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    History Is Made As JOWMA Advisory Board Member Miriam Andrusier And Her Lesbian Partner Paige Herman Are The First Same-Gender Couple From SUNY Downstate To Attend Harvard Together

    According to a news release article posted on the website of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Miriam Andrusier, a member of the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association (JOWMA) Advisory Board will be attending Harvard University with her lesbian partner, Paige Herman:

    SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) announced a historic match for two of its fourth-year students during the 2021 Match Day celebrations. Paige Herman and Miriam Andrusier are the first same-sex couple from Downstate to match to their first choice at Harvard University’s Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, respectively. Ms. Herman and Ms. Andrusier celebrated the exciting news with family and friends on Match Day after opening their email notices.

    “SUNY Downstate celebrates with all our students and their families,” said Downstate president Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “We are incredibly proud of Paige and Miriam on their history-making news and the fantastic opportunities that lie ahead for them. That this great news happened during Women’s History Month allows us to celebrate Paige and Miriam meaningfully in the competitive world of healthcare.”

    “Match Day is a hectic time for our students and their families amid all the suspense,” said College of Medicine dean F. Charles Brunicardi, M.D. “We are excited that Paige and Miriam will be able to live their professional dreams together and know that they will continue to make Downstate proud.”

    Paige and Miriam, Brooklyn residents who met in their first year at Downstate, decided to apply to Harvard and rank it as their number one choice despite the uncertainty of being matched together.

    “For several months, our lives have been filled with much uncertainty, between the pandemic and the first all-virtual application cycle. We also had the added worry that we might not match in the same city. We are both ecstatic and relieved by this result which represents our shared dream,” said Ms. Herman. “My mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, and she inspired me to expand my studies in immunology and to pursue a career in rheumatology.” Ms. Herman has six publications to her name, including three first-author publications, and hopes to continue doing research.

    As a gay woman in the Hasidic faith, I hope to create avenues for other women from the ultra-Orthodox community to pursue careers in medicine,

    said Ms. Andrusier. She plans a career as an obstetrician-gynecologist and serves on the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association’s Advisory Board. “I have the desire to support my community’s development with pride, authenticity, and open-mindedness.”

    Miriam Andrusier, a 2020 inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, was also a 2018 recipient of the Downstate Alumni Association Research Fellowship Grant. She was born and raised in Crown Heights as an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jew, attending all-girls schools, and then spent a year in Israel studying Judaic, Talmudic, and mystical studies. She earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Yeshiva University and completed her Master’s in Public Health with a Health Policy and Management concentration at SUNY Downstate.

    Miriam graduated with honors and was inducted into the Beta Iota Chapter of Delta Omega, and received the Roy Milner Seideman, M.D. Award for Academic Excellence. Miriam plans to pursue a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). Her research includes studies on social media’s influence on healthcare delivery and patient satisfaction in this field throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Originally from Long Island, Paige Herman received the 2018 Downstate Alumni Association

    Research Grant and the Distinction in Foundations of Medicine Award—for students who have maintained an average of 90 or higher in medical knowledge and patient care across the six units of the pre-clinical curriculum.

    A 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society inductee, Paige completed her undergraduate degree in Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, she completed a summer internship at The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and worked studying the molecular patterns associated with spontaneous functional recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) in the lamprey.

    After graduating from Johns Hopkins, she continued working on this project under the mentorship of Dr. Ona Bloom at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Paige also worked on additional clinical research projects investigating the immunologic changes in individuals living with SCI and collaborated and contributed to publications in this area throughout medical school.

    The pair will formally announce their engagement shortly and plan to move to Boston before beginning residency this summer.

    Ms. Andrusier also introduced the class in women’s health, which was given in January of this year, hosted by JOWMA, and sponsored by Shalom Task Force. Emes News had an extensive expose of the class earlier this year. It is unclear why the final cut of that class which was released on JOWMA’s YouTube page cut Ms. Andrusier out of the footage. Raw footage is below. She is on the top left. (Notice that she has the label of “Jewish Orthodox Womens Medical Ass…” as her name, indicating that she was likely one of the main if not the main moderator.):

    (The footage also indicates Dr. Shoshonnah Frydman, executive director of Shalom Task Force, stating that she had recently trained in being a kallah teacher, which was also edited out of the final YouTube cut.)

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    Contributing Editor, Emes News

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