Samaritan Medical Center Announces Change in Emergency Support Persons

Watertown, NY – After careful consideration, and because the COVID-19 hospitalization rates remain stable, Samaritan Medical Center announces an update to the visitation policy for Emergency Department Support Persons.

As of Monday, January 9, 2023, Emergency Department patients may designate two support persons for their emergency care visit, with only one person being present at any given time. 

Please read the full policy and how the change will be managed in our visitor policy online at:

For safety purposes, all support persons and visitors must be in good health and screened. Driver’s license and photo ID are required at the time of visit. Most visitation is restricted to those 12 years of age or older. A parent or guardian must accompany visitors under the age of 18. Masks are required, as well as proper handwashing throughout the visit. Visitors who have recently been in quarantine or in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home.


Walker Center for Cancer Care Announces Opening of Second Linear Accelerator

Watertown, NY – The Walker Center for Cancer Care announces the opening of a second linear accelerator (LINAC) to its Radiation Oncology services.  The additional LINAC system will allow for greater access to this personalized, precise radiation therapy in a timely manner for patients of the Cancer Center. 

“The opening of a second linear accelerator (LINAC) will increase patient access to radiation oncology treatments in our region” said Dr. Justin Budnik, Radiation Oncologist at the Walker Center.  The number of patient radiation treatments has increased from 5,702 in 2020 to 7,102 in 2022.  It is anticipated that in 2023, the increase in patient treatments will continue.  “The need for a second LINAC has been driven by unprecedented growth in the practice here at the Walker Center for Cancer Care, and will ensure that all patients who are in need of radiotherapy will have timely access to treatment, whatever their diagnosis is.”

For patients, this increase in specialized services means less time waiting from their first visit to the start of treatment, which is critical in cancer care.  The second LINAC will ensure that radiation therapy for patients with high acuity lesions (such as those causing pain, or pressing on critical body structures, or blocking airways or blood flow, etc.) can start treatment within a matter of a few days, rather than a few weeks.

“Our hope is that with two LINACS in service we will be able to better meet the needs of our community, and that treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction with the care furnished at our center will improve as a result” states Dr. Budnik.


Samaritan Welcomed 17 New Physicians in 2022

Watertown, N.Y. – The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed many facets of healthcare, but it did not deter the tenacity of the incredible Medical Staff and recruitment team at Samaritan to bring highly-trained physicians to this community. Samaritan was once again, after a three-year hiatus, able to celebrate and welcome its new physicians at the annual New Physician Reception, which was held on November 9th. We are proud to introduce these fine physicians.

For most of our new physicians, this is their first experience in the North Country. This may also be their first experience in rural healthcare. One brings their talent to our area through our close relationship with Fort Drum.

Please join us in welcoming the following physicians to our community, and our medical facilities. Click on any physician to learn more.