News & Events (88)

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 - 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.

Samaritan is pleased to partner with several Northern New York partners to offer our community Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits.  

Pick up your kit at any of the local Kinney Drug stores in the tr-county region - from Adams to Potsdam! Learn more by clicking here.

In addition, Samaritan's Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee is hosting a public event to learn more about the and talk with hospital staff and doctors about screenings and what you need to know.  Join us Tuesday, March 24th from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm in the Carman Conference Room at the Medical Center to learn more!

2015 Colorectalposter

Advancements in technology detect sentinel lymph node, reduce complications

Watertown, New York ----- Hearing the words “You have breast cancer” is overwhelming and terrifying. Those words mark the beginning of a long journey of testing and treatment until the day comes when you hear the welcome words, “You are now cancer-free.” One of the steps along that journey is now a little easier thanks to updated technology used during breast cancer surgery, which identifies lymph nodes that may be affected by cancer cells.

The Neoprobe Gamma Detection System assists breast surgeons in detecting the sentinel lymph node, or the first node to which the cancer may have traveled. The identification of the sentinel node is key to accurately determining the degree of lymph node involvement.

“The benefit of sentinel node identification is that it allows for non-involved lymph nodes to be left intact, thereby minimizing the risk of lymphedema and other complications,” explains Irene Carman, “One Night, One Diamond” Event Chair. “This equipment is a testament to Samaritan’s commitment to investing in the most current technology. For Samaritan Auxiliary volunteers, it is a privilege to be able to provide the hospital’s breast cancer program this technologically advanced system with the generous support of so many from the community and beyond.”

Once again, The Commons on Fort Drum is the setting for “One Night, One Diamond,” an elegant evening of dining, dancing, and a chance to win an exquisite half-carat diamond donated by Waterbury Fine Jewelers. Additionally, someone will win a two-night getaway package donated by Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake Inn.

Presenting Sponsors for “One Night, One Diamond” are Dr. Deborah and Larry Norris, Pepsi of Watertown, Purcell Construction and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. Media Sponsors are the Watertown Daily Times and 7News WWNY/Fox 28 WNYF. Other top sponsors include Bernier, Carr and Associates, Coca-Cola Company, FX Caprara Car Companies-The Caprara Family, Hancock Estabrook, KeyBank, and Renzi Foodservice. The event receives additional support from numerous other sponsors at the Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire levels.

“One Night, One Diamond” is being held on Saturday, March 21st from 6:30-11:30 p.m. at The Commons on Fort Drum. Tickets are $150 per couple, which includes dinner, dancing and an opportunity to win the real diamond, as well as two relaxing nights at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid. Live music will be provided by the popular band “Atlas.” For more information, please contact event chairperson Irene Carman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the event web-site at www.samaritanhealth.com/onod . Responses with names of attendees and date of birth for entrance onto Fort Drum must be received by March 13, 2015.

February 4, 2015

Watertown, NY ----- Five North Country healthcare organizations, including four hospitals and one clinic, were the recipients of capital grants from Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York (CMN) totaling $41,414 during a formal presentation today at Samaritan Medical Center.

“This is just one more way that North Country healthcare organizations can partner together to ensure access to quality healthcare services for our communities,” said Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. Since the Capital Grants Program began in 2000, CMN has allocated more than $300,000 to numerous hospitals and healthcare organizations with child-centered needs throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. (See list below). CMN of Northern New York is the only CMN hospital in the United States and Canada to provide such grants to agencies outside of their own.

Samaritan Medical Center received a total of $97,587 in equipment this year. CMN has also continued its pledge of $90,000 per year to help fund renovations for the Maternity and Pediatrics units. Additionally, the CMN Allocations Committee approved $53,081 in direct family assistance grants. Families can request up to $3,000 per child per year in financial assistance to help with travel expenses, medical services, and equipment not covered by insurance.

Healthcare Organization Description Grant Amount
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Isolette – to be used in the CHMC Birth Center $10,000
Lewis County Hospital Equipment Strengthening – various pediatric equipment to be used throughout the hospital to care specifically for children $8,445.62
Carthage Area Hospital Infant Warmer System – to be used in the Obstetrics Department $8,000
North Country Family Health Center Equipment Strengthening – various pediatric equipment to be used at the Watertown Pediatric Primary Care Clinic, the Lowville Family Practice Clinic, and the Wilson School-Based Health Center $4,969
Gouverneur Hospital Pediatric Vein Illumination System –to be used in the Emergency and Medical Surgical Departments to help locate veins in pediatric patients $10,000
Total Grants Awarded $41,414.62

 

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Representatives from recipient healthcare organizations are pictured above with Samaritan Medical Center CEO, Tom Carman, Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of NNY, Inc. Chairman, Martin Yenawine, and CMN Development Manager, Morgan Bocciolatt.
(Back Row) From Left to Right: Brian Serota (Carthage Area Hospital Foundation), Nick Hanno (Lewis County General Hospital), Gale Grunert (Lewis County General Hospital), Martin Yenawine, Jill Guiles (North Country Family Health Center), Tom Carman, JoAnne Rhubart (Lewis County General Hospital), Jim Michaels (Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center); (Front Row) From Left to Right: Kim Thibert (North Country Family Health Center), Morgan Bocciolatt, Marlinda LaValley (Gouverneur Hospital), and Krista LaRock (Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center)

Contact:
Morgan Bocciolatt
(315) 785 – 4053

CMNHospitalslogo WEB

Fashion Show & Miracle Balloon Sales Benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan

Watertown, NY ----- For several years, Kathy Lettiere, owner, A Touch of Grace, Watertown, has organized the Teens for Miracles Fashion Show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Samaritan. In 2014, she decided she wanted to continue fundraising even after the annual fashion show had taken place.

During the months of March, April, and May she sold CMN Miracle Balloons in her shop, collecting more than $2,000 to benefit CMN at Samaritan. Mrs. Lettiere presented a check in the amount of $2,066 to Morgan O. Bocciolatt, CMN Development Manager. “Kathy’s commitment to helping local sick and injured children is incredible. We are so grateful for her service to Children’s Miracle Network,” says Ms. Bocciolatt.

According to Mrs. Lettiere, it all started with her first fashion show in 2007. The first fashion show had about 40 models sporting the latest prom styles. Since then, hundreds of local teens have walked in the Teens for Miracles Fashion Show showing off both bridal and prom fashions while also raising money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network at Samaritan. The event has truly become an annual tradition for local teens.

The 2015 Teens for Miracles Fashion Show will be held at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center on Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. It will be hosted by Miss Thousand Islands 2015, Allison Carlos and will feature nearly 100 local high school students.

Contact: Morgan Bocciolatt
315-785-4053

 ATOGCheck

Kathy Lettiere presents a check in the amount of $2,066 to Morgan Bocciolatt, CMN Development Manager.

January 23, 2015

Samaritan Medical Center is pleased to announce the introduction of its new Lymphedema Therapy Program. Roxann Shelor, a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) at Samaritan Medical Center, is now providing Complete Decongestive Therapy treatment and education for patients with or at risk for lymphedema. As lymphedema is frequently a complication of cancer treatment, Ms. Shelor’s training and certification was funded through the Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York with monies raised by 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.

To introduce this new service to the community, Samaritan will hold an educational Open House event on Thursday, January 29th in the Carman Conference Room at Samaritan Medical Center, 830 Washington Street in Watertown. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m and is free and open to the public. Speakers will include Ms. Shelor and breast surgeon Dr. Deborah Norris. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to February 5th.

Lymphedema is an abnormal build-up of fluid that causes swelling and discomfort - most often in the arms or legs. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in the body’s lymphatic system, an important part of the immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Although lymphedema is most commonly known as a complication of breast cancer treatment, it can also result from treating many other types of cancer, including head and neck, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian, prostate and uterine - anywhere that lymph nodes are removed or damaged by radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. And lymphedema does not solely affect cancer survivors. Other causes include infection, obesity, venous insufficiency, and trauma, or being born with a faulty lymphatic system.

“The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical discomfort and prevent the development of infection,” Ms. Shelor explains. “The treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage (massage), therapeutic exercise, special compression bandaging, skin care and education in self-management techniques.”

“This is a much needed service for the women and men in our community, and I’m proud that we’re now able to offer it,” Ms. Shelor adds. “Previously patients had to travel out of town for therapy – often as far away as Syracuse. With a combination of treatment and education, we’re helping those who are suffering take control of their lymphedema and improve their quality of life.”

For more information call 315-785-4088.

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

January 13, 2015

Watertown, NY – The surgical team at Samaritan Medical Center is proud to provide patients with the most minimally invasive surgical options, including a Single-Site hysterectomy procedure using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System. During a da Vinci Single-Site hysterectomy the patient’s uterus is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, and it’s what you don’t see that is so impressive – the procedure is virtually scarless.

“This is an exciting addition to the capabilities that robotic surgery gives to surgeons and the benefits it provides for their patients,” says Walter Dodard, DO, an OB/GYN at Comprehensive Women's Health Services, PLLC in Watertown. “With robotic surgery, we’re able to make smaller incisions so there’s less blood loss during surgery and fewer complications. Patients have less pain and typically go home in 24 hours or less.”  Dr. Dodard performed the region’s first Single-Site hysterectomy in September at Samaritan Medical Center. He is currently the only surgeon in the area trained to perform this advanced procedure.

“The single-site approach takes the many benefits of robotic surgery a step further by reducing the number of incisions from four to one,” adds Dr. Dodard. “This is much more than a cosmetic improvement for the patient. Since there are fewer incisions, there is less discomfort and a shorter recovery time. For patients, especially busy women, it means they can resume their normal lives and day-to-day activities more quickly. ”
Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure for women in the United States. An estimated one-third of all women will have a hysterectomy by age 60, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The procedure is recommended for a number of medical reasons, including abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, cancer and chronic pelvic pain. Many women who require a hysterectomy are candidates for the da Vinci robotic-assisted, Single-Site surgery.

Samaritan Medical Center utilizes the da Vinci robotic surgical system for certain gynecologic, urologic, and general surgery procedures. For more information on robotic surgeries at Samaritan Medical Center, visit samaritanhealth.com/davinci.


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

On Friday, October 24, 2014, Thousand Islands Winery hosted Oooh Ta Ta, a night of indulgence and support. Leading up to this event, as part of the month-long National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, Thousand Islands Winery sold select “pink” merchandise and wines and Tasting Room donor cards at its facility.

In keeping with the mission of the National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, the Winery created Oooh Ta Ta, an event designed to offer North Country women an opportunity to have some fun with friends while raising awareness and funds to support area women during their battle with Breast Cancer. The night’s activities included VIP wine tastings, shoe and wine pairings presented by handsome tuxedo-clad men, a fashion show, a silent auction, mini salon services including pink hair extensions and Breast Cancer nail decals, shopping opportunities with 13 “vendors of indulgence”, finger foods and door prizes. Guests were encouraged to wear their best little black dress or party dress and most fabulous shoes.

The funds raised from this event and a month-long Winery drive were donated to the Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund. The mission of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Fund is to raise funds and allocate those funds toward improving the health and well-being of all cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. The funds raised through theses efforts will be earmarked specifically for Breast Cancer support in honor of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

What could be better than wine, shoes and eye candy for a cause? Nothing!

Photo: Steve J. Conaway, President,  Thousand Islands Winery & Deborah A. Carpenter, Samaritan Circle of Hope Awareness Fund.

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