SUNY Downstate News: Highlights of 2021

Updated: Jan 3

November 2021: SUNY Downstate Awarded Funding to Enhance Long-Term Telehealth Services


By Dawn S. Walker | Nov 4, 2021


"Brooklyn, NY (November 4, 2021) – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) today announced the COVID-19 Telehealth Program has awarded nearly $1 million in grant funding to University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) to acquire and implement a new virtual health platform safely connecting patients with providers through technology.

The $945,421 one-time grant, submitted by UHB CEO David Berger, M.D., MHCM, FACS in collaboration with Downstate Policy and Strategy Development Director Lori Bruno, MPH will help to expand SUNY Downstate’s telehealth services, allowing for tele-triaging of patients, virtual rounding by clinicians, and rapid discharge. These upgrades will enable better patient flow, improved use of resources, reduced length of stay, and improved patient safety. Efforts to increase medical equity for patients in low-income, underserved communities will benefit from long-term telehealth infrastructure.

“The COVID-19 pandemic proved what healthcare providers have long known – access to medical care cannot be limited by physical distance or proximity to medical centers,” said Dr. Berger. “With this funding, we can expand our services and the reach of our care. We are grateful to have been selected to receive this grant and look forward to putting it to good use by continuing our mission of providing affordable, equitable, and quality healthcare for the Brooklyn community.”


To read the full story, click here.


Honorary Mention: SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, MD, on Being Honored by CIO Views

We in the Alumni Association just want to congratulate our president Wayne J. Riley, MD on being featured on the cover of CIO for being one of The 10 Most Visionary Leaders in Education. To view the article, click here


October 2021: Interview with the Alumni Association President, Dr. Pierre Arty, MD' 90

"Dr. Pierre Arty, Alumni Association President, was recently interviewed by our new Administrative Associate & Social Media Manager, Ms. Laravia Coleman. In the interview, Dr. Arty describes a few of the exciting experiences he has had over his 31 years in medicine. Before attending SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Dr. Arty received his bachelor's degree from Columbia College of Columbia University. He spent eight years working at St. Vincent Services as the Clinical Medical Director before moving on to Housing Works to serve as an advisor for the organization's Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. He then became the Housing Works' Director of Psychiatry and later became the Chief Psychiatric Officer, the first of its kind. The complete interview between Dr. Arty and Ms. Coleman: Q: Where were you born? A: I'm originally from Haiti. Q: What made you get into medicine? A: While attending Columbia, I had a counselor who encouraged my continuous pursuit of academics, but when I mentioned to her that I was deciding to go into medicine, she discouraged me. She said, "that I would never make it as far as getting into medical school." She said, "I should continue my studies in Political Science and not go into medicine." So, the moment she discouraged me from going into medicine, I said, you know what? I'm going into medicine. That pushed me over an edge because I didn't think that she had the right to discourage me from pursuing something that I wanted to do. I didn't know what her motivations were, but I never went back to her. But I think that was just what pushed me over the edge because I was wondering, you know, should I go into law? Should I go into political science? But when she said, you know, you'll never make it into medical school, I said, all right, I'm going to apply for medical school."

To read the full interview, click here.


September 2021: College of Medicine hosts 26th Annual White Coat Ceremony


"By Office of Communications & Marketing | Sep 17, 2021

The College of Medicine (COM) held its 26th Annual White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage that emphasizes the importance of honorable, honest, curious, and compassionate care as students begin their academic journeys. Jeffrey Putman, Ed.D., VP for Academic and Student Affairs, provided opening remarks at the live event to welcome more than 200 doctors-in training. Students were reminded that, as they progress through Downstate’s Medical Program, they are to embody the altruism, duty, and responsibility symbolized by the white coat.


I was honored to share my thoughts with students, underscoring the symbolism on the white coat. It is an emblem of the responsibilities that physicians bear, and of the critical role they play in society— and never more so than in challenging times like these. These physicians-to-be, with their medical backgrounds, will protect the health of our patients and ultimately safeguard the future of our nation."


To read the full story, click here.


August 2021: Alumni Association iPad Giveaway 2021

"Welcome to the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine Class 2025! Established in 1880, the Alumni Association's mission has always been to promote the interests and improve the effectiveness of the College, foster fellowship among our alumni, provide financial support facilitate mentoring services for our medical students, and enhance opportunities to network. To begin fostering the connection with our new future alumni, The Kwan Foundation for Education and Technology has donated iPads for all first-year medical students!"


To read the full story, click here.


July 2021: SUNY Downstate to Launch Patient Navigator Program In Partnership With Brooklyn Free Clinic and Brooklyn Center for Health Disparities

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jul 19, 2021



"Program will connect patients to health management resources to help combat longstanding inequities in access to care for chronic conditions; program to be funded by a $50K grant from Aurinia Pharmaceuticals


Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University today announced a new partnership with the Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC) and the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center (BHDC) to launch a Patient Navigator Program, designed to teach second-year medical students how to serve as liaisons between patients and their medical care teams, and to prepare them to deliver equitable conscientious care as healthcare professionals. Made possible through a $50,000 grant from Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, the new pilot program will offer six second-year students a unique elective within the Rheumatology Division. The students will be trained to follow patients in the Arthritis Clinic at University Hospital, primarily for those at risk due to a history of severe disease manifestations, poor records of appointment keeping, low medication adherence, undereducation, and lack thereof of healthcare literacy, and/or language difficulties."


To read the full story, click here.


Honorary Mention: "Don't Give Up": A Q&A with Diane Kaufman, MD' 79


To read the blog post, click here.


June 2021: SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. to receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation National Humanism in Medicine Medal Along With Drs. Anthony Fauci and Eric Topol


By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jun 10, 2021


"Brooklyn, NY (June 10, 2021) – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University president Wayne J. Riley, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., MACP will receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation National Humanism in Medicine Medal at its June 10 annual gala, a virtual gathering of the Gold community of clinicians, students, healthcare leaders, patients, deans, C.E.O.s and supporters of the human connection in healthcare. The Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award honors caring and compassionate mentors in medical school education.

Dr. Riley will be honored alongside Chief COVID Advisor to President Biden and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Professor of Molecular Medicine, and Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research Dr. Eric Topol. Each will receive the Humanism in Medicine Award."


To read the full story, click here.


May 2021: College of Medicine Commencement 2021!


To read the blog post, click here.


Honorary Mention: SUNY Downstate Presents: Cultural Bias, Race, and The Black Experience in The United States


To view the article, click here.


April 2021: Committee Spotlight: A Q&A With The Diversity Committee


"The Diversity Committee has been in the works for some time. Why was it important that the committee come together now?


CPV: Amidst the pandemic and racial turmoil the country was experiencing, the driving factor that pushed the formation of the Committee was the students. The President of the Alumni Association, Dr. Daniel Beckles, as well as the rest of the Board of Managers saw the need to create this Committee to address the needs of the medical students based on their call to action for improving equity and inclusion in the medical school and community. As a Committee of the Alumni Association, we had to address the issues at hand using our resources.


DS: The COVID-19 pandemic served to expose the vast socioeconomic & healthcare inequalities that already existed in communities of color. Taken in conjunction with the instances of police brutality, systemic racism & violence experienced by Black & Brown people in this country over recent years, it was important to strike while the proverbial iron was hot and finally begin to address many of the issues and concerns that have been affecting students of color for decades while the school and administration is paying attention.


The response to the Speaker Series has been amazing. What do you hope students gain from this time with alumni?


CPV: I hope the Speaker Series show the students how vast the alumni network at SUNY Downstate is. I hope they listen to the speakers not just for advice on how to obtain a residency spot into these specialties, but to look at the different avenues they may pursue within each specialty. And a key factor mentioned by most of the panelists is once the students THINK they have an interest in the specialty, reach out to the clinical department for mentors and opportunities to strengthen their application."


To read the full interview, click here.


Honorary Mentions: History Made As Two SUNY Downstate Students Match for Residency At Harvard's Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals


To view the article, click here.


A Message From President Riley On The Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdicts

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Apr 21, 2021


To view the article, click here.


March 2021: Temple Beth Abraham Honors Board Member Jenny Libien, MD, PhD' 01


To read the blog post, click here.


Honorary Mentions: SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Appoints W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D., as Associate Vice President For Research Strategy and Operations

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Mar 4, 2021


To view the article, click here.


The Alumni Association Awards Full-Year Research Scholarships!


To read the blog post, click here.


February 2021: Alumni Share: Diving & Spinal Cord Injury, "Feet First" by Richard Siegel, MD' 64

"This week alumnus Richard Siegel, MD' 64 shared "Feet First", a video he produced and directed discussing the dangers of diving. Check out his message to the Alumni Association and video below."


To read the full story, click here.


January 2021: SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. To Receive National Humanism in Medicine Medal At The 2021 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Annual Gala

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jan 26, 2021


"Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden Dr. Anthony Fauci, and renowned molecular cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol will also receive National Humanism in Medicine Medals

January 25, 2021: Brooklyn, NY—The Arnold P. Gold Foundation recently announced that Gold Foundation Board Member and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University president Wayne J. Riley, M.D., will receive the National Humanism in Medicine Medal at its 2021 Gala. Joining Dr. Riley in receiving this distinguished leadership honor are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, and Dr. Eric Topol, renowned molecular cardiologist, and researcher. “I am exceptionally grateful to the Gold Foundation and am honored to be recognized alongside these stellar leaders of American medicine,” said Dr. Riley. “Humanism and compassion are both core attributes to the effective practice of medicine and are especially critical now, as we care for patients, their families, and communities during the pandemic.” “We are thrilled to honor these three national leaders, all of whom have been beacons of trust, scientific excellence, and compassion in the COVID-19 pandemic, and through them, recognize the great contributions to America of all healthcare professionals on the front lines,” said Richard C. Sheerr, Chairman of the Gold Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dr. Wayne J. Riley is the 17th president of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, the only academic medical center in Brooklyn. Downstate’s footprint includes the University Hospital of Brooklyn, College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative. Dr. Riley is also Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine and Professor of Health Policy & Management, School of Public Health."


To read the full story, click here.



We are so happy for all of your support and encouragement this past year. We look forward to sharing another year with you.



See you in 2022!








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