October 10, 2014

Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce that its radiation oncology program has received a three-year accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). Samaritan is the only hospital in Jefferson County with an ACR-accredited radiation oncology program, and one of only two hospitals in the North Country.

Radiation oncology (radiation therapy) is the careful use of high energy x-rays to treat cancer. Radiation therapy affects cancer cells only in the treated area and is sometimes used in combination with other cancer treatments, including surgery and/or chemotherapy.

"Samaritan is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient-centered medical care for our community,” states Randy Fipps, Assistant Vice President, Operations and Behavioral Health Services for Samaritan Medical Center. “We’re proud to be recognized by the ACR. This accomplishment truly reflects the hard work and devotion to excellence in cancer care demonstrated by our entire team in radiation oncology.”

In order to receive this ACR accreditation, Samaritan’s personnel, equipment, treatment planning and treatment records, as well as patient safety policies, quality control procedures and quality assurance activities underwent a rigorous on-site peer-review evaluation by a board-certified radiation oncologist and a medical physicist, both of whom are experts in the field.

The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with nearly 500 accredited sites, and 25 years of accreditation experience. The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety.

Daniel S. DeBlasio, MD, a board-certified radiation oncologist on staff at Samaritan Medical Center, says it is important for patients to understand that they are receiving the best cancer care possible. “With a cancer diagnosis, being able to receive care locally is an integral part of the healing process,” says Dr. DeBlasio. “It reduces stress on the patient, as well as on family members and friends who are providing support. For our patients and our community, this recognition by the ACR provides confirmation of the excellent services we provide at Samaritan. It also gives our patients that extra measure of security and confidence that they are receiving the best cancer care right here, close to home. Our patients can be assured that they are receiving the same level of high quality care they would expect from a larger academic facility, but locally, surrounded by the compassionate encouragement of their family and friends. It’s the best possible scenario.”

October 8, 2014

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the Watertown Wolves and is now the Federal Hockey League (FHL) team’s official hospital.

Samaritan physician assistants will work alongside the Watertown Wolves players during all home games, providing rinkside care for any injuries that occur. Hockey is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, collision sport. Players risk injury from high-impact collisions with each other, the rigid boards that mark the boundary of the playing surface, the ice itself and the goal posts. Skate blades, sticks and fast traveling pucks are also part of the mix. Common injuries that often happen during games include sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations, and bruises and contusions. More serious injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, ligament tears and concussions, can also occur.

The Samaritan physician assistants who will be working with the Wolves throughout their 2014-15 season include: Caleb Richter, Kent Natapraya, Steve Tiernan and Jon Jerome. Richter, Natapraya and Tiernan all work at the Samaritan Urgent Care Clinic in LeRay, while Jerome is part of the staff at the Samaritan Family Health Center at Adams.

“Samaritan is happy to welcome the Wolves to Watertown and proud to serve as their official hospital,” says Randy Fipps, Assistant Vice President, Operations and Behavioral Health Services for Samaritan Medical Center. “Our organizations share a similar passion for and commitment to this community, which is what makes this relationship a great fit. We’re looking forward to some exhilarating hockey, as well as the opportunity to keep Watertown’s new home team fit and competitive.”

“The Wolves are excited to partner with Samaritan Medical Center, who we know will provide top-notch care to our players,” said Wolves co-owner Dr. Michael Wainberg. “We’re very pleased that Samaritan has stepped up to support our community’s team. This type of collaboration will help the Wolves capture the Commissioner’s Cup for 2014-15.”

The Wolves kick off their season with a home game on Friday, October 17th at the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, off Coffeen Street. For more information, visit the team website – watertownwolves.net.

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

October 2, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts:
Ian Grant, FDRHPO Rural Health Program Manager
(315)755-2020 ext. 36 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local health departments, hospitals and community based organizations are working together to improve the health of our community. They want to learn more about the health needs and access-to-care issues affecting our region. Residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties are therefore being asked to complete a 10-minute online health needs survey between October 1st and October 14th. The responses will inform a state-level project to redesign the healthcare system and ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community.

You may access the survey by visiting this link -https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NorthCountryHealthSurvey - or fin the survey on www.newzjunky.com, and on the North Country Health Compass Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/NorthCountryHealthCompass). Your participation is voluntary and your responses will be kept private. When the survey is completed, results will be available on the North Country Health Compass website (www.ncnyHealthCompass.org). Please direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for your time and support to help make local healthcare better.

Stephanie PetersWatertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Dinner will be held Thursday, October 16th at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1290 Arsenal Street in Watertown.  Informational and vendor booths will open at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner and entertainment at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $30 per person.  Seating for the event is limited, and reservations are required by October 1st.  Tickets may be purchased online at samaritanhealth.com/bcd. 

Along with some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women in the United States, no matter your race or ethnicity.  It is the second most common cause of death from cancer among women, after lung cancer.  About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.  The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.

Each year, Samaritan hosts its Breast Cancer Awareness Dinner as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.  The dinner gives the community the chance to come together to learn more about this deadly disease, celebrate life for those who have conquered it, and honor those individuals who have lost their battle. 

The theme of this year’s event is “Hammer Out Cancer”.  General Surgeon Dr. Robert Kimball will serve as emcee for the evening, with comedian Stephanie Peters providing entertainment following the dinner. 

Ms. Peters, who also entertained guests at Samaritan’s 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness dinner, has performed in numerous comedy clubs across the country.  She has been featured on The View, Access Hollywood, the HBO documentary “When Standup Stood Out”, and in “Comedy Food Segments” on FOX NEWS.  Ms. Peters has shared the stage with numerous comic legends, including the late Joan Rivers, Denis Leary, Caroline Rhea and Joy Behar to name just a few.  She is also an avid supporter of breast cancer awareness, as two of her family members are breast cancer survivors. 

The money raised by the Hammer Out Cancer Breast Cancer Awareness dinner will go to support 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.

For more information, please visit samaritanhealth.com/bcd or call 315-785-4584.

Watertown, New York ----- Get behind the controls of the technology that is changing the experience of surgery with less pain, less scarring, a reduced risk of complications, and a faster recovery for patients. Samaritan Medical Center is providing community members with an exciting and unique opportunity to “test drive” the da Vinci robotic surgical system.

On Saturday, September 13th, Samaritan Medical Center will be on-site at the Salmon Run Mall with a complete da Vinci robotic surgical system, identical to the one used by surgeons at the hospital.  The Samaritan display is part of the Mall’s first annual Health & Wellness Expo, which will be held from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public. 

During the Health & Wellness Expo, visitors to the Samaritan booth will get a chance to have a hands-on experience with the device by actually sitting at the surgeon’s console and performing “surgery” on tiny inanimate objects.  Samaritan surgeons and surgical technicians who are now using the da Vinci technology to perform complex and delicate operations will be on hand for demonstrations and to answer questions. 

The da Vinci technology provides an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform.  Although it is called “robotic,” it still takes a skilled surgeon with knowledge and experience to maneuver the da Vinci technology.  In fact, every movement of the da Vinci system’s four robotic arms is directed and controlled by the surgeon.  

Since implemented in Fall 2012, more than 300 robotic-assisted cases have been completed at Samaritan Medical Center, including OB/GYN, urological, and general surgical procedures.

Samaritan Medical Center | 830 Washington Street | Watertown, NY 13601 | (315)785-4000 | Toll-Free 1-877-888-6138
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