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Advocates for SUNY Upstate Medical University mark 100th Anniversary

Advocates for SUNY Upstate Medical University is marking its 100th anniversary. The volunteer membership organization supports the activities of SUNY Upstate's University Hospital and its four colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate Studies through social and fundraising events and community outreach programs.

According to Advocates' Co-President Deborah Meech, the organization traces its roots to the Women's Auxiliary to the University Hospital of the Good Shepherd, the predecessor to what is now University Hospital. "A small group of women loyal to the hospital banded together in 1902 to raise money through food sales and teas to purchase hospital bed linens and other amenities," she said. "Today our membership numbers more than 220 men and women. In the past five years alone we have raised more than $500,000 for patient care programs and services, nursing initiatives and medical equipment for University Hospital, student scholarships for SUNY Upstate's College of Health Professions and for Advocates' community outreach programs.

SUNY Upstate President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., acknowledged the work of Advocates on the occasion of the centennial. "Advocates for SUNY Upstate Medical University are dedicated individuals who make our community a better place to live," he said. "Their initiatives have had a direct and beneficial impact not only on our medical university, but on the entire community. We are grateful for their interest and their efforts," said Co-President Laurie Clark noted that the Advocates have helped support numerous programs at SUNY Upstate. "Included in the programs that the Advocates' have helped realize are the Center for Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders, the Regional Oncology Center, Joslin Center for Diabetes and an electronic patient and family medical education program."

One of the most visible Advocate community outreach programs is the award winning "We Have a Little Emergency" (WHALE), a car seat and helmet identification program, presented in cooperation with the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

In January 2001, the organization changed its name from Auxiliary to SUNY Upstate Medical University to Advocates for SUNY Upstate Medical University to more closely reflect its mission of supporting SUNY Upstate and advocating for community health needs.

To learn more about Advocates for SUNY Upstate Medical University, call 315 464-5610.