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April 05, 2016

In Brief

Apple taps Parkinson’s app

An iPhone app developed by Sage Bionetworks and Medical Center neurologists to improve the study of Parkinson’s disease was highlighted by Apple during the company’s semiannual product launch event last month.

The mPower app, first unveiled in March 2015 during Apple’s “Spring Forward” product launch, gathers real-time data from Parkinson’s patients in an effort to more fully understand the disease and how it affects daily life. The app also allows patients to track symptoms and how treatments are affecting the progression of the disease.

Eastman Dental screening for HIV at three clinics

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health has received a grant from New York State to use a rapidscreening test for HIV in three of its clinics, based on the success of its smaller pilot program in 2013.

Throughout New York, which has the highest rate of HIV of any state in the nation, a third of HIV-positive people learn their status only after reaching advanced stages of infection.

While state law requires health professionals to offer voluntary HIV tests to patients ages 13 to 64, a significant portion of the population does not visit a primary care physician or dentist and relies on a hospital emergency room for health care when an issue arises.

The current grant will include screening Eastman Dental patients at its clinics on Main Street in the Sibley building and Campbell Street next to School 17 as well as urgent care patients at Elmwood Avenue near Strong Memorial Hospital.

There is no cost to the patient for the rapid-screen test.

Comprehensive Breast Care at Pluta receives accreditation

Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Breast Care at Pluta has been granted a three-year/full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, the only breast center in the Rochester region to receive the accreditation.

New-hire orientation redesigned

Using feedback from attendees, as well as from managers and supervisors, the Human Resources team took a fresh look at how new staff are introduced to the University. On March 14, Human Resources introduced a new half-day format that offers a warm welcome and an inspiring look at the University followed by self-paced learning through MyPath. “When you step into a new role with a new organization, you want to feel connected with your new employer, and we want our staff to know what they are now a part of,” says Kathy Miner, director of administrative services and employment in Human Resources. “We’re now going to highlight the scope and breadth of our institution as well as the University’s remarkable achievements.”

Grant funds plastic-bag recycling campaign

Rochester is one of four New York colleges and universities to receive a grant to fund innovative environmental projects as part of the College Council Grant Program conducted by the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling.

With the $2,747 grant, the University began a three-part plan to help reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic grocery bags. The plan was developed by five University EcoReps—freshmen who promote awareness among fellow students about issues such as waste reduction and energy conservation.

The most immediate phase of the program will be evident at Hillside Market, the main convenience store on the River Campus, where clean, lightly used plastic bags will be an option for shoppers. Later in the year, customers will be able to contribute their own gently used plastic bags to Hillside Market as part of the recycling program.

Secondly, the EcoReps will promote reusable grocery bags at major events on campus. Students can receive a bag upon signing a pledge to be sustainable whenever they buy groceries. As a 30-day trial, Hillside Market will also offer a 5 percent discount to those who bring their own reusable shopping bag.

Lastly, the University is collaborating with Waste Management to send plastic bags in batches for recycling processing. Drop-off bins will soon be made available on River Campus for University community members to donate used plastic bags, which are recyclable, though not through standard on-campus or curbside recycling.

Young researchers invited to compete in ‘Falling Walls’

The University invites junior faculty, postdoctoral researchers, master’s degree and PhD students, and young entrepreneurs to summarize their groundbreaking ideas in three minutes for a chance to qualify for a spot at the Falling Walls conference in Berlin in November.

The annual conference, which commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall, asks “which walls will fall next?” by highlighting the latest research, innovations, and scientific findings from around the world. Apply by April 15 for the preliminary contest being held on May 18 in Sloan Auditorium on the River Campus. The winner will qualify for the finals in Berlin on November 8, with travel and accommodations costs covered.

For more information, visit the website Falling-walls.com/lab/faq1 or contact adele.coelho@rochester.edu.

Fringe Festival submissions open until April 30

The 2016 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival is accepting show submissions through Saturday, April 30. One show can be submitted to multiple venues through one application. University faculty, staff, students, and alumni have presented shows in past editions of the annual festival, of which the University is a sponsor. Visit Backstage.rochesterfringe.com for details.

Benefits materials available electronically

Sign up to receive certain benefits materials—such as open enrollment materials, summary plan descriptions, and summary annual reports—through email. Visit HRMS to enroll and read the disclosure statement before selecting eDelivery. No action is required for those who would like to continue receiving documents by mail. Those who elect eDelivery can unsubscribe at any time by logging into HRMS and unchecking the “I Consent” box. Direct questions to benefitoffice@hr.rochester.edu.

Iron Mountain invoicing going electronic

Effective April 1, the University and Iron Mountain will transition to electronic invoicing. After April 1 employees will need to contact Iron Mountain directly to obtain invoice copies or supporting documentation. The company’s customer service—which is available all day, every day—can be reached by email at PreferredClientServices@IronMountain.com or by phone at (800) 934-3453, ext. 1. A customer ID or a specific division or departmental ID is required for accounts that have multiple departments. If you do not have the required information, the company will help obtain it. Iron Mountain data management and Highland Hospital invoicing will not change.

Contact AccountsPayable@finance.rochester.edu or Luis_Perez@urmc.rochester.edu with any questions.

Excluded? Debarred? Know someone who is?

Federal law limits the kinds of work that may be done by people who have been excluded, suspended, or debarred from federal or state contracts, grants, or programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. If you or someone you work with has been excluded, suspended, or debarred, has defaulted on student loans, or has lost a professional license, contact the Compliance Office at 275-1609, the Office of Counsel at 758-7600, or the Integrity Hotline at 756-8888 (anonymous reports accepted).

Faculty: Order commencement regalia by April 8

The deadline for faculty to order regalia for commencement is Friday, April 8. Medical Center and River Campus faculty should contact Maria Ferrante at mferrante@ur.rochester.edu or 275-9270. Eastman School of Music faculty should contact Tammy Spence at sm748@bncollege.com or 274-1399.

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