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

Carla Boutin-Foster, MD, MS

As a young girl growing up in Port-au-Prince Haiti, I never dreamed that I would one day become a physician, educator, and researcher. Downstate changed my life. It was at Downstate that I examined my first patient, had an opportunity to deliver babies, and observe my first laparoscopic surgery. It was also at Downstate that I made my closest friends and met my husband (Jordan Foster, class of 1994). Because of my medical education at Downstate, I matched into my top residency program at Weill Cornell in internal medicine. The confidence that was instilled in me at Downstate allowed me to pursue a Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology and go on to obtain grants from the National Institute of Health to study health disparities. This would not have been possible without the medical education that I received at Downstate.

In 2016, my life changed once again when I was given the opportunity to return to my alma mater and serve as the Associate Dean for the inaugural Office of Diversity Education and Research. The office provides an infrastructure for pipeline program development, medical student support, and innovative research that advances our understanding of the most effective ways of achieving diversity. Our office collaborates with other programs to support student groups. This has been an exciting year for our Office, we initiated the first Health Disparities pathway – HEAL, the Black Men’s Health Symposium, and the Champions of Diversity Awards. We offer peer mentorship through our student organizations, faculty mentorship, career guidance, and the opportunity to work with an illustrious group of alumni.

At SUNY Downstate, Diversity is a core mission of the College of Medicine. Our diverse student body has gone on to serve in top leadership positions across the country and have achieved excellent work in clinical medicine, research, and advocacy.

I am proud to be a SUNY Downstate graduate. I look forward to continuing to work with our strong leadership team in fostering diversity in our student body, education, and research programs. If you would like to learn more about our Office and ways in which you can support our efforts through mentoring, volunteering, or other partnerships please do not hesitate to contact me. At Downstate, we are building bridges and breaking barriers. Come join us as a student or faculty. Together, we can to build communities.