News & Events (88)

May 16, 2014

Event Celebrates National Nurses’ Week

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):
• Leadership
• 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. 

Read the Watertown Daily Times article about the event!


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

Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan is hosting a Nursing Open House on Monday, April 21st, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Conference Room #4 on the fourth floor of the Medical Center. Anyone seeking a career as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant or Unit Clerk is invited to attend.

Managers and staff will be available to answer questions about career opportunities, our facilities, services, and compensation and benefits.
For more information regarding the Open House, contact the Samaritan Medical Center Human Resources Department at 1-800-892-4785.

Contact: Janelle Bossuot
(315) 779-5230

News Release #14-009

April 9, 2014

Watertown, New York ----- Dr. Kevin Biglan, a published expert and researcher in the field of Parkinson disease, will be speaking on Saturday, April 12th from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. at Samaritan Summit Village. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Biglan is an Associate Professor of Neurology and the Associate Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York. He also serves as Director of the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and Director of the Huntington Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at the University of Rochester.

Since 2007, Dr. Biglan has been actively involved in the development of telemedicine for the provision of care in patients with Parkinson disease. Over the last six years, he has established a telemedicine network centered at the University of Rochester with two spoke sites located at the long-term care facilities at the Presbyterian Home in New Harford and at the Susquehanna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Johnson City. He has been at the forefront of establishing the feasibility of telemedicine in Parkinson disease and Huntington disease, the expansion of its use for clinical care, and the validation of clinical trial outcomes assessed via telemedicine.

Telemedicine offers a unique opportunity for senior care in the community and is something that Samaritan’s Vice President of Long-Term Care Services sees as a benefit for Residents in Samaritan’s two nursing homes. “Telemedicine capabilities will make available a level of expertise in these movement disorders that otherwise would not be available without long distance travel,” explains Tony Joseph. “After having worked closely with Dr. Biglan in the past, I’ve seen first-hand how this can benefit our Residents. It is a service we are working diligently to implement here in Watertown.”

Dr. Biglan’s current research interests focus on identifying clinical phenotypes in pre-manifest Huntington’s disease, identifying disease modifying therapies in Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and enhancing the delivery of care to patients with chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

For more information about Dr. Biglan’s presentation, please call Samaritan Summit Village at 785- 4422.

News Release #14-008

March 26, 2014

Watertown, New York ----- Carthage Area Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center today announced plans to form an affiliation.

Leadership and Boards of Carthage Area Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center, in consultation with the New York State Department of Health, have been in discussions about how Samaritan Medical Center could assist Carthage Area Hospital to stabilize its finances, as well as to create a collaborative partnership to enhance the healthcare delivery system for the region.

These discussions have resulted in Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Samaritan Medical Center and Carthage Area Hospital, which establishes a contractual relationship between the two organizations that will ultimately result in a formal affiliation. To finalize the affiliation, Samaritan Medical Center and Carthage Area Hospital will move forward to complete the required due diligence and Certificate of Need process.

“Our management teams will work closely together over the next several months to explore options and to identify strategies to enhance the long-term viability of Carthage Area Hospital and healthcare in the region,” explains Adil Ameer, Carthage Area Hospital Strategic Advisor/Interim CEO.

“Both organizations play crucial roles in the community in terms of access to healthcare services and economic impact,” states Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “It is critical to the entire North Country that we work together to develop a long-term solution for a sustainable healthcare system throughout the region. This is the first step to accomplishing that goal.”

One leadership change will occur at Carthage Area Hospital. Adil Ameer will step down from his role as Interim CEO at Carthage Area Hospital and will serve in a consultative capacity, effective Monday, March 31, 2014. That role will remain unfilled until the formal affiliation is finalized.

News Release #14-008 

Contact: Natalie Burnham, CAH
(315) 493-0114

Krista Kittle, SMC
(315) 785-4504

March 25, 2014

Watertown, New York -----The Sleep Disorders Center of Northern New York at Samaritan Medical Center has been re-accredited for another five years by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). The AASM accreditation is the gold standard by which the medical community and public can evaluate the services provided by a sleep center. Currently, only one percent of all sleep labs located in the United States is accredited.

“We are the only accredited sleep center in the tri-county area,” states Dr. David Rechlin, Sleep Center Medical Director. “We are a sleep center, not just a sleep lab. Sleep centers provide ongoing care of patients with all sleep disorders, while sleep labs provide only testing for patients with sleep disordered breathing,” he added.

All sleep centers are required to have one registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) on staff. SMC currently has three, which allows coverage both day and night.

Numerous sleep disorders exist including obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, insomnia, and central sleep apnea. Untreated sleep disorders can lead to heart attacks, impotence, stroke, and even death. Some studies suggest 40 percent of adults in the United States have some type of sleep disorder. Even snoring is a warning sign of a sleep disorder. Many people do not realize they have a sleep disorder unless brought to their attention by a spouse or significant other. It is estimated of the ten million with sleep apnea alone, 90 percent are undiagnosed and only about one percent are seen by a physician.

SMC currently tests up to six patients per night, seven days a week. If you believe you or a loved one might have a sleep disorder, discuss with your physician.

For more information about sleep disorders, please call the Sleep Disorders Center at 315-786-4930 or visit our Sleep Disorders Center web page.

News Release #14-007
Contact: Janelle Bossuot
(315) 779-5230


Renee Waterbury, Samaritan Auxiliary Board President presented a check for $51,307.38 to Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center, Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez, Chief of Urology and Urologic Oncology - Director of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Cheryl Fazio, Director of Surgical Services at Samaritan, from the proceeds of the 2013 One Night, One Diamond event held March 23, 2013 at The Commons on Fort Drum, toward the purchase of equipment to support Samaritan Medical Center's daVinci Robotic Surgery program.  The equipment will perform single site surgeries to be used by multiple specialty surgeons, instrument sterilization trays for the single site robotic surgery, vessel sealer upgrade that allows surgeon to cut and seal tissues with the same instrument, thereby saving time for both the surgeon and patient and several other supporting pieces of equipment for this service. 

Picture above from left to right are:  Cheryl Fazio - Director of Surgical Services at Samaritan, Renee Waterbury - Samaritan Auxiliary Board President, Thomas H. Carman - President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center, Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez - Chief of Urology and Urologic Oncology and Director of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Elizabeth Fipps - Vice President, Foundation and Community Services of Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York, Inc.


March 18, 2014


Watertown, New York ----- Samaritan Medical Center will be hosting its second annual Physician Recognition Dinner on Thursday, April 3, 2014. 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 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is David O. VanEenenaam, MD. Dr. VanEenenaam, an orthopaedic surgeon, moved to Watertown in 1968 and dedicated the next 43 years of his life to serving the healthcare needs of the Northern New York region. He was a founding member of the North Country Orthopaedic Group.  Those years included leadership positions at SMC, including Chairman of the Department of Surgery and numerous Medical Staff committees. He also served on the Board of Directors at Mercy Hospital. He retired from active practice, with the North Country Orthopaedic Group, in 2011.

Dr. VanEenenaam established the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic at Mercy Hospital in the early 1970’s. He was a delegate to the Medical Society of the State of New York and past president of the New York Medical Political Action Committee. He has served on numerous Boards of community organizations, including Black River Valley Club, Children’s Home of Jefferson County, Ives Hill Country Club and Ives Hill Land Company. Dr. VanEenenaam was the long-time team physician for Watertown High School football, Red and Black Semi-professional Football, and Watertown Boxing Club. He is a past fundraising chairman for the United Way.

“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 and other procedures, 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.”

Samaritan also celebrates Doctors’ Day at the hospital and other locations. Physicians are treated to a special brunch throughout the morning and afternoon and presented with a special gift of appreciation. Additionally, awards are given to ten physicians nominated by the staff in various light-hearted categories, such as “Most Likely to Star in a TV Cooking Show” and “Most Likely to Ride a Bike to Work.”

The Physician Recognition Dinner is being held at 6 p.m. at the Black River Valley Club. For more information, please contact the Medical Staff Relations Office at SMC at 779-5184.

News Release #14-006
Contact: Krista A. Kittle
(315) 785-4504

Seven Samaritan Emergency Department Registered Nurses traveled to Plattsburgh NY to attend the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) in January and all of them successfully completed the course! The purpose of TNCC is to present core-level knowledge, refine skills, and build a firm foundation in trauma nursing. Christa Tribble (Assistant Nurse Manager and TNCC Instructor) presented these RNs with a special TNCC pin this week and thanked them for their dedication to Samaritan and our patients.

Congratulations to each of them - Karen Olsen, Karen Verescak, Pablo Otero, Meredith Potter, Desiree Fuller, Danielle Bell and Tim Lalonde!

Pictured from left to right are: Karen O. (sitting), Karen V., Pablo, Meredith, Desiree, Christa Tribble (ED Assistant Nurse Manager) and Danielle (sitting).


January 29, 2014
Contact: Morgan Bocciolatt
(315) 785 – 4053

Watertown, NY ----- More than 60 models of all ages will step on the runway to showcase the latest styles in bridal, prom, and formal wear fashion during the “Bridal, Prom & More” Fashion Show to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. The annual show will take place once again at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center off Faichney Drive at 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 9.

The fashion show, formerly known as “Teens for Miracles”, will feature high school age models to showcase prom wear, as well as children and adults who will be featured in bridal and other formal wear. “Bridal, Prom & More” will be hosted by Olivia Grant, Miss Thousand Islands 2014.

The cost to attend is $10 per person, a charitable donation to Children’s Miracle Network. Guests can reserve their seat in advance by making their charitable donation online at

Fashion show sponsors include A Touch of Grace, Nelson’s Formal Wear, Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center, R and H Creations, Sherwood Florist, CabanaBay Tanning, Corleone Limo Service, Barbara Yerdon-Mary Kay, D.J. Shamrock, and The Beauty Bar.

CMNHospitalslogo color horz             Glitter shot

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