SoHP Organization

The School of Health Professions (SoHP) is one of five colleges at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. The other colleges are the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Public Health.

In the School of Health Professions, the Dean has overall responsibility for the operation of the School. The Assistant Dean assists the Dean in the daily administration of the School and in coordinating student activities such as SoHP council and the yearbook. In addition, individuals responsible for finance and clinical affiliations coordinate these activities for the Dean. Two Associate Deans have responsibility for evaluation, assessment, program development and strategic initiatives for the school.

The School offers eight health professional programs:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (MS degree)
  • Diagnostic Medical Imaging (BS degree)
  • Health Informatics (Advanced Certificate & MS degree)
  • Midwifery (Advanced Certificate and MS degree)
  • Occupational Therapy (MS & OTD degree)
  • Physical Therapy (BS/DPT degree)
  • Physician Assistant (MS degree)
  • Medical Billing & Coding (preparation for

Each program is led by a program chairperson and students are taught by faculty with experience and credentials in the specific health profession.


  • Diagnostic Medical Imaging Sonography
    Yosefa Pessin, DHSc, RDMS, RDCS, RVT
    Program Chair
  • Medical Informatics
    Mohammad Faysel, PhD
    Program Chair
  • Midwifery Education
    Ronnie Lichtman, CNM, LM, PhD, FACNM
    Program Chair
  • Occupational Therapy
    Efekona Nuwere, Ed.D, OTR/L
    Program Chair 
  • Physician Assistant
    Andrea Trimmingham, MA, PA-C
    Program Chair
  • Physical Therapy
    Joanne S. Katz, PT, DPT, PhD
    Program Chair
  • Academic Policy Committee
  • By-Laws Committee
  • Committee of the Faculty
  • Committee on Academic & Professional Qualifications
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Program Development Committee

The School of Health Professions Giving Tree is a tribute to and symbol of recognition of the distinction and Good Will of its valued Donors. The purpose of their donations is to fund Scholarships and Awards in the School.

The Goals and Intent of the scholarships and awards are to:
I) reward excellence, 2) foster growth and 3) provide assistance to the students in the individual SOHP Programs. All recipients will be determined by a SOHP Committee, based on the eligibility criteria and formal review. The offering of specific scholarship, scholarship amounts, and scholarship frequency are
subject to the availability of funds.

The Eligibility Criteria are:

The student recipient must be enrolled and in good standing in one of the SOHP programs. Additional eligibility requirements are delineated below:

The SOHP hereby establishes and supports the following scholarships and awards funded largely through the charity of those who respect our commitment to the Excellence of our Professions.

  • Academic Excellence
    • Students must be enrolled full-time
    •  Students must have completed at least two semesters in the SOHP
    • Students must demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need
  • Professional Development - The goal is to fund specific activities to advance a student's professional development and leadership skills
    • Support is awarded for specific projects and/or activities
    • Acceptable usage of funds can include, but is not limited to, targeted training, workshops, conferences and seminars
  • Student Emergency Fund
    • Limited to students who are experiencing adverse events that interfere with their studies (including but not limited to fire, natural disaster, etc.)
    • Acceptable usage of funds includes support for specific, documentable needs such as replacement of destroyed property, e.g. text books, computer, etc.
  • Student/Faculty Research - This scholarship supports the work of student/faculty teams conducting
    collaborative research activities that stimulate interest in health professions' research and expand knowledge
    •  Students must be working w ith a faculty member from the SOHP and research activities must be approved by the SOHP SRC, where applicable, in order to be considered for this scholarship
    • Acceptable usage of funds can include, but is not limited to, equipment or supplies required for research activities and research dissemination costs such as poster development
  • Community Activities/Service -This scholarship will go to the SOHP students who demonstrate dedication to providing culturally sensitive care to diverse, underserved clients in urban communities
    • Support is awarded for specific projects and/or activities
    • Acceptable usage of funds can include, but is not limited to: cultural immersion experience, health fair planning/implementation for underserved clients in the community, and other service projects
  • Each SOHP Program may have specific scholarships and awards that may also be supported by the SOHP Giving Tree
  • In addition, funds may also be used for incidental fundraising expenses including, but not limited to, the cost
    of leaves for the SOHP Giving Tree.
  • Allen Lewis, PhD, CRC
    Dean and Professor
  • Shushawna DeOliveira, DHA
    Associate Dean of Program Operations and Quality, Associate Professor
  • Brigitte Desport, DPS, ATP, OTR/L
    Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Program
  • Phillip Bones, M.Ed
    Assistant Dean