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September 24, 2013
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate earns CEO Gold Standard Accreditation

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University is leading by example when it comes to promoting workplace wellness and encouraging healthier behavior.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer has awarded Upstate with CEO Gold Standard Accreditation for its efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for its employees and covered family members by promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging early detection through cancer screenings, and ensuring access to quality treatment

Upstate becomes the only hospital in Syracuse to earn this accreditation. Nationally, 154 institutions have received this designation.

“We are pleased to recognize the efforts of SUNY Upstate Medical University and their dedication to health care that begins with improving the health and wellness of their own employees,” said Christopher A. Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi and chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

“An academic medical center leads by example and ensuring that our employees and their families have the knowledge, opportunities and encouragement to lead healthy lifestyles, especially when it relates to cancer, enhances the care we offer our patients,” said David R. Smith, MD, president of Upstate Medical University.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a nonprofit organization of CEOs founded by former President George H.W. Bush, created the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, many of its designated cancer centers, and leading nonprofit, health organizations. The Gold Standard calls for companies to evaluate their health benefits and corporate culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to reduce the risk of cancer in the workplace.

To earn Gold Standard accreditation, a company must establish programs to reduce cancer risk by discouraging tobacco use; encourage physical activity; promote healthy diet and nutrition; detecting cancer at its earliest stages; and provide access to quality care, including participation in clinical trials. Today, over four million employees and family members are benefiting from the vision and leadership of the over 150 employers who have chosen to become Gold Standard accredited.

Upstate has developed numerous initiatives to demonstrate its commitment to building a healthy workplace, especially as it relates to cancer. The initiatives include:

— creation of a tobacco-free workplace and campus. Upstate became the

SUNY campus to be free smoke.

— provide coverage, at no cost or low cost, to employees for tobacco-cessation treatments (counseling, prescription and non-prescription medications).

— provide tobacco-cessation programming.

— sustain a culture that values, supports and promotes healthy food choices.

— provide access to healthy weight and/or nutrition/weight control programming.

— sustain a culture that values, supports and promotes physical activities.

— provide access to opportunities for physical activity. Upstate holds a series of mile lunch hour walks and other fitness activities during the workday, as well as opportunities to participate in area races and walks and has an on-site fitness center.

— sustain a culture that values, supports and promotes the prevention, screening and early detection of cancer.

— ensure that health-benefit plans cover, at either no cost or low cost, screenings for breast, colorectal, lung and cervical cancer, and cancer prevention vaccines.

— ensure that health benefit plans process access to cancer treatment at Commission on Cancer-accredited programs and/or National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers.

— provide education about cancer clinical trials.

— ensure that health benefits plans offer access to provide coverage for current standard of care when covered individuals are participating in cancer clinical trials.

Upstate is currently building a $75 million cancer center that will house the academic medical center’s outpatient cancer services and be home to a full range of cancer services and treatments, including Gamma Knife, Vero SBRT and IMRT. Upstate records more than 112,000 patient visits annually for cancer treatment services.

In addition to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15 NCI-designated cancer centers and more than 40 other hospitals and medical centers have earned Gold Standard accreditation. CEOs from across industries are keenly aware of the tremendous impact they can have in improving health, controlling health care costs and making a difference beyond their organization’s walls in the effort to address cancer and other chronic diseases. Other Gold Standard employers include insurers like Aetna, Cigna, State Farm and several Blue Cross affiliates; law firms, such as Hogan Lovells and Jenner + Block; technology companies such as Dell and SAS Institute; and a range of leading employers including American Century Investments, Johnson & Johnson and Lowe’s.

For more information on the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ and the web-based accreditation process and support, please visit

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