Our Story & Mission
Samaritan Medical Center (Watertown, New York) is a 290-bed not-for-profit community medical center, offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services. From primary and emergency care to highly specialized medical and surgical services, such as cancer treatment, neonatal intensive care, behavioral health and addiction services, and imaging services, Samaritan Medical Center and its team of healthcare professionals proudly serves the medical needs of our civilian and military community. Quality, compassion, and safety are the basic principles by which exceptional care is delivered at Samaritan.
In addition to the inpatient and outpatient services available at the main hospital and numerous community clinics and satellite testing centers, Samaritan is recognized as the leader in serving the community’s long-term care needs. Samaritan Keep Home, a 272-bed long-term care facility and Samaritan Summit Village a 288-bed long-term care facility with skilled nursing and assisted living services, have established an exceptional reputation for caring for the senior population in northern New York.
Over 180 physicians in 40 different specialties work together with the 2,000+ employees at Samaritan Medical Center to offer a full spectrum of diagnostic and treatment services for people of all ages. We invite you to explore Samaritan’s commitment to serving the healthcare needs of our civilian and military community, as well as our promise to you: to be here whenever and wherever you need us, and to do so with exceptional care and compassion that you and your family deserve.
Samaritan shall provide high quality, comprehensive, safe, and compassionate healthcare services to meet the needs of our civilian and military community.
Samaritan will be recognized, foremost, as the preferred provider of Inpatient, Outpatient, Emergency, and Long-Term Care services in Jefferson County. Additionally, our health system will enhance selected specialty services to meet the needs of the North Country.
In order to succeed as a team, in meeting the healthcare needs of those we serve, Samaritan is committed to:
“I wish to say that I am thoroughly identified with the hospital movement, believe it to be merciful, feasible, promotive of the physical and moral welfare of the city.”
Over 100 Years of Caring – The Evolution of a Community Hospital
The words above were written over 100 years ago in defense of opening The House of the Good Samaritan in a residential Watertown neighborhood. But they are just as pertinent today. In fact, the hospital’s humble beginnings and its unwavering mission to provide compassionate care without discrimination has made Samaritan Medical Center a successful community medical center.
When The House of the Good Samaritan opened in 1881, doctors still made house calls for everything from the common cold to major surgery. However the founders of The House of the Good Samaritan were concerned that people without sufficient means would suffer under this system. When Reverends Russell A. Olin of Trinity Church and Albert Danger of Grace Church and five of their laymen met on June 13, 1881, charity alone was on their mind. The incorporation papers propose that the new House of the Good Samaritan will “furnish medical treatment and hospital accommodation for the sick and disabled and especially for the indigent persons.” In an article in the Watertown Daily Times, they note that “attendance will be given free by both Allopathic and Homeopathic schools” and that it is their mission to “foster a work of the highest charity.”
In 1881, the trustees leased a house on the corner of TenEyck and Holcomb Streets from Thomas Breen, much to the dismay of the surrounding residents who feared the establishment of a hospital in their neighborhood would adversely affect property values. With a total of five beds, the hospital was able to treat a total of 33 patients that first year. However, only five of those patients were able to pay for the care they received, so donors and trustees provided additional funding for treatment. The total cost of operations for the entire year was $1,596.
Though trustees and supporters of The House of the Good Samaritan at first made it their mission to provide health services to the poor, little by little in-hospital care became a mainstay for the rest of the population as well. With medical advances and the addition of professionally trained medical staff, more and more Watertown area residents opted to leave their homes for medical care. This trend confirmed the predictions of hospital founders who believed that eventually The House of the Good Samaritan would provide “… ample opportunity to confer blessings, and perhaps save lives otherwise lost through neglect, when its advantages come to be fully appreciated and applied.”
Throughout its history, Samaritan has maintained a strong connection to the community that founded it. The people of Watertown and the surrounding areas have given their time and support selflessly to ensure the hospital’s continued success. In return, Samaritan has dedicated itself to its ongoing mission of providing high quality, comprehensive, safe, and compassionate healthcare services to meet the needs of the civilian and military community.
Today, Samaritan has evolved into a 290-bed community medical center serving Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. We celebrate both our history and our tradition of caring, as a testimony to the individual and collective dedication of so many people, including our staff, physicians, volunteers, and all residents of this community. We can rest assured that Samaritan’s future will be as vibrant as its past, and that its values of honesty, empathy, accountability, respect and trust will continue to be just as heartfelt as they were when the hospital first opened its doors in 1881.