[Skip to Content]
Hero the wolf, Upstate's mascot (also spelled as "mask-ot"  when sporting a mask).
Hero the wolf, Upstate's mascot (also spelled as "mask-ot" when sporting a mask).

What’s up at Upstate: in case you missed it

A wolf appears, a food pantry opens, and medical drones get a test run


Upstate Medical University now has a mascot, selected through an employee voting process. The big blue wolf beat out a fox, turtle, owl and bear. Until the vote, Upstate had been one of only two SUNY campuses without a mascot. The wolf, named Hero, is introduced at a time when mask wearing was important for public health, so the mascot became the campus “mask-ot.”

Hero the wolf, without the maskHero the wolf, without the mask


Upstate opened a new Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program for those ages 13 to 18 with psychiatric disorders and behavioral difficulties. It provides up to six weeks of services, which may include medication management and individual, family, group or multi-family group therapy — all based on the dialectical behavior therapy model, which teaches coping skills and identification of triggers.


Upstate University Hospital has a new way to help patients with neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and epilepsy. A new deep brain stimulation device, Percept PC Neurostimulator, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in July. G. Duemani Reddy, MD, directs adult functional neurosurgery at Upstate and is an expert in DBS therapy. Neurosurgeons at Upstate have also begun using new robot technology for minimally invasive brain surgery, to offer a higher level of accuracy and shortened procedure time. The ROSA brain robot is a surgical navigation and positioning system used in pediatric laser ablation and for treating epilepsy in adults. ROSA stands for robotic surgical assistant.


The pandemic heightened the critical need for medical technologists. Upstate’s College of Health Professions offers a two-year Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology for those with the prerequisite college credits. It’s a field that’s expected to grow more than 15% through 2026, according to the Center for Health Workforce Studies. Learn more at upstate.edu/chp


At a time when financial pressures are great, Upstate employees contributed a record $592,963 in the 2020 Community Giving Campaign. The money pledged comes from 1,260 employees and goes to many charities. In the previous year, $569,789 was pledged.


A drone delivering a package during a test run that Upstate took part in earlier this year. (photo by Upstate medical photography staff)A drone delivering a package during a test run that Upstate took part in earlier this year. (photo by Upstate medical photography staff)

Hundreds of SUNY students have access to mental health services thanks to a network launched by an Upstate psychiatrist. Christopher Lucas, MD, began the SUNY Student Tele-Counseling Network in 2018. Since then, it has expanded to 16 campuses, and Downstate providers are joining the effort.


Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, the first woman in America to receive a medical degree, graduated in 1849 from Geneva Medical College, a predecessor to Upstate Medical University. Her 200th birthday was Feb. 3, 2021, and sculptor Sharon BuMann is developing a model for a sculpture of Blackwell at Upstate. The Medical Alumni and the Upstate foundations are raising money for the sculpture and scholarships in her name.


A food pantry that serves students at Upstate is being named Paley’s Pantry, in memory of Alex Paley, a medical student who died of brain cancer five months after graduating from Upstate. Initiatives began in fall 2018 to address the increasing number of college students who face food insecurity. For the last two years, Upstate students have been able to get food from the Food Center @324, a side entrance to University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St.


The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program named Upstate Community Hospital one of 89 facilities nationwide with meritorious outcomes for surgical care in 2019.


Upstate University Hospital earned “most wired” recognition from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The group conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively health care organizations apply technologies to improve health and care in their communities.


Upstate officials are testing drone flight as a new way of delivering lab specimens between the downtown Upstate University Hospital, Upstate Community Hospital on Onondaga Hill and other locations. Multiple test flights took place in January.


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation named Upstate an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer.” Upstate’s Inclusive Health Services provides primary care services to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.


For more news, visit upstate.edu/news

Upstate Health Magazine

This article appears in the winter 2021 issue of Upstate Health magazine

Read online at issuu.com

Subscribe to our printed publication in the mail or to receive an emailed electronic version.