Covid-19 Response

Thank you to all our alumni and students who are doing everything possible to make sure patients receive the care they need and deserve.

RMED students

Students reach out to patients isolated by pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented hospitalized patients with an unusual challenge: No visitors. To combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, hospital leaders, including those at Upstate Medical University, have allowed visitors only in the most dire situations. That left hospitalized patients— all patients, not just those with COVID—without the companionship and support offered by family and friends coming by. Read more by Darryl Geddes>>

students mine data

Upstate students'effort helps homeless during pandemic

A group of Upstate Medical University students has taken on the task of assisting the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.  When COVID-19 arrived in the region Summer Carbone '22 felt the need to "do something", she said.  The Utica native who hopes to be a surgeon one day, recognized that the homeless had no way to get hand sanitizer, which health officials were urging people to use.  After researching effective methods, she decided to make handmade hand sanitizer.  Read more by Darryl Geddes>>

students mine data

Upstate students mine scientific literature for latest on COVID-19 to aid Incident Command process
Physicians and researches all over the world are sharing research and information on what works, and doesn't work, in the struggle against COVID-19. "Hundreds of papers are coming out every week," said Upstate Medical University College of Graduate Studies Dean Mark Schmitt, PhD.  "Clinicians just don't have time to go through it."

Schmitt, other faculty members and student volunteers at Upstate created an effort to read through literature, look for the most useful information, and share it with Upstate's Incident Command team on a weekly basis.

Students read studies as they appear in literature, explained Joan Chou, a third-year medical student who helped from the group.  Read more by Darryl Geddes>>

Photo: Sudie-Ann Robinson, a medical student at Upstate, is part of a group of students sifting through the deluge of research articles offered on COVID-19

Jared F. Sweeney MD '20

Upstate graduates 65 medical students early to aid in COVID fight

Sixty-five medical students at Upstate Medical University became doctors April 10, graduating early so they could join other health care workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Cuomo issued an executive order earlier this month enabling medical students to graduate early to help with the COVID fight. Read more by Daryl Geddes>>

Photo: Jared Sweeney, MD '20, was one of 65 medical students to earn their medical degrees early so they can aid in the coronavirus pandemic.  Sweeney is pictured here with his fiance, Amanda Benacquisto.

Mary Beth Gadarowski '20 was interviewed by her undergraduate Union college for their Alumni spotlight. Read article here>>



Gabriela Sanchez-Bravo MD '19

Article from HAVANA TIMES — “I think I’m infected,” Gabriela Sanchez-Bravo, MD '19 tells me with an astonishing calmness. “Do you think so?” With the same composure, she explains that her symptoms match those of COVID-19: the cough, the fever. She also tells me that it isn’t just her either, her boyfriend, a Medicine student, also has these symptoms. Read More>>


Joe Hartnett MD '19

 Article from Fordham Athletics on Joe Hartnett, MD '19: Today we recognize former track and field/cross country Ram Dr. Joe Hartnett, FCRH '14, a first year urology resident at Stony Brook Hospital. Hartnett graduated from SUNY Upstate medical school last year and started at Stony Brook last July. Little did he know what was ahead for him as a first year resident. Read more>>


Jennifer McConnell MD '94

Jennifer McConnell, MD '94: Inside the tent with a doctor who can't stand on the sidelines. For the past month, Dr. Jennifer McConnell and her medical partner have rotated shifts, working every other day from 7 am to 7 pm, to screen central Maine patients who believe they have coronavirus symptoms.  Read more by Barbara Walsh>>


Upstate Alumni on the frontllines

Upstate Alumni (residents at Jacobi-Montefiore) on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. From right to left: Allan So, MD '16, Elaine Rodriguez, MD '16 and Styve Pamphile, MD '18.




brandon james md '16

Brandon James, MD '16 and Sarah Love Rhoads, MD, pose before their wedding in the masks the brides mother, Joanne Rhoads, made for them.  Read more by Providence Journal>>




Chris Tanski MD '10Christopher Tanski, MD '10 was asked by the New York State Health Department to serve as the initial chief medical officer for the field hospitals. He started on April 9. Click here to read full article from RIT news>>



Nicole Alexander Scott MD '01Nicole Alexander Scott, MD '01 Rhode Island's State Department of Health director has been front and center during this pandemic. Click here to read article from Providence Journal>>


Ralph L. Stevens, MD '81: When we confronted the AIDs epidemic as house staff in the 80’s we were scared, but didn’t know how vulnerable we actually were. The graduating seniors will have no such illusions in July 2020. They deserve all the support and encouragement we can give them. Stay healthy!

Mark Katz, MD '75: I work (am on the slow boat to retirement) as an admitting hospitalist at a major Los Angeles hospital. We have all felt vulnerable, anxious, beaten up/down, but I have learned something profoundly meaningful about resilience--a favorite subject of mine: I have more free time (as many of us do)--and while catching up on Netflix shows, cooking new recipes, sorting through old photos, etc., at first I felt guilty for having a decent time while New York and other places were in anguish, desolation, and despair. But then I realized that the more I involve myself in my daily moments of joy and positive activity, it gives me more strength to psychically be there for all of the others. It's what I have always preached about "Resilience in Health Care": Do things which fill your own gas tank, and then you will be able to be there for others. So, each day, I have fun and do good things, and I also spend time meditating and praying for so many others.

Paul Stobnicke, MD '53:  (Was interviewed for a story on  He’s a retired doctor who went into family practice on Syracuse’s West Side after serving as a fighter pilot in the South Pacific during World War II. He’s maintained his medical license and gives occasional talks in the theater at the Towne Center. Stobnicke said he knows several of his neighbors who have tested positive. Read more>>

Ron Freudenberger, MD '89: The class of 1989 graduated into the peak of the AIDS crisis. It was challenging, scary and extremely rewarding. Good luck to our brothers and sisters in the class of 2020.

Gary M. Kohn, MD '74: I am working at a local free clinic doing telehealth during the quarantine.