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Upstate Announcements for November 24, 2021

Food trucks will be on campus in November—schedule updated

Food trucks will offer lunch for purchase in three Upstate locations in November. All Upstate employees are invited to pre-order meals through the StreetFoodFinder app, here: https://streetfoodfinder.com/apps. For an online calendar, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/nutrition/food-trucks.php. The updated schedule is as follows.


Upstate University Hospital traffic circle

Nov. 24 Ali Baba from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nov. 26 Ali Baba from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nov. 29 Ali Baba from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


550 Harrison Street

Nov. 30 Elbita’s Cocina from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Upstate Community Hospital

Nov. 27 Ali Baba from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m.



Pets of Upstate calendar available for purchase

The 2022 Pets of Upstate calendar fundraiser features pets from your Upstate family. Two sizes are available for purchase. Standard 8.5 x 11 calendar is $18.25 (plus shipping) and XL wall calendar 11 x 14 is $23.25 (plus shipping). Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Upstate Nursing Recognition Fund. To receive calendar by Dec. 24, orders must be received by Dec. 17. The calendar features healthcare related celebrations throughout. To view and purchase a calendar, visit: https://www.createphotocalendars.com/Store/Pets+of+Upstate+2022+Calendar-6064222259.



Wear Purple for Native American Heritage Day Nov. 26

In honor of Native American Heritage Day, Brian Thompson, MD, ambassador of Indigenous Affairs at Upstate and Trina Skeele, BSN, RN, LNC, assistant ambassador of Indigenous Affairs, invite you to wear purple on Nov. 26. Purple is an important color to the Haudenosaunee, the Six Nations who lived in this area long before Europeans arrived. It is the color of the Haudenosaunee flag as well as the color of Wampum, strings of which were used in storytelling, ceremonial gifts and recording important historical events and treaties. Purple coloring was derived from quahog shells. The shells were, and still are, looked upon as a part of Haudenosaunee culture and a source of healing.



RF open enrollment office hours on Nov. 26

The Research Foundation Benefits Department will host office hours to answer questions about open enrollment Friday, Nov. 26 from 2 to 3 p.m. For more information, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/changing_options_research.php



Kinney Drugs to host Covid vaccination clinic Nov. 29

Kinney Drugs will host a Covid vaccination clinic Nov. 29 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Performance Center at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

This clinic will offer Moderna only. First- and second-dose appointments will be prioritized. First- and second-dose walk-ins will be accepted. 

Booster doses are available by appointment only. To make an appointment, visit: https://kinneydrugs.as.me/UpstateMedicalUniversity-ModernaClinic.

Covid vaccines are also available at most pharmacies. Individuals who receive vaccination at a location other than Upstate should upload documentation to the Employee/Student Health online portal at https://eshportal.upstate.edu/ or via email at ESHealth@Upstate.edu


Questions? Email Employee/Student Health at ESHealth@Upstate.edu.



Coat drive to benefit Dr. King Elementary School runs through Nov. 29

Docs for Tots and the Public Health Interest Group are holding a coat drive for students at Syracuse’s STEAM at Dr. King Elementary School. The goal is to collect 430 new coats, in children’s sizes 5 to 18. The drive runs through Nov. 29. Donation boxes are located around Upstate, including Weiskotten Hall, the CAB, 550 Harrison, Upstate Cancer Center, University and Community hospitals, the NAB and Presidential Plaza. To donate through the Amazon Wish List, visit: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/YZOQ5FIE7H4V?ref_=wl_share. Choose "SUNY Upstate Coat Drive" when selecting a shipping address during the Amazon checkout.



Clinician Peer Support Program training is Nov. 29

The Clinician Peer Support Program of Central New York is offering a virtual peer support training program Monday, Nov. 29 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The training is open to physicians, nurses, residents, behavioral health specialists, respiratory therapists or hospital chaplains at Upstate, and members of the ANA-NY. Clinicians already trained may participate as a refresher. Clinicians who plan to attend, email ClinicianPeerToPeer@Bassett.org and include role at Upstate. Copy Upstate Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Leslie Kohman at KohmanL@Upstate.edu. More information about the Clinician Peer Support Program of Central New York (CPSP-CNY) is available here: https://www.bassett.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/Clinician_Peer_Support_Program_of_Central_NY_CPSP-CNY.pdf. For more information, contact the Clinician Peer Support Program of Central New York (CPSP-CNY) at clinicianpeertopeer@bassett.org or 607-547-3244. 



CNY Season of Giving Wellness event runs through Nov. 30

Join the CNY Season of Giving Wellness Event and support Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital with every activity you log. Using the app, individuals are able to raise money and earn points to the live leaderboard for completing wellness activities like running, walking, yoga, stretching, biking, meditation, volunteer hours, and 50+ other healthy options. Efforts will unlock up to $16,000 in matching donations thanks to our sponsor, the Pinnacle Family of Companies. The event runs through Nov. 30. For more information, visit: Kilter Event: CNY Season of Giving Wellness Event (kilterrewards.com)



Quitting Café is Dec. 2

The Quitting Café will be held Thursday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon in the atrium of Upstate Cancer Center. Advice on quitting tobacco, and light refreshments will be available to Upstate employees, students, volunteers, and patients. For more information on Pathway to Wellness programs, visit www.upstate.edu/wellness



Advanced Practice Grand Rounds is Dec. 9

Stephanie McGrath, FNP, will discuss the ACE Team, delirium and other geriatric syndromes Dec. 9 from noon to 1 p.m. via WebEx. CME credit is available. To attend, use the following link: https://upstate.webex.com/upstate/j.php?MTID=m50739300cdec1830389a95f95df7b981.



Easy for You is Dec. 14

Easy for You, Upstate’s tobacco treatment program, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 7335B (west wing) at Upstate University Hospital. Those with an Upstate ID are welcome to receive help quitting tobacco, chew, and vape. Free nicotine replacement therapy is available. For more information, contact Theresa Hankin or Carolyn Walczyk at 315-464-3519 or walczykc@upstate.edu



Schwartz Rounds is Dec. 14

Schwartz Rounds will be held Dec. 14 at noon via Zoom. Survival and Transformative Hope in the Covid Era will focus on staff and patient stories that inspire. To join, visit: https://upstate.zoom.us/j/5907760027 or https://upstate.zoom.us/join with meeting ID: 590 776 0027; Password:1234. Schwartz Rounds provides a confidential, supportive atmosphere to openly and honestly discuss the social and emotional issues faced when caring for patients and families. All staff are welcome. One hour of CME/CE will be given for attendance. For more information, email Chaplain Brigid Dunn at dunnbrig@upstate.edu.



Tableau Day is Dec. 14

To learn more about Tableau, register for an online webinar Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. via WebEx at https://www.tableau.com/learn/webinars/suny-upstate-tableau-day-2021-12-14. Participants will learn about Tableau's new features, best practices, and how Tableau is being utilized across the Upstate campus. Steve Wexler, founder of Data Revelations and author of The Big Picture, will discuss how to inspire organizational change with data visualizations and storytelling. The webinar is designed for those creating Tableau dashboards as well as those consuming data to make decisions. All users are welcome.



Volunteers sought for Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau Dec. 15

Upstate seeks volunteers for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau Dec. 15 at the OnCenter. To volunteer, complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RXBRBJG. Due to space restrictions, the Salvation Army cannot accept any last-minute volunteer requests. Spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants volunteering at the Christmas Bureau must be fully vaccinated or have a negative test within 72 hours of the event. Every volunteer must wear a mask and temperature checks will be taken upon entry. For more information, email Becca Pesci at pescir@upstate.edu



Advocates for Upstate campaign runs through Dec. 31

Advocates for Upstate will launch its 2021 Year-End Campaign beginning Nov. 30 (Giving Tuesday) and ending Dec. 31. Campaign proceeds will benefit the Advocates’ Nellie Hurley Scholarship Program that provides scholarships to qualifying Upstate Medical University employees and adult volunteers who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in the health professions. Please consider a year-end, tax-deductible donation. Donate between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31 to be entered in drawings to win one of two gift baskets each valued at $150.

Individuals or businesses that donate to our Year-End Campaign held between Nov. 30 (Giving Tuesday) and Dec. 31 will be entered in drawings to win one of two gift baskets valued at $150 each. The drawings will be held the week of January 3. Donors must live within 20 miles of downtown Syracuse to be eligible for the drawings. Winners will be notified by email or by telephone by Monday, January 10. For more information, call 315-464-5610 or email advocates@upstate.edu. Advocates for Upstate is a non-profit, membership organization of volunteers who support healthcare and scholarship at Upstate through fundraising and service.



Annual vacation leave expiration date extended

Agreements with CSEA, PEF, UUP, NYSCOPBA, and PBANYS unions have been reached to extend the annual vacation leave expiration date which to Dec. 31, 2022. The extension also applies to Management Confidential (MC) and SUNY Research Foundation (RF) employees. Unused vacation leave can be carried through Dec. 31, 2022 for these groups. The maximum vacation lump sum pay out at the time of separation for most employees is still 30 days.



Productivity Enhancement Program for state employees is open

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) has been announced by the NYS Department of Civil Service for New York state-eligible CSEA, PEF, UUP represented and MC affiliated employees. PEP allows eligible employees to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation and/or personal leave) in return for a credit to be applied toward their employee share NYSHIP premiums on a biweekly basis for 2022. In no case can the credit available under the program be applied to the employer share of NYSHIP premiums. For more information, please visit https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/pep.php.



Flex Spending Account Program open enrollment

The 2022 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program open enrollment period for New York state employees is now open and will run through Nov. 29. To be eligible to enroll in the Flexible Spending Account Program, state employees must be annual salaried, work at least half time, meet the eligibility criteria for enrollment in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), and be expected to be employed for the entire 2022 calendar year. For more information go to https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/changing_options_state.php



Live webinars on financial essentials available through HR

For a list of TIAA live webinars, visit https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/index.php. To register or watch past presentations, visit www.tiaa.org/webinars



Open enrollment for Research Foundation employees 

The health, dental, vision care plans, and Flex Spending Account open enrollment period for Research Foundation employees is open now through Nov. 30. The Benefits Bulletin (October 2021 edition) was mailed to the homes of all eligible staff. Review the 2022 Health Care Plan Comparison and Biweekly Rates online here: http://www.upstate.edu/hr/document/rf_special_bulletin.pdf.



NYSHIP health insurance option transfer period

The New York state 2022 Planning for Option Transfer flyer has been mailed to homes. The publication includes information about the upcoming Option Transfer Period, when you can make changes to your 2021 NYSHIP option for yourself and your enrolled dependents. Health insurance Choices for 2022, which contains a more detailed comparison of NYSHIP benefits, will be available online and from your HBA later this fall. Shortly after, be sure to check your mailbox for the 2022 rate information and Option Transfer deadlines.



Applications sought for 2022 Your Cause charity  

Team Upstate seeks applications from the Upstate community for a Central New York agency to be its featured Your Cause charity in 2022. The Your Cause program, offers Upstate employees an opportunity to nominate a charity that will be the focus of Upstate volunteer outreach through the year. This past year’s Your Cause agency was the Rescue Mission’s Emergency Youth Shelter for LGBTQ+ adolescents. To nominate an agency for the Your Cause sponsorship, individuals should complete and submit application form by Nov. 30. Team Upstate committee will review applications and announce the winning organization in December. An online application is here: https://www.upstate.edu/teamupstate/your-cause/index.php. Completed applications should be emailed to Nancy Prott in the President’s Office at prottn@upstate.edu



Volunteers sought for meningitis clinical trial 

Upstate seeks healthy volunteers between ages 15 and 25 for a clinical trial involving the efficacy of a new pentavalent meningococcal vaccine in healthy adolescents and adults, who have previously received one dose of quadrivalent vaccine. Upstate Medical University pediatric infectious disease specialist Joseph Domachowske, MD, is the principal investigator of the study, to evaluate how a new combination vaccine against all 5 types compares to the two different vaccines being used in this age group already. Upstate is working with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in developing the new combination vaccine intended to protect against five of the most prevalent serogroups of the bacteria causing meningitis. To learn more about participating in the clinical trial, contact the study team at 315-706-5636 or anwarn@upstate.edu.



Volunteers sought for vaccine clinical trial 

Health volunteers ages 18 to 60 are sought to participate in a vaccine clinical trial. For more information, contact Keely Terrillion from Global Health at Trials@Upstate.edu or 315-464-9869. Parking and compensation are included.



Child Life Program seeks holiday volunteers 

Child Life seeks volunteers with a current, valid Upstate ID for a patient and family holiday event in December. For more information and to sign up, email Rachel Stinson at hannonr@upstate.edu



Clark Burn Center hosts annual Sock, Mitten, Glove and Hat Drive

New socks, mittens, gloves and hats may be donated in closed bags and placed in collection boxes located in the second-floor lobby of Upstate University Hospital, and in the lobbies of Upstate Community Hospital, Jacobsen Hall, Sarah Loguen, and the Galleries. All items will be donated to the Syracuse Rescue Mission with frostbite prevention education information. Approximately 1,300 people die annually due to cold exposure. One factor is extended exposure to cold temperatures with improper clothing. This directly affects homeless community members. The Upstate Clark Burn Center strives to prevent injuries to all members of our community. For more information, email Tamara Burns at RobertTa@Upstate.edu



Stroke Team T-shirts available for purchase 

Stroke Team T-shirts are available for $15 each. Sizes and quantities are limited. For more information and to purchase, email Raisa Zhovklaya at Zhovklar@Upstate.edu



Clark Burn Center T-shirt sale is now open

Clark Burn Center scald prevention and awareness T-shirts are available for purchase. Long- and short-sleeved, crew and V-neck styles are available. To order, visit: https://qnet.e-quantum2k.com/~justright/Custom/1544R/RETAIL/cgi-bin/qnet-your-catalog2.cgi. Questions? Email Tamara Roberts at RobertTa@Upstate.edu



NYS Empire Plan enrollees to receive new card

To comply with new federal law, Empire Plan benefit cards are being reissued beginning in mid-November 2021 through the end of December for the 2022 plan year. Begin using the new cards as soon as received and no action is needed to activate them. Please be sure to securely destroy old card(s). Benefits are not changing; the cards include required information about annual out-of-pocket costs for 2022 as well as the group number and bin# to aid with claims payment. Contact health benefits administrator with questions about the new benefit card(s).



2022 Holiday Calendar now available online

The 2022 Holiday Calendar is now available for both New York state and SUNY Research Foundation employees here: http://www.upstate.edu/payroll/pdf/calendar/general/upstate_annual_calendar.pdf



HealthLink on Air

Among recent guests on HealthLink on Air were these Upstate specialists: Assistant Dean of Wellness Kaushal Nanavati, MD, on the need for mental health breaks; neurologist Corey McGraw, MD, on the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis; geriatrics chief Sharon Brangman, MD, on a newly approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease; and research scientist Cyndi Weickert, PhD, on her research of schizophrenia. 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.