Welcome to the Upstate Health Professions Alumni Association!

We serve over 5,300 alumni living and working coast-to-coast across the US

Our Values: Integrity • Engagement • Tradition • Service • Generosity • Inclusion • Mentorship • Stewardship

Our Mission: to foster lifelong relationships to ensure financial support for the College and its mission to educate a continuous source of quality health care professionals.

We seek to connect, strengthen, cultivate and nourish relationships among our alumni, students, faculty and friends. We work to accomplish this through scholarships, faculty enrichment, reunion events, and providing emergency funding for students in crisis, among other activities. 

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 more than 550 scholarships to Upstate's Heath Professions students. 

Stay tuned: We are in the process of updating your Upstate Health Professions Aumni Association website, making it an even better resource.


Student Admissions hosts virtual information sessions this summer

Student Admissions will host virtual information sessions this summer for degree programs in:

Radiation Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Medical Technology, Medical Biotechnology, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Clinical Perfusion

Sessions are open to high school, college, and adult students. For a schedule and registration information, visit: https://engage.upstate.edu/portal/virtual-events. For more information, email MeyerW@Upstate.edu.


Dr. Amy DeBlois, DPT '15, PT, MPT, CLT-LANA, asst professor (left), Dr. George Fulk, dept chair and Dr. Michelle Dolphin, DPT '07, PT, MS, PCS pose for a photo at Commencement on May 1.

Upstate alumni receive prestigious award

Matthew Norris, left, in his white coat and Norris with Martinez, right.

Congratulations to Matthew Norris, DPT ('22) for receiving the 2022 SUNY Chancellor Award for Student Excellence! Also receiving the award is Ingrid Martinez, DNP ('21) from the Upstate College of Nursing. Norris was also the 2021 recipient of the Health Professions Alumni Association, Kevin J. Reistrom Scholarship which is given based on overall academic and clinical performance, as well as demonstrated vision and passion for the Physcial Therapy profession. Congratulations to both Dr. Norris and Dr. Martinez!

College of Health Professions 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.

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is April 25 to 29

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine celebrates laboratory professionals and the role they play in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. So far during the pandemic, Upstate’s microbiology and molecular diagnostics labs have performed over 330,000 Covid tests. Dedicated lab staff helped meet the high demand for Covid testing while maintaining timely and efficient operations throughout Upstate lab sections. Thanks to Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for their contributions in supporting the mission of Upstate.

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.

CHP alumna featured in Upstate's Black History Month Awards

Black History Month

Shantel Henry, top right, is the manager of Interventional Radiology &  assistant director of Radiology-IR at Upstate and is a 1999 graduate of Upstate's MIS program

Upstate’s Black History awards ceremony and keynote address will be live streamed on Wednesday, February 16 at noon.  Upstate’s James Baines, Janell Gage and Shantel Henry, MIS '99 will receive employee contribution awards. The late “Manny” Breland and Jackie Warren-Moore will receive posthumous community contribution awards. Angela Douglas of Vera House Inc. will give the keynote address.

If you are not able to watch at that time, view the 2022 Black History ceremony anytime on Upstate Medical University’s YouTube channel.

Read more.

“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: https://www.upstatefoundation.org/Recker-Hughes



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: https://www.upstatefoundation.org/Avers



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: https://www.upstatefoundation.org/chpalumni/donate. In the drop-down box, please select the Shelley Mishoe, PhD Endowment for Respiratory Therapy.