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Orange Regional Medical Center announces nursing leadership appointments

MIDDLETOWN (February 8) - Orange Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the promotions of Kimberly Jablonski, RN to Nursing Director for 4 North; Margaret Laggner, RN to Nursing Director for same day surgery, the post-anesthesia care unit and endoscopy; and Christine Mackay, RN to Nursing Director for the Rowley Family Birthing Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Kimberly Jablonski joined Orange Regional in 2004 and most recently worked as a staff nurse/ charge nurse on the 4 South medical telemetry unit. Ms. Jablonski has an extensive clinical background including medical/surgical, oncology, orthopedic and medical telemetry nursing. She is a Board-certified medical/surgical nurse and was co-chair of the Medical Shared Governance Council, a diabetes program champion, wound care program champion and works as a clinical instructor for nursing students at Mount Saint Mary College. Ms. Jablonski holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Chamberlain College and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Nursing.

Margaret Laggner recently joined Orange Regional’s Perioperative Services Department and has an extensive clinical background in nursing practice and management. Ms. Laggner previously worked at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey where she held the position of clinical director for same day surgery, medical day surgery, endoscopy, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. Her most recent position at Monmouth Medical Center was clinical director of outpatient infusion services. Ms. Laggner holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Nursing from Kean University, is Caritas Coach certified by the Watson Caring Science Institute and is chemotherapy/biotherapy certified.

Christine Mackay joined Orange Regional in 2003 and was most recently Nursing Director of the 4 West medical/surgical unit. Ms. Mackay has extensive clinical experience in medical/surgical, Telemetry and emergency nursing and is a Board-certified medical/surgical nurse. Ms. Mackay received recognition for excellence in customer service and nursing practice as the Orange Regional 2011 Star of the Year. She was also a nominee and finalist for the Hudson Valley Magazine Nursing Excellence Award in 2012 and most recently, a recipient of the Grateful Patient award in 2014. Ms. Mackay received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Chamberlain College where she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Nursing/ Nurse Executive Track.

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.


Dr. Cho: "Without question, seek medical care ..."

Concussions: Not just a risk for pro football stars

POUGHKEEPSIE (February 2) - When the world tunes in to football on February 7, they’ll see some of the finest players on Earth engage in a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competition – one with stakes so high that combatants on both sides will push their bodies to the limit. To help mitigate the risk of injury, football at the professional level is closely monitored by a team of trained medical professionals ranging from athletic trainers to team medical doctors and independent neurologists.

When a player gets hurt, scores of trained eyes immediately identify the incident, assess the problem, and begin treatment.  This is especially true when a player exhibits signs of a concussion, the most common injury in the professional ranks, and also potentially the most life altering.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) created by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth.  It’s usually not difficult to tell when a professional football player might have sustained one, but for people outside the athletic arena, concussion symptoms can be slow to develop and easy to ignore, which could lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

“In the short term, look for symptoms like headaches, vomiting, confusion, memory issues, and imbalance,” said Michael Cho, MD, a neurosurgeon at MidHudson Regional Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.  “These can evolve over time, so a person should be monitored over at least a 24-48 hour period if suspected of having a concussion.”

If you believe you have a concussion, it is important to seek the care of a trained medical professional as quickly as possible.  Your doctor will perform a battery of tests to check cognitive function, balance, memory, and other key indicators of brain injury.  They’ll also be able to look for bleeding or blood clots that can be life threatening if left untreated.

“At MidHudson Regional Hospital, patients showing signs of a head injury are rapidly evaluated by a practitioner and receive a detailed neurological exam, including imaging, if the patient is at a high risk of intracranial bleeding,” said Mark Papish, MD, Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at MidHudson Regional. “Most patients’ symptoms can be managed conservatively with medications and follow-up care under the supervision of a trained professional.”

While anyone can suffer a concussion, children, even those that don’t play sports, are especially susceptible.  In fact, the vast majority of concussions happen off the playing field as a result of car or bicycle accidents, playground roughhousing, and even minor falls.  As symptoms of a concussion can take 24 to 72 hours to develop, recognizing your child has suffered a brain injury can be difficult. 

“Without question, seek medical care for your child if there is a loss of consciousness, no matter how brief,” said Dr. Cho.  “Also look out for an altered mental status and other worsening neurologic signs and symptoms.  Parents should not ignore the possibility of a concussion, as there can be potential serious short and long term consequences in some cases.”

Though most kids recover quickly from concussions, some symptoms like headaches, memory loss, and trouble concentrating may linger for several weeks or months. It's important to watch for these symptoms and contact your doctor if they persist.  Often, after suffering a concussion, children need further evaluation and treatment.

Concussions are a complicated injury that is difficult to diagnose, and that’s true if you’re an adult or a child, a professional athlete or a regular person just going about your day.  If you feel you or a loved one may have suffered one, even if symptoms aren’t present, it’s best to consult your doctor or visit the fully equipped emergency department at MidHudson Regional Hospital, the area’s only Level II trauma center, for the opinion of a trained professional.



Health Quest appoints chief medical operations officer, primary care president

POUGHKEEPSIE (February 2) – Dr. Glenn Loomis has joined Health Quest Systems as both the chief medical operations officer for the system and president of Health Quest Medical Practice.

“I’m very excited to join the leadership team at Health Quest in their pursuit of excellence,” Loomis said. “My goal is to help lead the system with four ideals in mind: providing a great experience for our patients, building outstanding clinical programs with a focus on the health and wellness of our patients, making healthcare as affordable as possible for our patients and employers, and providing a great place for providers and staff to work. I look forward to making my home and building a world-class healthcare system right here in the Hudson valley.”

As the chief medical operations officer, Loomis is responsible for creating a clinical integration strategy for the health system, including Health Quest Medical Practice (HQMP), private physicians and the hospital campuses.

As president of HQMP, Loomis will oversee all of the physician platforms and work to grow the practice.

Loomis has more than 20 years of experience in medicine, having most recently worked for St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Kentucky where he was both the medical group president and a system senior vice president. He previously held various physician roles in administration, family medicine education and the United States Air Force.

Loomis graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his residency in family medicine at Community Hospitals of Indianapolis. He also holds a master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas.

Loomis is board certified in family medicine.


New HealthAlliance Foundation board members

KINGSTON (January 29) - The HealthAlliance Foundation, which supports the programs, facilities and services of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, has added four community leaders to its board of directors and one to its advisory committee.

The new board members are Barbara Connelly Cohen, Mary Jo DeForest, Tom Polk and Casey Scanlon. The new advisory committee member is Joe Murphy.

L-R: Richard Mantey, Tom Polk, Barbara Connelly Cohen, Steffen Kraehmer, Joe Murphy and Casey Scanlon

Cohen, a local native, is the owner of Schwartz’s Inn in Uptown Kingston. She is actively involved with numerous community organizations, including the Kingston Auxiliary of HealthAlliance Hospital, Jewish Federation of Ulster County, Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Ulster Community College Foundation, Children’s Home of Kingston and Kingston Sunrise Rotary Club.

DeForest is an elder care consultant who brings 25 years of experience in the field of human services and aging. She is a former deputy director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging and has been on the board of directors of several nonprofits, including People’s Place and Friends of the Senate House in Kingston.

Polk, a YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County board member and grant writer, joins the foundation board after serving on the advisory committee. An avid cyclist, he is a longtime organizer of the Tour de Kingston and has helped the HealthAlliance Foundation increase its involvement in this annual cycling event.

Scanlon is the president of Scanlon’s Restoration and Cleaning in Kingston. He is a lifetime Kingston resident and will bring his knowledge of the community to the foundation.

Murphy, a Rondout Savings Bank residential mortgage originator, is also a lifetime area resident and serves as the Woodstock Women’s Cycling Grand Prix course director.

“This is a great group of individuals, with wide experience and deep community ties that will strengthen our mission of supporting HealthAlliance’s excellence in patient care, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes,” said foundation Executive Director Steffen Kraehmer.

Kraehmer also announced the board officers on its executive committee. They are Richard A. Mantey, chairman; Glenn L. Decker, immediate past chairman; Mary Ann Hildebrant, first vice chairwoman; Robert Tonner, second vice chairman; J. Christopher Smailer, treasurer; and Beverly Lastig, secretary.



Glen Arden holds “happiness advice” event with local therapist

GOSHEN (January 29) - The Glen Arden continuing care retirement community recently hosted a program by Goshen therapist/counselor Amy Wohl called “Your Toolbox for Happiness.”

Wohl spoke to 40 residents and invited area guests on these topics: What is happiness? How is happiness found? What does happiness mean to you? She also told participants what they can do to change their level of happiness.

The marketing team at Glen Arden said it was a highly interactive presentation, which also included lunch, where participants talked about what makes them happy. 

“When you are not feeling your best, reach into your toolbox of things that make you happy and get engaged with what is on your list,” Wohl said. “It will bring you back to your happiness level.”

Wohl said items in guests’ happiness toolboxes included family, community, faith, volunteering, exercise, friends, travel and memories via photos. 


Four new physicians join Orange Regional Medical Group Hospitalist Program

MIDDLETOWN (January 26) - Orange Regional Medical Group (ORMG) is pleased to announce the addition of four new physicians to its Department of Hospital Medicine. These physicians will provide hospitalist services to Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) inpatients.

A hospitalist is a hospital-based physician who is a Board-certified internist who cares solely for hospitalized patients. They see hospitalized patients have been referred by primary care doctors, emergency room doctors or other physicians at the hospital.

A patient’s primary care physician and the ORMG hospitalist work together. At the time of admission and discharge, the hospitalist provides a detailed report of findings and treatment plans that can be sent to patient’s primary physician.

Hospitalists devote all their time to hospitalized patients and can be at a patient’s bedside in minutes. However, a patient’s care is returned to his or her primary care physician upon discharge from the hospital.





Orange Regional Medical Group’s new hospitalist physicians are:

  • Annie Lee, M.D.  Medical school: Ross University Medical School, Dominica, West Indies Residency: St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, N. Y.
  • Mayur Paralkar, M.D.  Medical school: K.J. Somaiya Medical College & Research Center, Mumbai (Bombay) University, Mumbai, India  Residency: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, N.J. 
  • Amrita Sachdeva, M.D.  Medical school: Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India  Residency: Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, N.J.
  • Rita Sharma, M.D.  Medical school: St. George's University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies Residency: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, N. J.

Greater Hudson Valley Health System Medical Group Chief Medical Officer and Director of Hospital Medicine, Izabela Nowosielski, M.D., said hospitalists are familiar with every department and specialist, and have the immediate ability of following up on test results and treatments.

“Our clinical mission is to provide the best, comprehensive, evidence-based clinical care to Orange Regional hospitalized patients,” Dr. Nowosielski said. “The partnership between our hospitalists and Orange Regional patients’ physicians results in even better patient outcomes and a more positive hospital stay.”


Relay For Life of Newburgh seeking teams

NEWBURGH (January 20) - The American Cancer Society is recruiting teams from local families, businesses, schools, places of worship, and the community as a whole to participate in the annual Relay For Life of Newburgh on June 4, 2016 at Cronomer Hill Park, 214 Gardnertown Road, Newburgh, NY. Relay For Life teams are committed to help save more lives from cancer by raising funds for the Society. Teams and individuals can learn more and sign up for the Relay For Life event by visiting

The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all. Relay For Life events are community gatherings where teams and individuals camp out at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking around a track or path. Teams raise funds in the months leading up to the event. The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community, with four million participants in 6,000 events worldwide in 2015.

Last year, 281 people participated in the Relay For Life of Newburgh and raised over $40,000!

“Relay For Life is a chance to make the greatest impact in the fight to end cancer,” said Veronica Ingram-Henry, Relay For Life Community Manager. “Many participants are our loved ones who have faced cancer themselves. Each new team brings us one step closer to saving more lives.”


L-R: Middletown Kiwanis President Daniel Higbie; ORMC Pediatric Nursing
Unit Director, Stacy Lynn Britsch; Pediatric Nurse, Jennifer Harker and
Kiwanis member Hazel Goldstein

Orange Regional Medical Center accepts donation from Middletown Kiwanis

TOWN OF WALLKILL (January 19) - The Middletown Kiwanis Club has established a unique program to benefit Orange Regional Medical Center’s Pediatric Department. The Kiwanis Angel Program honors an outstanding Orange Regional Pediatric caregiver. The Kiwanis Club made a donation to the Orange Regional Pediatric Department in honor of the care provided by Registered Nurse Jennifer Harker.

“Jen is an asset to our Children’s Emergency Department team,” said Orange Regional Pediatric Nursing Unit Director Stacy Lynn Britsch. “Her enthusiasm for quality patient care is compelling.”

Ms. Harker was nominated for the Kiwanis Angel Award by Ms. Britsch, a previous recipient of the Award. Kiwanis members presented Orange Regional Medical Center’s Foundation with a $250 gift in honor of Ms. Harker.





Benedictine Health Foundation announces new board members

KINGSTON (December 14) - The Benedictine Health Foundation announce the appointment of three new board members. 

Craig Crump, Vice President with Key Investment Services has over 25 years of experience working as a Financial Advisor.  Prior to joining Key he worked with Lehman Brothers and Fleet Investment Management.  Craig has an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA in economics from Hobart College.  He is a past President of Ulster County Habitat for Humanity and the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, and has served many years as a board member for Ulster Greene ARC. 

Emily Glass DeGasperis is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern and HITS, Inc. in Saugerties.  DeGasperis received her Bachelor’s degree from Marist College in business administration, with a special interest in fashion merchandising and communications, and then served as the Press Director for The Globe Showroom in Manhattan’s fashion district.   Emily lives in Kingston and is married to John DeGasperis, Esq.  She currently sits on the Ulster Tourism Advisory Board and is a provisional member of the Junior League of Kingston.

Edward Hill, CFP® is a Partner and Senior Financial Advisor at Meltzer & Hill Wealth Advisory.  Hill graduated in 1989 with honors from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Business Administration. He became a Certified Financial Planner™ in 1999 and has worked for Marist College as a teacher in the Financial Planning Certificate Program.  Hill has served on several local boards including the American Red Cross of Ulster County, Gateway Community Industries, and Circle of Friends for the Dying. 


Orange Regional Medical Center receives prestigious Healthgrades® 5-Star ratings in bariatric surgery and natural childbirth

MIDDLETOWN (December 11) – Orange Regional Medical Center has achieved 5-Star ratings in bariatric surgery and natural childbirth from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

These recognitions distinguish Orange Regional for its superior outcomes in surgical techniques to support weight loss efforts, and in vaginal delivery, as measured by in-hospital complication rates.  

“Orange Regional is committed to providing exceptional patient care and these Healthgrades recognitions are extremely significant because they serve as a testament to the outstanding care we provide every day,” said Orange Regional President & CEO Scott Batulis. “Our clinical and professional staff is committed to positive outcomes. These Healthgrades accolades demonstrate that we are doing just that.”

Orange Regional’s Vice President of Quality and Health Information Management Rose Baczewski said:  “These distinct recognitions are a reflection of our hard working and dedicated staff. They also reinforce that there is a high level of care available, right here in our community, at ORMC.”

In the 2015 bariatric surgery performance evaluation, Healthgrades compared hospitals with statistically worse than expected performance (1-star), as a group, to those with statistically better than expected performance (5-stars), as a group. It found that, patients having bariatric surgery in hospitals receiving a 1-star rating, on average, are 3.6 times more likely to experience one or more complications than if they were treated in hospitals with 5-stars.

Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes of bariatric surgery discharges from 355 hospitals across 13 states and measured hospital performance based on risk-adjusted in-hospital complications — preventable problems patients had during their hospital stay.

For natural childbirth patients, there are significant benefits to selecting hospitals that have achieved this level of performance.  In the 2015 vaginal delivery performance evaluation, Healthgrades also compared hospitals with statistically worse than expected performance (1-star), as a group, to those with statistically better than expected performance (5-stars), as a group. It found patients that had a natural childbirth in hospitals with 5-stars have, on average a 44.5 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals with 1-star. 

For the report, Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes of natural childbirth from 1,041 hospitals across 13 states. Healthgrades measured hospital performance based on risk-adjusted in-hospital complications — preventable problems patients had during their hospital stay. 

For more information about Orange Regional Medical Center, visit Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.





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