Jacobs School Continues Helping Others Despite Tragedies

Published July 21, 2022

This past weekend, I heard about 716 Day (July 16) for the first time. It was obvious that area residents have built up this day that celebrates their area code and their pride in the City of Good Neighbors. In true Buffalo fashion, 716 Day has transformed into an opportunity for the community to give back, too. 

This is something I truly love about Western New York and what drew me to this area. I’ve seen firsthand over the last several months, especially here at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, how this community reacts to tragedy. Through anger, pain and grief, Buffalo always finds strength, and channels those emotions to help others.  

When the horrific May 14 shooting occurred at the Tops Friendly Market, just a mile from our downtown building, students, faculty and staff alike jumped into motion. They collected food and other needed staples to support our Jefferson Avenue neighbors in what had become a food desert without an open grocery store for weeks. Now our school is working with the community on ways we can continue to provide support to address the long-term issues of health equity.

When our beloved Dr. David Hughes, senior associate dean for clinical affairs, unexpectedly passed away only days later, there was an outpouring of support and many of you donated to the David Paul Hughes, MD, Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honor.  

Most recently, we mourned the loss of Dr. Jonathan D. Daniels, who perished in a house fire on July 4, along with two of his adult daughters. As our associate director of admissions, he tirelessly advocated for diversity in the school and the medical community. While this loss is still raw, it has already become a catalyst to carry on Dr. Daniels’ legacy, starting with a fund to support students of color and other who have been historically represented in medicine.

I’m thrilled to see students like Beatrice González stepping up to lead the First Annual Jonathan D. Daniels, M.D. Memorial School Drive, on Sunday, July 31, 2022, which will benefit Buffalo area kindergartners through 12th-graders. I have no doubt that this is just the start of great things to follow at the Jacobs School.  

We have been tested time and time again in this great city and continue to find light where there is darkness. If Buffalo is known for anything, it’s strength and resiliency.

I’m so proud to be part of this community and part of the Jacobs School.        

With gratitude,
Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President of Health Sciences
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences