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Alumni Association Board Member, Monica Sweeney, MD ’75 Retires from SUNY Downstate

Monica Sweeney, M.D., MPH, FACP Vice Dean for Global Engagement and Clinical Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health (SPH) will retire at the end of the semester. Dr. Sweeney has been in and around the SUNY Downstate campus since 1968 when she first worked as a registered nurse. Dr. Sweeney then was accepted into the College of Medicine where she graduated in 1975. She then earned the Master of Public Health degree in Health Services Management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sweeney completed her residency training in internal medicine at Kings County Hospital Center/Downstate Medical Center, and is board certified in internal medicine.

Dr. Sweeney has been part of the leadership for the SPH’s globally engaged teaching, service, and research activities. As Chair, she led a department that is among the largest of the five MPH degree tracks in the SPH in terms of student enrollment.

Not only is she a strong academic leader, Dr. Sweeney is also a public health advocate and voice for the underserved. A champion for health equity, she brought to various roles a comprehensive and sensitive understanding of the population health challenges present in Brooklyn and elsewhere. As a former Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), Dr. Sweeney led the NYC DOHMH’s HIV/AIDS prevention and control efforts for several years. Her service on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resulted in new initiatives to control the disease globally.

Dr. Sweeney is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Award for Service in Health & Health Education for Black Women of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Public Health Advocate Award from the Public Health Association of New York City, and the Leadership in Urban Medicine Award of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

In addition to her writings, Dr. Sweeney hosted for 7 years a cable TV program on Brooklyn Independent Television called “HealthBeat Brooklyn”. Her mantra to students has always been, “Monica’s my name, Prevention’s my game.”

Congratulations, Dr. Sweeney on your well-earned retirement and your numerous contributions to Downstate. We wish you all the best for the next chapter of your life.

Courtesy of SUNY Downstate’s President’s Bulletin


The Alumni Association would like to congratulate Dr. Sweeney on her retirement and thank her for her continued support of the association and Downstate’s medical students!

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