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Long-time Upstate volunteer named Person of the Year by Arc of Onondaga

Paul Fisselbrand has been a volunteer at the Upstate University Hospital's Community Campus for 17 years. Here he stands with a wheelchair, ready to transport a patient.

Arc of Onondaga has named a long-time Upstate University Hospital volunteer as its Person of the Year.

Paul Fisselbrand has been a volunteer at Upstate for 17 years. During that time, he has volunteered more than 5,388 hours. Every Tuesday at the Upstate Community Campus, you can find Fisselbrand working as a main desk volunteer. He transports and discharges patients, makes deliveries of flowers and other items to patient rooms and offers greetings throughout the hospital.

“This award recognizes a person supported by Arc of Onondaga who has demonstrated significant progress toward living an independent, inclusive life to their fullest potential,” according to Arc of Onondaga. 

Fisselbrand is widely liked and known at the Community Campus.

“Paul approaches everything with a smile,” said Kristin Bruce, MHA, MBA, FACHE, director of the Office of Volunteer Programs at Upstate. “He greets people, escorts patients and spreads good cheer. He is always willing to help and has a heart of gold.”

Fisselbrand is a “known self-advocate in the CNY Community,” according to Arc of Onondaga. He serves on several committees including Arc Achievers, Arc of Onondaga’s self-advocacy committee, which supports people and causes that allow participants to be respected and active in their communities. He also serves on Arc’s Cool People Committee and the Safety Committee.

“His work on the achievers committee has enabled him to visit assembly members and senators, write letters to the governor of New York state, and attend rallies both local and regionally,” according to Arc. “When he is not busy volunteering or advocating for his peers, Paul enjoys attending Arc’s community habilitation program three days a week, grocery shopping for his housemates, gardening, golfing, and being an active member of his local chapter of the American Legion.” 

Fisselbrand will be recognized as Person of the Year at the 25th annual Arc Dinner June 5 at Drumlins Country Club. Considered the most prestigious award of the evening, the honor included a video about Fisselbrand featuring interviews with Arc and Upstate colleagues as well as family members.

For more information on Arc of Onondaga, go to: www.arcon.org