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Ronald Saletsky, PhD, receives President's Award

Upstate Medical University presented 16 awards at its fall convocation Sept. 16. The President‘s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service was given to Ronald Saletsky, PhD. Below is his biography, as it appears in the convocation program.

By Stephanie DeJoseph

Ronald Saletsky, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics

Ronald Saletsky, PhD,
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics

Dr. Ronald Saletsky has shown amazing dedication over many years caring for troubled, abandoned and abused children and their families in Onondaga County. He has been an extraordinary team member, mentor and leader who uses his talents throughout Upstate and the larger community to provide better care for those children who are without a voice.

Before joining Upstate in 1992, Dr. Saletsky worked at Hutchings Psychiatric Center on its children‘s inpatient unit. At Upstate, he serves many roles with excellence as the chief child psychologist in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of Child Psychology Training. He has been described as “dedicated and engaged,” “a true role model” and “highly knowledgeable, skilled empathetic and effective.”

As a teacher, Dr. Saletsky teaches courses in child psychotherapy and child development in the Department of Psychiatry for psychology interns, child psychiatry fellows and social work interns. He contributes lectures to medical students on child psychology. He has taught courses and lectures on child development in the departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine at Upstate and at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. He is a primary supervisor of child psychotherapy for advanced trainees at the Department of Psychiatry. “He has a unique ability to connect with whomever he is working with, be it a fellow staff member, patient or parent. He always ensures comfort and builds confidence in clinical areas,” said one.

One of the early front-runners in providing integrated care, Dr. Saletsky provided weekly on-site consultations for years to the Joslin Diabetes Center and continues in that role on an as-needed basis. He has been an important research collaborator there, providing training to participants and interventionists in National Institutes of Health trials. “Ron knows how to take complex concepts and translate them into meaningful and useful skills that are accessible to individuals at all levels of education,” said a nominator. Since 1992, his primary clinical responsibilities have been with the ENHANCE Foster Care Program, a multidisciplinary primary care clinic for children in foster care in Onondaga County. “This is truly God‘s work,” commented a nominator.

His position there not only involves direct clinical care of children, foster parents and family members, he also serves as a resource, consultant and trainer to the many professionals involved with these children, including Department of Social Services caseworkers and supervisors, agencies such as Hospice of CNY, Catholic Charities and Hillside, staff at Elmcrest Children‘s Center, law guardians, and Family Court judges. In recognition of their efforts, the National Association of Counties honored ENHANCE with its NACO Award for providing “an innovative team approach to health care for children in foster care.” In addition, he presents regional and statewide training workshops on the child and family‘s experience of foster care and psychological aspects of conditional custody surrenders. “If I could provide testimonials from all these parties, they would never end,” commented a nominator.

He has been a member of SUNY Upstate‘s Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects since 1994.

He is a member of the Central New York Psychological Association, where he serves on the Board, the New York Psychological Association, is a consultant to the Jewish Community Center, and many other professional organizations.

He has received the Upstate Gold Standard Award for “unsung heroes” in recognition of his superlative professional efforts and was voted The Psychologist of the Year by the Central New York Psychological Association.

Dr. Saletsky is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he earned a BS degree in psychology in 1982. He obtained an MS degree from the University of Wisconsin in child and family studies in 1986 and a PhD degree in child-clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 1990.