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SUNY Downstate Signals New Chapter with the Inauguration of Dr. Wayne J. Riley as the 17th President of the Academic Medical Center


Brooklyn, NY (Sep. 15, 2017) – Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, was inaugurated today as the 17th president of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. The installation of Dr. Riley as president of the renowned academic medical center begins a new chapter for SUNY Downstate, which has been serving the people of Brooklyn since its founding in 1860. Dr. Riley brings more than 25 years of experience of progressive policy implementation and leadership.

“SUNY Downstate is the academic health science center of the American Dream. My vision going forward is for us to strengthen our ties to the community and I will do everything I can to spread the word about the greatness of this institution,” said SUNY Downstate Medical Center President Riley. “At the end of the day, it's not just about getting the degree–it’s how you use your degree to change and impact your community. If there is one institution that bears witness to that, it is SUNY Downstate. I want to thank Chairman Carl McCall, Chancellor Kristina Johnson, and the SUNY Board of Trustees for this opportunity, and as I have often said, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, let’s go together."

 “We have been so pleased to see the rapid pace with which President Riley is immersing himself into the Downstate Medical and Brooklyn community,” said SUNY Chairman of the Board H. Carl McCall. “He is focused on what the campus can do to boost its academic excellence and also to build on the value it provides its neighbors. And, he leads by example, volunteering so much of his time for others. I am proud to congratulate President Riley on the day of his inauguration.”
“President Riley is committed to ensuring that future medical professionals are encouraged, challenged, and supported during such critical years in their academic growth,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “He knows the full potential of what a campus can do for the foundation of a community. He is a public servant, a volunteer, and someone I am proud to have as a leader at SUNY.”

The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, MD, MACP, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, introduced Dr. Riley. Dr. Sullivan is also president emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine and chairman and CEO of the Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions. “I bring you greetings and I salute you for the new leadership you have chosen for this historic institution,” said Dr. Sullivan. “All of us are in very challenging times, when great leadership, vision, and interpersonal skills are very important: These are skills that Wayne Riley has in abundance.” 

“SUNY Downstate and its success is at the heart of Brooklyn’s mission to raise healthy children and families,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I wish President Riley well as he leads this important institution into its next chapter.”

“SUNY Downstate has been an integral part of this community for generations, providing health care with compassion and training some of the finest medical professionals in the world,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9).  “On behalf of the people of the Ninth Congressional District of New York, I am honored to welcome Dr. Riley to Brooklyn. I am certain that we will have many opportunities to work with each other to improve the quality of health for every family we proudly serve.”

“Our SUNY institutions serve as educators, innovators, and engaged members of the community. SUNY Downstate Medical Center and its forebears have a more than 150-year history of succeeding in all three pursuits,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton. “In celebrating President Wayne J. Riley’s inauguration, we welcome a distinguished professional with years of leadership and
experience to our community. This celebration also honors the contributions of SUNY Downstate to our neighborhood, our borough, and to all our fellow New Yorkers. Congratulations Dr. Riley and congratulations to the entire SUNY Downstate community.”

"I would like to officially congratulate Wayne J. Riley as the 17th President of The State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn Downstate Medical Center," said Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson.  "His extensive rapport serves as a clear indication of the work he can contribute to the Central Brooklyn Community and we look forward to a lasting partnership with him."

“I am honored to join my colleagues as we welcome Dr. Wayne Riley to SUNY Downstate Medical Center as the 17th President of this wonderful institution. All New Yorkers deserve to have access to the best medical facilities available, and I am confident that Dr. Riley will work with me to make that a reality,” said City Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “SUNY Downstate Medical Center is a special place, and I believe that Dr. Riley’s passion for leadership will help build an even stronger foundation of excellence for the students, faculty, and staff who are at the center of its success.”

"Dr. Riley's vast health care experience will benefit both SUNY Downstate as an academic medical center and the Brooklyn communities SUNY Downstate serves,” said President of Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) Kenneth E. Raske. “New York’s hospital community enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Riley to New York and looks forward to the leadership he’ll bring.”

Prior to joining SUNY Downstate in April of this year, Dr. Riley served as clinical professor of medicine and adjunct professor of healthcare management and health policy at Vanderbilt University, and before that, as president and chief executive officer and professor of medicine at Meharry Medical College. He is also president emeritus of the American College of Physicians—the nation’s largest medical specialty society representing internal medicine and other subspecialties.



About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.