Incoming CVP students proudly wear their white coat provided by the alumni association at the 2022 White Coat Ceremony

Welcome to the Upstate Health Professions Alumni Association!

Serving nearly 5,500 alumni living and working coast-to-coast across the US



The mission of the Health Professions Alumni Association is to foster lifelong relationships to ensure financial support for the College and its mission to educate a continuous source of quality health care professionals.


The Health Professions Alumni Association is the primary resource to connect, strengthen, cultivate, and nourish the College of Health Professions.


Integrity • Engagement • Tradition • Service • Generosity • Inclusion • Mentorship • Stewardship


Scholarships: The Alumni Association is an important source of funding for student scholarships, which are only possible through the loyal and generous support of alumni across the decades. In the years since its first scholarship in 1995, the association has awarded over 625 scholarships to Upstate's Heath Professions students. 


Thank you for considering a gift to the College of Health Professions Annual Fund.  Your gift will make a difference for the College and our students through scholarships, faculty enrichment, equipment, and other needs. 

Click here to give 

Also see our Alumni in the News!


It's Medical Laboratory Professionals week!

Upstate Pathology and Laboratory Medicine celebrates laboratory professionals this week and the role they play in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medical Technologists (also known as clinical laboratory scientists) develop, perform and supervise laboratory testing that is used to diagnose and treat disease and to provide vital data for research studies. 

Upstate’s 300 lab professionals perform more than 8.5 million tests per year and provide exceptional quality and service, striving to exceed the expectations of patients and clinicians.

To all of our Upstate lab professionals – alumni, faculty and students: thank you for your contributions in supporting the mission of Upstate!

Click here to read more about our program.

Caption: now alumni from the Medical Technology program, students proudly wear their white coat, a gift from the alumni association, at a past White Coat Ceremony. Professor Aaron Glass, PhD '07, MB(ASCP), (second row, last on right) stands with his students.

Respiratory Therapy student receives scholarship named in honor of best friend

This May, Jessie Seeger will graduate from Upstate’s College of Health Professions Respiratory Therapy program. During her last year as a student, she was chosen to receive the Lucy Reff Scholarship named in honor of her lifelong friend and based on excellence in clinical performance. While Jessie built her original career path as a mental health counselor, she felt she was not following her true calling. She wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and inspire hope through patient care, but determining the right path proved difficult. It was devastating loss and heartbreak that led Jessie to the career that was meant for her. Jessie, now on track to receive her third bachelor’s degree, gives considerable credit to her friend Lucy Reff and Lucy’s mother, Laura Reff, for her success.  

“Lucy helped me through a very difficult time. My mom, Kristine Seeger, was experiencing complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” Jessie said. “Lucy instructed us to go to Upstate University Hospital for the best pulmonologists and care. Lucy was a respiratory therapy student at Upstate and it comforted me to know that she was checking on my mom. My mom was hospitalized at Upstate and quickly passed away from pneumonia in 2018.”

Since they were young girls in Girl Scouts and teammates in soccer, Jessie was influenced by her best friend.  Lucy’s mom and Jessie’s dad even coached their team. But it was the days at the horse barn as teens when Jessie realized she wanted to be like her friend.

“As equestrians, Lucy and I travelled together throughout New York with our show horses. Lucy left a mark as a best friend,” Jessie said. “As a young girl I remember saying to my grandfather – Papa, I want to do what Lucy does, ride horses.”

Less than a year after the painful loss of her mother, Jessie’s lifelong friend Lucy passed away unexpectedly due to a colloid cyst in her brain. She was 23 and a student in Upstate’s College of Health of Health Professions.

Jessie said, “It was a very surreal time in my life. I was devastated. I stopped working on my master’s degree in mental health and decided that was not my path. I was unsure what my path would be and took a six-month break.”

It was Lucy’s mom who recognized that her daughter’s best friend should work in a field of helping patients, like Lucy did. She urged her to apply to the Upstate Respiratory Therapy program – the same program from which Lucy would have graduated.

“Lucy was one of the reasons I decided to go into the field of Respiratory Therapy. This is my true passion,” Jessie said. “Lucy’s parents, Mark and Laura, were so happy to hear that I had chosen this field like their daughter.”

Jessie added, “To receive this award from the Health Professions Alumni Association was shocking. I continue to work with Laura Reff to promote organ donation as Lucy saved four lives. I am grateful to the Reff family for guiding me to the Upstate Respiratory Therapy program and for helping me find my path.”

The family of Lucy Reff opened a scholarship endowment with the Health Professions Alumni Association so Lucy would be remembered forever and to provide scholarships for second year Respiratory Therapy students at Upstate Medical University.

To help grow the endowment, go to , choose Lucy Reff Scholarship Endowment, other, and type in Lucy Reff Scholarship Endowment, or call 315-464-4416.

Caption 1: Jessie Seeger wearing her white coat in front of the Campus Activities Building at Upstate Medical University, downtown campus.

Caption 2: Jessie Seeger (right) and her best friend Lucy Reff as teens, with their horses.

Urgent Need for Respiratory Therapists

Upstate Medical University College of Health Professions alumnus and Respiratory Therapy program chair Stephen Feikes, MS, RT, RRT ‘09, was recently featured on a Watertown TV station discussing the urgent need for respiratory therapists.

Respiratory therapist shortage hits local hospitals

Watch news segment

The shortage is affecting local hospitals as cases of RSV and flu soar. RTs have been essential members of the health care team throughout the Covid pandemic but like other health care fields, the shortage is growing.

Clinical Immersion class deadline approaching

Deadline: March 15, 2023

Apply now for this hands-on immersion in health professions! Spend four weeks with radiation therapists, clinical lab scientists, ultrasound technologists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals! Visit labs, explore patient cases, learn anatomy & physiology, and much more!      

Register here                       

For additional information, email the Dean's Office

From the CHP Department of Cardiovascular Perfusion... 

Electronic Portfolio for Jump into Health Care 2022 now complete

See the portfolio for Jump into Health Care 2022View Electronic Portfolio Here

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – There’s a real need for healthcare workers everywhere, and a new study shows that demand is only going to grow in the next 10 years.

By 2025, there’s expected to be a shortage of more than 400,000 home aides, 29,000 nurses and hundreds of more open positions in the medical field.

Upstate Medical University is helping to shape the future of the industry. A new program is giving high school students who attend Syracuse City Schools a “jumpstart” into what organizers hope is a lengthy career in the medical field.                    

“Jump Into Health Care” is a 4.5 week intensive summer program that allows students to explore the wide range of health careers available. A grant from the Green Family Foundation, Inc. helped develop and launch the program in 2020, but then the pandemic hit, making this year’s class the first. 

Dean of Upstate Medical College of Health Professions, Katherine Beissner, PhD, PT, says the goal of the program is to take students through an engaging curriculum while exposing them to different medical careers and building their research and presentation skills.

Above: Students show excitement on the final day of the 4 1/2 week program, gathered around Stephen Feikes, MS, RT, RTT, program director for the Respiratory Therapy Program  

Watch the story featured in the news!

The first class of Syracuse City School District students enrolled in Upstate’s "Jump into Health Care" program pose for a portrait in the Weiskotten Hall courtyard. The monthlong program introduced the students to various health care careers and provided opportunities to strengthen their research and presentation skills. The students were supported throughout the program by College of Heath Professions’s Dean, Dr. Katherine Beissner and students from the Norton College of Medicine.

Upstate acquires two letters from FDR, Thomas Jefferson

University Archivist Elisa DeAndrea with letters from former U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and FDR.

Upstate Medical University’s Archives and Special Collections recently received a donation from a retired surgeon and professor that included two letters from former U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Robert B. Cady, MD, class of 1971 and emeritus pediatric orthopedics faculty member, and his wife, Linda, donated the letters from Jefferson and Roosevelt, along with several other items.

They are the first two presidential letters to be added to the archive.

“They are major pieces that we weren’t expecting,” said archivist Elise DeAndrea. “We are a small institution and getting a letter from a former president is really amazing to have in our collections and something we will definitely appreciate for a long time. Dr. Cady could have donated the Jefferson letter anywhere, but he wanted to give it to us. He has such a strong connection to Upstate.”

Story from Upstate News

Read full story

Upstate's Respiratory Therapy Program honored with credentialing success award

Story by Darryl Geddes

The Respiratory Therapy Program in the College of Health Professions has been recognized with the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

To receive the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award, programs submit reports detailing credentialing rates and other highlights. Award honorees are required to have credentialing success rate of more than 90 percent.

Read more.

Celebrating three esteemed faculty members upon retirement

Each of these three exceptional faculty members have made extraordinary contributions to the College of Health Professions, and their respective disciplines. We hope you will consider honoring our retirees with your gift to their funds. Congratulations!


Joan O’Brien, MSEd, RT(T), associate professor emeritus, Radiation Therapy

Your gift will honor Joan and her commitment to preparing radiation therapy students to be the finest in their field. The fund will provide an annual scholarship to a second year Radiation Therapy student.  

Give online: Joan O'Brien Scholarship Fund




Susan Graham, MS, MT(ASCP), SH, associate dean and department chair, Clinical Laboratory Sciences

The Upstate Medical Technology Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarship funding to SUNY Upstate Medical University Medical Technology students.

Give online: Upstate Medical Technology Scholarship Fund




Linda Miller, PhD, I, MBCM(ASCP)SI, program director, Medical Biotechnology

The Upstate Medical Technology Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarship funding to SUNY Upstate Medical University Medical Technology students.

Give online: Upstate Medical Technology Scholarship Fund