Inaugural SUNY Sullivan Healthcare Conference a Big Success

Two Day Conference Offered Continuing Education, Professional Development, and Recruiting/Networking Opportunities to Students and Healthcare Practitioners in All Medical Fields

Loch Sheldrake, NY — The SUNY Sullivan Health Sciences Program hosted a two-day healthcare conference on campus and at Resorts World Catskills in March 23–24. More than 100 people attended the conference, which offered students and medical practitioners—including respiratory therapy, EMT, nursing, and medical assistants—the opportunity to learn firsthand from experts in the field about topics that are vital to the delivery of quality patient care, and to receive Continuing Education Units and Continuing Medical Education Units. The event also included a networking and recruitment reception Thursday evening at Resorts World Casino.

Brandon Bedenbender, Director of Clinical Education of SUNY Sullivan’s Respiratory Care Program and organizer of the conference, said he hopes the conference will become an annual event, and that he’s already received requests for next year.

“While SUNY Sullivan offers outstanding programs in Respiratory Care, Nursing, Emergency Medical Technician, and Medical Assistant; all of these disciplines will have to work together as a team when students enter the field as professionals,” said Bedenbender, “I think it is important for our upcoming graduates to build these relationships now so they will be even more prepared for entering into the workforce. This type of teamwork is what distinguishes the SUNY Sullivan graduates and why we have such strong support from the community and our clinical affiliates.”

Vendors at the conferences included The Center for Discovery, Crystal Run Health, Sunset Lake Rehab, Roscoe Rehab, Binghamton University, Post University and many others. Lectures and presentations included “Life on a Ventilator After Acute Care,” “Respiratory Protocols & Patient Advocacy,” “Legal & Ethical Dilemmas of the Practitioner,” “Patient Safety, Lessons Learned from the Aviation Industry,” and others.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Kayla Gardiner said the conferences allow people to learn from leading experts in the field, see and touch the latest equipment, and spend one-on-one time networking with potential mentors and/or employers.

“Building and fostering these types of relationships from the beginning of their careers will give the students a better reputation, increased visibility, a stronger support network, improved business growth, and more impactful connections,” said Gardiner, who is also a 2015 graduate of the Respiratory Care Program. “Through both the conference, and expansion of clinical sites that Brandon has brought to SUNY Sullivan, at least half of the graduating respiratory students have received employment offers upon licensing and a few have already accepted full time positions.

Tom McManus, Director of the Respiratory Care Program and a conference speaker, said he thought the conference was an excellent opportunity for students and successful in bringing attention to the College and the programs is offers.

“When our students graduate, they will need to continue to attend conferences such as this one for their professional license requirements,” said McManus. “I have to give congratulations to Professor Bedenbender, who coordinated this project, and to the students who were key contributors to the planning and implementation of the logistical operations.”  

For more information about SUNY Sullivan’s Health Sciences degree and certificate programs, please visit

About SUNY Sullivan

SUNY Sullivan is the leader of innovative higher education and a catalyst for workforce development throughout the Sullivan Catskills and beyond. Our diverse community cultivates personal growth and professional advancement, preparing students for success in a sustainable and interconnected world. A forward-looking, top-tier community college in New York, SUNY Sullivan offers over 40 degree programs, certificates, and micro-credentials for learners at all levels of their educational goals. We value critical inquiry and creativity while supporting our students in a culture of inclusion and respect.


March 25, 2023.

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