Team Upstate Reports

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.

Upstate students and employees have been busy with a variety of outreach and volunteer efforts this year. Our now quarterly reports list the activities they were involved in. As a thank you for the efforts and involvement, Team Upstate also releases an Honor Roll to thank them for their commitment and enthusiasm.

2014 Report

View the 2014 report as a pdf PDF Icon

Outreach Initiatives

Healthy Neighbors Partnership – Resident Health Advocates

Upstate Medical University is participating with the Syracuse Housing Authority to create Healthy Neighbors. The partnership represents an important opportunity for Upstate to collaborate with its nearest neighbors – the residents of Syracuse Housing Authority’s Pioneer Homes.

Through this partnership, Upstate is supporting healthy living and quality of life goals that are identified and driven by the residents of Pioneer Homes. Pioneer Homes provides 578 subsidized, multifamily apartments for 1,194 people.

Upstate employees have volunteered to create a Resident Health Advocate (RHA) program, which teaches residents key skills to lead healthier lives. Upstate professionals, in areas such as cancer and asthma prevention, physical activity, sexual health and more, trained RHAs to do health outreach in their public housing complex.  The program had a 100% graduation rate. Through this opportunity, many of the RHAs were able to secure full-time employment in such positions as charge nurse, kitchen manager, security officer and others.

In addition, Upstate Employees volunteer at the Healthy Neighbors Story Time that meets every third Thursday. The family literacy event pulls in around 50-100 people every month.

In 2014 Upstate employees volunteered their time to work with Pioneer Homes residents to produce a book, Our Community Our Health. It is comprised of photographs and reflections of RHAs as they capture the bright spots and challenges in their neighborhood. The book amplifies the voices of the community through their eyes.

She Matters

The She Matter’s program raises awareness for breast cancer and increases the rate of mammography screenings among African American women living in Syracuse. She Matters is an Upstate-Syracuse Housing Association collaboration funded by the Komen Foundation.

Upstate employees volunteer their time to conduct breast cancer education workshops at Pioneer Homes. On Saturdays, Upstate opens its women's imaging unit so that Pioneer Homes residents and others in the southside neighborhood can receive mammogram screenings at a time that does not impact on their work schedules.

Facts: African American women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer. To date, close to 200 women have been enrolled in the She Matters program with more than 50 mammograms completed.

HealthLink on Air

An award-winning 60-minute radio program produced by Upstate, provides a weekly dose of information on health and medical issues affecting Central New Yorkers. Over 70 Upstate employees volunteer to provide health education through this weekly NPR radio show that reaches listeners in Cortland, Geneva, Hamilton, Norwich, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica and Watertown.

HealthLink Seminars

More than 70 Upstate physicians, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and clinical educators volunteer to give free Health seminars to the community.

Volunteering Time and Talent

CVC’s Signature Project – Say Yes to Education

Upstate hosted a half-day shadowing experience for 10 Henninger High School students interested in health careers.

CVC’s Signature Project – Say Yes to Education

25-35 Upstate employees and students participated in a month-long reading program with 3rd graders at H.W. Smith School. The reading program helped build relationships as well as promote continuous reading and creative thinking.

LEON Festival

12 Upstate medical specialties volunteered at the annual LEON FESTIVAL and provided summer safety tips and giveaways to more than 6000 people at Onondaga Lake Park.

New York State Fair

More than 300 upstate employees volunteer at the New York State Fair to share health information with the public. In addition, Upstate gave away 800 bike helmets and performed over 600 blood pressure checks last year.

International Volunteerism

  • Several Upstate professors provide medical care and help to establish hearing clinics and training programs for doctors in Ethiopia.
  • Upstate faculty and students volunteered in a health clinic in Ecuador, summer 2014.

Time, Talent and Financial Support

Dictionary Project

10 Upstate students passed out dictionaries to the entire 3rd grade class at Dr. King Elementary School. In addition to the dictionaries, Upstate purchased the Giant Germ as a giveaway for all children to promote literacy and creative thinking.

Heart Walk

More than 500 Upstate volunteers raised $38,000 for the American Heart Association.  Upstate fielded the largest team and was the recipient of the Gold Fit Friendly Work Site award. Additionally, Upstate has been a top team in participation and fundraising for the past decade.

Community Giving Campaign

Upstate employees raised more than $490,000 to benefit over 600 agencies.

Youth Day BBQ/ Backpack and School Supplies Drive

Upstate students and employees supported Mary Nelson’s annual Back-pack Giveaway by donating more than 350 items and volunteering at the BBQ that helped over 21,000 youths and their families get ready for a productive and rewarding school year.

Toy Drive

Upstate students, faculty and employees collected more than 450 toys and donated money for the children in the community through the United Way Christmas Bureau.  Ten members of Team Upstate also volunteered at the annual Christmas Bureau.

Baldwin: A Run For Their Life

400 Upstate students and employees raised more than $18,000 to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin breast Cancer Research Fund. Upstate has been the top fundraising team since the run's inception.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

110 members of Team Upstate raised more than $18,000 for the American Cancer Society.

St. Baldricks

7 Upstate employees shaved their heads and raised money to support of pediatric cancer research.

Student Involvement – Time and Talent

Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet

Upstate students collected over 400 pairs of shoes and 100 pairs of socks for clients at the Rescue Mission in downtown Syracuse.

MLK Reading Buddies

At Martin Luther King Elementary School, Upstate students organize health fairs and nutritional programs, mentor students in reading and afterschool programs, and organize a science fair. SUNY Upstate is a member of the Partnership for Better Education, whose mission is to help Syracuse City School District students graduate and pursue higher education.

Catholic Youth Organization

Upstate students mentor and tutor, and provide basic health and hygiene education to the children in the afterschool program. The CYO center on the Northside of Syracuse is dedicated to working with the refugee population.


Hopeprint is a not-for-profit organization serving the refugee population of Syracuse’s Northside. The Hopeprint home, serves as a community center and resource for refugees. Upstate students assist with English classes, children's programming, and nutritional health education.

Salvation Army

The After School Program at the Salvation Army provides a safe and nurturing place for children ages 5-12 during afternoons, summers and holidays. Upstate student volunteers offer programs on health education, especially personal hygiene. Biweekly visits consist of brief presentations on relevant health topics followed by reinforcement activities and the development of social skills.


6 Upstate medical and nursing students join students from other colleges to provide health care under the supervision of licensed health care professionals at the Amaus Clinic. Students may help with:

AMAUS Free Walk in Clinic

provides health care Mondays and Fridays every week for the uninsured and impoverished in the Syracuse area.

AMAUS Patient Navigator Program (PNP)

Upstate students learn about the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice, become familiar with services offered at Amaus and help patients navigate the healthcare system.

Refugee Clinic

6 Upstate students aid in patient intake, shadowing and traffic flow. The students volunteer twice a month for 4 hours each from September to May.

Peds Pals

Upstate students provide mentoring to pediatric patients as they undergo treatments. Students attend appointments with their Peds Pal, take them on outings, or visit them in the hospital.

Global Outreach


Upstate respiratory therapy and medical students traveled to Nicaragua for a two-week medical mission. The students worked in clinics and provided health check ups for the local population.


Upstate students went on a medical mission to Ghana this year. The Upstate team saw patients in rural villages, and conducted a study on villagers' knowledge of smoking and second-hand smoke risks.

In addition to all the volunteer efforts listed above, the Upstate Foundation provides a wide range of support, including assistance to families; comfort for patients and opportunities for fun and education for our youngest patients; lifesaving medical equipment; important research; scholarships for students; and many other special programs and services that would not be possible without the generosity and contributions that support the Upstate mission.