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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

SUNY Downstate Medical Center Names New Dean of the School of Public Health

SUNY Downstate Medical Center today announced that Dr. Kitaw Demissie, M.D., Ph.D., joined SUNY Downstate Medical Center as the new Dean of the School of Public Health. Demissie is a nationally-recognized academic public health leader and researcher in the fields of health disparities and minority health, perinatal health, and cancer, who is committed to the success of young scientists, Dr. Demissie began his tenure this week.

“Dr. Demissie is a highly-regarded public health professional, academic administrator, teacher, and mentor,” said SUNY Downstate Medical Center president Dr. Wayne J. Riley.“We are excited that he will join us and look forward to working with him in the School of Public health to further Downstate’s efforts at addressing challenging health disparities facing our communities.”

“I am eager to join a truly unique academic medical center where work in urban health and health disparities are valued and considered vital,” said Dean-Designee Demissie. “I look forward to working closely with School of Public Health students, faculty, and staff in charting its course that builds upon tradition and emerging strengths in order to take it to new heights.”

In addition to his years of academic and investigative experience—including training at prestigious medical institutes such as Addis Ababa University, McGill University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the National Cancer Institute—Dr. Demissie has mentored over 100 physician and non-physician scientists and is the recipient of several Excellence in Teaching Awards. Dr. Demissie is currently the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Rutgers University School of Public Health.

Dr. Demissie has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, British Medical Journal, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Demissie is also a nationally recognized investigator in molecular epidemiology, cancer disparities, cancer prevention and control, and population sciences.

The search for the Dean of the School of Public Health was conducted by a Committee chaired by Michael Joseph, Ph.D., MPH (Downstate SPH Faculty); Aimee Afable, Ph.D., MPH (SPH Downstate Faculty); Karen Benker, M.D., MPH (SPH Downstate Faculty); Jo Ivey Bufford, M.D., (NYU Faculty); Jeffrey Borer, M.D., FACC, FAHA (Downstate College of Medicine Faculty); Lori Escallier, Ph.D., RN, CPNP-PC, FAAN(Dean, Downstate College of Nursing); Ms. Maha Attieh, Health Program Manager of the Arab-American Family Support Center and Chair of Downstate SPH’s Community Advisory Group, and students Garry Graham (Downstate SPH DrPH) and Priya Pasram (Downstate SPH DrPH).