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Upstate Announcements for November 23, 2022

Upstate offers entrance to Lights on the Lake Dec. 7 and 13

As an official sponsor of this year’s Light on the Lake, Upstate is providing complimentary entrance to Lights on the Lake for individuals with an Upstate ID Wednesday, Dec. 7 or Tuesday, Dec. 13. Only one vehicle entrance per individual. Lights on the Lake is a two-mile drive-thru show featuring towering holiday displays, larger-than life Land of Oz, a twinkling fantasy forest, colorful section arches, memorable animated scenes and a fairy tale magic grand finale. Lights on the Lake hours are 5 to 10 p.m. at Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool.




Covid FAQ is updated for fall/winter season

An updated Covid FAQ for staff and students is available on the Upstate Intranet. The FAQ includes information on what to do if Covid-like symptoms occur, how to test and report, how to return to work, exposure questions, “Covid time,” and how to care for a family member with Covid. To see the full Covid FAQ, visit the Upstate Covid Intranet. Upstate login is required.




Child Life seeks volunteers in December

Child Life seeks volunteers to prepare and organize donations for the holiday season. Volunteers are sought for two-hour shifts throughout December. All volunteers must have a valid Upstate ID. For more information, email Beth Kinsley at kinsleye@upstate.edu.




Dictation room relocates 

The Physician Dictation Room at the Downtown Campus is now located in Room 1118, Upstate University Hospital, which is on the first floor behind the main elevators




Pets Calendar benefits Nursing Recognition Fund

The 2023 Pets of Upstate Calendar, featuring Upstate University Hospital Employee Pets available for purchase. This calendar features medical professionals' recognition dates and full moon schedule throughout. Purchases made before Nov. 25 will receive a 10 percent off promotion. All proceeds benefit the Nursing Recognition Fund. Email questions to Nrecruit@upstate.edu  Link to purchase: https://www.createphotocalendars.com/Store/Pets+of+Upstate+2023+Calendar-9931638833




Cisco Webex Meetings app update 

The Cisco Webex Meetings application will stop working Friday, Nov. 18. A new version called Webex is available at the Microsoft Software Center. The new version combines the conferencing app with a teams-like interface. For information on how to install the new version, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/edcomm/web-con.php




Nursing Recruitment office temporarily relocates 

Nursing Recruitment is temporarily relocating to 1212 Upstate University Hospital during the hyperbaric project construction. Phone numbers remain unchanged. For more information, email Sherria Sparks at SparksS@Upstate.edu.




NYSHIP Empire Plan Benefit Card Reissue

Each year the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act sets new amounts limiting total network out-of-pocket costs. This federal law requires the inclusion of annual out-of-pocket costs on employee health insurance benefit cards and impacts all NYSHIP plans. The Dept. of Civil Service will issue new Empire Plan benefit cards for all enrollees and covered dependents beginning in mid-November of each year. New benefit cards will also be issued when there is a change to the annual out-of-pocket costs due to collective bargaining. Enrollees can begin using the new benefit cards immediately and securely shred or destroy all other cards. Enrollees do not need to activate this card or place a call to the Department or the Empire Plan administrators prior to use.  Please contact the Employee Benefits Division at Civil Service with questions at 1-800-833-4344.




Mindful Meditation is each 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




OneDrive for Business to replace personal Novell U drive

IMT will transition from Novell U drive for personal storage to OneDrive for Business, a cloud-based storage system for documents and files. With OneDrive for Business, students, faculty, and staff will have access to files from a computer, mobile device or an Internet browser through office.com. IMT will notify recipients via email of the planned transition date for their account. Students, faculty and staff may find current training resources including the transition timeline, accessing OneDrive, and sharing files on the OneDrive FAQ page: https://www.upstate.edu/imt/intra/office365/faqs.php For more information on the transition, contact the IMT Help Desk at 315-464-4115 or helpdesk@update.edu. This change will not affect any other shares, email, EPIC and/or any other clinical applications




IMT Offers Virtual and Recorded OneDrive Training

IMT offers students, faculty and staff virtual training for OneDrive, a cloud-based storage system for documents and files, through December 2022. Interested attendees may register at the following page: https://www.upstate.edu/pdl/intra/register/index.php?topicid=165455 or watch a recording athttps://upstate.video.yuja.com/V/Watch?v=8135177&node=34684505&a=1377133658 




Department closures during Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 24

Duplicating and Printing will be closed Nov. 24 and 25. 

Property Management and Record Storage will be closed Nov. 24 and 25. 

The Offices of Employee/Student Health, Human Resource and Payroll will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24 and 25.  Normal hours of operation will resume on Monday Nov. 28.




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 from the Pharmacy Department 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.libproxy1.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 through Nov. 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/index.php

Email completed applications to Nancy Prott at prottn@upstate.edu. Questions? Email Becca Pesci at PesciR@Upstate.edu.




2023 New York state option transfer period updates 

The New York state option transfer period is Dec. 1, 2022  to  Dec. 30, 2022. The 2023 Health Insurance Rates for State of New York employees have been announced. Employees participating in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) will receive a rates and deadlines publication to home addresses from the Department of Civil Service Employee Benefits Division. The rates will be reflected beginning in check dated Jan. 4, 2023. No action is required for those keeping their current health insurance option, if individuals still qualify for that plan. The deadline for state employees to make changes to their health insurance carrier is Dec. 30. To make a change, submit a signed health insurance transaction form PS-404 to the Upstate HR-Benefits Office, second floor Jacobsen Hall, (fax: 315-464-4390) or the Community HR-Office, first floor (fax: 315-492-5275).

Selecting a health insurance plan is an important personal decision. Consider family lifestyle, health, budget and benefit preferences. Think about what health care might be required during the next year. The changes for 2023 will be effective Jan. 5, 2023. If changing to a new option, most deduction changes will be effective later in January 2023 and will include retroactive adjustments in a future paycheck. For more information, visit: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/benefits/changing_options_state.php.




Library Book talk is Dec. 6

The Health Sciences Library and Health@CLRC are hosting a free book talk with Dr. Seema Yasmin, author of Viral B.S: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them. The first 200 registrants receive a copy of Viral B.S, and there's no need to read the book ahead of the event. The event is happening virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, Dec. at 2 p.m. Register and find more information here: https://clrc.org/event/healthclrc-book-talks-viral-bs/

This event is open to all regardless of affiliation or address, so please share with anyone else you think may be interested. The only restriction is: we cannot mail books to addresses outside the continental U.S. However, those outside the continental U.S. are encouraged to still attend the event! Please feel free to contact Sarah Lawler at lawlersa@upstate.edu or health@clrc.org with any questions.




Administration Professionals forum is Dec. 7

Dr Leslie Kohman and CEO Dr. Robert Corona will provide updates on wellness offers and current initiatives at the hospital during the event Dec. 7 at 10 a.m.  In addition, Amy Green will provide Microsoft training.

Click join. https://upstate.zoom.us/j/98332340620 Or, go to https://upstate.zoom.us/join

and enter meeting ID: 983 3234 0620 Join from dial-in phone line: Dial: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 646 931 3860 Meeting ID: 983 3234 0620. Participant ID: Shown after joining the meeting

International numbers available: https://upstate.zoom.us/u/acTQgtEv53




Peer support training is Dec. 8

Dr Jo Shapiro will be provide peer support training Dec. 8 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.  Email clinicianpeertopeer@bassett.org with the names and email addresses of anyone interested in participating. The training is for people who are interested in volunteering as a peer supporter. Leaders and others interested in learning important supportive skills are welcomed and encouraged to attend.




Brightspace will be replacing Blackboard

On December 2, 2022, Upstate will move from Blackboard to Brightspace as its Learning Management System (LMS) for both credit courses and employee training courses. For details on using Brightspace to complete employee training as well as a short video tour, please visit: https://www.upstate.edu/hr/document/intra/brightspace_announcement_for_staff.pdf




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. Upstate staff and students are welcome to bring a friend or a high school student as a volunteer. Space is limited and volunteer shifts fill quickly. To volunteer for a three-hour shift with Team Upstate, visit: https://bit.ly/3WnjCzB

Registration in advance is required to volunteer and due to space restrictions, the Salvation Army cannot accept any last-minute volunteer requests. 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.




Rheumatology seeks healthy donors

Department of Rheumatology seeks healthy donors 18 years of age and older. Volunteers will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire, and donate blood and urine. All personal information and blood work results will be kept strictly confidential. Volunteers must have no history of autoimmune disorder or disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis, as they will be serving as healthy controls for patients with these disorders. Volunteers can expect this process to take between 20 to 30 minutes. A stipend will be offered to participants. For more information, email Bryan Blaker at blakerb@upstate.edu or Joanne Chilton at chiltonj@upstate.edu.




The Informed Patient: How breast cancer happens; preserving knee function; blue light and eyesight.

Recent topics on The Informed Patient include: breast cancer, healthy knees and blue light.

Visiting researcher Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, from Harvard Medical School, gave an overview of breast cancer and explained how molecular analysis helps those who study the disease. She came to Upstate to deliver the annual Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Lecture.

Upstate orthopedic surgeon Zachary Vredenburgh, MD, talked about how to keep the knees healthy throughout one’s life.

Upstate ophthalmologist Mark Breazzano, MD, discussed how to protect the eyes from blue light, which comes from sunlight as well as phone and computer screens.

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 available at www.upstate.edu/informed