New York, NY, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University jointly announced Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, as Chair of NYAM’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Riley is the 17th president of the Brooklyn-based SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, where he also holds tenured professorships in internal medicine, health policy, and management. Dr. Riley joined the NYAM Board of Trustees in 2017.
He is the first African American to lead the organization’s board as he succeeds James Flynn, MS, President, Deerfield Management Company LP.
With nearly 175 years of leadership in medical science, advocacy to improve medicine, public health, and disparities in healthcare, NYAM’s mission to attain health equity in pursuit of a healthier New York—and the world—has never been more vital. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities—furthered by a 400-year legacy of systemic racism—that have created poor health outcomes for millions, many in communities of color. NYAM is responding to this public health crisis with the passion and unique know-how of its longstanding institutional expertise, as well as a commitment to addressing social justice issues to reach health equity.
Since joining the NYAM board, Dr. Riley’s guidance and leadership have significantly impacted NYAM’s strategic plans, including its new Action Agenda for Health Equity. Fueled by the current state of health inequities, Dr. Riley’s ongoing contributions and leadership of the Board of NYAM and its partnership with the executive leadership will help lay the groundwork to improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers in the years to come.
“Dr. Riley’s leadership of the NYAM’s Board of Trustees will enhance and enrich NYAM’s perspectives in our pursuit of disrupting common thinking patterns, changing systems and bolstering the influence of our work to result in meaningful change,” said NYAM President Dr. Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS. “We are fortunate to benefit from his wealth of experience as a top physician, educator, and administrator, and I can think of no one better to head our Board as we continue to pursue our vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life.”
“I am honored to assume the role of Chairman of the Board of The New York Academy of Medicine,” said Dr. Riley. “At this critical time in New York and our nation, while we deal with a global pandemic, unjustifiable and worrisome distrust of medicine and science, social justice matters, systemic racism, and persistent health disparities—all of which significantly impact communities of color—understanding the intersectionality of where these variables meet begs for viable solutions, and systematic, positive outcomes. NYAM’s voice, advocacy, and leadership remain critically important in affecting positive change, and I look forward to the work we will continue to engage in as a Board and an organization.”
“We are pleased to congratulate Dr. Riley on his historic appointment as Chairman of NYAM’s Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president, and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “Dr. Riley is