February 2024 DAISY® and BEE Award Recipients

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for February 2024. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® recognizes exemplary nursing staff, and the BEE Award honors other outstanding staff members who support patient care, both at the hospital and all outpatient clinics.

Ann Groff, licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Samaritan Dermatology and Mohs Surgery received the DAISY Award. Melissa McDonald, medical assistant at Samaritan Dermatology and Mohs Surgery, received the BEE Award. This was a first for the committee to award two deserving caregivers to the same outpatient clinic, at the same time.

Rachel Moore, lead clinic LPN at Samaritan Dermatology and Mohs Surgery nominated Groff saying:

“At the end of the day she always makes her rounds to make sure the chores are done and checks to see if anyone needs anything before leaving. She never stops going and is a true team player. Ann helps precept new employees and is very well respected. If the surgical team needs help, she is there and hops right in. We need more nurses like her. Ann Groff is very deserving of the Daisy award because she is a true example of an extraordinary NURSE!! Thank you, Ann, for your hard work and dedication to our patients and for making the lives of others so much easier through your compassion. You are a true Samaritan star and DAISY.”

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Groff was presented with a certificate commending her as an extraordinary nurse, a DAISY Award pin, and a symbolic sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. A larger version of this sculpture has also been installed in the Healing Gardens at Samaritan Medical Center in honor of all DAISY and BEE Award winners to come. It was purchased using funds donated by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

McDonald was also nominated by Rachel Moore, with the following statement for nomination:  

“Our patients are in great hands with Melissa. She assists with surgeries, and multiple procedures on a daily basis. Helps prep charts and get things ready for the next week without any hesitation. I hope she continues on for her nursing degree because she would be a fantastic nurse someday. Melissa is trustworthy, dependable, respectful, empathetic, honest and always accountable. Melissa deserves the Bee award with high honors for the fantastic care she gives our patients.”

McDonald was presented with a certificate, a BEE Award pin, and a gift bag with other tokens of gratitude.

Both awards will continue to be presented throughout the year, and nominations can be submitted by patients, families, or colleagues at any time. To make a nomination or to learn more about the Samaritan DAISY and BEE Awards, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/daisy-bee.

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About Samaritan Medical Center

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.

About The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.    In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at http://www.DAISYfoundation.org.

January 2024 DAISY® and BEE Award Recipients

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for January 2024. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® recognizes exemplary nursing staff, and the BEE Award honors other outstanding staff members who support patient care, both at the hospital and all outpatient clinics.

Megan Gould, licensed practical nurse at Samaritan Family Health Center (SFHC) in Adams received the DAISY Award. Mary Deline, nursing assistant at Samaritan Medical Center 4 Pavilion, received the BEE Award.

Donna Edwards, clinic supervisor at SFHC in Adams nominated Gould saying:

“Megan has a wonderful skill set of communicating with her patients. She is calm and patient but sets clear appropriate boundaries with patients. She is a nurse that nurses should strive to be. She is a huge asset to our organization. There are many events that would warrant her the recognition of this award but most recently she had an encounter with a patient’s family at the end stages of her life. The outcome for the family was loss and grief but Megan did an amazing job making that complicated process to get Hospice into the home less stressful for the family. This care she gives patients resembles that on a daily basis and she deserves to be recognized for her continued amazing care for her patients.” 

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Gould was presented with a certificate commending her as an extraordinary nurse, a DAISY Award pin, and a symbolic sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. A larger version of this sculpture has also been installed in the Healing Gardens at Samaritan Medical Center in honor of all DAISY and BEE Award winners to come. It was purchased using funds donated by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

Deline was nominated by Meghann Black, Registered Nurse at the Medical Center, with the following statement for nomination:  

“Mary goes above and beyond for her patients. She takes her time with each and every one of them to make sure they are cleaned from head to toe and walked multiple times per day.  Mary always volunteers to stay late on the days she works and almost always ends up working the next day. Mary is the epitome of how an aide should be and I do not think that she gets enough credit. Samaritan Medical Center is very lucky to have a hard dedicated worker like Mary.”

Deline was presented with a certificate, a BEE Award pin, and a gift bag with other tokens of gratitude.

Both awards will continue to be presented throughout the year, and nominations can be submitted by patients, families, or colleagues at any time. To make a nomination or to learn more about the Samaritan DAISY and BEE Awards, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/daisy-bee.

Megan Gould, licensed practical nurse, and Mary Deline, nursing assistant, were presented with certificates for Samaritan’s January 2024 DAISY and BEE Awards.

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About Samaritan Medical Center

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.

About The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.    In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at http://www.DAISYfoundation.org.

February 2024 OWL Award Recipients

Watertown, NY—Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village are pleased to announce the OWL award recipients for February 2024. The outstanding workers in long-term care (OWL) award recognizes exemplary staff who support the residents, their families, and the caregivers at our long-term care facilities.

Chandra Tolbert, fourth floor Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at the Keep Home, and Julianna Barber, third floor skilled nursing Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Summit Village, were nominated and selected as winners by a committee.

A co-worker nominated Tolbert, and an excerpt from the February OWL award nomination, read:

“Chandra has been an employee of SKH since 2018. She is dedicated, compassionate, and a team player. Chandra is loved by all her residents and knows them well. She monitors routines and puts smiles on the faces of the residents daily.”

A family member of a resident nominated Barber, and an excerpt the February OWL award nomination, read:

“Julianna is a breath of fresh air. She is always positive and smiling. It appears she loves her job. Not only does she know every patient’s name, but makes a point to remember all their guests, what they like and don’t like… Skilled nursing is very lucky to have a worker like Julianna. She is the best.”

For being recognized, the OWL recipients receive a certificate, special parking spot for a month, an owl pin, special banner recognition, badge buddy, and various treats.

The OWL award will continue to be presented at each Samaritan long term care facility throughout the year, and residents, families, or colleagues can submit nominations at any time. To nominate or learn more about the OWL award, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/daisy-bee.

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About Samaritan Keep Home
The Samaritan Keep Home is a 272-bed long term care facility connected to the Samaritan Medical Center campus in Watertown. This residential care facility provides a full range of skilled nursing assistance, rehabilitative therapies, and social and recreational activities. Our mission is to provide an atmosphere that allows our residents to thrive and remain socially active in all aspects of their lives.

About Samaritan Summit Village
At Samaritan Summit Village – Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities – our team is committed to providing sophisticated senior living. Whether we’re assisting with daily chores or planning exciting group activities, we’re here to help make living easier The services needed by residents may vary widely, but the goal of our care is always the same: helping seniors to live exceptionally and age in place. With its amazing views, Samaritan Summitt Village overlooks Watertown, NY, and offers 120 assisted living beds, and 168 nursing home beds.

About The OWL Award
The owl is symbolic of intuition, protection, and wisdom. At Samaritan, we are all caregivers, including those who have committed to showing extraordinary compassionate care as a long term caregiver. We need each other to care for our community.

The OWL Award (Outstanding Workers in Long Term Care) was established in December 2023 and is awarded to a caregiver who has given their time and talent to the healthcare system and to our residents. The recipients have repeatedly gone above and beyond in their role to help our staff, and residents, to make our community thrive. They exemplify the HEART Values and take their role as a Samaritan Caregiver with pride.

The OWL Award complements our existing DAISY and BEE Awards for staff, and HIVE award for volunteers. Together we recognize the amazing caregivers of the Samaritan Health System and the culture we embrace.

Samaritan to Host Dinner to Recognize Physicians: Dr. Karl J. Komar to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center will host its tenth Physician Recognition Dinner on Thursday, April 11, 2024. This event, supported by the Samaritan Medical Center Medical Executive Committee and Samaritan Foundation, is held annually 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 was 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 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Karl J. Komar, MD, a neonatologist, in recognition of his 30-year commitment to Samaritan Medical Center as the original and lead neonatologist.

Dr. Komar is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI in 1977 and completed a pediatric residency program at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.  He then went on to complete a fellowship in neonatology at Wyler Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL. He practiced as a neonatologist in Grand Rapids and Dearborn, MI prior to relocating to Watertown. 

In 1994, Dr. Komar joined Samaritan Medical Center’s medical staff.  Since Dr. Komar’s arrival, the Samaritan Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has flourished with his expertise to care for those babies born after 32 weeks gestation needing extra care to develop and thrive.  He has spent countless hours caring for our most precious newborns in need of a higher level of care after their birth. It is a space and a role he has been dedicated to for 30 years, oftentimes working 24 hours a day. “The Level 2 NICU existed before I arrived here, but it has grown and developed significantly with the support from Kinney Drugs, our outstanding nursing staff, and Samaritan’s administration” said Dr. Komar.

As a specialist in his field, Dr. Komar has held leadership roles at Samaritan serving as Medical Staff President in 2011 and 2012 and in pediatrics/neonatology as the chair for the department for many years – in fact the longest of any member of our medical staff.  He has cultivated relationships with surrounding facilities to help newborns receive care at the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center at Crouse Hospital, and accepting transfers to our NICU when the newborns are progressing so they can be closer to home.  Samaritan’s Level II NICU is the only NICU in the tri-county region, and Dr. Komar has been a large part of its longevity in the community.  The need for the NICU was in part due to the connection Samaritan has with Fort Drum and the large number of births we see each year allowing Samaritan to care for military families closer to home. 

Dr. Komar and the NICU team were instrumental and humbled when the new NICU opened in 2012 within the Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children.  Their vision to create a family-centric space with private areas, updated equipment, and a dedicated unit came to fruition. A major pride point for Dr. Komar has been his work and advocacy efforts for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program at Samaritan.  Each year Dr. Komar supports CMN to help raise funds for local families in need, and to support pediatric equipment needed in the child-centered areas.  He helps engage families through the annual Radiothon event, encourages families to use the direct-family assistance program, and has been part of the allocation committee that helps determine where the funds raised will be used.

Dr. Komar’s connection with the families and newborns he cares for are at the core of his lifetime achievement.  So many lives have been touched through this specialized service. 

“This annual event is a time to honor our physicians and celebrate the essential role they play in caring for our patients and our community,” said Thomas H. Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “Dr. Komar’s long-standing commitment to providing specialized neonatal care for our smallest, most vulnerable patients and their families has had a tremendous impact on so many lives. Our community is fortunate to have a team of exceptional physicians such as Dr. Komar that have dedicated their lives to the practice of medicine and demonstrate excellence in providing patient care every day.”

Dr. Komar resides in Watertown.  He has two children, Alysia and Michael, who both live in California. He continues to be inspired by the memory of his late wife Antoinette.

The Physician Recognition Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Watertown. This event is open to the community. Tickets are $55 per person. For more information or to RSVP, please visit www.samaritanhealth.com/physiciandinner, or call 315-785-4584.

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Kinney Drugs and Kinney Drugs Foundation Make Investment to Improve Mental Health Services Across the Region

Watertown, NY – The Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York is pleased to announce the generous support of Kinney Drugs and the Kinney Drugs Foundation in expanding mental health treatment services and physical space within Samaritan Medical Center. In recognition of this recent commitment of dollars, the adult inpatient mental health unit space will be named in honor of Kinney Drugs.

The inpatient mental health unit expects approval from the New York State (NYS) Office of Mental Health (OMH) to increase the bed count in the unit from 34 to 39 beds. The five additional rooms will be private, which is a significant need. The current physical space consists exclusively of double-occupant rooms. It often cannot be used for two patients due to aggression, infection control issues, and other reasons. The unit is typically full, and with the increase in mental health crises, patients go to the emergency department. Fifty percent of the adults who visit the emergency department in a psychiatric crisis will need a stabilization inpatient stay within this unit.

Kinney Drugs and its Foundation remain among Samaritan’s top donors, supporters, and partners. Over the years, the organization has supported Samaritan and quality healthcare in the Northern New York region in many ways. They are dedicated to the pediatric patient population and have donated needed funds in multiple departments within the Car-Freshner Center Women & Children, including the Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the play area on the pediatric inpatient unit, and a cesarean surgical suite in labor & delivery. In addition, Kinney is a steadfast partner and fundraiser for Samaritan’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program.

In 1992, they became a CMN national partner, just two years after Samaritan became a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. All stores raise funds for CMN and locally across the Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis County areas. Their teams are highly engaged and passionate about CMN.

Kinney Drugs and the Kinney Drugs Foundation have repeatedly shown their commitment and support to Samaritan over decades. They have invested over one million dollars in continuing quality and compassionate healthcare at Samaritan.

The Kinney Drugs Foundation is the philanthropic arm of KPH Healthcare Services, Inc. with locations in 14 states, including its home state of New York. Since its inception in 2002, the Kinney Drugs Foundation has given more than $12 million to these communities, helping make positive changes in the lives of so many people. Information on the Foundation may be found at www.kinneydrugsfoundation.com.

Pictured here, from left, are Beth Fipps, VP of Foundation & Community Services, Samaritan Medical Center Foundation, and Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO, Samaritan Medical Center, with Dave Warner, President of the Kinney Drugs Foundation and EVP of KPH Healthcare Services, and Rich McNulty, SVP of Human Resources of KPH Healthcare Services.

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Samaritan Announces Mask-Optional in Most Locations

Watertown, NY – As of March 8, 2024,  most Samaritan locations will be mask-optional for all staff, patients, and visitors under certain criteria. This decision comes after closely watching transmission levels of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, declining COVID-19 hospitalization and infection rates, and other supporting indicators.  Samaritan now safely offers a mask-optional environment in most areas and facilities; however, if any of these metrics have an uptick, we could return to wearing facemasks. 

The following use of face masks will be asked of patients, staff, and visitors:

  • In the Emergency Department (ED), all visitors and patients are asked to mask in this location when not in a private room.  
  • In the Walker Center for Cancer Care, because of the weakened immune systems of the patients served, we ask patients and anyone visiting the center to wear a face mask when not in a private room. 
  • In the Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village due to long term care requirements. 

Patients, visitors and/or healthcare personnel are to follow masking practices per unit/department when specifically indicated. For the health and safety of the community, we reserve the right to require any patient in any area who has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or COVID-19 to wear a facemask as per Samaritan practices.  

Visitors who are not feeling well, have symptoms of fever, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea, or have been in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 cannot visit patients or accompany patients to appointments.   

Let Samaritan help with your colorectal health

This year, the American Cancer Society estimates the occurrence of 106,590 new cases of colon cancer (54,210 in men and 52,380 in women) and nearly 46,220 new cases of rectal cancer (27,330 in men and 18,890 in women).

These are large numbers. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the second-most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. But along with these estimates comes a glimmer of good news: since the mid-1980s, the rate of people being diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer has dropped each year with incidence rates dropping around 1% every year from 2011-2019. Why? Mainly because more people are changing the way they live to limit risk factors and getting colon screenings when suggested.

These are two key steps to take, and throughout March’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, both should be taken to maintain good colorectal health.

But it doesn’t end there. Being proactive in coordination with your primary care physician and a gastroenterology specialist can help you stay ahead of any colorectal concerns or alleviate problems when they arise. For those in the North Country or nearby, the professionals throughout the Samaritan Health System can assist with these colorectal needs.

“Our team understands the importance of proactive colorectal care,” says Tom Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “We know what to look for, where to refer patients for further evaluation and, in some cases, how to treat. The first step: schedule a visit with us, and let us help you learn more about colorectal health.”

Understand colorectal health

Colorectal health includes disorders associated with the colon, rectum or anus, and can most commonly be detected through a colonoscopy. There is no single factor that can cause cancers or other colorectal diseases, but understanding common risk factors—concerning age, family medical history and lifestyle—can help maintain good health.

To understand these factors or signs and symptoms of colorectal issues, a good place to start is with your primary care physician. After obtaining a referral for a gastroenterologist, they may suggest a colonoscopy which is an exam used to look for changes in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Those age 45-75 have a higher than average risk of colon cancer, so if you fall in this demographic, now’s the time to schedule your colonoscopy or screening.

If caught in its earliest stages, colon cancer can be treated much more effectively, or dangerous polyps can be removed to prevent cancer from ever occurring in the first place.

Samaritan’s Gastroenterology Clinic in LeRay offers two board certified physicians, a seasoned physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner. The clinic boasts early morning appointments as well as appointments past 4 p.m. to help accommodate patients. Located conveniently on U.S. Route 11, the team specializes in routine colonoscopy screenings, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), polyp removal, acid reflux, iron deficiency anemia, and more. The caregivers are compassionate about the work they do and the patients they care for.

Colon cancer treatment

Surgery may be an option when colorectal cancer is identified, and Samaritan has four general surgeons who are trained and experienced in colorectal care. Many of these surgical cases can be performed with the da Vinci robotic system. This state-of-the-art approach can lessen a patient’s stay in the hospital, minimize postoperative pain, and shorten recovery for some patients. Samaritan’s general surgeons are here to provide care to patients early in their diagnosis, giving them the best and most optimal treatment.

Another option for some patients if colon cancer is detected, Samaritan’s Walker Center for Cancer Care can provide cutting-edge treatments and supportive services through its integrated team, or expert guidance from affiliated medical oncology providers like Buffalo’s Roswell Park.

But again, the key to colorectal care is to be proactive. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get screenings when necessary. Talk with your primary care physician when concerns arise. This is where Samaritan can assist to support any patient’s concerns.

“Your Samaritan primary care physicians are there to answer your questions, provide treatment, and lead you forward in the healthiest way possible,” says Carman. “Connect with them, and let each be your guide.”

To learn how Samaritan Health can aid in your colorectal health, visit samaritanhealth.com and explore the gastroenterology, general surgery, and cancer services.

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Samaritan Auxiliary’s 22nd Annual One Night, One Diamond

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Auxiliary’s One Night, One Diamond will be held Saturday, March 23 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at The Peak (formerly The Commons) on Fort Drum. Attendees will experience old Hollywood glamour and walk the red carpet to enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing, and diamonds.

Tickets are $225 per couple, which includes dinner by The Clipper Inn, dancing to the popular band ‘Atlas’, and an opportunity to win one of three exquisite lab-grown diamonds donated by Cook’s Jewelers, or a get-away package to Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa or Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

The funds raised from this year’s event will support the purchase of a UroNav Fusion Biopsy System for Samaritan’s Urology Center. This equipment gives the ability for Urologists to perform prostate biopsies in the office and provides Samaritan patients with advanced detection of prostate cancer. With the use of the UroNav Fusion Biopsy system, providers can “fuse” MRI images with real-time ultrasound images of the prostate, thus allowing for more ease in obtaining targeted biopsies of suspicious lesions in the prostate. The procedures will be resulted almost immediately, allowing for a more efficient experience for the patient.  

This year’s blue diamond sponsor is Apogee Physicians. Pink diamond sponsors include Bob Johnson Auto Group, Purcell Construction, KeyBank, and Northern Credit Union.  Media sponsors are the Watertown Daily Times, 7News, Tunes 92.5 and PixeLit Marketing.  Other top sponsors include AmeriCu, Coca-Cola Company, Hancock Estabrook, Hospice of Jefferson County, King + King Architects, The Martin Group, Nickles Property Service, and Slack Chemical Company.

Among last year’s Auxiliary highlights, the 2023 One Night, One Diamond raised a record $125,530 and allowed for the purchase of the BioFire modules for Samaritan’s laboratory while also supporting the purchase of the Hologic Breast PACS System for Samaritan’s Women’s Wellness and Breast Care. 

For tickets or more information please visit the website www.samaritanhealth.com/onod or with questions contact onod2@shsny.com or (315) 408-6475. RSVP’s with the names of attendees and date of birth, for entrance onto Fort Drum, must be received by March 8, 2024.

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About Samaritan Auxiliary:  The Samaritan Auxiliary was established in 1896 to serve as ambassadors and volunteers to support and enhance healthcare programs at the House of the Good Samaritan.  As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Samaritan Auxiliary is composed entirely of volunteers and plays a vital role today in improving the quality of care in the Samaritan system through volunteer activities and financial support. Since 2006 when the event began raising funds for equipment, Samaritan Auxiliary’s One Night, One Diamond proceeds have purchased nearly a million dollars in equipment for Samaritan Medical Center.

The Auxiliary operates the gift shops at the Samaritan Medical Center and Samaritan Summit Village, as well as SIPS Coffee Shop at the Medical Center. Along with Auxiliary uniform and purse sales for the staff, and membership dues, the Auxiliary proudly provides funding in support of programs, services throughout the Samaritan Health System. The Auxiliary had committed $500,000 as its most recent pledge commitment to the Capital Campaign for the Walker Center for Cancer Care, and annually provides two $1500 scholarships to Samaritan Caregivers to further their education.  Additionally, the Auxiliary has continued the WHALE (We Have A Little Emergency) child safety seat ID program and That’s Using Your Head, a helmet ID safety program, in conjunction with our Kinney Drugs Foundation partner.

September, October, November, and December 2023 DAISY®️ and BEE Award Recipients

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for September, October, November, and December 2023. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® recognizes exemplary nursing staff, and the BEE Award honors other outstanding staff members who support patient care, at the hospital and all outpatient clinics.

September:

  • Jalynne Granger, Registered Nurse (RN), Samaritan Home Health, received the DAISY Award.
  • Brianna Biggs, nursing assistant, Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE Award.

October:

  • Tamara Bennett, RN, at Samaritan Medical Center, received the DAISY Award. 
  • Jamie Lyn Goutermout, safety aid, inpatient mental health unit at Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE award. 

November:

  • Athena Green, RN, Samaritan’s emergency department, received the DAISY Award. 
  • Jamie Via, nursing assistant, Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE Award. 

December:

  • Jennifer Steelman, RN, Samaritan Medical Center, received the DAISY Award. 
  • Arlene Godfrey, EKG technician, Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE Award.  

An excerpt from Granger’s September DAISY award nomination from the family of a patient, read:

“Jalynne has gone up and beyond as a home health nurse to my mom. Jaylyn has been patient and kind. On one visit she realized that my mom needed to go to the doctor immediately as a result of an infection that had started. It ended with my mom needing a short stay in the hospital. Which could have been a long stay or even worse if not for her guidance. We have never had a home nurse before and our family was a little anxious about this new situation, however with Jaylynne as our nurse we look forward to her visit every week.”

An excerpt from Bennett’s October DAISY award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“4 Pavilion (Medical Center) is so very lucky to have Tamara as a nurse. She is always going above and beyond for her patients and her coworkers. On countless occasions she has stayed after her scheduled hours until change of shift to make sure the floor had a charge nurse or has come in on a weekend day when the floor is short staffed. When a nurse reports a concerning change in status of a patient, Tamara goes directly to the bedside to assess the situation firsthand.” 

An excerpt from Green’s November DAISY award nomination from the family of a patient, read: 

“Nurse Athena checked in on us time after time and gave us updates.  Near the end of our time in the emergency department, she brought in a Christmas stuffed dog for my son, and my son absolutely adored that dog.  It made everything better for him and he did not let go of the dog until the next morning.  Nurse Athena was kind, patient, understanding, and overall, the best nurse I’ve encountered thus far at Samaritan.  We need more nurses like Athena.”

An excerpt from Steelman’s December DAISY award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“I have also had the pleasure of working with Jenn side by side, and there are not enough words to describe a nurse like her who embodies compassion, kindness, and unwavering dedication. Jenn exemplifies the epitome of compassion, kindness, and selflessness in her role as a registered nurse at Samaritan Medical Center. Her unwavering dedication to her patients is a testament to her exemptional character and commitment to care.”

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Granger, Bennett, Green, and Steelman were presented with certificates commending them as extraordinary nurses, DAISY Award pins, and symbolic sculptures called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. A larger version of this sculpture has also been installed in the Healing Gardens at Samaritan Medical Center in honor of all DAISY and BEE Award winners to come. It was purchased using funds donated by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

An excerpt from Biggs’ September BEE award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“Brianna is the aide that every nurse wants to have. She always goes above and beyond for her patients and nurses. No matter the request Bri is always willing to help out. She is the first one to a call light even if it is not her assigned patient, she jumps in and offers assistance whenever it is needed.” 

An excerpt from Goutermout’s October BEE award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“Her dedication and commitment to her role as a safety aid at Samaritan demonstrates how she embodies the Samaritan H.E.A.R.T. (honest, empathetic, accountable, respectful, trustworthy) values. Her actions clearly demonstrate her passion for ensuring the well-being of both the staff and patients.”  

An excerpt from Via’s November BEE award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“If ever there was an example of somebody that fits the definition of “Being Excellent Every Day” it is Jamie. Jamie consistently goes about her day with a positive outlook and goes above and beyond for her patients. Her consistent empathy and compassion make all her patients feel as though they are the most important which brings happiness to their day.”

An excerpt from Godfrey’s December BEE award nomination from a co-worker, read: 

“I often find Arlene accompanying visitors and patients to their appropriate destination when they are lost.  I watch how she engages in casual conversation that usually ends with a thank you and a smile. Arlene is proficient in her job duties and takes the time to teach and educate others.  She is a leader within the organization and is the point person for scheduling, coordinating staff (PCA and Nursing) education as well as taking in students and interns for shadow hours and education within the EKG department.”  

Biggs, Goutermout, Via, and Godfrey were presented with certificates, BEE Award pins, and gift bags with other tokens of gratitude. 

Both awards will continue to be presented throughout the year, and patients, families, or colleagues can submit nominations at any time. To nominate or learn more about the Samaritan DAISY and BEE Awards, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/daisy-bee.

Photos of the named DAISY and BEE Award winners are available at samaritanhealth.com/news.

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About Samaritan Medical Center

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.

About The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at http://www.DAISYfoundation.org.

Samaritan Adds Cardiology Practice to Its Network

Samaritan is pleased to announce the recent addition of cardiology services under the Samaritan Medical Practice umbrella.  Samaritan Cardiology, formerly Cardiology Associates of Northern New York, will remain at its current location with the same providers, Dr. James Willis and Physician Assistant Kate Symenow. There will be very little change for current patients as the physical location, phone number and wonderful staff have not changed.

Dr. Willis, founder of Cardiology Associates, has been practicing in the region for 38 years and is committed to making sure the practice continues on as he looks forward to retirement. Samaritan and Dr. Willis came together to ensure this continuum of care will occur, as this partnership accounts for succession planning and physician recruitment.  Recruitment for new cardiology specialists is underway.

“I have built this practice and care deeply for my patients, so it is my number one concern that we remain in operation,” said Dr. Willis.  “After considering many partners, Samaritan was selected as they are as committed to this community as I am. The transition has gone smoothly, and it is evident to me that they want this to be successful.”

“We were not actively seeking this new partnership, but it is the right thing to do to keep this service in the community where it is very much needed,” explained Tom Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “We have begun to recruit more cardiology providers to help serve the community, as there is a need and currently a long wait time for new patients.”

Samaritan has not operated an outpatient cardiology practice prior to this partnership, but has worked with local private physicians to ensure that cardiology services were available to hospital patients through on-call services in the emergency department within the scope of hospital privileges. 

Current patients of Cardiology Associates will notice a change in billing, as Samaritan will assume this process. In addition, echocardiograms (echo) once offered in the cardiology office will now be performed at the Samaritan Health and Wellness Plaza, 1575 Washington St., as part of the imaging and lab services.  This also means that existing Samaritan patients can have their echo done at this outpatient clinic with a provider order. 

Samaritan Cardiology is located at 19436 Howell Drive, Suite A in Watertown and can be reached at 315-786-2000.