SUNY School of Medicine Names Dr. Marilyn A. Fraser as 2021 "Strong Woman in Medicine"

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Mar 8, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Dawn S. Walker | | 917-439-9666

Dr. Fraser Honored Alongside Three Fellow Healthcare Trailblazers

Marilyn A. Fraser, M.D.Brooklyn, NY - The City University of New York School of Medicine (CSOM) will honor SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University's Marilyn A. Fraser, M.D. as a 2021 "Strong Woman in Medicine." This award recognizes her tremendous impact as an advocate for equity in healthcare and improved health education for historically underserved communities.

"I am honored to join such remarkable and accomplished women in medicine, and am grateful to the CUNY School of Medicine for continuing to recognize the importance of community engagement and education as we battle healthcare inequity," said Dr. Marilyn A. Fraser. "We know too well that communities of color face staggering inequities in healthcare access and treatment. The work that we do continues to assure that every patient can access the high-quality care they deserve."

"Downstate [Health Sciences University] is fortunate to have Dr. Fraser as a volunteer member of our team along with partnering with the organization she runs (Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health) right on our campus," said SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University president Wayne J. Riley, M.D. "She is most deserving of this honor. Her determination to engage underserved communities while empowering them to make the best healthcare decisions and have access to the highest quality care are integral to a better quality of life for those we serve."

Dr. Fraser was joined by three other 2021 honorees: Dr. Shou Ling Leong, Professor and Associate Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Family Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County Coroner in Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Roslyn Schneider, Vice President, Scientific, Medical, and Patient Affairs at Theravance Biopharma.

Guyana-born Dr. Fraser is the Chief Executive Officer of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the SUNY Downstate, and also co-Director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. She also previously managed AAIUH's community outreach and research programs as the Deputy Director and Associate Director for Research & Training.

Dr. Fraser helped develop behavioral health intervention models and training curricula for AAIUH's award-winning Black Pearls and Different Fades of Health programs, preparing hairstylists and barbers to educate their clients about critical health issues, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Dr. Fraser also helped lead the Institute's ACCESS project to increase access to health and social services for formerly incarcerated individuals in Brooklyn.

During last year's pandemic's height, Dr. Fraser and her team continued providing essential information to community members. They conducted regular webinars to inform about COVID, including testing and linkages to needed social services.

Formerly known as the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, the CUNY School of Medicine has a long history of educating physicians with a passion for serving the underserved. CSOM has partnered with Downstate for over 40 years and has a reputation for graduating outstanding and compassionate doctors such as Dr. Everton Prospere ('97) in Geriatrics, Dr. Temitope Jose ('99) in Family Medicine/Pediatrics, and Dr. Jameela Yusuff ('99) in Infectious Disease.


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.