“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”
This past Friday, 9/15/2017, marked the beginning of a new era in SUNY Downstate history. Dr. Wayne J. Riley was officially inaugurated as the new President of State University of New York Downstate by SUNY Board Chairman Carl H. McCall
and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.
Notable speakers all expressed the a similar sentiment, Dr. Riley will make an outstanding President and his past experiences have provided him with the tools necessary to succeed in his new role.
“Given his unlimited talent and experience, Dr. Riley is the person to lead this transition”- H. Carl McCall on political climate transitions in Washington and the United States.
“You can not get anything better than a great, transparent community builder” – Chancellor Johnson on Dr. Riley’s character.
“Dr.Riley’s countless leadership experiences and skills have prepared him to excel in this new role” – Dr. Louis W. Sullivan
Perfection is not the goal, excellence is the goal, Dr. Wayne J. Riley set the tone for his term during his inaugural address. He exuded great pride in taking on this new role and stated Downstate is “the academic health science center of the American Dream.”
The Alumni Association congratulates President Riley on his inauguration.
-SUNY Board Chairman Carl H. McCall
-SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson
-Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
-Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., President Stony Brook University
-Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, President, SUNY Old Westbury
-Dr. Mark G. Stewart, Dean, Downstate School of Graduate Studies
-Dr. Rauno O. Jok, Presiding President, Downstate Faculty and Staff Assembly
-Abhimanyu Amarnani, President Downstate’s University Council
-Dr. Darilyn V. Moyer, President, American College of Physicians
– Dr. Darilyn V. Moyer, Executive Vice President an CEO, American College of Physicians
-The Honorable Dr. Louis W. Sullivan,Former Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine
On Wednesday, September 6 at 3:00 p.m. in BSB Lecture Hall 6, the Robert F. Furchgott Annual Visiting Professor Lecture featured Dr. Eric Kandel, 2000 Nobel Laureate and Professor at Columbia University. A packed auditorium coupled with Dr. Kandel’s jovial and engaging lecture style produced an exceptional event.
“Dr. Kandel’s research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Harvey Prize and the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science USA and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000”
Dr. Kandel is currently a University Professor and the Director of Columbia’s Kavli Institute for Brain Science. Additionally, he is the Co-Director, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The Robert F. Furchgott Annual Visiting Professor Lecture highlighted some of his current research ““The Biology of Memory and Age-Related Memory Loss.” Dr. Kandel’s research uncovered increased bone density, higher osteocalcin hormone levels and increased RbAp48 protein in the Dentate Gyrus produces significant results in decreasing age-related memory loss.
“Get more exercise and drink more red wine, to decrease age-related memory loss.” -Dr. Eric Kandel
Paul Shalom Rhodes, MD ’75 reads Pink! May 27 in Coney Island
May 27, 2017
Coney Island Museum
1208 Surf Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11224
Pink! is a gently fictionalized family memoir that begins in the early 1930s, as it follows a naive little girl’s fancies and fantasies when she and her mother visit her clinically depressed grandmother at the Blackwell’s Island Hospital in New York’s East River — once the actual site of Nellie Bly’s harrowing account of Ten Days in a Madhouse. The same redemptive love that eventually allays young Claire’s fears is carried through six generations of women … imbuing an aura of hope and resolution.
Pink! is especially engaging for young and adult readers who have encountered clinical depression in themselves or others, and observed the thorny pursuit of recovery.
Books signed by the author and illustrator will be available for purchase after the reading.
Talks on Global Health to benefit the Brooklyn Free Clinic, followed by a night of comedy
BFC What’s Next: Global Health Here at Home
April 29, 2017
Six medical and public health professionals will share personal narratives about the challenge of providing quality health care in the harsh social and political realities of our time. Follow their quests to serve their patients and their communities from own backyard in Brooklyn to sub-Saharan Africa, the capital of post-earthquake Haiti, Nepal and more. Hear about their confrontations with poverty, natural disasters, racism, mass incarceration, and other systemic barriers to successful health care delivery. Hear how far they’ve come – and how much further we have left to go.
Find more information, including speaker biographies, on our website. All donations and proceeds from the Silent Auction will be donated to The Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic, an entirely student-run branch of SUNY Downstate Medical Center that has been providing free primary health care to uninsured people in Brooklyn since 2007.
Where & When
Saturday, April 29th at 1:00PM, Doors and Silent Auction starting at 12:00PM
F/G trains to 4th Ave/9th St or R train to 9th St
Register here. Entry is free, with a request for donations to support our cause (suggested $20).
About The Brooklyn Free Clinic
Donations will go toward The Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC), a student-run FREE clinic offering medical, psychiatric, physical therapy, and social work services at no cost to uninsured patients in New York City. BFC provides preventive screening services and free or low-cost medications and medical referrals for our patients. BFC is entirely staffed by volunteers comprised of students and medical professionals at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
For more information
Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, Duke University Chancellor Emeritus, gave the AOA Lecture March 21, 2017, at SUNY Downstate. Learn more about Dr. Snyderman’s ties to Duke and SUNY Downstate, here.
Downstate alumnus Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, Duke University Chancellor Emeritus and the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, will present “From Brooklyn to Duke’s Chancellor for Health Affairs: Lessons Learned” March 21 as the AOA annual lecture.
The reception and lecture are open to the public, but the AOA awards dinner to follow is by invitation only.
ATA Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Annual AOA Reception, Lecture and Awards Dinner
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Deity Events, 368 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 11217
For more information, visit the AOA site, here, or call the Alumni Association-College of Medicine for SUNY Downstate at 718-270-2075.
If you can’t make it in person, make sure we have your correct email address. We’ll include a link to a transcript or filmed version of the lecture in our email newsletter within the next few months.
Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65
From Duke University
Dr. Ralph Snyderman served as Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and Dean of the School of Medicine from 1989 to July 2004 and led the transition of this excellent medical center into an internationally recognized leader of academic medicine. During his tenure, the medical school and hospital achieved ranking amongst the nation’s best. He oversaw the development of the Duke University Health System, one of the most successful integrated academic health systems in the country, and served as its first President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Snyderman has played a leading role in the conception and development of Personalized Health Care, an evolving model of national health care delivery. He was among the first to envision and articulate the need to move the current focus of health care from the treatment of disease-events to personalized, predictive, preventative, and participatory care that is focused on the patient. In 2012, Dr. Snyderman received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges who referred to him as the “father of personalized medicine.”
Dr. Snyderman has been widely recognized for his contributions to the development of personalized health care, a more rational, effective, and compassionate model of health care. He was awarded the first Bravewell Leadership Award for outstanding achievements in the field of integrative medicine in 2003. In 2007, he received the Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award from the Personalized Medicine Coalition for his efforts in advancing predictive and targeted therapies on a national scale. In 2008, Dr. Snyderman received Frost & Sullivan’s North American HealthCare Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering spirit and contributions to medicine. In 2009, he received the Triangle Business Journal’s Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, Procter & Gamble named Snyderman an honorary member of the Victor Mills Society for his leadership and impact on innovation and he was recognized as a Bioscience Leader Emeriti by the NC Association for Biomedical Research honoring North Carolina research leaders for their outstanding leadership in the transformation of the state through scientific discovery and innovation. In 2012, Dr. Snyderman received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges for his leadership in academic medicine and for the conception of personalized medicine. Dr. Snyderman was awarded the North Carolina Life Sciences Leadership Award in February 2014.
Dr. Snyderman has played a prominent role in the leadership of such important national organizations as the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He served as Chair of the AAMC in 2001-2002 and President of AAP in 2003-2004. He chaired the Institute of Medicine’s National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public held in February 2009.
Dr. Snyderman accepted his first faculty appointment at Duke in 1972 and by 1984, he was the Frederic M. Hanes Professor of Medicine and Immunology. His research contributed to the understanding of how white blood cells respond to chemical signals to mediate host defense or tissue damage and he is internationally recognized for his contributions in inflammation research. In 1987, Snyderman left Duke to join Genentech, Inc., the pioneering biomedical technology firm, as Senior Vice President for medical research and development. While at Genentech, he led the development and licensing of several major biotechnology therapeutics.
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SUNY Downstate students and supporters raise $21,000 during the New York Marathon to benefit the Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic
From left to right, second-year medical student Mike Levine, first-year Katie Lee, Ben and Jim Naughton
When Ben Naughton was 10 or 11, he got the opportunity from his aunt Anne to make someone else’s life better. The late Dr. Anne Kastor, who helped found the Brooklyn Free Clinic, offered to donate to her nephew’s non-profit of choice for his birthday.
This was the dawn of Bionicle and PlayStation 2, and “birthday money” usually means gifts, but “she wanted me to research and find something I was passionate about for her to give to,” Ben said. “And so started the tradition where, every Christmas, I asked others, as well, not to give presents, but instead to donate. From that, and in the way she lived, she instilled in me, to put it simply, this idea of living to help others, especially those less fortune than you.”
The Alumni Association allocates money annually to the program run by SUNY Downstate students.
The $21,000 that Ben, his father Jim Naughton, and three Downstate med students raised will go toward covering prescription medication for the Brooklyn Free Clinic’s uninsured patients. The runners crowdfunded for the clinic on Crowdrise.
Ben, now 25 and an associate producer for CNN in Atlanta, ran as a member of the Brooklyn Free Clinic’s Marathon Team Nov. 6. It was his fourth marathon. He has run seriously since high school, and when “my dad and I found out we could combine two of our passions in running and non-profit work and for a place like the Brooklyn Free Clinic, it was a no-brainer.”
Ben’s aunt, Dr. Kastor, had been a primary care physician, a SUNY Downstate faculty member, and one of the founders of the clinic in 2006. She died of ovarian cancer at 49 in 2013.
“After her death, I thought what better way to honor her then to ask every year for people to give to the Brooklyn Free Clinic, a cause she was so passionate about,” Ben said.
The Brooklyn Free Clinic moves to the Downstate campus January 4, 2017, but has operated at 840 Lefferts Avenue, Brooklyn, since its inception. The clinic opens once a week to walk-in patients, many without insurance and from underserved communities.
Students from all of Downstate’s divisions, the colleges of Medicine and Nursing, to Health Related Professions and Public Health, run the clinic together. It’s a hospital in miniature, and seems to feed the students’ passion for medicine and public health.
“I got to know about the clinic from Anne telling me about her involvement in during its early days,” Ben said. “And I would say we, in our immediate family, watched it as it came to be and grew up. Then when Anne died, I think it is this way when people die, especially, at a young age from something like cancer. This brought us all closer to everyone and everything that Anne touched. David Marcus, one of the students who started the Brooklyn Free Clinic, wrote a post about Anne, and what she meant to him and the clinic. I knew it before, but I really saw and heard, through that post, how passionate he and all the people at BFC are about what they are doing.”
In his remembrance, Ben Marcus, MD, wrote, “Anne was key to the development of the BFC. I know there was much more to her than this simple, minor act, but this is how we knew her. She was an amazing mentor to the leadership group. She was an inspiring clinician to all of the volunteers, and she reminded us that primary care is not dead. Even in this difficult practice environment, Dr. Kastor showed us, and taught us, the essential role that the primary care physician plays in her or his patients’ lives.” Read the rest of Ben Marcus’ tribute, here.
Ben finished the New York Marathon and gave his cousin, Holly, Anne’s young daughter, his medal. There are things more important than objects, like family, giving, and inspiring others to give.
“The Brooklyn Free Clinic is a place that is very near to my family’s heart, both because of Anne’s connection to it, and what it stands for in that way,” he said. “And also because of the amazing work that they do.”
Student Profiles: Mike Levine and Katie Lee
Katie Lee is a first-year Downstate medical student, a runner, and former collegiate pole-vaulter from her alma mater, the University of California, Santa Barbara. She went on to complete a master’s in Human Nutrition from Columbia University before enrolling at Downstate.
Do you have a specialty in mind?
I am really interested in emergency medicine, but as a first-year, I may fall in love with anything.
Have you run a marathon before?
It was my first marathon. I was a pole vaulter in college, but at the end of college I wanted to get involved in long distance running.
Have you gotten an opportunity to volunteer yet with the Brooklyn Free Clinic?
My work right now is very behind the scenes, though, I would love the opportunity to work within the clinic. What’s cool about it is, they say 98 percent of the students, med students at least, are involved in the clinic in some way.
How did it feel to support the clinic?
We’re able to be so sustainable, and to really have an impact in the community, and to provide every part of health care for free. It was really great to run the marathon and to support it.
Mike Levine, a second-year Downstate medical student, got into shape after college by training for a Spartan obstacle race in 2014, followed by a spate of races around New York, including the Brooklyn Half Marathon in 2015. He is planning on a career in emergency medicine.
What is your “hometown?”
I’m originally from Central CT, near New Haven
Was your first marathon everything you thought it would be?
I only just ran my first half marathon in May. I had a lot of fun actually, and it was a beautiful day. I had very competitive goals for it, so I was pushing pretty hard, but nevertheless it was very fun seeing the thousands of supporters.
What was one moment of personal victory?
I pushed really hard during the last four miles. Because I did, I was able to run the second half of the race about one minute faster than the first (a ‘negative split’), which was goal #1 and I’m really proud about that. It validates the work I put into training. My goal was to run at an eight minute per mile pace, which I missed by about six minutes total, but I’m happier about getting the negative split.
What does the BFC mean to you? What did it mean to run, to benefit the clinic?
It’s an opportunity to do some good for this local community, for so many people who really don’t have a lot of stability or support in their lives. All the work I’ve been able to do for the clinic helps to reaffirm that I’m doing my best to be my best. The clinic has become a tremendously central aspect of the Downstate education. It is a place where students from the entire university come together to sharpen their clinical skills while also serving their community. Getting to interact and learn from older students is something I always look forward to. I look forward to devoting a lot more time and energy into making the clinic the best it can be.
On December 2, 2016, in conjunction with World AIDS Day, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams recognized Dr. Monica Sweeney, ’75, SUNY Downstate Vice Dean for Global Engagement and Chair of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health, for her years of dedication and accomplishments in public health. The ceremony was held at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Dr. Sweeney dedicated many years to addressing the health challenges in Brooklyn and elsewhere, and to achieving health equity and improving health care access for those who are disadvantaged.
She is the former assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Prior to that time, she served as medical director and vice president for medical affairs at the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Sweeney is the immediate past chair of the SUNY Downstate Council, and served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), and as president of the Medical Society of the County of Kings. She has been a member of the board of directors of several prominent organizations, and has served as co-chair of the Physician Advisory Council of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, and as president of the Clinical Directors Network.
In the fight against HIV/AIDS, Dr. Sweeney led the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s 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 received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health degree in health services management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at Kings County Hospital Center/Downstate Medical Center, and is boarded in internal medicine.
Dr. Sweeney has served as a member of the faculty of the School of Public Health for several years and, prior to the school’s establishment, as a faculty member of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. She has also served as a member of the faculty of Downstate’s Department of Medicine.
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.
Throughout today, panels from the AIDS quilt are on display in the atrium of the Basic Science Building for SUNY Downstate. We remember those people who have passed away during the epidemic, and those who continue to die from this disease. We celebrate those survivors and the amazing modern medicine that has made survival possible.
SUNY Downsate events for World AIDS Day
Photo Eric Shoen-Ukre
December 1, 2016
Display of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, sponsored by the Student Center Governing Board. Also a display of Survivor Panels, created by Downstate’s STAR Program, to celebrate the resilience of people living with HIV.
Basic Science Building Atrium
9 am – 4 pm
STAR Health Center Annual World AIDS Day Program
This year’s program focuses on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), featuring real life stories from patients and staff about PreP and HIV.
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Reception to follow in Lecture Hall 1B
Adolescent Education Program’s and Diaspora Community Services
World AIDS Day: A Teen Town Hall 2016 Event
Peer leaders and Youth Advocates of the BATES Network come together to remove the stigma of the virus and to champion their peers to do the same. Join them in making your voice heard.
5 – 8 pm
2016 World AIDS Day
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will present an award to Dr. Monica Sweeney, ’75, Vice Dean for Global Engagement and Chair of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health, for her years of dedication and accomplishments.
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
5 – 8 pm
Health Center, airing on local TV channels
Topic: World AIDS
Featuring: Host Dr. Monica Sweeney
Sunday, December 4 – 11:30 am, on BronxNet, Channel 70
Monday, December 5 – 10am and 5 pm, on Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT) Channel 69;
Friday, December 9 – 7:30 am, on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Channel 56.