SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. to receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation National Humanism in Medicine Medal Along With Drs. Anthony Fauci and Eric Topol

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jun 10, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Dawn S.Walker | | M: (917) 439-9666

Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACPBrooklyn, NY (June 10, 2021) – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University president Wayne J. Riley, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., MACP will receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation National Humanism in Medicine Medal at its June 10 annual gala, a virtual gathering of the Gold community of clinicians, students, healthcare leaders, patients, deans, C.E.O.s and supporters of the human connection in healthcare. The Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award honors caring and compassionate mentors in medical school education.

Dr. Riley will be honored alongside Chief COVID Advisor to President Biden and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Professor of Molecular Medicine, and Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research Dr. Eric Topol. Each will receive the Humanism in Medicine Award.

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, the 17th president of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, is a Gold Humanism Honor Society member and a Trustee and Secretary of the Gold Foundation. As Board Chair of the New York Academy of Medicine, he is also known for his exceptional and steadying leadership of Downstate as the pandemic struck, and when Downstate's teaching arm—the University Hospital of Brooklyn—was designated as a COVID-only hospital.

Dr. Riley's passion and advocacy for health equity and anti-racism in medicine have served him well. He sits on the Governor's Vaccine Equity Task Force to help ensure that vulnerable and underserved communities participate in the State's vaccination program for equitable access and distribution. He also joined with other Black leaders to create a task force in New York to make sure that the vaccine is readily accessible to Black New Yorkers while addressing concerns in Black communities about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

Dr. Riley is an academic primary care general internist with more than 25 years of progressively senior executive level management, policy, and leadership experiences in academic medicine, patient care, research administration, academic health center administration, health care management, health policy, biotechnology, the corporate sector, government service, advocacy, and organized medicine.

Dr. Riley earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a concentration in Medical Anthropology from Yale University, and a Master of Public Health degree in health systems management from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in Louisiana. He also earned a Master's in Business Administration from Texas's Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. Dr. Riley completed his residency training in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he also held an associate professorship of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Riley is President Emeritus of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He has served as chair of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences as an elected member of the Administration of Health Services, Education, and Research, and is an ACP Master. Dr. Riley also was secretary-treasurer of the Society of Medical Administrators, a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, and on the Sullivan Alliance to Diversify the Health Professions.

In 2019, Dr. Riley was appointed Co-Chair of the SUNY Student Mental Health Task Force, which focuses on early interventions and exploring existing practices and public health approaches across the nation to address the mental health needs of SUNY students.

Dr. Riley has received numerous awards and honors, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Arnold P. Gold Medical Humanism Honor Society, and the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. He also received the SUNY Downstate Ailanthous Award for Outstanding Public Health Leadership, a Doctorate of Humane Letters (DHL) honorary degree from SUNY Downstate, and a Doctorate of Science honorary degree from Tuskegee University.

A Brooklyn resident, Dr. Riley, was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC), a nonpartisan congressional agency that provides the U.S. Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program. He also serves on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and the YMCA of Greater New York boards.


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 of Brooklyn (UHB) 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 UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health 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 or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.