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Seminars and Events

Special Screening: A film by John Bruce and Paweł Wojtasik

End of Life

Sunday March 3rd, 2019
Upstate Medical University

Panel discussion

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and reception with the filmmakers, Paweł Wojtasik and John Bruce; and will include members of the Syracuse-area hospice, medical, spiritual and social justice communities.


Challenges and Opportunities in Transgender Health Policy

Kellan E. Baker, MPH, MA
Centennial Scholar, Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Monday, November 26, 2018
Upstate Medical University

Join us for an exploration of the current state of transgender health policy and a discussion of ways that clinicians and researchers can help advance local and national policy agendas that promote the health and well-being of transgender people.


Food Justice Film Screening and Director Q&A: King Corn
Monday, November 6, 2017, 5 to 7 pm
Schine Student Center 304, Syracuse University campus

King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. After the one-hour screening, the director Aaron Woolf will join the audience in a discussion, moderated by food studies professor Rick Welsh.

The film will be captioned and the space is wheelchair accessible. ASL available upon request. For more information, contact Kathleen Szczech at SzczechK@upstate.edu or 315-464-5404. This event is open to Le Moyne College, Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF, and SUNY Upstate Medical University students, staff, and faculty. Presented by the Consortium for Culture and Medicine and the Syracuse University Department of Food Studies

Past Events
Interprofessional Community Workshops

Neighborhood Violence & Trauma in Syracuse
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Members of the Trauma Response Team and Street Addiction Institute, Inc.

panelOver 200 participants—Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff—joined Syracuse community members to learn from the Trauma Response Team about neighborhood violence, historical trauma, and what community members are doing to address the problem. This session involved 25 small group discussions in addition to the panel. See: http://blogs.upstate.edu/withdistinction/2017/03/23/students-reflect-onneighborhood-violence-trauma-workshop/

Refugee Experiences & Health in Syracuse: Perspectives from Inside Two Communities
Wed., March 29, 2017
Monu Chhetri, Founder, Deaf Refugee Coalition of Syracuse
Andrea Shaw, MD, Upstate Medical University

Over 200 participants—Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff—joined with members of the refugee/New American community and those who work with them to learn from the panelists and problem-solve in interprofessional small group discussions.

Disability, Critical Design and Collective Access
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Aimi Hamraie, PhD, Vanderbilt University

viewingOver 100 participants-—Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff—joined with members of the Syracuse community in this interactive workshop on disability, accessibility, and design thinking.

Past Seminars and Events

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More Past Seminars and Events

The Changing Face of American Abortion Laws: Medicine, Politics, and Policy

Jonathan Parent, PhD, Political Science, Le Moyne College

September 16, 2016 While no legal restrictions on abortion access existed in the late 18th century, statutes targeting the practice began to appear by the 1820s. Indeed, New York was among the first states to ban abortion, passing what was at the time arguably the most draconian law against the procedure in 1828. By the turn of the 20th century, the intentional termination of a pregnancy was a felony in every state in the country. The conflict over abortion policy in American society, then, is far from a recent development, despite the sea change represented by the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. How supporters and opponents of legal abortions have understood, articulated, and framed their positions, however, has shifted dramatically over time. This talk will focus on how Americans’ perceptions of abortion have evolved from a concern on the part of physicians about the safety of the procedure to an ongoing debate about a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy that dominates political discourse to this day. What is revealed from this longitudinal look is a fascinating story of how medicine, politics, and the law all intersect in an attempt to create policy surrounding one of the most controversial issues in our society.

Deaf Awareness Panel

Michael Schwartz, PhD, Monu Chhetri, Jennifer Wissman and Roman Kazragis

September 22, 2015 A conversation with a deaf Nepalese New American who interprets for the refugee community, a deaf law professor, an international sign language interpreter, and a deaf educator.

The knowledge and skills that clinicians gain from this informative conversation can translate into improved communication—and thus better healthcare—for all sorts of people, whatever their culture and communication modality.

Border Crossings:
Communication Across Cultures and Languages in Health Care

Jeremy Brunson, PhD, Monu Chhetri, Jennifer Wissman

March 19, 2015 A professor of sociology and sign language interpretation, a Deaf Bhutanese woman who leads the community-wide Deaf Refugee Coalition in Syracuse, and a sign language interpreter with international experience discuss issues of cultural and linguistic differences in health care and best practices for cross-cultural communication and collaboration.

Does Lethal Language lead to Lethal Treatment? End-of-Life Issues

William J. Peace, PhD, Renee Crown Honors Program,
The Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor
Humanities Center, Syracuse University

March 28, 2014. We will discuss the decision-making strategies that take place immediately after devastating injuries, focusing in particular on decisions to remove patients from life-sustaining treatment. Of particular interest are patient autonomy, the notion of dignity, terminal sedation, and VSED (voluntary suspension of eating and drinking).

The story of Timothy Bowers, the hunter who was taken off life-sustaining treatment twenty-four hours after experiencing a devastating spinal cord injury, will serve as a test case.

Disability: A Complex Interaction in a Globel Context

Mujde Koca-Atabey, PhD, Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies, Syracuse University

November 6, 2013. Disability is defined differently in different parts of the world, and the experiences of disabled people are largely shaped by these definitions. The talk explores how disability can lead to anxiety or growth, depending on personal, social and cultural circumstances.

Dr. Sarah Loguen Fraser's Legacy:
Gender, Race, Medical Education, and Health Disparities

Sarah Berry, PhD, English Department, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

April 29, 2013. Dr. Sarah Loguen Fraser was one of the first Africa American women to earn a medical degree in the United States. Why and how did she address healtcare disparities 150 years ago? What challenges to diversity in meicine do we face today, how are diversity in medical education and healthcare disparities linked, and how can we address these challenges?

Disabilities, Illness, and Medicine: Poets as Patient Educators

Jim Ferris, Stephen Kuusisto, Laurie Clements Lambeth

March 28, 2013. Why do we teach poetry, memoir, and creative prose written by those who seek health care alongside anatomy, the basic sciences, and the organ systems and read it as a part of lifelong learning? How can the perspectives of those who have had deep experiences with health care as patients shape the way you practice medicine and nursing?

Join us for a creative conversation with poets and disability studies scholars whose writing looks back at health care from the patient’s perspective.

Cognitive and Dialiectical Behavior Therapy as Health Promotion Strategies

Jaak Rakfeldt, PhD, Social Work Department, Southern Connecticut State University

March 25, 2013. The presentation will focus on the wellness fostering aspects of Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (CBT/DBT). While CBT and DBT are recognized as present-focused, action-oriented, evidence-based best practice psychotherapies for many forms of mental health and substance use problems, CBT/DBT strategies, skills, and techniques may also serve to promote general health and well being as well.

The Consortium for Culture and Medicine Celebrates 30 Years & Honors Dr. Robert W. Daly

Dr. Robert Pickett, Dr. Thomas Ewens, and Dr. Robert Daly

April 14, 2009. The Syracuse Consortium for the Cultural Foundations of Medicine was founded in 1978 by Dr. Robert Pickett, Syracuse University, Dr. Thomas Ewens from Le Moyne College. and Dr. Robert Daly, SUNY Upstate Medical University (left to right).


The Consortium for Culture and Medicine is a collaborative endeavor between SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse University and Le Moyne College to engage in scholarship related to the cultural foundations of medical theory and practice. It serves a unique function by aligning the three institutions and uniting scholarly exploration across them – moving beyond discipline-specific or profession-centered education to a truly interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge. 

For info contact Consortium Director Rebecca Garden. All Consortium Seminars are wheelchair accessible; sign language interpretation available upon request.