Message from Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP on the Events in the Ukraine

By Office of Communication & Marketing | Mar 7, 2022

Ukraine Parliment Building

I have been struggling to put my thoughts and emotions into words over the tragic turn of events in Eastern Europe. Regrettably, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is now in the second week with worsening destruction and senseless loss of life.

The media inundates us with stark and grim images of suffering among Ukrainian people, the seeming indiscriminate bombing of their cities, and likely permanent disruption to the lives of millions. This conflict has also resulted in the worst refugee crisis since WWII.

I am mindful of the “beautiful mosaic” of the Downstate community and its many members who have both Ukrainian and/or Russian heritages. Likewise, we have many blended families and households throughout Brooklyn and New York City. In solidarity, the H. Carl McCall SUNY Building was emblazoned last week in yellow and blue—the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and Governor Hochul signed an executive order preventing New York State from doing business with Russian entities.

I join the worldwide condemnation of the Russian government for starting this needless conflict. I salute the pride and resolve of the Ukrainian people who valiantly protect their homeland and way of life.

For those who wish to support the humanitarian efforts underway, please consider supporting one or more of the many non-governmental organizations providing aid to fleeing Ukrainians, supplying much-needed shelter, food, clothing, and medical care and supplies. One such premier organization is the International Red Cross. However, as noted in the NPR article, many other organizations provide aid that you can support.

I pray that this unfortunate world event can come to a peaceful resolution.


Contact: Dawn S. Walker
917.439.9666 | 347.533.2071

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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough's only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care. It 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 an outstanding medical school's expertise and world-class academic center research facilities. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

In addition to high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis (kidney diseases)—and offering the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn, among many other distinctive programs—Downstate also sponsors a major learning center for young children with developmental disorders and disabilities. 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.