Upstate Stories of Hope


Region’s top cancer-fighting technology housed at Upstate Cancer Center

The new Upstate Cancer Center signifies a significant gain in the fight against cancer in Central New York. Not just because care will be offered in a new, state-of-the-art facility, but because life-saving technology that has never before been available in the region will be housed there. The additions of new technologies to the existing arsenal of cancer treatment options available at Upstate set patients up for success as they fight this disease.

“It’s a very exciting time,” said Jeffrey Bogart, MD, chair, Radiation Oncology, Upstate Medical University. “The new Upstate Cancer Center will be home to the greatest range of advanced technologies for the treatment of cancer, giving our doctors the tools they need to give patients the best possible care and outcomes.”

The region’s first VERO Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy System (SBRT), one of only three nationwide, will be in use at the Upstate Cancer Center.  This high tech tool is used for advanced treatment of lung, liver, spine, prostate and other cancers by combining treatment and imaging capabilities. The VERO SBRT offers unsurpassed precision in delivering high doses of radiation to complex tumors, which maximizes protection of neighboring organs and limits complications. A unique tracking function allows tumor location to be monitored and radiotherapy to be continuously delivered even if tumors change position, such as lung and liver tumors.

Upstate Cancer Center will also offer the only TrueBeam linear accelerator in Central New York. The TrueBeam system also fully integrates advanced imaging and treatment technology to treat cancers with speed and accuracy at any disease site in the body. “The TrueBeam system uniquely features Gated RapidArc radiotherapy, another advanced method for effectively treating tumors that may move during breathing.,” explains Bogart.

These new technologies will join Upstate’s already robust offering of cancer imaging and treatment tools, available at Upstate University Hospital. These include Tomotherapy, Calypso, Gamma Knife Perfexion and the UroNav fusion biopsy system.



Wayfinding technology makes getting around campus easier

Upstate Medical University is providing visitors with two new tools that make finding your way around campus easier: an interactive wayfinding kiosk and a muti-platform web application. Both tools, which were provided by the Foundation for Upstate Medical University, allow a visitor to input a starting and ending point and provides step by step directions on how to get from point A to point B.

“As Upstate’s footprint continues to expand, we understand that this means patients, visitors, staff and students are asked to navigate not only the Downtown and Community Campus, but numerous other Upstate locations across the area,” said Evan Simmons, project planner, Office of Hospital Planning, Upstate University Hospital. “We’ve worked diligently to provide accurate wayfinding and directional signage in and around our buildings, but the kiosk and web application provided an opportunity to take it a step further.”

Staff at Upstate’s multiple information desks have traditionally doled out directions to patients and visitors in need. Using the kiosk allows the visitor to print out a comprehensive set of walking directions that may be carried with them for repeated reference as they navigate corridors, elevators and different service areas. The web application allows a patient to plan for their visit, print directions and bring them along.

The web application “Finding Your Way at Upstate” is live and available for use.  Employees may access it through a link on the iPage as well as on each hospital’s homepage.  One can also access the site directly from any computer or mobile device by visiting Direct Route.

“Upstate University Hospital administrators thought that a wayfinding system would be an important patient priority,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate. “The Foundation board agreed and approved the expense. We are pleased to support a project that directly serves the patient care facet of Upstate’s threefold mission.”

Staff members interested in training should contact Lauren Shepard, computer resource coordinator, at, 464-4407.

Caption: From left, Upstate University Hospital Chief Operating Officer Paul Seale; Evan Simmons, project planner, Office of Hospital Planning, Upstate University Hospital; Upstate University Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Katie Mooney; Upstate University Hospital Chief Executive Officer John McCabe, MD; Rita Reicher and Paul Mello, Foundation for Upstate board members



Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital receives $65,000 Walmart Foundation grant for oral health

Walmart Stores Inc. visited Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital on December 13 to mark the presentation of a $65,000 grant to the Foundation for Upstate Medical University to help integrate preventive dentistry and oral health screenings into routine physical examinations. The donation will help by covering costs associated with supplies and equipment needed for oral examinations, fluoride treatments, educational materials and home care kits.

“As a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, we’ve enjoyed more than 20 years of commitment from associates at our local Walmart stores. They’re actively involved in the community and are frequent volunteers for us.  We have even drawn from some Walmart staff for advice on some of our programs,” said Thomas Welch, MD, chair of pediatrics and medical director of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Oral health has been recognized as one of the major unmet needs in pediatric care.  We frequently care for children who have developed serious complications because of unrecognized dental problems. This new grant will help our youngest patients achieve good oral health and develop strong, lifelong habits and healthy smiles.”

This grant will help provide funding for the “Introducing Oral Health and Preventative Dentistry into the Well Child Physical Exam” pilot program for children through age seven at Upstate Golisano’s Pediatric and Adolescent Center. Good dental health is integral to a child’s overall health and well-being. Yet, tooth decay is the single most preventive chronic disease and unmet health care need of children.

Walmart’s Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Jason Klipa, commented, “Walmart is committed to assisting community health and wellness programs, such as those provided by Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. We are grateful to be able to partner with an organization that has touched so many lives as both a vocal advocate for children’s health issues and a dedicated provider of pediatric care.”

Pictured from left: Terry Toscano Shenfeld, Upstate Foundation; Assemblyman William Magnarelli; Upstate pediatrician Steven Blatt, MD; Joseph Ristau, Business Manager of Pediatric & Adolescent Center and Upstate Pediatrics; Patrick Smith, DDS, program director of the residency dental service at Upstate; Cheryl Jones, Walmart Auburn Associate; Jason Klipa, Walmart Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations; Kathleen Arlotta, Walmart East Syracuse Market Manager; and Al Maiorino, President, Public Strategy Group for Walmart Public Relations.

Upstate's HealthLink On Air radio show ‘Peds to Parents’: Adding dental care to well-child appointments

Upstate pediatrician Steven Blatt MD is joined by Patrick Smith DDS, program director of the residency dental service at Upstate, to talk about the importance of dental care for children.  They discuss the new $65,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital that will integrate preventive dental and oral health screenings into routine well-child exams. 

Click on the following link to listen to the HealthLink On Air radio show:


(Left to right:  Don Zorn, campaign manager for the Upstate Cancer Center, Simon Bruno and Max Lavelle of Bear Essentials Gear, Eileen Pezzi, Vice President for Development.  Behind them is the top floor of the new cancer center under construction.) 

Two young entrepreneurs, Max Lavelle and Simon Bruno, of Bear Essentials Gear presented a check for $1,510 to support pediatric cancer patients and thyroid cancer research.  Donations were raised through the sale of dream catchers in thyroid cancer colors and poetry in honor of a family member, Max's sister and Simon's cousin.


In lieu of gifts for her 16th birthday, Anna asked friends and family to make a donation to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. She raised $500.  She learned the importance of the hospital by volunteering during the summer of 2012 in the Family Resource Center.

Do you have a story you would like to share with us?  Contact us at 315-464-4416 or

© 2016 The Upstate Foundation, Inc.