SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Receives Grant to Enhance Provider-Patient Communication

By Office of Communications & Development | Apr 4, 2022

New York State Health Foundation $50K Grant Will Improve Access to OpenNotes Portal for Downstate Staff and Patients  

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University has been selected by the New York State Health (NYSHealth) Foundation to receive a $50K grant to support and enhance provider-patient communication at University Hospital at Downstate (UHD).

UHD is one of 16 hospitals throughout the state selected to receive this grant that will provide hospitals with funding, technical assistance, and peer-learning opportunities to comply with the 21st Century Cures Act which went into effect last year. In addition, the OpenNotes portal will stimulate a culture change allowing and engaging patients more effectively. Patient information will be more uniform, allowing for better communication among patients, providers, and payers, helping them make more effective decisions about their healthcare options.

Shared-visit notes—often referred to as open notes—are essential to help consumers become active participants in their care. Established in 2010, OpenNotes is a national effort to give patients access to their patient visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have been chosen by NYSHealth to receive this vital grant which will help to transform the way we communicate with patients,” said University Hospital at Downstate chief executive officer David H. Berger, M.D., MHCM. “Maintaining electronic medical records to make clinical notes available to patients is an increasingly important aspect of patient care, and we look forward to strengthening our efforts to make provider-patient communication easy and accessible for all.”

In June 2014, University Hospital at Downstate went live with OpenNotes as part of a hospital-wide commitment to make electronic health information available to patients. Funding from this grant will provide resources to retain staff dedicated to training healthcare workers, assisting patients in accessing open notes and increasing the hospital’s focus on the patient population’s distinct needs via a digital literacy plan that includes customer feedback.


Contact: Dawn S. Walker
917.439.9666 | 347.533.2071

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. 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.