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SUNY Upstate wins honors for parents' program and community report

SUNY Upstate Medical University's parents' program and its Report to Community have been honored by the State University of New York's Council for University Affairs and Development (SUNY CUAD).

SUNY Upstate's Parents Committee and Fund was honored as the best alumni program in the SUNY system. Judges said the program was designed with a clear purpose and well-tailored toward the pivotal events in the medical students' lives. Judges also noted that since the program's inception in 1998, dollars raised from parents have nearly doubled and participation has increased more than 50 percent.

The 20-member parent committee plans and develops key activities and events for parents and helps keep them informed of developments at SUNY Upstate through a series of direct mail pieces and publications. "The committee helps foster a sense of community between students' parents and the College of Medicine," said Carole Novick, executive director of alumni affairs, who developed the program. "We have made parents a key constituency here and they have in turn supported the campus in many ways."

Novick said financial contributions from parents go to support the annual White Coat Ceremony and Reception, the Match Day Dinner Dance and the purchase of expensive medical texts.

In addition to Novick, the parents program is administered by Lori Murphy and Sarah Burns.

SUNY Upstate's Report to the Community was named best institutional publication. The Report to the Community is a 24-page guide detailing a day in the life of Upstate Medical University. The publication takes readers on a visual journey through the Upstate campus from the early morning preparations in the operating room to a mid-day medical pharmacology course to the busy 24-hour health information call center. It also publicizes the efforts of a wide variety of employees, from the person who sorts mail in the Mail Room to the hospital volunteer who makes lunch for chemotherapy patients.

In selecting SUNY Upstate's report as the best, judges said: "Producing 'fresh' annual reports is a challenge and SUNY Upstate Medical University was up to the task. The 'Day in the Life' concept is terrific, not only because it details what goes on at Upstate but it recognizes the contributions of the entire staff, not simply top administrators and faculty."

"The report shows a typical day at Upstate Medical University, capturing the activities surrounding students, employees, patients and volunteers," said Leah Caldwell, assistant director for university communications, who headed the report's creative team. "As Upstate is more than a hospital