President of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush, Dr. Jonn LaRosa, is stepping down from the position after 13 years of service, according to a release made by Downstate.
LaRosa plans to return to Downstate and his faculty duties after a year's sabbatical, the release continues.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher noted a search for an acting president is underway, and until a candidate is selected, Dr. Ian Taylor has been appointed to serve as officer-in-charge. With oversight from Zimpher, he will work alongside UHB CEO Debra Carey and CFOs Alan Dzija and David Ho to continue operations.
Taylor is and will continue to serve as dean of Downstate's College of Medicine and senior vice president for biomedical education and research.
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“Throughout Dr. LaRosa’s presidency, his deep clinical experience, forward-looking approach to medicine and passion for his work were appreciated by students and staff alike,” said Taylor in the release. “We wish Dr. LaRosa an enjoyable year of leave and look forward to his return to the medical community in an academic capacity.”
LaRosa's departure comes at an already trying time for Downstate as it looks to consolidate operations to gain financial stability and enhance clinical revenue without closing any facilities. Taylor noted LaRosa's departure will not impact plans to move forward with these goals.
According to The New York Times, a group appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to recommend the restructuring of health care in Brooklyn urged last fall that the hospital shift its operations from central Brooklyn to Long Island College Hospital’s campus in Cobble Hill.
LaRosa came out against that recommendation, saying it failed to acknowledge the role that East Flatbush's SUNY Downstate played in health care education in the borough, as its only medical school.
Most recently, when it opened the first clinic dedicated to treating non-FDNY 9/11 responders living in Brooklyn who suffer from ailments related to exposures at Ground Zero. LaRosa helped spearhead the initiative.