Giving Tuesday. Support Downstate Medical Students by Giving Today!


Today is Giving Tuesday, a special day for many nonprofits across the United States.  Please consider making a donation today to support the work of the Alumni Association for the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate. Hopefully, you have received our most recent request for both your annual dues and for donations to the Alumni Fund in the mail. Please note that any gifts postmarked with December 1, 2015 will be counted in our Giving Tuesday goals. Our hope is to get at least 30 donations from our alumni today.

To see how your donations are making a difference, check out our Facebook page.

You can make your donation by clicking here:

Make a donation online today!

or you can call our office to make a credit card gift over the phone at 718-270-2075.

Thanks for your support,                                             

M. Monica Sweeney, MD ’72, MPH
President, Board of Managers
Alumni Association
College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate

Harold Parnes, MD ’85, FACR
Chair, Board of Trustees
Alumni Fund, Alumni Association
College of Medicine, SUNY Downstategiving-tuesday-featured



Monica Sweeney, MD, `75, Panelist for “Out in the Rural,” the Story of a Health Center & Social Change at 50

Dr. Sweeney, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, SUNY Downstate, will speak at the Nov. 17 release at the CUNY School of Public Health

The remarkable individuals who founded the first rural community health center in Bolivar County, Mississippi more than 50 years ago led “a radical assault on both the medical and the social status quo,” writes Thomas J. Ward Jr. in his new book, Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty, published by Oxford University Press. The story is as “urgent today as it was a half century ago,” according to Publisher’s Weekly.

“The Mississippi experiment tested a bold hypothesis – that health centers could serve as important instruments of social change. Fifty years later, the fruits of that experiment endure,” said Dr. H. Jack Geiger, the World War II merchant marine officer turned physician, educator and civil rights activist profiled in Ward’s new book. Along with pioneering activists Dr. John W. Hatch, L.C. Dorsey, Andrew B. James and others, Geiger co-founded the health center in Mound Bayou to serve a target population in the northern third of Bolivar County, in the Mississippi Delta region, one of the poorest populations in the nation. Now known as the Delta Health Center, it was one of the nation’s first two community health centers, and sister to the urban Tufts-Columbia Point Health Center founded by Geiger and his colleague, Dr. Count D. Gibson, at a public housing project in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

“In telling a story that started fifty years ago, Out in The Rural has enormous relevance for public health and health policy today,” said Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Policy. “We are thrilled that Professor Ward and Dr. Geiger will help bring this vital part of American social and medical history to life and are honored to host the book’s launch celebration.”

Author Thomas J. Ward Jr., Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL, will read from the book at a publication launch event Nov. 17. Following the reading, an expert panel will discuss the importance of the Mound Bayou experience and its implications for health care practice and policy. Panelists include:

“Out In the Rural is an important contribution to the social and political history of community health centers,” said Feygele Jacobs, President and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation. “In documenting how health centers got started, it provides a clear-eyed and inspiring look at the power of passionate individuals to change the face of health and health care in America.”

“Today’s American community health center movement, which provides a health care home to more than 25 million people at nearly 10,000 urban and rural sites, stands on the shoulders of those pioneers who built the first rural center at Mound Bayou, and continues to build on that groundbreaking model,” said Hawkins.

RCHN Community Health Foundation provided grant support for the project in conjunction with other funders, and is a co-sponsor of the launch event along with the National Association of Community Health Centers. The event is also sponsored by the Geiger Gibson Program at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, which helped support the research on which the book is based.

Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty is available from Oxford University Press.

—Provided by Oxford University Press


SUNY Downstate News Digest, Nov. 16, 2016

SUNY Downstate research suggests that inhibition of liver sphingolipid de novo synthesis in early life impairs adherens junctions and promotes tumorigenesis. Read more, here.

LeConté Dill, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s School of Public Health, received the Women’s Caucus Highest Scoring Abstract award of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Read more, here.

Kathleen Powderly, PhD, CNM, director of the John Conley Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has been elected a fellow of The Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institute whose mission is to address fundamental ethical issues in health, health care, life-sciences research, and the environment affecting individuals, communities, and societies. The first organization of its kind, The Hastings Center was instrumental in establishing bioethics as a field of study. Read more, here.

James E. Cottrell, MD, Distinguished Service Professor and chair of anesthesiology and Garry S. and Sarah Sklar Professor in Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, recently was honored with a 2016 Leadership Award at the 22nd Annual Black Tie and Sneakers Gala of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH). Dr. Cottrell is also a member-at-large of the New York State Board of Regents. Read more, here.



SUNY Downstate Class Notes, Nov. 16, 2016


David Schneider, MD `53
Dr. Schneider writes from West Orange, New Jersey, that he’s “still okay, working four days a week.”

Harold Chafkin, MD `54
Dr. Chafkin writes from Middletown, New Jersey, that he has “finally retired after 51 years.”

Gerald I. Shugoll, MD `54
Dr. Shugoll, in North Bethesda, Maryland, became a great-grandfather in June 2016.

Leonard Levine, MD `55
Dr. Levine in Alexandria, Virginia, is “retired, but still volunteering.”

Michael Sulman, MD `57
Dr. Sulman writes from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, “My wife and I continue to enjoy our retirement. Fortunately, our health remains good and we’re able to indulge our love to travel. Our children and grandchildren are close enough for weekend visits.”

Stanley Gulotta, MD `58
Dr. Gulotta writes from Greenwich, Connecticut, “I’m still standing! Enjoying retirement!”

Stratos G. Kantounis, MD `58
Dr. Kantounis, in Rockville Center, New York,  is “still assisting in OR and teaching, and Joan is still painting.”

John Michael Aversa, MD `67
Dr. Aversa in Woodbridge, Connecticut, writes, “The year 2016 will be not only the 50th anniversary of my medical school graduation, but also my and Ellen’s 50th wedding anniversary. This year, we welcomed our eighth grandchild, and there is another on the way. I have been blessed with four wonderful children, John Jr., a colorectal surgeon, Kristen, an OB/GYN, David, a psychiatrist, and Monica, with an MBA. God is good.”

Robert D. Argand, MD `69
Dr. Argand has retired after 44 years as an ED physician.

John J. O’Brien, MD `68
Dr. O’Brien retired from private practice of orthopedic surgery in 2013, and has worked part-time as Director of Orthopedic Clinics at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, since 2014.

Herbert Diamond, MD `62
Dr. Diamond is a volunteer for Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires in Massachusetts.

Joel M. Ingegno, MD `62
Dr. Ingegno writes that he recently moved to Florida, but still misses New York City.

Frank “Burt” Dibble, MD `66
Dr. Dibble writes that he’s “almost retired – doing a little long-term care. Living on the New Hampshire seacoast and loving it.” His partner is still happily practicing law, and they’re active in non-profits, civic affairs and travel in their light plane.

Rica G. Arnon-Rabinowitzm, MD `67
Dr. Arnon-Rabinowitz is “still enjoying being a full-time pediatric cardiologist.”

David A. Abraham, MD `70
Dr. Abraham “retired back to Long Island in June 30, 2016, after nearly 14 years of ENT practice in northern Minnesota.”

Steven Polansky, MD `71
Dr. Polansky will be Chief of Staff, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

Neil J. Principe, MD `71
Dr. Principe writes that he’s now “mostly retired, but doesn’t have to move to Florida, because he’s already there.”

Peter Verril, MD `73
Dr. Verrill is “happily retiring from my Florida OB/GYN practice in January.”

Uri Vaisman, MD `74
Dr. Vaisman writes that he is, “Still alive and still practicing radiology full time” in Appleton, WI.

Henry W. Lim, MD `75
Dr. Lim was honored in September 2016 with the Whitehouse Distinguished Career Award, Henry Ford Medical Group, Detroit Michigan. He also received the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce Salute to Excellence Award, Detroit.

Linda Susan Marcus, MD `75
Dr. Marcus is on the Board of Directors of Women’s Dermatological Society.

Leland Deane, MD `78
Dr. Deane has completed two terms on the Department of Health Board Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

David S. Katz, MD `80
Dr. Katz, based in Indianapolis, has now practiced occupational medicine for 33 years. His daughter, Abby, is a vice president in commercial banking at PNC Bank, Columbus, OH.

Aaron Saul Greenberg, MD `82
Dr. Greenberg writes that he is “proud to have my daughter, Jill Greenberg, as a third-year student in the SUNY Downstate Class of 2018.”

Michael Zenilman, MD `84
Dr. Zenilman is the new chair of surgery at New York Methodist Hospital. Click here to read more.

Edward Chapnick, MD `85
Dr. Chapnick is Senior Vice Chair of Medicine and Director of Infectious Diseases at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

Jonathan Tarrash, MD `87
Dr. Tarrash writes from Boca Raton, FL, that he is “proud to report our two sons are pursuing careers in law, and our daughter started medical school.”

Theodor Kaufman, MD `93
Dr. Kaufman is Program Director for General Surgery at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, NY.

Maya Moorley, MD `01
Dr. Moorley is still in private practice in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Doctors Long Island-Huntington, since 2004. She’s been married 13 years, and has two children, Ajay, 10, and Avani, 4. She’s “still friends with many classmates, including Steven Brunner (pediatrician, ’01), Paula Lester (geriatrician, ’01) and Izchak Kohen (geriatric psychiatrist, ’01).”

In Memoriam

Robert Bertero, MD `56
Dr. Bertero died May 19, 2016. He was born in 1931 in Brooklyn and grew up playing on the monkey bars in Prospect Park with his best friend Charlie, browsing the Brooklyn Museum, and enjoying the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. He attended Stuyvesant High School, Columbia University and SUNY Downstate Medical School, and was a primary care physician specializing in internal medicine for nearly forty-five years serving the Manhattan community affiliated with St. Vincent’s Hospital, Greenwich Village. He was one of the last physicians who regularly made house calls to patients too ill to come to his office. George had a great sense of humor and was a wonderful storyteller. He was a brilliant man who could discuss virtually any subject. Source: Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes.

John F. Mullane MD `63, PHD, JD
Dr. Mullane was born in Brooklyn, NY, and died Aug 13, 2016 at 79. He received an MD from SUNY in 1963, a PHD in 1968 and a JD from Fordham University in 1977. Dr. Mullane was an associate medical director at Ayers Labs, a division of American Home Products in Wilmington DE 1973-75, director clinical research from 1975-76, became VP of Clinical in 1977, VP Science 1978-82, executive VP 1983-88, and President of Mullane Health Care Cons in 1989. He was also director of drug development at DuPont Med. Products in 1990, and Senior VP from 1991-94. He also served as a Lt. Col. In the US Army from 1970-73. He received the Upjohn Achievement award in 1970, and was named a NY Heart Assoc. Crawford-Maynard fellow 1966-68. His achievements included the development of major drugs including Inderal, Premarin, Lodine, Coumadin and Cozaar. From the obituary of John F. Mullane, MD, Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune.

Click here to update your address or submit your own class notes to the SUNY Downstate Alumni Association.


Brooklyn Health Disparities Center: Conversations on Patient Adherence



The Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, a partnership between SUNY Downstate, Arthur Ashe Institute for Public Health and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, is hosting the Friday, Nov. 4 Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Patient Adherence conference.

“Our goal is to engage key stakeholders in addressing this critical issue. Therefore, the target audience includes physicians, nurses, community health workers, community-based organizations, community providers, faith-based leaders, pharmacists, pharmaceutical industry members, healthcare systems leaders, educators, and political leaders,” according to Moro Salifu, MD, MBA, MPH, FACP, Director, Brooklyn Health Disparities Center.

Participants/Presenters include SUNY Drs. Salifu, Lewis, Fraser, Boutin-Foster, Wilson, Cukor, Boutjidir, Kaplan, and more.

The conference Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, runs from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm in the Alumni Auditorium at 395 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, NY 11203. To register, and for more information, please visit the Brooklyn Health Disparities Event page here.

Stay connected to SUNY Downstate
Join your medical Alumni Association today!