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February 28, 2011
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

President Smith issues statement on the death of Dr. Daines

The following statement was issued today by Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith, M.D., on the death of former New York Health Commissioner Richard Daines, M.D.:

“The news today of Dr. Richard Daines’s sudden death is difficult to comprehend. My thoughts and prayers and those of the Upstate family go out to his family and friends.

“Dr. Daines was passionate about public health and a great student of public health that enabled him to be engaged intensely at helping to create a healthier New York. He had a solid understanding of personal health and wellness issues and addressed these issues head on with great integrity.

“He was a friend of Upstate and was interested and eager to see what role the university could play in addressing regional health issues, especially those related to access to care, through expanded training, health care and research programs.

“My personal conversations with him as they related to health care reform and the future of public health were inspiring. He will be missed greatly.”

Daines visited the Upstate campus on several occasions. He was in Syracuse Feb. 10, 2009, to receive an update on diabetes-obesity phone intervention study conducted by Upstate’s Joslin Diabetes Center. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, analyzed whether primary care providers could deliver a medication-free weight loss program over the telephone to patients in outlying rural areas, where transportation to clinics may be difficult to obtain.

“Our best hope of slowing and eventually reversing the current obesity and diabetes epidemic is the use of effective preventive techniques like those being used at the Joslin Center, said Daines after listening to the presentation.

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