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Upstate Announcements for November 16, 2023

Upstate Wellness resources for staff and students

Services for students:

  • Student Counseling Center, 719 Harrison St., first floor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Building. How it works: Students interested in services will have an initial consultation with a staff psychologist. Further recommendations will be based on that meeting and may include ongoing counseling through Student Counseling. Counseling can help students address a variety of concerns, including stress management, adjustment difficulties, anxiety and relationship problems. 315-464-3120.
  • Student Affairs Support Services. 315-464-4816. There are many offices and functions that exist solely to support students and to help facilitate student achievement. The resources linked above highlight such services.

Services for employees, residents include:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP), located at Upstate Community Hospital, Room 0276. EAP is a voluntary program designed to offer a highly professional, confidential source of help for people with personal problems or concerns to include but are not limited to emotional, family, work stress, legal, financial, grief, change-related, marital/relationship, alcohol/ drug or domestic violence problems. 315-492-5296.
  • Staff Wellness Support Social Worker offers staff, residents and fellows brief support for those who have experienced work-related trauma. Social worker can provide resource information, debriefing, and connection. For more, email Lauren Angelone, LMSW, at [email protected] or call 315-464-6001.
  • Individual health insurance plans may also offer wellbeing services. For example, Empire Plan as of July 1 now offers Talkspace, a new online therapy option. The Empire Plan, in partnership with Talkspace, brings convenient online therapy, counseling and medication services to enrollees and their dependents. Talkspace therapists specialize in stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance use, identity struggles, trauma, grief and more. For more information and to get started, visit https://www.talkspace.com/empireplan to register.

Services for students, employees and residents include:

  • Wellness Resource Line, which is available 24/7 to help provide people with resources to support medical, physical, emotional, professional, safety, and spiritual wellbeing. The service is confidential. Call 315-464-KARE or 4-KARE. Assistance is also available via email at [email protected]  Additional wellness offerings can be found here: https://www.upstate.edu/wellness/index.php.
  • Department of Spiritual Care. 315 464-4687 Key services provided include spiritual support in times of crisis and change of health condition.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 315-464-5234 This office works with all members of Upstate’s campus to ensure a campus environment that respects and values the diversity of all who work, learn and receive care here.
  • Office of Institutional Equity. 315-464-5238 This office is responsible for receiving and investigating all complaints of discrimination and harassment towards any member of the campus community based on a protected class, including race, color, national origin, citizenship and immigration status, religion, age, disability, sex, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, transgender status, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, familial status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction record, and any other category protected under state, federal, or local law
  • University Police work to ensure Upstate is a safe place for all who come here to work, learn, visit and receive care.  If individuals feel unsafe and want to report any suspicious activity, they should call University Police at 315-464-4000. Campus safety escorts are also available by calling 315-464-4000 (Downtown) and 315-492-5511 (Community).
  • These and other resources can also be accessed via the wellness webpage, Wellness | SUNY Upstate



Native American Heritage Month events underway

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presents the following events:

  • Cultural Talk with story teller Regis Cook. Nov. 21 from noon to 1 p.m. in 4414 A, Academic Building.
  • Native American meal offerings at lunch in campus cafeterias Nov. 22, 23.
  • Documentary Film Screening of Voices from the Barrens, Native People, Blueberries and Sovereignty. Nov. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Boarding School Experience Presentation. Nov. 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in 4414 A, Academic Building. Pete Hill will provide insights into the boarding school experience.
  • Weekly Online Trivia: Weeks of Nov. 15, 22  Link for 11/8: https://forms.gle/xPfRD7gXNPajvtgSA
  • Off campus events:
  • Virtual Event: Native American Heritage Month by UCS Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Franklin H. William Judicial Commission and the 8th Judicial District (link to be provided).



Upstate Offers entrance to Lights on the Lake

As an official sponsor of this year’s Lights on the Lake, Upstate is providing complimentary entrance to Lights on the Lake for individuals with an Upstate ID on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Only one vehicle entrance per Upstate ID. 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 is open from 5 to 10 p.m. at Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool. A valid Upstate ID is required.



Graduate Open House is Nov. 18

Upstate will host a Graduate Open House Saturday, Nov. 18 in Weiskotten Hall. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. in the lobby and the welcome begins at 9:30 a.m. Degree programs include: behavior analysis (MS), clinical perfusion (MS), medicine (MD, MD/MBA, MD/MPH, MD/PhD), medprep, nursing (post masters certificate, DNP), physical therapy (DPT), physician assistant (MS), and public health (certificate, MPH). Register here: https://www.upstate.edu/prospective/events/open-house.php. Questions? Email Maggie Moore at [email protected].



Holiday closures announced for Nov. 23, 24

  • Record Storage will be closed Nov. 23 and 24.
  • Hospital Purchasing will be closed Nov. 24. Questions? Email Kelly Hartman at [email protected].
  • Human Resources will be closed Nov. 23 and 24, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1.



Pet A Pooch information sessions are Nov. 28 and 30

Pet A Pooch information sessions will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. in C1076 A/B/C at Upstate Cancer Center and Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Upstate Foundation, in the second-floor conference room, 5784 Widewaters Parkway, Syracuse. Lunch/dinner will be provided. Please do not bring pets to the information sessions.

Sessions are open to Upstate employees or retirees who have a dog they feel would make a wonderful addition to Pet A Pooch. Pre-registration is required and there is a limit of 25 people per session. Pre-register here: https://forms.gle/tAAvBRi3ckppxgARA. For more information, email Debra Emerson at [email protected].

Pet a Pooch, a program that helps destress Upstate staff, is offered by Upstate’s Wellness Program, the Upstate Foundation, and Pet Partners CNY.



Voya retirement workshop is Nov. 29

Voya will host a retirement workshop Nov. 29 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Room at Upstate Community Hospital. One of the best ways to navigate swings in the financial markets is to have a plan that meets personalized goals, time horizon, and investment style. It is crucial to have sound strategies in place to prepare for retirement. Refreshments will be provided. Register here https://boblaferriere.timetap.com/#/ and select SUNY Upstate—Community Campus Room CC00256.



Applications for 2024 Your Cause charity are due Nov. 30

Team Upstate seeks applications from the Upstate community for a CNY agency to be the featured Your Cause charity in 2024. The Your Cause sponsorship 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 Francis 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 [email protected]. Questions? Email Becca Pesci at [email protected].



Joey’s Wish T-shirt sales are Dec. 8 and 14

Joey’s Wish T-shirt sales will be held Dec. 8 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second floor of Upstate University Hospital and Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria at Community. Shirts are teal and are $20 each. Cash, check and Venmo payments will be accepted. To pre-order shirts, email Ann Morrell at [email protected]. Proceeds help individuals fight addiction. To learn more about Joey’s Wish, visit: https://www.joeyswish.org/about-us. The fund is held at the Upstate Foundation.



Upstate Clark Burn Center T-shirt sale is Dec. 11

Upstate’s Clark Burn Center will hold a T-shirt sale Dec. 11 from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second floor of Upstate University Hospital. The shirts are long-sleeved crew neck in navy heather. Shirts are $20 each or two for $35. Proceeds support patients and families with burn injuries. For questions about the sale, email Tamara Roberts at [email protected].



Easy for You is Dec. 12

Easy for You, Upstate's tobacco treatment program, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Multi-D suite C3068 on the third floor of Upstate Cancer Center. 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 315-464-3619 or [email protected].



Salvation Army Christmas Bureau is Dec. 20

The Salvation Army Christmas Bureau distribution day will be held Dec. 20 at the OnCenter. To volunteer, visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F49ABAE2FA2FEC70-45295579-salvation. Due to space restrictions, the Salvation Army cannot accept any last-minute volunteer requests. Spaces are filled on a first come, first serve basis.



NYSHIP Health Insurance Option Transfer Period

The New York State Planning for Option Transfer 2024 flyer has been mailed to homes. The publication includes information about the upcoming Option Transfer Period, when you can make changes to your 2024 NYSHIP option for yourself and your enrolled dependents. Health insurance Choices for 2024, 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 2024 Rate information and Option Transfer deadlines.



Productivity Enhancement Program for state employees is open

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) is open now through Dec. 11 for eligible New York State Employees who are represented by CSEA, PEF, UUP, and M/C-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 2024. 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. 11, 2023. 



Open enrollment for the Flex Spending Account Program for state employees is open

The 2024 Flex Spending Account (FSA) Program open enrollment period for New York state employees is now through Dec. 11, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. To be eligible to enroll in the FSA 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 2024 calendar year. Please note that if you wish to continue your current enrollment, you will need to re-enroll for the 2024 plan year. For more information and how to enroll, visit: https://oer.ny.gov/how-to-enroll



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 2023 edition) was mailed to the homes of all eligible staff. Review the Health Care Plan Comparison and Biweekly Rates online here: Open Enrollment: RF | Human Resources Intranet | SUNY Upstate Medical University. Important reminders listed below.

  • Print confirmation statements after making any changes for open enrollment. 
  • The Research Foundation Central Office benefits department will host office hours Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24 from noon to 1 p.m. Call in to ask any open enrollment questions (Dial-in #: 877-853-5247 Meeting ID: 897 7134 2069).
  • If employees would like to participate in flexible spending they must re-enroll in this benefit each year by going to www.rfsuny.org/selfservice.
  • Employees who participate in Dependent Care Spending must elect the subsidy if they wish to receive it.
  • Text alerts are available. Employees can text RFBENEFITS to 24587 to receive RF benefits text alerts.



Upstate Global Health seeks participants for study

Upstate’s Institute for Global Health seeks adults 65 years of age and older to participate in influenza studies that will help the community and advance the science of influenza research. For more information, email [email protected] or call 415-464-9869.



“Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff” seeks input

Do extra clicks, silly rules and pointless processes drive you crazy? Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff (G.R.O.S.S.) is here to help. G.R.O.S.S. is endorsed by the AMA and helped Upstate earn the Joy in Medicine Silver Award. In the course of your daily work, when you run into a task, barrier, or outdated mandate that slows you down, go to the iPAGE, select Clinical Launch Pad, and click on the G.R.O.S.S. orange icon. Answer the query and, while not necessary, staff and students can leave an email address so the team can follow up, clarify the problem, and let report back when it’s fixed. The G.R.O.S.S. team will triage your input and work to resolve with the appropriate department.



Bias Checklist website is now live

The Bias Checklist Collaborative website, supporting the Upstate Bias Checklist, is now live and accessible at www.biaschecklist.org. The checklist is a free, publicly available tool that any educator in the health professions, at any level (undergraduate through continuing education), can use when reviewing content for Upstate learners. The website is the product of a Macy Foundation President’s Grant awarded last year to Amy Caruso Brown, MD, and Lauren Germain, PhD.



Mindful Meditation is every Tuesday

Mindful Meditation is 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

The Informed Patient podcast recently featured interviews with these specialists about common injuries in a popular racket sport, a possible drug treatment for certain eye injuries, and the stark choice facing people with serious kidney disease.

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, including YouTube. 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 upstate.edu/informed.

To suggest an Upstate expert or topic for a possible podcast, email Amber Smith at [email protected]