Good afternoon, everyone. What a pleasure to be with you here today. My name is Alexander Schwartzman and I have the great pleasure of being an interim chair of the Department of Surgery at the only university hospital of Brooklyn. And that’s, indeed, the University Hospital of Brooklyn, which is part of the State University of New York. We call ourselves Downstate Medical Center. Certainly, it is an absolute pleasure to spend a little time with you and tell you about myself. I’m a general surgeon, which is really a specialist in a variety of diseases and illnesses that require surgical intervention. It could be anything from a hernia to breast surgery to gallbladder surgery. But the key point is about coming to the university hospital and to the Downstate Medical Center. We are the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, and we are on the campus of the State University of New York.
What that gives a patient, it should, is a sense of comfort, knowing that they’re coming to an academic medical center. It is a center that is dedicated to teaching the residents and the faculty and the medical students. And so the level of technical expertise, and the ability to take care of the patient, is also corresponding to the person’s ability to be a good presence, a good teacher, and a good citizen of our campus. And so when a person comes to us, they can be assured of being treated with dignity and respect. With dignity that is commensurate with our own cultural expectations and deep respect for others as well. Coming to us is something that we consider a great honor. You have so many choices to choose where you want to go, for yourselves, for your children, for your parents, for your loved ones, for care. And the fact that you chose our hospital is a sign for us that we are going to do everything and all possible to make sure that you are treated with highest quality of medical care in a respectful fashion.