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Physician honored for 50 years of service to Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- As a medical student at Upstate Medical University nearly 60 years ago, Eugene Kaplan, MD, remembers holding an umbrella over a patient--who was being operated on at the University Hospital of the Good Shepherd--to protect the patient from plaster falling from the ceiling. “Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I wasn’t needed to assist with the operation, but, in fact, needed for this other purpose,” laughs Kaplan.

Kaplan is among more than 1,200 individuals to be honored at Upstate’s 28th annual Employee Recognition Day June 7. While he is being recognized for 50 years of service as a member of faculty, his connection to Upstate dates back to his days as a student in the university’s medical school and as a resident in Upstate’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

He says that throughout his years at the university, he has witnessed tremendous change and growth, not only in the university’s physical plant, but in other ways, as well.

“I have seen an amazing increase in the size and complexity of the institution and in its growth in terms of new programs, new staff, and the many options available for treating and teaching,” says Kaplan, who is professor and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

He has also witnessed changes in the practice of medicine. “The profession has greatly changed over the years,” says Kaplan, “with increasingly complex treatment possibilities. In my own specialty of psychiatry, we have seen the development of new and more effective forms of psychotherapy and new and more effective medications. Medicine is a noble profession, and I am pleased and proud to have been a part of it for more than a half of a century.”

Employee Recognition Day will be held Thursday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter Complex, 800 S. State St., Syracuse. The event recognizes Upstate employees for achieving their five-year incremental milestone of service as of June 30, 2012. This is the first year that employees from Upstate’s Community campus will participate and be honored for their years of service, including time worked at Community General Hospital.