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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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