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February 4, 2021
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Board of Regents to Discuss Action Plan on Racial Disparities in Medicine, Recognize Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, a panel of national experts will present on Racial Disparities in Medicine and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care to the Board of Regents at the February 8 meeting, Interim State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. The panel discussion will be followed by a Regents discussion regarding an action plan focusing on the twin goals of providing equitable care for all and encouraging more young people of color to pursue careers in medicine. 

“The Board of Regents and Department are committed to incorporating an equity and inclusion lens in every facet of our work – without it, the results we seek for all New Yorkers can never be fully achieved,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young said. “In our role in New York's unique system of professional regulation, the Board pledges to shine a light on life threatening injustices in medicine and to do everything in our power to end them.”

“We are proud to foster this dialogue to help address disparities in care in meaningful, and sometimes uncomfortable ways, and tackle these issues head-on,” Interim Commissioner Rosa said. “It’s imperative that we work to increase diversity in the health professions by helping to support students in health care fields that may be otherwise underserved.”

Research shows that the quality and intensity of health care and diagnostic services are directly related to race and ethnicity. Distinguished presenters, who are experts in their fields, will address their roles in addressing the goal of providing equitable care for all.

The Regents will also take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the innumerable and enduring contributions of African Americans, commemorating Black History Month through reflections by members of the Board.

Panelists Include:

  • Dr. Wayne Riley, President SUNY Downstate Medicine: A distinguished physician, internist, academician, clinician-educator, and administrator, the institution that Dr. Riley leads is the only academic medical center serving Brooklyn, NY one of the most diverse communities in the nation. Since his appointment, Dr. Riley has worked to achieve high levels of excellence across Downstate’s multiple enterprises. In December 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed Dr. Riley to the New York State Vaccine Equity Task Force. Dr. Riley is also the Chair of the Board to Trustees of the New York Academy of Medicine, the first African American Chair in the 173-year history of that institution.
  • Gina Granger, MSEd, Assistant Director, Pipeline Programs at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell: Under Ms. Granger’s leadership, opportunities for academic advancement, scholarship awards, and mentoring connections have been expanded for underrepresented in medicine students who are interested in a career in medicine. Specifically, Ms. Granger manages the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program (MSPP) for high school students, which was created to expose students who are underrepresented in medicine to careers in medicine and other healthcare professions. She also manages the Zucker Pipeline Program for college students which help underrepresented in medicine students be more competitive applicants for admission to the Zucker School of Medicine and other medical schools.
  • Dr. Ram Raju, Former CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation and Member of NYS Board for Medicine: Ram Raju, MD, combines his executive leadership experience in health care with a deep commitment to achieving social equity to improve the health of communities in need. As senior vice president and community health investment officer, he evaluated the needs of Northwell’s most-vulnerable communities, and provided solutions for them by collaborating with community-based organizations. He was responsible for promoting, sustaining and advancing an environment that supports equity and diversity, and helping the health system eliminate health disparities.
  • Dr. Lynne Holden, Co-Founder and President of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc (MIM): Dr. Holden is a national thought leader on the persistence of youth of color on the journey to a health career. She serves on several national and local boards including the CUNY School of Medicine Advisory Board, Co-Chair of the Executive Advisory Board for the National Academy Foundation/DC Public School CTE in Washington, D.C., and the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Community Advisory Board in Harlem. Dr. Holden also serves as Chair of the K-Grad Action Group of the Round Table on Black Men and Women in STEM of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She is a practicing Emergency Department Physician at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (the 5th African American female in the country) and Vice-Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Dr. Michael Rotondo, CEO Medical Faculty Group, University of Rochester Medical Center: Dr. Rotondo is Professor in the Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery, The School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. He is also the Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group. Dr. Rotondo is also the Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group. Dr. Rotondo is the author of more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has over 250 publications in total.

Information to watch the discussion live:

Monday, February 8, 2021

9:15 a.m.

The Board of Regents will hear a presentation on Racial Disparities in Medicine and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, followed by a discussion regarding an action plan to affect change. The Regents will also recognize Black History Month, celebrating the contributions of African Americans.

Live stream weblink will be available 30 minutes before the start time

To further commemorate Black History Month, the New York State Museum is providing virtual tours of some of the African American-related artifacts in the History collections via Facebook live, recordings of which will then be posted on the Museum’s website. Additionally, the Museum offers an easy-to-use resource page for students, educators and the public, that includes research, access to digital collections, virtual lessons and activities for the classroom. The Museum will also use its social media platforms to promote the Emancipation Proclamation and 15th Amendment work that was done last year and staff is working to develop a partnership webinar series with the Shirly A. Chisholm Center for Equity Studies about Black history and current events which will kick-off this month. 

As in years past the State Education Department, together with Education Trust-New York, is highlighting New York State My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) students throughout the month on social media including Twitter and Facebook. The #MyHistoryMyFuture campaign features inspiring quotes from outstanding students who are sharing how MBK has positively changed their lives and what their hopes and dreams are for the future.

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