News & Events (81)

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.

During the month of December Samaritan Medical Center will be hosting Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit will be set up in the Rotunda in the Macsherry Connector, between the Medical Center and Samaritan Keep Home.

To kick-off the exhibit Samaritan Health Sciences Library will have an opening presentation at noon on Tuesday, December 2 (also in the Rotunda). The speakers will be Jeff Garvey, Director of Library Services who will discuss medical care during the Civil War and Kent Bolke, Director of the 10th Mountain Division and Ft. Drum Museum who will discuss the impact of the Civil War on the North Country.

If you would like to attend the opening presentation please RSVP by calling 315.785.4191 a light lunch will be served.  View the event flyer.

For more information contact:
Jeffrey M. Garvey
Director of Library Services
Samaritan Medical Center
830 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
315.785.4191

Michael Folsom, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY presented members of the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Committee with a check for $216. The money was raised through donations during the ABM Goes Pink campaign which was held in October. The Antique Boat Museum also hosted a breast cancer survivor for a relaxing cruise on the St. Lawrence Rive

The Samaritan Auxiliary purchased state-of-the art medical equipment called the Arctic Sun Temperature Management System for Samaritan Medical Center, with monies raised from their signature event, One Night, One Diamond, held in March of 2014 - a donation of $42,563 was made to purchase this equipment. The Arctic Sun has been utilized in Samaritan Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) since 2010, but due to the frequency of use, SMC identified the need for a second unit and the Auxiliary was pleased to fund this initiative.

The Arctic Sun is a non-invasive temperature management system which can cool the body’s core temperature to as low as 33 degrees. In the case of a cardiac arrest or stroke, lowering the body temperature can help to slow the metabolism which leads to positive outcomes and less risk of brain injury. The equipment circulates chilled water through pads that are adhered to the patient’s skin. The Samaritan Auxiliary is pleased to be able to support our patients with life-saving equipment. In the right-hand picture is Dr. David Rechlin (Pulmonology Associates), Renee Waterbury (Samaritan Auxiliary Board President) and Mr. Tom Carman (Samaritan President & CEO). The center picture is Dr. Maja Lundborg-Gray (North Country Emergency Medical Consultants), Kim Smith (Nurse Manager of the ICU) and Jane Schmitt (Volunteer Services) and the right-hand picture is a picture of the equipment.

November 12, 2014

Cape Vincent, NY — The Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent wants you to stay healthy this flu season. That’s why the Family Health Center is offering an adult Flu Shot Clinic on Wednesday, November 26th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Appointments are not needed, and you do not need to be an established patient at the Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent to receive a flu shot. Your insurance will be billed for this service.

Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads from person-to-person and can cause mild to severe illness. Seasonal flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting yourself against seasonal flu. The flu vaccine is updated every year to combat the flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to cause illness during the upcoming season.

The CDC recommends seasonal flu shots for everyone six months and older. The annual flu vaccine is particularly important for those who are most likely to develop serious and potentially fatal complications from the flu, including anyone 65 or older; people with medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease; pregnant women; and those who live with or provide care for these individuals. There are also some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. They include: people who have a severe allergy to eggs; people who have previously had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination; and people who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine. In addition, people who have a moderate-to-severe illness should wait until they recover to have the flu shot.

For more information on the Flu Shot Clinic, please contact the Samaritan Family Health Center at Cape Vincent at 315-654-2530.

Watertown, NY ----- During the annual three-day Radiothon, presented by Community Broadcasters, hosts Johnny Spezzano, The Border 106.7, and Lance Hale, 94 Rock, raised a grand total of $129,518 for Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York. Every dollar raised will help children and families facing a medical crisis in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis counties.

Each year, the Radiothon provides a unique opportunity to share the stories of many families in our community and how they have been helped by the funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network. Radio reaches listeners in a direct way allowing them to understand the challenges that so many of our neighbors face. Throughout the Radiothon broadcast, the hosts conduct on-air interviews with local families, play recorded interview montages, and educate listeners about Children’s Miracle Network. The majority of funds raised during this event are raised $10 or $20 at a time. “Over the course of the three days, it becomes very evident that the North Country is incredibly giving and the event as a whole brings members of our community together to make a difference,” says host Johnny Spezzano.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for its 170 member hospitals, including Samaritan Medical Center. All contributions to Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan benefit children in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties by helping to purchase medical equipment for Samaritan and other hospitals located in the tri-county region. In addition, Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan is one of only five hospitals that provide direct assistance to families with children in a medical crisis. For more information, contact the Children’s Miracle Network office at 785-4053.

Contact:
Morgan Bocciolatt
(315) 785-4053

October 29, 2014

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and to help bring awareness of this disease to a heightened level, Samaritan Medical Center and the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee will host a second annual “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” event on November 6th. Any community member who has been touched by lung cancer is invited to attend this free event, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Samaritan Healing Garden Rotunda.

“Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” is part of a national campaign sponsored by the Lung Cancer Alliance. This year more than 200 communities across the country will participate in the event, which is designed to provide hope, support and compassion to the thousands who are diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and in New York. It takes the lives of twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. While a history of smoking is the main risk factor for developing lung cancer, nearly 80% of those diagnosed today have never smoked or are former smokers who quit decades ago.

Early detection is the best hope for fighting lung cancer. However, because lung cancer has no symptoms in its early stages, more than 85% of people who are diagnosed today are diagnosed in a late stage, after symptoms occur and when there is very little chance of a cure. Recent studies have proven however that a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan can find 85% of lung cancers in their earliest, most curable stage. Samaritan Medical Center offers this service to people at high risk for lung cancer through its Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program.

The Samaritan Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event will feature Bonnie Trudeau, RN, Samaritan Oncology Nurse Navigator and Early Lung Cancer Screening Program Coordinator, as emcee. Dr. Rory Sears, a pulmonologist with Pulmonary Associates in Watertown, will be the guest speaker for the evening.

About the Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee
The Samaritan Circle of Hope Cancer Awareness Committee raises awareness and funds to help to improve the health and well-being of all cancer patients throughout Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.

About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is committed to ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services for patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns; and advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research.

Contact:
Leslie DiStefano, SMC
(315) 779-6675

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.”

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Samaritan Medical Center | 830 Washington Street | Watertown, NY 13601 | (315)785-4000 | Toll-Free 1-877-888-6138
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