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Lewis County Health System Announces Maternity Partnership With Samaritan Medical Center

Published on: October 1, 2021

Note: This press release was originally published by the Lewis County Health System.

LOWVILLE, NY─ Lewis County Health System is pleased to announce it has partnered with Samaritan Medical Center to help support expecting moms in Lewis County and surrounding communities. 

“Samaritan Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Thomas Carman and I worked together to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support moms-to-be that are in the final weeks of their pregnancy,” stated Gerald R. Cayer, Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer. “This wouldn’t have been possible without physicians from LCHS and SMC working together to support expecting moms and ensure a safe and appropriate transition of care.” 

Dr. F. Lee Dutton, OB/GYN at LCHS Women’s Health Services states “The hospital administration has made a firm commitment to restoring full obstetric and gynecologic services as soon as safe staffing levels are achieved at our facility.  My colleagues and I are extremely grateful to Dr. John Barrett and his associates at SMC for graciously offering to welcome any of our patients who require OB services in the near term.” 

The partnership means expecting moms have the best of both facilities. Pre-natal and post-natal care will be provided by the patient’s obstetrician in Lowville, and the delivery at Samaritan Medical Center’s Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children.  Samaritan offers the only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit—and the highest level of care for a newborn—in Northern New York.  Obstetrical patients who are 32-36 weeks will transition to a physician at Samaritan to prepare for the delivery of their babies.  The LCHS Women’s Health practice, located on the main hospital campus in Lowville, continues to provide OB/GYN services for women throughout the North Country.

“We are working closely with the OB/GYN providers in Lewis County to provide the best continuity of care for expectant mothers and newborns during this time.  We look forward to Lewis County Hospital resuming obstetric services when possible,” states Dr. John Barrett, OB/GYN at Women’s Wellness and Breast Care and President of Samaritan’s Medical Staff. 

The New York State Department of Health announced a vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers in New York State.  The mandate has resulted in a temporary staffing shortage of labor, delivery, and postpartum nurses and a ‘pause’ in delivering babies on September 25, 2021, at Lewis County General Hospital’s Maternity Unit.

“Our team has had the privilege of delivering babies in Lewis County for the past 90 years, so the decision to ‘pause’ deliveries is difficult,” stated Mr. Cayer. “We are working hard to make this ‘pause’ a temporary situation as we diligently work to recruit additional labor and delivery nurses who are vaccinated, ensuring we can provide the safest and highest level of care for expecting moms and babies.” Lewis County Health System has developed similar MOUs with the Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica and Carthage Area Hospital.

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