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
October 2, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ian Grant, FDRHPO Rural Health Program Manager
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.
Watertown, 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.
Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center is proud to announce the appointment of Mary Whalen as the hospital’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Whalen will lead the day-to-day operations for Samaritan Medical Center and be responsible for ensuring that all hospital operations produce the necessary outcomes to support the highest quality patient care and safety. She started her new role September 2nd.
Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Summit Village is proud to expand its senior living and long-term care services to include a Respite Care option for community members who need short-stay accommodations.
Individuals and families caring for an elderly loved one in their home or providing a high level of support to those still living independently often find it difficult to plan vacations or other absences from their homes.
This new program allows caregivers a break from the constant demands that come with caring for an aging loved one. It can be used when a caregiver is traveling, during holidays, vacations, or when there is a need to rest from these responsibilities, or tend to their own personal matters,” explains Anna Patterson, RN, Samaritan Summit Village Administrator, Assisted Living. “Our Respite Care guests have the opportunity to interact with other seniors and make new friends while experiencing a different option for care. At the same time, caregivers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe and well cared for. We’re happy to be able to extend the welcoming, home-like environment of Samaritan Summit Village to area seniors who need short-stay accommodations at an affordable rate.”
The Respite Care program provides a fully furnished one bedroom apartment, three meals a day, laundry and housekeeping services, plus experienced staff members who are available to offer personal assistance with daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, assistance with eating, mobility, medication management and more.
Respite Care guests experience all of the same services and amenities available to permanent residents at Summit Village, including an on-site beauty salon, gift shop and café. They may also participate in any of the social, educational, devotional and recreation activities scheduled daily for residents.
To be eligible for the Respite Care program, you must not require 24-hour care. There is a one week minimum stay, and pre-registration is required. The Respite Care program is private pay.
Persons interested in receiving more information may contact Dawn Johnson, Admissions Director at Samaritan Summit Village by calling 315-782-7033.
July 22, 2014
Watertown, New York ----- The Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York has launched a new resource guide to help visitors and summer residents in the North Country find the healthcare services they may need – for themselves or their family.
“There are few things worse than getting sick or injured when away from home and familiar surroundings,” explains Beth Fipps, Vice President Foundation & Community Services at Samaritan. “While we hope that visitors or summer residents don’t need medical care while they’re in our area, it’s always better to be prepared. Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York makes sure the necessary information is readily available should they need it.”
Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York is available at no cost to print or download at nnyhealthguide.com. This essential resource includes information about what to do in a medical emergency; emergency medical services; non-emergency healthcare services such as primary care, dental care, drug stores, veterinary care and more; non-emergency transportation; other useful area contacts; and a handy map to help visitors identify the services that are closest to their location.
The information provided is not limited to Samaritan facilities, but also includes other North Country hospitals and medical practices.
“We’re depending on our community members to help spread the word about this new resource,” adds Ms. Fipps. “If you own a cottage or camp that you rent to visitors, or if you have family or friends who come to stay, please tell them about Your Guide to Healthcare in Northern New York.”
News Release #14-014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista Kittle, SMC
July 9, 2014
Star Lake, New York ----- On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the CEOs of Clifton-Fine Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center will introduce the Clifton-Fine community to their plans to expand and strengthen healthcare services locally as a result of the affiliation that was formalized earlier this year. An open invitation has been extended to the seasonal and year-round residents of the communities served by Clifton-Fine Hospital to attend Town Meetings hosted by the hospitals. Meetings are being held at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Clifton-Fine Community Center, 4208 State Hwy 3, Star Lake. In addition to remarks by Clifton-Fine Hospital CEO Robert Seamon and Samaritan Medical Center CEO Thomas Carman, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide suggestions about healthcare services available in their community. During the 7 p.m. meeting, the CEOs will be joined by physicians from Samaritan Medical Center who are now providing services in the Clifton-Fine community, or plan to do so in the near future, as a result of the formalized partnership between the two hospitals.
“Our Board first announced its plans to seek a partner facility in late 2012. We subsequently chose SMC and have spent months finalizing the affiliation agreement and planning the expansion of services in and around the Clifton-Fine area,” explains Robert Seamon. “The excitement is palpable throughout Clifton-Fine Hospital – from our Board members and leadership team to our staff, providers, and members of the community who have already experienced the benefits of this partnership. It’s time to share that excitement with all residents of the communities we serve. These Town Meetings are a great opportunity to share our plans and gather suggestions from the people who utilize our services. It’s a relationship that will ensure that Clifton-Fine Hospital is better and stronger long into the future.”
During the meetings, the CEOs will outline Clifton-Fine’s new strategic plan developed as part of the affiliation. The four major focus areas of that plan include: increasing access to care through expansion and awareness of services; investing in the workforce to insure sufficient human capital to meet future community healthcare needs; insuring information technology infrastructure and applications to adequately support patient care and business operations in an era of healthcare reform, and; insuring all quality initiatives add value for patients, drive positive clinical outcomes and provide the means to effectively manage the health of the population.
An early success as a result of the affiliation is the availability of endoscopy services at Clifton-Fine Hospital, which SMC General Surgeon Dr. Eduardo Barayuga began performing in Star Lake in May. Additional new services being explored include cardiac testing, pulmonology, women’s health, ophthalmology, dentistry and telemedicine/telehealth.
For more information about the July 15th Town Meetings, please call Janet Rhodes at Clifton-Fine Hospital (315) 848-4264.
Janet Rhodes, CFH
Krista Kittle, SMC
June 30, 2014
Carthage, New York----- As part of its recovery plan, Carthage Area Hospital has applied to the New
York State Department of Health to become a Critical Access hospital, a change "that will enhance
reimbursement rates and increase revenue for the facility. In order to qualify for Critical Access
status, Carthage Area Hospital is required to meet certain criteria, including proximity of its facilities
to surrounding hospitals being greater than 15 miles. Two of Carthage Area Hospital's primary care
clinics (Evans Mills and Adams) are located within 15 miles and therefore must be transitioned in
order to qualify for the new designation.
The transition includes:
• Closure ofthe Evans Mills Family Health Center- All providers and services will be available
at the Carthage Area Hospital's Family Health Center located at 117 N. Mechanic Street in
Carthage. Patients can continue to receive care at the Carthage location, if they choose to
• Transferring ownership of the Adams Community Health Center to Samaritan Medical
Center- This clinic will remain open in the same location at 10881 NYS Route 11, Adams
with SMC assuming operations effective July 2, 2014.
Carthage Area Hospital hopes to receive Critical Access Designation within the next few weeks.
As announced in late March, Carthage Area Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center plan to form an
affiliation, which is expected to be complete in late 2014 or early 2015. Management and Trustees
from both facilities have been in close discussions to complete due diligence and have begun
developing a strategic plan in preparation for the affiliation. The facilities have engaged KPMG
Healthcare and Life Sciences to lead the strategic planning process with a final report due in late
Natalie Burnham, CAH
Krista Kittle, SMC