SAMARITAN HOSTS 4th ANNUAL DINNER TO RECOGNIZE PHYSICIANS
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 www.samaritanhealth.com/physiciandinner.
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.
SAMARITAN MEDICAL CENTER BEGINS PLANNING FOR NEW COMPREHENSIVE CANCER TREATMENT CENTER
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
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
• 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
Krista Kittle, SMC
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
Krista Kittle, SMC
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 nnyhealthguide.com. 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
Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Summit Village is proud to expand its senior living and long-term care services to include a Respite Care option for community members who need short-stay accommodations.
Individuals and families caring for an elderly loved one in their home or providing a high level of support to those still living independently often find it difficult to plan vacations or other absences from their homes.
This new program allows caregivers a break from the constant demands that come with caring for an aging loved one. It can be used when a caregiver is traveling, during holidays, vacations, or when there is a need to rest from these responsibilities, or tend to their own personal matters,” explains Anna Patterson, RN, Samaritan Summit Village Administrator, Assisted Living. “Our Respite Care guests have the opportunity to interact with other seniors and make new friends while experiencing a different option for care. At the same time, caregivers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe and well cared for. We’re happy to be able to extend the welcoming, home-like environment of Samaritan Summit Village to area seniors who need short-stay accommodations at an affordable rate.”
The Respite Care program provides a fully furnished one bedroom apartment, three meals a day, laundry and housekeeping services, plus experienced staff members who are available to offer personal assistance with daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, assistance with eating, mobility, medication management and more.
Respite Care guests experience all of the same services and amenities available to permanent residents at Summit Village, including an on-site beauty salon, gift shop and café. They may also participate in any of the social, educational, devotional and recreation activities scheduled daily for residents.
To be eligible for the Respite Care program, you must not require 24-hour care. There is a one week minimum stay, and pre-registration is required. The Respite Care program is private pay.
Persons interested in receiving more information may contact Dawn Johnson, Admissions Director at Samaritan Summit Village by calling 315-782-7033.
Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is proud to announce the appointment of Mary Whalen as the hospital’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Whalen will lead the day-to-day operations for Samaritan Medical Center and be responsible for ensuring that all hospital operations produce the necessary outcomes to support the highest quality patient care and safety. She started her new role September 2nd.
Watertown, New York ----- Get behind the controls of the technology that is changing the experience of surgery with less pain, less scarring, a reduced risk of complications, and a faster recovery for patients. Samaritan Medical Center is providing community members with an exciting and unique opportunity to “test drive” the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
On Saturday, September 13th, Samaritan Medical Center will be on-site at the Salmon Run Mall with a complete da Vinci robotic surgical system, identical to the one used by surgeons at the hospital. The Samaritan display is part of the Mall’s first annual Health & Wellness Expo, which will be held from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
During the Health & Wellness Expo, visitors to the Samaritan booth will get a chance to have a hands-on experience with the device by actually sitting at the surgeon’s console and performing “surgery” on tiny inanimate objects. Samaritan surgeons and surgical technicians who are now using the da Vinci technology to perform complex and delicate operations will be on hand for demonstrations and to answer questions.
The da Vinci technology provides an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform. Although it is called “robotic,” it still takes a skilled surgeon with knowledge and experience to maneuver the da Vinci technology. In fact, every movement of the da Vinci system’s four robotic arms is directed and controlled by the surgeon.
Since implemented in Fall 2012, more than 300 robotic-assisted cases have been completed at Samaritan Medical Center, including OB/GYN, urological, and general surgical procedures.
Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the Watertown Wolves and is now the Federal Hockey League (FHL) team’s official hospital.
Samaritan physician assistants will work alongside the Watertown Wolves players during all home games, providing rinkside care for any injuries that occur. Hockey is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, collision sport. Players risk injury from high-impact collisions with each other, the rigid boards that mark the boundary of the playing surface, the ice itself and the goal posts. Skate blades, sticks and fast traveling pucks are also part of the mix. Common injuries that often happen during games include sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations, and bruises and contusions. More serious injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, ligament tears and concussions, can also occur.
The Samaritan physician assistants who will be working with the Wolves throughout their 2014-15 season include: Caleb Richter, Kent Natapraya, Steve Tiernan and Jon Jerome. Richter, Natapraya and Tiernan all work at the Samaritan Urgent Care Clinic in LeRay, while Jerome is part of the staff at the Samaritan Family Health Center at Adams.
“Samaritan is happy to welcome the Wolves to Watertown and proud to serve as their official hospital,” says Randy Fipps, Assistant Vice President, Operations and Behavioral Health Services for Samaritan Medical Center. “Our organizations share a similar passion for and commitment to this community, which is what makes this relationship a great fit. We’re looking forward to some exhilarating hockey, as well as the opportunity to keep Watertown’s new home team fit and competitive.”
“The Wolves are excited to partner with Samaritan Medical Center, who we know will provide top-notch care to our players,” said Wolves co-owner Dr. Michael Wainberg. “We’re very pleased that Samaritan has stepped up to support our community’s team. This type of collaboration will help the Wolves capture the Commissioner’s Cup for 2014-15.”
The Wolves kick off their season with a home game on Friday, October 17th at the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, off Coffeen Street. For more information, visit the team website – watertownwolves.net.
Contact: Krista Kittle, SMC
Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce that its radiation oncology program has received a three-year accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). Samaritan is the only hospital in Jefferson County with an ACR-accredited radiation oncology program, and one of only two hospitals in the North Country.
Radiation oncology (radiation therapy) is the careful use of high energy x-rays to treat cancer. Radiation therapy affects cancer cells only in the treated area and is sometimes used in combination with other cancer treatments, including surgery and/or chemotherapy.
"Samaritan is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient-centered medical care for our community,” states Randy Fipps, Assistant Vice President, Operations and Behavioral Health Services for Samaritan Medical Center. “We’re proud to be recognized by the ACR. This accomplishment truly reflects the hard work and devotion to excellence in cancer care demonstrated by our entire team in radiation oncology.”
In order to receive this ACR accreditation, Samaritan’s personnel, equipment, treatment planning and treatment records, as well as patient safety policies, quality control procedures and quality assurance activities underwent a rigorous on-site peer-review evaluation by a board-certified radiation oncologist and a medical physicist, both of whom are experts in the field.
The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with nearly 500 accredited sites, and 25 years of accreditation experience. The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety.
Daniel S. DeBlasio, MD, a board-certified radiation oncologist on staff at Samaritan Medical Center, says it is important for patients to understand that they are receiving the best cancer care possible. “With a cancer diagnosis, being able to receive care locally is an integral part of the healing process,” says Dr. DeBlasio. “It reduces stress on the patient, as well as on family members and friends who are providing support. For our patients and our community, this recognition by the ACR provides confirmation of the excellent services we provide at Samaritan. It also gives our patients that extra measure of security and confidence that they are receiving the best cancer care right here, close to home. Our patients can be assured that they are receiving the same level of high quality care they would expect from a larger academic facility, but locally, surrounded by the compassionate encouragement of their family and friends. It’s the best possible scenario.”
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and to help bring awareness of this disease to a heightened level, Samaritan Medical Center and the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee will host a second annual “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” event on November 6th. Any community member who has been touched by lung cancer is invited to attend this free event, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Samaritan Healing Garden Rotunda.
“Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” is part of a national campaign sponsored by the Lung Cancer Alliance. This year more than 200 communities across the country will participate in the event, which is designed to provide hope, support and compassion to the thousands who are diagnosed with lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and in New York. It takes the lives of twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. While a history of smoking is the main risk factor for developing lung cancer, nearly 80% of those diagnosed today have never smoked or are former smokers who quit decades ago.
Early detection is the best hope for fighting lung cancer. However, because lung cancer has no symptoms in its early stages, more than 85% of people who are diagnosed today are diagnosed in a late stage, after symptoms occur and when there is very little chance of a cure. Recent studies have proven however that a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan can find 85% of lung cancers in their earliest, most curable stage. Samaritan Medical Center offers this service to people at high risk for lung cancer through its Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program.
The Samaritan Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event will feature Bonnie Trudeau, RN, Samaritan Oncology Nurse Navigator and Early Lung Cancer Screening Program Coordinator, as emcee. Dr. Rory Sears, a pulmonologist with Pulmonary Associates in Watertown, will be the guest speaker for the evening.
About the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee
The Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee raises awareness and funds to help to improve the health and well-being of all cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is committed to ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services for patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns; and advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research.
Leslie DiStefano, SMC
Watertown, NY ----- During the annual three-day Radiothon, presented by Community Broadcasters, hosts Johnny Spezzano, The Border 106.7, and Lance Hale, 94 Rock, raised a grand total of $129,518 for Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York. Every dollar raised will help children and families facing a medical crisis in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis counties.
Each year, the Radiothon provides a unique opportunity to share the stories of many families in our community and how they have been helped by the funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network. Radio reaches listeners in a direct way allowing them to understand the challenges that so many of our neighbors face. Throughout the Radiothon broadcast, the hosts conduct on-air interviews with local families, play recorded interview montages, and educate listeners about Children’s Miracle Network. The majority of funds raised during this event are raised $10 or $20 at a time. “Over the course of the three days, it becomes very evident that the North Country is incredibly giving and the event as a whole brings members of our community together to make a difference,” says host Johnny Spezzano.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for its 170 member hospitals, including Samaritan Medical Center. All contributions to Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan benefit children in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties by helping to purchase medical equipment for Samaritan and other hospitals located in the tri-county region. In addition, Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan is one of only five hospitals that provide direct assistance to families with children in a medical crisis. For more information, contact the Children’s Miracle Network office at 785-4053.
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.
Michael Folsom, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY presented members of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Committee with a check for $216. The money was raised through donations during the ABM Goes Pink campaign which was held in October. The Antique Boat Museum also hosted a breast cancer survivor for a relaxing cruise on the St. Lawrence River.
During the month of December Samaritan Medical Center will be hosting Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit will be set up in the Rotunda in the Macsherry Connector, between the Medical Center and Samaritan Keep Home.
To kick-off the exhibit Samaritan Health Sciences Library will have an opening presentation at noon on Tuesday, December 2 (also in the Rotunda). The speakers will be Jeff Garvey, Director of Library Services who will discuss medical care during the Civil War and Kent Bolke, Director of the 10th Mountain Division and Ft. Drum Museum who will discuss the impact of the Civil War on the North Country.
If you would like to attend the opening presentation please RSVP by calling 315.785.4191 a light lunch will be served.
For more information contact:
Jeffrey M. Garvey
Director of Library Services
Samaritan Medical Center
830 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
On Friday, October 24, 2014, Thousand Islands Winery hosted Oooh Ta Ta, a night of indulgence and support. Leading up to this event, as part of the month-long National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, Thousand Islands Winery sold select “pink” merchandise and wines and Tasting Room donor cards at its facility.
In keeping with the mission of the National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, the Winery created Oooh Ta Ta, an event designed to offer North Country women an opportunity to have some fun with friends while raising awareness and funds to support area women during their battle with Breast Cancer. The night’s activities included VIP wine tastings, shoe and wine pairings presented by handsome tuxedo-clad men, a fashion show, a silent auction, mini salon services including pink hair extensions and Breast Cancer nail decals, shopping opportunities with 13 “vendors of indulgence”, finger foods and door prizes. Guests were encouraged to wear their best little black dress or party dress and most fabulous shoes.
The funds raised from this event and a month-long Winery drive were donated to the Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund. The mission of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund is to raise funds and allocate those funds toward improving the health and well-being of all cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. The funds raised through theses efforts will be earmarked specifically for Breast Cancer support in honor of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.
What could be better than wine, shoes and eye candy for a cause? Nothing!
Photo: Steve J. Conaway, President, Thousand Islands Winery & Deborah A. Carpenter, Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund.
Watertown, NY – The surgical team at Samaritan Medical Center is proud to provide patients with the most minimally invasive surgical options, including a Single-Site hysterectomy procedure using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System. During a da Vinci Single-Site hysterectomy the patient’s uterus is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, and it’s what you don’t see that is so impressive – the procedure is virtually scarless.
“This is an exciting addition to the capabilities that robotic surgery gives to surgeons and the benefits it provides for their patients,” says Walter Dodard, DO, an OB/GYN at Comprehensive Women's Health Services, PLLC in Watertown. “With robotic surgery, we’re able to make smaller incisions so there’s less blood loss during surgery and fewer complications. Patients have less pain and typically go home in 24 hours or less.” Dr. Dodard performed the region’s first Single-Site hysterectomy in September at Samaritan Medical Center. He is currently the only surgeon in the area trained to perform this advanced procedure.
“The single-site approach takes the many benefits of robotic surgery a step further by reducing the number of incisions from four to one,” adds Dr. Dodard. “This is much more than a cosmetic improvement for the patient. Since there are fewer incisions, there is less discomfort and a shorter recovery time. For patients, especially busy women, it means they can resume their normal lives and day-to-day activities more quickly. ”
Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure for women in the United States. An estimated one-third of all women will have a hysterectomy by age 60, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The procedure is recommended for a number of medical reasons, including abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, cancer and chronic pelvic pain. Many women who require a hysterectomy are candidates for the da Vinci robotic-assisted, Single-Site surgery.
Samaritan Medical Center utilizes the da Vinci robotic surgical system for certain gynecologic, urologic, and general surgery procedures. For more information on robotic surgeries at Samaritan Medical Center, visit samaritanhealth.com/davinci.
Contact: Krista Kittle, SMC
January 23, 2015
Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce the introduction of its new Lymphedema Therapy Program. Roxann Shelor, a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) at Samaritan Medical Center, is now providing Complete Decongestive Therapy treatment and education for patients with or at risk for lymphedema. As lymphedema is frequently a complication of cancer treatment, Ms. Shelor’s training and certification was funded through the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York with monies raised by the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund. This fund allocates money to improve the health and well-being of cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.
To introduce this new service to the community, Samaritan will hold an educational Open House event on Thursday, January 29th in the Carman Conference Room at Samaritan Medical Center, 830 Washington Street in Watertown. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m and is free and open to the public. Speakers will include Ms. Shelor and breast surgeon Dr. Deborah Norris. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to February 5th.
Lymphedema is an abnormal build-up of fluid that causes swelling and discomfort - most often in the arms or legs. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in the body’s lymphatic system, an important part of the immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Although lymphedema is most commonly known as a complication of breast cancer treatment, it can also result from treating many other types of cancer, including head and neck, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian, prostate and uterine - anywhere that lymph nodes are removed or damaged by radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. And lymphedema does not solely affect cancer survivors. Other causes include infection, obesity, venous insufficiency, and trauma, or being born with a faulty lymphatic system.
“The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical discomfort and prevent the development of infection,” Ms. Shelor explains. “The treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage (massage), therapeutic exercise, special compression bandaging, skin care and education in self-management techniques.”
“This is a much needed service for the women and men in our community, and I’m proud that we’re now able to offer it,” Ms. Shelor adds. “Previously patients had to travel out of town for therapy – often as far away as Syracuse. With a combination of treatment and education, we’re helping those who are suffering take control of their lymphedema and improve their quality of life.”
For more information call 315-785-4088.
Krista Kittle, SMC
Fashion Show & Miracle Balloon Sales Benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan
Watertown, NY ----- For several years, Kathy Lettiere, owner, A Touch of Grace, Watertown, has organized the Teens for Miracles Fashion Show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Samaritan. In 2014, she decided she wanted to continue fundraising even after the annual fashion show had taken place.
During the months of March, April, and May she sold CMN Miracle Balloons in her shop, collecting more than $2,000 to benefit CMN at Samaritan. Mrs. Lettiere presented a check in the amount of $2,066 to Morgan O. Bocciolatt, CMN Development Manager. “Kathy’s commitment to helping local sick and injured children is incredible. We are so grateful for her service to Children’s Miracle Network,” says Ms. Bocciolatt.
According to Mrs. Lettiere, it all started with her first fashion show in 2007. The first fashion show had about 40 models sporting the latest prom styles. Since then, hundreds of local teens have walked in the Teens for Miracles Fashion Show showing off both bridal and prom fashions while also raising money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan. The event has truly become an annual tradition for local teens.
The 2015 Teens for Miracles Fashion Show will be held at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center on Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. It will be hosted by Miss Thousand Islands 2015, Allison Carlos and will feature nearly 100 local high school students.
Contact: Morgan Bocciolatt
Kathy Lettiere presents a check in the amount of $2,066 to Morgan Bocciolatt, CMN Development Manager.
February 4, 2015
Watertown, NY ----- Five North Country healthcare organizations, including four hospitals and one clinic, were the recipients of capital grants from Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York (CMN) totaling $41,414 during a formal presentation today at Samaritan Medical Center.
“This is just one more way that North Country healthcare organizations can partner together to ensure access to quality healthcare services for our communities,” said Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. Since the Capital Grants Program began in 2000, CMN has allocated more than $300,000 to numerous hospitals and healthcare organizations with child-centered needs throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. (See list below). CMN of Northern New York is the only CMN hospital in the United States and Canada to provide such grants to agencies outside of their own.
Samaritan Medical Center received a total of $97,587 in equipment this year. CMN has also continued its pledge of $90,000 per year to help fund renovations for the Maternity and Pediatrics units. Additionally, the CMN Allocations Committee approved $53,081 in direct family assistance grants. Families can request up to $3,000 per child per year in financial assistance to help with travel expenses, medical services, and equipment not covered by insurance.
Healthcare Organization Description Grant Amount
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Isolette – to be used in the CHMC Birth Center $10,000
Lewis County Hospital Equipment Strengthening – various pediatric equipment to be used throughout the hospital to care specifically for children $8,445.62
Carthage Area Hospital Infant Warmer System – to be used in the Obstetrics Department $8,000
North Country Family Health Center Equipment Strengthening – various pediatric equipment to be used at the Watertown Pediatric Primary Care Clinic, the Lowville Family Practice Clinic, and the Wilson School-Based Health Center $4,969
Gouverneur Hospital Pediatric Vein Illumination System –to be used in the Emergency and Medical Surgical Departments to help locate veins in pediatric patients $10,000
Total Grants Awarded $41,414.62
(315) 785 – 4053
Samaritan is pleased to partner with several Northern New York partners to offer our community Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits.
Pick up your kit at any of the local Kinney Drug stores in the tr-county region - from Adams to Potsdam! Learn more by clicking here.
In addition, Samaritan's Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee is hosting a public event to learn more about the and talk with hospital staff and doctors about screenings and what you need to know. Join us Tuesday, March 24th from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm in the Carman Conference Room at the Medical Center to learn more!
Watertown, New York ----- The call has gone out for creative and caring designers from all backgrounds to create their own themed “bra art” for a thought-provoking and “seriously uplifting” exhibition. BRAvaganza is an exciting new community event and art exhibition that will raise money to benefit the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer/ American Cancer Society.
“BRAvaganza is a way for community members of all ages and levels of artistic talent to have some fun and show off their creativity while supporting the very serious issue of breast cancer,” explains Maureen Lundy-Way, co-chair of the event. “Breast cancer does not discriminate. It affects both women and men. So we’re asking people to draw upon their personal experience with breast cancer — as survivors, family members, friends of survivors, or simply as supporters of the cause — and use that inspiration to create a theme with which to decorate a basic bra.”
The decorated and designed bras will be on display for the public accompanied by stories from their creators describing why they chose their theme and who it might honor or memorialize. The exhibition, held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, will kick-off with an Opening Night Event on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 5-8pm. Opening Night tickets are $10 for students/participating artists and $20 for general admission through Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
Pre-sale tickets are available at Kinney Drugs (Jefferson County locations), the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York office, or online at samaritanhealth.com/bravaganza. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event for $25.
During Opening Night prizes will be awarded in various categories and many of the decorated bras will be auctioned off to help raise additional funds. Following Opening Night, the exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from 9am-6pm through Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
For those interested in designing a bra, the registration fee is $25. Deadline for registration is Thursday, May 14, 2015 for fee, story and photo (if possible). All final designs must be delivered to the Dulles State Office Building Box Office on Thursday, May 21, 2015 between 11am-6pm.
For more information, bra entry registration forms and online ticket sales, please visit samaritanhealth.com/bravaganza or call 315-778-7060.
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
SAMARITAN OFFERS FREE HOUSEHOLD MEDICAL WASTE & SHARPS DISPOSAL PROGRAM FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS
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
SAMARITAN AUXILIARY AWARDS HEALTH CAREER SCHOLARSHIP
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
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.
Contact: Krista A. Kittle