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Horizon Family Medical’s Dr. Dominic Aro chosen a ‘Best Doc’ for 2014

GOSHEN (October 24) - Dr. Dominic Aro, a Board-certified, award-winning Gynecologist with Horizon Family Medical Group, has been selected a “Best Doc” for 2014 in a readers’ poll by Hudson Valley Parent magazine.

Dr. Aro received the same distinction last year in the contest. He’s no stranger to awards. He was given a Patients Choice Award and received Compassionate Doctor Recognition for several years by He’s also on Healthgrades’ Honor Roll.  

About the “Best Doc” prize, he said, “I’m very pleased. It’s really a recognition of our office and how hard our office staff works to achieve patient satisfaction.” He said he was gratified because the award is “patient driven, and I appreciate all of our patients.”

Dr. Aro said the best part of his profession is “being able to help people.” He said he tries to be available to his patients. “I like them to feel very open and comfortable about coming into the office.”

“He never says no,” echoed Danielle Ramos, his Office Manager.     

Dr. Aro has practiced Gynecology for 22 years. He’s been with Horizon’s Women’s Health section for 10 years. Prior to that, he had a private practice in Westchester while teaching residents at Westchester Medical Center.

The notice of the award will appear in the December issue of the magazine.

Dr. Aro is available at 30 Hatfield Lane, Suite 105, Goshen, NY; phone, 845-291-7400.



Vassar Brothers Medical Center appoints director of spiritual care

POUGHKEEPSIE (October 6) – Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger is the new director of spiritual care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

In his new role, he will direct the activities of the associate chaplains as well as the clergy interns enrolled in the clinical pastoral education program at the Health Quest-affiliated medical center. He will also serve as liaison to faith groups in our region, ensuring that clergy can visit their congregants and that diverse spiritual and cultural traditions are honored.

“It’s such an honor to work with the extraordinarily competent and dedicated professionals at Vassar Brothers Medical Center,” Loevinger said. “I’m really looking forward to serving the broader community, empowering people to find their own spiritual and moral resources in the face of illness or crisis. Chaplains never impose our own religious beliefs on others, but rather accompany patients and their families, meeting people where they are, and affirming the dignity and worth of every person. We serve patients, their families, staff, employees and the greater community — anybody in need of spiritual or emotional support.”

Loevinger previously served as an associate chaplain of the medical center and also as the spiritual leader of the largest synagogue in the mid-Hudson Valley — Temple Beth-El of Poughkeepsie.

“Neal is legendary for his sharp wit and humor and his ability to work with members of all faith traditions,” said Sandi Cassese, vice president of oncology at Health Quest. ”I am looking forward to working with him to ensure that the holistic care that is a hallmark of Vassar Brothers Medical Center not only continues but is elevated to the next level.”

Loevinger brings to his new position a wealth of experience having provided multicultural spiritual care in numerous settings, including residency work in clinical pastoral education, experience as a volunteer prison chaplain, and leadership roles in three states and two countries.

He lives in Poughkeepsie with his wife, two children and one very old poodle.


L-R: Patrick Ortland, Chairman SLCH Board of Trustees;
Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota (KP); Robert Ross, SLCH President/CEO;
John Pelella, Chairman, St. Luke’s Health System Foundation Board of Directors

SLCH gala raises $240,000 through celebration of commitment and dedication

NEWBURGH (September 27) – St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital recently held its annual Gala which honored longtime physician, SLCH Neonatologist, Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota (KP) and Alan Seidman of Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley.

The event attracted close to 450 guests to a new venue this year, the Umbra of Newburgh Soundstage.  Thanks to the support of the hospital’s donors and friends, $240,000 will be donated to the hospital to support programs and initiatives.

“We are thrilled with the outcome of the evening and are truly grateful for the generosity of all involved,” said Gala Chair, Margaret “Chip” Pelella.

Dr. KP was presented with the Outstanding Caregiver Award. He’s has been a member of the SLCH family since 1997 and the opening of the Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. During that time, Dr. KP has cared for close to 2,000 babies, touching the lives of so many families in this community.

“Dr. KP’s dedication to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and the patients and families he treats every day is nothing short of amazing,” said Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO.

At the event, SLCH presented Dr. KP with a video of heartfelt messages from some of the families he has worked with over the years. To view the video, visit www.     

Alan Seidman, Executive Director of Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley, was honored as the Community Commitment Award recipient. Mr. Seidman has had a lifelong connection to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. He served on the Foundation Board of Directors; one of many community service organizations and causes Alan has long been involved with.

“Alan has been a tremendous asset to the local community,” said Ross. “It is a privilege to honor Alan and recognize his continued dedication to helping others.”

The guest list included hospital leadership, elected officials, and community members at large. Major sponsors included The Littman and Kaplan Families, Greater New York Hospital Association, Unitex and Eagle Insurance.

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY.


Board of Health warns against e-cigarette use

POUGHKEEPSIE (September 17) - The Dutchess County Board of Health expressed its concerns with the increased use of e-cigarettes.  Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as they are more commonly called, are being promoted as a new way to smoke, without actually smoking. 

“What you may not know is that this hot topic of conversation is a potential health hazard,” said Dr. Lobsang Lhungay, MD, President, Dutchess County Board of Health.  “The facts don’t lie. A recent Center for Disease Control Center (CDC) study found a dramatic increase in calls to U.S. poison control center calls related to electronic cigarettes. As of February 2014, calls to poison control about e-cigarette exposure were up to 215 per month across the country”,

When e-cigarettes were introduced to the market they appeared to offer an alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. However, this report from the CDC regarding poisonings raises concerns about the liquid nicotine that is used in the e-cigarettes. More distressing is that half of the calls to poison centers involved young children under the age of 5.

An e-cigarette is a battery operated smoking device designed to deliver nicotine and flavor to the user. The device heats up a liquid, turning it to vapor, which is inhaled, or “vaped” by the user.  The liquid in e-cigarettes is comprised of nicotine, flavorings and other additives. The candy and fruit flavors are the draw for young children. Cartridges are not childproofed, making them easily accessible to young children. Poisonings can happen by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the nose and eyes.

E-cigarettes are enticing to children. Marketing nicotine products is nothing new to the industry. It has been a constant battle to stop it, and here we have yet another marketing tactic, candy flavored nicotine. It can almost be compared to the candy cigarettes they used to sell. Make it appealing to children and you have them hooked.

Children are not the only ones affected by e-cigarette poisonings. In the calls to poison control, 42 percent of victims were age 20 and older. These statistics make e-cigarettes a concern for everyone.

The FDA currently does not regulate e-cigarettes, but has plans to do so.

“Unregulated nicotine levels also mean unregulated chemicals,” said Dr. Lhungay.

The Dutchess County Board of Health urges you not to use e-cigarettes, except possibly for smoking cessation purposes, and then only under a physician’s supervision.


Janice and Frank Valentino post teal ribbons in Washingtonville

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – Turning the Town Teal

WASHINGTONVILLE (September 6) - September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and wherever you see a teal bow or ribbon it stands for  Know the Symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate.

Early detection is the key to survival.

Janice Valentino, director of marketing & development at Hospice of Orange and Sullivan says she got involved in memory of her very best friend Maureen who would always say “Where is the TEAL? Every things always PINK”  This TEALS for you MO!


Fall yoga classes offered at Northern Dutchess Hospital

RHINEBECK (September 6) – Stretch, breathe and relax at Northern Dutchess Hospital’s “Yoga: Mind and Body” fall classes.

Six sessions will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays at the hospital’s Women’s View Health Annex, 107 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck. Course dates are: Sept. 15, 22 and 29, and Oct. 6, 20 and 27.

The cost is $60. Pre-registration is required.

“This is a great program for people of all abilities and levels, and it fills up quickly,” said instructor Karen Signor, who has taught yoga at the hospital for more than 20 years.

Participants should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat.

To register, call 845-876-7844 or email To join the Facebook invite, visit


Orange AHRC receives Person-Centered Excellence accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership

NEWBURGH (August 22) - Orange AHRC has been awarded the four-year Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from CQL - The Council on Quality and Leadership. This award confirms that the organization shares CQL’s vision for person-centered solutions to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services. 

When Orange AHRC partnered with CQL to pursue accreditation, they undertook a rigorous process to review and improve services and supports.  Their efforts were focused on empowering the people who receive support from their organization to make choices in how they live their lives …where they work, where they live, how they create a community. 

Orange AHRC has been awarded CQL accreditation as a result of demonstrating proficiency in the following areas:

  • Basic Assurances ( ensuring fundamental safeguards related to health, safety and human security)
  • Personal Outcome Measures® (supporting and empowering people to achieve their goals and dreams)
  • Person-centered Excellence (demonstrating organizational commitment to continued enhancement of systems directly related to person-centered services)

“CQL commends Orange AHRC for its success in increasing the quality of life for the people it supports,” Cathy Ficker Terrill, President and CEO of CQL, said.  “We are pleased to partner with them on this journey.”

For more than 40 years, CQL has been a leader in raising the bar for human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve the quality of life of all people. Organizations that are awarded accreditation by CQL meet a stringent set of criteria and demonstrate an on-going commitment to person-centered excellence. For more information on CQL's Person-centered Excellence Accreditation go to

Headquartered in Newburgh, NY, Orange AHRC’s 650 employees support more than 1,700 children and adults with developmental disabilities in 29 program locations and in private family homes throughout Orange County.  Please visit for more information.


Two Health Quest hospitals join initiative to help reduce number of childbirth-related deaths

POUGHKEEPSIE (August 20) - Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Northern Dutchess Hospital are participating in a project with one goal: to save the lives of women faced with severe complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

The two Health Quest-affiliated hospitals are collaborating with the New York State District of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG District II) on the Safe Motherhood Initiative.

Close to 99 percent of the nearly 250,000 live births in New York state result in the discharge of a mother and her baby. Yet, there are mothers who die or suffer serious permanent harm. In fact, New York state ranks 47th in the country for its maternal mortality rate.

Through the Safe Motherhood Initiative, the teams at Vassar and Northern Dutchess are actively working together to focus on implementing standard approaches for handling New York’s three leading causes of maternal death: obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots) and severe hypertension in pregnancy (high blood pressure).

“Vassar Brothers Medical Center is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our patients and their families and is very excited to participate in the Safe Motherhood Initiative,” said Kathleen McGinnis, Perinatal Safety Nurse at the hospital. “The work we are doing with the initiative is cutting-edge modern obstetrics and will not only improve outcomes for mothers in our community but will impact maternal care nationally and globally.”

ACOG District II is working with more than 100 obstetric and maternity care hospitals across New York state, including Vassar in Poughkeepsie and Northern Dutchess in Rhinebeck, on standardized protocols for these events to help ensure every woman has a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

“More people are choosing to have their babies at Northern Dutchess Hospital’s Neugarten Family Birth Center because of our commitment to patient safety and quality care,” said Pamela Rhodes, the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Services. “This initiative aims to improve pregnancy and delivery care, which aligns perfectly with our goal to provide the very best care not only to our mothers and newborns, but to all our patients.”

The program is funded by “Merck for Mothers,” an initiative to create a world where no woman dies giving life.

The co-chairs of the Safe Motherhood Initiative are Dr. Mary D’Alton and Dr. Cynthia Chazotte.

“For several months, obstetric experts developed and evaluated evidenced-based management plans for SMI hospitals,” D’Alton said. “These plans, also known as maternal safety bundles, consist of tools such as clinical education videos, algorithms, step-by-step checklists and other hands-on materials.”

“Our objective is to help obstetric providers adopt uniform clinical protocols to improve the diagnosis, prevention and management of the leading causes of maternal death. We are committed to working with Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Northern Dutchess Hospital on the Safe Motherhood Initiative – for the sake of women and their babies,” Chazotte added.

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