Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson Announces Renaming of SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn – Downstate Medical Center

June 27, 2019

Essential step in a multifaceted, year-long rebranding effort by the campus

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson announced today an essential step in a multifaceted rebranding effort by SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Downstate Medical Center, with the official renaming to "The State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University." The Downstate Rebranding Initiative will also include a subsequent name-change for its University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a repositioning of all its clinical sites and clinic operations to DownstateHealthTM.

Downstate’s new name captures the total breadth of the institution’s contributions to higher education, scholarship, workforce development, and healthcare in Brooklyn, New York City, and New York State.

"We appreciate President Wayne Riley’s efforts to reconnect with the community that SUNY Downstate Medical serves and are pleased to approve the official renaming," said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. "The new name captures the breadth and scope of the academic excellence on campus and recognizes its growth."

"SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, which we all refer to as Downstate, provides expansive medical services, and its new name – The State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University – will now more broadly define its value,” said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. “At the same time, the rebranding promotes the campus’s contributions to higher education today, and embraces its extensive history."

"We are grateful that Chancellor Johnson and the Board of Trustees agree with our five Deans, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the SUNY Downstate Council, and our Executive Management Team that SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University best communicates the scope of what it is to be Downstate," said SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President, Wayne J. Riley, M.D. "It is a name that more fully reflects our legacy, our mission, and the contributions we make in the community and to higher education, to ground-breaking medical research, to scholarship, and the development of the healthcare workforce of the future."

The Long Island College of Medicine was the first moniker that introduced the institution to the local Brooklyn community and New York City at-large. Since then, Downstate Medical’s inaugural name underwent a number of modifications—first merging with SUNY in 1950 to become known as "SUNY College of Medicine at New York City", followed by an informal adoption of its "nickname," Downstate Medical Center in 1954, and finally, its most recent name change by the Board of Trustees in 1986 to "SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn."

The new name will now be used in all official documents, diplomas, certificates, etc. A copy of the SUNY Board of Trustees resolution approving the name change can be found here.

About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn's 2.6 million residents. University Hospital is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to University Hospital, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Health-Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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