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SLCH announces first use of miniature cardiac monitor, Reveal LINQ™ ICM
NEWBURGH (April 21) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital recently performed its first implant of the Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) System. This is the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device currently available. This device creates a minimally invasive and incredibly fast procedure for SLCH cardiac patients in need of a cardiac monitor.

The Reveal LINQ ICM is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery, making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. The device is part of a powerful system that allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years, with 20 percent more data memory than its larger predecessor, Reveal® XT. 

Not only is the device far less visible after implanted, but it’s also much less invasive and time consuming. SLCH cardiologists no longer have to surgically implant this heart monitor; the procedure is performed through an injector and surgical glue.

“This new ICM represents a big improvement,” said John Respass, MD, SLCH Electrophysiologist. “Previously, this procedure took approximately 45 minutes from beginning to end, but our first case yesterday took a mere 90 seconds to complete.”

“I believe this device will be a game changer in the field of cardiac rhythm monitoring,” said Ahsanuddin Ahmad, MD, SLCH Electrophysiologist. “The small size of the device and the simple nature of the procedure will allow many more patients to undergo long-term heart rhythm monitoring, which will help improve diagnosis and treatment of these arrhythmias.”

In addition to its continuous and wireless monitoring capabilities, the system provides remote monitoring through the Carelink® Network. Through the Carelink Network, physicians can request notifications to alert them if their patients have had cardiac events. The Reveal LINQ ICM is indicated for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitation, syncope (fainting) and chest pain that may suggest a cardiac arrhythmia, and for patients at increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias.

Placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than 1 cm in the upper left side of the chest, the Reveal LINQ ICM is often nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted. The device is placed using a minimally invasive insertion procedure, which simplifies the experience for both physicians and their patients. The Reveal LINQ ICM is MR-Conditional, allowing patients to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if needed.

The Reveal LINQ system also includes the new MyCareLink ™ Patient Monitor, a simplified remote monitoring system with global cellular technology that transmits patients’ cardiac device diagnostic data to their clinicians from nearly any location in the world.

For more information about the Reveal LINQ or cardiac services at SLCH, please contact, Beverly Keefer, RN, BSN, Director of Cardiovascular services by calling (845) 568-2087.

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY.  Visit www.stlukescornwallhospital.org/ or www.facebook.com/#!/stlukescornwallhospital


Putnam Hospital Center medical staff adds six

CARMEL (April 21) - The Board of Directors of Putnam Hospital Center recently approved the appointment of six new members to the Carmel hospital’s medical staff—emergency medicine physician assistant Brandon Ballister, PA, orthopedics physician assistant Giacinta Boulos, PA, nurse anesthetist Melissa Mascia-Bayerbach, CRNA, radiology physician assistant Vincenta Montgomery, PA, radiology physician assistant Jenna Lynn Ray, PA, and urologist Benjamin Spencer, MD.

Emergency medicine physician assistant Brandon J. Ballister, PA, of Kingston, who is affiliated with Eos Medical Group, received his physician assistant degree from the Touro College School of Health Sciences.  He is a board certified physician assistant.

Orthopedic physician assistant Giacinta Boulos, PA, of Croton-on-Hudson, who is affiliated with Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group, received her bachelors of science degree and her masters-physician assistant degree from Mercy College.  She is a board certified physician assistant.

Nurse anesthetist Melissa Mascia-Bayerbach, CRNA, of Scarsdale, who is affiliated with Northeastern Anesthesia Services, received her bachelor of science-nursing degree from the College of New Rochelle and her masters-nurse anesthetist degree from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.  She is a board certified nurse anesthetist.

Radiology physician assistant Vicenta Montgomery, PA, of Marlboro, who is affiliated with Hudson Valley Radiologists, received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Central Florida and her masters degree-physician assistant from Nova Southeastern University.  She is a board certified physician assistant.

Radiology physician assistant Jenna Lynn Ray, PA, of Poughkeepsie, who is affiliated with Hudson Valley Radiologists, received her bachelor of arts degree from Hope College, her master in science degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and her physician assistant degree from Yale University School of Medicine.  She is a board certified physician assistant.

Urologist Benjamin Spencer, of Bedford Corners, who is affiliated with Mount Kisco Medical Group, received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.  His postdoctoral training including an internship/residency in surgery and internship/residency in urology from Massachusetts General Hospital, a fellowship in internal medicine from Robert Wood Johnson, a fellowship in internal medicine from West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  He is board certified in urology.

Together they join the more than 360 physicians , surgeons and allied health professionals who comprise Putnam Hospital Center’s medical staff.  For Physician Referral, please call 1-888-phc-docs, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.


Orange Regional Medical Center selected as finalist for the LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project

MIDDLETOWN (April 1) – Orange Regional Medical Center has been selected as a finalist to receive The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program as part of the LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project, which was created to bring proven cancer support programs to communities across the U.S. Grantees will be determined through a public, online voting campaign that will end at 6 p.m. EST on April 11. Visit http://vote.livestrong.org/applicant/59-orange_reg/  to place your vote.

Once voting closes, 39 organizations with the top votes in seven geographical regions across the country will receive up to $15,600 to replicate and implement one of three sustainable programs dedicated to supporting people living with cancer. Since 2001, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has funded more than 200 programs nationwide, helping millions of patients, survivors, families and caregivers affected by cancer from the moment of diagnosis through survivorship.

Community Impact Project model programs are chosen for replication based on the needs of the cancer community and their ability to show years of success and effectiveness through evaluations. Hundreds of qualified hospitals, cancer centers, universities and non-profits from across the U.S. applied to be part of the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project in 2014.  The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program has become an essential component of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center's integrative approach to caring for cancer patients. The program's overarching goal is to facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management, and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Music therapy is proven to reduce stress and pain levels associated with illness and hospitalization. For many patients, the simple act of listening to music provides a therapeutic release, promoting healing and overall wellbeing. Clinical music therapy services are provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Two part-time music therapists conduct sessions with patients either at the bedside or in common (environmental) areas of the cancer center. The program has served 2,175 patients/caregivers and conducted 5,842 sessions.

Orange Regional Medical Center is one of the organizations still in contention for the award. The arts play an important part of our healing environment.  We use art to create a welcoming environment for patients, families, staff and the community.  If selected, Orange Regional will use the awarded funds to expand our arts program to include music therapy for the benefit of cancer patients, family members, and caregivers. 

“Bringing The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program to Orange Regional through the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project will allow people in in our community affected by cancer to receive the extra support they need to beat the disease on their own terms,” said Sandra Iberger, Vice President of Oncology Services and Outpatient Operations.  “We share LIVESTRONG’s passion for inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer and look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of local cancer survivors and their families.”

For more information about the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project and to vote, visit http://vote.livestrong.org/

For more information about Orange Regional Medical Center’s Spagnoli Family Cancer Center, visit www.ormc.org.


Poughkeepsie Plaza Manager Kimberly Barela, presents check to
Bob Olivo, Corporate Director Walk Dutchess-Ulster Division of the
American Heart Association

Dutchess County Chapter of the American Heart Association receives donation from Poughkeepsie Plaza

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE (April 1) - The Poughkeepsie Plaza donated $798.00 to the Dutchess-Ulster Region of the American Heart Association.  The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Their mission is building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. To improve the lives of all Americans, they provide public health education in a variety of ways.

The donated funds were vendor proceeds that were collected from the 16th Annual Health & Wellness Fair that was held at the Poughkeepsie Plaza on March 22, 2014.

From more information about the Poughkeepsie Plaza, visit our website at www.PoughkeepsiePlaza.com or call 845-471-4265.


SLCH receives Healthgrades® Patient Safety Excellence Award; the only hospital in NYS to receive three years in a row

NEWBURGH (March 19) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) has received the Healthgrades® Patient Safety Excellence Award, ranking the hospital among the top 5% in the nation. SLCH received this designation for three consecutive years. SLCH is the only hospital in New York State to be awarded such distinction.

Of the 4,727 hospitals evaluated by Healthgrades®, SLCH was one of only 379 in the nation to receive this distinction in 2013. Healthgrades® patient safety ratings examine 14 different types of serious and potentially preventable complications. Healthgrades® uses Medicare inpatient data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database and Patient Safety Indicator software from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to calculate event rates for patient safety indicators.

“Recognition of this magnitude does not come easily,” said Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO.  “It is solely due to the outstanding professionalism of the 1,225 physicians, nurses and caregivers on our St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Team.”

This is not the only quality recognition that the hospital has received. Additional information on the Healthgrades® patient safety measures and about other quality designations achieved by SLCH can be found on our website: http://www.stlukescornwallhospital.org/about/Pages/Recognition.asp.

“Patient safety is a top priority at SLCH,” said Christine Jelalian, MD, SLCH Medical Director. “Our dedicated team ensures that our patients are provided with safe, high quality and efficient care. This distinction recognizes that our patients can expect the utmost in safety and quality at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.”

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY. For more information, go to www.stlukescornwallhospital.org/  or www.facebook.com/#!/stlukescornwallhospital


Nasser and VanVoorhis

Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation names Golf Classic co-chairs

MIDDLETOWN (March 19) - Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation announces Raymond P. VanVoorhis and Jonathan Nasser, M.D. as Co-Chairs of its 2014 Annual Golf Classic to take place on Monday, June 16, 2014. The tournament will be held at West Hills Country Club and Wallkill Golf Course, both near Middletown. The event will conclude with a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony at West Hills Country Club.

Mr. VanVoorhis is a Partner with Liscum McCormack VanVoorhis LLP, a design oriented architectural firm located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The partnership was formed in 1987 to provide professional services in architecture, interior design and space / land planning.

Mr. VanVoorhis is a Registered Architect in New York and New Jersey. He attended New York Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Associate of Applied Science degree. Mr. VanVoorhis is a Professional Affiliate of the American Institute of Architects - Westchester/Mid-Hudson Chapter and sits on the Dutchess Community College Architectural Advisory Committee. He is on the Mill Street Loft Board of Directors and the Fishkill Rural Cemetery Board of Trustees.

Dr. Jonathan Nasser is an Internist and Pediatrician at Crystal Run Healthcare, where he has been in practice since 2002. At Crystal Run, Dr. Nasser is the Division Leader for Pediatrics and the Co-Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, helping to lead the organization’s transition to accountable care.  Dr. Nasser has been a member of Orange Regional’s medical staff since 2002. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia and completed his residency training at the University of Rochester. Dr. Nasser is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American College of Physicians.

“This year, the Annual Golf Classic will benefit Orange Regional’s new Pediatric Center, aimed to bring exceptional pediatric services to our community,” Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation President Christine Maraia said. “To date, nearly $900,000 has been raised for the Lend a Hand for Kids Campaign.”

Various levels of sponsorship packages are available for this year’s tournament. With their round of golf, golfers receive breakfast, a golf cart, lunch and an appreciation gift as well as golfers’ hour and buffet dinner at our awards ceremony.

“Thank you to all who have been extraordinarily generous and committed to the development of our new Pediatric Center. We hope this year’s Golf Classic will bring Orange Regional even closer to its goal of raising $2 million,” said Orange Regional Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan Rouis said.

To learn more about the sponsorship opportunities available, please call the Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation at 845-333-2333 or visit www.ormc.org/foundation.


Local survivors share heart stories to kick off Heart Walk event

BREWSTER (March 10) - The American Heart Association (AHA) kicked off their annual Putnam Heart Walk campaign at The Plaza at Clover Lake in Brewster recently. Heart Walk volunteer chair, Patrick Thomas, MD, challenged more than 80 local corporate and community leaders to support the 2014 Putnam Heart Walk, scheduled for Sunday, April 27th at Brewster High School. Thomas, cardiologist with NYU Langone/Hudson Valley Cardiology, is also the Putnam AHA Board President.

Geraldine Cerasuolo (cap) and Tara Perez (right) talk with supporters of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk at their
recent kickoff event.  The two will serve as honorees for the event to help raise awareness for stroke.

Funds raised from the event support the AHA’s life-saving programs of awareness, education and research. Heart disease and stroke are the number one and four killers in our nation but also in Putnam County. Local survivors have agreed to share their stories with the American Heart Association as Heart Walk Honorees to help raise awareness for these leading killers.

Stroke is the number four killer of women. More women die from stroke than men. An estimated 3.8 million female stroke survivors are alive today. In 2009, stroke caused the death of 76,769 females—almost double that of breast cancer deaths. Yet many women are still not aware of their unique stroke risk factors including pre-pregnancy high blood pressure, preeclampsia, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, migraines with aura, birth control pills, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, depression and emotional stress. The AHA recently set specific guidelines for women and stroke prevention.

“Women should know their unique risk for stroke and talk with their doctors,” said Thomas.

Brewster resident and stroke survivor Tara Perez, joined with Kent stroke survivor, Geraldine Cerasuolo and Brewster heart transplant survivor, Anthony Mangino as 2014 Putnam Heart Walk Honorees. They spoke at the event.

Perez was just a few months pregnant when she had a seizure and was diagnosed with an angioma, an abnormal cluster of blood vessels on the left side of her brain. She was monitored and gave birth to her son. But just two weeks later, her health declined which required brain surgery. Perez came out of surgery with the loss of vision in her right eye, and loss of movement in both her right arm and right leg.  She had some difficulty with speech as well. A stroke had caused the damage.

She continues to work on her recovery two years later.  Tara has regained some vision in her right eye, her speech improves daily and she is walking considerably well but has not regained full use of her arm.

Cerasuolo had a stroke at age 60, with no previous warning signs. She was told she would never walk again, but she proved them wrong after struggling through her stroke rehabilitation.

“Returning to a normal life after stroke can be challenging,” she said, “Stroke is devastating. It can happen to anyone at any time and at any age.  I have been blessed with a second chance.”

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness. The American Heart Association funds 2,100 scientists around the United States and currently funds five Hudson Valley researchers with grants totaling $1.43 million.

Though science and research can save many lives from heart disease, AHA leaders remind people that prevention is key to lowering the devastating number of deaths from heart disease. The Heart Walk’s goal is to get people walking.

“Prevention is key when it comes to heart disease. We want people to know that adding a 30-minute brisk walk to their daily routines will make a huge impact on their heart health,” said Patrick Thomas, MD, AHA Board President, “Exercise improves heart health, can reduce stroke risk and lower bad cholesterol and improve high blood pressure.”

Teams and individuals are encouraged to register for the Heart Walk online at www.putnamheartwalk.org.


Orange Regional Medical Group announces open house

MIDDLETOWN (March 10) – Orange Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the opening of its new physician practice, Orange Regional Medical Group.  Located at the Orange Regional Medical Pavilion, 75 Crystal Run Road, Suite 135 in Middletown, the new practice launches with Primary Care services. The public is invited to an Open House on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to meet the physicians and staff, as well as tour the new office.

Committed to meeting the community’s growing need for outpatient care, Orange Regional Medical Group provides high quality primary care services as well as treatments for acute and chronic illnesses from newborn to geriatric patients.

“We’re excited to provide primary care services to our community,” says Orange Regional Medical Center’s President & CEO Scott Batulis. “Our highly trained and experienced physicians will treat patients through preventive care wellness education, as well as treating patients who are ill or who have chronic conditions.”

Led by Medical Director Bruce Ellsweig, M.D., Board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, our highly-trained, qualified and professional medical staff is comprised physicians who are Board-certified in Family and Internal Medicine. “Our goal is to help members of the community establish a relationship with a primary care physician and provide the necessary, essential services they need for long-lasting health,” states Dr. Bruce Ellsweig.

Orange Regional Medical Group is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Same day appointments are available and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made by calling 845-333-7575.

To learn more, visit www.OrangeRegionalMedicalGroup.org.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center named one of Healthgrades America’s 100 BestTM Hospitals in 2014
POUGHKEEPSIE (February 25) - Vassar Brothers Medical Center announced that it has been named as a recipient of Healthgrades 2014 America’s 100 BestTM Hospital Award.  According to Healthgrades, to be recognized with this distinction, hospitals must have had risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates that were in the top 2% in the nation for a minimum of four years.

“Our number one priority is to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients and we are very pleased to be recognized as one of America’s best hospitals,” said Robert Friedberg, President, Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

From 2010 to 2012, Healthgrades America’s 100 BestTM hospitals, as a group, had an overall 24.53% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate across 19 procedures and conditions where in-hospital mortality was the clinical outcome, compared to all other hospitals in the nation. From 2010 to 2012, if all other hospitals had performed at the level of Healthgrades America’s 100 BestTM hospitals, 160,701 lives could have potentially been saved nationwide.   

“This distinction provides the community in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. with a measure of confidence that the hospital has delivered better than expected outcomes across a broad spectrum of conditions and procedures and over an extended period of time,” said Evan Marks, EVP Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades. “The Healthgrades America’s 100 BestTM hospitals have exhibited exceptional performance, reflecting a long-standing approach to quality care.”

For a full list of Health Quest and Vassar Brothers Medical Center quality awards, visit www.health-quest.org/quality.

Health Quest is the Hudson Valley’s largest integrated family of hospitals and health care providers, delivering the highest quality care across a variety of service lines, including Cancer Care, Cardiac Care, Orthopedics, Neurosciences, Women’s and Children’s Services and Surgical Services.  Our family includes three award-winning hospitals—Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie—plus multiple Health Quest Medical Practice(HQMP) primary care and specialty locations, two Health Quest Urgent Care locations for walk-in urgent care and affiliates including Hudson Valley Home Care and The Heart Center.


Catskill Regional Medical Center earns American College of Radiology accreditation
HARRIS (February 19) – The Grover M. Hermann Division of Catskill Regional Medical Center has been awarded a three-year term accreditation in mammography services as a result of a recent American College of Radiology (ACR) survey. Digital mammography incorporates advanced imaging technology that provides extremely sharp images and lower radiation exposure, assisting in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

The ACR's accreditation process includes peer review and constructive feedback on staff qualifications, equipment, quality assurance, image quality and radiology dose.

"I am proud to have earned this distinction and our entire team of Board-certified radiologists, qualified technical staff is committed to providing exceptional patient care and service to our community," says Catskill Regional's Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer Rolland Bojo. "Patients that receive treatment at an ACR-accredited imaging facility can be assured they are receiving the best possible treatment."

Mammography services are offered at the Catskill Regional Imaging Center and at Grover M. Hermann Hospital. Digital mammography is like having a conventional mammogram, though women may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in call backs due to the increase clarity of the images taken. Digital mammography takes less than half the time of conventional mammography since there’s no waiting for film to develop.  Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically.

To learn more information, visit www.crmcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 845-794-3300 ext 2225.


Orange Regional Medical Center offers free mammograms

MIDDLETOWN (February 18) – Orange Regional Medical Center will offer free mammograms on Saturday, March 8, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Ray W. Moody, M.D. Breast Center located at the Orange Regional Medical Pavilion, 75 Crystal Run Road in Middletown. Appointments are limited and must be made by Wednesday, March 5.  Pre-registration is required. 

The event is open to women without insurance who are currently not experiencing breast problems, while still meeting the following criteria.  Participants must be over 40 years of age and have not had a mammogram within the last year.  Women who have had a mammogram within the last 12 months and are currently experiencing breast problems may still meet the requirements for participation. They are encouraged to call. 

During the hour-long appointment, patients will receive a clinical breast exam and mammography, breast health education and self-breast exam training. The screenings will be led by Howard M. Karpoff, M.D., FACS, Surgical Oncologist and Chair of Orange Regional’s Department of Surgery.

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

For more information and to register, please call the Orange Regional Health Connection at 1-888-321-ORMC (6762).

The Ray W. Moody, M.D. Breast Center is designed with the convenience of patients in mind.  Located at the Orange Regional Medical Center Pavilion, 75 Crystal Run Road in Middletown, the Center provides a comprehensive breast care program with state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and services, together with clinicians who are experts in their field. 


SLCH Hosts Health Exchange Fair for residents; provides support for those with questions about Obamacare

NEWBURGH (February 17) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is hosting another free Health Exchange fair on February 19 at the Cornwall Campus on 21 Laurel Avenue. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Both representatives from SLCH and several participating Health Plans will be available to answer questions and assist with enrollment in any of the services offered through the New York State Health Benefit Exchange (Obamacare). 

The following Health Plans will be on site at each location: Affinity Health Plan, Empire Blue Cross, Fidelis Care, Health Republic, MVP Health Care and United Health Care. Though not required for enrollment, if available, the following items will expedite the enrollment process; Social Security Number, Employer information, Income information for every member of your household who needs coverage and Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans.

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY. The hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Hudson Valley and aspires to excellence in the delivery of compassionate and comprehensive health care services. SLCH offers comprehensive cardiac, stroke, cancer, orthopedic services and a full range of other clinical offerings.


Mahopac 2nd grade Youth Ambassador Connor Looby

BREWSTER (February 17) – Connor Looby, of Mahopac, is the recipient of a a New York State Senate Proclamation to honor his outstanding advocacy, support, and fundraising efforts for lymphedema awareness.

Full details on our Education Page


SLCH recognizes Heart Month with community education and blood pressure screenings

NEWBURGH (February 13) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) will be spending the month of February educating the community by spreading awareness about Heart Disease. Heart Disease remains the number 1 killer in the United States, including conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart diseases.

“What people may not realize is that high blood pressure plays a major role in your heart health,” said Beverly Keefer, Director of Cardiac Services at SLCH. “By treating high blood pressure, you can help reduce your risk for a stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure.”

SLCH will be hosting free blood pressure screenings every Wednesday in the Main Lobby from 7- 10 a.m. and every Friday outside the Hudson View Café from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. throughout the month of February.  In addition to blood pressure screenings, SLCH Cardiac experts will also be offering educational sessions with useful information such as warning signs, tips to maintain a healthy diet, risk factors and several other ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Educational Sessions will be offered:

  • February 24th at 10:30 a.m. at the Town of Newburgh Recreation Center.
  • February 19th at 11:30 a.m. at the Union Avenue Fitness Center.

“Chronic diseases are often the most preventable, said Margaret Deyo, Director of Clinical Practice at SLCH.” Often, by following these few simple steps, we can greatly reduce our risk for heart related illness.”

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
  • Eat a variety of deeply-colored fruits and vegetables; fiber-rich whole grains; fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products; lean meats and skinless poultry; fish with healthy omega-3 fatty acids; and nuts, seeds, and legumes.
  • Be more physically active.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men.
  • Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.


Dr. Christiana

Health Quest Medical Practice names chief medical officer

LAGRANGEVILLE (January 28) – Health Quest announced that Joseph Christiana, MD, FACC, has been named Chief Medical Officer of Health Quest Medical Practice (HQMP). He will provide leadership to Health Quest Medical Practice physicians, mid-level providers, nurses and staff, and work collaboratively with the network of hospitals in the Health Quest system. Dr. Christiana is a practicing cardiologist and will continue to see patients at the Health Quest Medical Practice in Kingston, N.Y.

Dr. Christiana, a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, received his Doctor of Medicine in May, 1994 from New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration, Medical Management degree at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Christiana has served in many leadership positions throughout his career, and has also served his field with extensive research work which has been published. He has held roles as part of the New York State Council of the American College of Cardiology, as a Council Member to the New York State Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and as a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

“It is a great honor to work alongside a stellar group of medical professionals as part of Health Quest Medical Practice. My vision is to support our team as we continue to provide the highest-caliber care, offer the most advanced technology, and deliver all of our services to the patients who need our expertise”, stated Dr. Christiana.

“Dr. Christiana is a natural leader with a clear vision of the future,” said Ronald Tatelbaum, MD, CMO, Health Quest. “With his guidance, HQMP will continue to be the premier multispecialty group in the Hudson Valley, proud of its commitment to its patients and dedication to our community.”

Health Quest is the Hudson Valley’s largest integrated family of hospitals and health care providers, delivering the highest quality care across a variety of service lines, including Cancer Care, Cardiac Care, Orthopedics, Neurosciences, Women’s and Children’s Services and Surgical Services.

For more information on Health Quest Medical Practice visit www.health-quest.org/HQMP  


Newburgh Health Center to offer free seminars on enrolling under the Affordable Care Act

NEWBURGH (January 28) - The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center (GHVFHC) will be offering free seminars about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at Kaplan Family Pavilion, 147 Lake Street, Newburgh, NY, in anticipation of the March 31 open enrollment deadline. The seminars will teach the public about the ACA and the requirements regarding enrollment with New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace for the state.

The information sessions will teach participants how to register for health insurance and answer any question about the new health care law. Topics include specific enrollment requirements, step-by-step registration instructions, and discussion of important dates and deadlines. Seminars will be offered:

  • Saturday, January 25; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 13; 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 15; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 27; 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

To register for upcoming seminars, contact GHVFHC’s Outreach and Enrollment Specialist, Jose Santiago, at (845) 563-8000 extension 1253.

For more information about The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, visit www.ghvfhc.org.


Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA receives grant for spay/neuter clinic

HUDSON (January 28) - The Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA has received a grant from the Athens Community Foundation in the amount of $5,853.80 to use toward offsetting town residents’ use of the shelter’s current spay/neuter clinic and future veterinary clinic, slated to be functional by late March.

More details on our Community Page


Angela Keleher, MD, FACS, Director and Lead Breast Surgeon, Dyson
Center for Cancer Care, Vassar Brothers Medical Center with Pavord

Health Quest participating in the follow-up of TARGIT-A breast cancer treatment trial

LAGRANGEVILLE (January 20) – Health Quest has announced that it had enrolled 36 patients on the TARGIT-A breast cancer treatment trial, which originally started in March, 2000. Health Quest is one of only seven organizations in the United States who had offered this trial, one of only two from New York State. There are thirty-three centers in eleven countries (including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Italy, among others) represented in the first trial, and Health Quest is now preparing to participate in a two-year registry trial to study the effectiveness of this new protocol for treating patients with early stage breast cancer.

The first study compared targeted intraoperative radiotherapy versus whole breast radiotherapy for breast cancer with women ages 45 or older with invasive ductal breast carcinoma. According to The Lancet, which published findings of the study, “90% of recurrences occur within the index quadrant, despite the presence of multicentric cancers elsewhere in the breast”, prompting the trial to determine effectiveness of restricting radiation therapy to the tumor bed with certain patients” (THE LANCET, 2010).” TARGIT, concurrent with lumpectomy within a risk-adapted approach, should be considered as an option for eligible patients with breast cancer carefully selected as per the TARGIT-A trial protocol, as an alternative to postoperative External Beam Radiation Therapy” (THE LANCET 2013).

“The results of this trial have been extraordinary, and we look forward to securing greater participation for the next phase of this study. With this new approach to treating breast cancer, our patients can resume normal living after only one treatment. It has unquestionably transformed the lives of our patients, and we are confident that we are participating in something truly revolutionary in our field”, stated Dan Pavord, Assistant Vice President for Oncology Services and Chief Medical Physicist at Health Quest.

For more information, contact The Dyson Center for Cancer Care at Health Quest by calling 845-483-6500 or visit www.health-quest.org/cancer.



American Cancer Society Action Network announces appointment of Sandi Cassese as officer

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 20) – Sandi Cassese, RN, MSN, CNS, Vice President of Oncology Services at Health Quest, has been named Secretary of the National Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, a national nonprofit cancer advocacy organization.

A graduate of The Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing, SUNY New Paltz (BSN, high honors), and Sage Graduate School (Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Health degree), Ms. Cassese has been a registered nurse since 1979. A leader within her industry, she helped the New York State Department of Health and the American Cancer Society develop a training program and curriculum to teach nurses clinical breast examination skills, among many other achievements.

Ms. Cassese has spent the majority of her career working on projects focused on breast health. She worked for the Department of Defense, developing a breast health and screening program for the United States Army at West Point, Fort Drum, and Fort Monmouth, in conjunction with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and served as the Director of the HANYS Breast Cancer Demonstration Project, successfully obtaining a $1.6 million appropriation from the Federal government to work in partnership with hospitals and health care centers through New York State.

“I am deeply humbled to serve as an officer for the National Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,” said Ms. Cassese.  “I am in awe of the tremendous progress our entire industry has made in the area of advocating for research and development within cancer care, and the tireless work that this organization does to move legislation forward is extraordinary. I always tell people that one woman can make a difference, and I want to be that woman – to me, this is just another opportunity to do my part to ensure that people whose lives are impacted by cancer are getting everything they need and deserve.”

In addition to the leadership role with this affiliate of the American Cancer Society, Cassese was also recently named President Elect of the American Cancer Society Eastern Division Board of Directors. She will begin that term in 2015.

For more information about the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Cancer Care services throughout Health Quest, visit www.acscan.org/about and www.health-quest.org/cancer.


Astor Head Start children to receive dental exams

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 20) – More than 500 children enrolled in Astor’s Head Start programs in Dutchess County will be eligible for free dental checkups administered by New York University College of Dentistry Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Programs, during the week of January 27. Head Start and Early Head Start are federal, early childhood programs for low-income families. Astor administers these programs in Dutchess County.

Mary Sontheimer, Assistant Executive Director, Astor’s Early Childhood Programs, said she and others involved in Astor’s Head Start programs are grateful to NYU College of Dentistry for offering the free service. They will also survey parents to identify issues in the community and at home that might lead to the development of dental disease in children.

“We know the damage dental problems can do, the impact it can have on learning and on long-term health, so this is a vital service the dental college is offering,” she said.

Participating dentists will examine the children and make recommendations for long-term or immediate dental care. Those needing emergency treatment will be referred to local dentists. Others will be treated when the NYU dental team returns to Poughkeepsie in June if they are unable to receive treatment from a local provider.

Sontheimer said parents and guardians are being asked to provide their children’s medical history and sign consent forms for the exams. “We’re hoping for 100-percent participation,” Sontheimer said.

Since 1953, Astor Services for Children & Families (formerly The Astor Home for Children) has been providing behavioral and educational services in a caring environment where children and their families find strength, healing, hope and trust. Now serving more than 6,000 children and families annually in over 33 locations, Astor’s current range of services in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties) and the Bronx include: Residential Programs (for children ages 5-14 who have severe behavior and mental health challenges); Early childhood Programs (Astor operates the Early Head Start and Head Start Programs in Dutchess County, a federal early childhood program for low-income families); and Community-Based Behavioral Health and Prevention Services (outpatient mental health services).


Wound Care Center at Northern Dutchess Hospital celebrates one-year anniversary

RHINEBECK (January 13) – The Wound Care Center at Northern Dutchess Hospital will celebrate its one-year anniversary on January 17, 2014. The Wound Care Center is a diagnostic and therapeutic center for acute and chronic problem wounds, and soft tissue radiation necrosis, as well as non-wound related injuries such as carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness.

Heart Walk kickoff event rallies supporters
Carmel (March 12) - The American Heart Association kicked off their annual Putnam Heart Walk campaign at The Plaza at Clover Lake in Brewster recently. Heart Walk volunteer chair, Patrick Thomas, MD, challenged more than 80 local corporate and community leaders to support the 2014 Putnam Heart Walk, scheduled for Sunday, April 27th at Brewster High School.

The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Therapy Center at Northern Dutchess Hospital, is positioned to receive an Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) accreditation this spring, added Dr. Jeffrey Hatter as Medical Director last spring, and welcomes Dr. Duyet Bui, podiatrist, to the growing practice this month. Other physicians at the Center are Dr. John L. Zboinski, Dr. James A. Wing, and Dr Victor R. Stelmack.

The Center has reported its clinical outcomes for the first year, which reflect high patient satisfaction scores, a short median day to heal, and a high rate of healing benchmarked against National scores by the center’s partner; Healogics, Inc.

“We are very pleased with the results of year one, and look forward to continued growth and development of programs and services as we move forward,” said Faye Colosi, MBA, Director of the Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Medicine.  “Many of our patients come to us with wounds that just wouldn’t heal, and we are seeing the tremendous impact we can make using wound care advance modalities and Hyperbaric therapy. In addition our center has a multi-disciplinary model focused on the overall health profile of each individual. Patients who have suffered for many years are getting what they need in our Center, and healing, on average, within 18-21 days. It is incredibly gratifying to enhance their lives in this way. Hyperbaric medicine is extraordinary – and when our specialists deliver these services in context of collaborations with primary care physicians and clinicians with other related expertise, we can offer sustainable health and wellness – and the quality of life that goes along with it”.

The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Therapy Center offers wound consultation and evaluation, diagnostic and ongoing assessments and treatment, non-invasive vascular studies, specialty wound dressings, bio-engineered skin grafts and substitutes, and various types of wound therapy, among other services.


Hudson Heritage donation benefits Pediatric Department at ORMC

MIDDLETOWN (January 6) - Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union (HHFCU) has donated $15,000 to Orange Regional Medical Center. The donation has helped establish a much-needed inpatient room in the Hospital’s Pediatric department.

“We’re so proud to support Orange Regional’s initiative to develop advanced Pediatric services in our community, as children account for 26% of our area’s population,” said HHFCU President and CEO, Michael Ciriello. “Access to specialty care locally has become an increasing challenge for this segment of our population. The majority of these patients previously had to travel 90 minutes to Westchester Medical Center for specialty care.”

The donation was made to the Hospital’s Lend A Hand For Kids Campaign that focuses on the development of advanced Pediatric services in our region. The Pediatric Center at Orange Regional Medical Center will develop in phases over the next three years and will seek to address the vast majority of Pediatric healthcare needs. The Pediatric Center will provide children, from birth through age 17, with quality care in a child-friendly, family centered environment. The Pediatric Center will address the unique medical needs of our youngest patients in an atmosphere specifically designed to reduce their anxiety about hospitals. It will provide access to a variety of specialists in a state-of-the-art facility.

We are delighted that Hudson Heritage chose to partner with Orange Regional in helping to fund our ability to bring advanced pediatric services to the children of our community,” said Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation President, Christine Maraia.

Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union serves over 29,000 Members and has assets in excess of $300 million. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Ulster, Orange or Dutchess Counties. Hudson Heritage FCU is headquartered in Middletown, NY and has additional branches in Middletown, Newburgh, Montgomery, Goshen, Harriman, Washingtonville, New Paltz, Port Jervis and Pine Bush.

L-R: Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation President, Christine Maraia; Hudson Heritage Chairman, Board of Directors,
Paul Zalanowski; Hudson Heritage President & CEO Michael J. Ciriello, Orange Regional’s Lend A Hand For Kids Campaign
Co-Chairman, Eric Fethke, MD; Hudson Heritage Executive Vice President, Ray F. Litchfield.

To make a donation to Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation, visit www.ormc.org/foundation.

To learn more about Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union, visit www.hhfcu.org.

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


Hudson Valley Heart Center officially part of Health Quest

LAGRANGEVILLE (January 3) - Health Quest announced today that Hudson Valley Heart Center is now officially part of Health Quest. The partnership was originally announced in September and is now effective as of December 30, 2013.

“We are pleased to partner with The Heart Center and look forward to our new collaboration,” said Luke McGuinness, President and CEO, Health Quest. “With this new effort our patients will have access to expanded services and state-of-the-art technologies.”

The partnership will offer patients the most advanced cardiac care available and a more integrated experience when services are needed at both the office and hospital level. Hudson Valley Heart Center has 25 physicians, nearly 200 employees and office locations in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, New Windsor, Rhinebeck, Modena and Highland. The Heart Center sees over 65,000 patients per year and offers a full spectrum of diagnostic capabilities at their locations.

“Our partnership with Health Quest allows us to expand the offerings to our patients,” said Dr. Daniel O’Dea, President, The Heart Center. “Both organizations bring experience and the latest technologies, and we are looking forward to expanding cardiac services for our communities.”

For more information, visit www.health-quest.org/hvheartcenter  





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