Dr. Collins Kellogg, Jr. to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) will be hosting its fourth annual Physician Recognition Dinner on National Doctors’ Day, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. This event, supported by the SMC Foundation and Medical Executive Committee, is held on or around National Doctors’ Day to honor Samaritan’s active and retired physicians for their dedication.

As part of this event, one physician is selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, which has been established to recognize a Samaritan physician for his/her leadership and service to the health and well-being of the Northern New York community. Whether in their private practice, hospital duties, Board or Medical Staff leadership positions or volunteer work, Samaritan’s physicians dedicate their time and talent to making the community a better place to live.

The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Collins F. Kellogg, Jr., MD. Dr. Kellogg, an internal medicine physician, has been a member of the SMC Medical Staff since 1987. He is a native of the area, growing up in Lowville, where two of his uncles were General Practitioners. Since first establishing his practice in 1987 in a house on Washington Street with Dr. R.J. Marilley, Dr. Kellogg’s practice of Watertown Internists today includes ten providers and a total of 34 employees. During the 29 years (and counting) that Dr. Kellogg has practiced medicine in Watertown, his efforts have helped ensure access to healthcare services for members of our community, as well as helping to lead efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system in the North Country. 

In addition to the Woodruff Professional Building in Watertown, Dr. Kellogg also owns two urgent care centers: one on Coffeen Street in Watertown and the other serving the community of Adams. He has assisted the Fort Drum Regional Planning Organization (FDRHPO) in its efforts to bring electronic health records to many physician offices. He was the primary care physician representative in this collaborative planning group, which today is known as the North Country Initiative, for which he serves as the first and only Board Chairman since the formation of the NCI. Dr. Kellogg also chairs the Board of Directors for Healthcare Partners of the North Country, an Accountable Care Organization responsible for improving the quality and value of healthcare for our Medicare population. 

Dr. Kellogg is the Medical Director at Samaritan Summit Village and continues his long-term commitment to Samaritan Medical Center to improve patient safety, quality of care and value of care. He is founder and past chair of the SMC Peer Review and Medical Management Committees.

Dr. Kellogg continues to practice at Watertown Internists with Drs. LaVerne VanDeWall and Julie Lapointe, Laura Boggs and Jason White. They are joined by five nurse practitioners, including Nancy Spicer, Ann Lepine, Kathryn Kolton, Jeff Perrine and Phyl McKinney.

“This event has been established to offer the entire community an opportunity to recognize and thank our physicians for their time, talent and commitment,” states Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “We ask a lot of our physicians. In addition to the day-to-day work in their offices or here at the hospital doing rounds or performing surgery, our physicians actively participate in other initiatives, such as Medical Staff committees, Boards, and other leadership roles. Our community is fortunate to have a Medical Staff of this caliber.”

The Physician Recognition Dinner is being held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30th at Samaritan Summit Village. This event is open to the entire community. Tickets are $45 per person. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Medical Staff Relations Office at SMC at 779-5184 or visit

Watertown, NY ----- The New Vision Health Careers Class has announced their 2016 fundraiser for our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Samaritan Medical Center. For more than a decade, students in the New Vision Health Careers class, a program through BOCES that offers high-achieving high school seniors the opportunity to shadow health professionals and immerse themselves in hands-on learning about the healthcare industry, have chosen to partner with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Samaritan to raise much needed funds for local sick and injured children. In the past students have hosted Dance Marathons and other fundraising events and have collectively raised more than $60,000.

This year’s class has chosen to launch Miracle Challenge, a 27-day wellness and exercise challenge running from April 1- 27, that will help participants achieve fitness goals while raising funds for CMN Hospitals, in the region. Participants can choose one of five fitness tracks – running, walking, cycling/spinning, yoga or boot camp – and will complete 27 mini-challenges over the course of 27 days. According to Kady Hoistion, New Vision Health Careers teacher, “the students are excited about being able to encourage health and wellness in the community while also raising funds for local children, some of whom are their peers.” Students in the New Vision class hope to engage many local businesses and organizations, individuals and members of their school communities, making this a community wide fundraising effort.

Led by fitness coaches and celebrities, Miracle Challengers will receive daily challenges, inspirational stories or motivational messages via e-mail throughout the event encouraging them to meet their fitness and fundraising goals. A personal donation page for each participant will also be set up to track progress and share updates. Participants are challenged to not only complete a fitness activity each day, but also to raise the equivalent of $10 per day for Samaritan Medical Center’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program. It is the New Vision Health Careers Class goal to raise $25,000 for CMN Hospitals at Samaritan Medical Center.

Individuals and organizations are welcome to join Miracle Challenge and the New Vision class’ efforts. Visit to sign up. Organizations who wish to participate in Miracle Challenge as an employee wellness program should call the CMN Hospitals Development Manager at Samaritan at 315-785-4053. 

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) and North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) are pleased to announce plans to explore potential transfer of several of SMC’s primary care clinics to NCFHC operations, including but not limited to clinics in Adams, Cape Vincent, Clayton, LeRay, Sackets Harbor and Watertown.

“Our community will benefit greatly from this type of collaboration, which will expand and enhance the scope and quality of services available in our communities,” explains Thomas H. Carman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Samaritan Medical Center. “This collaboration aligns perfectly with the efforts underway to improve the North Country’s healthcare system, as well as changes introduced by the Affordable Care Act.”

As a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC), North Country Family Health Center already functions successfully and efficiently as a model of care that is accessible, patient-centered and integrated, while reducing barriers to care and focusing on prevention. Additionally, NCFHC’s model provides grant dollar support to focus on integration and care coordination, as well as enhanced reimbursement rates and savings opportunities.

“As we evaluated Samaritan’s clinics along with our continued success at the North Country Family Health Center, it became clear that partnering together could be a triple win: a win for each of our organizations and, most importantly, a win for our entire community,” states Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director of the North Country Family Health Center. “The goal of our regional healthcare transformation is to turn our current system into one that is patient-centered and focuses on value as opposed to volume. We feel strongly that many necessary changes to our region’s healthcare system can be addressed through this collaboration.”

The SMC Board of Trustees and the NCFHC Board of Directors authorized their respective organizations to proceed with an exploratory and planning phase in order to determine what the final agreement would entail. A joint committee comprised of equal representation from the leadership teams of each organization will oversee the exploratory and planning process.

“There is extensive work to be done over the next few months to outline the details of the agreement,” concludes Mr. Carman. “In addition to the due diligence process, we also will seek input from our patients, staff and others to ensure that the final agreement makes sense for them and for each of our organizations. There is great potential through this collaboration to strengthen primary care in our region so that our community members have greater access to coordinated, efficient, appropriate and high quality healthcare.”

Another advantage offered through this agreement is enhanced financial stability for both North Country Family Health Center and Samaritan Medical Center, which leads to a strong and stable healthcare system. Because NCFHC is a Federally Qualified Health Center, it receives enhanced reimbursement for services rendered and realizes significant savings in pharmaceutical pricing and malpractice costs. The addition of these primary care clinics to NCFHC will generate significant revenue to expand and enhance the services it provides, further strengthening its operations. Annually, Samaritan’s clinics generate a significant loss, which the hospital allows for in its budget because of the important benefit the clinics provide to the communities they serve. This transfer would enable Samaritan to shed its loss each year, while enhancing North Country Family Health Center’s annual revenue.

The exploratory and planning phase is expected to take approximately six months to complete, with the goal of presenting a final collaborative agreement in early 2016.


July 22, 2015

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center announced today that it is in the early stages of planning for significant enhancements to cancer care in the region, including the development of a new comprehensive cancer center, which is expected to be operational in 2017.

“It is a priority of Samaritan to offer first class treatment of cancer through an integrated, coordinated program,” says Mario Victoria, MD, Samaritan’s Chief Medical Officer. “Cancer care encompasses so much more than chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment, but must also address the nutritional, social and spiritual needs of cancer patients. A truly coordinated program will be enhanced by providing cancer care in one location.”

Currently, Samaritan offers many advanced services and procedures to diagnose and treat many forms of cancer, including a full range of imaging (radiology) procedures, radiation therapy, outpatient chemotherapy, surgical care and many others. However, these services are in multiple locations throughout the community, including the hospital, off-site clinics and physician offices. By establishing a comprehensive cancer center, Samaritan will bring all of those services and specialists together in one location, ensuring that patient care is collaborative, multi-disciplinary and convenient.

Additionally, and in anticipation of expanding its cancer services, SMC has recruited two new medical oncologists to join its current physicians, Dr. John Poggi and Dr. Charles Romano. Florence Arnold, MD, and Osagie Bello, MD were appointed to the SMC Medical Staff earlier this month. Their recruitment is an important first step in expanding oncology capacity and better positioning Samaritan to develop its cancer center.

To assist with the planning and development of this significant project, SMC has engaged Oncology Solutions, the nation's largest, independent cancer consulting firm. Oncology Solutions (formerly CDP Services) was the first consulting firm dedicated exclusively to the development of comprehensive cancer programs, facilities, and services. With more than 100 years of combined oncology experience, Oncology Solutions has assisted with more than 1,800 cancer-specific consulting engagements and the planning and development of 180 cancer center projects worldwide. They assist freestanding cancer centers, hospitals, physician practices, academic medical centers and designated cancer treatment centers.

“The team at Oncology Solutions has been a tremendous partner to us as we embark on this important initiative,” concludes Dr. Victoria. “Their experience and expertise in establishing hundreds of comprehensive cancer programs worldwide already have proven invaluable to the planning process. Add to that the support of our current medical staff, cancer treatment staff and our Board of Trustees, and we have a good foundation on which to expand cancer services in Northern New York.”

Further details about Samaritan’s comprehensive cancer center will be released as planning progresses.

Oncology Solutions is the nation's largest, independent cancer consulting firm. Founded more than 40 years ago Oncology Solutions, then CDP Services, was the first consulting firm dedicated exclusively to the development of comprehensive cancer programs, facilities, and services. Providing guidance to the National Institutes of Health, the firm was instrumental in assisting with the design of what became known as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Centers Program evaluation criteria. Its clients included academic medical centers as well as many nationally-recognized research organizations.

In 2000, the company merged with Cancer Care Point, Inc. to extend its services and expertise to community hospitals and regional referral centers. The merger of the two organizations brought together more than 100 years of combined oncology experience.

Since its founding, Oncology Solutions has assisted with more than 1,800 cancer-specific consulting engagements and the planning and development of 180 cancer center projects worldwide. Our company assists freestanding cancer centers, hospitals, physician practices, academic medical centers, and NCI-designated centers.

Florence Arnold, MD, completed her medical degree at the University of the Philippines, Manila College of Medicine, Manila, Philippines. She completed her Internal Medicine residency training at Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York, NY, followed by hematology/oncology fellowship training at New York Medical College – Westchester County Medical Center, Valhalla, NY. Dr. Arnold is a diplomate with the American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty certification in Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Arnold was most recently affiliated with Medical Oncologists – Saskatoon Cancer Center, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Osagie Bello, MD, completed his medical degree at Howard University, Washington, DC. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training followed by hematology/oncology fellowship training at Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Dr. Bello is a diplomate with the American Board of Internal Medicine and is in process for subspecialty certification in Hematology and Oncology.


Contact: Krista A. Kittle
(315) 785-4504

Madison Plummer presented a donation of $200 to Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee

Madison Plummer presented a donation of $200 to Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee member, Bonnie Trudeau, RN.  Madison raised the funds by organizing a student dance for her fellow 5th grade students at South Jefferson School (Wilson Building) in April.  She was inspired to hold a fundraiser soon after her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  The Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund raises money to improve the health and well-being of cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.

Carthage, New York----- As part of its recovery plan, Carthage Area Hospital has applied to the New
York State Department of Health to become a Critical Access hospital, a change "that will enhance
reimbursement rates and increase revenue for the facility. In order to qualify for Critical Access
status, Carthage Area Hospital is required to meet certain criteria, including proximity of its facilities
to surrounding hospitals being greater than 15 miles. Two of Carthage Area Hospital's primary care
clinics (Evans Mills and Adams) are located within 15 miles and therefore must be transitioned in
order to qualify for the new designation.

The transition includes:
• Closure ofthe Evans Mills Family Health Center- All providers and services will be available
at the Carthage Area Hospital's Family Health Center located at 117 N. Mechanic Street in
Carthage. Patients can continue to receive care at the Carthage location, if they choose to
do so.
• Transferring ownership of the Adams Community Health Center to Samaritan Medical
Center- This clinic will remain open in the same location at 10881 NYS Route 11, Adams
with SMC assuming operations effective July 2, 2014.

Carthage Area Hospital hopes to receive Critical Access Designation within the next few weeks.

As announced in late March, Carthage Area Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center plan to form an
affiliation, which is expected to be complete in late 2014 or early 2015. Management and Trustees
from both facilities have been in close discussions to complete due diligence and have begun
developing a strategic plan in preparation for the affiliation. The facilities have engaged KPMG
Healthcare and Life Sciences to lead the strategic planning process with a final report due in late

Natalie Burnham, CAH
(315) 493-0114

Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

Community Invited to Meet CEOs, Providers and Learn about Benefits of New Affiliation

Star Lake, New York ----- On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the CEOs of Clifton-Fine Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center will introduce the Clifton-Fine community to their plans to expand and strengthen healthcare services locally as a result of the affiliation that was formalized earlier this year. An open invitation has been extended to the seasonal and year-round residents of the communities served by Clifton-Fine Hospital to attend Town Meetings hosted by the hospitals. Meetings are being held at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Clifton-Fine Community Center, 4208 State Hwy 3, Star Lake. In addition to remarks by Clifton-Fine Hospital CEO Robert Seamon and Samaritan Medical Center CEO Thomas Carman, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide suggestions about healthcare services available in their community. During the 7 p.m. meeting, the CEOs will be joined by physicians from Samaritan Medical Center who are now providing services in the Clifton-Fine community, or plan to do so in the near future, as a result of the formalized partnership between the two hospitals.

“Our Board first announced its plans to seek a partner facility in late 2012. We subsequently chose SMC and have spent months finalizing the affiliation agreement and planning the expansion of services in and around the Clifton-Fine area,” explains Robert Seamon. “The excitement is palpable throughout Clifton-Fine Hospital – from our Board members and leadership team to our staff, providers, and members of the community who have already experienced the benefits of this partnership. It’s time to share that excitement with all residents of the communities we serve. These Town Meetings are a great opportunity to share our plans and gather suggestions from the people who utilize our services. It’s a relationship that will ensure that Clifton-Fine Hospital is better and stronger long into the future.”

During the meetings, the CEOs will outline Clifton-Fine’s new strategic plan developed as part of the affiliation. The four major focus areas of that plan include: increasing access to care through expansion and awareness of services; investing in the workforce to insure sufficient human capital to meet future community healthcare needs; insuring information technology infrastructure and applications to adequately support patient care and business operations in an era of healthcare reform, and; insuring all quality initiatives add value for patients, drive positive clinical outcomes and provide the means to effectively manage the health of the population.

An early success as a result of the affiliation is the availability of endoscopy services at Clifton-Fine Hospital, which SMC General Surgeon Dr. Eduardo Barayuga began performing in Star Lake in May. Additional new services being explored include cardiac testing, pulmonology, women’s health, ophthalmology, dentistry and telemedicine/telehealth.

For more information about the July 15th Town Meetings, please call Janet Rhodes at Clifton-Fine Hospital (315) 848-4264.

Janet Rhodes, CFH
(315) 848-4264

Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

Watertown, New York ----- The Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York has launched a new resource guide to help visitors and summer residents in the North Country find the healthcare services they may need – for themselves or their family.

“There are few things worse than getting sick or injured when away from home and familiar surroundings,” explains Beth Fipps, Vice President Foundation & Community Services at Samaritan. “While we hope that visitors or summer residents don’t need medical care while they’re in our area, it’s always better to be prepared. Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York makes sure the necessary information is readily available should they need it.”

Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York is available at no cost to print or download at This essential resource includes information about what to do in a medical emergency; emergency medical services; non-emergency healthcare services such as primary care, dental care, drug stores, veterinary care and more; non-emergency transportation; other useful area contacts; and a handy map to help visitors identify the services that are closest to their location.

The information provided is not limited to Samaritan facilities, but also includes other North Country hospitals and medical practices.

“We’re depending on our community members to help spread the word about this new resource,” adds Ms. Fipps. “If you own a cottage or camp that you rent to visitors, or if you have family or friends who come to stay, please tell them about Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York.”

Contact: Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

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