SUNY Downstate News August 2017

August 1-7
World Breastfeeding Week!


SUNY Downstate Announcement
: Rainer W. G. Gruessner, MD, FACS, FICS, has been named Chair of surgery and Clarence & Mary Dennis Professor of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The announcement was made by Carlos N. Pato, MD, Dean of the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate. “Dr. Gruessner is a nationally renowned surgeon and clinical innovator, a prolific academic, a committed educator, and a successful and experienced department chair, having most recently served as chair of surgery at the University of Arizona and later as chief of transplantation at SUNY Upstate Medical University.”

SUNY Downstate Health Fair: For health screenings for blood pressure, sugar test, cholesterol, HIV/AIDS, stroke screening, breast education and more. The Health Fair will be held at Family Health Services at 840 Lefferts Avenue from 10:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M on August 19, 2017.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: President Wayne J. Riley will participate in a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and reception to mark the opening of the new Bone and Joint Center, which will expand Downstate’s capacity to provide advanced care for common and complex musculoskeletal disorders. The event is August 23, 2017 at 10:00 A.M., at University Orthopedic Associates New Bone and Joint Center, 760 Parkside Avenue.

Innovations in Medicine:
Downstate prides itself on innovations in medicine and healthcare to provide patients with the best care possible. Below is examples of the exceptional and advances Downstate had been making in healthcare:

– Professor of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Dr. Edward Quadros, created the Folate Receptor Antibody Test (FRAT™) to detect folate receptor antibodies. “The development of FRATTM could well turn out to be a seminal work that will improve the lives of many people, especially children and pregnant women,” said Boas Gonen, president and CEO of Iliad Neurosciences. “The test is essential for the diagnosis of cerebral folate deficiency, and is extremely useful in identifying patients with autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and major depression who could benefit from high-dose folinic acid therapy.” To read more of Dr. Quadros’s work click here.

– Fogarty International Center, supporting the National Institutes of Health, has issued seven new awards through its HIV Research Training Program to build HIV research capacity at institutions in low- and middle-income countries. This round of grants, expected to total $8.1 million over five years, will train researchers in Mozambique, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Ukraine and Zambia. In Ukraine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, led by Principal Investigator Dr. Jack Dehovitz, will help to train local investigators to conduct implementation science research to identify best practices for managing new HIV infections.

– SUNY Downstate researchers Drs. Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde received an award from The National Science Foundation to study restoring vision. “With their award, Stephen L. Macknik, PhD, and Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, both professors of ophthalmology, neurology, and physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate, will seek to restore vision by genetically modifying neurons in the brain and then stimulating them with light, a method called optogenetics.” To read more on their research click here

Class Notes: August 2017

Class Notes:

Irwin Berkowitz, MD’ 72
After 41+ years at Chestnut Ridge Pediatrics, I have called it quits. I have hung up my proverbial cleats. Among my accomplishments, aside from providing attentive, excellent patient care, I have been chosen by Castle-Connelly as a “Top Doc”, elected as chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, N.J. and published a terrific book “Instructions Not Included, a pediatrician prescription for raising the best kid on the block(available at Amazon). I am living with my wife of 43 years, Kathleen, and plan to do more of the things I enjoy but didn’t have the time or energy to pursue.

David Klein, MD’75
Dr. Klein has been awarded the Harold S. Strasser, M.D., Good Samaritan Award. “The 1983 House of Delegates established this award to be given annually from nominations submitted by county medical societies, FMA recognized specialty groups and hospital medical staff.  Individual physicians and/or groups of physicians qualify for the Harold S. Strasser, M.D., Good Samaritan Award.  The recipient of this award demonstrates love and compassion for their fellow man, and displays outstanding leadership.” He will be recognized at the 2017 Annual Meeting, held August 4-6, 2017 at the Loew Sapphire Halls Resort in Orlando, FL.

Kristina Wittig, MD’08
Listen to Alumna Kristina Wittig, MD’ 08,  reflecting on her journey to becoming surgeon she is today.”Now a urologic surgeon and assistant clinical professor of surgery at City of Hope Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley, Wittig noted she loves that her specialty allows her to cultivate personal relationships with her patients while still acting as their surgeon.”

In Memoriam:
Christopher Lopresto, MD’90 – Passed away earlier this year.


Stay in touch with SUNY Downstate alumni!
Make sure we have your correct address and email, here.

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Building Brooklyn’s Future on the Waterfront

 

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Inside the workspace of one of BioBAT’s anchor tenants, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) 

 

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“When I visited the BioBat incubator in March, I saw future of our economy unfolding. Tomorrow’s jobs and opportunities depend on technological innovation, and BioBat provides the space and support needed to ignite that spark. Through this kind of partnership between government, the private sector and academia, we will foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and industry leaders.”​-New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s commitment to research and education goes beyond the Downstate campus, including all the way to the Brooklyn harbor, where its venture BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal is working to strengthen the city’s scientific community.

Space is always a pressing concern for NYC’s researchers. Prior to BioBAT, finding affordable locations within easy reach of the city’s academic and financial centers was a challenge. Through the creation of affordable wet lab and office space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, BioBAT has expanded the options for scientific firms seeking to operate in the city.

BioBAT stands six miles from the Downstate campus and Downstate’s Biotechnology Incubator, where two of BioBAT’s anchor tenants got their start. BioBAT tenants can take advantage of the partnership with SUNY Downstate, granting access to the school’s library, research personnel, and other resources.

An educated workforce and a culture of entrepreneurship benefit not just the city’s researchers, but New York as a whole. SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn’s only academic medical center, appreciates the importance of workforce development. The school has fielded initiatives such as biotechnology job-training programs in collaboration with Hunter College, and entrepreneurship programs for startup founders.

Downstate’s Dr. Eva Cramer, BioBAT and the incubator’s founder, has been a leading force in these workforce development efforts. BioBAT has launched its own initiative to create a STEM career pipeline and develop a 21st century working waterfront in Brooklyn. Among the initiative’s cornerstones is a series of extracurricular STEM educational programs which will inspire and engage students of all ages. The center is seeking sponsors and volunteers, and has enlisted SUNY Downstate’s support. Volunteer graduate students from SUNY Downstate’s School of Graduate Studies are guiding elementary through high school students in a fun-filled science summer program.

Since their inception, these ventures have received government support. SUNY Downstate President Dr. Wayne J. Riley said, “When I came to Downstate in April, I met with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and shared my appreciation for his strong support of our biotechnology initiatives, including the Biotech Incubator and BioBAT facilities, and for our pipeline programs.”

These ventures are helping to transform Brooklyn and the city as a whole into a global science and technology hub. Thanks to Downstate’s and BioBAT’s initiatives, researchers from every corner of the world will be able to find space, resources, personnel, and a thriving startup community at their fingertips. Under Dr. Riley’s leadership the borough can become as much of a magnet for scientific and commercial talent as SUNY Downstate is for outstanding students. SUNY Downstate’s students come from all over the world, and its alumni go just as far afield. But the best place to take part in the future of innovation may be back in Brooklyn.

Visit BioBAT and the Biotechnology Incubator on the web at http://biobat.nyc/ and http://research.downstate.edu/biotech/abi.htm

 

Alumni Books, Articles, & Publications

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” – Charles de Lint

 

Have you or another alumnus/a you know authored a novel? Successfully submitted an article for publication and would like it highlighted in an alumni newsletter? Wrote a piece of poetry that you would like to share? Had a magazine feature you were especially excited about?  If the answer is YES, to any of these questions you should consider informing the Alumni Association!

The Alumni Association is calling out for any publications written by the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine alumni. Your books, article and/or publications will be featured in our office if you submit them. Please mail us two copies when you submit, one copy will be given to the SUNY Downstate library and the other copy will be on display in the Alumni Association. With a growing library of alumni books, we hope to continue this growth with new submissions from the year of 2016-2017.

If you are cognizant of any alumni piece please do not hesitate to call us at 718-270-2075 or email us at alumni@downstate.edu.

Class Notes: July 2017

 

Class Notes:

Raymond Scalettar, MD’54
Dr. Scalettar states “On May 21, 2017 I was promoted to Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center. I closed my DC office for the practice of Rheumatology December 31,2016 As a Medical Expert Consultant for the Social Security Administration, I review cases appealing the ruling on disability. I continue as a Medical Consultant to the Charles E Smith Lifecare Center which is the fifth largest senior center in the USA. I am a healthcare consultant to the American College of Rheumatology.”

Gerald W. Deas, MD’63
Dr. Deas is being featured on Health Center talk show featured on networks like Bronxnet and Brooklyn Community Access Television(BCAT). His feature will air on June 25th 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and July 2nd 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Wilsa Ryder, MD’73 & Brian O’Malley, MD’ 74
In an article by Wellfleet.wickedlocal.com, “Brian O’Malley and Wilsa Ryder talk about the bittersweet decision to close the doors of Provincetown Medical Group,  which the couple has run since the early 1980s.” To read more about their story go to the following link: http://bit.ly/2siiQrC

Brent Schillinger, MD’79
An interview with Dr. Schillinger is featured on blogtalkradio.com, titled “A Lesson on Medical Ethics.” He has served on the Board of Governors of the Florida Medical Association, where he chaired the Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs. To read more  on Dr. Schillinger’s expansive career and listen to his interview on ethics.

Daniel W. Wilen, MD’89
Dr. Wilen, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the University Physicians of Brooklyn, has been named a 2017 Top Doctor in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine in 1989.

Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD’90
Dr. Lazarro, a longtime borough physician and resident leads efforts to expand Ophthalmology Services with NYU Langone. They have launched two comprehensive eye care practices in Brooklyn. Dr. Lazzaro is taking a lead role in helping NYU Langone identify opportunities for continued expansion. Chief of ophthalmology at NYU Lutheran Medical Center since 2003, he recently took on additional responsibilities for NYU Langone as vice chair of clinical affairs and business development for the Department of Ophthalmology and physician director for the health system’s network development in Brooklyn.

Kristina Wittig, MD’08
Kyle Jellings, talk show host on KHTS AM 1220, sits down with Dr. Kristina Wittig, a urologic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of surgery at local City of Hope facilities. Topics both professional, like what signs people should be on the look out for and treatment options, and personal, like her childhood in Russia and her earlier desires to become an environmental scientist are discussed.

In Memoriam: *The Alumni Association recognizes in the “In Memoriam” section, not all alumni listed are recently deceased. As we become aware of the passing of our alumni we recognize them to provide their class mates with an update. *

Robin Goldman, MD’82
Dr. Goldman died in January of 2016.  We were just notified of her passing.


Stay in touch with SUNY Downstate alumni!
Make sure we have your correct address and email, here.

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Student Profile – Zaki Azam

This month’s SUNY Downstate College of Medicine student profile is of Zaki Azam, class of 2019. Zaki completed his undergraduate education right here in our borough at Brooklyn College, where got his Bachelors in Science in Psychology. He is still unsure about his future specialty in Medicine but has had some remarkable experiences here at Downstate.

Who is/was your favorite professor at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and why?

“My favorite professor is Dr. Eisner, because she always pushes her students to achieve even more than they think is possible.”

What is your favorite memory so far of your time studying at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine?

“My favorite memory is attending the AAMC Conference in Seattle with the faculty and Dean of the College of Medicine. I got to know them personally while presenting on the importance of student and faculty wellness.”

How has the Alumni Association for the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate helped you (scholarships, clubs, events, white-coat ceremony, senior week, research, summer research, technology, healthcare in developing countries elective or other)?

“The Alumni Association has helped me realize great strengths through projects I would otherwise not have had an opportunity to pursue. Given the funding to present at a national conference has not only encouraged me but also gave me the confidence to continue formulating new ideas and present in such settings in the future. I look forward to the next time I can count on the Alumni Association for assistance whether it be for research, presentations or more.”

Alumni Director Eric Shoen-Ukre Recertified as CFRE

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

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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 http://www.cfre.org or call +1 703.820.5555.

SUNY Downstate News May 2017

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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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVjOtpTtXH8&t=2s

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cbMOZKM57Y

Check out the full video of Dr. Mirra’s welcome speech here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4YC8d_RMyM&t=20s

Congratulations Graduates !

 

 

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Alumni’s Work of Fiction Touches Depression, Recovery

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

Pink!
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.