Alumni Director Eric Shoen-Ukre Recertified as CFRE

Eric T. Shoen-Ukre Recertified as a Certified Fund Raising Excecutive


Alexandria, VA – CFRE International has named Eric T Shoen-Ukre as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Eric T Shoen-Ukre, Executive Director for Alumni Association College of Medicine SUNY Downstate joins over 5,500 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. “The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states Jim Caldarola, CFRE, Past Chair of CFRE International. “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE credential demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Eric T Shoen-Ukre to himself, the fundraising profession, and, the donors who are served” CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. In order to maintain certification status certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results, and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFRE’s know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills. CFRE International is an independent organization dedicated to the certification of fundraising executives by setting standards in philanthropic practice. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and led by a small professional staff, CFRE International consistently meets the highest standards for certification excellence and is itself accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies. As the premier global credential for career fundraisers, the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation is endorsed and supported by the world’s leading professional and philanthropic associations, including: Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC) Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC) Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR) Canadian Association of Gift Planners—Association canadienne des professionnels en dons planifies (CAGP-ACPDP) Council for Resource Development (CRD) Educate Plus European Fundraising Association (EFA) Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) Fundraising Institute New Zealand (FINZ) The Giving Institute International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) Japan Fundraising Association (JFRA) Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals (KAFP) National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO) National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP) North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO) United Way Worldwide (UWW) CFRE International congratulates Eric T Shoen-Ukre for achieving the CFRE designation. For more information please visit or call +1 703.820.5555.

SUNY Downstate News May 2017


SUNY Downstate Alumnus Jeffrey Goldstein, MD’90, was elected president of the International society Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.” Dr. Goldstein is chief of the Spine Service for Education Program and Director of the Spine Fellowship Program in NYU Langone Medical Center’s department of orthopedics. He has served on the ISASS board of directors since 2011. “We will continue our efforts to advance the science and art of spine surgery and educate practitioners from around the world,” said Dr. Goldstein.” to read more about this SUNY Downstate alumnus here.


Class of 2017 Commencement Recap

The Class of 2017 Commencement of the College of Medicine, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Public Health of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center took place again at Carnegie Hall on May 23, 2017.  The College of Medicine graduated 191 students from the Class of 2017 including two MD/PHD graduates and eight MD/MPH graduates.

Students, Faculty, and Professors alike resounded with  jubilation for the newly graduated doctors!  The theme for the ceremony was progression based on hope and determination. Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient, David A. Bennahum, MD, said “we must always take care of our patients within the context of hope,” and highlighted the importance of continuing to the enrich your imagination.

Check out the video from SUNY Downstate about Commencement 2017 here:

New graduates were provided with keys to success from distinguished speakers. “Medicine is both an art and a science” -David A. Bennahum, MD, on what it takes to be a good doctor. The College of Medicine Alumni Association President, Suzanne S. Mirra, MD ’67, also said “be an advocate for your patients, for proposed changes in healthcare, and when necessary, resist.”

You can watch the Class of 2017 take the Hippocratic Oath in our video here:

Check out the full video of Dr. Mirra’s welcome speech here:

Congratulations Graduates !




Alumni’s Work of Fiction Touches Depression, Recovery

Paul Shalom Rhodes, MD ’75 reads Pink! May 27 in Coney Island

By Dr. Paul Shalom Rhodes, illustrated by Shimra Starr

May 27, 2017
5-8 pm
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.

John V. Forrest, MD ’66, Blogs Medical Knowledge from 50-Year Career

jack red bow tie (2)
With much help (as always) from my wife, Deb Pate, I now have a blog which includes an archive of many health related emails I have sent over the last few years. The title, “Jack’s What Really Matters,” was inspired by my frustration with the reams of professional medical and popular press articles which emphasize trivial issues and often spread incomplete, or even false, information about diet, drugs, medical testing and procedures.

Huge amounts of money are made by the food, drug and medical businesses promoting poor diet and medical care choices. We joke about used car salesmen, but food, drug and medical promoters are the worst. They are killing people to increase their companies’ profits. Poor lifestyle, especially food choices; inappropriate medical tests and procedures; unnecessary drugs and supplements are the major cause of death, disability and physical suffering in western countries. We have glamorized this approach to diet and medical care with frightening results in developing countries. Some, like China and Mexico, now have a greater problem with diabetes than we in the United States do.

New topics “Diet, Longevity and Quality of Life” and “Modern Medical Care and Diet” are included, and a reading list and links to other relevant material will soon be added.

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Global Health at The Bell House, Brooklyn, April 29

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

The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn (

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

Contact Katie Lee at for inquiries. Find out more about our work at

Class Notes: March 2017

Stratos G. Kantounis, MD ’58
Dr. Kantounis has “finally retired from surgery, but still teaching medical students and surgical residents. Joan is still painting.”

Stan Fischman, MD ‘60
Dr. Fishman writes that he’s “Still alive and kickin’!” from Woodside, California.

Harvey Joel Penziner, MD ’65
Dr. Penziner wrote in April, 2017, that he had retired after 47 years as a clinical dermatologist.

Samuel Packer, MD ’66
Dr. Packer was promoted in March 2017 to Professor of Medicine and Professor of Ophthalmology, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Kaaren Zvonik, MD ’72
Dr. Zvonik is “retired and enjoying travel and bird watching,” in Green Valley, Arizona.

David Benn Crawford, MD ’74
Dr. Crawford writes that he retired in 2012, and is “living with my bride of 45 2/3 years, Kathleen. We welcomed a granddaughter, Tamsen Crawford, into our family in 2015.”

Henry Lim, MD ’75
In March, 2017, Dr. Lim was also elected as an honorary member of the Baltic Association of Dermatovenerology, and an honorary member of the French Society of Dermatology. On March 7, he started his one-year term as the President of the American Academy of Dermatology, the largest dermatological society in the world.

Robert Jay Spatz, MD ‘77
Dr. Spatz’s son, Harrison, is a junior at UCONN Dental School, and his daughter Paula is a junior at Adelphi University. His wife, Bilha Biggeleisen Spatz, is a CHRP 1978 graduate and Occupational Therapist, Registered.

Aaron Stein, MD ’79
Dr. Stein wrote in April, 2017, that he is the “proud father of three married children (no doctors), and grandfather of five – a wonderful club.” He also asks, “What happened to our profession? It’s been hijacked by EMRs, insurance companies and health care administrators!” He also writes, “Where are you Liz, Svedlsher, Rebbe and the Cine Prospecter?”

Ann DiMaio, MD ’83
Dr. DiMaio wrote in April 2017, “Moving back to NYC with my husband Bill Ricci, MD. He has been appointed the Head of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and begins September 2017. Can not wait. Will visit Downstate soon!”

William Davis, MD ’95
Dr. Davis is a cardiologist, author of the New York Times Bestselling Wheat Belly Books, and health crusader for the wheat-free, grain-free lifestyle. Read more about his works, here:

In Memorium

Robert Rauch, MD ’53
Dr. Rauch died September 27, 2016, in Boyton, Florida. He served for two years in the Air Force at Anchorage, Alaska, and went on to practice OB/GYN in The Five Towns for more than 50 years.

Franklin Glickman, MD ’54
Dr. Franklin of Roslyn Heights, New York, and Boynton Beach, Florida, died March 10, 2017, at 87 years old, leaving his wife, of 64 years, Leatrice (Lea), his sons and adored grandchildren. He was a classic Renaissance man, a graduate of Erasmus Hall High School ’47, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, on a full academic scholarship from Hofstra University, ’50. He also became a full professor at SUNY Downstate Medical School.
He maintained a private dermatology practice in Brooklyn, and became Chairperson of the Graduate Medical Education Department at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn. He earned a master’s degree in health care administration from New York University in 1990. At Wyckoff Heights Hospital, he was honored with the Humanitarian Award in 1973. He also wrote two textbooks, 80 peer reviewed dermatology papers, and for fun, five novels. Obituary excerpted from the New York Times.

Frederick William, MD ‘54
Dr. William of Greenport, NY, formerly of Syosset, NY, died November 14, 2016. He was the husband of Sally Hansen Norcott and the late Margaret Norcott, and father of Linda, Bruce, Jan, Craig, Sandra and Scott. He is survived by six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Stanley Dunkelman, MD ’55
Dr. Stanley S. Dunkelman, a 40-year resident of Goshen, New York, died December 21, 2016 at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida. He was 86. Dr. Dunkelman attended the University of Rochester, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and SUNY Downstate Medical School, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. Dr. Dunkelman was an endocrinologist, practicing in Middletown, New York, until his retirement in 1983. The Stanley S. Dunkelman M.D. Diabetes Treatment Center at Orange Regional Medical Center was dedicated in his honor in 1995 in recognition of his pioneering efforts in the field of diabetes care.
He was a veteran of the United States Army, and served in Germany as a physician. He was also an active member of the Goshen, NY community, where he helped establish a Goshen High School soccer team exchange with Fortuna Bonn in Bonn, Germany.

Thelma Jones, MD ‘63
Dr. Jones, 79, of Scarsdale, New York, passed away unexpectedly on March 24, 2017 at White Plains Hospital where she was on staff since 1973. She is survived by her daughters, Amy and Michelle Sack, their father, Joshua Sack, grandson Jack Blasbalg and many close friends. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she was a longtime resident of Scarsdale, New York. Dr. Jones graduated in 1955 as Valedictorian of the Bronx High School of Science. She went on to graduate cum laude from both Barnard College (’59) and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where she was one of only three females in her graduating class in 1963. She had a private practice in Internal Medicine and Hematology in Scarsdale for thirty years. She later had a private practice in integrative medicine, also in Scarsdale, and was passionate about a holistic approach to patient care. She had hospital appointments at White Plains Hospital, where she served as Chief of Hematology for eight years, Montefiore Hospital and St. Agnes. She served as the past President of the Central Westchester American Cancer Society and was on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society among many other honors.

James Leslie Perry, MD ’77
Dr. Perry was born April 21, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri, and died January 22, 2017, at 81. He his survived by his wife Linda, of almost 59 years, and their extensive family and family of friends. With his father’s permission, Dr. Perry joined the US Air Force where he served as a radar technician and was discharged with rank of Staff Sergeant in 1956. Jim followed his father’s path to Kansas University and joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He also joined Air Force ROTC and received a 1st Lieutenant Commission and a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1960. Dr. Perry accepted an offer from Sperry Gyroscope Company on Long Island where he worked for three years and then moved to Grumman Corporation and was assigned to team developing the radar system for the Apollo 11 Lunar Module which landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. During the 60’s he enrolled in night courses at Adelphi University, MS in Physics 1965, and in Columbia University for Pre-Med courses. In 1973, he began four years at the State University of New York School of Medicine in Brooklyn, followed by Internship at VA Hospital and residencies in Nuclear Medicine and Psychiatry at Long Island Jewish Hospital. He accepted a staff position in the Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center on Coney Island for several years until hired by the NY State Department of Mental Health and served the next 20 years in state psychiatric hospitals and out-patient clinics treating persons afflicted with schizophrenia.

Menachem Friedman, MD ’86
Dr. Friedman was an internist affiliated with Maimonides for over 25 years, and specialized in Geriatrics. He died suddenly on March 10.

Stay in touch with SUNY Downstate alumni!
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SUNY Downstate News March 2017

SUNY Downstate medical students excelled in the 2017 National Residency Match, passing the national average. Also, 71% of Graduates will train in New York State. Read more about SUNY Downstate Match 2017, here.

Research by SUNY Downstate Medical Center 4th-year Medical Student Jared Ditkowsky and 2nd-year Pediatrics Resident Sairaman Nagarajan, MD, MPH, was recognized by members of the national press at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in Atlanta, March 3-6. These research projects were performed in the Center for Allergy and Asthma Research (CAAR) at SUNY Downstate, an ongoing interdepartmental translational research collaboration. Read more about this allergy research at SUNY Downstate, here.

Pilot eye movements change noticeably by two hours in-flight. Pilot fatigue is a major contributor to aviation disasters, but coming up with an objective measure of fatigue has long eluded supervisors in both military and commercial airlines. Standard practice involves a combination of subjective self-report measures by the pilot, and an assessment by commanding officers. With numerous factors at play, including social and financial ones, how can one objectively determine a pilot’s ability to focus and fly safely? Read more about this SUNY Downstate research into flight safety, here.


SUNY Downstate: Emory Global Case Competition Finalists


SUNY Downstate’s Team (Bridget Furlong, Shelley Jain, George Mo, Brian Starkman, and Zachary Wolner) were selected as finalists out of 24 teams at the Emory International Global Case Competition.


“We prepared for months for the weekend long competition in Atlanta (Mar 24-26),” Zachary writes. “Patriot Yang and Angela Yao organized the team and provided us with invaluable insights based on their successes at last year’s competition. When we arrived in Atlanta on Thursday, we began preparing our solutions to the challenge case: treating mental illness in the children and adolescents of Monrovia, Liberia. After a long Friday night we went in front of two judges to detail our interventions.


“Out of 24 teams, we, and three others, were selected to present our solutions on the unmet needs of the mentally ill in Liberia to the other competitors and a panel of 6 judges from varied distinguished backgrounds in global health. The experience was thrilling and something we will never forget. Our performance earned us honorable mention and a $900 prize.


“This never would have happened if it weren’t for the generosity of the alumni foundation. We are so thankful for the foundation flying us out to Atlanta to participate in this wonderful event.


Thank you again,

Zachary Wolner

Every gift impacts a life.

Watch the AOA Annual Lecture 2017: Ralph Snyderman, MD ’65, on YouTube

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.