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Upstate Announcements for November 8, 2022

Physician assistant students seek donations for local veterans

Dropbox located at 2243 Academic Building

Upstate’s physician assistant class of 2024 seeks food donations for Clear Path for Veterans, a local organization providing services and support to veterans across CNY. A donation box is located outside 2243 Academic Building. Donations will be delivered to Clear Path Nov. 11. For more information, email Samantha Varley at VarleyS@upstate.edu.



Global Health seeks volunteers

Upstate’s Institute for Global Health seeks healthy volunteers ages 18 to 49. Global Health is working with the National Institutes of Health to develop a registry for future respiratory virus research, including influenza and Covid. Compensation is $50 per visit. For more information, contact Global Health at Trials@Upstate.edu or 315-464-9869.



Primary Care Task Force presentation is Nov. 9

The Upstate Primary Care Task Force will offer a presentation for all primary care providers on the management of chronic lumbosacral pain Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. via WebEx. HeeRak Kang, MD, PMR, will present and answer questions. To join, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/upstate/j.php?MTID=m59f7d318670f26f82ece3fcc747ed88d.



Coffee with the CMO is Nov. 11

Coffee with the CMO will be held Friday, Nov. 11 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. in 8405A Upstate University Hospital. All Upstate physicians, APPs and clinical staff are invited to gather with colleagues for an update from Chief Medical Officer, Amy Tucker, MD. An open Q&A will follow. Coffee and wrapped breakfast treats will be offered. R.S.V.P. to Darcy DiBiase at dibiased@upstate.edu.



Ophthalmic technician week is now through Nov. 11

Ophthalmic technician week recognizes the specialty trained technicians who work in ophthalmology and optometry. Upstate employs 17 ophthalmic technicians in the department of Ophthalmology, within ambulatory care. Ophthalmic technicians perform patient workups and many specialized ophthalmic tests.



Consortium for Culture and Medicine seminars are Nov. 11 and 18

The Consortium for Culture and Medicine will hold seminars Nov. 11 and 18 via Zoom. For more information, email Rebecca Garden at gardenr@upstate.edu.

Zora Osiv, MBA, and Saboor Sakhizada, EMPA, will present Refugee Identity and Experience: The Refugee Crisis in Ukraine and Afghanistan and the Impact of Resettlement Nov. 11 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saboor and Zora migrated to the United States from Afghanistan and Ukraine, respectively. They will discuss refugee resettlement, health impacts, and personal experiences here in the U.S. in an interview led by Rebecca Garden, PhD. Register here:


TD Mitchell, award-winning playwright and television writer, will present A Body Swimming with Covid Nov. 18 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in 2244 Academic Building and via Zoom. TD Mitchell will give a performative reading from her work-in-progress Letters from the Long Haul, alongside her video, A Body Swimming with Covid. A question-and-answer session will follow the reading. Register here: https://upstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJItdO6sqz0oGtMfTqNZe-STTmLQEalyuauP



Shine a Light on Lung Cancer with Syracuse Crunch is Nov. 12

Shine a Light on Lung Cancer with the Syracuse Crunch will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Shine a Light on Lung Cancer aims to raise awareness for lung cancer. Giveaways, information tables, digital messages, in-game announcements, and more will be offered. For more information, email Christine Benton at BentonCh@Upstate.edu.



EAP session on SAD is Nov. 14

Neil Mcgillicuddy, PhD, will present on seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m. via WebEx. Mcgillicuddy will talk about the differences between SAD and the winter blues and what we can do to overcome both issues. Questions? Email Annemarie Cristino at CristinA@Upstate.edu. To join the session, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/upstate/j.php?MTID=m8983e9604329805d7be467d821d21a7a (meeting number is 2314 855 1615 and meeting password isrYQXZaA4H42).



HealthLink seminar on fire and burn safety is Nov. 14

A virtual HealthLink seminar on fire and burn safety in the fall and winter months will be held Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Tamara Roberts, MSN, RN, burn program manager at Upstate’s Clark Burn Center, and Paul Knierman, president of the East Syracuse Fire Department and fire fighter/EMT for over 28 years, will provide simple and effective methods to prevent fires and burns in and around the home. The event is free and open to the public. To register for a Zoom link, visit: https://upstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtcuCoqzoqGtOQNx371hicR_wqI1PaMOiw.



Great American Smokeout is Nov. 17

In recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Great American Smokeout, Upstate Cancer Center will host a giant inflatable lung Thursday, Nov 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the atrium of the cancer center. Stop by to walk through, learn how to maintain your lung health, and get a photo with the lung.

Stop by the atrium of Upstate Cancer Center Nov 4 through Nov 11 to sign the banner for Shine a Light on Lung Cancer. Sign your name to honor someone who has battled or is battling lung cancer. The banner will be displayed at Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Night at the Syracuse Crunch game on Saturday, Nov 12. Questions? Email Christine Benton at BentonCh@Upstate.edu.



Upstate Foundation Benefit Concert is Nov. 18

The Upstate Foundation’s Benefit Concert, will be held Friday, Nov. 18 at the Landmark Theatre. The event will feature Grammy Award winning Blood, Sweat and Tears. Festivities begin at 8 p.m., with the pre-concert patron and sponsor party starting at 7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Upstate’s commitment to implementing sustainable systems to create a healthy environment for patients, students, employees and the surrounding region. For concert reservations and sponsorship opportunities, call the Upstate Foundation at 315-464-4416 or visit www.upstatefoundation.org/benefitconcert



Webinar on undocumented students is Nov. 21

The Upstate Faculty Council Task Force on Undocumented Students will host a webinar on creating systems of support for undocumented students Nov. 21 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The webinar will provide information on how to support Upstate’s undocumented DACA-recepient students in navigating the unique challenges they face. The Upstate community is welcome. To register, visit: Creating Systems of Support for Undocumented Students. For more information or questions about this presentation, email Rachel Fabi, PhD, at FabiR@Upstate.edu.



Department closures Nov. 25

Property Management and Record Storage will be closed Nov. 25.



Retirement reception for Beth Szymaniak is Nov. 30

A retirement reception for Beth Szymaniak will be held Nov. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at Community. Szymaniak retires after 37 years at Community. Everyone at Upstate is welcome.



Open enrollment for Research Foundation employees is open now through Nov. 30

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 2022 edition) was mailed to the homes of all eligible staff. Review the 2022 Health Care Plan Comparison and Biweekly Rates online here: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/changing_options_research.php.


Important Research Foundation open enrollment reminders:

  • Print confirmation statements after making any changes for open enrollment.
  • The Research Foundation Central Office benefits department will host office hours Nov. 18 and 25 from noon to 1 p.m. To call in and ask any open enrollment questions, dial: 877-853-5247 (Meeting ID: 897 7134 2069).
  • To participate in flexible spending, employees must re-enroll in this benefit each year here: www.rfsuny.org/selfservice.
  • Employees who participate in Dependent Care Spending must elect the subsidy if they wish to receive it.
  • To receive text alerts on Research Foundation benefits, text RFBENEFITS to 24587.

Questions? Email Heidi Steckel at SteckelH@Upstate.edu.



Applications for 2023 Your Cause charity due Nov. 30

Team Upstate seeks applications from the Upstate community for a CNY agency to be the featured Your Cause charity in 2023. 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 year’s Your Cause agency was Sarah’s Guest House. 

To nominate an agency for the Your Cause sponsorship, complete and submit an application by Nov. 30. Team Upstate committee will review applications and announce the winning organization in December. Application is available here: https://www.upstate.edu/teamupstate/your-cause/. Email completed applications to Nancy Prott at prottn@upstate.edu. Questions? Email Becca Pesci at PesciR@Upstate.edu.



Peer support training is Dec. 8

A peer support training session will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. To participate, send the names and corresponding emails to ClinicianPeerToPeer@Bassett.org. Training is for anyone interested in volunteering as a peer supporter. Leaders and others interested in learning supportive skills are welcome. Questions? Email Debra Emerson at EmersonD@Upstate.edu.



Productivity Enhancement Program for state employees is open now through Dec. 12

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) is open now through Dec. 12 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 2023. In no case can the credit available under the program be applied to the employer share of NYSHIP premiums. For more information, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/pep.php. Enrollment closes Dec. 12.



Flex Spending Account Program is open now through Dec. 12

The 2023 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program open enrollment period for New York state employees is open now through Dec. 12. 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 2023 calendar year. For more information, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/changing_options_state.php



Easy for You is Dec. 13

Easy for You, Upstate's tobacco treatment program, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 7335B Upstate University Hospital. Everyone with a valid Upstate ID is 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.



Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau is Dec. 21

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau will be held Wednesday, Dec. 21 at the OnCenter. To volunteer for a three-hour shift with Team Upstate, visit: https://bit.ly/3WnjCzB. Registration in advance is required to volunteer. Questions? Email Becca Pesci at PesciR@Upstate.edu.



NYSHIP Health Insurance Option Transfer Period information is available

The New York State  planning-for-option-transfer-2023.pdf (ny.gov) flyer has been mailed to homes. The publication includes information about the upcoming Option Transfer Period, when you can make changes to your 2023 NYSHIP option for yourself and your enrolled dependents. Health insurance Choices for 2023, 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 2023 rate information and Option Transfer deadlines.



Pathway to Wellness announcements

All Pathway to Wellness (PTW) events are accessible via https://upstate.webex.com/meet/brisks unless otherwise noted.

  • Quit tobacco for a day or a lifetime will be held Nov. 8 at noon. Theresa Hankin, RRT, NCTTS, an experienced tobacco treatment specialist, will share her knowledge and passion to help you quit for the Great American Smokeout.
  • Healthy living for your brain and body will be held Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. Join to learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity, and social engagement.  Use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.  Registration required. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/3e3eaAJ   
  • Three Good Things—a gratitude exercise that can improve wellbeing, mental health and happiness—will be held Nov. 10, 17 at noon.
  • Learn the benefits of practicing gratitude Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.
  • Great American Smokeout event is Nov. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Café 750 Upstate University Hospital.



Mindful Meditation is every Tuesday 

Mindful Meditation will be held every Tuesday from 11 to 11:15 a.m. via WebEx. Annemarie Cristino, LCSW, CEAP, coordinator of Upstate’s Employee Assistance Program, will offer 15 minutes of mindful meditation instruction and information. Mindfulness centers on fostering connections between the brain, mind, body, and behavior. To join the session, visit: https://upstate.webex.com/meet/cristinA.



The Informed Patient podcast

Recent topics explored on The Informed Patient podcast include this season’s flu outlook, lingering concerns about COVID-19 and managing chronic pain.

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