Upstate Gala set for Nov. 30; proceeds to support services for the aging

Plans are under way for Upstate Medical University Foundation’s largest social event of the year–the Upstate Gala—to be held Friday, Nov. 30, from 8 p.m. to midnight (prelude party at 7 p.m.) at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center, 800 S. State Street in Syracuse.

Proceeds from the event will support a variety of programs and services for the aging at Upstate University Hospital and the Geriatric Emergency Unit at Upstate’s Community Campus.

“We are happy that this year’s Gala will support our efforts to provide important, quality services for older adults,” said Sharon Brangman, MD, professor of medicine, division chief of Geriatrics and director of Upstate’s  Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center.  “As the population of older adults in Central New York grows, so does the need for comprehensive, specialized geriatric care in our community.”

Serving as 2012 Gala co-chairs are Dr. James and Lori Ciaccio and Judge Jack and Sybil Schultz. Dr. Ciaccio is an assistant professor and director and chief of service for the Emergency Department at Upstate’s Community Campus. Lori Ciaccio is an educator. Schultz is a retired DeWitt town justice. He and his wife, Sybil, are active members of OASIS. Sybil Schultz has worked as a travel agent in Syracuse and as an educator.

Planners have designed a winter wonderland setting for the Upstate Gala that will feature entertainment by Nik and the Nice Guys. The evening also includes risk-free Casino-style gaming featuring black jack; strolling entertainment, a palm reader, a photo booth and more. Food choices will be offered throughout the evening followed by special late-night snacks.

A few of Upstate’s clinical and educational geriatric services benefiting from the event include, but are not limited to:

• The upcoming Geriatric Emergency Unit at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus follows a growing national trend that focuses on the concept of specialized care in the emergency department for older adults. This unit will fill a much-needed niche in the Syracuse region, provide for quality care to our aging population and help the growth of the Upstate University Hospital Community Campus.

• The Sharon A. Brangman, MD, Endowed Professorship in Geriatric Medicine. This endowment will advance Upstate’s mission of geriatric education by broadening the understanding of the health issues of older adults across medical and surgical specialties to ensure that the region’s aging population receives appropriate health care today and tomorrow.

• Geriatric patient services. Outpatient medical care and geriatric assessment at the newly remodeled geriatrics office, located at 550 Harrison Center, Syracuse.

ACE Team (Acute Care for the Elderly Team) developed and run by the Division of Geriatrics to provide a team approach, including a geriatrician, geriatrics pharmacist, nurse practitioner, and social worker  to address the needs of older adult patients in the hospital setting.

• CNY Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center is the only service of its kind in the region that provides comprehensive evaluation and management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to patients and families.

• Vitality! Fitness Program offers exercise programs that are individually developed based on the needs, limitations, and the goals of the participants and in accordance with the medical director’s recommendations.

• OASIS is an adult lifelong learning program that offers people aged 50 years and older programs in the arts, humanities, health and wellness management, as well as an opportunity for volunteer service.

Last year’s Gala attracted hundreds of people, raising $418,000 for seed money to create a long-term scholarship program for students in Upstate’s four colleges and to support the hospital entrance renovations at Upstate’s Community Campus.

For Gala sponsorship opportunities and reservations contact the Foundation for Upstate Medical University at 464-4416 or visit the Foundation website.

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