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Upstate Announcements for March 9, 2022

DOD sendoff in hospital lobby

Join Upstate leadership in a sendoff for the Department of Defense Disaster Medical Assistance Team members as they depart the Upstate campus Monday at 12:25 p.m. in the lobby of Upstate University Hospital.



Walk-in Covid boosters available Thursdays; no appointment needed 

Beginning Thursday, March 10, walk-ins for Covid boosters will be available every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at the retail pharmacy on the first floor of Upstate University Hospital. No appointment is needed.

All individuals who are eligible to get their Covid boosters are strongly encourage to do so. This is the best protection against known and unknown variants at this time.

Eligibility is defined as:

—At least five months after receiving second mRNA vaccine (Moderna) 

—At least five months after receiving second mRNA vaccine (Pfizer) 

—At least two months after receiving a vector vaccine (Johnson and Johnson vaccine)

Per CDC-approved mix and match guidance, individuals who received their initial vaccine series with any of the above vaccine can receive a booster dose with any of the above vaccines.  Although mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.

Individuals who have received a booster are required to upload a picture of their vaccine card(s) with proof of booster to the Employee/Student Health portal at https://eshportal.upstate.edu/ or by email at ESHealth@Upstate.edu.



Nominations sought for the 2022 President's Employee Recognition Awards 

President's Employee Recognition Award nominations are sought through April 15. Information and nomination form is available online here: https://www.upstate.edu/pdl/intra/services/upstate_stars/president_award/index.php. For more information, email Megan Chase at chasem@upstate.edu.

The six award categories are: 

  • Outstanding Contribution of the Year 
  • Community Service of the Year  
  • Team of the Year 
  • Leader of the Year 
  • Employee of the Year 
  • Provider of the Year 



Upstate conference on Bridging Cultures to Defeat Covid-19 

Upstate is currently hosting a virtual health sciences education program, Bridging Cultures to Defeat Covid-19. The conference features speakers through March 13. The program is aimed at providing American, Middle Eastern, and North African clinical and scientific trainees a collaborative scientific and medical education, professional development, and cultural exchange opportunity. Registration is free and available here: https://registration.socio.events/e/bridgingculturesspring2022. Once registered, individuals will receive instructions for accessing the conference platform, schedule and activities. There is no cost to register.



Reminder: Café Kubal has closed

Reminder: Café Kubal, located on the 11th floor of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, has closed. The process required to secure a new vendor for the location will begin soon and is expected to take a few months. Vending machines offering coffee and hot beverages, as well as sandwiches, will be available for purchase in this space until a new contract has been secured.



Pathway to Wellness meditations in March

Pathway to Wellness suggests 1 to 10-minute meditations from Headspace, all at your desk and in less than 10 minutes. Questions? Email Suzanne Brisk at BriskS@Upstate.edu



World of Flavors begins March 9

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, Morrisons will offer World of Flavors samplings and information from Upstate chefs and dietitians every Wednesday, beginning March 9, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Upstate University Hospital. Recipes from Ghana, Philippines, and the Caribbean will be featured and available to purchase in the cafeteria.  



World Kidney Day presentation is March 10

In celebration of World Kidney Day, Dr. Michael Lioudis—division chief of Nephrology at Upstate—will share information about the importance of kidney health and how to care for kidneys March 10 at 10 a.m. Take 10 minutes out of your day to join: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks



Warfighter Brain Health presentation is March 11

Emily Childs, regional education coordinator for Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence of the Defense Health Agency, will present Warfighter Brain Health Friday, March 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. via WebEx. To join the presentation, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/scandalj. For more information, email Upstate contact Jennifer Fortin. 



Dearing Writing Awards submissions due March 12

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities seeks submissions for the 35th annual Dearing Writing Awards competition, open to all Upstate matriculated students, residents, employees, and faculty. Submissions are due by March 12. For guidelines, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/bioethics/writing-awards/dearinghome.php. Email submissions to Andrea Musolino at musolina@upstate.edu. Winners will be announced and awards presented April 7. All submissions receive consideration for center’s annual journal, The Healing Muse.



Virtual Nursing Grand Rounds will be held March 15

Suzanne Brisk, MS, NCTTS, will present Self-Care, Wellness and Performance Joy March 15 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. via WebEx. The presentation will be recorded for later viewing via blackboard course #251. Registration is not required. 1.0 contact hour will be awarded by the ICNE.  For more information, contact Holly Briere at BriereH@Upstate.edu or Amy Rottger at Rottgera@Upstate.edu. To join rounds, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/upstate/j.php?MTID=mb2e6dd14442b41aea0fcc6df3c931bc6. Meeting number: 2320 549 3569; Password: NvpR5RDgN33.



Employee Assistance Program overview is March 16

Annemarie Cristino, LCSW, CEAP, SAP, Upstate’s new Employee Assistance Program coordinator, will discuss her background, what the EAP can do for individuals, and the activities she plans to implement. To join the session March 16 at noon, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks

The Employee Assistance Program at Upstate provides confidential information, assessment and referral services to staff, their family members, and retirees who are experiencing personal, family or work-related issues. For more information about EAP at Upstate, visit https://www.upstate.edu/eap/ or contact the new EAP coordinator Annemarie Cristino, LCSW, CEAP, SAP, CTTS, at CristinA@Upstate.edu or 315-492-5296. 



Retirement reception for Mark Buttiglieri is March 17

A retirement reception for Mark Buttiglieri, director of Social Work at Upstate, will be held March 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in conference rooms A/B/C at Upstate Cancer Center. For more information, email Karin McMullen at McMulleK@Upstate.edu



Understanding Brain Injury presentation is March 18

Jessica Morley, a certified brain injury specialist with the Brain Injury Association of New York State, will present Understanding Brain Injury: A Community Perspective Friday, March 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. via WebEx. To join the presentation, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/scandalj. For more information, email Upstate contact Jennifer Fortin. 



World Sleep Day presentation is March 18

In celebration of World Sleep Day, Dr. Antonio Culebras and Dr. Manta will present on insomnia, narcolepsy, REM sleep behavior disorder, napping and shift work sleep March 18 at 1:30 p.m. To join, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks



National Doctors’ Day is March 30

The Upstate Foundation, as part of its Grateful Patient and Family Program, will celebrate its 11th National Doctors’ Day March 30 by distributing tributes that Upstate patients sent to their doctors for their dedication to providing quality and compassionate health care to our community. Doctors’ Day was established to recognize physicians, their hard work, and their contributions to society. For more information on Doctors’ Day at Upstate, email Jennifer Janes at JanesJ@Upstate.edu.



Flex Spending Account deadline is March 31

Individuals enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account in 2021 have until March 31, 2022 to submit 2021 expenses for reimbursement. For more information on Flex Spending, visit: https://goer.ny.gov/program-information. Participants can use up to $550 from the 2021 Health Care Spending Account toward eligible expenses incurred in 2022, if the account was active/open as of Dec. 31, 2021. Participants are now able to use the remaining balance in a 2021 Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA) toward eligible expenses incurred during the 2022 calendar year.



Peer supporter training is April 4

Peer supporter training will be held Monday, April 4 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The program is open to all who are interested in becoming a peer supporter. Those who are trained peer supporters are welcome to join this session for a refresher. To sign up, email Theresa Chung at theresa.chung@bassett.org. Following registration, participants will receive a Zoom link and pre-training materials. For more information, Email Dr. Leslie Kohman at kohmanl@upstate.edu



Upstate Cancer Center at Community ribbon cutting is April 5

A ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of Upstate Cancer Center at Community will be held April 5 at 10 a.m. at Community. Following the ribbon cutting, staff will lead tours through the facility and answer questions about the offerings. To R.S.V.P., email Chris Benton at BentonCh@Upstate.edu by Friday, April 1. Registered and paid parkers Downtown will have access the open parking lots at Community. Garage parkers Downtown will have access to the Community garage at no charge with an Upstate ID.



Student Research Day is April 6 

Student Research Day will be held April 6 via WebEx. Keynote address will feature Prachee Avasthi, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Student talks from the colleges of Medicine, Health Professions and Graduate Studies will begin at 1 p.m., keynote begins at 3 p.m., poster session runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For event details, information on presentations and the virtual poster session, visit https://www.upstate.edu/grad/students/srd/intra/event-details.php or email Natalie Andrianos at andriann@upstate.edu.



EPIC input sought

Survey closing soon: Medical staff, residents and fellows are welcome to share insights and candid opinions about EPIC at SUNY Upstate 2022 EHR Experience Survey (qualtrics.com).



Wellness tools open to all at Upstate 

WellBeing Index is available to all at Upstate here: https://www.mywellbeingindex.org/. Use “Upstate” as invitation code. Measure your level of wellness, learn more about burnout, and gain access to a variety of wellness tools. This free service is entirely confidential and anonymous.



Save the Date: Strikes Against Stroke is May 6

Upstate’s Strikes Against Stroke will be held May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. To register, visit: https://www.upstatefoundation.org/strikes. For more information about the event, email Raisa Zhovklaya at ZhovklaR@Upstate.edu.



The Informed Patient

Among recent guests on The Informed Patient podcast were these Upstate specialists, and their topics:


—Psychiatrist Robert Gregory, MD, on preventing teen suicides.

—Surgeon Joseph Valentino, MD, on surgical options for inflammatory bowel disease.

—Education specialist Nicky Ruszkowski on PrEP, a medication to prevent the spread of HIV.

—Public health chair Christopher Morley, PhD, on how the pandemic spurred interest in public health careers.

—Retired spiritual care team member Rabbi Irvin Beigel, on what hospital patients feel and desire. 

—Neurologist Shahram Izadyar, MD, on epilepsy treatment options, including neurostimulators.

—Ethicist and philosopher Syd Johnson, PhD, on the ethical issues of the pandemic, such as masking.

—Neurologist and pharmacologist Karen Albright, DO, PhD, and clinical pharmacist Danielle DelVecchio, on how genes can affect the way medications work.

—Neuroscience researchers Stephen Glatt, PhD, and Jon Hess, PhD, on BrainGENIE, a research tool that aims to improve the study of brain disorders.

—Epidemiologist Katie Anderson, MD, PhD, on COVID-19 booster shots.

—Pulmonology and critical care chief Dana Savici, MD, on how COVID-19 damages the lungs.


The Informed Patient podcast and the HealthLink on Air radio show are produced by Upstate Marketing and University Communications. The Informed Patient interviews are available through podcast searches, and HealthLink on Air is broadcast on WRVO Public Media at 6 a.m. Sundays. Both the podcast interviews and the hourlong radio shows are also available at www.upstate.edu/informed