Welcome to the Upstate Health Professions Alumni Association!

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Since its inception in 1992, the Health Professions Alumni Association has awarded more than 460 scholarships.  The association also provides support for continuing education, professional development, and other needs of the students, faculty and alumni of the College of Health Professions. Many alumni will remember receiving their first white coat as a gift from the alumni association.

The mission of the Health Professions Alumni Association is to enhance educational excellence and scholarship for health professions students of the Upstate Medical University campus, and promote collegiality among CHP alumni, students and faculty.  We hope you will join us in this effort.

To all of our alumni, please stay in touch. It’s quick and easy to update your contact information or to share your news and accomplishments in the alumni newsletter. Simply contact us through the secure online community on this site, by e-mailing us at chpalum@upstate.edu or by calling 315-464-4416.


To read the most current news, click here or select News and Stories from the menu on the left. 

CHP alumna of Respiratory Therapy named new president of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) 

Sheri Tooley, CRS, '07, RT, BS, RRT-NPS, FAARC

Congratulations to Sheri Tooley, CRS ’07, RT, BS, RRT-NPS, FAARC for being named President-Elect for the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC), the professional association serving Respiratory Therapists in this country and around the globe, with over 50,000 members. Sheri is a 2007 graduate of the advanced program in Cardiorespiratory Sciences at the College of Health Professions.


Experienced Respiratory Therapists Needed!

From the College:

Ten years ago, most people asked to volunteer in Africa. Ever since the Syrian refugee crisis, more people are asking to volunteer in the Middle East. So we have created another opportunity for a way for you to help.

Experienced respiratory therapists needed to work in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) which has 80 beds in Jerusalem.

 Click here  to read more about their needs.

Questions can be directed to Claire Aloan.


Upstate opens new state-of-the-art simulation center to enhance patient safety and improve quality

Story from UpOnline


Upstate Medical University has opened a new $11 million teaching center that will simulate real-time responses to medical emergencies—in the ICU, labor and delivery, the operating room and in any setting where health care is delivered.

The aim of the Upstate Simulation Center is to improve patient safety and patient care, as well as build highly-trained multidisciplinary healthcare teams.

This new and sophisticated learning environment, totaling about 8,600 square feet will become a hub of teaching and training for students from all areas of the health professions. The center will also be dedicated to improving the competency of health care providers as well as training them in new techniques. Read more


Welcome new College of Health Professions students!

The White Coat Ceremony was held on August 24, 2019 in the Ballroom at the Oncenter Convention Center. It was a great success!

Special thanks to event sponsor Nascentia Health!

Good luck to all students!

Click here to watch the 2019 White Coat Ceremony.


Upstate DPT, educator and alumna serving as 2019 president of American Association of Diabetes Educators

Story from UpOnline

 Karen Kemmis, DPT '84, RN, MS, CDE, FAADE 

A long-time Upstate University Hospital physical therapist is helping guide the future of care for people with diabetes as the 2019 president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

Karen Kemmis, DPT '84, RN, MS, CDE, FAADE, has spent her time as president advancing the organization’s vision, which was created in 2018 to better reflect the work of its 13,000 members across the United States. Read more.


Associate dean, chair and CLS program director receives AT&T CNY Women in STEM award

Story from UpOnline


Susan Graham, MS, MT (ASCP)SHcm 

Susan Graham, MS, MT (ASCP), SH, chair and program director in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science and associate dean in the College of Health Professions, received the AT&T CNY Women in STEM award at the annual Partners in Education and Business awards dinner on June 12. The event celebrated the success of PEB, which provides career exploration and workforce development services throughout Central New York. PEB recognized several students, mentors, business and community leaders for their efforts and achievements in STEM. Graham teaches hematology, laboratory management and clinical correlations in Upstate’s Department of Laboratory Science. She has more than 29 years of professional field and teaching experience.


Assistant professor and CHP alumna of Physical Therapy accepted to the Parkinson’s Foundation Physical Therapy Faculty Program.

Amy DeBlois, DPT '15, PT, MPT, CLT-LANA

Story from UpOnline

CHP Alumna Amy DeBlois, DPT '15, PT, MPT, CLT-LANA, assistant professor of CHP-Physical Therapy (PT), has been accepted to the distinguished Parkinson’s Foundation Physical Therapy Faculty Program. The competitive “train the trainer” program improves Parkinson’s physical therapy care by training faculty leaders across the U.S. so they can, in turn, educate physical therapy students. The intensive course is open to only six PT faculty per site, which allows physical therapy educators to immerse themselves in learning the latest evidence-based findings in Parkinson’s research and care. Read more.

Three Health Professions faculty members to retire

Congratulations! Thank you for your integrity and dedication. May all the years ahead bring you great joy and relaxation.


Dean Katherine Beissner, PhD, PT (left) congratulates retiring faculty,


Jill Dungey, PT, DPT '07, MS, GCS      -    17 years of service


Josephine Przepiora, MT '00/MS '10    -     28 years of service


Debra Wolf, BS, RPA-C                        -     5.5 years of service


College of Health Professions, Radiation Therapy, Class of 2020

First row:        Nicole Cavataio, Maryin Tolon

Second row:  Cait Getman, Conlan Hartshorn, Renee Fenzl, Natalya Danylyshyn

Third row:      Caitlyn England, Kelsey Miller, Breanna Ruffrage, Madison Jorolemon, Sebastian Almanzar, Camen Hunn

Gregory L. Eastwood, MD, will speak at Barnes and Noble

Upstate's former president will discuss his new book, Finishing Our Story: Preparing for the End of Life. He will be available to sign copies. The event is open to the public.

When: Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 pm

Location: Barnes and Noble, 3454 Erie Blvd. East

Upstate awarded 478 degrees during Commencement on May 5

Job outlook good for many grads

For many Upstate graduates, the job market is booming. For example, students in Upstate’s Physician Assistant program, who end their studies in August, are all but guaranteed a job in their field.

Sandy Banas, who directs the program, says the increasing demand for physician assistants is fueled by retirements in the medical field, an aging population in need for more health care and the Affordable Care Act that has provided more people with access to care. Read more

Spring has arrived just in time for Commencement

Click here for more details about Commencement.

Graduating medical imaging student learned to study for degree around family’s busy schedule

Story from UpOnline

Upstate student Zetsie Sayarath can study just about anywhere—in bleachers of an arena, the passenger seat of a moving car and even at kid birthday parties. She’s learned to cram readings, quizzes and study sessions into precious pockets of time: during her daughter’s ice-skating lessons, family road trips and while her family slept.

Her key to success? “Organization and sticking to a plan,” said the mom of two: Jadelyn, 8 and Jeremiah, 4.

Come Sunday, all of Sayarath’s planning, studying and pre-made dinners in a backpack will be worth it when she graduates from Upstate Medical University with a bachelor of science degree in medical imaging:radiography/MRI. Read more


Respiratory Care Program to help meet the demand for respiratory therapists in Binghamton and the Southern Tier

Story from UpOnline


Beginning this fall, students enrolled in the distance learning program will attend classes at Upstate’s Clinical Campus in Binghamton where they will be linked by video in real time with respiratory care courses at Upstate’s campus in Syracuse. Students will interact with their professors and fellow students, and participate fully in classes. Read more.


Respiratory Therapy Program in College of Health Professions is honored by national association

Story from UpOnline


A leading national association has recognized the Upstate Medical University Respiratory Therapy Program with a top award for best practices in the profession and promoting patient safety.

The Upstate program, which is part of the College of Health Professions, was named a 2019-2020 Apex Recognition Award winner by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).  Read more.

To all CVP alumni

A message from the Class of 2009

It is our duty, our honor and our privilege to carry on the legacy of Nick Rappa and we invite you to join us in this effort.

Please read more about the Nicholas B. Rappa Memorial Endowment


Zackary Beckman, Stefanie Cavanaugh, James Loftus and Ryan Price


To all Respiratory Therapy alumni

Honor two outstanding alumni!
Naming of the Stephen P. Mikles and Joseph G. Sorbello Room will honor Sorbello’s dedicated service to Upstate’s Respiratory Therapy program, as well as the contributions as a national leader in the profession by his fellow 1970s alumnus Steve Mikles. Proceeds will support the Respiratory Therapy Education program, primarily with equipment needs.