July 2022 Announcements

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jul 1, 2022

SUNY Downstate bids adieu to Holly Rossi

Holly AugustAfter 17 years at Sodexo and SUNY Downstate, Catering and Operations Manager Holly Rossi will leave Downstate on Friday, July 29. Holly and her family are relocating to Vermont, where she will embark on an exciting new opportunity for her and her family.

Over the years, Holly and the Sodexo team have been great partners for many Downstate activities, including food and toy drives, many holiday celebrations, and other celebrations recognizing breast cancer survivors, domestic violence awareness, student events, first baby breakfasts, and many more. Holly and the Sodexo team are a part of what makes being at Downstate great.

Holly extends her gratitude for 17 beautiful years at Downstate, for the many friends and colleagues, and for a lifetime of memories.

Likewise, the Downstate community extends its gratitude and best wishes to Holly and her family for great success and happiness.

News from the Department of Finance Department

UPDATE: Please see Funeral Services information below. 

Diane De Souza

We are saddened to announce the passing of Diane DeSouza, a well-loved and well-respected member of the Downstate family for twenty-six (26) years.

Journal Entry Processing for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022

The deadline for submitting journal vouchers to be processed for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, is Friday, August 12, 2022.  Journal Entry Forms are available online in the Administration-Finance Division-Forms section of the SUNY Downstate website.

You can download the form directly from the link below:

If you have any questions or require further assistance, please contact the Office of Financial Management at (718) 270-3056.

Guideline Policy for On-Campus Filming and Media Interviews

Any department or faculty member seeking to engage media for on-campus interviews or filming MUST contact the Office of Communications & Marketing (OC&M) to arrange for vetting, compliance clearance (as needed), and express written approval for access to any part of the Downstate campus.

There may be times when filming is expressly permitted on hospital premises. However, patient areas are firmly off-limits unless a patient has given written consent for such filming in conjunction with their clinician’s approval. Approved filming in public, common areas of the hospital must include input from University Hospital at Downstate (UHD) leadership and the Office of Compliance & Audit before approval. OC&M has the final decision in the process.

Patient consent is obtained ONLY by the treating clinician(s)—the only individual(s) allowed to notify the patient about a media opportunity. A copy of such consent must be included in the patient’s medical record with a copy to the OC&M at Only the patient’s parent or legal guardian can provide written consent if the patient is a minor. They MUST be present for any filming or interview.

OC&M is NOT responsible for obtaining patient consent for media interviews or appearances; however, they will work to coordinate an interview once all appropriate permissions have been received.

Media arriving at Downstate to conduct interviews or film for broadcast—including print, electronic, and broadcast—MUST use the 450 Clarkson Avenue entrance. They must also present appropriate, current, and official press/media credentials to University Police, who will advise OC&M upon arrival. A member of the OC&M team will accompany members of the media for the period they will be on campus. University Police will provide a Downstate-issued Media Pass that must be worn by each individual/crew member on campus and must be returned when leaving.

OC&M requires a minimum of one week to 72 hours advance notice to obtain all necessary clearances with the appropriate leadership.

You may access the full policy at media-and-crisis guidelines; please email any questions about this policy to

Congratulations! Becker's Names Outstanding Chief Experience Officers to Know

Wren LesterCongratulations to Wren Lester, Ph.D., CPXP, CPHQ, Chief Experience Officer, University Hospital at Downstate, on being named one of 52 outstanding health system chief experience officers for 2022.

View Full Article


Downstate Welcomes Sherene Sharath, Ph.D., MPH, as Director of Clinical & Health Services Research in the Department of SurgeryDr. Sharath

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is very pleased to announce the appointment of Sherene E. Sharath, Ph.D., MPH, as its new Director of Clinical and Health Services Research in the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Sharath joins Downstate with extensive methodological experience in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Behavioral Economics applied in big data analysis using advanced statistical coding in surgical outcomes, healthcare access disparities, and physical activity. Her scientific work, spanning a series of authored and co-authored publications, has previously been featured on the cover of a major, peer-reviewed surgical journal and highlighted via journal editorials.

In her new role, Dr. Sharath will guide, advise, and initiate research studies that thoughtfully and rigorously contribute to evidence-based clinical practice and the scientific community. In addition, she will chart the objectives and course of the Department of Surgery’s clinical and health services research mission. Dr. Sharath has also been appointed to a 3-year term as a member of the Human Research Advisory Committee, which advises the Senior Vice President for Research, David Christini, Ph.D.

Most recently, Dr. Sharath served as the national trial manager for a multi-center randomized controlled trial at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Dr. Sharath will continue in this role while affiliated with the New York Harbor VA Healthcare Systems’ Brooklyn campus.

At the Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Sharath served as an Instructor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. She mentored numerous medical students and surgery trainees on the principles of study design, data analysis, and research dissemination. Within the auspices of the Department of Surgery, she will develop multidisciplinary programs that facilitate collaborative research and invest in the research education of students, trainees, and those expressing a research interest.

Dr. Sharath received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology, with a minor and particular focus in Biostatistics, from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX. She received her MPH in Epidemiology and BS in Microbiology from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.

Dr. Sharath is located at UHD in Room B8-339 and can be reached via e-mail at, by phone at 718-270-3340, and her mail stop is (MSC) 40 - Surgery.

Please welcome Dr. Sharath as a new member of the Downstate family.

SUNY Downstate Implements a Print Management Pilot Program

Effective July 1, SUNY Downstate launched a pilot program to save costs institution-wide. This effort is part of a SUNY policy to reduce cost, waste, print, and paper, simplify and standardize the printer fleet (single-function and multi-function printers), and secure and optimize the print environment. 

To meet SUNY’s sustainability goals, this pilot program also increases Downstate’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, reduce energy and paper consumption, and decrease the number of printing devices throughout the institution.

By participating in this program, Downstate can save between $695K- $1.0M annually and reduce its yearly carbon footprint by nearly 664,000 lbs.

The pilot program, which will inventory and secure needed print devices throughout Downstate, will also connect devices across the facility, eliminate the need for frequent purchases of and reduce the cost of consumables, free up needed storage space, and better manage service issues more comprehensively.

Among the first participants in the program are IT, Finance, the College of Medicine, FM&D, and Family Medicine.

To understand more about the pilot program, please refer to the FAQ for answers to questions you may have.

Centerwide Special Elections Results

Governance Elections

SUNY Pilot Telecommuting Policy Extended through August 31, 2022

SUNY has extended the Pilot Telecommuting Policy through August 31, 2022.

If you are an employee whose title has been identified as eligible to telecommute, please be advised that the SUNY Telecommuting Policy set to expire for UUP, CSEA, NYSCOPBA, and PBANYS on June 30, 2022, has been extended to August 31, 2022. Therefore, if you have an approved application, no further action is required on your part.

If you have not submitted your telecommuting application and would like to participate, please contact for more information.

Governor Hochul Announces Applications Open For Exams To Pursue Careers In Law Enforcement

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the application period is now open for the New York State entry-level law enforcement civil service exam. The exam—which is used to fill titles in the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Office of State Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation, and the State University of New York—will be held in the fall. Qualified candidates can apply online until 11:59 EST on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, to take the exam.

Convert to Excelsior Pass PLUS Replaces the original Excelsior Pass

Excelsior Pass PLUS will replace the original Excelsior Pass, which has expired as of June 30, 2022. You can get your free Excelsior Pass Plus here so that you have the most updated version of proof of your COVID vaccination.

Two CUNY Salk Award Winners Headed to Downstate

Attending Downstate’s College of Medicine this fall will be two CUNY graduates who received the university’s prestigious Jonas E. Salk Award. Named for the developer of the first polio vaccine, the Salk Award is a competitive scholarship for outstanding STEM students from across the CUNY system who have been accepted into medical school. Only eight awards are given annually.

David MusheyevDavid Musheyev graduated from Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, where he did research on understanding cellular noise dynamics. He currently works as a research coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, enrolling patients in clinical trials. David’s goals are to uncover immunotherapy treatment options for prostate cancer and to make clinical trials more accessible to medically underserved populations.

Kelly VeerasammyKelly Veerasammy graduated from The City College of New York. As a first-generation Indo-Caribbean, she has witnessed hesitancy toward institutionalized health care within her community, and her goal is to help change that by fostering diversity in the medical and research fields. She hopes to use her scientific training to become a health advocate for her community, as well as a mentor who can help pave an accessible path to STEM for upcoming generations.


Michael F. Myers, M.D., Recognized by APA

Michael Myers, MD

Each year the American Psychiatric Association (APA) honors individuals for career recognition, lifetime service, and outstanding research that improve the lives of people with mental illness. This year, professor of Clinical Psychiatry Michael F. Myers, M.D., received a Special Presidential Commendation award at the APA’s 66th Convocation of Distinguished Fellows, held in May during the Association’s 2022 Annual Meeting.   

Downstate Recognizes #thelongestday

longest day

Thank you to those who participated in #thelongestday Alzheimer’s Awareness photo op on June 21. The longest day—the summer solstice—is when thousands of participants from across the globe unite to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. 

395 Lenox Road Entrance Closure

REMINDER that the HSEB entrance at 395 Lenox Road remains temporarily closed through July 31, 2022, while the exterior doors are replaced. Access to the HSEB will be through the Grove, as per the signage leading to the Grove.

COVID-19 scanning for entry remains in process. The doors to the Grove are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Please use the entrance at 450 Clarkson before and after these hours if you need access to the HSEB.

Please contact Anthony Piscopo, Facilities Program Coordinator, with questions at, 718-270-4668, or 347-563-0983.

Congratulations to…

President Wayne Riley and School of Public Health dean Kitaw Demissie, M.D., Ph.D. both of whom were named to City & State’s Brooklyn Power 100 list.

Surgical resident Jodi-Ann Edwards was recently awarded the Department of Surgery Chair’s Award for Outstanding Citizenship. This award is given to a resident who has demonstrated the values of selflessness and giving to others in a way that promotes the advancement of the entire department.

Dr. Moro Salifu, who was selected as a 2022 Laureate Award Recipient of the American College of Physicians. Recipients of this award include those who—through their commitment and professional leadership—exhibit a commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research in service to colleagues and the community.

United Hospital Fund and Greater New York Hospital Call for Poster Abstracts

The United Hospital Fund (UHF) and the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) invite the submission of abstracts for the poster session of their 2022 Symposium, to be held in late October 2022. The deadline for submission of abstracts for the poster session is Monday, July 18, 2022.

Poster abstracts selected by an expert review committee for presentation will highlight research or evaluation findings that are relevant to health care administrators, clinicians, and policymakers. See suggested topics and download the call for posters on its website here. Applicants will be notified of the status of their submissions in September.

The “Annual Symposium on Health Care Services in New York: Research and Practice” fosters collaboration on and understanding of current health care research in New York, builds bridges among health services researchers and practitioners and showcases the New York health services research community.

For questions about poster submissions, please contact

Want to run in the NYC Marathon and raise funds for Downstate’s Brooklyn Free Clinic? 

The Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC) has teamed up with New York Road Runners (NYRR) as an Official Charity Partner for the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon. 

Held on Sunday, November 6 this year, the TCS NYC Marathon, a 26.2-mile race, will feature approximately 33,000 runners running through each of the five boroughs. More than one million spectators line the city streets to cheer on the runners. In contrast, millions more watch live television broadcasts in the United States and worldwide. It is estimated that about $40M is donated yearly to charity through NYRR partnerships!

There are currently five spots available for runners! To run in the marathon, you must commit to raising a minimum of $2,500 for the BFC. If you are interested in running and raising funds for BFC, please complete this form and tell us why you want to run for the BFC and how you plan to raise funds.
The deadline to submit a fundraising plan is July 8, 2022. 

Upcoming Events

School of Public Health Information Session

July 12

SPH Information Session

Safe Qual Goes Live 

July 13

Safe Qual

Retirement Planning for Employees

July 13, 26

10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

To meet their retirement and financial goals, employees are encouraged to sign up for appointments offered by AIG. In addition, employees in the TDA program are also welcome as there will be some valuable information.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Time:  10:00 AM to 2:30 PM
(45-minute appointments available)
Location:  Downstate Health Sciences University
ON-SITE - TBD will Contact to Set Location
(Cafe or Your Office) Brooklyn, NY 11203

Register by clicking on the Blue ‘SCHEDULE NOW’ Box. Schedule Now


Achieving Diversity in Clinical Trials: The Importance of Community Engagement

July 18

Achieving Diversity in Clinical Trials

Announcing Enhanced BIOVIGIL Hand-Hygiene Solution Training at University Hospital at Downstate

July 18-21

Jumpstart your BIOVIGIL training today! 


Hand hygiene is critically important for safe, high-quality patient care. As the pandemic has increased extensive use of PPE, the BIOVIGIL® hand-hygiene system technology continues to train healthcare staff in proper hand-hygiene techniques to prevent the spreading and transmission of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).

First launched at UHD in 2018, the BIOVIGIL badge technology encourages enhanced use and frequency of hand hygiene among healthcare staff. Next week, UHD will re-introduce the BIOVIGIL badge with a new feature that allows individuals to access the base stations using Downstate ID badges instead of the previously assigned keys.

This training is for you if you are a healthcare worker who comes in direct contact with patients. Beginning on Monday, July 18, training will be provided—mainly in the inpatient care areas—and in various departments on the following dates and times:

Monday, July 18, 7:00 am – 8:40 pm | Tuesday, July 19, 7:00 am – 8:40 pm

Wednesday, July 20, 7:00 am – 8:40 pm | Thursday, July 21, 7:00 am- 6:30 pm

However, you can sign up and complete the training in advance by clicking here to view a brief BIOVIGIL video and answer a few questions from the short survey.

You can also scan the QR code below to complete the required training. 

QR Code

Like the folks below, you can even win fun daily prizes, courtesy of BIOVIGIL, just for registering AND completing the training.

Check out yesterday's winners of $10 gift cards!

list of winners













BIOVIGIL has generously offered some fun incentives to encourage registration and training:

  • A daily raffle prize with ten winners, each of whom will receive a $10 gift card to Dunkin, Amazon, or Starbucks.
  • At least three trophies will be awarded for the last quarter's highest performing department.


  • The Individual with the highest hand hygiene performance will receive a pair of Beats Solo 3 headphones.
  • The highest hand hygiene performing department will win a $250 Visa card for a pizza party.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for today's gift card winners!


For more information, please call Infection Control at 718-270-1940.

Sprinter Research Symposium

July 22nd 

Sprinter Syposium

SUNY SPECTRUM: Submit your Proposal

September 15-16 



News Reel

Check Back Soon!

What’s Happening in July

Calendar of July observances, celebrations, and recognitions!

Check back for regular updates to this page!

* New information highlighted in yellow *