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News items ...

L-R: Richard Gillette, Immediate Past President; Robert Ryan, Jr., President; Barbara Klassen,
Executive Director, Benedictine Health Foundation; Sloan Saverine, VP and Sr. Trust Officer,
Key Private Bank; Daniel Gruner, Treasurer, Benedictine Health Foundation

Klock Kingston Foundation grants $25,000 to support health care in Ulster County

KINGSTON (December 6) - The Klock Kingston Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to support the Benedictine Health Foundation's programs that provide financial support and compassionate care to people coping with the diagnosis of cancer, and behavioral health and substance abuse disorders. 

Programs that will benefit include the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund to assist local cancer patients while they receive treatment, $90,000 is distributed annually.  The Foundation also funds valuable workshops and educational forums for adolescents that address behavioral health conditions that can lead to discrimination or bullying and create reluctance for our youth to seek help.  Topics presented are crucial to healthy development, self-esteem and confidence, and share a critical message of persistence,
resilience, self-worth and hard work.     

"We thank the Klock Foundation and Key Private Bank for their continuous support of our mission to raise and distribute resources to support quality healthcare that improves the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of those who are vulnerable and underserved in Ulster County and the surrounding area," stated Robert J. Ryan, Jr., President of the Benedictine Health Foundation. 

The Klock Kingston Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in Ulster County to advance education, literacy, the arts, public health and the sciences.  "As a member of the Klock Kingston Trustees, we are again proud to continue the charitable legacy of Lucia and Jay Klock, and to support health care services in the Ulster County community," stated Sloan Saverine, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer of Key Private Bank. 

The Benedictine Health Foundation, based in Kingston, NY, has supported healthcare programs and services since 1977. 


Dr. Tatelbaum

Dr. Ron Tatelbaum joins Family Services Board

POUGHKEEPSIE (December 6) - Family Services welcomes new board member Dr. Ron Tatelbaum, a cardiologist and long-time community member.

Dr. Tatelbaum comes to Family Services with over 30 years of work in the health sector, including over 25 years as a practicing cardiologist at The Heart Center and then the first Chief Medical Officer at HealthQuest. Dr. Tatelbaum has also served the Hudson Valley community as a board member for Vassar Brothers Medical Center, the American Heart Association, and the Advisory Board of the Marist College Physician Assistant Program.

Now retired, Dr. Tatelbaum continues his community work through a program he started with his wife Shelley called The Stresslessness of Now — Heart to Heart. The program collaborates with other not-for-profits to help people lower their stress levels through more mindful responses.

Board Chair, Paul Haering welcomed Dr. Tatelbaum saying “Family Services looks forward to Dr. Tatelbaum’s service on the Board and the unique perspective he brings to community health work from his extensive experience in both private practice and community organizations.”

Part of the community since 1879, Family Services has been making a difference in people’s lives for over 135 years. Family Services provides programs and services in the Hudson Valley such as: youth services, comprehensive support for victims of domestic violence and other crimes through the center for victim safety and support, forensic services substance abuse prevention and family education; all designed to strengthen individuals, families and community.

A key program of Family Services is the Family Partnership Center, a 100,000+ square foot center in Poughkeepsie where currently 19 not-for-profit and related organizations are brought together in partnership for the purpose of collaboration toward a unified approach to human services and building community.

The mission of Family Services is to help families and individuals help themselves through direct services, collaboration, and advocacy. Last year over 7300 children, adults, and families benefited from Family Services programs. Family Services has programs in Dutchess and Ulster counties, as well as an affiliate, Hudson Valley Mental Health which provides behavioral health services throughout Dutchess and Ulster Counties.


Archcare at Ferncliff Nursing Home in Rhinebeck earns top rating for quality

RHINEBECK (December 6) - ArchCare at Ferncliff Nursing Home has been awarded a five-star rating for quality, the highest level possible, by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CMS star rating system assesses the medical care, physical environment and service quality of 15,000 Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing homes based on in-person government inspections, clinical data and other factors. ArchCare at Ferncliff earned an overall five-star (much above average) rating, as well as five stars for quality measures, which shows how well a nursing home cares for the physical and other needs of its residents.

With the addition of Ferncliff, all five skilled nursing facilities operated by ArchCare, the healthcare system of the Archdiocese of New York, have now earned the coveted top rating.

In addition to providing long-term skilled nursing care, the 328-bed facility is home to the Center for Healing at Ferncliff, which provides short-term, post-hospital rehabilitation. It is also the site of the Center for Neurodegenerative Care at Ferncliff, a new 38-bed unit dedicated to serving the highly specialized care needs of people with Huntington’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS). 

“We’re incredibly proud, and the credit has to go to the superior work and dedication of our care members at all levels, from our physicians, nurses, therapists and other care professionals to our volunteers,” said ArchCare at Ferncliff Executive Director Michael Deyo. “Delivering the highest quality care and service to everyone we care for is always our top priority and at the center of what we do.”

ArchCare is the Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York and one of the nation’s largest and most dynamic Catholic healthcare systems.


Horizon Family Medical Group wins national award 

CHESTER (December 6) - Horizon Family Medical Group received the 2016 HIMSS Ambulatory Davies Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement using health Information Technology (IT) to substantially improve patient outcomes while achieving a return on investment. Horizon Family Medical was the sole ambulatory care delivery organization that was selected as a Davies winner nationwide.  

Among the accomplishments cited by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) were:

  • HFMG reduced 30-day readmissions by 30% in a year.
  • High alcohol consumption has been reduced 18% for at-risk patients.
  • Provider time with patients increased by 27% for scheduled 15-minute appointments allowing more direct patient counseling.

“Building a culture where good business results follow good medicine, we remain committed and enthused about technology, quality care, and lowering costs,” said Horizon Family Medical Group CEO James Olver.


Neuhaus with, from left, Anna Trocino, Hillary Gozigian and Darcy Czajka of the
American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Hudson Valley campaign gets donation from Orange County

GOSHEN (November 30) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus presented a check to the American Cancer Society for $2,601 which he raised to benefit the organization’s Real Men Wear Pink Hudson Valley campaign.

Neuhaus also announced that the County’s Team Healthy Orange Goes Pink raised an additional $2,010 for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. The County Executive was joined at the check presentation by the American Cancer Society’s Anna Trocino, who serves as Senior Market Manager, Community Engagement, Hillary Gozigian, Community Manger for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Senior Director of Community Engagement for the Eastern Division Darcy Czajka.

“I want to thank the American Cancer Society for allowing me to participate in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign,” Neuhaus said. “It provided a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of and funds for breast cancer research. I enjoyed collaborating with the American Cancer Society on this important initiative. I also want to thank everyone who contributed to my Real Men Wear Pink fundraiser.”

Neuhaus commended Team Healthy Orange Goes Pink for being part of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, which holds a walk at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley every October. The mission of Team Healthy Orange is to promote a healthy lifestyle for children and families in Orange County through education, communication, collaborations, advocacy and policy change.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 10,000 residents from Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Woodbury Common, which was held on Oct. 16, raising approximately $600,000. Approximately 231,840 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 40,290 will die from the disease this year. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, and is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women, skin cancer being the first.

The Real Men Wear Pink initiative brought together a diverse group of community leaders to raise awareness about breast cancer and funds for research by wearing pink throughout the month of October. Together, Team Hudson Valley raised $51,000. Donations to the American Cancer Society through Real Men Wear Pink can still be made online through December 31. Log onto to make a contribution or call 800-227-2345.


“Team Hope Walk – Hudson Valley” raises more than $27,000

 POUGHKEEPSIE (November 30) - Striding in unity and hope, 130 participants of the first-ever Team Hope Walk – Hudson Valley, trekked from Highland to Poughkeepsie across the Walkway Over the Hudson on November 5.

Together, the group raised more than $27,000 for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, whose New York chapter partnered with ArchCare, the healthcare system of the Archdiocese of New York, for the event to benefit individuals with Huntington’s disease and those who love them. The fatal genetic disorder causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain and currently affects 30,000 Americans.

More information at


Van Pelt

Orange Regional Medical Center appoints Nursing Unit Director of Labor and Delivery

MIDDLETOWN (November 30) - Orange Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Tracey Van Pelt MSN-ED, RN-BC, BS to Nursing Unit Director of Rowley Family Birthing Center’s Labor and Delivery.

In her new role, Van Pelt oversees the 12- bed Labor and Delivery Unit which includes two operating rooms and a two-bed Maternal Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).

Van Pelt has been with Orange Regional Medical Center since 1984 where she began her career at the Horton Hospital campus as a Physical Therapist Assistant and later became a Registered Nurse in the Progressive Care Unit. She has held a variety of positions within the Hospital system including clinical nurse, informatics and nurse educator. In her most recent position with Orange Regional, Ms. Van Pelt served as a Perioperative Nurse Educator where she taught staff in the Operating Room, PACU, Same Day Surgery, Diagnostic Imaging and Endoscopy Units.

Van Pelt earned her Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy from Orange County Community College in Middletown, NY. She later achieved her Bachelor of Science Degree from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.  Ms. Van Pelt went on to receive her Masters of Science in Nursing from Walden University in Minneapolis, MN. Ms. Van Pelt is currently a member of the Nursing Professional Development Association.

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


Rockland legislator, local medical relief volunteers return from Haiti

NEW CITY (November 29) - She knew the devastation was going to be terrible, but visiting the communities devastated by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti was nothing short of shocking, Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul said.

“Homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, everything – just everything – was destroyed in the places we visited,” Paul said. “The people are desperate and we must help them.”

Paul, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, joined 12 other volunteers on a medical relief mission to Haiti that lasted six days and involved everything from staffing a clinic to treat the sick and injured to packing bags of food for distribution to the hungry. They returned to Rockland on Thursday.

Paul (left) andn Dufrene in Haiti

Inside the hospital, with antiquated equipment

Many residents of Haitian descent live in Rockland, and many have relatives living in Haiti, including those impacted by the storm. Local activists have been working on relief efforts.

The mission was organized by the Haitian American Nurses’ Association of Rockland County, which continues to collect over-the-counter medicine, first aid supplies and items for children such as formula, baby food, diapers and onesies. Efforts are underway regarding large-scale deliveries of antibiotics.

Berthilde Dufrene, founder and past president of HANA, led the mission, done in collaboration with Rockland County Haiti Relief. Volunteers from Spring Valley-based Konbit Neg Lakay also traveled to Haiti for additional relief work.

Dufrene said the biggest challenge was the limited amount of supplies for both the medical and humanitarian aspects of the mission.

“People who were in desperate need of the help had to be turned away,” Dufrene said. “There is limited - and at times no - health care, water, sanitation, food or shelter. Some people are just wandering the streets asking everyone they encounter for help.” 

The volunteers spent two days staffing a clinic in Beaumond. It opened at 9 a.m. each day, but people lined up for help starting before 6 a.m.

Paul and Dufrene were also among the volunteers who visited the École Nationale d`Infirmières Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours de Jérémie, a major nursing school in Jeremie, Haiti, and the Hôpital Saint-Antoine de Jérémie.  Both suffered massive devastation.

As many as 1,000 people were killed and 1.4 million were left in need of humanitarian assistance after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti as a Category 4 storm on Oct. 4. Much of the nation’s southwestern region was destroyed and a cholera outbreak is suspected of sickening about 1,200 people there, with an estimated 3,500 cases countrywide since the storm hit. 

Paul said she intends to return to Haiti in June.


Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley launches Transgender Health Services

POUGHKEEPSIE (November 29) - Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley is proud to announce that we are launching our Transgender Health Services Program this Monday, November 28 at our Poughkeepsie and Kingston health centers. Transgender refers to a person who has a gender identity that is incongruent with, or does not match, the gender they were assigned at birth. There is a serious need for transgender health services in the Mid-Hudson Valley, and the program is soon to be expanded to all 5 of our health center locations, including in Monticello, Goshen and Newburgh.

 “There is systematic, widespread discrimination towards people who are transgender and gender-variant,” said Yonah EtShalom, NP, and Program Director for Transgender Health Services. “Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley’s new transgender health services program will have real-life, tangible positive effects in the lives of patients in our community. November 20th was the Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience, when we honor the memories of transgender people murdered in the previous year. We know that transgender lives are shortened not only by hate crimes but by barriers to quality healthcare services. Access to affirming health care can reduce anxiety and depression, increase access to overall preventative care such as cancer and blood pressure screenings, and support transgender people to not just survive, but thrive.”

The services Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley will be offering include gender-affirming hormone therapy (testosterone or estrogen) offered on an informed-consent basis, self-injection training, and resources & referrals for our transgender patients to be able to access a full range of transgender services, include legal and medical services.

“This is an exciting moment in our history here at Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, and we are thrilled to be able to expand our healthcare services to reach a wider, more diverse population,” said Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, President & CEO of PPMHV.



Orange Regional Medical Center appoints Blood Bank manager

MIDDLETOWN (November 15) - Orange Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Jene Shafer, MS, MT (ASCP) as Blood Bank Manager. In her new role, Shafer oversees the Orange Regional Medical Center Blood Bank and Tissue Quality Management Plan. Working with other hospital departments,  Shafer will ensure patient safety through transfusion medicine and tissue implantation.

Shafer joined the Orange Regional Medical Center team in 2012 as a Medical Technologist and was later promoted to Laboratory Supervisor of Phlebotomy. Prior to joining Orange Regional,  Shafer worked at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, NY as a Medical Technologist. As a Medical Technologist she performed testing in blood bank, urinalysis, hematology, coagulation, chemistry, microbiology, as well as phlebotomy. She also worked at The Valley Hospital in New Jersey, as a Medical Technologist where she performed testing in coagulation and urinalysis.

Shafer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology along with a minor in chemistry from St. Thomas Aquinas College. She has earned her Certificate in Medical Technology from the MT School of Valley Hospital from Ridgewood, NJ. As well as successfully obtaining her ASCP certification and New York State licensure. She then went on to complete a Master of Clinical Laboratory Science degree from Rutgers University.  Shafer recently earned a certificate in Patient Blood Management from the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM).

To learn more about career opportunities at Orange Regional Medical Center, visit

ORMC is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.


Dr. Lucal

Gynecologist joins Health Quest Medical Practice

FISHKILL (November 15) – Dr. Elizabeth Lucal, an obstetrician-gynecologist, has joined Health Quest Medical Practice in its Fishkill OB/GYN office.  She is board certified in obstetrics-gynecology and has special expertise in hot flashes and menopause.

“I love being an OB/GYN because I think women are a dynamic group — interesting, strong and independent. There is never a dull day since the topics can range from childbirth to menopause and more. The challenges I face helping to empower and support women with their healthcare are very fulfilling,” Lucal said.

Most recently, Lucal worked in Middletown, Conn., for OB/GYN Teaching and Clinical Faculty, Middlesex Hospital Family Residency Program and for Community Health Center, Prenatal Staff for MHFM Residency Program. Prior to that, she was the medical director for Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Conn.

Lucal completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and Fairfield University in Connecticut. She earned her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Mich., in 1999. She completed her residency in 2003 at Tripler Army Medical Center in Tripler, Hawaii. Lucal is certified in both Connecticut and New York.

Lucal is accepting new patients at her office in Fishkill. She also accepts insurance. The office is at 200 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 230, Fishkill. Call 845-896-9864.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center earns “A” for patient safety

POUGHKEEPSIE (October 31) - Vassar Brothers Medical Center, the flagship hospital for Health Quest, was one of 844 hospitals to receive an “A” in the fall Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

“We are transforming healthcare in the Hudson Valley and that starts with a laser focus on patient safety and quality of care,” said Ann McMackin, president of Vassar Brothers Medical Center. “This excellent grade is a testament to the hard work done every day by our staff, from physicians and nurses to the people who clean the rooms and maintain the facility. Everyone is dedicated to the safety and well-being of the thousands of patient every year who say ‘Take me to Vassar.’ ”

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide to provide a complete picture of patient safety. The grades are issued by The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog.

“Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize and appreciate ‘A’ hospitals’ vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe.”

Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades use 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

To see Vassar Brothers Medical Center’s full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit or follow The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade mobile app for Apple and Android devices.


Culinary students highlight healthy eating for kids

ESOPUS (October 18) - Ulster BOCES Culinary seniors held an informational demonstration and food tasting in honor of Childhood Nutrition Day

Full details on our Education Page






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