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Message from the Associate Dean,
Diversity Education and Research
Carla Boutin-Foster, MD, MS

Dr.Boutin-Foster

This has been an exciting year for the Office of Diversity Education and Research. We have launched a series of innovative outreach, educational, and faculty development initiatives. We have continued to increase the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds into our entering class. These successes are due to a strategic outreach and recruitment program that was led by both current students and our dynamic staff.

We have successfully implemented the first year of the Health Equity Advocacy and Leadership pathway (HEAL). Our HEAL students led classroom discussions on social determinants of health such as the higher rates of maternal and fetal morality among Black women, gun violence policy, and discrimination faced by members of the LGBTQ community. Our students also attended conferences on Race and Health,

Social Justice, and Student Advocacy. HEAL provided a safe space for students with different ideologies but a shared vision for social justice to engage in 'real talk' about often controversial topics.

We launched the Translational Program of Disparities Research Training (TRANSPORT), supported by the National Institute of Health and National Institute for Minority Health Disparities Endowment. Summer 2018 marked the start of the 7-week program designed to provide hands-on research exposure to students who are underrepresented in biomedical research. TRANSPORT has enabled us to expand our efforts to increase diversity in biomedical research through our faculty development programs for women, racial and ethnic minority faculty.

One of our most notable accomplishments was the receipt of a 5-year federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The $3.2 million grant will support a comprehensive National Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy at SUNY Downstate and will be led by Dr. Daniels-Osaze (Principal Investigator). I will support this effort with Drs. Marilyn Fraser and Mary Valmont of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. The HCOP Academy will support research, clinical shadowing opportunities, and MCAT preparation. We will now be able to expand existing programs and implement new initiatives that increase the number of students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds who successfully matriculate and graduate from SUNY Downstate .

As the Associate Dean of the Office of Diversity Education and Research, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past year and look forward to building new partnerships and increasing student and faculty success. Thank you for your continued support and interest in Downstate, where we build bridges and break barriers.