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Volume 20, No. 10, October 2017


As mentioned in in the June issue of the Crier, two of our Peds faculty were selected as SUNY Distinguished Professors this year. Congratulations to Dr. Ann Botash who was appointed to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. And Dr. Len Weiner who was promoted to SUNY Distinguished Service Professor. As if that wasn’t enough honors for one department, Dr. Hank Roanne received the President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and Dr. John Andrake received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. All four were honored at the Fall Faculty Convocation on September 13th. See more information PDF document about each of our award winners.

Congratulations to all four of these outstanding faculty members for their well deserved honors.

Intern Retreat

All 15 interns were able to escape their hospital responsibilities for about 24 hours to enjoy some time (far) away from it all at VanderKamp in Cleveland, NY. They were joined by the program directors on Friday morning for some serious fun and competition. And once again this year, 100% of the teams successfully dropped their eggs without breaking them (see past issues for an explanation). Pictured are all of the winners holding the trophy that was passed on to them from last year’s winners.

The Winners from the Class of 2020

Top 40 Under 40

Congratulations to our very own Manika Suryadevara who was notified that she is one of the 40 recipients of the 2017 CNY 40 Under Forty awards. As described on their website, the “40 Under Forty award recognizes 40 ambitious, hard-working, civic-minded individuals, who are under the age of 40. These individuals have excelled in the workplace and in the community. This group demonstrates diverse backgrounds, experiences and skills; they thrive on active community involvement and appreciate the importance of their role in advancing public good. They are our next leaders who will be making decisions for their businesses.” Manika will be honored at a reception on November 16th at the SRC Arena and Events Center in Syracuse. This is the 20th anniversary of the award and the average attendance is over 450. You can find more out at: 2017 40 Under Forty Awards

Dr. Brown at Green

Dr. Amy Brown just got back from her latest overseas adventures and shares the following:

"I just returned from a month in Oxford as a visiting professor, hosted by Green Templeton College and the Ethox Centre in the Department of Population Health. It was my first trip back for more than a couple days since I was a student there 10 years ago! I gave two talks, 'Do Moral Foundations Matter in Bioethics?' and 'Moral Distress in the Quest for Health Equity in the U.S.' I'm assuming they were well-received since they invited me to come back and give a series of talks next year. :-) I'm attaching a couple of pictures of my son there, since I never pose for pictures of myself."

Enjoying Oxford

AAP Resident Rep

Also at the AAP, our very own Ripal Patel served as our resident rep. She shares the following report:

"The national AAP conference is a yearly event where thousands of pediatricians and trainees from across the world gather in one forum to learn about updated guidelines, discuss relevant topics plaguing the children we serve, and learning about new innovative technology. As the resident representative from our institution, I was able attend the section on trainees where we discussed relevant issues and resolutions. The theme set forward by the AAP this year is Access For Kids. The year will be broken down into quarters addressing issues facing each of these populations respectively: 1. Foster Care/Group Home Children 2. Immigrant Children 3. LGQBT Children and 4. Children with Special Needs/Medically Complex Children. District 2, which represents all of New York State, decided that we will focus on sensitivity regarding these issues. There were concerns brought up from many institutions in the state regarding the lack of knowledge of the issues these children face.

I got the pleasure of attending the first Upstate Pediatric House-staff Reunion! It was truly a unique opportunity to speak to all the faculty that were once in our shoes and to hear about how different things were back then! We looked at old house-staff photos that dated back almost 50 years! It was inspiring to see how those who once began their career here at Upstate as medical student/residents/fellows went on to hold such prestigious positions!"

Ripal in AAP-Land

AAP Residency Reunion

As mentioned above, thanks to former resident, Dr. Richard Strauss (Class of 1983) a SUNY Upstate Pediatric Resident/Faculty reunion was held on Sept 18th at the AAP meeting in Chicago. It was apparently a lovely get-together and rumors of future reunions are now being discussed. The Crier will keep you updated.

The Upstate Resident Reunion at the AAP

Former residents and old and new friends

Another Resident Reunion

Third year resident Anuja Khettry had the opportunity to meet former resident (Class of 1998) and Peds ID fellow (2001), Dania Ali Ahmad when she did an away rotation at Pediatric Health At Chestnut Hill in Boston. Anuja tells the Crier, "I spent a month at Dr. Dania (Ali-Ahmad) Mansour's office, working with her and her partner, Dr. Maurice Keenan in my hometown of Chestnut Hill, MA. It was such a happy coincidence to find such a wonderful grad from our residency working so close to where I grew up! I learned a lot and got to meet and see some pretty awesome patients and families (Dr. Nelsen can attest to that). As Patty had predicted, Dr. Mansour and I had a lot of fun working together - and unintentionally showed up wearing matching outfits on my last day in the clinic."

Anuja and Dania


Brooke in Ethiopia

Before beginning her new role here at Upstate as an NP, Brooke Fraser went on another medical mission trip, this time to Ethiopia. The Crier asked Brooke if she would be able to share anything about her trip. We are very pleased to be able to share the following:

"In August 2017 I ventured on my 6th international service trip, and second time to Ethiopia. I volunteer for a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. called the Aslan Project ( Aslan believes that ‘no child should die of cancer because of where they are born’ and works to develop pediatric oncology care centers in developing countries. I returned to Jimma (about 220 km SW of Addis) to spend two weeks on the now one-year old pediatric oncology unit, providing teaching, support and an evaluation of the current state of the program. Once home I provide a SWOT analysis to Aslan. People ask me all the time. “is it hard?”. Yes, it is hard, but no harder than what those who live there have to face daily in their quest to move the program forward. I have come to view my mission/service trips as my pause from my busy daily life. When I was a little girl I used to love to sit in the back of my parent’s car as they drove during a torrential downpour. Although I now realize that they likely did not enjoy this drive, what I loved was that moment that our car would drive under an overpass. The rain would beat down on our old station wagon, waves of water sloshing over the wipers, a repetitious drumming. So loud and in many ways chaotic. And then silence. Peace. Calm. As our old wagon slid under the overpass and the loud chaos froze around us. Today, I look at my busy life as sometimes driving through the downpour. But when I’m standing in front of a child in rural Ethiopia that has such great needs, my needs, my worries, my daily life falls to the side and in a way, there is a stillness. You see, it is at this time that I am focused only on another and not on myself. I am under the overpass of my life.

This year in Ethiopia I decided to write my thoughts and feelings in a short blog at the end of each day. My friend Sunny encouraged me to share what I had written. Some days were very hard and the comments that people sent me that were following my blog helped me get through the darker, lonely hours. These are my stories: Brooke's Blog PDF document

Gut Reaction

Dr. Beg shared the following:

The 11th Annual Upstate NY Gut Club meeting was held on Saturday, Sept. 9th 2017 at The Glen Saunders Mansion, Scotia, NY. Dr. Athos Bousvaros, MD, MPH, from Children’s Hospital Boston updated the attendees about role of Nutrition in IBD. Participants from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany Pediatric GI divisions attended this meeting. Upstate was well represented by Drs. Imdad and Beg and 4th year medical student Jennifer Liano. First Dr. Fiza Laheji presented an interesting but very complicated Pediatric vulvar Crohn's disease patient which she saw during her recent observership in Pediatric GI clinic under Dr. Beg's supervision. Her presentation led a good lengthy and creative discussion. Other presenters of this meeting were Ben Infantino MD, from Albany Medical Center and Nanda Kerkar, MD from Rochester. Thanks to former resident Cary Qualia who was also there and was responsible for arranging the meeting!

The Upstate NY Gut Club

TuTu Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept 12th was an official TuTu Tuesday. And it started at the top including a few attendings and our chief resident.

Drs. Schafter and VanFossen celebrating Tutu Tuesday

TuTu Thursday

Some events are too good to only happen once.

Tu-17 to Tu-18 Pediatric Housestaff

NICU on the Lake

Dr. Bifano invited all of the NICU staff and faculty and the Pediatric Residents, again this year, to her home on Skaneateles Lake on August 18th for a lovely outdoor lawn party. The party was hosted by NACNY. Everyone had a wonderful time and the Peds Residents in particular appreciated the invitation.

NACNY on the Lake

In Loving Memory

The Department of Pediatrics mourns the loss of a beloved colleague and friend. Former Peds ID nurse practitioner Chris Crandall passed away on 9/10/17 and her sweet, kind, and caring presence will be dearly missed by her family, friends and coworkers. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Rest in peace, Chris.

Just Married!

Congratulations to Bob Newmyer and Ismeldy Taveras who officially tied the knot on 9/2 at the Mirbeau Inn in Skaneateles. Their son, Thomas, 2, was Ring Bearer. All the best to Bob, Ismeldy, and Thomas!

The Mr. & Mrs. Newmyer Kiss

Accessible Geocaching

Upstate Online featured Dr. Nienke Dosa’s Program, the Fitness Inclusion Network (Fit-In), which includes Geocaching which is a real-life scavenger hunt that connects players to nature and their community by encouraging activity and engagement. Thanks to FitIn, Geocaching is now easier for individuals with disabilities to get in on the fun. Their pamphlet, which is the first in an upcoming series is available online and was created to highlight beautiful and accessible nature areas and trails in our city, county parks, state forests and fishing and hunting areas maintained by the DEC.

GI Fatheads

Kathy Valentino shared the following photo collage of the Fatheads the outpatient GI staff put up in their freshly painted clinic.

Fatheads in GI

10/1 Sarah Marsh
10/11 Neelam Pandhi
10/15 Alicia Pekarsky
10/16 Vicki Keeler
10/17 Laura Miller
10/18 Jake Anderson
10/23 Frank Smith, Suzanne Addabbo

For past issues of the Pediatric Crier visit our Online Archives.

Questions? Rave Reviews? Article suggestions? Contact Patty Mondore, Dept. of Pediatrics.
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