SUNY Downstate’s STAR Program Launches Campaign and TV Show to Promote Sexual Health Consciousness and Wellness Practices

Aug 13, 2019

#BeHealthyForYou Campaign Will Educate Brooklyn Community Members and Encourage Greater Attention to Individual Health to Help Curb HIV and Hepatitis C Virus

Campaign To Be Promoted Across Both Broadcast And Digital Platforms

BROOKLYN, NY – The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University today announced the launch of the #BeHealthyForYou campaign. In conjunction with the STAR for Brooklyn TV show, the campaign will promote sexual health consciousness and encourage the community to take action to safeguard their health.

The STAR Program was founded in 1991 as a multidisciplinary care, clinical education, and research program responding to the combined epidemics of HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and substance abuse in Central Brooklyn. The campaign advances SUNY Downstate’s mission to improve the health of Brooklyn’s 2.3 million residents through community-based interventions.

The #BeHealthyForYou campaign aims to teach community members protective measures against sexually transmitted infections like HIV through a series of informative videos. These detail preventive measures for people at high risk of contracting HIV, such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, which combat HIV before and after a potential exposure to the infection. While motivating people to stay informed on and act to improve their health, the campaign also stresses the importance of working with healthcare providers to properly and promptly identify and address all health challenges.

The #BeHealthyForYou campaign is available on STAR Program Brooklyn’s YouTube channel and on cable via BRIC TV. STAR for Brooklyn is hosted by SUNY Downstate’s Tonya Taylor, PhD and Christopher Jimenez, LHMC, CASAC.

“Too often, people are caught up in the day-to-day stresses of life that their health is put on the back burner,” said STAR Program Director Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, MHCDS, FACP. “The #BeHealthyForYou campaign encourages individuals to value and take an active role in their wellbeing. My hope is people will go beyond attending their annual physical and incorporate healthy practices – including STI testing, exercise, taking medication as directed and proactively eating nutritious meals – into their routine.”

Dr. DeHovitz goes on to say that in order to spread these messages effectively, the STAR Program assembled a crew well-versed in both medicine and television production to create compelling and insightful content that will make Brooklyn healthier.

“The STAR Program has been an integral part of our efforts to improve the health of the Brooklyn community for nearly three decades,” said SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, MD. “The work they do has been transformative for the health of our community, particularly for people living with or who are vulnerable to contracting HIV.”

The 30-minute show, created in collaboration with the Biomedical Communications Department of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, will spotlight medical advances, doctors, nurses, community-based organizations and community leaders involved in improving the health of Brooklyn residents, and highlight tips, recipes, local activities and trends for staying in shape.

The program will air on Mondays at 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM on BRIC TV, and Fridays at 7:30 AM on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). Episodes from the program are available on the STAR Program’s digital platforms. BRIC TV is available on cable channels including, Time Warner (CH.34), Verizon FIOS (CH. 32), Spectrum (CH. 1992), and Optimum (CH. 67).




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 STAR Program

The STAR Program raises community awareness about HIV, HCV, substance abuse, and other health care challenges. It looks after the health of the LGBTQ community, offering primary care and HIV-prevention measures in a culture that welcomes diversity. The program conducts outreach and provides education on-site at schools, churches, shelters, and other venues throughout Brooklyn. Dedicated to the wellbeing of all community members, STAR offers services to formerly incarcerated individuals in the Brooklyn area to ensure they have comprehensive access to care and infection prevention measures. All of STAR’s activities are guided by the input of consumers and community members through the STAR Community Advisory Group. As leaders in population health, STAR implements community-based interventions in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire borough. For more information on STAR, visit