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Message from the SOM Alumni President — Fall 2017

Dear Fellow Graduates and Colleagues,

Debra Messina, MD ’88

Welcome to the Fall 2017 edition of Medicine Today. The School of Medicine Alumni Board continues to strive to support our medical students and engage alumni. Since the spring, we have welcomed the Class of ’92 back to Stony Brook for their reunion, and joined the Class of ’12 at their 5 year reunion in Manhattan. It was great to hear the paths that everyone has taken since graduating from Stony Brook.

Our biggest and most proud day was when we welcomed our largest incoming class of 136 medical students at the White Coat and Distinguished Alumnus ceremony (view photos!) in August. As we have in the past three years, members of our Alumni Board presented each student with a new Littman Cardiology IV stethoscope that had been provided by so many of our generous alumni. Thank you! The students were surprised and touched by your support.

Additionally, we presented this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award to the most deserving Jorge Puente MD ’82. Dr. Puente provided sage and oftentimes humorous advice to all the incoming students by recalling stories of his early career of saving someone’s life and to know that the teaching and guidance they are about to receive will prepare them for a successful healthcare career ahead. (Learn more about the achievements of other fellow School of Medicine alums in our Class Notes.)

The ceremony also gave me a perfect opportunity to present the various programs we have established so as to enhance each student’s medical school experience like our Careers in Medicine evening. At this event, alumni introduce first and second-year students to a variety of medical and surgical specialties, and it is scheduled to take place on October 12 this year. I also announced our Annual International Travel Awards that enable students to participate in a medical mission or research opportunity out of the country.

This year the alumni board provided three $750 awards to first-year students; Jared Su, Andrea Arreguin and Pallavi Tatapudy and a $750 Drs. Richard P. and Philip V. Messina Endowed Fund for Excellence in Global Initiatives was awarded to rising second-year student, Danielle O’Hara. The Spatz Foundation Interdisciplinary Team Award went to Sanida Ludovic, a third-year student. All of them participated in a cataract surgical and medical mission to Peru in June. I also mentioned The HOST (Help Our Students Travel) program where our alumni from across the country volunteer their time and hospitality in the various locations to students during their residency interviews.

Another point of pride we all share is our Stony Brook School of Medicine Alumni $10,000 Scholarship Award, an annual award thanks to the generosity of our alumni. This significant honor is awarded to a current fourth-year medical student who has made exceptional contributions to the field of medicine, scientific knowledge, the community and/or the School of Medicine through outstanding leadership, industriousness, innovation and vision.

Michael Mintz, Class of 2018 was selected from of large pool of nominations from the faculty and staff of Stony Brook School of Medicine. It will help pay a substantial amount of his tuition during his final semester. This year, incoming medical student Ariel Yang also received the Sherry and Howard Sussman Endowed Scholarship award.

And lastly, many of our alumni who work at Stony Brook hospital joined members of our board to welcome the students at breakfast the following morning.

Please consider joining us in supporting our initiatives.  And if you are celebrating a milestone year in 2018, please contact Mary Hoffmann to start the reunion planning process. For further information about the School of Medicine Alumni Chapter please check out our website.


Debra Messina, MD ’88
Stony Brook University School of Medicine Alumni Board

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