May 15, 2024
Abrahams-Nichols honored as 2024 Woman of Distinction
uupdate 05-15-24

By Kate Morano, UUP Staff Writer

Redetha Abrahams-Nichols, UUP Downstate Chapter President, was honored May 14 with a 2024 Women of Distinction award to celebrate her extraordinary work to keep SUNY Downstate University Hospital open.

Abrahams-Nichols, pictured above with State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, has passionately defended SUNY Downstate over the past five months as UUP successfully warded off efforts by SUNY and Chancellor John King Jr. to close the Central Brooklyn public teaching hospital.

Myrie, a key ally to UUP in the fight to save Downstate, selected Abrahams-Nichols to receive the award.

"I hope this award brings awareness to the issues surrounding Downstate," she said.

She noted that Downstate workers and members of the Central Brooklyn community are optimistic about a nine-member community advisory commission that will assess the next steps towards revitalizing SUNY Downstate. The commission, approved as part of the enacted 2024-2025 state budget, will include a UUP representative.

"Redetha is an incredible advocate for SUNY Downstate and for UUP," said Kowal. "Her strength and dedication have been invaluable in the fight to save this hospital to continue providing the best care possible to the people of Central Brooklyn."

Abrahams-Nichols, a member of UUP’s statewide Executive Board, has worked in health care for 26 years, including over a decade as assistant director of nursing in Downstate’s Emergency Department. She served on the frontlines of the pandemic at Downstate and has witnessed multiple attempts by the state to close the hospital she loves so much.

"All of us at UUP are incredibly proud that Redetha's efforts have been recognized by the Senate," said Kowal.

"This award will bring transparency and accountability to this group tasked with spending millions to save this hospital," Abrahams-Nichols said. The Senate has honored extraordinary women from across the state for 26 years through its Women of Distinction program. The women chosen for this honor have made their mark on their communities, as well as the state as a whole. Sixty-one women were selected to receive the award this year, one from each Senate district.

"You don't think of what you do as extraordinary, but believe me, you are anything but ordinary," said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in her address to the honorees. "Your presence here inspires the next generation."

"It is important we continue this tradition to acknowledge the countless ways women have and will continue to shape their community and beyond," said state Sen. Lea Webb, who serves as chair of the senate's Women’s Issues Committee. "When you add women, you change everything.”

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