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Upstate Announcements for March 17, 2021

Upstate Remembers to honor Upstate’s Covid patients and staff with a minute of silence and an online service

Upstate Remembers will take place for the entire Upstate community March 18 at 8 p.m. and March 19 at 11 a.m. Listen for the bell and pause for a minute to remember the Upstate Covid patients who have passed away and to honor our staff who have worked incredibly hard throughout this ongoing pandemic.

Electric votive candles to light during the minute of silence will be available for pick up in the main lobbies of Upstate’s downtown and community hospitals next week.

Upstate Remembers will include an online service with remarks from President Dewan, CEO Corona, Spiritual Care’s Rev. Terry Culbertson, and a performance of Amazing Grace sung by Chevelle Jones-Moore. A link to watch the service will be shared March 18.

The words ‘Upstate Remembers’ will be illuminated on the exterior of Upstate University Hospital March 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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Lessons Learned During Covid—Upstate welcomes your insight

Upstate Medical University has experienced a year like no other due to the Covid pandemic. As a learning organization, Upstate is interested in workforce feedback to discover how Upstate functioned this past year.

The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and all input is completely anonymous.

To take the anonymous survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TN62FZV

The survey will close March 31. Input will be used to develop lessons learned, best practices and areas of opportunity. An internal white paper for Upstate reference will be created.

Understanding how Upstate operated during this unprecedented crisis has many practical applications and benefits, and your valuable insight is appreciated. Questions? Contact Holly McCurdy, director of Professional Development and Learning, at McCurdyH@Upstate.edu or 315-464-5236.

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Earth Day and sustainability at Upstate

Earth Day is April 22. Leading up to this day, we will provide information on how Upstate is addressing sustainability issues on our own campus. At Upstate, we have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership through our sustainability practices that will improve patient outcomes, improve the workforce environment and reduce use of resources. In turn, reducing resource consumption will also benefit us by reducing expenses. This all makes us a sustainable hospital.

Upstate Sustainability Impact Fact: In Feb 2019, Upstate transitioned to paper straws to reduce its contribution to marine plastics. One reusable straw equates to 578 straws not ending up in our oceans. The U.S. uses millions of single-use plastic straws a day. Plastic straws are among the top 10 contributor to plastic marine debris across the globe, where over 800 marine species are endangered because of plastic waste in our oceans.

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Upstate cafeterias rollout new wellness initiative featuring healthy options

Morrison Heathcare’s new WellPower initiative will be featured in Upstate cafeterias at both campuses. Bold identifiers will highlight fit, vegetarian and vegan items. Better-for-you sides, entrees and snacks will be available for purchase. Morrison’s goal is to create an environment where guests have the power to make healthy choices in the Upstate cafeterias. The launch will begin today at Upstate University Hospital and March 19 at Upstate Community Hospital.

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Upstate Calendar helps promote virtual events

The Upstate Calendar helps departments promote virtual events. One-time or recurring events open to the public or for select audiences are welcome. To get started, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/webcal/main.php?view=calinfo.

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Session on ergonomics and productivity is March 17

Join Becky Ossevoort, Upstate’s ergonomic specialist, for a presentation on how ergonomics can improve productivity. Why Can’t I Get Anything Done will be held March 17 at noon via WebEx. Tips on how to make your office space healthier and more efficient will be discussed. Presentation is 20 minutes and will be followed by a Q and A. To join, visit https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks. Follow Upstate Pathway to Wellness on Facebook for more. 

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Wellness session on how to eat better is March 17

A virtual session on how we can make healthier food choices is today at 12:30 p.m. via WebEx. Ask questions like, What am I planning to eat today? Linda Carignan-Everts, New York State Employee Assistance Program wellness coordinator, will present this 30-minute session. Register to view at: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/k2/j.php?MTID=t49b339295f7db67c8657302c2ff79f01. Once approved by the host, registrants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session. Password: Wellnys2021. This offering is brought to Upstate through Pathway to Wellness. For more information, email Suzanne Brisk at BriskS@Upstate.edu.

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Heart Challenge Rally Day is March 18

Upstate welcomes you to register for the 2021 Heart Walk March 18 at 9 a.m. through the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge Rally Day. The goal is to register everyone for this year’s Heart Walk in one day. To participate, receive tips on how to recruit, and to register, visit https://heart.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsfumhrzkvEtM7I7rUsr2xWEvkUyPlLOxj. Questions? Email Zanette Howe at HoweZ@Upstate.edu.

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Family Birth Center T-shirt sale orders due by March 19

Upstate Community Hospital’s Family Birth Center T-shirt sale will benefit the Cathy Patrick Breastfeeding Education Fund held at the Upstate Foundation. A portion of funds raised are used for Community’s quality improvement efforts. Place orders by March 19 at https://redcap.upstate.edu/surveys/?s=P3EJALLCRP. Questions? Email NarcavaC@Upstate.edu.

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Bioethics and Humanities Journal Club is March 25

Sondra Mott, RN, will lead the discussion When Does Cancel Culture Become Social Injustice? March 25 at noon during the Bioethics and Humanities Journal Club. For a copy of journal articles and to register, email MuscolinA@Upstate.edu.

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HealthLink with Dr. Bernard Poiesz is March 25

Bernard Poiesz, MD, will discuss recent advances in the systemic treatment of prostate cancer March 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. via Zoom. About 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Most prostate cancers are found in the prostate and nearby organs. Join Dr. Poiesz in this presentation geared to the lay public to learn about the recent advances in the treatment of prostate cancer. To register for a Zoom link, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/rsvp/index.php?eventid=1614698166917&emp=r%22%3EOnline.

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Grateful patients celebrate National Doctors’ Day March 30

Upstate will celebrate National Doctors’ Day March 30 by inviting patients at Upstate University Hospital to pay tribute to their doctors for the extraordinary and compassionate care doctors provide all year round. In addition to a celebratory banner and signage throughout both hospitals, hundreds of handwritten thank you notes from grateful patients honoring their doctors will be distributed.

The Upstate Foundation’s Grateful Patient and Family Program has celebrated National Doctors’ Day at Upstate for 10 years, and the entire Upstate community thanks all our doctors for their dedication and commitment.

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Session on creative ways to save more and spend less is March 31

Join the New York State EAP wellness coordinator for an informational session on creative ways to save more and spend less—the April Well NYS Everyday Monthly Challenge—March 31 at noon. To join the virtual session via WebEx, click the following link and use Wellnys2021 password: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/k2/j.php?MTID=t9e43d93ef86a41e607b07d8f7251b741. For more information, email Suzanne Brisk at BriskS@Upstate.edu.
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Donate Life Month begins April 1

April is National Organ Donation Awareness Month. To show your support, add the donor registration link to your email signature and encourage others to become a donor. To sign up to become an organ donor, visit: https://donatelife.ny.gov/ref/FLDRNUpstateMyChart.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Town Hall is April 7

Join Chief Diversity Officer Daryll Dykes, PhD, MD, JD, for a Town Hall April 7 to discuss Upstate’s action plan to address diversity, equity and inclusion and create a stronger sense of belonging on our campus. More information will be forthcoming.

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Alzheimer’s Association of CNY offers conversation on dementia April 7

A conversation on advance directives, driving safety, and dementia will be offered through the Alzheimer’s Association of CNY April 7 at 4 p.m. To join, visit: https://bit.ly/3vfg8kS and use Meeting ID: 910 4410 0073 Passcode: 152786 Dial by: 1.646.876.9923.

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Managing Finances During a Crisis is April 13 and Defeating Your Debt is April 15

Learn how to create an emergency budget, manage expenses on a reduced income, and explore issues related to debt repayment and credit April 13 at noon. A session on how to negotiate interest rates, negotiate settlements and develop repayment plans will be held April 15 at noon. To join either session, visit: https://upstate.edu.webex.com/meet/brisks. For more information, email Suzanne Brisk at BriskS@Upstate.edu.

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A note on unemployment insurance fraud from the state labor department

Multiple federal and state agencies are reporting an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically public sector employees. Within the SUNY system, the New York State Department of Labor is investigating several cases where unemployment claims appear to have been fraudulently submitted by unknown individuals posing as university employees. Victims of suspected unemployment fraud should immediately report this issue to the New York State Department of Labor, Office of Special Investigations, by telephone: 1-888-598-2077 or online: https://webapps.labor.ny.gov/dews/ui/fraud/report-fraud.shtm. For additional questions or concerns, please contact Employee/Labor Relations at 315-464-5872. 

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AIG Retirement Services and NYS Deferred Comp 457 webinars offered through Human Resources

AIG is hosting a free educational comprehensive financial planning workshop on the following topics: cash management, retirement planning, investment planning, tax planning, risk management, and long-term care.  To learn more and register please visit the HR Benefits webpage at https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/index.php.

The NYS Deferred Compensation will be holding deferred comp 457b enrollment and pre-retirement webinars throughout the month of March.  Webinars will also be hosted for employees whose primary language in Spanish.  To learn more about these webinars, please visit the HR Benefits Announcements webpage at https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/index.php.

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2020 Dependent Care and Health Care Spending reminders

Dependent Care Advantage Account: A grace period is now available for the 2020 plan year. The grace period provides eligible participants with an additional 2 1/2 months (January 1 to March 15) to incur dependent care expenses for reimbursement from the remaining balance of their 2020 DCAA. The last day to submit DCAA claims is March 31, 2021 for expenses incurred through March 15, 2021. The grace period will allow employees to utilize any unused amounts in their DCAA that would normally be forfeited at the end of a plan year. The grace period is applicable for the DCAA only, as long as the employee had a DCAA as of December 31, 2020.

Health Care Spending Account: A carryover is now available for the 2020 plan year. The carryover provides eligible employees to use up to $500 of monies remaining in their 2020 HCSA toward eligible expenses incurred during the 2021 calendar year. The carryover will allow employees to utilize unused amounts in their HCSA that would normally be forfeited at the end of a plan year. To check on a 2020 HCSA balance, visit participant.wageworks.com/nysfsa or call 1-800-358-7207.

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Research Foundation employees welcome to join Virgin Pulse Program

Research Foundation employees are welcome to join the Virgin Pulse Program, which allows employees to earn money while improving health. To sign up, visit https://portal.rfsuny.org/portal/page/portal/employee_benefits/benefits/wellness_information and for more information check out these PDFs: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/document/virgin_pulse.pdf and https://www.upstate.edu/hr/document/rf_special_bulletin.pdf.

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