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Upstate Announcements for March 30, 2021

Covid stories sought

Do you have a Covid-19 story to share? Syracuse.com is collecting local stories from health care workers for a section dedicated to health care heroes. To share your story or for more information, email Kathleen Froio in Public and Media Relations at FroioK@Upstate.edu.



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 

At Upstate, employees were gifted a reusable tote for Hospital Week 2020. The bags are composed of recycled plastic bottles. It is estimated that one reusable grocery bag replaces 700 single-use plastic bags. Over a lifetime this would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Plastic bags are commonly discarded into landfills and it’s estimated to take between 15 and 1,000 years for the average plastic bag to decompose. Only about 2 percent of these bags are recycled and many recyclers will not accept them. We can all make a positive impact on the environment by switching to reusable bags.



New bathroom signage to be installed throughout Upstate

Impacts single-occupancy bathrooms only

New York state requires all single-occupancy bathrooms at state operated facilities be designated all gender. To ensure Upstate meets this requirement, temporary all gender signs will be placed on all public single-occupancy bathrooms. Permanent signage will be placed within the next few months. Please do not remove the temporary signage near these single-occupancy bathrooms. Questions? Call Physical Plant’s administration office at 315-464-4448.



Facebook Live conversation on Covid-19 vaccines with Upstate experts and the Islamic Society of CNY is available to watch online

The Health Equity Task Force aims to promote outreach and education around COVID-19 to vulnerable populations. To highlight local community outreach efforts, Dr. Andrea Shaw coordinated a session with Mohammed Elfiki, the President for the Islamic Society of CNY, to answer commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, and access. This outreach effort was led by internal medicine residents, Drs. Waseem Sous, Gaston Habib, and Aya Albittar and attending physician, Dr. Mustafa Awayda. The Zoom session was held in both Arabic and English and was broadcasted live on Facebook. To watch, visit: https://www.facebook.com/watch/islamicsocietyofcny/



March is National Social Work Month

National Social Work Month was established in March 1963 by the National Association of Social Workers as a way to encourage public support to the great profession of social work. Upstate employs over 70 licensed masters and clinical social workers. The theme for Social Work Month 2021 is: Social Workers are Essential. Please wish your amazing social work colleagues Happy Social Work Month.



March is National Poison Prevention Month

March is National Poison Prevention Month and this is National Poison Prevention Week. To help spread of the word about poison risks and to show support for Upstate New York Poison Center, follow on Facebook @UpstateNewYorkPoisonCenter and Twitter @UpstatePoison. For more on poisonings and the center, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/poison/news/march-2021-ppm.php.



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. 



Lessons Learned During Covid—Survey closes March 31

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.



Peer Support training is March 31, April 5 and 12

Training in support of the Clinician Peer Support Program of Central New York (CSPS-CNY) and the P2P Peer support program offered through the Medical Society of the State of NY will be held March 31 from 2:30 to 5 p.m., April 5 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and April 12 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. The virtual training is developed and facilitated by Jo Shapiro MD, FACS of the Brigham and Women’s hospital. 

Training is available to physicians, advance practice clinicians, nurses, residents, behavioral health clinicians and respiratory therapists. Administrators are welcome to observe the training to better understand the program. Pass this offer on to potential peer supporters: clinicians who are respected in their area and who are good, kind and empathetic listeners for their colleagues.  

Those interested in participating should email name, role, institution, email address and requested training date to Leslie Kohman, Chief Wellness Officer, at KohmanL@Upstate.edu. For more information, email Dr. Kohman or Dr. Deb Bradshaw at BradshaD@Upstate.edu.



April’s Monthly Well New York State Challenge

The Well NYS Challenge for April focuses on finances. To register, visit https://wellnys.goer.ny.gov/.



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.



Bioethics and Humanities seminar is April 1

Jamila Michener, Cornell University, will present Policy Design for Health Equity: Experiential Perspectives on Medicaid and WIC April 1 at noon. Michener will discuss key considerations for racial equity and social policy in American healthcare. To pre-register, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApcuCsqDojGN12VFfauZiWzhXRC6_EHx5a. For more information, email Andrea Musolino at musolina@upstate.edu.



ProfTech will become office supply company for Upstate April 6

Training is April 1 and 7

ProfTech will will be the approved supplier for office supplies and business essentials beginning April 6, replacing Gholkars. Login information for ProfTech.ediversitynetwork.com will be sent purchasers in an email from ProfTech Tuesday, April 6. Training sessions will be available April 1 at 2 p.m. and April 7 at 10 a.m. Additional instructions will be forthcoming. 



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.



Dementia Conversations is April 7

Dementia Conversations will be held April 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. The class will offer tips on how to have honest and caring conversations to address some of the most common issues related to dementia: doctor visits, driving, legal and financial plans. This is a Pathway to Wellness offering. To join, visit: https://bit.ly/3vfg8kS and use Meeting ID: 910 4410 0073 Passcode: 152786 Dial by: 1.646.876.9923.



Blood Drive is April 8 and 9 

A blood drive will be held Thursday, April 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, April 9 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium of Setnor Hall. To make an appointment go to www.upstate.edu/blood.



Upstate’s Got Talent registrations due April 9

Calling all Upstate talent—singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, actors, artists, bands—to register for Upstate’s Got Talent. To sign up, email GoodWork@Upstate.edu and include your name, title, department, and talent. Video submissions will be due April 30, must be 3 minutes or less, and contain family-friendly content only. Videos should be filmed horizontally in a well-lighted area. Upstate apparel is encouraged and everyone should be masked appropriately if not filming a video alone. More information on the airing of the final videos and the voting process will be forthcoming.



Outpatient Pharmacy T-shirt sale orders due April 9

Upstate Pharmacy t-shirts are available for purchase on the webstore through April 9. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Outpatient Pharmacy Retention and Recognition Fund. Place orders at www.upstate.edu/apparel. Questions? Email elliottk@upstate.edu



Suite 1K at Community to close on weekends beginning April 10

The covid testing site at Suite 1K will close on weekends beginning April 10. Suite 1K at Community will remain open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The covid testing site at the New York State Fairgrounds is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.



Managing Finances During a Crisis is April 13

Learn how to create an emergency budget, manage expenses, and learn more about debt repayment and credit at Managing Finances During a Crisis April 13 at noon. This is a Pathway to Wellness offering. To join, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks.



Defeating Your Debt is April 15

Learn strategies for negotiating interest rates and settlements, and developing repayment plans April 15. Defeating Your Debt aims to empower consumers to take charge of their debt and work towards a debt-free lifestyle. This is a Pathway to Wellness offering. Join us at: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks



Project ECHO clinics focusing on organ transplant are April 19 and 26

Reza Saidi, MD, will present two Project ECHO sessions April 19 and 26. With a focus on primary and family medicine providers, the sessions will address transplant issues that can be managed in provider offices, including: tests to run, how to read/interpret certain lab results, medications that can be beneficial, management after transplant, living donations, transplant candidacy, and more. Project ECHO functions best as a case-based learning environment and participants are invited to bring questions or cases to the discussion. Join Zoom from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: 

https://echo.zoom.us/j/735931981?pwd=Tk5VYmNyMndOZmM2V1NIQkpSdFMxZz09. Meeting ID: 735 931 981 Password: ECHO



Administrative Professionals Forum is April 21

The Administrative Professionals Forum will be held Wednesday, April 21 from 10 to 11 a.m via Zoom. An appointment link will be sent to administrative professionals on file. Darryl Dykes, MD, PhD, JD, will present We All Belong Here: An Update on Diversity and Inclusion. For more information and to register, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/imt/intra/office365/admin_prof.php. Supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to use work release time to attend this work-related enrichment series. 



Community Campus Blood Drive is April 21 

A blood drive will be held Wednesday, April 21 from 12 until 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Community Campus. To schedule an appointment, go to www.upstate.edu/blood. Donors up to age 24 will receive a $10 e-gift card and all donors will receive a free cookie coupon from DiBella’s Subs. 



Upstate cafeterias rollout new wellness initiative featuring healthy options 

Morrison Healthcare’s new WellPower initiative is now featured in Upstate cafeterias at both campuses. Bold identifiers highlight fit, vegetarian and vegan items. Better-for-you sides, entrees and snacks are available for purchase. Morrison’s goal is to create an environment where guests have the power to make healthy choices in the Upstate cafeterias.



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. 



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.



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. 



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.



Nominate an Upstate Strong Covid Hero

Upstate is fortunate to be surrounded by everyday heroes who go the extra mile to help lead our institution’s response to Covid-19 in the community and across the region. To extend gratitude to an individual or a team for their efforts, nominate colleagues for recognition as an Upstate Strong Covid Hero at https://redcap.link/covidheroes.



Physical Therapy Education seeks study participants

Researchers seek to identify children between the ages of 5 and 7 years, that did not four-point crawl (hands and knees with belly off the floor) within their first year of life. Children must be born without any congenital anomaly or problems that may have influenced their development, have been born at gestational age greater than or equal to 37 weeks, and be without any severe perinatal complications that required admittance to the NICU for more than 24 hours. Due to current COVID-19 precautions, interpreter services for non-English speaking participants is not available. Participants will report to Upstate's Academic Building for one 1.5 to 2 hour play-based assessment on Saturday, April 10. COVID-19 precautions will be strictly adhered to. Compensation in appreciation of time will be provided to children completing the assessment. For more information, contact the study coordinator, Danielle Marino, PT, DPT, at marinod@upstate.edu or 315-481-6013. 



HealthLink on Air features Upstate experts

Among recent guests on Upstate's HealthLink on Air were: pediatric surgeon Michaela "Mikki" Kollisch, MD, urological cancer specialist Joseph Jacob, MD, and Jason Wallen, MD, chief of thoracic surgery and medical director of the thoracic oncology program at Upstate. HealthLink on Air is a podcast and radio talk show produced by Upstate Marketing and University Communications, available through podcast searches and broadcast on WRVO Public Media Sundays at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Complete shows and individual interviews are also available at www.healthlinkonair.org.