SUNY Downstate to Receive $1.5m from U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Nov 29, 2022

New Funding Will Support School of Public Health Scholarship Program with Diverse and Equitable Training Practices

BROOKLYN, NY— SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University recently announced the Downstate Public Health Scholarship Program (DPHSP) will receive a $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This new program, led by Anika Daniels-Osaze, EdD, MPH, and Co-PI Marlene Camacho-Rivera, Sc.D., MS, MPH, will recruit, train, and retain underrepresented minority (URM) master’s and doctoral public health students to deliver culturally and linguistically competent care and work to reduce disparities while promoting health equity. In addition, DPHSP will help to diversify the public health workforce, develop an interdisciplinary and health equity-focused public health seminar series, launch an equity-centered student-tailored mentoring program called PROGRESS, and increase the capacity of public health systems through COVID-19 and health equity field (APEx) opportunities and Downstate-wide activities.

“This generous grant will cover academic performance enhancement, career opportunities through mentoring initiatives, and professional development seminars focused on career development and public health emergency preparedness strategies – crucial elements of our Public Health program at SUNY Downstate,” said Downstate Associate Dean for Education Anika Daniels-Osaze, EdD, MPH. She has over two decades of experience developing pathways for underrepresented students and managing HRSA-funded programs at Downstate. “We are grateful to the HRSA for their generous support of our continued efforts to enhance education related to social determinants of health, disparities, and health equity.”

“It’s a great honor to receive this grant from the HRSA, which will help develop a more diverse pipeline of professionals in the field of public health. At Downstate, we pride ourselves on building a workforce that reflects the communities we serve,” said SUNY Downstate president Wayne J. Riley, M.D.By endowing funds for our Downstate Public Health Scholarship Program, the HRSA is not only helping to grow diversity among students and staff, but also will help to address critical shortages in the field of public healthcare,”

DPHSP will also expand strategic partnerships beyond the current agencies, which include the New York State and City health departments, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, the University Hospital at Downstate, Kings County Hospital Center, and institutions of higher education to provide field placement sites for 85 trainees per year. In addition, SOPH will offer scholarships to offset the financial burdens that challenge these students.

Throughout the three-year grant, the DPHSP will train and provide field placements and scholarships for 255 students while facilitating entry into full-time public health positions upon graduation, in many cases addressing the issue of public health worker shortages in underserved neighborhoods.

For more information on SUNY Downstate’s Public Health Scholarship Program, click here.

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 at Downstate (UHD) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by an outstanding medical school’s expertise and world-class academic center research facilities. Over 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 UHD, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, a College of Nursing, a 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.