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Volume 17, No. 10, October 2014

A Record Radiothon

The 2014 GCH Radiothon that was broadcast live from Upstate on September 10 and 11 was a huge success thanks to the generosity of so many people, the support of Y94 and 570WSYR, and the help of the many volunteers who stepped up to make it all happen. In fact, thie two day event raised over $140,000.00, our biggest total ever for this event, and up by more than $60,000 from last year! And 100% of those generous donations will go to the kids of the GCH. Thank you again!

The 2014 Radiothon volunteers hard at work

(Thanks to Jamie Cary for the picture)

New NICU Faculty

Pediatrics warmly welcomes the newest member of the Crouse NICU. Melissa Nelson, M.D. started July 1, 2014 and introduces herself to us:
"I have always been an Upstate New Yorker at heart, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be back home. I grew up in Rochester and attended college at Cornell University, where I met my husband, Christian, who coincidentally is also from Rochester. I graduated from Upstate in 2008 (formerly Melissa Urckfitz before I got married). We then moved to Providence, RI for my pediatric residency at Brown and then to New Haven, CT for my neonatology fellowship at Yale. Our son, Cooper, was born during my fellowship, and we quickly realized how important it was for us to move back to Upstate NY after my training. I was offered the opportunity to come and work at Crouse’s busy regional perinatal center, and the chance to be back within the Upstate community again was something that I could not pass up. I am grateful for the education and initial training that I received while at Upstate and I am so excited to begin contributing to the education of medical students and residents here. I look forward to meeting the rest of the members of the pediatric department and working with you to care for the babies of CNY!"

Dr. Melissa Nelson and family

Welcome, again, Dr. Nelson!

Happy 5th Birthday

The GCH just turned five years old. The birthday party was held on Friday, Sept 26th, with lots of fun and festivities that included an official ceremony with various Upstate dignitaries sharing their birthday thoughts, music, face painting, games, and LOTS of goodies. A great time was had by all in celebration of five years of health care to our community and its kids.

The GCH Celebrates its 5th birthday - Photos by Crier ad hoc reporter Sarah Irish, and Mary Laverty

Since first opening in 2009, the GCH (and all of its wonderful attendings, nurses, residents, and staff) has taken care of over 22,000 kids from all over New York State and, in fact, the world. You can read more about the GCH's first five years on Upstate Online. Note that the number in the middle of the picture represent the amount raised for the GCH by the Foundation since opening (close to 9 million dollars!).

Meeting Face-to-Facebook

Speaking of children from around the world, one example of this was how a family from Turkey was able to connect with Dr. Zulma Tovar-Spinoza through Facebook and subsequently bring their daughter to the GCH for a breakthrough surgery. You can read the full story at UpstateOnline.

Fall Faculty Convocation Honorees

The Annual Fall Faculty Convocation and Presentation of Awards was held on Weds Sept 17 at 4 PM. We are so proud that two members of our department were honored this year: Ann Botash (President's Award for Excellence in Teaching) and Mary Lou Lake (Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service).

Dr. Ann Botash and Mary Lou Lake with their awards

Name-that-baby (bird) winner

Last month, we announced the first baby born at the GCH. A mother pigeon built her nest on the 12th floor just outside the media room. Since then, baby pigeon has grown up and finally flew the coop. In fact, his/her last full day at the GCH before discharge was 9/8. Thanks to Regina McConnell for this picture of him taken just a day before takeoff.

Gollie Sano

Last month the Crier offered a prize to whoever could come up with the best name for our first GCH baby. Congratulations to Barb Delaney for suggesting we call him (or her?) Gollie (as in Upstate Gollie-sano Children's Hospital). Maybe he'll be back next year to make a nest of his gollie!

Assassins Still at Large

Starting in late August, a large percentage of the residents participated in a game called "Assassin". The goal was to be able to place a post-it on the front of your secret victim. Once they are assassinated, they need to give you the name of their victim who becomes your next target. At the time of publication we still do not have a winner but throughout the month of September many of our best and brightest fell prey to an unforeseen assassin. The game instigator, himself, much to the sorrow of his assassin peers, was quietly eliminated on a sad day in September (note that the chiefs have hung this picture in their office in memory). We will keep you posted...

A recently assassinated Jeremy (note the yellow "gotcha" sticker)

Up the Lazy River

Dr. Lebel invited any interested residents (and students) on the annual Pontoon Cruise up the river to Onondaga Lake. The first voyage was on 9/7 and included Erin Donahue, and MSIV Nick Augustine and his wife. Thanks to Erin for the picture of Capt. Lebel at the helm.

Capt. Bob Lebel

Birthday Party at the Fair

The GCH invited all of the kids of CNY to help celebrate its 5th birthday at this year's State Fair Aug 29th. Pictured is Mary Laverty and Rebecca Mesmer, (partly cut off), with our new sparkly game wheel. Mary made GCH-related questions like, "How many colors of paint are there in the GCH?", "How many of those are shades of blue?" and fun stuff like that to engage the kids and then they could select an item to take for playing.

GCH Day at the New York State Fair

Probst Promotion

Congratulations to Luke Probst,PharmD, BCPS, who has accepted the position of Director of Pharmacy at Upstate. Luke has been a member of the Upstate Pharmacy team since 2002, serving as a Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist, and later, Associate Director of Pharmacy-Pediatric Services before being appointed as Director of Pharmacy. He has been serving as the Interim Director since November of 2013.

Special Delivery

Congratulations to former resident Ashley Meyer and her fiance Russ Willison on the arrival of baby girl Olivia Jane Willison on Sept 14th at 7 lbs 2 ounces Mom, dad , and Olivia are all doing great!

Welcome Olivia Jane

On Her Own Time at the GCH

In case you missed it, our very own Dr. Sue Stred's quilts were on display throughout the month of September as part of the GCH Gallery's "On My Own Time" exhibit. Thanks to Mary Laverty for the pictures.

Dr. Sue Stred's hand-made quilts

October Events

Oct 5 —2014 Memory Tree Leafing Ceremony (
Oct 10 —Inclusive Fitness Conference (
Oct. 21-23 —The Oski Visiting Professor –Fiona Levy, M.D.

10/1 Sarah Marsh
10/11 Katharine Chang, Sue Sheffield
10/15 Alicia Pekarsky
10/16 Vicki Keeler
10/20 Caitlin Stiglmeier
10/22 Howard Weinberger
10/23 Frank Smith
10/29 Dalia Eid
10/30 Lindsay Tamborelle

For past issues of the Pediatric Crier visit our Online Archives.

Questions? Rave Reviews? Article suggestions? Contact Patty Mondore, Dept. of Pediatrics.
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