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College of Medicine alumni return for Reunion Sept. 23, 24

College of Medicine alumni return for Reunion Sept. 23, 24

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Upstate Medical University will host alumni from the College of Medicine with class years ending in 1 or 6 at Medical Alumni Reunion Sept. 23 and 24. Among the nearly 300 alumni expected back are several from the Class of 1951, who will celebrate their 65th reunion.

“The theme of this year’s event is Celebration, Tradition, Connection,” said Paul Norcross, executive director of Upstate’s Medical Alumni Association/Foundation. “And that’s exactly what we will do over the these two days: celebrate, maintain our traditions, connect with former classmates or new friends and with our ever-changing campus.”

Friday’s schedule features the Weiskotten Lecture by Patrick L. Basile, MD, Class of 2003, former assistant chief of plastic surgery and director of microsurgery at Walter Reed National Military Center. Basile’s presentation will examine the history of military medicine and lessons learned from the global war on terrorism. The presentation takes place at 3 p.m. in Medical Alumni Auditorium, located in Weiskotten Hall.

A special feature of each Medical Alumni Reunion is the presentation of a trio of awards on Friday, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Medical Alumni Auditorium.

Robert A. Levine, MD, Class of 1966, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Levine is a noted physician, scientist and inventor who developed the QBC Hematology System and QBC Malaria test, which are used worldwide. He completed his post-medical school training in internal medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, after which he served fellowships in endocrinology and nephrology at Yale and was trained in radioimmunoassay at the Bronx VA Hospital.

(Levine will speak prior to reunion activities, on Sept. 22 on Rules for Successful Inventing for Physician and Scientists Using Sex as a Metaphor at 4 p.m. in Medical Alumni Auditorium of Weiskotten Hall.)

Mary Jo Lechowicz, MD, Class of 1996, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Lechowicz is professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Additionally she holds the Margaret H. Rollins Chair in Cancer at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory. She is a primary investigator for a number of trials, with regard to improvement of care in lymphoma, particularly related to transplantation and patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Robert B. Cady, MD, Class of 1971, will receive the Humanitarian Award. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Cady is a former member of the Upstate faculty, who has supported the university and medical care around the globe with his time, treasure and talent. Cady was a leader in the effort to help renovate and name Upstate’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders after William J. Waters, one of the Syracuse area’s first physicians to treat childhood cancers. Most recently, Cady, an expert on treating club foot, has established club foot clinics in Haiti to treat children there, and train physicians in the treatment protocols.

A dinner and reception round out Friday’s offerings.

Saturday starts with a power breakfast of sorts. For many alumni, it will be the first time they get to meet Upstate’s new president, Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, who became Upstate’s president in January.  Laraque-Arena will be joined by College of Medicine Dean David Duggan, MD, Class of 1979, and Upstate University Hospital Chief Executive Officer John McCabe, MD, Class of 1979, in offering updates on the university and the hospital with a look to the future. The Dean’s Breakfast and Annual Meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the ninth floor Dining Room of Weiskotten Hall.

Alumni will be offered a chance to see the 90,000 square foot Upstate Cancer Center, Upstate’s newest clinical building. The center features some of the latest and most successful technology in fighting cancer, as well as a healing garden and artwork by local artists. Tours of the cancer center will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The tradition of class dinners will close the reunion weekend Saturday.

“It is always a wonderful event and opportunity for Upstate to welcome back alumni and to hear reminisces of how things were, and for Upstate to show and talk about how things are today,” Norcross said. “Much of the good work Upstate does today is supported by our alumni in many ways.”

Caption: From left, Robert A. Levine, MD, Mary Jo Lechowicz, MD, and Robert B. Cady, MD, will receive awards at this year’s Medical Alumni Reunion.