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VA Hudson Valley offers caregiver telephone education groups

MONTROSE (June 8) – The Department of Veterans Affairs Hudson Valley Health Care System will conduct two telephone education groups titled “Finding Your Voice: Self Advocacy in Medical Settings,” in the month of June.

The groups will be offered Tuesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 22, 3:00 p.m., or Wednesday, June 29, 7:00 p.m. The VA Caregiver Support Line will facilitate the sessions, which are open to family caregivers of Veterans of all eras. People who wish to participate should register now by calling (845) 831-2000, John Imundo at extension 5487 or Anne Milliken at extension 5122.

Transcripts and handouts from past groups can be found on the website:


Free monthly support groups for Sullivan County caregivers

FERNDALE (June 8) - Monthly family caregiver support groups are offered throughout Sullivan County, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC)’s Caregiver Resource Center (CRC). These groups are intended to provide both support and new resources to the informal family caregiver who assists an aging, ill, or disabled adult relative or friend. Bonnie Lewis, RN, CCESC dependent care educator, uses the AARP curriculum “Caring for Those You Care About” to facilitate meetings, along with various other educational resources.

There are four CRC support groups open to the public:

  • “Share the Care” group meets at 10:00 am on the first Wednesday of each month at Lander’s River Café in Callicoon, NY.
  • “Caring for the Caregiver” group meets at 10:00 am on the second Tuesday of each month at Eureka Café in Grahamsville, NY.
  • “Caregiver Conversations” group meets at 6:00 pm on the last Wednesday of each month at CCESC’s Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center in Liberty, NY.
  • “Alzheimer’s Support” group meets at 10:00 am on the third Thursday of each month at Action Toward Independence in Monticello, NY. This group is intended for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. 

These meetings provide an opportunity to listen, learn, and share in a comfortable space while finding assistance with caregiving concerns. The support groups offer a safe place for:

  • Sharing feelings, frustrations, and practical ways of coping
  • Meeting other caregivers who are in similar situations and can offer practical advice
  • Discovering new information and resources

Registration for these meetings is not required in advance but is encouraged in case of a schedule change. More information can be obtained by calling CCESC at 845-292-6180, emailing, or visiting In the event of special needs, please contact the office.

The Caregiver Resource Center is a co-partnered program between Cornell Cooperative Extension and Office for the Aging of Sullivan County and is supported by a grant from the NYS Office for the Aging’s Caregiver Program.


Orange Regional Medical Center Celebrates National Cancer Survivors Day

TOWN OF WALLKILL (May 31) – Orange Regional Medical Center’s Spagnoli Family Cancer Center will host a celebration of life in conjunction with National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) on Saturday, June 11, 2016.  The event will take place underneath the tent outside of Orange Regional’s Conference Center located at 707 East Main Street, Middletown from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This free event is open to anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer, is in treatment for cancer or has completed cancer therapy, as well as their friends, family members and caregivers. The event will include a mini health fair, food, music and, most importantly, a celebration of the lives of the cancer survivors in our community. Reservations are required by June 8, 2016 by calling 1-888-321-6762.

“We look forward to this celebration each year,” says Regina Toomey Bueno, Orange Regional’s Administrator of Oncology Services. “The opportunity to connect with our community and celebrate life, strength and perseverance is always a joyous occasion.”

Orange Regional Medical Center staff pose for a picture at last year’s National Cancer Survivor’s Day celebration

For more information about Orange Regional Medical Center’s Spagnoli Family Cancer Center Services visit

Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.


SUNY Ulster Holds 39th Annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony

STONE RIDGE (May 31) - SUNY Ulster held it's 39th Pinning Ceremony on May 19th on the Stone Ridge Campus. 39 Nursing Program students were pinned and earned their Associate Degree RN.

Full details, photo, on our Education Page


HealthAlliance NAP SACC program helps preschoolers eat and play better, child care specialists say

KINGSTON (May 26) - Ulster County toddlers and preschoolers are eating and playing better than they were before HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley introduced a nutrition and physical activity program

Full details on our Education Page


(contributed photo)

Orange Regional receives highest award for electronic medical record adoption

MIDDLETOWN (May 19) - Orange Regional Medical Center has been awarded with the highest designation, Stage 7, for implementing an electronic medical record (EMR) system to improve patient safety and quality of care. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) awarded ORMC with Stage 7, the highest level on HIMSS Analytics’ EMR adoption model which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.

During the fourth quarter of 2015, only 4.2 percent of the more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals received the Stage 7 Award. ORMC is one of only three hospitals in New York State to achieve HIMSS Stage 7 joining NYU Langone and the Hospital for Joint Diseases.

Scott Batulis, ORMC President & CEO said, “We are extremely honored to have achieved the Stage 7 milestone which further demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of our community – our primary mission. It takes an entire team, at every level of the organization, to reach the highest level of electronic medical records utilization and it’s all with the patient’s well-being as the focus.” 

ORMC’s electronic medical record system is able to provide the right information, for the right person, in the right format, in real time, every time, so healthcare providers can deliver efficient patient care. The system helps to decrease duplicate tests and increase the possibility of collaborative care between patients, physician offices, hospitals and any other institution involved in the patient care.

John H. Daniels, Global Vice President, Healthcare Advisory Services Group for HIMSS Analytics said, “Orange Regional Medical Center has made great progress in a very short time.  In particular, they have implemented a predictive clinical decision support algorithm directly into the EMR to help physicians with precise insulin dosing. As a result, they have eliminated severe hypoglycemia cases and significantly reduced diabetes inpatient mortality.  This is a data driven organization, and it shows.”

There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers and chief medical information officers or chief nursing informatics officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.                             

In order to obtain the final stage in the EMR adoption, hospitals must have more than 90 percent of all medical orders entered into the system (ORMC has 92%) and be able to share clinical information with other health care facilities, networks, clinics, employers, payers and patients. At this stage, ORMC can store and analyze data which is used to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience. 

ORMC will be recognized for the achievement at the 2017 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on Feb. 19-23, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. 


Dr. Landanno

Premier Medical Group welcomes Dr. Landanno to Internal Medicine Division

FISHKILL (May 13) - Premier Medical Group announces that Dr. Clement Landanno has joined our group.

Dr. Landanno is board certified in Family Medicine and earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY where he also completed his residency.  He specializes in comprehensive family care, including preventive medicine and treatment of acute illness and chronic medical conditions.  He has been practicing in the Hudson Valley for over 35 years.

“I’ve known most of the doctors in Premier for many years and we share the guiding principle of patient-centric care” said Dr. Landanno.  “The patient is what’s most important,” he says. “I basically consider my patients to be part of my extended family.”

Dr. Landanno is currently accepting new patients at Premier’s Fishkill location 400 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 210.  Evening appointments are available.  Call 845.838.8480


Northern Dutchess Hospital’s general surgery team expands

RHINEBECK (May 11) - General surgeon Dr. Gregory Zale recently joined Health Quest Medical Practice’s Division of General Surgery in Rhinebeck.

In this role, he sees patients at the medical practice’s suite in Northern Dutchess Hospital’s new pavilion, and performs outpatient and emergency surgeries in the hospital’s new state-of-the-art operating rooms.

Zale has been practicing for about 20 years, including 14 years as a mid-Hudson Valley hospital trauma surgeon, as an emergency physician on the medical staff of Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie and most recently as a per diem surgeon on Northern Dutchess Hospital’s medical staff.

He was also with the Adirondack Surgical Group in Franklin County and Hudson Valley Plastic and Hand Surgeons of Poughkeepsie.

A resident of LaGrange, he is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in surgery and hand surgery, and holds a doctorate of medicine degree from what is now called the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

For information on Health Quest Medical Practice surgical services, visit


Andersen, center, with, Dianne Toscano (left), oncology
nurse navigator and Anita Minella, executive director of the
Putnam Hospital Center Foundation

Mahopac teen delivers comfort to cancer patients

CARMEL (May 3) –Caitlin Andersen, 13, was all smiles this week when she delivered some of the 150 comfort bags she and the community made for cancer patients at Putnam Hospital Center.

Andersen, an eighth-grader at Mahopac Middle School, said she was inspired to make the comfort bags after taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Mahopac.

“I watched the survivors do the survivors’ lap and it was really cool to see,” she said.   “I thought about what I could do to make a difference.”

Over the past six months, Andersen, a Girl Scout with the Heart of the Hudson Troop 2021 in Mahopac, enlisted the help of other Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, seniors and other community groups in making the comfort bags that include necessities for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation such as hand lotion, hand sanitizers, lip balm, soap, tissues puzzles, hand-knit hats and puzzles.   The bags also contain heartwarming cards handmade by her family and friends as well as inspirational messages on the outside of the bags.

Andersen is going for her Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn.

“You really spearheaded an entire community effort,” said Anita Minella, executive director of the Putnam Hospital Center Foundation.

Andersen was happy to see this project through.    “I feel great,” she said.



Catskill Regional Medical Center announces new addition to leadership

HARRIS  (April 27) - Catskill Regional Medical Center recently announced an addition to its leadership.

Donna DeStefano, LRT, ARRT, (R) (M), has been promoted to Director of Diagnostic Imaging.

DeStefano has been employed with Catskill Regional Medical Center for 19 years and has progressed up the clinical leadership ranks in Diagnostic Imaging. For the past three years as Clinical Director, DeStefano has supported numerous operational changes that have had excellent outcomes, including the new Mammography Service at Grover M. Hermann Hospital and most recently Women’s Imaging at the Harris Campus.

As Director of Diagnostic Imaging, along with her leadership responsibilities, DeStefano will work with leadership from Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center to develop and standardize best practice models across the Greater Hudson Valley Health System of which both hospitals are members.

"Ms. Destefano has done many things in the past few years to support the technological development and progress of Catskill Regional,” said Administrator of Diagnostic Imaging for the Greater Hudson valley Health System Gene Bernieri.  “She has been, and remains, the point person for every imaging project including new installations, quality, patient satisfaction and employee engagement initiatives. She is a real asset to the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.”

To learn more about diagnostic imaging at Catskill Regional Medical Center, visit To learn more about career opportunities at Catskill Regional Medical Center, visit Catskill Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.


VA names top volunteers in Hudson Valley for 2015

MONTROSE (April 27) – With the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service celebrating 70 years of support to America’s Heroes, four local volunteers contributing time to the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System earned top awards April 21 for their efforts during 2015.

Charles McCloskey of Lagrangeville and Patricia Vigliotti of Wappingers Falls were named the male and female volunteers of the year for the Castle Point campus. Paul Natale Jr. of Cortlandt Manor and Ellen Searles of Peekskill were named the male and female volunteers of the year for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Montrose campus.

Other volunteers received awards. From the Castle Point campus, they included: Annie Bellissimo, 10,000 Hour Silver Bowl Honor Award; Matilda Brooks, James H. Park Achievement Award; Nancy Carr, 12,500 Hour Pyramid & Pin; Bill Dengler, Presidential Lifetime Achievement; Kenneth Ferrari, 22,500 Hour Award; Barbara Leota, 15,000 Hour Exceptional Honor Medallion & Pin; James Metrando, 10,000 Hour Silver Bowl Honor Award; and Alfred Polidore, 17,500 Hour Plate & Pin.

From the FDR Montrose campus: Maksym Makarczuk, Presidential Lifetime Achievement; and Duke Searles, James H. Parke 20,000 Hour Award; 

Volunteers saved VA Hudson Valley nearly $250,000 in paid salary. At VA Hudson Valley in fiscal year 2015, more than 300 of volunteers provided more than 84,000 total hours of service to Veterans. VA Hudson Valley Health Care System received donated funds of almost $762,000 and its volunteer transportation network thrives with 22 volunteers, mostly Veterans, who worked more than 8,300 hours. During that time, they made nearly 2,400 trips to transport Veterans, driving the equivalent of more than three times around the world (80,194 miles).

 “These numbers should give you an idea of just how valuable there contributions are, the lives they touch, and the services they enhance which goes well beyond any measures,” said Yvette Rodriguez-Cacho, Voluntary Services Chief.

The VA Hudson Valley Health Care System is a Joint Commission-accredited, medical and surgical facility serving Veterans across six counties and 3,500 square miles.  The VA Hudson Valley Health Care System consists of two campuses in Montrose and Castle Point, N.Y. as well as outpatient clinics in Carmel, Goshen, Monticello, New City, Pine Plains, Port Jervis, and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  The system serves approximately 24,000 Veterans annually.

Founded in 1946 to provide for our nation's Veterans while they are cared for by VA health care facilities, VA’s Voluntary Service program is celebrating its 70th year of service to Veterans. It is one of the largest centralized volunteer programs in the Federal government with more than 7,400 national and community organizations support the program. Volunteers have provided over 760 million hours of service since 1946.


Hudson Valley celebrates Worldwide Parkinson’s  Awareness Month

LAGRANGEVILLE (April 18) - April is Worldwide Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a time when advocates make an extra effort to promote recognition of the urgent need for a cure.  Here in the Hudson Valley, the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley, Inc. has several awareness activities for the public.

The sixth annual three-mile Parkinson’s “Walk Over Water” is coming up this Sunday, April 26th from 1:00 – 3:00, rain or shine, starting from the Poughkeepsie side.  The Walk is free but donations are welcome.  Brochures, Parkinson’s awareness bracelets, and t-shirts will be available on the day, as well as bottles of bubbles for children.   For those who aren’t sure they can do three miles, student volunteers will be available to push a limited number of free wheelchairs.

Start of the 2015 March. In the photo, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro (left) and
State Senator Sue Serino (right of banner)

Over the past five years, the Group has raised $170,000 for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), including a generous match. 

Lights on the Mid-Hudson Bridge glowed yellow and green on April 11 in honor of Dr. James Parkinson, who identified the disease in the 1700s.  The yellow symbolizes optimism and hope; the green symbolizes strength.  Bridge lights will also be on the weekend of the Walk.

Other local events include a Parkinson’s exhibit with quilt display at the new Poughkeepsie branch of the Adriance Memorial Library on Boardman Road throughout the month.  The two wall quilts in the exhibit are by award-winning, master quilter Shirley Bernard, a long-time support group member.  Ms. Bernard lost her brother to Parkinson’s and was, herself, diagnosed with the disease ten years ago.

In an act of solidarity, over thirty Hudson Valley municipalities, including the Town of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County, have again joined the US Senate in declaring April Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Also this year, the New York State Senate and Assembly have declared April Parkinson’s Awareness Month in New York.  Senator Sue Serino will present this year’s proclamation at the Walk.

Robin Elliott, Executive Director of PDF, said in New York, “At PDF, we are inspired by creative and dedicated individuals like the members of the Mid-Hudson Valley support group who are finding ways to make a difference in the fight against Parkinson’s. We applaud their efforts not only to help PDF fund the most promising research, but also to raise awareness in their community and around the US about the impact of this disease.” 

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly ten million people worldwide.  According to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease every nine minutes for a total of 10 million worldwide.  This amounts to twice as many cases of the disease as Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.    Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for any of these diseases.

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy.  It funds promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson’s through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $110 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $47 million to support national education and advocacy programs.

For more information about the group’s efforts to raise awareness or to donate, please contact Nancy Redkey at (914) 475-2793 or  Tax deductible checks can be made out to PDF and mailed to P.O. Box 304 LaGrangeville, NY 12540 or online donations can be made at   Additional information and resources are available on their website


Dr. McIntyre

HRHCARE announces selection of Dr. Sophia McIntyre into prestigious Baldridge Executive Fellowship

 PEEKSKILL (April 6) - HRHCare announced that its Chief of Clinical Quality and Physician Leadership Development, Dr. Sophia McIntyre, has been included in the prestigious Baldridge Executive Fellows Program for the coming year. Dr. McIntyre was one of 18 leading executives named to the program from around the country.

“This is a great honor, and I am eager to work with others in business and the non-profit sector to learn how best to serve the people who make up HRHCare, as well as our patients,” Dr. McIntyre said.

The Baldridge Executive Fellows Program provides people from different sectors of business or public service with the skills to, in the words of US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, “lead their organizations at new levels of excellence.” Secretary Pritzker’s department oversees the program, which is operated directly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

A board-certified family practitioner, Dr. McIntyre oversees the medical staff and quality of patient care at the more than two-dozen HRHCare sites throughout New York State. She personally sees patients at the Monticello Health Center in Sullivan County.

“Dr. McIntyre is a valued member of our team, who has made a difference in the lives of so many of our hundreds of thousands of patients,” said Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, President and CEO of HRHCare. “She deserves this recognition, and I look forward to seeing what she brings back to our organization and to those we serve.”

Hudson River HealthCare is a nonprofit, New York State licensed, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).





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