Seven from Upstate receive Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

Seven members of Upstate Medical University are among 317 members of faculty and staff from across the State University of New York system to receive 2015-16 Chancellor Awards of Excellence.

Margaret Bourke; Ann Sutera Botash, MD; Gary Nieman; Brenda Perez; Ronald Saletsky, PhD; April Tyler, RN; and Linda Veit, MPH, are Upstate’s award recipients. The award is comprised of a certificate and a Chancellor’s Excellence Medallion. The recipients will receive their awards at Upstate’s 2016 Fall Faculty Convocation in September.

“The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is our way of saying thank you to the many faculty across our university system who have gone above and beyond as they educate, mentor, and conduct research alongside our students, as well as the staff whose service to SUNY is of the highest caliber,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “It is an honor to recognize excellent work across the SUNY system.”

Chancellor Award of Excellence recipients

• Margaret Bourke has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Bourke is an administrative assistant for Academic Affairs, Government and Community Relations, and the Office of University Compliance and Ethics. She is widely known for her professionalism and for her effective, accurate and high quality work, much of which is independent with consultation and oversight by supervisors. Examples include her organization of and support for the annual President’s Awards, the SUNY Distinguished Professorships, the SUNY Honorary Degree recipients, university accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, legislative meetings and events of the Office of Government and Community Relations, databases and meetings for the Office of University Compliance and Ethics. She also provides administrative assistance to the Executive Committee of the Medical College Assembly, to the Community Giving Campaign Committee for the annual SEFA/United Way campaign and to multiple faculty committees. Her work ethic and excellent technical skills have earned her praise from numerous members of the administration who recognize her for consistently meeting and exceeding expectations in an environment that can quickly become complicated and stressful.

• Ann Sutera Botash, MD, FAAP, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Botash is professor of pediatrics, medical director of the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center and director of the Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation Program (CARE). She has served as vice chair for educational affairs in the Department of Pediatrics for more than 10 years, is director of the Pediatric Clerkship for Upstate’s medical students and advisor for Docs for Tots, a pediatric interest group for medical students. She has mentored numerous students, residents and junior faculty. She served as an associate dean for education and chaired the task force for Upstate’s recently re-designed medical school curriculum. She founded and, for 19 years, has served as director of the New York State Child Abuse Medical Provider Network, a global educational resource. She is past president of the Ray E. Helfer Society, the primary subspecialty society for physicians devoted to the care of maltreated children. Botash has received more than 40 grants for her teaching, clinical care and advocacy. She has published more than 50 manuscripts, chapters, and educational products, including the first child sexual abuse maintenance of certification program, as well as a comprehensive website on Child Abuse Evaluation and Treatment for Medical Providers. She has presented dozens of webinars and webcasts and has been an invited speaker for numerous local, regional and national conferences, keynotes and faculty development seminars. Botash serves on multiple Upstate institutional education committees and is a founding member of the Academy of Upstate Educators. She was elected to the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society and is past winner of the Academic Pediatric Association Public Policy and Advocacy Award and the local Syracuse Post Standard Community Achievement Award. She is a recipient of Upstate’s Bruce Dearing Award for poetry and prose, published in The Healing Muse. Botash received Upstate’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

• Gary Nieman has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Nieman is associate professor of surgery, senior research scientist and director of the Critical Care and Cardiopulmonary Research Laboratory in the Department of Surgery. He also is associate professor of cardiovascular perfusion and assistant professor or cardiorespiratory science at the College of Health Professions. Nieman has received national and international recognition as an expert in the mechanisms and treatment of lung injury and organ failure related to sepsis, trauma and ventilation injury. He holds six patents and inventions related to his lung injury research as well as his work using a novel method to remove ascites to block progressive organ failure. Continuously funded since 2000, he has secured more than $6 million as a principal investigator. His work has resulted in more than 120 publications and he has had featured papers on the cover of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the “highest impact” critical care journal. One of his papers published in the journal Shock was honored at the 2014 26th Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma Conference as one of the top five papers in 2013 that will change clinical practice.

• Brenda Perez, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Perez, Clinical Laboratory Science Department secretary at the College of Health Professions, consistently excels in her work, passing all expectations. One of her many responsibilities is to work with faculty members to coordinate the college’s Health Careers Shadow Day programs. Her attention to detail and exceptional communication skills have had a positive impact on the program that has resulted in 100 percent attendance over the last three sessions. In addition, between 20 and 25 percent of the participants go on to apply to one of the college’s programs. Perez is especially sensitive to the needs of students and offers her assistance when asked. She has had a major role in planning multiple events for the department, including Advisory Committee meetings, the annual faculty retreat, faculty meetings and recruitment activities. She is considered by members of faculty as the consummate administrative professional whose skill level and motivation allows her to meet the needs of Upstate to ensure a more efficient and organized work environment.

Ronald Saletsky, PhD,  associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, has received the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Saletsky serves Upstate’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as chief child psychologist and director of Child Psychology Training in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and serves on the Psychiatry Department’s Executive, Diversity and Incident Review committees. For the past 24 years he has been the psychologist for the ENHANCE Foster Care Program, a multidisciplinary primary health care clinic for children in foster care in Onondaga County. Saletsky is an early frontrunner in providing integrated care to children at Upstate’s Pediatrics Outpatient Clinic and the Joslin Diabetes Center. He teaches courses in child psychotherapy and child development for Upstate trainees in psychology, child psychiatry, and clinical social work. He works closely with trainees and attending pediatricians and nurse practitioners at the Upstate Pediatrics Outpatient Clinic. In the past, he taught child development at the School of Social Work at Syracuse University, where he is an adjunct faculty member. Saletsky has been an investigator on NIH-funded research of children and families with diabetes. He is a member of Upstate’s Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects and a reviewer for several professional journals. He is part of NY statewide training provided to Family Court judges, law guardians and caseworkers regarding the psychological aspects of foster care and adoption. Saletsky is a member of the SUNY Faculty Senate Diversity Committee for 2016-17 and serves on the board of directors of the Central NY Psychological Association. He has been the recipient of numerous honors including the National Association of Counties Award for Innovative Team Approach to Health Care for Children in Foster Care, Psychologist of the Year from Central NY Psychological Association, a faculty Gold Standard Award from Upstate, and in 2015, the Upstate Medical University President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.

• April Tyler, RN, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. As a clinical leader on the 9E Neuroscience Intermediate Care Unit, Tyler’s responsibilities include mentoring nurses in various stages of experience. She consistently leads by example and promotes teamwork. She includes all members of the team in making decisions for the patients, receives input from the nurses when making staffing assignments, coordinates patient care with the therapists and radiology technicians, and includes the patient in their care decisions. She is recognized by her colleagues as being an excellent resource for information on medications, procedures, and diagnoses. Recognized as a caring and compassionate nurse, Tyler takes special care with patients and their family members to keep them informed, to offer encouragement, to keep them in good spirits and is always prepared and ready to address their concerns.

Linda J. Veit, MPH, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Veit is project staff associate and special projects manager for the Upstate Cancer Center where she has roles in clinical programming, education, community screening programs, advocacy, fundraising and scholarship. She is a member of the voluntary faculty for Upstate’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Veit holds certifications as a clinical research associate and clinical research coordinator by national accrediting organizations and has a national reputation for excellence in serving key administrative roles in national cancer trials. Veit has demonstrated commitment to individual patients as well as to the care of the population of central New York through screening and education efforts. She not only organized cancer screening projects and secured grant funding, but also developed a dissemination model for other cancer centers in effective lung cancer screening. She continues her involvement in lung cancer research and has extended Upstate’s reach to the community’s unde-rserved and under-screened inner-city women through the breast cancer screening initiative She Matters.

Caption: Receiving Chancellor Awards for Excellence are, front row, from left, Margaret Bourke, Linda J. Veit, MPH,. Back row, from left, Ronald Saletsky, PhD, Ann Sutera Botash, MD, FAAP, Gary Nieman, Brenda Perez. Missing from photo: April Tyler, RN.

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