SUNY Downstate and SUNY Old Westbury Expand Health Careers Partnership to Public Health

Nov 13, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: John Gillespie | | (718)270-2262

Agreement Gives Priority Consideration to Graduates of Old Westbury’s B.S. Degree in Health and Society for Downstate’s Master of Public Health Program; Masters in Medical Informatics Program Also Added

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (November 13, 2019) – Graduates of SUNY Old Westbury’s Bachelor of Science program in Health and Society will receive priority consideration for admission into the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University School of Public Health under an agreement between the two SUNY institutions.

The first group of Old Westbury students could be accepted and enrolled in the MPH program as early as the Spring 2020 term.

This collaboration between the two SUNY campuses follows a similar agreement announced in April that provides priority admission to up to 23 qualifying Old Westbury graduates each year into Downstate’s Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science—Physician Assistant, and the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs.

Additionally, the original agreement has been expanded to provide priority admission for up to 5 students in the Masters of Medical Informatics Program in the SUNY Downstate School of Health Professions. “This is the third such program partnership for our school and we are honored to be able to bring additional SUNY alumni into a professional curriculum, Medical Informatics, that represents the future of health care with its strong focus on technology,” said Allen Lewis, PhD, CRC, dean of the School of Health Professions at SUNY Downstate.

“With both campuses having public health curricula accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, graduates of Old Westbury’s Bachelor of Science in Health and Society are ideally positioned to pursue an MPH and a career that makes a difference in the care of underserved populations,” said Kitaw Demissie, MD, MPH, dean of the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to attract these future professionals to our program.”

Under this agreement, Old Westbury students who maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher will receive early consideration for admission into the MPH program, and will not be required to take the Graduate Record Exam.

“These agreements that give our students express and priority admission into Downstate’s Public Health, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Medical Informatics and Nursing programs are a huge advantage for SUNY Old Westbury in recruiting the best and brightest undergraduate students, and providing them with the best opportunity to achieve their goals,” said Barbara Hillery, PhD, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Old Westbury.

“This expanded partnership between SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Downstate is a model for working together across multiple disciplines to further strengthen our state’s healthcare system. It also fulfills a vision for collaborations across SUNY expressed by Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson earlier this year,” said Wayne J. Riley, M.D., President of Downstate Health Sciences University. “We look forward to cultivating similar relationships at Downstate with other undergraduate programs within SUNY and institutions outside the SUNY system.”

About SUNY Old Westbury

SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college with more than 5,000 students studying in more than 45 undergraduate degree opportunities in its liberal arts and professional programs and 21 graduate programs in business, education, liberal studies, and mental health counseling.  On the College’s 604-acre campus, students are challenged to take ownership of their futures through an environment that demands academic excellence, fosters intercultural understanding, and endeavors to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. 


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.