SUNY Chancellor Announces Renaming of SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn – Downstate Medical Center

Jun 26, 2019

The New Name, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Highlights Robust Academic Offerings and Significant Healthcare Services Provided

– The State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson announced today that SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Downstate Medical Center, has officially been renamed “The State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University”— the first critical step in a year-long Downstate Rebranding Initiative launched by Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. 

The coming months will also include a change of name for Downstate’s teaching hospital, University Hospital of Brooklyn, along with a repositioning of its clinical sites and operations as part of DownstateHealthTM.

Today’s name-change marks an early milestone in a rebranding effort that will underscore Downstate’s history and global significance, while elevating its visibility among the millions of people it serves in Brooklyn, the surrounding four boroughs, and across New York State. The rebranding initiative will raise awareness of Downstate’s mission, purpose, and the prestige attached to its comprehensive academic programming in medicine, nursing, public health, biomedical science, and the health professions.

Downstate’s new name encapsulates the full spectrum of the institution’s contributions to higher education, scholarship, workforce development, and healthcare in Brooklyn, in the city, nation-wide, and globally. Additionally, the name more appropriately reflects the varied nature of the institution’s academic offerings comprised its five schools and colleges that confer health science degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral level—including MD, PhD, Dr. PH and DPT.  

“SUNY Downstate Medical provides expansive medical services, and its new name – The State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University – now more broadly defines its value,” said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. “At the same time, the rebranding promotes the campus’s contributions to higher education today, and embraces its extensive history.”

“We appreciate President Wayne Riley’s efforts to reconnect with the community that SUNY Downstate serves and are pleased to approve the official renaming,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “The new name captures the breadth and scope of the academic excellence on campus and recognizes its growth.”

“We are grateful that Chancellor Johnson and the Board of Trustees agree with our five deans, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, SUNY Downstate Council, and our Executive Management Team that SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University best communicates the scope of what it is to be Downstate,” said Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “It is a name that more fully reflects our legacy, our mission, and the contributions we make in the community and to higher education, to ground-breaking medical research, to scholarship, and the development of the healthcare workforce of the future.”

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University was first introduced to the local Brooklyn community and New York at-large in 1860 as “The Long Island College of Medicine.” Since then, the institution’s name has evolved—formally joining SUNY in 1950 to become known as “SUNY College of Medicine at New York City,” followed by an informal adoption of its nickname, “Downstate Medical Center” in 1954, and finally, its most recent modification in 1986 by the Board of Trustees to “SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn.” 

“SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University” will now be used across all official, internal and external communications such as legal documents, diplomas, certificates, and signage. 

A copy of the SUNY Board of Trustees resolution approving the name change can be found here.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit