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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



Greater Hudson Valley Health System announces addition to leadership

MIDDLETOWN (Feb ruary 26) – The Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS), comprised of Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center, announces the promotion of Jacqui Budakowski, RN, BSN to the position of Meaningful Use Coordinator and Information Security Officer.

Budakowski has been with Orange Regional since 2004 when she began working as a critical care float nurse. She became patient flow coordinator in 2005 and transitioned into the Information Technology department to work on the Epic implementation as a clinical analyst in 2011.

As Meaningful Use Coordinator, Budakowski will continue to leverage her extensive clinical and systems knowledge to navigate GHVHS through the Meaningful Use process. She is responsible for leading the Meaningful Use efforts for GHVHS and eligible providers at Orange Regional Medical Group and Catskill Regional Medical Group. Meaningful Use is using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities. It also engages patients and family, and improves care coordination and public health.

In her new role as Information Security Officer, Budakowski is responsible for enhancing GHVHS’s efforts to ensure all electronic medical records and other information assets are sufficiently protected. She is responsible for making sure the HIPPA security standards for information systems that manage health information are always met and ensures that policies and procedures are in place to protect privacy.

For more information about services provided at Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center visit  or


SLCH will award scholarships to local students demonstrating scholastic achievement and volunteerism

NEWBURGH (February 18) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation will award three scholarships to graduating high school seniors entering an accredited university or community college in the fall of 2015.

Full details on our Education Page


Red Cross teams with Highland High School to teach hands-only CPR

POUGHKEEPSIE (February 16) – For the second consecutive year, in honor of National Heart Month, the American Red Cross has partnered with Highland High School to bring Citizen (Hands-Only) CPR to all of the school’s 600 students. From Tuesday, February 17 through Friday, February 20, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Team members from the Eastern New York Region will teach Citizen CPR skills to five Physical Education classes each day.

“We are thrilled to be working with Highland High School and empowering their students to perform lifesaving skills,” said Dayna Callahan, American Red Cross AmeriCorps member and Citizen CPR instructor. “The more people we can train in Citizen CPR, the safer we can make our community, and after this week, another 600 students will be ready to help if they should witness a cardiac emergency.”

More than 300,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States each year, and one quarter of Americans say they’ve been in a situation where someone needed CPR. Citizen CPR is an abbreviated version of the full CPR training that the Red Cross offers. The Citizen CPR course demonstrates how the hands-only technique can save a life.

Hands-only CPR involves no mouth to mouth contact and is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse. In the course, students will learn the proper steps to take when performing Hands-Only CPR. They will also learn about how to get certified in first aid, full CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recognizes the Hudson Valley Chapter for the 2014 Pacesetter Award

NEW YORK (February 9) – Each year in the United States, suicide claims nearly 40,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.

More information on our Community Page



SLCH welcomes New Board of Trustees chairperson

NEWBURGH (January 28) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital announces the appointment of Michelle Rider, CPA, Esq. to Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

Rider, a senior partner at Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider, PLLC, has served as a member of the SLCH Board of Trustees since 2009, most recently as Vice Chair from January 2013 to December 2014. She is also a past member of the SLCH Foundation Board of Directors.

A graduate of Albany Law School, Rider’s experience as a lawyer contributes greatly to her position as Chairperson. She has concentrated her practice in the areas of corporate law, commercial transactions and succession planning.  A number of her clients are in the health-services delivery industry. 

“I am both honored and eager to enter this new position on the Board for St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital,” said Rider. “This is such a crucial time in healthcare reform, and it is exciting to be a part of a community hospital Board that is committed to the process of changing healthcare delivery for the better.”

Patrick Ortland, outgoing Chairman, has been a member of the SLCH BOT since 2007. As Chairman, Ortland’s steady leadership has helped guide the hospital through a period of transition and kept SLCH moving forward. Working with Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO, Ortland has helped to strategically align SLCH to create a dynamic and thriving health care system to proudly serve our region.

Geoffrey Brackett was appointed to Vice Chair and David Potack, Vice President of Unitex, will take over as Secretary.


Go Red for Heart Month - Mid-Hudson Bridge to glow red in February

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 28) - Get ready to see red, Hudson Valley. The American Heart Association, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the NYS Bridge Authority have teamed up to have the FDR Mid-Hudson Bridge illuminated red to shine a light—quite literally—on heart disease and stroke, that 1 in 3 women die from each year. The bridge will glow red for the entire month of February, including National Wear Red Day, February 6th.

Wrist band and pin

Jacobowitz and Gubitz LLP staff

On National Wear Red Day, thousands of Hudson Valley employees will wear red to raise awareness and also raise funds to support critical research and education for heart disease in women. Everyone who donates $5 to the Go Red For Women campaign receives a red dress pin and lifesaving heart health education. In addition to wearing red, some organizations in the region will offer heart healthy lunch and learn programs, organize healthy walks, or offer healthier foods in vending machines or cafeterias.

Adams Fairacre Farms windows are already decorated with red hearts, sold for $1 donation at store registers through February. Catskill Hudson Bank branches will decorate their windows in red, as well. Shop Rite in Poughkeepsie is offering heart health information, weight management classes, and other screenings throughout American Heart Month.

“Hundreds of local businesses, hospitals, towns, schools are ready to Go Red to help raise awareness and funds to fight the number one killer of women – cardiovascular disease,” said Betty Fanelli, Go Red For Women Chair, “Every red light, every red heart, every red dress should be a reminder to women to fight their number one killer—heart disease.”

The AHA’s Go Red For Women movement focuses on women’s heart health awareness in February because more women than men are dying from heart disease and stroke. Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and women often delay seeking treatment.

But more than 80% of heart disease in women can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier, quitting smoking and exercising 30 minutes daily. Women can get lifesaving information at

Capping off American Heart Month is the AHA’s 6th annual Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie on February 27th featuring Amy Roloff, star of TLC’s Little People, Big World. Tickets are available online at



Orange AHRC Foundation Board welcomes Domenic Baiocco

NEW WINDSOR (January 21) – Orange AHRC Foundation Board welcomes Domenic Baiocco as a new board member. The Orange AHRC Foundation raises money in support of Orange AHRC’s programs which support people with developmental disabilities throughout Orange County.

As a Business Loan Officer at Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Domenic works closely with local commercial real estate brokers, CPAs, attorneys and builders to offer their clients the financing they need to achieve their business goals. With more than 14 years of experience in the financial services/banking industry specializing in commercial mortgages, lines of credit and SBA financing, Domenic’s career has included commercial banking, relationship management and branch management. In addition, Domenic has formal business credit training. A resident of Orange County, Domenic is active in the local community and is a member of both the Dutchess and Orange County Chambers of Commerce. Domenic is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in Operation Desert Storm.

Orange AHRC Foundation President Marc Devitt explains, “I am looking forward to working with Domenic on the Foundation Board as we look to increase our fundraising and marketing efforts for Orange AHRC.” Domenic replied, “As a 20 year resident of Orange County, I am thrilled to be working with an organization that does so much good for so many people.”

Every day, Orange AHRC’s 750 employees provide advocacy and services for more than 2,000 people of all ages living in Orange County who have developmental disabilities. For more information please visit


Sherri and Glen Heller  (photo provided)

Hospice Starry Night Gala honorees named

NEWBURGH (January 14) - HOSPICE of Orange and Sullivan Counties, Inc. announces that Glen and Sherri Heller and the law offices of Drake Loeb PLLC will be honored at the spring “Starry Night” gala on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The many years of support from Mr. and Mrs. Heller and the Drake Loeb firm, along with the unwavering dedication to the services of Hospice, will be highlighted at the event to be held at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor at 6 p.m.  Co-Chairs for the event are Helen Richards and Rachelle Klugman.

For tickets, sponsorships, and additional information please go to our website “Events” or contact Gloria Alisandrella, Hospice Director of Special Events, at (845) 561-5362 ext. 366.


Group donates children’s books to new mothers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 14) - Leading to Reading, a community outreach project of the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, provided an initial gift of 250 new children’s books on Jan. 9 to moms who choose to deliver at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

The group will provide enough books for every baby born at Vassar this year to encourage parents to read to their children.

Leading to Reading’s goal is to enhance literacy programs and provide books and family reading kits for children from low income families.

L-R: Ann Armater, senior vice president of development for Health Quest, and Leading to Reading volunteers Janna Whearty,
Shirley Granda, Betty Harrel and Linda Roy hold some of the donated books from the Leading to Reading project.

Started in 2004, the program has distributed more than 14,000 books to numerous agencies in all areas of Dutchess County.

For more information, visit For more information about giving birth at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, visit


Orange Regional Medical Center honors physicians and medical students

MIDDLETOWN (January 12) - Orange Regional Medical Center recently celebrated its First Annual Ronald H. Israelski, MD Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony. The award recognizes a distinguished group of physicians, resident physicians and medical students who have demonstrated educational innovation and excellence. Director of Medical Education, Dr. John Dermigny, DO and Medical Student Christianna Anderson were this year’s honorees.

Dr. Ronald Israelski was honored this year for his vision and leadership in Medical Education in Orange County. As Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Israelski has been invaluable in the creation of excellence in medical education for the Hudson Valley. He was extremely instrumental in developing a partnership with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine which led to the purchase of the old Horton Hospital which was refurbished to create their Middletown Campus.  Touro College opened the new medical college in July. With medical students now learning at Orange Regional, it was a natural progression to create residency programs. In July of 2014, Orange Regional began its first residency program in Family Medicine, which is led by Dr. John Dermigny, DO.

L-R: ORMC Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Schiller; Director of Medical Education, Dr. John Dermigny, DO;
Medical Student, Christianna Anderson; Administrative Director of Medical Education, Jenny Vosganian-Clancy;
and Dr. Ronald Israelski, MD.

For more information on Orange Regional Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education Program, contact Administrative Director of Medical Education, Jenny Vosganian-Clancy, at or 845-333-1138, or visit



ORMC appoints Ann Wanderling nursing director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit 

MIDDLETOWN (December 17) - Orange Regional Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) announces that Ann Wanderling has joined its leadership team as Nursing Unit Director of 3 West.

Ms. Wanderling joined Orange Regional in 2012 as Bed Flow Coordinator. Prior to working at Orange Regional, Ms. Wanderling worked at Morristown Medical Center in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit. She served as a Clinical Coordinator, Unit Scheduler and Charge and Staff Registered Nurse. Ms. Wanderling is also a member of several Orange Regional nursing committees including Magnet: New Knowledge and Innovation and the Shared Governance Professional Practice Committee.

Ms. Wanderling earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo and obtained her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Walden University.

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.


HealthAlliance recognized with Quality Achievement Award for stroke care

KINGSTON (December 17) - HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley received the “Get With the Guidelines”-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality-improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

HealthAlliance has received a Quality Achievement Award from the heart and stroke association every year since it brought together and realigned the former Kingston and Benedictine hospitals in 2009. Those hospitals are now HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus and HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus.

The Get With the Guidelines-Stroke program helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

HealthAlliance earned the award by meeting specific quality-achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“HealthAlliance is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care, and the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines-Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal,” said Sandra Horan, HealthAlliance’s chief nursing officer.  “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally respected clinical guidelines. We are pleased to recognize HealthAlliance for their commitment and dedication to stroke care.”

Get With the Guidelines national steering committee Chairman Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With the Guidelines quality-improvement measures can reduce patients’ lengths of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care,” Bhatt said.

Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, heart and stroke association figures indicate. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.



Greater Hudson Valley Health System appoints vice president of financial planning 

MIDDLETOWN (December 10) - The Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS) announced the appointment of Jill Embler as Vice President of Financial Planning.

Embler’s scope of responsibility includes direct oversight of long range financial planning and forecasting, along with the planning and implementation of business intelligence and reporting. She will also facilitate the formation of data governance and informatics efforts.

Prior to joining GHVHS, Embler served as Vice President of Financial Planning & Decision Support at Mount Sinai Health System (formerly Continuum Health Partners, Inc.) in New York City. At Mount Sinai, she was responsible for strategic business planning, business intelligence and analytics for hospital and physician segments as well as strategic market and population health analysis.

Embler obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pace University and her Master of Science degree in Public Administration from New York University. She has over 20 years of experience in financial planning and analytics.

For more information about services provided at Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center visit  or


Meadow Hill School hosts inaugural blood drive

NEWBURGH (December 10) - Meadow Hill School recently held an inaugural blood drive in conjunction with the New York Blood Center.  Meadow Hill School Parent Teacher Organization parent Linda Bera, MHS Nurse Practitioner Rose Inman, and teachers Lourdes Font and Kristen Gunsch, spearheaded the event and helped assist the students and donors.  In total, 51 units of blood were donated by staff, parents, community members and veterans. 

More details on our Education Page


L-R: Gretchen Hartman, RD; Peter Newman, Executive Chef;
Ride 2 Survive Committee Members, Glorianne Ellison and
Kara Passante; William Titherington, Director of Food and Nutrition;
Colette Berger, Manager of Food and Nutrition.  

Catskill Regional Medical Center partners with Ride 2 Survive to raise funds for cancer patients

HARRIS (November 14) - Catskill Regional Medical Center, in conjunction with Morrison and Crothall Healthcare, recently partnered with Ride 2 Survive for a fundraising Smoothie Bike event in the Catskill Cafe. Employees, patients and their families rode a bike that was hooked up to a blender. When pedaled, the bike powered the blender to mix up hand selected fresh fruits and veggies into smoothies which were sold.

The event promoted a healthy lifestyle and raised $300 for Ride 2 Survive, a foundation established to assist with transportation expenses for Sullivan County residents with cancer. 

Ride 2 survive is a volunteer community-based organization whose mission is to assist with transportation expenses for Sullivan County residents under the care of an oncologist and who have been diagnosed with cancer or a pre-malignant condition. The Ride 2 Survive’s Annual Dinner Dance, the foundation’s largest fundraiser, will take place on November 15, 2014 at the Villa Roma in Callicoon, New York, however, donations are accepted throughout the year. For more information, visit


St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® recognition from The Joint Commission

NEWBURGH (November 14) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) announced that it has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for achieving excellence in accountability measure performance in four measure sets- Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke and Surgical Care. SLCH is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

“The quality of care provided to our patients as well as their safety are extremely important to all of us at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital,” said Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO.  “Consistent use of evidence based care is a key element to improving patient outcomes. We are proud to be named a Top Performer as it recognizes the knowledge, teamwork and dedication of our entire staff.”

The Top Performer program honors hospitals that demonstrate excellence in evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.

To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; 
  • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

This latest recognition comes on the heels of the hospital's fourth straight Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is the only hospital in New York State to achieve that distinction four years in a row. Earlier this year, 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. St. Luke’s Cornwall Hosptial was also the only facility in the Hudson Valley to be named 2014 Most Wired in the 16th annual Health Care's Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks.


HealthAlliance earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ recognition for third consecutive year

KINGSTON (November 14) – HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley® announced the HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Ave. Campus has been recognized for a third consecutive year as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission.

HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for surgical care. Mary’s Ave. Campus is one of only 314 hospitals to attain the Top Performer distinction for the past three consecutive years.

“This recognition from The Joint Commission is validation that HealthAlliance is achieving our objective of providing high quality care,” said David Scarpino, President and CEO of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley®. “It’s a great honor to be named a Top Performer for a third year in a row, and I congratulate our excellent physicians, nurses, and other care providers for working diligently to earn this distinction.”

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients. Mary’s Avenue Campus is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to be named a Top Performer for 2013.


School comes together to send letters to terminally ill kids

MONTGOMERY (November 14) - Students at Montgomery Elementary School are learning a new method for communicating with their peers.  During the first few weeks of November they spent some class time writing letters to terminally ill children as part of their participation in the Letters Project, a New York-based organization.

Full details on our Health Page





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