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 MiracleChallenge.org 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

Cape Vincent, NY — The Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent wants you to stay healthy this flu season. That’s why the Family Health Center is offering an adult Flu Shot Clinic on Wednesday, November 26th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Appointments are not needed, and you do not need to be an established patient at the Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent to receive a flu shot. Your insurance will be billed for this service.

Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads from person-to-person and can cause mild to severe illness. Seasonal flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting yourself against seasonal flu. The flu vaccine is updated every year to combat the flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to cause illness during the upcoming season.

The CDC recommends seasonal flu shots for everyone six months and older. The annual flu vaccine is particularly important for those who are most likely to develop serious and potentially fatal complications from the flu, including anyone 65 or older; people with medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease; pregnant women; and those who live with or provide care for these individuals. There are also some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. They include: people who have a severe allergy to eggs; people who have previously had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination; and people who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine. In addition, people who have a moderate-to-severe illness should wait until they recover to have the flu shot.

For more information on the Flu Shot Clinic, please contact the Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent at 315-654-2530.

SAMARITAN MEDICAL CENTER FORMING NEW PATIENT/FAMILY ADVISORY COUNCIL: Seeking community members to serve on Council, offer input to enhance healthcare experience for patients and family members

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is seeking community members to serve on its new Patient and Family Advisory Council, which will advise the hospital, its leadership and staff on ways to enhance the experiences that patients and families have when seeking services through Samaritan.

“Patient Family Advisory Councils are becoming more and more common in healthcare today,” explains Rachel Holmes, Manager of Patient Engagement and Community Relations at Samaritan Medical Center. “These councils are composed of patients and family members from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that hospitals and caregivers are addressing all of the patient’s needs during their healthcare experience. This approach is a best-practice for high performing hospitals, and we are excited to implement it here at Samaritan Medical Center. Who better to ask about their healthcare experience than the very people who entrust us with their care?”

Hospitals utilize the feedback and suggestions from Patient Family Advisory Councils in a variety of ways, including evaluation and design of facilities, processes, services, environment, equipment and various forms of patient communication.

In order to form its first Patient Family Advisory Council, Samaritan Medical Center is seeking potential Council members interested in serving for at least one year, including monthly Council meetings. Council members should be solution-focused, open minded, actively engaged and collaborative.

For more information or to submit an application, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/pfac

Samaritan will be accepting applications and nominations through the end of June 2015. Selection of Council members will occur over the summer months, with the first Council meeting slated for September 2015.

For more information please call, Rachel Holmes at (315) 779.5230 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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


The Samaritan Auxiliary has awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Justin Farman, a Samaritan Medical Center staff member currently advancing his education. Mr. Farman, an aid in the Emergency Department, has worked for Samaritan Medical Center since 2011. He will graduate in May with an Associates’ degree in Nursing from Jefferson Community College. After his graduation Mr. Farman will be eligible for licensure as a registered nurse (RN).

“Today, more than ever before, education plays a vital role in career advancement, especially in the field of healthcare,” says Renee Waterbury, Samaritan Auxiliary Board President. “Working and going to school at the same time is never easy. This scholarship is one way we can support the Samaritan employees who are pursuing a degree to advance within their current field or to enter a new healthcare field.”

Each year the Auxiliary proudly awards scholarship funds to a Samaritan employee wishing to further his or her education in the healthcare field. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement. Funds for the scholarship are raised through the Auxiliary’s Gift Shops at Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village and other fundraising activities.

Contact: Krista Kittle
(315) 785-4504


As part of its National Nurses’ Week celebration activities, Samaritan Medical Center and its Medical Staff hosted a reception and award presentation on Thursday, May 7th at Samaritan Summit Village to recognize outstanding achievements by nursing professionals. This included a Lifetime Achievement award presented to Theresa Quintin, RN, Director of Healthcare Resource Management. Ms. Quintin has worked at Samaritan Medical Center for 38 years. In addition to her current role, she has also served as Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Nursing. She is a past recipient of the Quality & Safety Nurse Recognition Award.

For this year’s recognition awards, physicians, employees and Trustees from Samaritan were invited to nominate nurses based on their outstanding contributions to the professional practice of nursing in the areas of: Quality and Safety, Education and Mentorship, Leadership, Excellence in Nursing Practice, Innovation and Leading Change, and Rookie of the Year. A total of 41 nurses were nominated for awards in six different categories. Eight nurses were chosen by the selection committee as the 2015 recipients.

“We have an incredibly gifted, committed, wonderful nursing staff at Samaritan, and National Nurses’ Week is the ideal time to celebrate their service to our patients and residents,” states Dr. Collins Kellogg, Jr., Internal Medicine, SMC Department of Medicine.

“As physicians, we know full well the kinds of connections that are formed and how valuable all of our nurses are to Samaritan and to our patients,” adds Dr. Jason White, Family Practice, SMC Department of Medicine. Dr. White served as emcee for the award presentation.

The 2015 award categories and recipients are as follows:

• Leadership Award – One who consistently promotes the mission and vision of Samaritan; demonstrates commitment to organizational goals, priorities and strategies; promotes a culture in which employees are positive, challenged and involved; works collaboratively with other departments within the organization, and; positively promotes Samaritan within the community.
Recipient: Julie Hulbert, RN, Surgical Services, 15 years at Samaritan 

• Education & Mentorship – One who actively shapes and promotes the career of a nurse; participates in mentorship of students or orientation of new graduates, nurses, nursing assistants, and other members of the healthcare team in supporting the provision of exceptional patient care; role models behaviors of exemplary nursing practice in an effort to improve patient care, and; advances own professional development and encourages peers.
Recipient: Hillary Middlemiss, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 24 years at Samaritan

• Innovation & Leading Change – One who participates in advocacy for change of policy/procedure/standard on an organizational or unit level; introduces innovative ideas in patient care; is viewed as a formal or informal leader by staff; actively participates in the successful implementation of a new program/procedures, and; works collaboratively with other departments within the organization.
Recipient: Staci Michelson, RN, Emergency Department, 23 years at Samaritan

• Quality & Safety – One who leads and encourages shared decision-making when dealing with issues of quality, cost and patients/staff satisfaction; promotes patients and staff safety first in all activities, and; demonstrates a strong sense of inquiry and participates in/promotes evidence-based nursing practice and quality outcomes.
Recipient: Bruce Smith, RN, Assistant Nurse Mgr 5Pratt/4Pratt, 9 years at Samaritan

• Excellence in Nursing Practice (SMC, SKH, SSV, Family Health Centers) – One who provides direct patient care at least 50% of the time; promotes flexibility and adaptability to situations; provides a positive work environment; serves as a role model to staff; utilizes current research and professional literature in practice; promotes change in the healthcare environment for improvement of healthcare; collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals to facilitate quality care, and; promotes a professional image of nursing.
Recipients: Deborah Barney, LPN, Maternity, 35 years at Samaritan
Lori Hanno, RN, Progressive Care Unit (PCU), 27 years at Samaritan
Shanin Maitland, LPN, Samaritan Keep Home 8th Floor, 31 years at Samaritan

• Rookie of the Year - Rookie of the Year – One who has entered into practice within the past two years; consistently demonstrates excellence in his/her professional practice as a new nurse; demonstrates responsibility for own professional development, and; displays strong interpersonal relationships and communication skills.
Recipient: Timothy Lehman, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 1 year at Samaritan

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


Since January, students in the New Vision: Health Careers Class of 2015 have been hard at work coordinating various fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Northern New York at Samaritan. Their final fundraising effort will take place on Saturday, May 9 at the Fairgrounds YMCA in Watertown. The event will feature family-friendly fun including a cake walk, raffle, and a bounce house. The event is being held in the Basketball Gym at the YMCA and goes from 6 – 9 p.m. Admission is $5. At the conclusion of the event, students will reveal the total dollar amount raised during the NNY Mini Marathon.

The NNY Mini Marathon is a student-run fundraising marathon led by the students in the New Vision: Health Careers Class of 2015. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan and to make a lasting impact on the community. Fundraising efforts have included spaghetti dinners held at Savory Downtown, Dine and Donate evenings held at Buffalo Wild Wings and Tilted Kilt, can and bottle collections, coin drives and bake sales. In addition, many local businesses have supported the effort through sponsorships. Among these sponsors is Washington Summit Associates, LLC.

For more information on the final fundraiser or how you can support the NNY Mini Marathon, please contact Morgan Bocciolatt, Children’s Miracle Network Development Manager at Samaritan Medical Center, at 315-785-4053.


April 29, 2015

Many individuals with serious health conditions manage their care at home. For example, people with diabetes use lancets to test their blood glucose every day. However, disposing of used lancets, needles, and syringes (called “sharps”) and other medical waste isn’t simple. You can’t simply toss them into the trash or recycling bin, even if they’re inside a plastic container.

As a service to our community members, Samaritan offers a free program that provides convenient locations for the safe disposal of used sharps and other medical waste such as blood soaked bandages and dressings. These locations are:

Samaritan Medical Center (830 Washington Street, Watertown)
The red Sharps Kiosk just inside the Sherman Street entrance at the back of the hospital
Monday through Friday from 7:30 am until 2:30 pm

Samaritan Keep Home (133 Pratt Street, Watertown)
At the Main Information Desk in the Lobby
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm

Samaritan Summit Village (22691 Summit Drive, Watertown)
At the Main Information Desk in the Lobby
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm

Used sharps must be stored in a puncture-proof, thick plastic container, such as a laundry soap bottle with a screw-on cap or an approved “red” sharps container. Samaritan cannot accept used sharps in glass bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, bags, cardboard boxes or coffee cans. When the sharps container is ¾ full, secure the screw-on cap with tape and, as a courtesy, label the container with “Contains Sharps.”

All blood soaked material must be stored in a red biohazard bag, typically available through the patient’s pharmacy or home healthcare company. Bags must be strong enough to hold material and be leak-proof. Samaritan cannot accept any medical waste giving off offensive odors or any container that is dirty. Full bags should be sealed with tape and then placed in a plastic container lined with a second red bag.

When sharps and other medical waste are thrown away with household trash, there is a risk of accidental “needle sticks”, other injuries or transmission of blood-borne diseases to family members, sanitation workers, and recycling facility employees. Careful disposal prevents this as well as the re-use of syringes that can spread infections.

For more information on the Samaritan Household Medical Waste & Sharps Disposal Program, please contact Samaritan’s Emergency Management/HazCom Coordinator at 315-785-4133 or download our brochure.

Contact: Krista Kittle
(315) 785-4504

April 17, 2015

Watertown, New York ----- Dr. Raymond Dorsey, a published expert and researcher in the field of Parkinson’s disease, will be speaking on Saturday, April 25th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Samaritan Summit Village. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Dorsey is the David M. Levy Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. He also serves as Director of the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Center for Health and Technology. Dr. Dorsey is helping investigate new treatments for movement disorders. Using telemedicine, he and his colleagues are seeking to provide care to individuals with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases anywhere that they live. Telemedicine is the use of technology to provide healthcare to people who are located some distance from the specialized provider.

“The idea that we can provide care to individuals with Parkinson’s disease regardless of where they live is both a simple and revolutionary concept,” says Dr. Dorsey. “By employing essentially the same technology that grandparents use to talk to their grandchildren, we can expand access to the specialized care that we know will improve patients’ quality of life and health.”

Dr. Dorsey previously directed the movement disorders division and neurology telemedicine at Johns Hopkins and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and business school at the Wharton School. Dr. Dorsey’s research has been published in the leading medical, neurology, and economic journals and has been featured on National Public Radio, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Dorsey is one of two physicians from the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center currently working with Samaritan Medical Center to offer a telemedicine program for people with movement disorders. Specialized two-way video conferencing equipment has been installed at both Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village, providing area residents with two convenient locations to access care.

According to Anthony Joseph, Samaritan’s Vice President of Long-term Care Services, geography is often a determining factor in whether a person with Parkinson’s sees a neurologist with specialized training in movement disorders. “These physicians tend to be concentrated in major academic medical centers, and the nature of the disease – particularly the impact on movement, balance, and coordination – can make a long trip to the doctor’s office practically impossible. Telemedicine allows us to break down this geographic barrier, bringing expert care right here to our community,” he explains.

The April 25th event is made possible through a partnership with the North Country Coalition for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders. For more information about the event, please call 785-4422.

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

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