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March 27, 2014
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Patients express their gratitude on Doctor’s Day

SYRACUSE, N.Y— Staff from the Foundation for Upstate Medical University are hand delivering notes of heartfelt gratitude from their patients. It’s being done in recognition of Doctor’s Day, to be celebrated nationally Sunday, March 30.

At Upstate, the Doctor’s Day recognition is folded into the Foundation’s grateful patient and family program. The Foundation contacted patients at Upstate’s Community and Downtown campuses to ask if they wanted to help recognize a favorite physician or other health care provider on National Doctors’ Day, and if so, to write a special message that could be shared with their provider.

“We received an overwhelming number of thank you notes from grateful patients — more than 775 to be exact—who took the time to express their heartfelt appreciation to their provider, or in some cases, providers,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for Development at Upstate. “Among the 320 to receive the notes, 75 doctors are receiving a tribute for the first time. It is so heartwarming for our staff, who hand-deliver the notes, to see the smiles that these letters bring to our health care givers.”

The patient response reflects Upstate’s regional focus, with numerous letters coming from patients outside of the hospital’s 17-county service area and as far as Maryland, West Virginia and Florida.

In addition to their notes, those receiving the tributes also receive a Doctor’s Day certificate from the Foundation that acknowledges their patient tributes. It will be framed for those who are receiving the tributes for the first time.

The first Doctor’s Day observance was March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia, when Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included the mailing of greeting cards and placing of flowers on graves of deceased doctors. On March 30, 1958, a resolution commemorating Doctor’s Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctor’s Day. Following overwhelming approval by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed a resolution (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30 as “National Doctor’s Day.”

Caption: Upstate pediatricians Bill Hannan and Neal Seidberg were honored as part of Upstate’s National Doctor’s Day celebration last year.

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