SMC Foundation Receives Major Gift


Watertown, New York ----- The Samaritan Medical Center Foundation received a generous holiday gift to help fund the new Walker Center for Cancer Care, slated to open in October 2018.

Washington Summit Associates’ partners Michael E. Lundy and Dr. David P. Rechlin made Christmas a littler merrier for the project’s fundraising efforts with personal donations totaling $100,000.

“We both feel believe strongly in the project and how it will help so many people here in Northern New York,” stated Managing Partner Mr. Lundy, speaking on behalf of the two partners. “Like so many other people, we both have been touched by cancer. Both of my parents are cancer survivors, and Dr. Rechlin cares for patients affected by cancer in his practice all the time.”

Washington Summit Associates has had a long, proud history with Samaritan Medical Center and credits the hospital with being a part of its success as one of the group’s earliest tenants and strongest supporters. Additionally, in 2012, Washington Summit Associates announced its donation of 18 acres of land for the development of Samaritan Summit Village on adjacent property.

“Samaritan is fortunate to have such a strong, long standing relationship with Washington Summit Associates, as well as with Mr. Lundy and Dr. Rechlin individually,” states Thomas H. Carman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Samaritan “We, too, credit our success with Samaritan Summit Village and now the new Walker Center for Cancer Care to the generous support we have received from them. We truly are grateful for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that our North Country community has access to high quality care locally.”

The Walker Center for Cancer Care is expected to open in the fall of 2018. This 17,000 square foot facility brings Samaritan’s cancer services and physicians to one convenient location that is designed with patients in mind. If you would like to learn about ways to support this important project, please contact Bonnie Eppolito at the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation at 315-779-6966.

WSA Gift Presentation

(L to R) Michael E. Lundy, Managing Partner of Washington Summit Associates, LLC; Bonnie Eppolito, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, Samaritan Medical Center Foundation; and David P. Rechlin, DO, Partner, Washington Summit Associates, LLC.

SMC Offers FREE Hernia Screening


Offering Demonstrations of the daVinci Surgical Robot

Watertown, New York ----- The surgeons of the Samaritan Medical Center Surgery Practice will be hosting a free hernia screening on Saturday, December 9th from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at their new office location in the Samaritan Medical Office Building, 826 Washington Street, Suite 106 in Watertown.

“Many people may walk around for years with a hernia and may either not know it or not want to have it evaluated,” explains Sara Cummings, Special Teams Coordinator at Samaritan Medical Center. “Many hernia repair surgeries today can be done robotically, and we have been using the daVinci for several years. By utilizing the daVinci robot, our surgeons have greater dexterity and range of motion. Oftentimes, that means a faster recovery and less pain for the patient.”

During this event, attendees will be able to learn about the benefits of minimally-invasive hernia repair using robotic-assisted technology; engage in dialogue with our surgeons; get screened if they are experiencing nausea, groin pain, or a bulge in the lower abdomen. “Test drives” and demonstrations of the robot will also be available. Light refreshments will be served.

Samaritan surgeons who perform hernia repair surgeries include Dr. Daniel Bryden, Dr. Leo Gosselin, Dr. Robert Kimball and Dr. Eduardo Barayuga. In addition to general surgery, robotically-assisted surgery is also available in urology and gynecology.

Space for this event is limited, and registration is requested. To register, or for more information, please call Samaritan Medical Center Surgery Practice at 315.755.3083.

SMC To Host Lung Cancer Awareness Event


SMC Joins National Movement to Build Awareness

Watertown, NY ----- November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in every ethnic group in the United States and takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Every day, 427 Americans die of lung cancer.

“Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” is part of a national effort to raise awareness about lung cancer and help to reduce the stigma associated with this disease. Samaritan Medical Center will join over 200 healthcare facilities across the country and host a “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” event to provide hope, inspiration and support for those impacted by this disease.

Local television personality Jeff Cole will host this free event taking place in the Rotunda located at Samaritan Medical Center on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. We will celebrate and honor survivors, those who are dealing with this disease currently and pause to remember those we have lost. Light refreshments will be served. 

Luminaries in honor of and in memory of friends and loved ones will light the sidewalks and Rotunda. Bags are available in the cancer treatment center and also the evening of the event. The luminary bags are free, so please decorate a bag and help us shine a light on lung cancer.

For more information about this event, please contact the Walker Cancer Treatment Center at Samaritan Medical Center at 315.785.4600.

Family Health Centers Now NCQA Recognized


NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Care standards emphasize enhanced care through patient/clinician partnership

NCQA patient centered medical home

Watertown, New York ----- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that each of the eight Samaritan Family Health Centers have received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships. Samaritan’s eight clinics are located in Adams, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Lacona, LeRay, Sackets Harbor and two in Watertown (Plaza Family Health Center and Graduate Medical Education Clinic).

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the healthcare system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients, “ said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that the Samaritan Family Health Centers have the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

To earn recognition, the Samaritan Family Health Centers demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

To find clinicians and their practices with NCQQ PCMH recognition, visit

Mental Health Awareness


Watertown, New York ----- Patients and staff from Samaritan Medical Center’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit are enjoying a new type of therapy. Taking an idea from the kindness rock craze on social media, Valerie LaClair from Samaritan’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit proposed the idea, and it took off.

“We adopted the kindness rock idea for our expressive therapy group,” explain Ms. LaClair. “It’s a fun activity that connects our patients to the cause and encourages those with depression who may find the rocks. It’s definitely therapeutic for patients, as well as for staff.”

Each rock contains various messages and drawings and is placed throughout the grounds of the hospital. They also include the hashtag #samaritanrocks to encourage photos and sharing on social media.

“There is such a stigma associated with mental health and addiction,” explains Tina O’Neil, Director of Mental Health at Samaritan. “It’s important to build awareness, educate and let the community know that we have services to help in times of need.”

Because it’s been so successful, Samaritan plans to expand this project into its outpatient mental health and addiction clinics.

“We know it’s working,” concludes Ms. LaClair. “After the first time we did this, we had a patient tell us that she found one of our rocks and it gave her hope. She sought help and was admitted for treatment.”


A heart-shaped arrangement of rocks created by the staff and patients of Samaritan’s mental health and addiction services. #samaritanrocks

SMC Imaging Continues to Grow


3D Mammography Coming In November

Watertown, New York ----- The Fuji ASPIRE Cristalle mammography technology is the latest in Samaritan’s investment in advancing its imaging capabilities. Earlier this year, Samaritan added two new Philips 128-slice CT scanners and in September opened its new Philips 3.0T Ingenia MRI.

Samaritan Medical Center has recently invested in Fujifilm’s ASPIRE Cristalle system, because of its low-dose x-ray, crystal clear images and faster exams. Highlights of the new system include:

  • Brilliant image quality for trusted results
  • Adaptability to different breast types
  • Innovative technology that uses low-x-ray dose
  • Better visualization of implants
  • Improved patient experience overall

The new mammography units are available at Woman to Woman on Outer Washington Street. In November, 3D capability will be added.

Appointments for screening mammograms can be made by calling 315-785-4155 and a doctor’s order is required.