinicians throughout the Department of Family Medicine, including faculty colleagues, seek advice and counsel from Dr. DeRose concerning difficult or complex medical problems affecting their patients.

Dr. DeRose has conducted significant research and has published numerous academic articles. One significant contribution was as a primary investigator developing the outpatient treatment of Paget's Disease of the Bone. Dr. DeRose was instrumental in establishing the National Paget's Disease Foundation, which is headquartered in Brooklyn. Since 1990, he has been involved in non-invasive cardiology, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension, and he has lectured on each of these topics. He has also served as adjunct lecturer to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Additionally, Dr. DeRose wrote a chapter on cardiovascular disease for the textbook Primary Care (edited by Singleton, Sandowski, et al.).

Dr. DeRose has also served SUNY Downstate in many institution-wide roles, including long service on the School of Medicine's Admissions Committee, Secretary of University Hospital's Medical Board, and President of the Medical Staff. He has served on numerous other committees throughout his long tenure at SUNY Downstate. Dr. DeRose continues as a most beloved mentor to faculty and residents in the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. DeRose, we thank you and honor you.

2 photos of employee recognition

employee recognition 30 years

employee recognition 20 years

employee recognition 10 years


Check out the full list of those honored here


Dr. Jack DeRose





Rana Alan Gintzler
Rhonda Besunder
Gloria Bruitcher

Danielle Carrenard
James Cottrell
Joan Hong

Howard Minkoff
Helen Pruski
Abaidul Shahid

Rowena Stroud


Andrew Adler
Andrea Francis Alleyne
Deslin Alexander
  Jacqueline Alvarez

Yasmine Adeclat
Marie Jean-Baptiste
Jeronimo Belgrave
Marcia Bent
Marie Bertrand
Ellen Berkowitz
Judy Bishop
Carol Bonfield

Richard Cato
David Chorlian
Allison Cyrus
Hernando Davila
Winston Douglas
Keith Garrett
Janelle Gordon
Althea Green-Pruitt
Timothy Herzog
Jasper Hewitt
Florence Vieira-Hinds
Hazel Holliday

Alfreda Johnson
Booker Johnson
Ruthine Smith-Johnson
Sung Jung
Walter Kelly
Yvonne Knight
Hazel Linder
Alain Lissade
Dianne Lopez

June Paul
Kathleen Powderly

Michael Rodriguez
Janet Schneller
Rhona Segovia
Betty Sims
Patricia Tenn
Avril Trancoso
William Wade
Melvin Wiggins
Yolanda Wilson
John Zubrovich


Christopher Archer
Natalie Baker
Darell Banks
Tshana  Brown
Junior Brown
Fabian Bryan
Charmaine Buckle
Sherly Burgos
Dorretta Butler
Dwayne Chambers
Tsai Chao
John Chapin
Hazel Christian
Denise Chung
Fontaine Cumberbatch-Seale
Christina Dangervil
Pascale Daquin
Patricia Di Fusco
Winsome Douglas
Olga Dvorkina
Ralph Edouard
Rudolph Edwards

Juan Estrella
Eve Faber
Ray Fernandes
Stephanie Geronimo
Emad Ghaly
Janelle Gordon
Viktor Guzband
Jihan Hanna
Sherryl  Harrison
Portia Hercules
Heather Hibbert
Kwesi Hibbler
Winsbert Hudson
Cheryl Hunte
Otis Jones
Robert Keys
Bernard Kinloch
Marcus Kirby
Marcos Lainez
John LaRosa
Judith LaRosa
Jeffrey Lee

Kathleen Lozefski
Fang Luo
Eduardo Mascareno
Linda Mcguire
Tatyana Melnikov
Iman Mina
Motria  Mishko
Jan Mitchell
John Moses
Roger Nicolas
Romaine Patterson-Chapman
Anthony Piscopo
Violet Price
Lorenda Ramnarine
Tanisha Ransom
Ricardo Reyes
Ella-Jean Richards
Maria Rosa
Gregory Rudolph
Corazon Salazar
Philip Shand
Florencia Smith

Felix Smith
Sheryl Smith
Guerda Smith-Denis
Marina Spektor
Darrell Stephens
Stephanie Store
Yafreisi Suero Williams
Rohan Thomas
Ramona Thomas
Greta Tim
Helen Torres-Byrnes
Samira Vaccianna
Elba Valentin
Hans Vongizycki
Rosemarie Waite
Lin Wang
Clayton Whittaker
Keith Williams
Alma Wilson
Tracey Wilson


Merle Abano
John Adams
Onyekachi Akoma
Dinara   Amanbekova
Veronica Ambrose
Jakema Armstrong
Ester Awe
Natalie Banniettis
Jean Barreau
Staceyann Bent
Eric Bethea
Christina Bloem
Kastory Bridgemohan
Vadim Bronshtein
Dwain Brown
Sydney Butts
Alana Byam
Deshawn Cabbell
Yasmine Caesar
Brandis Carmichael
Elaine Cates
Avin Chen
Marcel Craig
Cassandra Crawford
Royon Dandrade

Loannis Danias
Sheba Demis
Muhammad Dogar
Yvette Dolly
Marie Dorvil
Jacob Ducatel
Gerald Eaddy

William Elliott

Wladimir Felix
Sarah Fenty
Kevin Ferreira
Nicole Fraser
Christine Ghobrial
Kirk Gibson
Vanessa Graves
Vinita Gupta
Everard Haughton
Hanna Herzog
Donna Hewitt
Regina Hunter
MD Islam
Muhammad Jamil
Yvonne Jeffrey

Winsome Jeffries
Ovelta John
Steven Kang
Valerie  Kats
Leticia King
Richard Kollmar
Ewa Koziorynska
Esther Kwak
Benjamin Lee
Sze Lee
Markus Little
Brian Magee
Vladimir Malkov
George Maluenda
Arlene Mbonu
Edwin McKenzie
Ninfa Mehta
Michelle Melendez
Yekaterina Merkulova
Joseph Merlino
Natasha Michel
Andrew Mihnuk
Adel Naam
Luba Nakhutina
Sukhminder Osahan

Andrea Perry
Steven Piecuch
Andrey Pisarev


Chris Reckley
Vivian Reyes-Schabloski
Joseph Reynolds
Natasha Roberts
Kester Roberts
Maria Rosario-Sim
Valery Roudnitsky
Jerome Salvani
Susan Sanders
Maureen Smith
Nicole Smith-Esprit
Olive St Claire
Beth Steinfeld
Shannon Stepan
Emiliya  Storman
Tonya Taylor
Sherwin Telford
Christmas Thomas
Jeffrey Wong
Germain Zamor


In the Community

'Tis the Season... to Care and Share!

patient experience group photo

The holidays are always a special time, but perhaps even more so at Downstate—it’s a time that truly showcases the heart and humanity of our community. Downstate reaches back into the community 365 days a year! The 2019 holiday season was no exception.

In mid-December, 13 year-old Belisa Saint Jean and her younger sister, Samantha Saint Jean, two remarkable young ladies from our local Brooklyn community, reached out to us here at Downstate to see how they could partner with our institution to help lift the spirits of patients for who we provide care.

Inspired by and in loving memory of their late grandmother, the two girls decided to create and donate hundreds of holiday cards for our hospitalized patients. In their words, “they wanted patients in the hospital to enjoy their holidays. As they reflected, they shared “our grandmother was always a kind-hearted person and loved helping other people, even while she was dealing with her own illness. We want to share her spirit with those in need.”

In coordination with Downstate staff, the holiday cards were received by Wren Lester, Ph.D., Chief Experience Officer and Director of Patient Relations, Joanne-Ritter-Teitel, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Judy Bishop, MSA, RN, CRNAssistant Director of Nursing, James Carney, Patient Relations Officer, Carl Roberts, Patient Relations Officer, Michael Harrell, AVP of Constituent Relations, and Jelanie DeShong, Director of Government Relations.

Belisa is interested in Nursing and Law while Samantha wants to be a scientist. With the heart and determination of these two, I have no doubt they will accomplish their goals and more.

Belisa and Samantha, thank you for being examples of altruism for your peers and for everyone around you, including all of us here at Downstate. Many thanks to all of the staff who helped make this beautiful community gesture a reality.


3 photo of families with presents

December 23, 2019, Downstate paid a visit to Urban Strategies Inc’s Dean Street Family Residence—a family shelter program that houses fifteen families in need, providing case management services, teenage services, transitional housing residences, and maternity residences, as well as a Board of Education Representative, who acts as a liaison between parents, children, and their schools. I am particularly fond of the mission of this shelter, as it functions as one of the few in New York City serving large families without breaking them up.

This year, Downstate was able to bring some Holiday cheer to these families thanks to the hard work and generosity of our Office of Government and Constituent Relations and the Downstate Child Life Center. Staff from these departments facilitated the donation of several hundred giftsfrom toys to holiday food packages of essential everyday items and moreto this vital and family stabilizing program.

Many thanks to everyone who donated and helped to coordinate this effort on behalf of these most-deserving families!





President's Bulletin
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
450 Clarkson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11203