Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)

Health Professions Advisory Committee & Letter

The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) is a group of volunteer SUNY Oneonta faculty and retired local healthcare providers who assist the HPAC Chair in evaluating the strengths and attributes of medical, dental, and optometry school candidates. The final HPAC evaluation is compiled into a Committee Letter of Evaluation and includes full content of all required evaluator summaries and letters plus an evaluation from the Pre-Health Advising Program and HPAC Members.

Some professional schools recommend a committee letter that summarizes a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and judges the candidate's overall qualifications. The Committee Letter is a competency-based summary of a student’s clinical experience, community engagement, and research experiences, as well as academic performance, professionalism, and additional interpersonal competencies as indicated by materials presented to the HPAC Members and during the candidate's HPAC Interview. While we do not employ a formal ranking system, the candidate's final evaluation will include one of the following designations: "highly recommend" (candidate surpasses all expectations), "recommend" (candidate meets all expectations and surpasses some expectations), "recommendation with reservation" (candidate meets expectations), or "do not recommend" (candidate fails to meet all expectations). The Committee Letter is then submitted to the indicated medical, dental, and optometry schools upon request by the applicants.

The year a student applies for an HPAC interview depends on their timing of application to medical, dental, or optometry school. Students should consult with their Pre-Health Advisor to determine the best time to apply.

Committee Letters are optional for students planning to apply to Medical, Dental, and Optometry School and are not accepted for others.

Committee Letters are not able to be used for application to Post-Baccalaureate or any other Programs.

Students desiring a Committee Letter for their medical, dental, or optometry school applications should plan to apply in December for an HPAC interview in March. If a student does not meet all deadlines and all requirements, they will not be eligible to receive a Committee Letter during the application cycle.

NOTE: SUNY Oneonta Alumni are eligible to apply for a Committee Letter up to four years after their SUNY Oneonta degree is conferred and must follow the below application process and deadlines to be eligible for a Committee Letter.

NOTE: Students who have already completed the HPAC Letter Application Cycle can apply for an addendum to their Committee Letter up to four years after their original HPAC interview. For example, students who completed the HPAC Interview Cycle in 2020 may request an addendum through 2024. Contact the HPAC Chair for additional information.

HPAC Interview & Committee Letter eligibility, applications, & approval process:

Students apply and are approved for Committee Interviews & Letters in two phases:

  • Only students approved at Phase 1 will be eligible to submit documents for Phase 2.
  • Spring 2024 HPAC interviews will be held March 26 thru April 5, 2024.
  • Students must have Junior or Senior standing and have a minimum 3.0 Overall GPA to apply for an HPAC Interview.
  • HPAC Choice
  • FERPA Release
  • FERPA Waiver
  • Application Acknowledgement
  • Major GPA
  • Names of 3-6 individuals completing the HPAC evaluation form
    • evaluators must include, at the minimum:
      • one healthcare provider (ideally from the applicant's intended field - shadowing or clinical experience)
        • if due to COVID, you have not been able to gain shadowing or clinical experience, send an email to the HPAC Chair to request a waiver for this letter type.
        • you will still be expected to have at the minimum, 3 evaluations submitted on your behalf
      • one BCMP faculty (Biology/Chemistry/Math/Physics)
      • one employer or other professional reference (eg. work supervisor, coach, other as appropriate)

NOTE: Only students approved after Phase 1 will be eligible to submit documents for Phase 2.

  • HPAC evaluation form from 3-6 references (emailed directly from evaluator to HPAC Chair)
    • NOTE: Optometry Candidate HPAC evaluation forms must also include a FULL recommendation letter (signed, on official letterhead), emailed directly from evaluator to HPAC Chair.
  • HPAC Candidate Documents (emailed to HPAC Chair)
    • Personal Statement (best draft)
    • CV (resume)
    • Transcript (all college courses, can be student copy)
    • MCAT, DAT, or OAT scores (or results of practice tests), if available.

Phase 2 approved students will receive HPAC interview invites beginning March 4, 2024.

HPAC members are volunteers who assist in evaluation of our students who are seeking admission to Medical, Dental, or Optometry School. Members serve under the guidance of the HPAC Chair.

HPAC Chair:

  • Tami LaPilusa, M.S. (Program Coordinator, SUNY Oneonta Pre-Health Professions)

HPAC Members:

  • Bruce Aaronson, D.D.S. (Retired Dentist, SUNY Oneonta Alumni, Class of '74)
  • Lisa Curch, Ph.D. (Professor, SUNY Oneonta Social Science Faculty)
  • Allan Green, Ph.D. (Professor, SUNY Oneonta Chemistry/Biochemistry Faculty)
  • Sallie Han, Ph.D. (Professor, SUNY Oneonta Anthropology Faculty)
  • Michael Levenstein, M.D. (Retired Physician, SUNY Oneonta Alumni, Class of '74)
  • Taryn More, D.D.S. (Dentist, SUNY Oneonta Alumni, Class of '18)
  • Maurice Odago, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, SUNY Oneonta Chemistry/Biochemistry Faculty)
  • Junryo Watanabe, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, SUNY Oneonta Biology Faculty)
  • Fred Zalatan, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, SUNY Oneonta Biology Faculty)

HPAC related questions should be directed to Tami LaPilusa, M.S., HPAC Chair & Pre-Health Professions Program Coordinator

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