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Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP, begins first day as Upstate Medical University's new president

Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP, begins first day as Upstate Medical University's new president

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP, began her first day as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University today, Jan. 14. As Upstate’s seventh president, she oversees the region’s largest employer with more than 9,000 employees. Upstate educates more than 1,500 students in its colleges of Health Professions, Graduate Studies, Medicine and Nursing, features a $30-million-plus research enterprise and includes the area’s largest hospital, Upstate University Hospital.

Laraque-Arena succeeds Gregory L. Eastwood, MD, who has served as interim president since October 2013.

Laraque-Arena’s selection as president was approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees last September. During the transition period, Laraque-Arena has had a busy schedule of meetings with leaders of area SUNY institutions, local community leaders and elected officials, as well as with Upstate faculty, staff and stuidents.

She previously served as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Maimonides Medical Center and vice president of Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn.

From 2000 to 2010, she served as professor of pediatrics and the endowed Debra and Leon Black Professor of Pediatrics, as well as the chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. During her tenure at Mount Sinai, she focused on growing innovative clinical pediatric programs, strengthening the academic teaching in support of the primary care residency training, and building the infrastructure for robust research in primary care through the HRSA Clinician-Research Fellowship Program. She also served on the faculty at Columbia University.

Over the course of her career, Laraque-Arena has been involved in working with local communities, including founding three separate child protection, multi-disciplinary teams evaluating and treating abused and neglected children (Harlem Hospital Pediatric Resource Center, Family Support Program (1990-2000), Mount Sinai Child and Family Support Program (2000-2010), and the Maimonides Infants and Children’s Brooklyn, Pediatric Specialty Consultation Program (2010-present)). In 2011, she was nominated to be a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Integrating Primary Care and Public Health that was charged with examining the best ways to integrate public health and primary care to assure healthy communities.

Laraque-Arena is also a leader in her academic field, having been a United States Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow, a president of the Academic Pediatric Association, and a member of the National Institute of Mental Health Standing Committee on Interventions for Disorders Involving Children and Their Families. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and a current board member of the AAP.

She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in injury prevention, child abuse, adolescent health risk behaviors, and issues critical to health care delivery in underserved communities and is the recipient of numerous academic, research, community and public service awards.

Laraque-Arena received her M.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine and her BS in chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her internship and residency were completed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in General Academic Pediatrics.

Laraque-Arena was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and immigrated to the United States in 1962. She is multi-lingual (French, Creole, Italian, and English). She is married to Luigi Arena, M.D., Ph.D., and the mother of two, Marc Anthony Arena and Julia Marie Arena.