News & Events (95)

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May 28, 2015 

Seeking community members to serve on Council, offer input to enhance healthcare experience for patients and family members

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is seeking community members to serve on its new Patient and Family Advisory Council, which will advise the hospital, its leadership and staff on ways to enhance the experiences that patients and families have when seeking services through Samaritan.

“Patient Family Advisory Councils are becoming more and more common in healthcare today,” explains Rachel Holmes, Manager of Patient Engagement and Community Relations at Samaritan Medical Center. “These councils are composed of patients and family members from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that hospitals and caregivers are addressing all of the patient’s needs during their healthcare experience. This approach is a best-practice for high performing hospitals, and we are excited to implement it here at Samaritan Medical Center. Who better to ask about their healthcare experience than the very people who entrust us with their care?”

Hospitals utilize the feedback and suggestions from Patient Family Advisory Councils in a variety of ways, including evaluation and design of facilities, processes, services, environment, equipment and various forms of patient communication.

In order to form its first Patient Family Advisory Council, Samaritan Medical Center is seeking potential Council members interested in serving for at least one year, including monthly Council meetings. Council members should be solution-focused, open minded, actively engaged and collaborative.

For more information or to submit an application, visit

Samaritan will be accepting applications and nominations through the end of June 2015. Selection of Council members will occur over the summer months, with the first Council meeting slated for September 2015.

For more information please call, Rachel Holmes at (315) 779.5230 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact: Krista A. Kittle
(315) 785-4504

May 21, 2015

The Samaritan Auxiliary has awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Justin Farman, a Samaritan Medical Center staff member currently advancing his education. Mr. Farman, an aid in the Emergency Department, has worked for Samaritan Medical Center since 2011. He will graduate in May with an Associates’ degree in Nursing from Jefferson Community College. After his graduation Mr. Farman will be eligible for licensure as a registered nurse (RN).

“Today, more than ever before, education plays a vital role in career advancement, especially in the field of healthcare,” says Renee Waterbury, Samaritan Auxiliary Board President. “Working and going to school at the same time is never easy. This scholarship is one way we can support the Samaritan employees who are pursuing a degree to advance within their current field or to enter a new healthcare field.”

Each year the Auxiliary proudly awards scholarship funds to a Samaritan employee wishing to further his or her education in the healthcare field. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement. Funds for the scholarship are raised through the Auxiliary’s Gift Shops at Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village and other fundraising activities.

Contact: Krista Kittle
(315) 785-4504


As part of its National Nurses’ Week celebration activities, Samaritan Medical Center and its Medical Staff hosted a reception and award presentation on Thursday, May 7th at Samaritan Summit Village to recognize outstanding achievements by nursing professionals. This included a Lifetime Achievement award presented to Theresa Quintin, RN, Director of Healthcare Resource Management. Ms. Quintin has worked at Samaritan Medical Center for 38 years. In addition to her current role, she has also served as Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Nursing. She is a past recipient of the Quality & Safety Nurse Recognition Award.

For this year’s recognition awards, physicians, employees and Trustees from Samaritan were invited to nominate nurses based on their outstanding contributions to the professional practice of nursing in the areas of: Quality and Safety, Education and Mentorship, Leadership, Excellence in Nursing Practice, Innovation and Leading Change, and Rookie of the Year. A total of 41 nurses were nominated for awards in six different categories. Eight nurses were chosen by the selection committee as the 2015 recipients.

“We have an incredibly gifted, committed, wonderful nursing staff at Samaritan, and National Nurses’ Week is the ideal time to celebrate their service to our patients and residents,” states Dr. Collins Kellogg, Jr., Internal Medicine, SMC Department of Medicine.

“As physicians, we know full well the kinds of connections that are formed and how valuable all of our nurses are to Samaritan and to our patients,” adds Dr. Jason White, Family Practice, SMC Department of Medicine. Dr. White served as emcee for the award presentation.

The 2015 award categories and recipients are as follows:

• Leadership Award – One who consistently promotes the mission and vision of Samaritan; demonstrates commitment to organizational goals, priorities and strategies; promotes a culture in which employees are positive, challenged and involved; works collaboratively with other departments within the organization, and; positively promotes Samaritan within the community.
Recipient: Julie Hulbert, RN, Surgical Services, 15 years at Samaritan

• Education & Mentorship – One who actively shapes and promotes the career of a nurse; participates in mentorship of students or orientation of new graduates, nurses, nursing assistants, and other members of the healthcare team in supporting the provision of exceptional patient care; role models behaviors of exemplary nursing practice in an effort to improve patient care, and; advances own professional development and encourages peers.
Recipient: Hillary Middlemiss, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 24 years at Samaritan

• Innovation & Leading Change – One who participates in advocacy for change of policy/procedure/standard on an organizational or unit level; introduces innovative ideas in patient care; is viewed as a formal or informal leader by staff; actively participates in the successful implementation of a new program/procedures, and; works collaboratively with other departments within the organization.
Recipient: Staci Michelson, RN, Emergency Department, 23 years at Samaritan

• Quality & Safety – One who leads and encourages shared decision-making when dealing with issues of quality, cost and patients/staff satisfaction; promotes patients and staff safety first in all activities, and; demonstrates a strong sense of inquiry and participates in/promotes evidence-based nursing practice and quality outcomes.
Recipient: Bruce Smith, RN, Assistant Nurse Mgr 5Pratt/4Pratt, 9 years at Samaritan

• Excellence in Nursing Practice (SMC, SKH, SSV, Family Health Centers) – One who provides direct patient care at least 50% of the time; promotes flexibility and adaptability to situations; provides a positive work environment; serves as a role model to staff; utilizes current research and professional literature in practice; promotes change in the healthcare environment for improvement of healthcare; collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals to facilitate quality care, and; promotes a professional image of nursing.
Recipients: Deborah Barney, LPN, Maternity, 35 years at Samaritan
Lori Hanno, RN, Progressive Care Unit (PCU), 27 years at Samaritan
Shanin Maitland, LPN, Samaritan Keep Home 8th Floor, 31 years at Samaritan

• Rookie of the Year - Rookie of the Year – One who has entered into practice within the past two years; consistently demonstrates excellence in his/her professional practice as a new nurse; demonstrates responsibility for own professional development, and; displays strong interpersonal relationships and communication skills.
Recipient: Timothy Lehman, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 1 year at Samaritan

Contact: Krista A. Kittle
(315) 785-4504

Since January, students in the New Vision: Health Careers Class of 2015 have been hard at work coordinating various fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Northern New York at Samaritan. Their final fundraising effort will take place on Saturday, May 9 at the Fairgrounds YMCA in Watertown. The event will feature family-friendly fun including a cake walk, raffle, and a bounce house. The event is being held in the Basketball Gym at the YMCA and goes from 6 – 9 p.m. Admission is $5. At the conclusion of the event, students will reveal the total dollar amount raised during the NNY Mini Marathon.

The NNY Mini Marathon is a student-run fundraising marathon led by the students in the New Vision: Health Careers Class of 2015. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan and to make a lasting impact on the community. Fundraising efforts have included spaghetti dinners held at Savory Downtown, Dine and Donate evenings held at Buffalo Wild Wings and Tilted Kilt, can and bottle collections, coin drives and bake sales. In addition, many local businesses have supported the effort through sponsorships. Among these sponsors is Washington Summit Associates, LLC.

For more information on the final fundraiser or how you can support the NNY Mini Marathon, please contact Morgan Bocciolatt, Children’s Miracle Network Development Manager at Samaritan Medical Center, at 315-785-4053.

May 9 Final Fundraising Poster WEB

Love yourself! Samaritan's Woman to Woman office is participating. Call today for more information!

02265AC Mothers Day Poster

The Sleep Disorders Center of Northern New York at Samaritan is pleased to announce the introduction of two new programs to help diagnose sleep disorders - home sleep testing and a pediatric sleep program for children age 8 and older.

Home Sleep Testing (HST) is an option for some patients who meet the medical criteria. HST is a reliable, fast and easy first step in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (temporary interruptions of breathing on and off all night). It allows the patient to use home testing equipment provided by the Sleep Center after receiving thorough instruction from one of Samaritan’s registered technologists. The patient applies the sensors as instructed prior to going to sleep, and the following morning, the equipment is returned to the Sleep Disorders Center for analysis. A home sleep test requires a physician referral, which can come from the patient’s family physician or a specialist. It is important to note that many insurance companies (MVP, United, BlueCross Blue Shield, etc.) are now requiring a home sleep test before they will authorize a full in-lab test in the Sleep Center.

The Sleep Disorders Center of Northern New York at Samaritan is also the only facility in the area to offer pediatric sleep testing, accepting patients as young as 8 years old. A good night's sleep is essential for a child’s growth and development, but sometimes breathing problems, insomnia, sleep terrors, sleepwalking and other conditions can interrupt normal sleep patterns. In those cases, proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders is vital to help children get back on track to restful sleep.

Sleep disorders in children and adolescents can seriously affect their health, school performance and behavior. Pediatric sleep disorders can also complicate other medical conditions such as epilepsy, autism, asthma, and neuromuscular disorders. In adults, chronic lack of sleep can increase blood pressure, contribute to stress and weight gain, lower your sex drive and affect your judgment, leading to accidents and poor work performance. It’s also tied to a number of chronic diseases, such as depression, diabetes, congestive heart failure and stroke.

“Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders, but many don’t know it – or they don’t take the symptoms seriously enough to seek treatment,” explains Steve Doe, RPSGT, RRT, RT, Technical Coordinator of the Samaritan Sleep Center. “It’s important to realize that diagnosing and treating your sleep problems can significantly improve your overall quality of life.”

The Sleep Disorders Center of Northern New York provides testing and treatment for more than 80 recognized types of sleep disorders. It is one of just two American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) accredited sleep centers between Syracuse and Plattsburgh, meeting or exceeding national standards in areas such as testing procedures, patient safety, and staff training. It has been accredited since 1999.

For more information, please visit or call 315-786-4930.

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


April 29, 2015

Many individuals with serious health conditions manage their care at home. For example, people with diabetes use lancets to test their blood glucose every day. However, disposing of used lancets, needles, and syringes (called “sharps”) and other medical waste isn’t simple. You can’t simply toss them into the trash or recycling bin, even if they’re inside a plastic container.

As a service to our community members, Samaritan offers a free program that provides convenient locations for the safe disposal of used sharps and other medical waste such as blood soaked bandages and dressings. These locations are:

Samaritan Medical Center (830 Washington Street, Watertown)
The red Sharps Kiosk just inside the Sherman Street entrance at the back of the hospital
Monday through Friday from 7:30 am until 2:30 pm

Samaritan Keep Home (133 Pratt Street, Watertown)
At the Main Information Desk in the Lobby
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm

Samaritan Summit Village (22691 Summit Drive, Watertown)
At the Main Information Desk in the Lobby
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm

Used sharps must be stored in a puncture-proof, thick plastic container, such as a laundry soap bottle with a screw-on cap or an approved “red” sharps container. Samaritan cannot accept used sharps in glass bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, bags, cardboard boxes or coffee cans. When the sharps container is ¾ full, secure the screw-on cap with tape and, as a courtesy, label the container with “Contains Sharps.”

All blood soaked material must be stored in a red biohazard bag, typically available through the patient’s pharmacy or home healthcare company. Bags must be strong enough to hold material and be leak-proof. Samaritan cannot accept any medical waste giving off offensive odors or any container that is dirty. Full bags should be sealed with tape and then placed in a plastic container lined with a second red bag.

When sharps and other medical waste are thrown away with household trash, there is a risk of accidental “needle sticks”, other injuries or transmission of blood-borne diseases to family members, sanitation workers, and recycling facility employees. Careful disposal prevents this as well as the re-use of syringes that can spread infections.

For more information on the Samaritan Household Medical Waste & Sharps Disposal Program, please contact Samaritan’s Emergency Management/HazCom Coordinator at 315-785-4133 or download our brochure.

Contact: Krista Kittle
(315) 785-4504



April 17, 2015

Watertown, New York ----- Dr. Raymond Dorsey, a published expert and researcher in the field of Parkinson’s disease, will be speaking on Saturday, April 25th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Samaritan Summit Village. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Dorsey is the David M. Levy Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. He also serves as Director of the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Center for Health and Technology. Dr. Dorsey is helping investigate new treatments for movement disorders. Using telemedicine, he and his colleagues are seeking to provide care to individuals with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases anywhere that they live. Telemedicine is the use of technology to provide healthcare to people who are located some distance from the specialized provider.

“The idea that we can provide care to individuals with Parkinson’s disease regardless of where they live is both a simple and revolutionary concept,” says Dr. Dorsey. “By employing essentially the same technology that grandparents use to talk to their grandchildren, we can expand access to the specialized care that we know will improve patients’ quality of life and health.”

Dr. Dorsey previously directed the movement disorders division and neurology telemedicine at Johns Hopkins and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and business school at the Wharton School. Dr. Dorsey’s research has been published in the leading medical, neurology, and economic journals and has been featured on National Public Radio, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Dorsey is one of two physicians from the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center currently working with Samaritan Medical Center to offer a telemedicine program for people with movement disorders. Specialized two-way video conferencing equipment has been installed at both Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village, providing area residents with two convenient locations to access care.

According to Anthony Joseph, Samaritan’s Vice President of Long-term Care Services, geography is often a determining factor in whether a person with Parkinson’s sees a neurologist with specialized training in movement disorders. “These physicians tend to be concentrated in major academic medical centers, and the nature of the disease – particularly the impact on movement, balance, and coordination – can make a long trip to the doctor’s office practically impossible. Telemedicine allows us to break down this geographic barrier, bringing expert care right here to our community,” he explains.

The April 25th event is made possible through a partnership with the North Country Coalition for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders. For more information about the event, please call 785-4422.

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

2015 Symposium Poster

Watertown, New York ----- The call has gone out for creative and caring designers from all backgrounds to create their own themed “bra art” for a thought-provoking and “seriously uplifting” exhibition. BRAvaganza is an exciting new community event and art exhibition that will raise money to benefit the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer/ American Cancer Society.

“BRAvaganza is a way for community members of all ages and levels of artistic talent to have some fun and show off their creativity while supporting the very serious issue of breast cancer,” explains Maureen Lundy-Way, co-chair of the event. “Breast cancer does not discriminate. It affects both women and men. So we’re asking people to draw upon their personal experience with breast cancer — as survivors, family members, friends of survivors, or simply as supporters of the cause — and use that inspiration to create a theme with which to decorate a basic bra.”

The decorated and designed bras will be on display for the public accompanied by stories from their creators describing why they chose their theme and who it might honor or memorialize. The exhibition, held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, will kick-off with an Opening Night Event on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 5-8pm. Opening Night tickets are $10 for students/participating artists and $20 for general admission through Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Pre-sale tickets are available at Kinney Drugs (Jefferson County locations), the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York office, or online at A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event for $25.

During Opening Night prizes will be awarded in various categories and many of the decorated bras will be auctioned off to help raise additional funds. Following Opening Night, the exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from 9am-6pm through Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

For those interested in designing a bra, the registration fee is $25. Deadline for registration is Thursday, May 14, 2015 for fee, story and photo (if possible). All final designs must be delivered to the Dulles State Office Building Box Office on Thursday, May 21, 2015 between 11am-6pm.

For more information, bra entry registration forms and online ticket sales, please visit or call 315-778-7060.

a bravaganza posterWEB FINAL

Watertown, New York - Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) will be hosting its third annual Physician Recognition Dinner on Monday, April 13, 2015. This event, supported by the SMC Foundation and Medical Executive Committee, is held on or around National Doctors’ Day (March 30th) 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 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is David P. Rechlin, DO. Dr. Rechlin, a pulmonologist, has been a member of the SMC Medical Staff and the Watertown community since arriving with his wife and children in 1989. His initial practice was based in a small suite within the Samaritan hospital. In 1993, Pulmonary Associates of Northern New York purchased 37 acres on Washington Street, a property that would grow to 67 acres over time. The office was moved to the farmhouse, marking the humble beginning of Washington Summit. In collaboration with local builder/developer Mike Lundy the first new office building was constructed in 2004. Washington Summit is now home to eleven medical practices, x ray and lab facilities and a dialysis center. A portion of this property was given to SMC in 2010 for the construction of Summit Village, a project that Dr. Rechlin is very pleased to see become a reality.

During the 26 years (and counting) that Dr. Rechlin has practiced medicine in Watertown, he has held several leadership positions at SMC, from chairman of the department of Medicine to President of the Medical Staff. He founded the Sleep Disorders Center of NNY in 1991 and helped several other physicians in the region develop sleep medicine programs. As director and co-director of Samaritan’s inpatient critical care unit Dr. Rechlin has helped SMC maintain the highest quality of care for the patients in our region. In 2001 Dr. Rechlin began the first formal program in graduate medical education at SMC with two interns (one of which returned to our area, Dr. Deborah Norris). The program has grown to now offer twelve residency positions in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine and, since 2012, Dr. Rechlin is once again serving as the director. More than 20 Resident Physicians and Medical Students from schools across the nation receive training at SMC and many have stayed to serve our community.

After assisting with a project that brought electronic health records to most medical offices in our region, Dr. Rechlin was invited to serve as a physician representative to a collaborative group that has become the North Country Initiative. This group of hospital administrators and physicians has initiated the process of reforming the healthcare delivery system for the benefit of our region.

Dr. Rechlin continues to practice at Pulmonary Associates of NNY with Drs. Lawrence Kramer, Rory Sears and Anna Melynne Youngblood.

“This event has been established to offer the entire community an opportunity to recognize and thank our physicians for their time, talent and commitment,” states Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “We ask a lot of our physicians. In addition to the day-to-day work in their offices or here at the hospital doing rounds or performing surgery, our physicians actively participate in other initiatives, such as Medical Staff committees, Boards, and other leadership roles. Our community is fortunate to have a Medical Staff of this caliber.”

The Physician Recognition Dinner is being held at 6 p.m. at Samaritan Summit Village. For more information, please contact the Medical Staff Relations Office at SMC at 779-5184.

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