Corporate Partner Spotlight

The Upstate Foundation’s corporate supporters play a vital role in helping Upstate fulfill its mission to provide excellent patient care, educate the next generation of health care providers and advance knowledge through medical research. In 2020, gifts, event sponsorships, pledges and naming gifts totaled $4.8 million from 349 corporate partners of all sizes, representing all business categories, and in spite of the year’s difficult business and economic environment.

The Upstate Foundation is grateful for the support from all of our corporate partners, and would like to highlight three:

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield 

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provided funding for the purchase of two critical Rheonix* rapid Covid-19 testing systems that enable detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, from respiratory samples. With the equipment, Upstate University Hospital was able to provide test results at the spring 2020 pandemic peak in as little as 4.5 hours, allowing for more rapid decisions regarding isolation and treatment of infected patients. Additionally, funds from an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award helped Upstate’s HouseCalls for the Homeless program purchase vital PPE and medical supplies for men and women experiencing homelessness in Syracuse and Onondaga County.

* Rheonix is an Ithaca, NY-based technology company whose Covid-19 MDx Assay testing equipment earned Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late April 2020.

Bank of America

Longtime Upstate Foundation partner Bank of America awarded a significant grant in 2020 to support Upstate’s HouseCalls for the Homeless program. This “street medicine program” provides medical, psychiatric and addiction care services for men and women experiencing homelessness in Syracuse and Onondaga County. Bank of America’s support came at a critical time during the pandemic, offering support for symptom screenings and maintaining sterile environments in shelters, where risk of coronavirus transmission can be extremely high. Grant funds provided point-of-care equipment, medicine, coronavirus supplies, medical equipment, eyeglasses, dentures and personal care items vital for the care of these at-risk individuals.

Upstate’s Dr. David Lehmann provided care, even amid the pandemic, through the HouseCalls for the Homeless program

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Thanks to a generous donation from technology leader Cisco Systems to the Foundation’s Virtual Visitation Fund for Patients, more than 200 iPads were distributed and installed across Upstate University Hospital. These devices helped patients and families stay connected during the Covid-19 pandemic. The iPads have also been used by medical staff to safely check on patients from outside the patient’s room, helping to conserve PPE supplies, as well as with discharge planning and end-of-life discussions with family members from locations across the country.

iPads enabled virtual visits with families and medical staff.