January 23, 2015

Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce the introduction of its new Lymphedema Therapy Program. Roxann Shelor, a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) at Samaritan Medical Center, is now providing Complete Decongestive Therapy treatment and education for patients with or at risk for lymphedema. As lymphedema is frequently a complication of cancer treatment, Ms. Shelor’s training and certification was funded through the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York with monies raised by the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund. This fund allocates money to improve the health and well-being of cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.

To introduce this new service to the community, Samaritan will hold an educational Open House event on Thursday, January 29th in the Carman Conference Room at Samaritan Medical Center, 830 Washington Street in Watertown. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m and is free and open to the public. Speakers will include Ms. Shelor and breast surgeon Dr. Deborah Norris. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to February 5th.

Lymphedema is an abnormal build-up of fluid that causes swelling and discomfort - most often in the arms or legs. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in the body’s lymphatic system, an important part of the immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Although lymphedema is most commonly known as a complication of breast cancer treatment, it can also result from treating many other types of cancer, including head and neck, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian, prostate and uterine - anywhere that lymph nodes are removed or damaged by radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. And lymphedema does not solely affect cancer survivors. Other causes include infection, obesity, venous insufficiency, and trauma, or being born with a faulty lymphatic system.

“The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical discomfort and prevent the development of infection,” Ms. Shelor explains. “The treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage (massage), therapeutic exercise, special compression bandaging, skin care and education in self-management techniques.”

“This is a much needed service for the women and men in our community, and I’m proud that we’re now able to offer it,” Ms. Shelor adds. “Previously patients had to travel out of town for therapy – often as far away as Syracuse. With a combination of treatment and education, we’re helping those who are suffering take control of their lymphedema and improve their quality of life.”

For more information call 315-785-4088.

Contact:
Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

January 13, 2015

Watertown, NY – The surgical team at Samaritan Medical Center is proud to provide patients with the most minimally invasive surgical options, including a Single-Site hysterectomy procedure using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System. During a da Vinci Single-Site hysterectomy the patient’s uterus is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, and it’s what you don’t see that is so impressive – the procedure is virtually scarless.

“This is an exciting addition to the capabilities that robotic surgery gives to surgeons and the benefits it provides for their patients,” says Walter Dodard, DO, an OB/GYN at Comprehensive Women's Health Services, PLLC in Watertown. “With robotic surgery, we’re able to make smaller incisions so there’s less blood loss during surgery and fewer complications. Patients have less pain and typically go home in 24 hours or less.”  Dr. Dodard performed the region’s first Single-Site hysterectomy in September at Samaritan Medical Center. He is currently the only surgeon in the area trained to perform this advanced procedure.

“The single-site approach takes the many benefits of robotic surgery a step further by reducing the number of incisions from four to one,” adds Dr. Dodard. “This is much more than a cosmetic improvement for the patient. Since there are fewer incisions, there is less discomfort and a shorter recovery time. For patients, especially busy women, it means they can resume their normal lives and day-to-day activities more quickly. ”
Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure for women in the United States. An estimated one-third of all women will have a hysterectomy by age 60, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The procedure is recommended for a number of medical reasons, including abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, cancer and chronic pelvic pain. Many women who require a hysterectomy are candidates for the da Vinci robotic-assisted, Single-Site surgery.

Samaritan Medical Center utilizes the da Vinci robotic surgical system for certain gynecologic, urologic, and general surgery procedures. For more information on robotic surgeries at Samaritan Medical Center, visit samaritanhealth.com/davinci.


Contact: Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

On Friday, October 24, 2014, Thousand Islands Winery hosted Oooh Ta Ta, a night of indulgence and support. Leading up to this event, as part of the month-long National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, Thousand Islands Winery sold select “pink” merchandise and wines and Tasting Room donor cards at its facility.

In keeping with the mission of the National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, the Winery created Oooh Ta Ta, an event designed to offer North Country women an opportunity to have some fun with friends while raising awareness and funds to support area women during their battle with Breast Cancer. The night’s activities included VIP wine tastings, shoe and wine pairings presented by handsome tuxedo-clad men, a fashion show, a silent auction, mini salon services including pink hair extensions and Breast Cancer nail decals, shopping opportunities with 13 “vendors of indulgence”, finger foods and door prizes. Guests were encouraged to wear their best little black dress or party dress and most fabulous shoes.

The funds raised from this event and a month-long Winery drive were donated to the Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund. The mission of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund is to raise funds and allocate those funds toward improving the health and well-being of all cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. The funds raised through theses efforts will be earmarked specifically for Breast Cancer support in honor of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

What could be better than wine, shoes and eye candy for a cause? Nothing!

Photo: Steve J. Conaway, President,  Thousand Islands Winery & Deborah A. Carpenter, Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund.

During the month of December Samaritan Medical Center will be hosting Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit will be set up in the Rotunda in the Macsherry Connector, between the Medical Center and Samaritan Keep Home.

To kick-off the exhibit Samaritan Health Sciences Library will have an opening presentation at noon on Tuesday, December 2 (also in the Rotunda). The speakers will be Jeff Garvey, Director of Library Services who will discuss medical care during the Civil War and Kent Bolke, Director of the 10th Mountain Division and Ft. Drum Museum who will discuss the impact of the Civil War on the North Country.

If you would like to attend the opening presentation please RSVP by calling 315.785.4191 a light lunch will be served.  View the event flyer.

For more information contact:
Jeffrey M. Garvey
Director of Library Services
Samaritan Medical Center
830 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
315.785.4191

Michael Folsom, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY presented members of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Committee with a check for $216. The money was raised through donations during the ABM Goes Pink campaign which was held in October. The Antique Boat Museum also hosted a breast cancer survivor for a relaxing cruise on the St. Lawrence Rive

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