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Annual 2012 Report

The Team Upstate Council was formed to promote public awareness of the University’s contributions to the community and to instill pride in our organization by acknowledging and supporting employee volunteer efforts. We believe the spirit of volunteerism adds an important dimension to our workplace culture.


Dictionary Day at Martin Luther King Jr. School

  • Upstate students took part for the seventh year in the Corporate Volunteer Council of Central New York (CVC) Dictionary Project, which distributed English and Spanish dictionaries to more than 1,600 students in the Syracuse City School District. Upstate students delivered 103 dictionaries to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. magnet elementary school, which is one of our Center for Civic Engagement‘s community partners.

Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet

  • A community service project begun last summer by two Upstate medical students has been awarded a $9,000 grant from Alpha Omega Alpha, a national medical honor society with chapters at 120 medical schools. It is one of only three programs nationwide to receive the AOA award. “Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet” consists of shoe drives, monthly foot care clinics and ongoing foot care education programs at the Rescue Mission in downtown Syracuse. The program began when first-year medical students Matt Helm and Stefanos Haddad volunteered at the Rescue Mission last summer through Upstate’s Center for Civic Engagement.

Smoking Cessation at Amaus

  • Upstate nursing students have begun a smoking cessation program at the Amaus health clinic in Syracuse. A total of 15 students in the College of Nursing have undergone training to help with the free program, which is in a pilot phase this semester. The students received a grant from Upstate Advocates to help pay for nicotine patches, gum and oral medicines used to help smokers quit.

Medical Students Day of Service

  • The inaugural SUNY Upstate Medical Student Volunteer Day Sept. 8 2012 was a success. More than 150 medical students spent their Saturday afternoon at nine different sites in Onondaga County — cleaning, building, harvesting, painting, repairing, sorting, etc.

Paws In Motion

  • Upstate students who love dogs — and exercise — can get a dose of both through the Central New York SPCA’s “Paws in Motion” program. Upstate students heard about the program and have been running with dogs at the SPCA ever since. The students take dogs one at a time for a run on the roads behind the SPCA in Mattydale, and then let them off the leash to play inside a fenced, grassy area.

New Orleans Katrina relief

  • Eight first-year medical students at Upstate spent “vacation” rehabbing a house damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This is the second year in a row the Center for Civic Engagement has sponsored a trip to hard-hit St. Bernard Parish, still rebuilding from Katrina almost eight years later.

Donor Initiative

  • The student-led blood drive on the Upstate campus Feb. 20 exceeded organizers’ expectations, generating 56 units for the American Red Cross. Of those units, six were double red cell donations. Student volunteers from our Donor Initiative and American Red Cross personnel spent more than five hours in the Setnor Academic Building for the drive. The Donor Initiative also holds a bone marrow registration drive each year. The next Donor Initiative event is scheduled for August.

Vascular Screening Day

  • Upstate’s Ultrasound students helped screen more than 180 people for potential vascular problems during Upstate’s “Legs for Life” program. The students, along with a team of nurses, physicians and sonographers, provided free diagnostic screening to determine who might need more detailed vascular exams. The screening included a carotid ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound, ankle-brachial blood pressure and a counseling session with a vascular specialist to review results.

Summer missions to Nicaragua and Peru

  • Five Upstate medical students traveled to Nicaragua over the summer to volunteer (another student went to Peru). The trips were coordinated by Upstate’s Center for Civic Engagement, which provides all of our students with volunteer opportunities in Syracuse and in countries where Upstate has an established clinical presence.

Relay for Life

  • Upstate’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter raised more than $2,100 for the American Cancer Society at Relay for Life in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University in April. Students, faculty and friends of Upstate took part in the annual fundraiser, taking turns walking laps inside the dome all night. They also gave wheelchair rides and staffed informational tables so that other Relay participants could learn about cancer prevention and treatment.

Lung Cancer Vigil

  • Radiation Therapy students also helped organize the annual Lung Cancer Vigil outside of University Hospital in November.

Health Fair Carnival by CNYMPH students

  • Students in the Central New York Master of Public Health program at Upstate put their knowledge to work during a health carnival at the Mary Nelson Youth Center in Syracuse. Children in the after-school program at the center learned healthy eating habits and stress relief skills, and had some fun exercising with hula hoops and navigating an indoor obstacle course. The carnival was held as part of Upstate’s celebration of National Public Health Week. CNYMPH students held another carnival at the Southwest Community Center.

Musical Revue Fundraiser

  • The musical revue, “Heart and Music” by Upstate’s Vocal Music Club, raised $2,455 for the MSGW Foundation, a not-for-profit whose goal is to help develop treatments for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile virus and Lyme Disease. The foundation is named for Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox, a Central New York girl who died of EEE two days before her 5th birthday in 2011.

Student-run program of physical exams at Amaus

  • Upstate medical student volunteer at the Amaus health clinic downtown providing routine physical exams.


  • Upstate medical student Sean Haley helped found and build a not-for-profit organization called HopePrint. HopePrint provides refugees on the North side with English language instruction and college preparation courses (12 refugees were accepted into Onondaga Community College), helps with socialization and navigating the health care and social service systems.

Advisory Dean Community Outreach Projects

  • Under the direction of The Center for Civic Engagement 160 1st year medical students and 30 Doctor of Physical Therapy Students participated in our new Advisory Dean Community Outreach Projects. Weekly volunteer sites include: Assumption Food Pantry, Catholic Charities North Side CYO, South West Community Center, The National Kidney Foundation, and The Rescue Mission.

Book Drive – Worldwide Books.org

  • Students from Upstate’s Veterans Club and CHP’s Physical Therapy Club collect books, which are donated to schools, libraries and domestic and international charities throughout the world wherever there is a need. More than 10,000 books collected to date. Coordinated by CHP faculty member Elton Garvin, with assistance from the Library staff.

Legs for Life Program

  • Students from the College of Health Professions Medical Imaging Science program (Diagnostic Medical Sonography) participated in the Legs for Life program and provided free vascular screening to over 100 patients.

Physical Therapy Bake Sale and Move Along

  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program hosted a bake sale to benefit physical therapy research. PT students also organized the 2nd annual Move 5K which benefitted Move Along and the PT Club to fund students to attend a national conference.

Vascular Screening – College of Health Professions Medical Imaging Students

  • College of Health Professions students from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program participated in the "Legs for Life" program. The event helped spread awareness of vascular disease and its  revention. 165 participants were screened and several were diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease and carotid stenosis.



  • Team Upstate was the largest team at the Annual AIDS Walk/Run in June. 40 Upstate employees raised $3,353 to support basic needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Backpack and Book Drive

  • Upstate employees participated in a drive for backpacks, books and school supplies that benefits local children attending Mary Nelson’s Youth Day BBQ.

Baldwin –A Run for Their Life

  • More than 235 Upstate students and employees participated in the 2nd annual “A Run For Their Life” in October, raising more than $6,000 to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Fund and Upstate Medical University’s research for breast cancer.

Community Giving Campaign

  • 1,719 Upstate employees contributed $652,565 to support vital health and human service agencies and the Upstate Foundation in our annual giving campaign.

Corporate Challenge

  • 102 Upstate employees participated in the Syracuse Corporate Challenge in June. The annual event highlights corporate team spirit and supports different local charities each year.

Father Daughter Valentine Ball

  • 19 Upstate employees volunteered at the annual event, which was attended by 720, and raised over $35,000 to support pediatric services at Upstate Medical University.

Heart Walk

  • Upstate employees and students participated in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, raising $36,000 for the Heart Association. Team Upstate was the Heart Walk’s top overall fundraising team, top team healthcare division, and top fundraising team for Kintera. Upstate had 700 participants.

InterFaith Works' Community Wide Dialogue Annual Duck Race To End Racism

  • Upstate employees and their families participated in the Annual Duck Race to End Racism, held at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor and presented by the Community Wide Dialogue, a program of InterFaith Works of CNY. Upstate’s duck, decorated to highlight Upstate’s Cancer Center, was a two-time winner – it won the race and “best dressed duck” award. Upstate employees contributed more than $2,000 to the cause.

Juneteenth Festival

  • Upstate employees provided health information in the Dr. Henry A. Washington Health Pavilion at the annual Juneteenth Festival.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

  • 140 members of Team Upstate raised $10,500 for the American Cancer Society.

March for Babies

  • 120 Upstate employees and students participated in the March of Dimes walk, and raised $8,976.

Miracle Motorcycle

  • Upstate employees participated at the annual Miracle Ride to raise funds to support pediatric services at Upstate Medical University.

National Cancer Survivors’ Day

  • 18 Upstate health care professionals organize and volunteer at the annual National Cancer Survivors’ Day event.

Paige's Butterfly Run

  • 50 Upstate employees participated and raised $1,600 in the annual Paige’s Butterfly Run.

Race for the Cure

  • Team Upstate raised over $5,000 for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser

  • 5 Upstate employees raised $7,520 for the St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser.

Step Out-Walk to Fight Diabetes

  • 37 employees raised $5,995 for the American Diabetes Association at the Step Out Walk.

Strikes Against Stroke

  • 68 bowlers raised $1,625 at the annual bowling event to benefit the Upstate University Hospital Stroke Fund to support patient and family education, direct patient care needs and raising community awareness.

Strong Women, Strong Hearts

  • A free day of education, entertainment and indulgence presented by Upstate’s cardiovascular nursing staff.

Toy Drive

  • Upstate students and employees collected hundreds toys for local children in our community during the holiday season.

Walk to Cure Diabetes (JDRF)

  • 6 walkers raised $1,060 for juvenile diabetes as part of the Walk to Cure Diabetes.

Wear Red Day

  • Many Upstate employees participated in National Wear Red Day in February to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

Report prepared by: 

Zanette G. Howe, Assistant Director for Community Relations, Marketing and University Communications department, Upstate Medical University