November 2022 Announcements

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Nov 1, 2022


Madga AlliancinIn recognition of Employee Assistance Awareness Month, we are proud to acknowledge Downstate’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), led by Magda Alliancin, Ed.D., and to extend gratitude for her continued commitment to a much-needed service for the health and well-being of our employees.

Each month, Dr. Alliancin fields hundreds of calls and emails from employees seeking support for various reasons. She is responsible for helping them to navigate every day—and other challenges—as they arise while also assisting in seeking appropriate solutions or additional support.

The Employee Assistance Program is a worksite-based program designed to help State employees deal with everyday issues involved in balancing work and life, as well as more serious problems that may impact work performance. 

The EAP at Downstate provides State employees and their family members with information, individual assessments, customized referrals to community resources, and support.  EAP services are confidential, voluntary, and offered at no cost to employees and their families. 

The EAP Program assists with family and other interpersonal relationships, stress, physical, and emotional concerns, substance abuse, health insurance coverage for EAP support, or identifying local resources for childcare, elder care, legal, and financial services.

If you require EAP services, please email, call the EAP office at (718) 270-1489, or visit the office, which is now located in the Residential Life Building Rm, 212.

2023 CSEA/PEF Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP)

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2023 allows eligible CSEA and PEF represented employees in Salary Grades (SG) 1- 24 to exchange up to eight previously accrued annual leave and/or personal leave in return for a biweekly credit that reduces the employee’s share of the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) premium.

The enrollment period for the 2023 began November 1, 2022 and will end at the close of business Monday, December 12, 2022. Employees who participated in the program in previous years and are interested in participating in PEP for the 2023 calendar year, must re-enroll each year.

The credit can range from $600 to $1600, depending on salary grade level. Also, the deduction is based on whether the employee has an individual or family contract. The credited funds will be divided over twenty-six pay periods.

Eligible CSEA employees in Salary Grades 1-17 or a non- statutory employee, who has an annual salary rate that is no greater than the SG-17 job rate, may elect to exchange a total of either four days or eight days of annual leave or personal leave. For example, an employee whose work week is 37.5 hours, four or eight days equates to 30 or 60 hours respectively and, for an employee whose work week is 40 hours, the hours given up will be 32 or 64 hours respectively. 

Eligible CSEA employees in Salary Grades 18-24 or a non- statutory employee, who has an annual salary rate that is exceeds the SG-18 job rate, may elect to exchange a total of either two and a half days or five days of annual leave or personal leave. For example, an employee whose workweek is 37.5 hours, two and a half or five days equates to 18.75 or 40 hours respectively and, for an employee whose work week is 40 hours, the hours given up will be 20 or 40 hours respectively. 

Eligible PEF employees in Salary Grades 1-17 or a non- statutory employee, who has an annual salary rate that is no greater than the SG-17 job rate, may elect to exchange a total of either three days or six days of annual leave or personal leave. For example, an employee whose workweek is 37.5 hours, three or six days equates to 22.5 or 45 hours respectively and, for an employee whose work week is 40 hours, the hours given up will be 24 or 40 hours respectively. 

Eligible PEF employees in Salary Grades 18-24 or a non-statutory employee, who has an annual salary rate that exceeds the SG-18 job rate may elect to exchange two days or four days. For the employee whose work week is 37.5 hours that is 15 or 30 hours respectively and the employee who work week is 40 hours, he/she will exchange 16 or 32 hours.

Part-time annual-salaried employees who meet the eligibility requirement for health insurance (50% or more FTE) will be eligible to participate on a prorated basis in accordance with his/her payroll percentage.

At the time of enrollment, full-time and part-time employees must meet all the eligibility requirements as follows, which are:

  • Must be covered by the New York State CSEA or PEF collective bargaining agreement;
  • Must be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder) in either the Empire Plan or HMO at the time of enrollment;
  • Must have a minimal combined balance of annual and/or personal leave of at least 8 days.  For example, a CSEA or PEF employee who works 37.5 hours/week must have 60 hours of accrued time or 64 hours for employees who work 40 hours/week in order to qualify for the program.

Employee who move between individual and family coverage under NYSHIP will have his/her health insurance contributions adjusted upward or downward as appropriate.  Also, once an employee enrolls in the PEP program, he/she continues for the calendar year unless there is a separation from State Service or he/she ceases to be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder).

Leave forfeited in association with the program will not be returned, in whole or in part, to employees who cease to be eligible for participation in the program.

Disputes arising from the PEP program are not subject to the grievance procedures contained in the CSEA or PEF contracts.

As the decision to participate in the PEP program is a personal one, an employee must consider several factors before enrolling.  Such factors include his/her daily rate of pay versus the annual cost of the NYSHIP premium, his/her leave balances, his/her normal annual or personal leave accrual rate, and his/her anticipated need to use annual or personal leave during the calendar year.  Note that at the time of retirement, an employee is eligible to receive payment for up to thirty (30) days (240 hours) of annual leave.

If you wish to enroll in PEP for the calendar year 2023, please complete the attached form and return it to the Benefits Office at Box #1191 or email by close of business Monday, December 12, 2022.  The Benefits Office is located in the Basement of the Library at 395 Lenox Rd.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact the Benefits Office at Extension 3015.

Excess Vacation Accruals Update


The Office of Employee Relations (OER) reached agreements with all of the unions to further extend the forfeiture date for excess annual leave to December 31, 2023.  This extension also applies to Management/Confidential (M/C) employees.

All unused excess ANNUAL leave can now be carried through December 31, 2023.

At a later date, we will provide additional administrative details about treatment of excess annual leave after December 31, 2023.

If you have any questions about the extension, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Human Resources (DHR) at extension 1191 or email us at:

NYS Flex Spending Account (FSA) 
2023 Open Enrollment

2023 NYS FSA Flyer

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) has announced that the 2023 Enrollment Period for the New York State Flex Spending Account (FSA) Program runs from November 1, 2022 to 11:59 PM (EST) December 12, 2022. Internal revenue service (IRS) regulations do not allow employers to make exceptions for employees who miss the deadline, regardless of their reason.

The FSA, a program negotiated between the State and its public employee unions, consists of three important benefits for employees -- the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA), and the Adoption Advantage Account (AAA). Eligible employees may choose to enroll in any or all of the benefits. Enrollment is paperless and is done online at or by calling the toll-free number: 1-800-358-7202.

Contributions to the FSA Program are deducted from an employee’s gross pay on a pre-tax basis through the payroll deduction. This program helps employees save on out-of-pocket costs related to health care, dependent care, and/or adoption expenses. The funds set aside are not subject to Federal, State, or local taxes, but are subject to FICA taxes. 

Under State regulations, employees must submit claims by March 31, 2024, for services rendered in the calendar year (CY 2023). Otherwise, any funds remaining in the FSA account at the end of the year will be forfeited under the “Use it OR Lose it rule”. However, new for CY 2023, a “carry -over” of $610.00 of funds from CY 2022 will be allowed for expenses incurred between January 1, 2023 and March 15, 2023.

Accordingly, employees are strongly encouraged to estimate their expenses carefully and to submit claims before the end of the run-out-period, to avoid forfeiture.

View the Full PDF

Water Cooler and Bottles Update

Water Cooler Memo

SUNY Pilot Telecommuting Policy Extended through December 31, 2022

TelecommutingAs a reminder, SUNY has extended the Pilot Telecommuting Policy until December 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 August 31, 2022, has been extended to December 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.

Human Resources Releases new Downstate Also Receives Policy  (ALR)   

In conjunction with the State University New York (SUNY) Human Resources’ policy on Also Receives (ALR) that went into effect July 1, 2021, Downstate’s Department of Human Resources (DHR) is releasing its own policy and procedure on the administration of ALRs. This policy is meant to ensure we are complying with current SUNY guidance and strengthening our own internal administration of the process. 

Please review the policy for details that includes a link to SUNY’s policy for easy reference and relevant Downstate forms that are required for submissions.

The implementation of this policy also requires changes in the review and approval process for ALRs. Kindly note the following:

  • Departments have been advised that employees are not to take on new duties until ALRs have been approved. We will continue limiting retroactive ALR compensation requests for approval to SUNY and/or Office of State Comptroller (OSC) because the institution must reduce the number of late transaction submissions to these agencies.
  • There will be instances when ALR payments must be paid retroactively due to clinical duties starting before internal approval to ensure patient safety. Departments should still strive to ensure ALRs related to clinical duties (e.g., coverage, etc.) are scheduled in advance when possible.
  • All requests for ALR compensation must be submitted to DHR’s classification and compensation team (Cepeda Johnson and Douglas Chin) once the paperwork has been approved by department leadership. It is critical these reviews happen before documents are sent to Finance (Campus or Hospital) for approval to ensure the level of effort and compensation are reasonable and commensurate with the duties outlined in the justification letter. DHR will follow up with the department if there are any questions. Once the ALR is approved by DHR, the package will be sent to Finance for budgetary review/approval and then on to the President’s Office for final approval.
  • Approved packages are to be returned to DHR for processing at The department requesting the ALR will be copied on all communications.

Also, DHR will be will be conducting a review of existing ALRs and following up with departments to confirm the duties are still being performed. For ALRs that are going on for more than six months to a year, DHR will require departments to submit updated justification letters confirming the duties are still being performed.

If you have any questions about the ALR policy and/or changes to the ALR submission and review process, please contact Jamie Grecco, Senior Associate Vice President, or Cepeda Johnson, Assistant Vice President.

A Message from Facilities Management and  Development (FM&D) regarding Street Closure

On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be closing East 37th Street between Clarkson Ave and Linden Blvd for street repairs.
The anticipated closure will be from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. 

We respectfully request that you DO NOT PARK your vehicle on East 37th Street to avoid hefty fines from DOT on that day.

The 329 Clarkson Avenue Garage Monthly Parking Update

The 329 Clarkson Avenue Garage will remain open to monthly parkers until December 31, 2022. We will send an update next month about reassigning monthly parkers as we learn more about the closure date for the garage.

If you have any questions regarding this, please send email to:

A Message From University Police and Public Safety

Dear Campus Community,

Effective October 12, 2022 the ID Card office is relocating from the current location at 825 New York avenue to the University Police facility at 750 New York avenue (corner of Clarkson and New York avenues).

Thank you,
University Police Department

Lenox Road Entrance Remains Closed

Lenox Rd closureThis is a REMINDER that the HSEB entrance at 395 Lenox Road remains temporarily closed until further notice 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 8:00 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.

Upcoming Events


BFC Runs NYC Marathon

Sunday, November 6, 2022

BFC Runs the NYC Marathon

View the PDF Event

voteTuesday, November 8
Election Day

Integrating SDOH Data into Collaborative Care Projects: Two-Day Online Workshop

Wednesday, November 9, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Data Collection Project Workshop


Downstate Veteran's Day Photo-Op

Wednesday, November 9

Veterans Day

All Veteran Students, Faculty, and Staff of Downstate

Photo-op to honor Downstate’s Veterans for their service and sacrifice; we encourage you to wear appropriate military memorabilia, uniforms, etc.


Wedneday, November 9, 2022

11:45 am – Meet in the 395 Lenox Road lobby

12:00 pm – Photo


The Grove (Outside the 395 Lenox Road entrance)

(In case of inclement weather, meet under the canopy entrance at 450 Clarkson Avenue.)


To honor and recognize Downstate’s Veteran workforce, many of whom have served on the frontlines for our country and now serve here at Downstate in various roles.


A limited number of American flags and gifts will be available for those participating in the photo op; they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive in the Lobby at 11:45 am to pick up your flag and gift.

Photos will accompany Dr. Riley’s Veteran’s Day Centerwide Friday, November 11, 2022, message.

School of Public Health Application Fee Waived

Monday, November 14


Faculty and Professional Staff Special Assembly

Tuesday, November 15 at 4:00 PM

Special Assembly

Click here for Livestream

The Medical Research Library of Brooklyn and Elsevier Publishing Presents: Getting Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals Webinar

Tuesday, November 15, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Getting Published Webinar

Registration required

US News & World Report presents: The State of Equity in America: Health Equity

Wednesday, November 16 at 1:45 PM (ET)

Join this exclusive forum exploring, U.S. News & World Report Livestream, "The State of Equity in America: Health Equity" that will feature President, Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP, and other thought leaders and experts from business, government, health, the nonprofit world, and other sectors to examine health equity issues and spotlight solutions to the challenges in New York, and beyond.

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with leaders across sectors, as well as to hear about ways that U.S. News is reporting on and helping drive toward health equity in America, from measuring how hospitals and health systems perform in addressing equity to the U.S. News Healthiest Communities platform.

health equity

Register Now


The College of Medicine and Institutional Equity presents their Pride Student and Faculty Mixer

Monday, November 21, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pride mixer

Click here to RSVP

Third Annual SOHP Dean’s Lecture Series: “Using Data-driven Decision Making to Improve a Clinical Practice or Program”

Wednesday, November 30,  5:00 PM

Lecture Series

View the Event PDF


EAP Coat Drive

December 5-9, 2022

EAP Coat Drive

Calendar of November observances, celebrations, and recognitions!

Health Weeks to Observe 

  • Nov 6-12: Allied Health Professionals Week 
  • Nov 6-12: National Diabetes Education Week 
  • Nov 6-12: National Radiologic Technology Week 
  • Nov 6-12: National Patient Transport Week 
  • Nov 13-19: National Nurse Practitioner Week  
  • Nov 13-19: National Perioperative Nurse Week 
  • Nov 20-26: GERD Awareness Week

Health Observances:

  • American Diabetes Month 

  • Bladder Health Month 

  • COPD Awareness Month 

  • Diabetic Eye Disease Month 

  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month 

  • National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month 

  • National Epilepsy Awareness Month 

  • National Family Caregivers Month 

  • National Health Skin Month 

  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Month 

  • National Marrow Awareness Month 

  • National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 

  • Prematurity Awareness Month 

  • Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month 

  • Stomach Cancer Awareness Month


  • National Veterans and Military Families Month

Check back for regular updates to this page!

* New information highlighted in yellow *