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Northern Radiology Imaging and Samaritan Medical Center Announce Plans for Samaritan to Purchase Imaging Assets in an Effort to Streamline Patient Access and Provide Continuity of Care

Published on: February 26, 2021

Watertown, N.Y. – Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) and Northern Radiology Imaging (NRI) announced today SMC will purchase NRI’s Imaging Center assets, which will consolidate and align services in an effort to streamline patient access and enhance the continuity of care for diagnostic imaging services. Samaritan will purchase all equipment from NRI effective March 15, 2021.

SMC will offer NRI patients services through its existing, and soon to be expanded, radiology platform. Patients will enjoy the same skilled radiology services as they did at NRI, as NRI’s physicians are the same radiologists who have expertly served SMC for decades through their other practice, Northern Radiology Associates (NRA).

The agreement comes after much discussion dating back to 2017. Original plans to align were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To meet the anticipated increase in demand for imaging services volume, SMC will move its main community-based radiology and imaging location to a new, expanded facility at the Samaritan Health and Wellness Plaza at 1575 Washington St., scheduled to open in late April 2021.

Northern Radiology Imaging, located at 1571 Washington St. which is directly in front of SMC’s Health & Wellness Plaza, will close at the end of the day on March 5, 2021, which will allow the practice time to transition patients if needed or requested to SMC. SMC will not re-open at NRI’s location as it does not meet the physical requirements needed to operate a hospital-level radiology service.

SMC will continue to offer imaging services including MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, X-ray and more at its main hospital location, plus X-ray and ultrasound services at various community-based sites. These sites provide access to walk-in and appointment-based imaging and lab services.

The new, expanded imaging facility at the Samaritan Health and Wellness Plaza will provide comprehensive community-based imaging services complete with MRI, PET, and CT scans, ultrasound, X-ray, mammography, stereotactic breast biopsies and more.

All physicians who are part of Northern Radiology Associates will continue to provide radiology and image interpretation services for Samaritan at all its locations. The radiologists will remain in private practice and will not be directly employed by the hospital.

In addition, some NRI staff will be hired by Samaritan. All staffing needs are being evaluated now and will be directly communicated to impacted staff members.

Prior to the opening of its new facility, Samaritan is fully prepared to meet the needs of the community and handle the additional patients through expanded hours and increased access at many of our existing imaging locations.

Thomas H. Carman, president and chief executive officer at SMC, said the strategic acquisition of the highly respected NRI will offer patients the outstanding customer service they are accustomed to, with the same providers, ensuring their access to the best care possible.

“We are pleased to bring this transaction to closure as it strategically aligns the Northern Radiology physicians and SMC for the future growth of our diagnostic imaging services, while at the same time strengthening a long-standing partnership. SMC will continue to provide high-quality technical services and NRA will continue to offer their professional interpretations,” said Carman.

Dr. Dean J. Phillips, NRA’s president and director of outpatient imaging at NRI, echoes Carman’s statement and adds that the radiologists are delighted with the transaction and excited to take this next step in aligning the provision of radiology services to the community.

“Our radiologists, as practitioners and longtime business owners, bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the provision of imaging services,” he said. “We are pleased the day has finally come for us to unify outpatient imaging with SMC in meeting the ongoing and growing imaging needs of patients and the medical staff.”

Currently, SMC handles over 100,000 radiology and imaging procedures per year.

SMC patients in need of a new appointment are asked to contact the Medical Center’s central scheduling office at 315-779-5200. Current Northern Radiology Imaging patients should refer to their direct patient communication or call 315-786-5000 for further details.