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SUNY Downstate Class Notes, Oct. 14, 2016

Richard Allen Williams, MD ‘62 Dr. Williams was named 117th President of the National Medical Association in August, 2016. He is currently Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicineand President/CEO of the Minority Health Institute, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.


Munish Khaneja, MD `97 Dr. Khaneja joined Altruista Health in October as Chief Medical Officer. Munish Khaneja, MD will oversee clinical strategy and regulatory innovation across all products and services, and will work directly with Altruista Health clients to translate those innovations into clinical, operational and financial improvements.


Albert Kaufman, MD, Downstate professor, retired 1999 Dr. Albert Kaufman, Emeritus Associate Professor of Physiology, is still living in Brooklyn within 5 miles of Downstate.  Much of his retired life has been spent assisting his very talented wife in her career as a fine artist, including setting up a website that may be seen at  Last year he began taking his writing career seriously and has been submitting poetry and prose to various publications, none of which have taken his career seriously yet, except for the publishers of Pharos who included the poem Hope Springs Eternal in their Spring 2015 issue.  He would love to learn how his former students are doing and can be contacted at


In Memoriam Harold Bernanke, MD `54 Dr. Bernake died suddenly August 20, 2016 in Rockville, MD at 87. He was a lifelong New Yorker and served as a physician on active medical staff at Montefiore Hospital for decades. He enjoyed medical practice until shortly before his death, and relished travels, conversation, good food, and a long laugh. Read Dr. Bernanke’s obituary in the Washington Post.


William “Bill” Sciales, MD `56 Dr. Sciales died on September 27, 2016, at 86. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dr. Nancy Shevell Sciales, MD, five children and nine grandchildren. Read Dr. Sciales’ obituary on


Martin Robert Feller, MD ‘60 Dr. Feller died Aug. 31, 2016, at Good Samaritan Hospital, West Islip, NY, surrounded by his family, from complications of Crohn’s Disease. He was born June 19, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY, to Louis and Fay (Cohen) Feller. Dr. Feller was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and of DUNY Downstate School of Medicine. He was a captain and physician in the US Air Force. Dr. Feller was a radiologist in West Islep, NY, with South Shore Radiologists PC. Read Dr. Feller’s obituary in the New York Times.


Elinor Sverdlik Sachs (Dr. Elinor Kron), ‘70 Dr. Kron, age 72, passed away in St. Francis Hospital on July 20, 2016. Born in Washington, DC, she graduated from South High School in Valley Stream. She graduated from Cornell University in 1966, with a major in chemistry. Elinor received her MD Degree from Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York in 1970, and did her residency in radiology at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. Upon moving to Hartford, she joined the Radiology Group at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Continuing in that field, Elinor became a partner in Radiology Associates of Hartford, serving the St. Francis Care Group, specializing in mammography, until her retirement in 2013. For much of her career she was the only female radiologist in her practice, and she took pains to extend herself to the many female technicians who worked with her. The female technicians in the Mammography Unit dubbed her “Queenie.” From a young age, Elinor enjoyed painting, a pastime she later resumed as she approached retirement. She explained that since her profession required her to analyze images, she wanted to adapt those skills to imagery in painting. In addition to studying with recognized local artists, she came under the tutelage of Sir Roland Richardson, an internationally-exhibited painter from St. Martin, who is known as the “Father of Caribbean Impressionism.” Roland recognized her aptitude with color and line, and invited her to study in his Master’s Classes on St. Martin. Elinor was invited to display her work at some juried shows in Connecticut, and people purchased her pieces for their collections. Elinor and her husband Jeremy also traveled through Europe, enjoying the painting and sights of Spain, Portugal, Turkey, France, England, and Greece, among other countries. Read Dr. Kron’s obituary in the Hartford Courant.


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