UUP President Fred Kowal: Community Outcry, Support Keeps SUNY Downstate Hospital Open

By UUP | April 19, 2024

“Following months of rallies, marches, community forums, intense media coverage, and public outcry in response to the SUNY chancellor’s proposed plan to close SUNY Downstate University Hospital, the Legislature and the governor have responded. It is clear that Downstate is a vital resource to the community and must remain open.

“As the New York state budget is finalized, we recognize and appreciate the crucial funding allocated to support the hospital and the 400,000 patients it serves annually—while it continues to offer a full array of diverse, vital services.

“Another important detail included in the final budget agreement is the nine-person community advisory board that will help inform decisions about the hospital’s future. The formation of the advisory board, which will include union representation, effectively kills SUNY’s plan—hatched in January and concocted without any public input—to shut down the hospital and scatter its services across Brooklyn.

“We look forward to working with our community, health care, labor, and government partners to ensure SUNY Downstate Hospital remains a pillar of the Central Brooklyn community for years to come.”


UUP is the nation’s largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.