On behalf of the Alumni Association, I would like to congratulate the Class of 2019 and welcome you to the Association. Our organization was established in 1880 to serve the students and graduates of the College of Medicine. Since then, we have been dedicated to improving the educational experience of the medical students and to serving the needs of our alumni at SUNY Downstate and beyond. The board of managers is comprised of diverse physicians from varied backgrounds, specialties, and generations all of whom share a vision of service to the students of SUNY Downstate, present and past.
The Alumni Association and I would like to thank those of you who have contributed in the past and encourage you to contribute again. For those of you who are less familiar with our organization, I hope that I can inspire you to engage with us, to donate, and to re-connect with your classmates.
The Alumni Association uses your donations to fund the celebration of milestones including the White Coat Ceremony, Senior Week, and graduation. By contributing to the Brooklyn Free Clinic, Brooklyn Stories, the Daniel Hale Williams Society, and many other student activities and events, we show the students that our support extends from the academic to the artistic, the humanitarian, and the interpersonal.
This support matters right now. It is a challenging time to be a physician-in-training. Soaring educational debt from undergraduate and graduate training puts tremendous pressure on today’s medical students. The Alumni Association and Alumni Fund use the generous donations of our members to provide scholarships to lighten this burden. We also fund research projects and trips to academic conferences, making the rewards of academia a little more accessible for tomorrow’s innovators and healers.
This is also a challenging time to be a physician in practice. Increasing patient loads, an abundance of administrative tasks, and concerns about burnout are dominating headlines in healthcare. One of the benefits of connecting with alumni is the opportunity to form mentoring relationships and professional connections to help deal with these challenges. When physicians work together to improve health care, we and our patients mutually benefit.
Our organization is focused on creating communities for our students and alumni. Our Annual Reunion Dinner Dance and Gala draws alumni from across the country to enjoy cocktails, music, dinner and more with old and new friends. We always invite classes celebrating 5- and 10- year reunion milestones to join us, but all alumni are encouraged to attend. Regional networking events in Manhattan and Long Island have scratched the surface of our outreach efforts beyond Brooklyn. We’re looking to add more regional events in Westchester and Staten Island, but are open to more! If you’d like to host or organize an event, we’d love to hear from you.
If you can’t join us in person, our online communities allow us to connect anytime from near and far. Read our online newsletter. Check out our social media presence on multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Join and subscribe! And most importantly, donate! All amounts are welcome.
During my presidency, I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to those of you who have supported the Alumni Association over the years. I’d also like to extend a welcoming hand to those of you who will join us this year as we support SUNY College of Medicine graduates from generation to generation.