Congratulations to James Vossler, MS ‘81, MLSCM (ASCP), SMCM, left, and Ben Robedee, MPS ‘12, MLS(ASCP)CM, assistant professors of Medical Biotechnology at the College of Health Professions, for their new publication in the Journal of Applied Physiology, "Protective ventilation in a pig model of acute lung injury: timing is as important as pressure.” According to Dr. Hani Aiash, assistant dean of Interprofessional Research at CHP, this paper, coauthored with research peers at the Upstate College of Medicine, Maryland University, Tulane University and the University of Vermont, represents one of the most significant collaborative efforts for the Interprofessional Research Committee.

 Michelle Dolphin, DPT ‘06, PT, MS, OCS, FAAOMPT, left, was recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) Inspire Conference in San Diego in October.

Dolphin is an associate professor in the DPT Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University. She is associate DPT program director and assistant dean of the College of Health Professions.  

Earlier this year, she recertified as an Orthopaedic Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. In addition, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship program at Regis University and passed her qualification exams. Congratulations Dr. Dolphin!

CHP Dean, Upstate Foundation Vice President for Development among several to receive award for exemplary service

Recipients of the Upstate Council Award for Exemplary Service are front row, from left: Amy Tucker, Lynn Cleary, David Amberg, Tammy Austin-Ketch, Eileen Pezzi, Lawrence Chin, and Robert Corona. Back row, from left: Stuart Wright, Nancy Page, Mark Zeman, Rajesh Dave, Eric Smith, Mark Schmitt and Mantosh Dewan, (Beissner not pictured)

Congratulations to the College of Health Professions Dean Katherine Beissner, PhD, DPT and Eileen Pezzi, MPH, vice president for development for the Upstate Foundation who were among several Upstate Medical University executive team members to receive the 2022 SUNY Upstate Council Awards for Exemplary Service. The Exemplary Service Award recognizes those who have provided extraordinary service to or on behalf of Upstate Medical University beyond the usual boundaries of excellence, in support of the Upstate mission to improve health within the region it serves and beyond, through education, patient care and biomedical research. The Health Professions Alumni Association is administered by the Upstate Foundation.

Click here to read about all of the 2022 recipients.


Dean Beissner shares tribute to CHP medical director

L. Thomas Wolff, MD                                                                                                                                                                         

Dean Katherine Beissner, PhD, PT recently pointed her colleagues to a story she had discovered online about Upstate’s own L. Thomas Wolff, MD.

“I want to share with you a piece of joy that brightened my morning," Dean Beissner said. "In preparation for a board meeting for the Northern Area Health Education Center, I visited the website for a sister organization, Health Workforce New York and found a feature story, The Extraordinary Life of Dr. L. Thomas Wolff, M.D.

Beissner added, “This is a wonderful tribute to Dr. Wolff, medical director of the Physician Assistant Studies program and fierce advocate for the development of rural health care providers. Dr. Wolff, you truly are extraordinary!” 

Read the feature story: The Extraordinary Life of Dr. L. Thomas Wolff, M.D.

The College’s PA students worked with the CHP Alumni Association to create its first-ever endowment to benefit the Physician Assistant Program. With the help of alumni, they are hoping to grow the endowment.

To help the endowment flourish, click here to give online (select “PA Educational Enrichment Endowment") or call 315-464-4416.

“Joan O’Brien Scholarship” honors beloved Radiation Therapy program chair as she retires

A new scholarship is being established to honor longtime Radiation Therapy Department Chair Joan O’Brien, MSEd, RT(T) as she retires after nearly five decades of distinguished service to Upstate. O’Brien also serves as senior associate dean of the College of Health Professions.

O’Brien announced her retirement effective December 31, 2021, after 45 years of leadership and commitment to preparing Radiation Therapy students to be the finest in their field.

Read more and learn how you can honor Joan with your gift in support of the scholarship fund.


Dean Beissner establishes College of Health Professions Diversity Endowment

 The current juniors (class of 2022) in the BSRT program represent very diverse backgrounds. They bring the wealth of their heritage to our country and community.

College of Health Professions Dean Katherine Beissner, PhD, PT, has long understood that a diverse health care workforce is necessary in order to appropriately care for an increasingly diverse patient population. Improving diversity among health care professions can enhance patient experience and increase patient satisfaction. Noticing a diversity gap within the College’s influx of students, Beissner established the College of Health Professions Diversity Endowment to support initiatives to increase the diversity of student populations, retain students of color and provide conscious education and training.

Click here to support this initiative with your gift to the College of Health Professions Diversity Endowment or call the Upstate Foundation at 315-464-4416.

Dr. Beissner said, “We are excited to launch the endowment. As the fund builds, we are focusing on promoting the endowment and recruiting students, faculty and staff. Once the funds are available, we will have a complete package on how it will be expended.”

The dean is working in conjunction with Upstate’s Student Affairs Department to recognize existing fractures in the current programs and modify what needs improvement. “Upstate’s College of Medicine has tremendous focus on diversity and inclusion. The College of Health Professions could offer low cost initiatives for education and training for an inclusive workplace,” Dr. Beissner said. “We must clarify where we can reach out.

“Years ago, I attended a conference where I was the only white person in attendance. It was eye-opening to understand this feeling and have a different perception of those who experience it much more often,” Dr. Beissner added. “Students of color remain underrepresented in many health profession programs.”

The fund will support enrichment programming, student and faculty recruitment and retention and community engagement. Dr. Beissner will also be reaching out to local high schools to learn about factors that influence minority groups.

Dean Beissner created a graphic to show percentage of non-Hispanic population within the US workforce, by health profession.


Retiring faculty from the College of Health Professions set up funds to strengthen programs

Dr. Carol Recker-Hughes

Physical Therapy Department

Dr. Recker-Hughes has over 25 years of experience in the role of Director of Clinical Education and is a 1979 alumna of SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Your gift to support the Dr. Carol Recker-Hughes Physical Therapy Clinical Education Fund will honor Dr. Recker-Hughes’ commitment to the Clinical Education Program and will augment much needed enrichment resources.

You can donate here:



Dr. Dale Avers

Physical Therapy Department

Dr. Avers has worked in the fields of geriatric and outpatient PT for over 40 years, and has been with Upstate’s College of Health Professions for 18 of those years!

Your gift to support the Dale Avers Leadership Award Endowment will honor Dr. Avers’ commitment to the Physical Therapy Education Program and will provide an annual award to a third year Doctor of Physical Therapy student in recognition of leadership abilities. 

You can donate here:



Claire Aloan, RRT 

Respiratory Therapy Department

Claire is a Clinical Associate Professor, Department Chair and Program Director of the Respiratory Therapy Program and a 1974 alumna of SUNY Upstate Medical University.   

Your gift to support the Shelley Mishoe, PhD Endowment for Respiratory Therapy will honor Claire’s commitment to the Respiratory Therapy Program and will aid in education among Respiratory Therapy faculty.

You can donate here: In the drop-down box, please select the Shelley Mishoe, PhD Endowment for Respiratory Therapy.