Skip to main content


Samaritan Receives Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Health and Wellness Award

Published on: May 19, 2023

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center has received an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Health and Wellness Award in the amount of $9,942.81 for its Cancer Pathology Quality Improvement program to fund a new Compound Microscope and a C-Mount Camera Port. This purchase will directly impact the quality of care for cancer patients by improving prognosis time and alleviating the need for follow-up biopsies. With this equipment upgrade, Samaritan will be able to directly improve the quality of care for 120 cancer patients annually.

“We are proud to partner with Samaritan Medical Center to fund this essential equipment designed to improve quality of care for cancer patients,” shares Excellus BCBS Regional President Eve Van de Wal. “This work aligns with our mission as a Health Plan to improve the health and wellbeing of those in our community.”

According to Dr. Shikhar Vyas, Laboratory Director, Samaritan Medical Center participates in a monthly multidisciplinary cancer conference with subspecialty participants from Samaritan, Walker Center for Cancer Care, and other regional hospitals.  As a team, patients with a cancer diagnosis are presented, radiologic and pathologic findings are discussed, and an optimum treatment plan of action for the best patient outcome is determined.  “With this new microscope and camera equipment, pathology will be able to share vital patient information beyond reports by showing slides in real-time to all participants in these conferences for educational, diagnostic and prognostic purposes. We hope to improve the quality of care for the Walker Center for Cancer Care patients and overall outcomes,” he said.

Pictured: Dr. Shikhar Vyas, Laboratory Director; Beth Fipps, Vice President Foundation & Community Services; and Eve Van de Wal, Regional President at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield