Upstate to hold annual Celebration of the Faculty March 20

Upstate to hold annual Celebration of the Faculty March 20

The event was originally scheduled for March 14, but was postponed due to the winter storm.

“The Celebration of the Faculty is my favorite event of the year,” said Paula M. Trief, PhD, senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs & Faculty Development and professor of psychiatry and medicine at Upstate. “It bringstogether our diverse and talented faculty to recognize the outstandingaccomplishments of so many. It also provides a chance for us to join as acommunity in mutual recognition and support.”

Seven faculty members will receive Upstate’s 2017 Gold Standardawards for demonstrating dedication, passion, vision and commitment totheir work and to Upstate. The recipients are:

-Barbara L. Feuerstein, MD, associate professor, Medicine
Feuerstein helped launch Upstate’s Joslin Diabetes Center where shecontinues to gain the respect and admiration of her many patients whoare treated for diabetes and endocrine conditions. She supports Joslin’stransgender program, and, as a certified specialist in Integrative andHolistic Medicine, she was instrumental in introducing integrativemedicine techniques in the management of obesity and diabetes for thepractice. She has volunteered at the Poverello free clinic for the past12 years, caring for individuals with diabetes and other endocrinedisorders who lack insurance; she also has worked with refugee familiesin Syracuse. She has participated in international medical missions,caring for people with diabetes and other endocrine disorders inimpoverished areas while teaching pre-med students in the field. AtUpstate, she has assisted the medical school admissions group for thepast 20 years. She served on the board of directors of the SyracuseRegional Chapter and is a past Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundationhonoree.

-Teresa M. Hargrave, MD, MPH, associate professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Hargrave is a community expert who bridges the gap between children andfamilies with emotional and behavioral problems and local mental healthservices. Fluent in Spanish, she dedicates part of her private practiceto working with families whose sole language is Spanish. She developed aclinical rotation for child fellows on early child development anddeveloped and teaches the Pediatric Mental Health Lecture Series forPediatric Residency Program. She has led the SUNY Upstate Child andAdolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care Physicians (CAPPC) program, acollaboration between five university medical centers to address theunmet need for mental health services for children and adolescents inNew York State. Hargrave is a member of several initiatives, includingthe Upstate Active Learning Collaborative and the Academic AffairsCommittee. This past year she was honored by graduating residents of theDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as an “OutstandingTeacher, Mentor and Guide.”

-Moustafa Hassan, MD, associate professor, Surgery and Anesthesiology
One of Hassan’s nominators says that he “is dedicated, enthusiastic andpassionate about trauma and acute care surgery and almostsingle-handidly transformed the General Surgery coverage at Upstate intothe more contemporary and efficient acute care surgery model.” Afaculty member for 10 years, he has served as medical director of TraumaServices, director of the Surgical ICU and director of Acute CareSurgery. He is considered by his peers to be a superb clinician,respected educator and a humanitarian. Hassan is the driving force andco-founder of the Rahma Free Clinic, a “safety net” for Central NewYorkers who lack health insurance. An exceptional clinician, he is anexpert in abdominal wall reconstruction, managing patients who havesurgical catastrophes. Due to his expertise in abdominal wallreconstruction, Upstate has received referrals from surgeons throughoutthe region. Hassan is respected by medical students and residents forhis teaching abilities and has been selected for a number of teachingawards throughout his career.

-Dilip S. Kittur, MD, ScD, FACS, Surgery
Kittur is division chief of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery andmedical director of the Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery Program. Anominator credits him as “a true expert in the field who immediatelyembraced the laparoscopic donor program and sailed with the program intothe success it maintained.” Kittur started the first Hepato-biliaryacademic surgery program in Central New York that now attracts patientsfrom throughout the region as well as surgeons and researchers fromother universities. Prior to the program, patients traveled to distantsites for this highly specialized surgery.  Kittur’s calm demeanor inthe operating room and while teaching students and residents how toperform a surgical task, in addition to his approachability, has madehim one of the most popular physicians and educators at Upstate and inthe region.

-Mark Polhemus, MD, associate professor, Medicine
Polhemus serves as director of Upstate’s Center for Global Health &Translational Science (CGHTS). A nominator says that he “demonstratescommitment, vision and a deep sincerity for global health...embodying thevalue of Upstate through his innovative work, respect for hiscolleagues, service to Upstate while demonstrating a high degree ofintegrity and the embracement of diversity.”  Under his leadership, theCGHTS program has emerged as a $20 million research enterprise withstudies in vaccine trials, a human infection model for the dengue virusand overseas research in Ecuador. He strengthened Upstate’s globalhealth education program for medical students. The program sponsored sixstudent rotations in Ecuador, resulting in three of the studentspresenting at an international conference and writing a manuscript forpublication.  For his outstanding leadership in global health education,Polhemus received the International Educator of the Year by theInternational Center of Syracuse in 2014.

-Brian W. Thompson, MD, assistant professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology; associate dean for diversity
Thompson helped to develop the midwifery program at Upstate’s CommunityCampus, currently serving as the program’s medical director. He hasserved as director of quality assurance for Obstetrics and Gynecologyand is instrumental in promoting safe care for women within the CentralNew York region. He has been appointed to numerous national committeesfor the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),including the National Committee for American Indian/Alaska NativeWomen’s Health. He serves as a resource for ACOG in its understanding ofNative American affairs and inequities in care. His medical studentsand residents call him an outstanding educator, role model and an idealmentor.

-Robert W. Zajdel, PhD, assistant professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
According to a nominator, “as an instructor for now 20 years, Zajdelremains patient and thorough in both the lecture hall and lab and he hasan excellent knowledge of the material that is constantly improving.”His students call him one of the most approachable teachers at Upstate,helping them to feel relaxed and excellently guiding them in theirstudies to maximize their learning. As Anatomy and Cell Biology ThreadLeader, Zajdel creates a positive working environment for students,faculty and course directors. His work ethic and consistentcommunications with unit directors is a model for success, encouragingpositive teamwork between members of his and other teams. As a unitdirector for the Circulatory, Respiratory 1 Unit, he is successful inbalancing the load of content weaving through his unit. He is creditedby a nominator as being “quite simply, a leader in medical educationhere at Upstate.”

The Celebration of the Faculty and the Gold Standard Awards areincluded among the university’s programs that recognize and supportmembers of the faculty. Other such programs offered by Upstate’s officeof Faculty Affairs & Faculty Development include the Academy ofUpstate Educators, comprised of highly innovative and excellenteducators who also serve as a resource to colleagues foreducation-related consultations; and an innovative “trackless” promotionsystem for full- and part-time College of Medicine faculty. Upstatealso recognizes the accomplishments of its faculty members at the annualFall Faculty Convocation ceremony.

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