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
Madison Plummer presented a donation of $200 to Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee member, Bonnie Trudeau, RN. Madison raised the funds by organizing a student dance for her fellow 5th grade students at South Jefferson School (Wilson Building) in April. She was inspired to hold a fundraiser soon after her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund raises money to improve the health and well-being of cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Updated on June 12, 2014
All phone issues have been resolved and the system is back to normal.
June 10, 2014
Watertown, New York ----- Some Samaritan Health locations are experiencing intermittent phone issues, including dropped calls, disconnects, and delays in conversations. The Samaritan locations affected include:
• Samaritan Keep Home
• Samaritan Summit Village
• Samaritan Business & Billing Office (Paddock Street)
• Samaritan Medical Plaza, including
o Samaritan Family Health Center in Watertown
o Woman to Woman
o Outpatient Behavioral Health
o Addiction Services
o Graduate Medical Education Clinic
Technicians are working diligently to resolve the issue.
Contact: Krista A. Kittle
News Release #14-012
May 16, 2014
Watertown, New York ----- As part of its National Nurses’ Week celebration activities, Samaritan Medical Center and its Medical Staff hosted a reception and award presentation to recognize outstanding achievements by nursing professionals. 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, Rookie of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.
“We have an incredibly gifted, committed, wonderful nursing staff at Samaritan, and National Nurses’ Week seemed like 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 work side by side with our nurses and witness their dedication each day. Any opportunity to strengthen fellowship and teamwork among doctors and nurses will ultimately be to the benefit of our patients.”
A total of 52 nurses were nominated for awards in six different categories. Nine nurses were chosen by the selection committee as the 2014 recipients.
The award categories are as follows (award descriptions on next page):
• Education and Mentorship
• Innovation and Leading Change
• Quality and Safety
• Excellence in Nursing Practice (SMC, SKH, SSV, Family Health Centers)
• Rookie of the Year
• Lifetime Achievement
The 2014 recipients were announced at an awards reception on Wednesday, May 7th at Samaritan Summit Village. Please see the following awards and winners on the following page.
2014 Nurse Recognition Award Recipients
• 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: Wendy Henry, RN, Nurse Manager 5Pratt/4Pratt/Pediatrics
• 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: Sheela Marie, RN, Maternity Services
• 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: Laurie Horr, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager, SFHC-Clayton/Cape Vincent
• 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: Karen Abare, RN, Infection Control Practitioner
• 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: Florence Bach, RN, ICU
Emily Bachmann, LPN, SSV 2nd Floor
Madonna Knowles, RN, Interventional Radiology
• 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: Danielle Bell, RN, Emergency Services
• Lifetime Achievement
Recipient: Cheryl Fazio, RN, Director Surgical Services, 30 years
Update on May 29, 2014
More than 150 high school students danced, played games, hooped, and enjoyed performances by local entertainers for 12 hours on April 26 all for an important cause – Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York. Students from area high schools in grades 7 – 12 fundraised a minimum of $30 to participate in the 12-hour dance marathon, Glowathon, though many students went above and beyond that minimum. An annual event, the Glowathon was put on by the New Visions Class of 2014 as a class project. In total, the students raised more than $10,000 for Children’s Miracle Network locally.
April 25, 2014
Watertown, NY ----- Students in the New Visions Class of 2014 will host the annual 12-Hour Dance Marathon, Glowathon 2014, on Saturday, April 26 from noon to midnight at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center. More than 125 students in grades 7 – 12 from area schools will participate in the event, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) of Northern New York and honoring sick and injured children helped by the organization by staying awake and on their feet for 12 hours.
Glowathon, which is almost completely student-run, will feature many activities and performances, including dancing, throughout the event. With a glow-in-the-dark theme, the event is sure to be great fun, with special performances by Fire Magick, local musicians and dance groups, glow-in-the-dark face painting, high-energy music, and more. The students who will be attending have raised a minimum of $30 each for CMN.
Glowathon sponsors include the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center, Northern Credit Union, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Candlewood Suites, among many supporters.
News Release #14-010
Contact: Morgan Bocciolatt
(315) 785 – 4053