News, happenings around Upstate Medical University

The Upstate team celebrated in London.

The Upstate team celebrated in London.

You may recall that four runners from Upstate were invited to compete in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London this summer for the 3.5-mile championship race. They sent a group post card – a cut-out of Queen Elizabeth – saying “the race experience was one-of-a-kind and inspiring. We connected with athletes from across the country and the world.”

The team’s total time was 1 hour, 32 minutes and 39 seconds. John Kolh of environmental services finished in 21:24. Exercise physiologist Kristin Kmack finished in 22:26. Chris Loughlin, a member of the electronic medical records technical team, finished in 24:13. And registered nurse Cara Lavier finished in 24:36.

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Happy holidays: Did you celebrate the start of summer at the LEON Festival in June? LEON (“noel” spelled backward) marks the halfway point to Christmas. There were fireworks instead of tree lights, Kidz Bop instead of carols, and no snow.

Staff from Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital distributed 500 free bicycle helmets along with advice for keeping kids safe. The celebration is expected to become an end-of-the-school-year tradition.

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Construction is underway to expand the Joslin Diabetes Center so that more patients can be cared for at the center, at 3229 E. Genesee St.

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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reaccredited the Upstate Sleep Center, the only sleep study facility in Central New York to care for children. Its director, Robert Westlake says this “reaffirms our dedication to sleep health.”

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Good news for the Master of Public Health program. It received a five-year accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. This is a joint program between Upstate Medical and Syracuse universities, offering an MPH degree and a certificate program. Students include physicians and other health care professionals, plus people just entering the field of healthcare. Part-time study is an option. Learn more at upstate.edu/cnymph/academic.

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Upstate’s MD/PhD program adds eight new students this year, bringing to 27 the total number of future physician/scientists on what is typically a seven-year track that blends clinical practice with research. The dual degree program sandwiches a three-year PhD segment between the first two and last two years of medical school.

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An initiative to decrease hospital re-admissions for heart failure patients, a program offering financial assistance for childbirth classes and an annual symposium that updates medical teams on advances in cancer care are among 61 projects at Upstate to share $120,000 in funding this year from The Advocates for Upstate Medical University.

The Advocates raise money through events such as Mystery, Malt and Merlot to support hospital programs that improve patient care, support medical education and enhance health.

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Speaking of money that helps society, researchers in the Department of Psychiatry received a $2.8 million Mental Health Research Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Over the next five years, they will investigate genetic susceptibility to a wide range of childhood psychiatric disorders.

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The Upstate Cancer Center received a $50,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen CNY Affiliate to help increase the rates of mammography screening in low-income African-American women. The grant helps create a program called “She Matters,” which will use trained resident health advocate to educate, encourage and facilitate mammography screening among women over the age of 40 who live in the Syracuse Housing Authority’s Pioneer Homes development near Upstate University Hospital in downtown Syracuse.

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An associate professor of surgery and senior research scientist at Upstate was awarded a $50,000 grant from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund to develop a minimally-invasive infusion and suction therapy device to remove harmful abdominal fluid buildup caused by trauma, sepsis, or burns. The governor’s office identified Gary Nieman’s grant as one of five given to researchers at SUNY institutions to aid in the development of the next generation of life-saving technologies.

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Also, Upstate is among nine State University of New York campuses to share $900,000 in funding for biomedical research projects supported by the SUNY Health Network of Excellence.

Gerontologist Sharon Brangman, MD, is involved in two of the projects – one that will investigate frailty through a collaboration with researchers at the University of Buffalo, Downstate Medical Center and Stony Brook University, and another that explores the creation of hand-held biosensors that could detect neural diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.

John Epling, MD, and Christopher Morely, PhD, received a planning grant to create a SUNY-wide centralized “big data” repository of electronic health record data.

 

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