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Autism Speaks receives $160K through ShopRite fundraising efforts

FLORIDA (June 22) - Through in-store fundraising efforts, ShopRite customers and associates partnered to raise more than $160,000 in support of Autism Speaks in recognition of April as National Autism Awareness Month. During a three week period this spring, ShopRite customers were able to make donations to Autism Speaks at check out at 33 ShopRite locations in New York and New Jersey.

ShopRite's Vice President of Operations, Tom Urtz, is joined by store associates at the ShopRite of Croton

Store associates also held in-store fundraisers, such as raffles, educational workshops by in-store dietitians, product sampling, and more, in support of Autism Speaks, competing to raise the most funds for the not-for-profit organization. The top five fundraising locations for this campaign were: Croton, NY - $8,561, Clark, NJ - $8,400, Scarsdale, NY - $8,275, Spotswood, NJ - $7,358, and Montague, NJ - $7,281.

A check presentation was held at the top fundraising store, ShopRite of Croton, where the ShopRite associates along with Tom Urtz, Vice President of Operations for SRS, presented Nicole Matesich, Sr. Director, Field Development-NY for Autism Speaks, a check for $161,000.

"ShopRite is proud to partner with Autism Speaks to raise awareness of autism and much-needed funds for their research and advocacy efforts," said Tom Urtz, Vice President of Operations for ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. "We are fortunate to have caring and generous associates and customers who share our commitment to giving back to the community we serve. It is thanks to their generosity that we're able to support organizations like Autism Speaks that provide assistance to our friends and neighbors," added Figurelli.

Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, funds autism research, seeks to increase awareness of autism, and advocates for the needs of individuals and families living with autism.


Westchester Med, Philips announce $500M multi-year enterprise partnership to transform patient care

VALHALLA (June 16) – Westchester Medical Center Health Network and Royal Philips announced a multi-year, $500 million partnership to transform and improve healthcare for millions of patients across New York’s Hudson Valley. The partnership is based on an enterprise managed services model through which Philips will provide WMCHealth with a comprehensive range of clinical and business consulting services, as well as advanced medical technologies such as imaging systems, patient monitoring, telehealth and clinical informatics solutions. Moreover, the collaboration aims to redefine how quality care is delivered in all areas, including radiology, cardiology, neurology, oncology and pediatrics, as WMCHealth expands beyond a single-campus academic medical center into a multi-location regional healthcare provider.

The partnership is part of WMCHealth’s transformation to a regional network as the largest provider of integrated health in the Hudson Valley. A 1,500-bed health system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, WMCHealth spans seven hospitals and several campuses and locations, along with nearly 300 healthcare partner organizations. Its flagship, Westchester Medical Center, is the only regional resource for complex medical and surgical interventions, covering 6,000 square miles in eight counties and serving more than three million people.

“In order for us to make the large-scale improvements that will truly impact the lives of our patients, we need to think longer term and be able to adapt quickly as technology evolves,” said Michael D. Israel, president and CEO of WMCHealth. “Our alliance with Philips not only gives us access to the latest in connected digital health technologies, it will allow us to collaborate on pro-active health management and co-create new patient-centered models of care for the Hudson Valley area. Together, we are working to keep the Hudson Valley healthy through a model that supports innovation and transformation in a value-driven environment.”


Dr. Steier

Touro College’s Dr. Kenneth Steier joins HVEDC Board of Directors

NEW WINDSOR (June 16) – Dr. Kenneth Steier, DO, Dean of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine-Middletown Campus, has joined the board of directors for the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC).

“To have Dr. Kenneth Steier agree to join our board of directors is a recognition of the commitment HVEDC has to our recently created EDs & MEDs cluster initiative,” said Laurence Gottlieb, HVEDC president and CEO. “Dr. Steier’s insight, experience and talent will help HVEDC as we continue to bring together the region’s colleges and universities, along with major health care providers and health organizations, to produce jobs and spur economic growth in the region.”

Touro’s Orange County campus --- called TouroCOM-Middletown --- is designed to recruit students to the greater Hudson Valley area. Affiliations allow students to complete their rotations and residencies at local hospitals and offices. This local recruitment and training makes it likely they will stay in the area to practice medicine when they graduate.

“I support HVEDC’s idea of bringing together the region’s education and health care sectors because representatives of these two groups know what needs to be done to create health care jobs in this region,” said Steier. “I look forward to joining HVEDC’s board of directors to make a positive impact not only in the region’s economic development but in the good health of the people who live here.”  

Steier, who is board certified in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, previously served as Medical Director of Presurgical Testing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Dean of Academic Affairs at Nassau University Medical Center, Associate Dean and chair of the department of Medicine at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, as well as a clinical assistant dean at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He holds master’s degrees in business administration, public health, geriatric health, and health administration.

Steier is an accreditation surveyor for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), a grant reviewer for the Health Resources Services Administration and a consultant for the Food and Drug Administration. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

HVEDC, based in New Windsor, N.Y., is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.


L-R: Chairman Alden Wolfe, Elizabeth Simon, Frances Pratt, Legislator Aney Paul

Dedicated nursing professionals recognized by Rockland legislator

NEW CITY (May 21)  – In recognition of National Nurses Week, County Legislator Aney Paul presented two outstanding nurses, Frances Pratt and Elizabeth Simon, with Certificates of Achievement in honor of their dedication and professional contributions to the field of nursing and healthcare.

Frances Pratt began her nursing career at Nyack Hospital as a pediatric nurse's aide and eventually earned her nursing degree at Rockland Community College.  Mrs. Pratt became the hospital's first African American registered nurse, and rose to the rank of Emergency Room head nurse.  Mrs. Pratt also served as the manager of the hospital's Employee Health Services and retired in 2012.  Nyack College recently presented Mrs. Pratt with an Honorary Doctorate (Lett.D) in recognition of her outstanding public influence.

"Frances Pratt is many things, a nurse, a civil rights activist, a humanitarian and a most distinguished citizen of Rockland County," said Paul.  "Frances has mentored many nurses, myself included, and we are all better practitioners because of her input.  I am pleased that Nyack College awarded her an Honorary Doctorate.  It is just one of many awards that she has received over her career and her many years of activism.  It goes without saying, Dr. Pratt is revered among medical professionals, former patients and the people of Rockland County."

Elizabeth Simon is a Dean and Professor at Nyack College's School of Nursing. Ms. Simon began her career in India and has worked and instructed at many hospitals and schools in India and in the New York metropolitan area.  In 2015, Ms. Simon was one of 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach abroad. Ms. Simon will travel in October to teach in India for six months.

"We are extremely proud and fortunate that these nursing professionals chose Rockland County," said Paul, who is a registered nurse, as well.  "Since joining Nyack College, Ms. Simon has been able to establish the college's School of Nursing, new undergraduate degree programs and oversaw the construction of a new laboratory and purchase of equipment.  Ms. Simon has distinguished herself among nursing professionals and educators and now, proudly, adds Fulbright Scholar to her résumé."


Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corp honors Orange Regional Emergency Department

MIDDLETOWN (May 12) – Orange Regional’s Emergency Department was recently honored by Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps (GOVAC) at its Annual Appreciation Celebration. Every year, Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps recognizes a person or group that has helped them to better service the community. GOVAC recognized Orange Regional’s Emergency Department for its tremendous and continuous support.

During the celebration, Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps Captain, Dave Grippe recounted the story of his wife’s visit to the Emergency Department, following a heart attack in September of 2014 and a stroke in February of 2015. Throughout both incidents, he said Orange Regional Emergency Department staff members Toni Buldoc, RN, Jon Duffy, RN, Debra Stubecki, RN and Angela Marchionni, RN went above and beyond in providing exceptional patient care.

All four members of the Emergency Department were given individual awards for their dedication to the community. “Each of these staff members exceeded the call of duty. They showed great compassion, not only for what they do, but for their patient as well. This is not only because they know me, I see this with every patient I deliver to their care,” Mr. Grippe said.

Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps Captain Dave Grippe honors Orange Regional’s Emergency Department staff

For more information services at Orange Regional Medical Center, visit


River & Mountain Midwives offering planned hospital birth services at HealthAlliance’s Family Birth Place

KINGSTON (May 12) - River & Mountain Midwives has partnered with HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley to offer planned hospital births at the HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus Family Birth Place.

At the Family Birth Center, River & Mountain Midwives will provide comprehensive maternity care through a variety of care packages that can be personalized to suit the needs of each mother and baby. This can include emotional and educational support, standard hospital birth care, water birth and more.

“We like to encourage a family-centered, physiological birth that results in a healthy baby and healthy mom,” said Susanrachel Condon, Co-owner of River & Mountain Midwives. The midwives are educated and licensed to provide all non-surgical birthing services including ordering pain medication for those who request it.

“Partnering with River & Mountain to provide midwifery at the Family Birth Place is a great opportunity to expand our services and offer multiple healthcare options to our patients,” said David Scarpino, President and CEO at HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. “This is just one way in which HealthAlliance is working to improve the quality of our care through collaboration with local community healthcare providers.”

River & Mountain Midwives currently has offices in New Paltz and Poughkeepsie and will soon have office space in Kingston, close to the Broadway Campus. This will improve accessibility of pregnancy and birthing services to the Kingston community.

“HealthAlliance is a great, underutilized birthing place,” said Condon. “We’re excited to be a part in making the Family Birth Place the best kept secret for childbirth in the Hudson Valley.”


Orange Regional Medical Center earns ‘A’ grade for patient safety

TOWN OF WALLKILL (May 6) - Orange Regional Medical Center has been recognized for its dedication to patient safety by the Leapfrog Group and has been awarded an ‘A’ grade in the spring 2015 Hospital Safety Scores. Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score rates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections within the hospital. Orange Regional joins the top 31% of the 2,500 hospitals in the United States that received an ‘A’ grade.

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by the Leapfrog Group, a national, non-profit hospital safety watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use when facing a hospital stay.

“Orange Regional Medical Center is deeply committed to finding ways to improve patient safety and quality of care,” said Rose Baczewski, RN, MA, LSSMBB, Chief Quality Officer. “While our progress is encouraging, we strive every day to ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time in the right place.”

President & CEO, Scott Batulis said, “We take great pride in the quality of care we provide at Orange Regional and our caregivers are always working hard to improve that care for our patients and our community.  Achieving quality is an ongoing process. Our goal is to continuously improve our quality outcomes.”

“Orange Regional Medical Center’s ‘A’ grade validates its achievement in preventing harm within the hospital, and we are proud to recognize the efforts of the care providers and staff,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score.

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


Auxiliary members in the gift shop, in 1950

Vassar Brothers Medical Center Auxiliary celebrates 100th anniversary

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 6) - On April 21, 1915, 12 women gathered in the heart of Poughkeepsie at 20 Garfield Place.

The home, then owned by Frank Hull, became a place for these women to create handmade crafts and gifts such as hot water bottle covers, baby stockings and belly buddies for hospital patients.

This group would become the Auxiliary at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, a thriving collection of volunteers who have provided countless hours of volunteer service over the last century to the City of Poughkeepsie medical center.

“On behalf of all the members of the VBMC Auxiliary, I am happy to report that, after 100 years, our commitment to the hospital is still as strong as ever,” Auxiliary President Marge Short said.

Over the years, the auxiliary’s fundraising efforts have contributed to renovations to the pediatric unit, new exam tables for the neonatal intensive care unit, construction of the west wing, scholarships for college-bound volunteers and construction of the Daniel Z. Aronzon, M.D., Ambulatory Surgery Center.

Short, left, and Glegg

More than 100 current and former auxilians came together on April 21 at The Grandview in the City of Poughkeepsie to celebrate 100 years of dedicated volunteerism to the community hospital.

Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed May 6 as Health Care Auxilian Day in New York state to recognize the dedicated auxilians who annually donate more than 5 million hours of service to their healthcare facilities and to their communities.

On Auxilian Day, the VBMC Auxiliary will deliver gifts to hospital patients.

“These gifts were handmade by the Recreational Therapy Department under direction of longtime Auxiliary member Ann Clegg,” Short said.




Leadership Orange announces Leadership Award recipient

NEW WINDSOR (May 4) - Leadership Orange recently announced that Ronald Israelski, M.D. is the recipient of the 2015 Leadership Award.   This award is given annual to an individual in Orange County and, who, through their ideas, actions and accomplishments, has had a direct and positive impact on the quality of life in the county.

Full details on our Community Page


Margaretville Hospital marks Donate Life Month

MARGARETVILLE  (April 17) - Five staff from Margaretville Hospital will be attending the 2015 Donate Life Symposium & Celebration Dinner in Saratoga Springs on April 23.

L-R: Director of Nursing Services Marilyn Donnelly, CRNFA; Tanjia Hynes, BSN CEN; Steve Carson, RPA;
and Nurse Manager Erin Wood, RN.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the Center for Donation and Transplant’s (CDT) 12th annual National Donate Life Month. Margaretville Hospital personnel taking part in this continuing education event will be Director of Nursing Marilyn Donnelly, CRNFA, and four members of her staff.

The Margaretville Hospital director of nursing pointed out that one donor can save or enhance the life of up to 50 people. She noted that there are more than 100,000 patients in the United States awaiting a life-saving transplant. Every 14 minutes, another name is added to the waiting list and every day 18 people die due to lack of transplantable organs.

Donnelly explained that a donor can be any person who has had a complete and irreversible stopping of all brain functions caused by a recent injury to the brain which may result from a stroke, head injury or ruptured blood vessel in the brain. This patient will be on a ventilator in an Emergency Room or ICU. After brain death has been declared, the patient will remain on the ventilator (breathing support) that enables oxygen to reach the lungs and the heart to continue beating. Brain death is permanent and cannot be reversed.

She said there are eight transplantable organs in the human body — heart, lungs (two), liver, kidneys (two), intestine and pancreas. Every organ is carefully evaluated before donation to ensure it can be transplanted successfully.

“All donors are treated with dignity and respect,” Donnelly said.

Tissue donation presents another means of helping others.  Donnelly said that tissue donation can occur after brain death or cardiac death. She stated that, because there is extra leeway regarding timing, there are more opportunities for patients to become tissue donors after death. As with organ donation, procurement occurs in a sterile, operating room environment.

Tissue that may be donated for transplant includes: bone, heart valves, skin, cartilage, tendons, veins and corneas. Donation of these tissues can have enormous impact on the lives of recipients.

“Participating in this program has been a great honor for us and donor families are truly gratified that their loved ones have helped so many others,” she stated.

Anyone interested in becoming an organ/tissue donor is encouraged to contact the New York State Donate Life Registry ( to document their decision. The registry is a legal document of gift, meaning that enrolling in the registry provides legal consent to donate organs/tissue after death, if medically possible. The registry is a confidential database maintained by the New York State Department of Health. New York State residents also have the option of signing up as an organ donor when they renew their driver’s license.

Margaretville Hospital is located at 42084 State Highway 28, Margaretville.


SLCH Receives Healthgrades 2015 Patient Safety Excellence Award™,

NEWBURGH (April 17) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) announced that it has achieved the Healthgrades 2015 Patient Safety Excellence Award™, a designation that honors hospital performance in the prevention of thirteen serious, potentially preventable complications during hospital stays. 

The distinction makes SLCH the only hospital in New York State to receive this award for five consecutive years. This achievement also names SLCH as the only hospital in the state to be ranked among the top 5% in the nation for patient safety three years in a row, as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

"To achieve this distinction yet again is a true sign of the quality of care provided to our patients,” said Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO. “Five years in a row is incredible and we could not be more proud of the team we have caring for our community each and every day.” 

On average, 133,896 patient safety events could have been avoided if all hospitals, as a group from 2011 from 2013, performed similarly to hospitals performing better than expected on each of the 13 Patient Safety Indicators evaluated by Healthgrades.

"Patient safety is a priority at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital,” said Christine Jelalian, MD, SLCH Medical Director. “Each member of our team plays an integral role in helping us to achieve this distinction."

 “We commend all recipients of the Healthgrades 2015 Outstanding Patient Safety Excellence Award.  This achievement reflects an organization-wide commitment to delivering high-quality care and to protecting patients from potentially preventable complications,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades.

This latest recognition comes on the heels of SLCH being recognized in November, as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission.  In 2014, the hospital was also recognized as one of the top hospitals in New York State, the Hudson Valley, and the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh Metro Area by U.S. News & World Report.


Homes built prior to 1978 are a particular risk

Orange County residents reminded help available for lead paint remediation

GOSHEN (April 6) –today reminded residents that the Orange County Office of Community Development administers a lead-poisoning prevention program called Lead Safe Orange.

“Lead has very serious effects on the central nervous system, particularly, in those six years of age and under,” said Orange County Director of Community Development Richard Mayfield.  “Moreover, lead is not good for anyone at any age. It can collect in the long bones of adults and replace the body’s need for other metals used by the central nervous system. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to our office, as well as our partners at the Orange County Health Department, that we work to remove lead from the environment.”

The Lead Safe Orange program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) consisting of $2.5 million, and the program is geared toward remediation of hazards from lead-based paint before a child becomes poisoned. The Orange County Office of Community Development can provide funds to eligible landlords and single-family homeowners to renew or replace housing surfaces that have lead hazards including windows and doors.

In keeping with HUD national objectives, households must be income eligible to take advantage of this program. Grants up to $10,000 per home or dwelling unit are available, with a priority placed on dwellings with children under the age of six who live or visit there. If you reside anywhere in Orange County and you own or live in a home built before 1978, call Wayne Cochran at Lead Safe Orange at 845-291-2424 to inquire about qualifying.


St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Auxiliary helps local students get dressed for prom

NEWBURGH (April 6) – The St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) Auxiliary once again helped students get ready for the upcoming prom season by participating in Prom Fest 2015.

Full details on our Education Page


Frank Piccoli relaxes in the new chair

Klock Kingston, HealthAlliance Foundations purchase new chairs for dialysis center

KINGSTON (March 31) – Patients at the HealthAlliance Dialysis Center can now look forward to a more comfortable experience. Thirty-four brand-new medical recliners, purchased with a generous gift from the Klock Kingston Foundation and support from the HealthAlliance Foundation, await those who come to the center at 37 Albany Ave. in Kingston for treatment several times each week.

“We are so grateful for the new chairs,” said certified registered nurse and Dialysis Center Director Cheryl Ostrander. According to Ostrander, the Dialysis Center serves 140 people who receive treatment for about 12 hours each week. After 14 years of heavy use, the old chairs were no longer comfortable for patients required to sit for 3 to 4 hours at a time.

The Klock Kingston Foundation contributed $25,000 toward the replacement of the recliners.

“This is right after my own heart,” said Mary Ellen Cologero of the Klock Kingston Foundation, recalling the experience of a family member who underwent dialysis. “When you have to go [to treatment] so many times per week, it is great to have a center that is so accommodating and responsive to patients’ needs.”

Steffen T. Kraehmer, Executive Director of the HealthAlliance Foundation, which funded the remaining cost of the chairs, said: “The Dialysis Center provides a great service to our community. We are pleased to partner with the Klock Kingston Foundation to enhance the experience of our patients.”

Ostrander confirmed that patients approve of the new chairs: “Every patient I talked to said, ‘Wow! Really comfortable!’”


Health Quest brings cancer patients support with CancerConnect

LAGRANGE (March 31) - Post questions, comment on discussions and find support about living with cancer by signing up for Health Quest’s newly launched CancerConnect.

This online community allows local cancer patients and their loved ones to interact with more than 50,000 other members across the country going through similar diagnoses and treatments at any time of day, from anywhere.

Mid-Hudson Valley users can post within the Health Quest community or join conversations with individuals nationwide, or both. There are 60 cancer-specific groups and others focused on caregiving, health and wellness, clinical trials, insurance, nutrition and survivorship. All are professionally monitored.

“This is a great tool for cancer patients looking for information about their treatment or support from someone who has been through their diagnosis and treatment,” said Sandi Cassese, vice president of Oncology Services at Health Quest.

CancerConnect was founded by oncologist, Dr. Charles Weaver, after his son developed a rare sarcoma and desired a social media tool like Facebook to interact with others with his condition.

“People with cancer and their caregivers need ongoing access to support—not just during an office visit with their physician, but when they go home and do research,” said Weaver, CEO of OMNI Health Media, publisher of CancerConnect.

Registering with CancerConnect is fast, free and confidential. You do not have to be a Health Quest patient. To access CancerConnect, visit


Dutchess celebrates Autism Awareness Day

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 31) - This Thursday, April 2nd, Dutchess County is celebrating Autism Awareness Day.   Autism affects many families locally, nationally, and globally. In fact, it is estimated as many as 1 in 68 children in the U.S. are living on the autism spectrum.

Here in Dutchess, we are working to THINK DIFFERENTLY to break down barriers and connect with great people and organizations to help make our community more inclusive for individuals of all abilities.  

This Thursday, join us in participating in Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue initiative to raise awareness of those living with autism.   In honor of World Autism Awareness Day , more than 10,000 landmarks, businesses, and homes in 136 countries will be participating in the Light It Up Blue initiative. 

Here is Dutchess, county employees will be wearing blue and the Mid-Hudson Bridge’s beautiful necklace lights will also be lit blue.  We hope you will join us to Light Dutchess County Up Blue on Thursday, April 2nd.  

To learn more about Autism Speaks and the Light Up Blue Initiative, visit


American Cancer Society’s Kingston Relay for Life now recruiting teams for June event

KINGSTON (March 26) - The Committee of the American Cancer Society’s Kingston Relay for Life will celebrate their 20th year and 30 years nationally in 2015.

The committee is now actively recruiting teams for the Kingston Relay for Life event to will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at Dietz Memorial Stadium in Kingston.

Get involved in Relay this year with your family or office and start a team! Individuals or groups are urged to contact Tina Eckert at 845-440-2509 or visit

All dollars raised go towards Research, Education, Advocacy, Services and Programs of your local and National American Cancer Society.

Since Kingston Relay began, the event has raised nearly $3,000,000 to aid in the fight against cancer! During this time, American Cancer Society has aggressively continued to help people stay well by helping them to take steps to prevent cancer or find it at its earliest, most treatable stage, get well, by being in their corner around the clock to help make decisions and guide them through the cancer diagnosis, find cures by funding research that helps make people better understand, prevent and cure cancer, and fight back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight. While as triumphant as we have been, our work is not done.



Orange Regional Medical Center appoints Manager of Lactation Services

MIDDLETOWN (March 24) – Orange Regional Medical Center’s Rowley Family Birthing Center is pleased to announce Deborah Vermilyea, BSN, RN, IBCLC has been promoted to Manager of Lactation Services. Ms. Vermilyea joined Orange Regional in 2010 as the Lactation Education Specialist for the Birthing Center, educating nearly every patient in the benefits of breastfeeding and providing one-on-one support and assistance with those interested in breastfeeding.

In her time at Orange Regional, Ms. Vermilyea has strengthened Lactation Services and Support by developing Orange Regional’s Women, Infant and Children Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program in collaboration with Maternal Infant Services Network. In August 2014, she was also instrumental in  registering the Rowley Family Birthing Center as a Big Latch On host site for a group of breastfeeding women and children who participate in this worldwide event to bring awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding. Ms. Vermilyea also initiated and continues to facilitate Orange Regional’s New Mothers’ Support Group which is open to all new moms and their infants from newly born to 9 months.

In Ms. Vermilyea new position, she and her team coordinate, oversee and participate in the expert management of the breastfeeding mother-baby dyad within the Rowley Family Birthing Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics and Children’s Emergency Department.

Ms. Vermilyea earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University of Massachusetts at North Dartmouth. She is an International Board Certification Lactation Consultant and her clinical experience includes Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing and leadership responsibilities in Maternal Child Health at various organizations within the Hudson Valley.

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


Helping your teen get enough sleep

NYACK (March 24) -- Teenagers don't get enough sleep, and the consequences can be harmful, says Nyack Hospital sleep medicine specialist Anita Bhola, M.D. Parents can help their teens understand the importance of good sleep habits, and how to carve out time from their busy schedules to get adequate rest, she says. Infographic

"Teenagers are notorious 'night owls,' notes Dr. Bhola, the mother of two teens. "No matter what time they need to get up in the morning, they stay up late doing homework, texting their friends or playing video games."

Although sleep needs vary among individuals, in general teens ages 11 to 17 need about 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep a night in order to be alert, productive and healthy, she says.

Teens are more sleep-deprived than any other age group. Not getting enough sleep can affect a teenager's ability to pay attention in school or consolidate the information they've learned into memory. Even staying up an extra hour a night can affect their performance on a test or their ability to function in school. Teens who don't get enough can become cranky. Sleep deprivation can also have more serious effects on behavior and mental health.

"I see a lot of teens in my practice who have been referred to me because of impulsive behavior, anxiety and depression," Dr. Bhola says. "A lot of those issues have to do with lack of sleep."

One major factor in teens' lack of adequate sleep is early start times at school. Sleep specialists around the country have been working with school districts to try to implement later school opening times. Research has shown starting school a half-hour or hour later can improve school performance and decrease depression.

The use of electronics close to bedtime plays a large part in teens' lack of sleep. The bright light from TVs, phones and laptops suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin in the body. Levels of melatonin start rising at night, and induce sleep. Bright light sends a signal to the brain to suppress melatonin, and this causes problems with sleep.

"Over scheduling also plays a role. Teens have so much homework and extracurricular activities," Dr. Bhola says. She adds another reason teens stay up late is their biological clock, which changes around puberty. Their body won't let them get to sleep early, and makes them want to sleep later. But since they have to get up so early during the week, they end up compensating by sleeping until 11 or noon on the weekends.

Dr. Bhola suggests parents sit down with their teens and have a conversation about why it's important to get enough sleep, and come up with a strategy the whole family can live with.

  • Get homework done by a certain time.
  • Don't eat a large meal within three to four hours of bedtime, and stay awayfrom caffeine from late afternoon on.
  • Incorporate daily physical activity, but not close to bedtime.
  • Consistency with weekday and weekend sleep/wake schedules.
  • Shut off all electronics a half-hour before bedtime.
  • Keep bedrooms dark, quiet and cool during sleep hours.

"Remember, you have to be a role model yourself. It's hard to tell your teens to go to bed earlier if you're staying up late," Dr. Bhola says.


Orange Regional Medical Center brings attention to Diabetes Alert Day

MIDDLETOWN (March 20) - Orange Regional Medical Center's Dunkelman Diabetes Center is encouraging community members to take part in the 27th Annual American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day on March 24, 2015. The awareness day promotes individuals to take a brief Diabetes Risk Test to determine if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The test can be taken online at or call Orange Regional’s Dunkelman Diabetes Center at 845-695-5858 to discuss your level of risk.

To help people better recognize their own risk for Type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides a Diabetes Risk Test, encouraging individuals to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors that can help to determine pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their healthcare provider.

Moderate lifestyle changes can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis is essential in avoiding potential complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.  Diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States. In addition, 79 million, or one in three American adults have pre-diabetes which increases their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes significantly. Likewise, millions are unaware they have, or are at risk for, Type 2 diabetes while many are diagnosed seven to ten years after the onset of the disease.

Located at 75 Crystal Run Road in Middletown, the Orange Regional Dunkelman Diabetes Center’s team of nationally certified diabetes educators has over 45 years of combined diabetes education experience.

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


Catskill Regional Medical Center celebrates Diabetes Alert Day

HARRIS (March 20) - Catskill Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Program is encouraging community members to take part in the 27th Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day on March 24, 2015. American Diabetes Association Alert Day promotes taking a Diabetes Risk Test to determine if you are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The test can be taken online at or call Catskill Regional’s Diabetes Self-Management Program at 845-794-3300, extension 2106 to discuss your level of risk.

To help people better recognize their own risk for Type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides a Diabetes Risk Test, encouraging individuals to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors that can help to determine pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their healthcare provider.

Moderate lifestyle changes can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis is essential in avoiding potential complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.  Diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States. In addition, 79 million, or one in three American adults have pre-diabetes which increases their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes significantly. Likewise, millions are unaware they have, or are at risk for, Type 2 diabetes while many are diagnosed seven to ten years after the onset of the disease.

To learn more about diabetes, contact Catskill Regional’s Diabetes Self-Management Program at 845-794-3300 extension 2106 Monday through Friday. Information about the program can also be found at

A member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, Catskill Regional Medical Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality health care to residents in the Sullivan County region.


HealthAlliance honors its 156 board-certified nurses on Certified Nurses Day, March 19

KINGSTON (March 1) - HealthAlliance is honoring its 156 board-certified registered nurses on Certified Nurses Day, March 19.

“Certification promotes nursing excellence and improves patient outcomes,” said HealthAlliance Chief Nursing Officer Sandra Horan. “It validates that the nurse caring for a patient has proven experience, knowledge and skills in the complex specialties of acute and critical care.”

The accredited nurses serve at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway and Mary’s Avenue campuses in Kingston, Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville, and Woodland Pond continuing care retirement community in New Paltz.

Click HERE for the full release including a list of the nurses





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