November 2023 Announcements

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Nov 1, 2023

Changes to FMLA and ADA Administration

We hope this message finds you well. The Department of Human Resources wishes to inform you of some important changes in the administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) within our organization.

Effective immediately, the responsibilities for managing FMLA requests will transition to the Benefits Department. This team will be dedicated to ensuring a smooth and efficient process for employees seeking leave under FMLA. If you have any questions or need assistance specifically related to FMLA, please reach out to the Benefits Department at

Simultaneously, the Office of Employee and Labor Relations will now be responsible for handling matters related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes accommodation requests and any issues related to ADA compliance. For any inquiries or support regarding ADA, please contact the Office of Employee and Labor Relations at (718) 270-3019, or by email at

We believe that this realignment of responsibilities will enhance our ability to provide support for both FMLA and ADA, ensuring that employees receive the necessary guidance and assistance in a timely manner.

We appreciate your cooperation during this transition. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Human Resources at for further assistance.

Thank you for your understanding and continued commitment to making Downstate Health Sciences University a great place to work.

Reminder About Engaging Elected and Public Officials for Campus and Other Activites

Now that Election Day has come and gone, we would like to remind the SUNY Downstate community of the importance of understanding the rules for engaging elected and other public officials at our campus and the University Hospital at Downstate. Downstate’s Office of Government & Community Relations serves as the primary liaison with government officials and manages interactions with city, state, and federal entities. 

Ms. Alishia Goodridge, Assistant Vice President of Government & Community Relations, is the designated point of contact for all University-related communications with government and other public officials. Individuals seeking to communicate with elected officials on behalf of Downstate Health Sciences University (including extending invitations to the campus for any reason) must first contact Ms. Goodridge, who will ensure strategic interactions are appropriately aligned with Downstate’s interests and collective advocacy efforts. 

Adherence to this guidance is vital as we are an agency of the state of New York. This guidance also seeks to ensure clarity and accurate representation arising from uncoordinated contact with government and community organizations.

Ms. Goodridge can be reached via email at or by phone at 718-270-3866.

Reminder: Mandatory SUNY Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training: Submit by November 27, 2023

Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Response Course, also known as “SPARC,” is a SUNY-mandated training program that requires all members of the SUNY Downstate community to be trained on preventing sexual misconduct.  This is an annual mandate.

* PLEASE DISREGARD if you have previously received direct communication from the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and completed the SPARC training in 2023 AND sent confirmation of completion to the Office of Institutional Equity as recently as November 9, 2023. You are all set and do not have to complete the training again.

If you last completed the training in 2022, you are due to complete the training and can satisfy this SUNY mandate by reviewing the attached SPARC materialsTO CONFIRM YOUR COMPLETION OF THE SPARC TRAINING YOU MUST:

--Read the attached PDF or view the video presentation linked below. (Both are available in English and Spanish)

a) SUNY Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (English)

b) SUNY Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (Spanish)

View PDF in English

View PDF in Spanish

--REPLY to the email: and

--Include the reply: “I received and read the SPARC training.”

*For employees (i.e., staff, faculty, residents), include your name, title, and the department/office you work in.

*For students, include your name, college and/or academic program, and class year (e.g., College of Nursing, Class of 2026, etc.).

*If you are a contractor, consultant, agency employee, or volunteer, include your name, title, agency (if applicable), and the department/office you work in.

Please complete the training and submit confirmation on or before November 27, 2023. The Office of Institutional Equity has been charged with monitoring Downstate’s compliance with this mandate. All responses should be sent to   

Please feel free to email or call the Office of Institutional Equity at (718) 270-1738 with any questions related to the SPARC training. If you are unsure whether you completed the training, you can follow up with OIE to confirm.

Security Awareness News
November 2023 Issue

Security Awareness

Identification & Authentication

  • Password Facts
  • Multi-Factor Authentication Explained
  • Access Control

AVERT, short for Active Violence Emergency Response Training

AVERT, short for Active Violence Emergency Response Training goes beyond active shooter training by teaching emergency bleeding control techniques, warning signs of a potential aggressor, quick response in a violent situation, escape, evade, or attack in critical seconds during an event, and staff confidence needed to respond. University Hospital at Downstate is now a training center with 14 certified instructors that includes staff from Emergency Management, University Police, the HAZMAT team, and the ED.

Please RSVP by using the link below to register for an upcoming Active Shooter Training:

2024 Holiday Schedule for Management Confidential, CSEA and PEF Employees

The state of New York has designated the following dates as holidays in 2024:

New Year’s Day


January 1, 2024

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


January 15, 2024

Lincoln's Birthday


February 12, 2024

Washington's Birthday (Observed)*


February 19, 2024

Memorial Day


May 27, 2024



June 19, 2024

Independence Day


July 4, 2024

Labor Day


September 2, 2024

Columbus Day


October 14, 2024

Election Day


November 5, 2024

Veterans’ Day


November 11, 2024

Thanksgiving Day


November 28, 2024

Christmas Day


December 25, 2024

       *  Also known as Presidents’ Day

The State has designated Lincoln’s Birthday (Monday, February 12, 2024) and Election Day (Tuesday, November 5, 2024) as floating holidays for M/C, CSEA, and PEF employees. Downstate will be open for business as usual on these dates. Eligible part-time employees are credited with floating holidays if they are scheduled to work or are directed to work on either of the above dates. 

M/C, CSEA, and PEF employees eligible to observe holidays will receive compensatory time off for holidays scheduled on a pass day if they are not assigned to work. CSEA and PEF employees eligible to observe holidays and are required to work on a holiday will receive additional compensation, or if elected to waive such additional compensation, employees will receive compensatory time off. M/C employees eligible to observe holidays but are required to work on a holiday will receive a compensatory day off. 

Compensatory days off shall be subject to applicable rules governing annual leave, and, where specified by the applicable collective bargaining agreement, shall be forfeited unless used within 1-year from the date time is accrued.  

If additional information is needed, please contact the Office of Employee & Labor Relations at extension 3019.

View PDF


2024 Holiday Schedule for UUP Employees

The following dates are designated as holidays for the 2023-2024 academic year:


Labor Day


September 4, 2023

Columbus Day


October 9, 2023

Election Day*


November 7, 2023

Veterans' Day


November 11, 2023

Thanksgiving Day


November 23, 2023

Christmas Day


December 25, 2023

New Year's Day


January 1, 2024

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


January 15, 2024

Lincoln's Birthday*


February 12, 2024

Washington's Birthday (Observed)


February 19, 2024

Memorial Day


May 27, 2024



June 19, 2024

Independence Day


July 4, 2024


*Election Day (Tues., Nov. 7, 2023) and Lincoln's Birthday (Mon., Feb. 12, 2024) have been designated as floating holidays. Downstate will be open for business as usual on floating holidays. Employees scheduled to work must obtain prior supervisory approval to observe these holidays or alternative days.

Employees (including part-time) eligible to observe holidays but are required to work on a holiday (i.e. where clinical and other services/operations are open) will receive compensatory time off for each holiday worked (1.5 compensatory days for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 1 compensatory day for New Year’s Day), or, if they have elected to waive such compensatory time, additional compensation of equivalent value for work on those holidays. Employees eligible to observe holidays will receive compensatory time off for holidays scheduled on Saturday, i.e. Veteran’s Day, if they are not scheduled to work. Compensatory days off shall be scheduled at times mutually agreeable to the employee and the University and must be used within 1-year of accrual. Please contact the Office of Employee and Labor Relations at extension 3019 for more information.

View PDF

2024 M/C and UUP Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP)

UUP MC Application

View PDF

2024 CSEA/PEF Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP)

CSEA PEP Application

View PDF


Time-Off to Vote on November 7, 2023

From: The Department of Human Resources

Attention: All Employees of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

N.Y. ELECTION LAW SECTION 3-110 Revised 4.4.2020

If you do not have 4 consecutive hours to vote, either from the opening of the polls to the beginning of your working shift,


Between the end of your working shift and the closing of the polls, you may take off up to 2 hours, without loss of pay, to allow you time to vote if you are a registered voter.

  • You may take time off at the beginning or end of your working shift, as your Supervisor may designate, unless otherwise mutually agreed.
  • You must notify your Supervisor not less than 2 days, but not more than 10 days, before the day of the election that you will take time off to vote.

Message About Terrorist Attacks In Israel

Dear Members of the Downstate Community,

I share deep sorrow at the horrific terrorist attack on Israel that has killed hundreds. The images and reports of violence, brutality, suffering, and loss of life are devastating and reprehensible.

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) strongly condemns these attacks, the indiscriminate killing of non-combatant civilians, and the taking of hostages, including children, the infirm, and the elderly. We extend profound sympathies to all impacted and strongly denounce the hatred and violence that have disrupted countless lives.

The tragedy and loss of life we continue to witness are deeply troubling and beg the need for dialogue and peaceful discourse.

The ongoing turmoil in Israel and Gaza has undoubtedly impacted our campus community. We understand that these unfortunate events may evoke various emotions and perspectives from those with strong views on this longstanding conflict.

We must remain together as a community to reflect on our shared values and the importance of compassion, empathy, and understanding. Downstate remains committed to these principles while also nurturing an environment where everyone feels heard and respected, regardless of our views or affiliations.

For any student needing support, please contact the Office of Student Life & Services at (718) 270-2187 or by email at All calls and emails are kept confidential.

Any faculty and staff member having difficulty and needing support resources, do not hesitate to contact the Employee Assistance Program at (718) 270-1489 or email Magda Alliancin, Ed.D. at All calls and emails are kept confidential.


Fall/Winter 2023 STAR Community Link

The Fall/Winter 2023 STAR Community Link is now available

Star Program Community Link

View Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage MonthThis month, Downstate, along with the nation, celebrates Native American Heritage, acknowledging the significant contributions, diverse cultures, and collective resilient spirits of the First Peoples of this land whose legacies have profoundly influenced our state, the nation, and the world.

The path to deeper understanding and acceptance lies in the balance between overlooking differences to unite on a basic human level and recognizing these differences to value the diverse spectrum of human experiences. Downstate honors and upholds these stories and narratives, striving for a future where every individual is acknowledged. The month is dedicated to reflection, education, and the celebration of Native American communities, as well as to the ongoing work needed to foster inclusivity across the United States.

While we celebrate our shared humanity, we must also honor the distinct stories, histories, and identities that make us who we are at Downstate. Doing so can forge a future where everyone feels seen, valued, respected, and cherished.

Here’s to a month of reflection, education, and celebration, honoring the Native American communities and embracing the work we must continue to do throughout the United States.

University Bookstore Thanksgiving Sale

October 23 - November 22


Veteran's Day Photoshoot in Honor of Service and Sacrifice

Thursday, November 9, 2023
11:45 AM

Veterans DayWHO: All Veteran Students, Faculty, and Staff of Downstate 

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


11:45 AM – Arrival to pick up your flag and gifts. 

12:00 PM – Group Photo

WHERE: The Grove (Outside the 395 Lenox Road entrance)

(In case of inclement weather, we will move to the Atrium) 

WHY: To honor and recognize Downstate’s veteran workforce.


A limited number of military branch flags and gifts will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis available for those participating in the photo-shoot.

EAP Coat Drive

November 13-17, 2023
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

EAP Coat Drive

Register Today for a Screening of Aftershock and a Black Maternal Health Panel Discussion

Alumni Auditorium
Friday, November 17, 2023
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Aftershock Maternal Health

As part of the We Care About Brooklyn (WeCAB) initiative, an NIH funded pilot study designed to address NYC’s Black maternal health crisis, the School of Public Health is hosting a screening of Aftershock, a documentary that amplifies the stories of two local families. An interdisciplinary panel discussion will follow the screening. Moderated by Dr. Aimee Afable, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, School of Public Health, panelists include Dr. Christina Pardo, Division Director, Women’s Health Practice, Weill Cornell,  Ngozi Moses, Executive Director, Brooklyn Perinatal Network and Adedamola Kasumu-Muritala, Community Health Worker, Downstate Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The film and panel will be in the Alumni Auditorium at SUNY Downstate on Friday, November 17th, from 3pm - 6pm. Additional details are found in the attached flyer. Please RSVP to the event here

Below is a brief summary of Aftershock and panelists' bios:

This film witnesses two families become ardent activists in the maternal health space, seeking justice through legislation, medical accountability, community, and the power of art. Their work introduces a myriad of people including a growing brotherhood of surviving Black fathers, along with the work of midwives and physicians on the ground fighting for institutional reform. Through their collective journeys, the film brings us to the front lines of the growing birth justice movement that is demanding systemic change within our medical system and government.

Adedamola Kasumu-Muritala

Adedamola Kasumu-Muritala is a Community Health Worker for the Maternal Infant Child Initiative in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at SUNY Downstate. 

She is a mother, a Full Spectrum Doula, offering support through birth and the postpartum period, and a Certified Lactation Counselor. She also worked as a doula at the Brooklyn Perinatal Network supporting birthing persons and families in Central Brooklyn.

Christina Pardo, MD, MPH

Dr. Christina Pardo, MD MPH is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, community advocate and public health professional. She attended Howard University as a pre-medical student and became actively involved in social and disparity issues in underserved communities. She graduated with honors with a B.S. in Biology in 2004. She then attended Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and completed a master’s in public health in International Health at Boston University. With an interest in women’s health and working with underserved and immigrant communities, she completed her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY.

Following residency training she joined the faculty at Stony Brook University where she co-founded the Global Women's Health program. Her passion for health disparities, social determinants of health and equity led her to return to SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University where she founded the Division of Health Equity in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and served as the Vice Chair of Quality Improvement & Innovation.  Dr. Pardo recently joined New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine as Divisional Director for the Women's Health Practice where she continues her work in ensuring quality care for diverse communities.  She has extensive experience working with community-based organizations with a focus on hospital-community partnership as well as integrating equity programming into both clinical practice and education.  Dr. Pardo is also the Deputy Director for Life of Hope where she founded the Sante Se Lavi and Haitian Women's Birth Equity program, who’s aim is to address the unique barriers of care faced by immigrant communities.

Ngozi Moses, MSc

Ngozi Moses is founder and Executive Director of Brooklyn Perinatal Network Inc. (BPN), established over 30 years ago, dedicated to enabling collective efforts to address the systemic inequities that drive the health disparities in maternal child health outcomes. 

Ms. Moses is currently providing leadership for a community-driven partnership initiative, funded by the New York State Department of Health First 1000 Days on Medicaid Program. This project includes a coalition of community based organizations and aims to address social drivers that contribute to adverse maternal and child health outcomes. BPN has been a key partner of The Pathways Community HUB Institute (PCHI), located in Ohio and the Health Management Associates (HMA), a national health consultant firm with local health systems expertise to introduce the value of the Pathways HUB program model to potentially improve perinatal health outcomes in Brooklyn communities which represent the epicenter of the severe maternal morbidity and mortality in NYC and state. Ms. Moses served as Principal Investigator of several community health initiatives including The Brownsville Action Community For Health Equality and a CDC REACH NIH supported project from 2007-2013.

SPH In-Person Info Session

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
5:30 pm

Tuesday, November 21 at 5:30 pm, join us in-person in PHAB Hall B to learn more about the admissions process, academic departments, and hear from our Faculty Feature, Dr. Daniel Ehlke, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management. 

We look forward to you becoming a member of this amazing and impactful community. See you then!

November Information Session

RSVP for this In-person Info Session


Dean's Lecture Series | 4th Edition 2023-2024

November 29, 2023
Via Zoom at 5:00 PM

Deans Lecture Series - November 29, 2023

Legacy of Resilience:
The Arthur Ashe Institute Mental Health Symposium

Thursday November 30, 2023
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Legacy of Resilience Mental Health Symposium

Past Events

Halloween 2023

Holidays / Observances



Nov 7: Election Day (Downstate Floating Holiday)

Nov 11: Veterans’ Day (Pass Day Holiday)

Nov 23: Thanksgiving Day



Oct 29-Nov 5: International Brain Tumour Awareness Week

Nov 5-11: Allied Health Professionals Week

Nov 5-11: National Diabetes Education Week

Nov 5-11: National Radiologic Technology Week5

Nov 5-11: National Patient Transport Week

Nov 12-18: National Nurse Practitioner Week

Nov 12-18: National Perioperative Nurse Week

Nov 19-25 GERD Awareness Week



American Diabetes Month

Bladder Health Month

COPD Awareness Month

Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Gastric Cancer/Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month


National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

National Diabetes Month

National Epilepsy Awareness Month

National Family Caregivers Month

National Healthy 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


Nov 5: Daylight Savings Time Ends


Nov 1: All Saint’s Day (Christianity) / Dia de los Muertos

Nov 2: All Souls Day (Christianity)

Nov 2: Anniversary of Crowning of Haile Selassie (Rastafarian)

Nov 8: National First-Generation Day

Nov 12: Diwali (Hinduism)

Nov 12: Diwali/Mahavir Nirvana (Jainism)

Nov 16: International Day for Tolerance

Nov 16: Great American Smokeout

Nov 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Nov 24: Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (Sikhism)

Nov 25: Day of the Covenant (Baha’i)

Nov 27: Guru Nanak Jayanti’’s Birthday (Sikh)

Nov 27: Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha (Baha’i)


National Native American Heritage Month

National Veterans and Military Families Month

Transgender Awareness Month (NY State)

Check back for regular updates to this page!

* New information highlighted in yellow *