Samaritan Graduate Medical Education 2024 Resident Graduation

Graduate Medical Education class of 2024: James Hull, DO, Patricia Frith, DO, Jennifer Wachala, DO, and Rosie Yang, DO

Watertown, NY Samaritan Graduate Medical Education proudly announces the graduation of its Internal Medicine residents and Family Medicine residents. A graduation ceremony was held on Friday, June 21, 2024, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Watertown. The graduates were celebrated by family, friends, esteemed physician faculty, and respected Samaritan leaders.

Graduates of the Family Medicine residency program, directed by Dr. Benjamin Rudd, are Dr. Rosie Yang, Chief Resident, and Dr. James Hull. Graduates of the Internal Medicine residency program, directed by Dr. Asim Kichloo, are Dr. Jennifer Wachala, Chief Resident, and Dr. Patricia Frith.

The four graduates have accepted positions in medical institutions across the country where they will continue to practice and advance their training and expertise. 

  • Patricia Frith, DO – Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.
  • James Hull, DO – returning to his home state to practice as a Family Medicine physician in Chocowinity, North Carolina
  • Jennifer Wachala, DO – Infectious Disease Fellowship with a concentration in Transplant Infectious Diseases and Immunocompromised Hosts at NYU Langone Hospital, Long Island, New York.
  • Rosie Yang, DO – going to Washington, D.C. to practice as a Family Medicine physician.

“The faculty and all who support the graduate medical education programs appreciate the opportunity to pass along some of what we have learned through our practice experience,” said Dr. David Rechlin, director of Graduate Medical Education. “These young aspiring physicians bring invaluable energy to our work both in the hospital and outpatient practices where they learn. We congratulate them on attaining this milestone in their careers.”

Graduate Medical Education class of 2024: James Hull, DO, Patricia Frith, DO, Jennifer Wachala, DO, and Rosie Yang, DO
Picture here are Dr. James Hull, Dr. Patricia Frith, Dr. Jennifer Wachala, and Dr. Rosie Yang

Samaritan is the only academic teaching facility in Northern New York that attracts medical students and physicians pursuing advanced residency training from across the country. Our medical students and residentphysicians benefit from a comprehensive educational experience, including daily lectures one-on-one clinical exposure in varies specialties, and engagement in clinical research.

Our residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). For more information on Graduate Medical Education at Samaritan, visit https://samaritanhealth.com/careers/careers-education/graduate-medical-education/.

May 2024 DAISY®, BEE, and OWL Award Recipients

Feature image for Samaritan's May 2024 Daisy, Bee, and Owl Awards winners

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY, BEE, and OWL Award recipients for May 2024. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses® recognizes exemplary nursing staff, the BEE Award honors other outstanding staff members who support patient care, both at the hospital and outpatient clinics, and the OWL Award recognizes outstanding work from Samaritan’s long-term caregivers.

Erin Bush, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), of the Adams Family Health Center received the DAISY Award. Renee Beach, administrative secretary, received the BEE Award. Samaritan Summit Village skilled nursing fourth floor unit clerk Brenda Magee and Samaritan Keep Home Certified Nursing Assistant Jesse Corralez-Estrada both received the OWL Award.

Adams Clinic Manager Donna Edwards, nominated Bush citing a particular patient experience and saying:

“Erin gives everything to her peers and patients. She makes herself available to everyone. She is a resource of knowledge and an experience problem solver. She is so deserving of this nomination. She exemplifies our organizations HEART values and is a HUGE asset to our team.” 

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Bush 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.

Beach was nominated by Shannon Phillips, RN, nurse manager, with the following statement for nomination:  

“Renee regularly goes above and beyond to support the Nursing Department. She is helpful and professional. She takes her role seriously and truly supports our organization in a professional and caring manner. Of mention are her tireless efforts in making Nurse’s Week successful every year. These celebrations don’t just happen on their own and Renee is responsible for all the planning, ordering, reserving and arranging to ensure our Nurses feel recognized and supported.”

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

Magee was nominated by Summit Village Director of Nursing Jeannette Emery who said:

“Brenda comes in early to assist with precepting new Certified Nursing Assistants.  She communicates with staff and management to provide the best care for her residents and is respectful to families and everyone she encounters. Brenda is a great asset to the Samaritan family, and we are very happy she chose us.”

Corralez-Estrada was nominated by a resident’s family member who expressed gratitude for his care, concern, and thoughtfulness with the safety and comfort of their loved one.

Magee and Corralez-Estrada were presented with certificates and tokens of appreciation during recognition ceremonies at their respective facilities.

These 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, BEE, and OWL 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.

Samaritan Announces Volunteer Service Award Winner

Pictured here, David Cheney was surprised with the HIVE Award on June 24 by Volunteer Services Manager Kristan Donoghue.

Watertown, N.Y. – At Samaritan, there are volunteers who serve at the hospital, long term care facilities, special events, off-site offices and on various boards of our respective entities. Initiated in 2023, the HIVE (Helpful Indeed – Volunteering Excellence) Award is a way to honor those volunteers who have contributed an extraordinary level of dedication and shown exceptional service to Samaritan while consistently demonstrating the HEART values, which are Honest, Empathetic, Accountable, Respect, and Trustworthy.

Why HIVE? The beehive is symbolic of teamwork, unity, growth, and development. At Samaritan, we are all caregivers, including those who have committed to showing extraordinary compassionate care as a volunteer. We need each other to care for our community.

The HIVE Award complements the existing DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses®, the BEE Award (Being Excellent Every Day) honoring other outstanding staff members who support patient care, at the hospital and all outpatient clinics, and the OWL (Outstanding Workers in Long Term Care) for the team of caregivers at the Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village. Altogether, we recognize the amazing caregivers of the Samaritan Health System and the culture we embrace.

The recipient for the first quarter of 2024 is David Cheney. David has been volunteering since 2022 and has assisted with various tasks, including distributing flyers, transporting patients within the Medical Center, helping at the Festival of Trees, and more.

Kristan Donoghue, the manager of Volunteer Services, mentioned, “David is always willing to help. He is respectful to staff, patients, and their family members. He never makes people feel rushed and is continually seeking new projects to tackle in various areas.”

David’s manager highlighted several instances of his willingness to assist where needed. For example, when his regular task of patient transportation was slow one evening, he recognized that the Emergency Department required help and stepped in to assist.

Pictured here, David Cheney was surprised with the HIVE Award on June 24 by Volunteer Services Manager Kristan Donoghue.
Pictured here, David Cheney was surprised with the HIVE Award on June 24 by Volunteer Services Manager Kristan Donoghue.

Those interested in recognizing a Samaritan volunteer may submit an online nomination at samaritanhealth.com/hive there are also paper nomination forms available at the Medical Center and Samaritan Summit Village gift shops. 

Safety Tips to Prevent Common Summertime Injuries

Samaritan Medical Center Emergency entry: When Accidents Happen, Samaritan is Here

Summer is the season of fun. Warmer, longer days bring us together for pool parties, campfires, barbecues and road trips. Children get a break from school, families take vacations, and more time is spent outdoors in the sun. Unfortunately, however, summer is also the season of injury.

In June, July and August, more preventable injuries and deaths occur in the United States than at other times during the year. Workplace injuries are also highest during these summer months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As we enjoy the beginning of summer, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common forms of summertime injuries and how you can take steps to prevent them.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the third most common cause of preventable injury-related death in the U.S., responsible for 20% of all preventable deaths in 2022. Car accidents happen all year, but they see an uptick in the summer months as more drivers take road trip vacations, road construction increases, and more people drive under the influence of alcohol.

Some motor vehicle accidents are unavoidable, but many can be prevented with responsible driving habits. Wherever you are driving this summer — and all year — use these safe driving practices:

  • Don’t drive distracted. Pull over to a safe location if you need to use your cell phone.
  • Don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink alcohol, use a designated driver or ride service.
  • Don’t speed. Risking injury or death is not worth it, even if you are in a rush.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Always wear a seatbelt, no matter where you are sitting in a vehicle.

Fire and Fireworks Injuries

Campfires, barbecues and fireworks are summertime staples, but they are also hazards. Burns are common summer injuries, especially around Independence Day and Labor Day when many celebrate with fireworks.

“Year after year, we see visits to our emergency department spike around the summer holidays,” says Dr. Maja Lundborg-Gray, Samaritan Emergency Medicine Physician. “Many patients we treat around this time have preventable injuries like burns, fractures or other trauma caused by a mishap at a party or outdoor gathering.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Lundborg-Gray says, children are especially prone to this type of injury since they may not understand the risks associated with fires and fireworks. Adults should never leave children unattended near an open flame and should be cautious about store-bought fireworks like sparklers, which can quickly ignite clothing or shoes. Following these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration will further prevent burns this summer:

  • Don’t use fireworks at home. Instead, watch fireworks at a public show put on by experts.
  • Build campfires at least 25 feet away from tents, shrubs and anything that can burn.
  • Only use barbecue grills outdoors. Indoor use can cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Bicycle, Skateboard and Related Accidents

Warmer weather and summer vacation mean more opportunities for families to ride together on bikes, scooters and skateboards. As much fun as these activities are, they commonly cause injuries such as scrapes, fractures and concussions. Accidents involving motor vehicles can cause more serious, life-threatening injuries.

Wearing a helmet is essential when riding a bike, skateboard or similar sports equipment. The American College of Surgeons reports that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 48%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, facial injury by 23%, and fatal injury by 34%. Riders of all ages, including adults, should wear a properly-fitted helmet at all times. Knee and elbow pads are also recommended to protect joints during a fall or collision.

Swimming Injuries and Drowning

As summer progresses and temperatures rise, many people take to the water for swimming, boating and watersports. Swimming is great exercise and a fun way to beat the heat, but it comes with its risks. Just like with fire-related injuries, accidents on the water frequently involve children. The CDC reports drowning as a leading cause of death for children ages 14 and younger. Injuries from jumping into pools, boating accidents and slips and falls are also common over the summer months.

Parents can prevent swimming injuries by remaining vigilant while children are around the water. Never leave your child alone near water; if you have to leave, take your child with you. Enrolling your child in swim lessons is a good idea, but does not make it safe for them to swim alone. Parents can also get training in CPR and First Aid to further protect their children and others. The CDC’s Top Ten Tips for Water Safety are recommended for all who plan to swim this summer:

  1. DO learn to swim.
  2. DO take a friend along. Using the buddy system is safer and more fun!
  3. DO know your limits while swimming.
  4. DO swim in supervised (watched) areas only, and follow all signs and warnings.
  5. DO wear a life jacket when boating, jet skiing, water skiing, rafting, or fishing.
  6. DO stay alert to currents. If you get caught in a strong current, don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you have passed through it.
  7. DO keep an eye on the weather.
  8. DON’T mess around in the water.
  9. DON’T dive into shallow water. If you don’t know how deep the water is, don’t dive.
  10. DON’T float where you can’t swim.
Samaritan Medical Center Emergency entry: When Accidents Happen, Samaritan is Here

When Accidents Happen, Samaritan is Here

Summer is an exciting time, and while it can be easy to get swept up in the fun and celebrations, it is important to take precautions to prevent injuries. If accidents happen, Samaritan is here with 24/7 emergency care. 

“Samaritan’s Emergency Department takes care of over 30,000 patients a year,” says Dr. Lundborg-Gray. “We have specialty trained emergency medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses ready at all hours.”

Learn more about Samaritan Medical Center’s Emergency Department, including tips on knowing when to call 911, at samaritanhealth.com/emergency-care/

Samaritan Nurses Recognized for Excellence

Photo of the 2024 Nurse Recognition Award class.

Watertown, NY – On May 29, a select group of Samaritan nurses were recognized for their contributions to the organization, patients, and residents throughout their time of employment. The exclusive celebratory event, held at Samaritan Summit Village, was a testament to their exceptional service. Qualified medical providers were invited to nominate a Samaritan Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) by submitting an essay, highlighting the relationships between nurses and providers. 

Samaritan’s Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer John Green said, “I feel honored to be part of the first Nursing Awards event to be held since 2019, pre-pandemic. These incredible caregivers shine brightly day after day, and we are proud to recognize their contributions to our community.”

Samaritan Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Carman welcomed the esteemed attendees, and Dr. Marylene Duah, infectious disease specialist, served as the master of ceremonies.

The following individuals were honored in their respective categories:

Education:
Recipient: Jordain Forney Sullivan, RN, Emergency Department
Nominated by: Maja Lundborg-Gray, MD

Excellence in Nursing Practice (Medical Center):
Recipient: John Gahler, RN, Intensive Care / Progressive Care Units
Nominated by: Aaliya Burza, MD

Excellence in Nursing Practice (Long Term Care):
Recipient: Emily Bachmann, LPN, Samaritan Keep Home
Nominated by: Collins Kellogg, MD

Excellence in Nursing Practice (Clinics):
Recipient: Heather LaRose, LPN, Samaritan Family Health Center, Adams
Nominated by: Joe Wetterhahn, MD

Innovation:
Recipient: Kristy Graveline, LPN, Samaritan Home Health
Nominated by: Mario Victoria, MD

Leadership:
Recipient: Pamela Carter, LPN, Samaritan Dermatology
Nominated by: Nathanial Miletta, MD

Quality and Safety:
Recipient: Stephanie Peters, RN, Quality Improvement
Nominated by: Rory Sears, DO

Rookie of the Year:
Recipient: Kasandra Keene, RN, Emergency Department
Nominated by: Maja Lundborg-Gray, MD

Pictured here, in front, from left are Pamela Carter, LPN, Stephanie Peters, RN, John Gahler, RN, Kristy Graveline, LPN, Heather LaRose, LPN, and Jordain Forney Sullivan, RN. In back, from left are Nathanial Miletta, MD, Rory Sears, DO, Aaliya Burza, MD, Mario Victoria, MD, Joe Wetterhahn, MD, and Stephanie Droppelmann, MSN, BSN. Absent from the photo are Kasandra Keene, RN, Emily Bachmann, LPN, and nominators Collins Kellogg, MD, and Maja Lundborg-Gray, MD
Pictured here, in front, from left are Pamela Carter, LPN, Stephanie Peters, RN, John Gahler, RN,  Kristy Graveline, LPN, Heather LaRose, LPN, and Jordain Forney Sullivan, RN. In back, from left are Nathanial Miletta, MD, Rory Sears, DO, Aaliya Burza, MD, Mario Victoria, MD, Joe Wetterhahn, MD, and Stephanie Droppelmann, MSN, BSN. Absent from the photo are Kasandra Keene, RN, Emily Bachmann, LPN, and nominators Collins Kellogg, MD, and Maja Lundborg-Gray, MD

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Samaritan Welcomes New Chief Nursing Officer

Portrait of John Green, Samaritan Chief Nursing Officer.

Watertown, NY – After an extensive search, Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce that John Green, DHA, MSN, RN, NEA-BC has been selected as its next Vice President of Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer. Green has more than 25 years of healthcare experience and is proficient in hospital operations, patient care programs, patient flow and progression, and setting strategic directions with the senior team. He is known for designing innovative care delivery models, enhancing and improving technologies, and fostering collaborative environments that transcend traditional healthcare boundaries. 

Green will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating nursing operations within Samaritan Medical Center. He is a member of the senior team and will work closely with nursing staff, providers and other key members to ensure the delivery of high-quality care that aligns with Samaritan’s mission, vision and values.

Portrait of John Green, Samaritan Chief Nursing Officer.
John Green, DHA, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Samaritan Chief Nursing Officer

Green comes to Samaritan from Glens Falls Hospital, part of Albany Medical Health System, since 2015 where he served as Nurse Manager, Assistant Director and most recently as Director. In this role he directed overall hospital operations and developed systems and processes that reduced costs and improved patient outcomes. 

”We are pleased to welcome John to Samaritan’s leadership team” said Tom Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “With his track record of nursing practice leadership and dedication to patient-centric care, and innovative technology integration, we are confident that under his guidance our nursing division will continue to thrive and evolve. He trained at Fort Drum and his prior National Guard medic experience is beneficial in meeting the health care needs of our Fort Drum community.” 

“As I step into my role at Samaritan Medical Center, I’m struck by the palpable positivity and unwavering dedication of the staff”, said Green. “The HEART values permeate deeply into the core of our culture. I am excited to work alongside our exceptional teams to further embed these values, elevate standards of care, and positively impact the lives of our community and military families. 

Green holds an Associate of Science in Nursing from Vermont Technical College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science from Kaplan University, and Doctor of Healthcare Administration degree from Capella University.

Green replaces Kimberly Thibert, who served as Interim Chief Nursing Officer from November 2023 until May 2024.

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April 2024 DAISY® and BEE Award Recipients

Illustrative image for Daisy and BEE April 2024 winners.

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for April 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.

Kim Smith, Registered Nurse (RN), and Nurse Manager, for Samaritan’s Interventional Radiology (IR) and Infusion units received the DAISY Award. Nursing Assistant (NA) Ryan Washburn of Samaritan’s Progressive Care Unit received the BEE Award.

Registered Nurse Shirley Ward, nominated Smith saying:

Kim Smith, RN holding her DAISY Award certificate

“Kim has been my Nurse Manager for over 20 years. Her consistency in following contracts and policies makes her a highly respected manager since this prevents a chaotic environment and encourages growth and camaraderie within the department.  I proudly say we have very good morale in IR due to her leadership.  Patient satisfaction is always her priority. She also will do anything in her power to ensure we have the tools we need to deliver exceptional patient care.  One example is combining resources. Kim was an instrumental force in 2022 when the Pain Clinic needed assistance being able to continue to provide services to their customers. They were short on RN staff, yet IR was short a provider.  The creative solution offered up by Kim was to have Dr. Montalvo perform his procedures in the Angio suite, so these patients did not need to travel a long distance for their procedures or not have them done at all.” 

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Smith 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.

Washburn was nominated by April Del Prete, RN, with the following statement for nomination:  

Ryan Washburn, NA, holding his BEE Award Certificate at Samaritan's Progressive Care Unit.

“Throughout every shift, Ryan consistently demonstrates a level of commitment and compassion that sets a standard for excellence in patient care. Ryan’s willingness to go above and beyond is evident in every aspect of his work and everyone we work with would attest to that, without a doubt. He not only attends to the needs of his assigned patients with diligence and empathy, but he also proactively assists his colleagues, ensuring the smooth functioning of our unit. His proactive approach is reflected in his eagerness to learn, his readiness to offer assistance and in his remarkable ability to anticipate and address the needs of both the patients and staff members.”

Washburn 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.

April 2024 OWL Award Recipients

April 2024 OWL Award Honorees Portrait

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village are pleased to announce the OWL award recipients for April 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.

Brittany Garwick, Licensed Practical Nurse, at the Keep Home, and Summit Village Certified Nursing Assistant Brianna Doss, were nominated and selected as winners by a committee.

Nurse Manager Jeannine Gardner nominated Garwick, and an excerpt from the April OWL award nomination, read:

“Brittany started here as a traveling nurse and, after falling in love with the organization, the staff, and the residents, she signed on as a full-time LPN on the 6th floor. Brittany is a compassionate and dedicated employee and is an absolute asset to this facility and the organization. She is the definition of the Heart Values. She is empathetic and calm while caring for and assisting the residents, visitors, and co-workers for whatever they need.”

The Summit Village OWL honoree was nominated by Jolene Smouse, director of long term care education, saying, “Brianna started at SSV last July. She has made a great impression with staff, as well as residents. She is kind and caring to the residents and always helpful to her co-workers. She communicates with staff and management to provide the best care for her residents and is respectful to families and everyone she comes in contact with. Brianna is a great asset to the Samaritan family, and we are very happy she chose us.”

Portrait of Brittany Garwick.
Brittany Garwick
Portrait of Brianna Doss, CNA.
Brianna Doss

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 samaritanhealth.com/experience.

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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 Summit 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 Medical Center Foundation Announces the 27th Annual Thousand Islands Golf Classic

Golf Tournament illustrative flyer.

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York will host the 27th annual Thousand Islands Golf Classic event on Thursday & Friday, June 6 & 7, 2024.  The presenting sponsor is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 910 & Northern New York National Electrical Contractors Association.

This year’s event features a dinner reception and live auction on Thursday, June 6, at the Edgewood Resort. On Friday, June 7, enjoy 18 holes of golf at the beautiful Thousand Islands Country Club. Both the old course and lake course will be utilized.

The increased demand for mental health services in our community can be seen as Samaritan’s Emergency Department behavioral health unit patient volume has doubled since 2022, and our inpatient mental health unit continues to be full. A portion of the proceeds raised from this year’s event will be dedicated to enhancing vital mental health services at Samaritan Medical Center.

This year’s online auction is open and runs until 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. The in-person auction takes place at the dinner event the evening of June 6. The online and in-person auctions both feature a wide variety of items including vacation rentals, event tickets, gift cards for dining and experiences, designer accessories, artwork, crafting kits, furniture, airline tickets, dirt bike, go cart, grills, coolers, and more. There is something for everyone.

Visit samaritanhealth.com/golf to register for the online auction bidding and to purchase tickets to the dinner and live auction.

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March 2024 DAISY® and BEE Award Recipients

March 2024, Daisy Award winner Brandi Simpson, RN, and BEE Award winner, Brittney Kiblin, Registered Pharmacy Tech.

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce its DAISY and BEE Award recipients for March 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.

Brandi Simpson, registered nurse (RN) at Samaritan Interventional Radiology received the DAISY Award. Brittney Kiblin, registered pharmacy technician at Samaritan Medical Center, received the BEE Award.

Nurse Manager Kim Smith, nominated Simpson saying:

Portrait of Brandi Simpson, Registered Nurse, holding her Daisy Award certificate
Brandi Simpson, RN

“Brandi takes time at the bedside to engage in casual conversation to ease the apprehension and fear of patients receiving treatment for both new and old acute and chronic diagnosis.  Brandi makes sure that the support person is always included and provides time for them to ask questions and seek clarification.  She always provides them with education and reassurance to always “reach out and call if you have any concerns or questions”.   She always maintains that welcoming smile and demeanor.  Plus she is always willing to come in on a moment’s notice to help with staffing and make sure patients’ needs are met.   I am so proud to have Brandi on my team and for all she has accomplished.” 

For receiving the DAISY Award – which is an international award backed by The DAISY Foundation – Simpson 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.

Kiblin was nominated by Pharmacist Andrea Favret, with the following statement for nomination:  

Portrait of Brittney Kiblin, registered pharmacy technician, holding her BEE Award certificate
Brittany Kiblin, Registered Pharmacy Tech

“Brittney has been instrumental in preparing for and implementing the new regulations set forth by USP 797 on IV sterile compounding.  Without her help, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are at maintaining regulations, training staff, and providing the highest level of care for our patients.  Brittney is always willing to lend a hand to her fellow employees to complete the daily tasks in the department even if not scheduled to do so.  She is very deserving of this award.”

Kiblin 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.