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ORMC appoints Ann Wanderling nursing director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit 

MIDDLETOWN (December 17) - Orange Regional Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) is proud to announce 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 has 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) is pleased to announce 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 today 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; and
  • 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® is proud to announce 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


Horizon Family Medical’s Dr. Dominic Aro chosen a ‘Best Doc’ for 2014

GOSHEN (October 24) - Dr. Dominic Aro, a Board-certified, award-winning Gynecologist with Horizon Family Medical Group, has been selected a “Best Doc” for 2014 in a readers’ poll by Hudson Valley Parent magazine.

Dr. Aro received the same distinction last year in the contest. He’s no stranger to awards. He was given a Patients Choice Award and received Compassionate Doctor Recognition for several years by He’s also on Healthgrades’ Honor Roll.  

About the “Best Doc” prize, he said, “I’m very pleased. It’s really a recognition of our office and how hard our office staff works to achieve patient satisfaction.” He said he was gratified because the award is “patient driven, and I appreciate all of our patients.”

Dr. Aro said the best part of his profession is “being able to help people.” He said he tries to be available to his patients. “I like them to feel very open and comfortable about coming into the office.”

“He never says no,” echoed Danielle Ramos, his Office Manager.     

Dr. Aro has practiced Gynecology for 22 years. He’s been with Horizon’s Women’s Health section for 10 years. Prior to that, he had a private practice in Westchester while teaching residents at Westchester Medical Center.

The notice of the award will appear in the December issue of the magazine.

Dr. Aro is available at 30 Hatfield Lane, Suite 105, Goshen, NY; phone, 845-291-7400.



Vassar Brothers Medical Center appoints director of spiritual care

POUGHKEEPSIE (October 6) – Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger is the new director of spiritual care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

In his new role, he will direct the activities of the associate chaplains as well as the clergy interns enrolled in the clinical pastoral education program at the Health Quest-affiliated medical center. He will also serve as liaison to faith groups in our region, ensuring that clergy can visit their congregants and that diverse spiritual and cultural traditions are honored.

“It’s such an honor to work with the extraordinarily competent and dedicated professionals at Vassar Brothers Medical Center,” Loevinger said. “I’m really looking forward to serving the broader community, empowering people to find their own spiritual and moral resources in the face of illness or crisis. Chaplains never impose our own religious beliefs on others, but rather accompany patients and their families, meeting people where they are, and affirming the dignity and worth of every person. We serve patients, their families, staff, employees and the greater community — anybody in need of spiritual or emotional support.”

Loevinger previously served as an associate chaplain of the medical center and also as the spiritual leader of the largest synagogue in the mid-Hudson Valley — Temple Beth-El of Poughkeepsie.

“Neal is legendary for his sharp wit and humor and his ability to work with members of all faith traditions,” said Sandi Cassese, vice president of oncology at Health Quest. ”I am looking forward to working with him to ensure that the holistic care that is a hallmark of Vassar Brothers Medical Center not only continues but is elevated to the next level.”

Loevinger brings to his new position a wealth of experience having provided multicultural spiritual care in numerous settings, including residency work in clinical pastoral education, experience as a volunteer prison chaplain, and leadership roles in three states and two countries.

He lives in Poughkeepsie with his wife, two children and one very old poodle.


L-R: Patrick Ortland, Chairman SLCH Board of Trustees;
Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota (KP); Robert Ross, SLCH President/CEO;
John Pelella, Chairman, St. Luke’s Health System Foundation Board of Directors

SLCH gala raises $240,000 through celebration of commitment and dedication

NEWBURGH (September 27) – St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital recently held its annual Gala which honored longtime physician, SLCH Neonatologist, Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota (KP) and Alan Seidman of Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley.

The event attracted close to 450 guests to a new venue this year, the Umbra of Newburgh Soundstage.  Thanks to the support of the hospital’s donors and friends, $240,000 will be donated to the hospital to support programs and initiatives.

“We are thrilled with the outcome of the evening and are truly grateful for the generosity of all involved,” said Gala Chair, Margaret “Chip” Pelella.

Dr. KP was presented with the Outstanding Caregiver Award. He’s has been a member of the SLCH family since 1997 and the opening of the Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. During that time, Dr. KP has cared for close to 2,000 babies, touching the lives of so many families in this community.

“Dr. KP’s dedication to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and the patients and families he treats every day is nothing short of amazing,” said Robert S. Ross, SLCH President and CEO.

At the event, SLCH presented Dr. KP with a video of heartfelt messages from some of the families he has worked with over the years. To view the video, visit www.     

Alan Seidman, Executive Director of Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley, was honored as the Community Commitment Award recipient. Mr. Seidman has had a lifelong connection to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. He served on the Foundation Board of Directors; one of many community service organizations and causes Alan has long been involved with.

“Alan has been a tremendous asset to the local community,” said Ross. “It is a privilege to honor Alan and recognize his continued dedication to helping others.”

The guest list included hospital leadership, elected officials, and community members at large. Major sponsors included The Littman and Kaplan Families, Greater New York Hospital Association, Unitex and Eagle Insurance.

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY.


Board of Health warns against e-cigarette use

POUGHKEEPSIE (September 17) - The Dutchess County Board of Health expressed its concerns with the increased use of e-cigarettes.  Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as they are more commonly called, are being promoted as a new way to smoke, without actually smoking. 

“What you may not know is that this hot topic of conversation is a potential health hazard,” said Dr. Lobsang Lhungay, MD, President, Dutchess County Board of Health.  “The facts don’t lie. A recent Center for Disease Control Center (CDC) study found a dramatic increase in calls to U.S. poison control center calls related to electronic cigarettes. As of February 2014, calls to poison control about e-cigarette exposure were up to 215 per month across the country”,

When e-cigarettes were introduced to the market they appeared to offer an alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. However, this report from the CDC regarding poisonings raises concerns about the liquid nicotine that is used in the e-cigarettes. More distressing is that half of the calls to poison centers involved young children under the age of 5.

An e-cigarette is a battery operated smoking device designed to deliver nicotine and flavor to the user. The device heats up a liquid, turning it to vapor, which is inhaled, or “vaped” by the user.  The liquid in e-cigarettes is comprised of nicotine, flavorings and other additives. The candy and fruit flavors are the draw for young children. Cartridges are not childproofed, making them easily accessible to young children. Poisonings can happen by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the nose and eyes.

E-cigarettes are enticing to children. Marketing nicotine products is nothing new to the industry. It has been a constant battle to stop it, and here we have yet another marketing tactic, candy flavored nicotine. It can almost be compared to the candy cigarettes they used to sell. Make it appealing to children and you have them hooked.

Children are not the only ones affected by e-cigarette poisonings. In the calls to poison control, 42 percent of victims were age 20 and older. These statistics make e-cigarettes a concern for everyone.

The FDA currently does not regulate e-cigarettes, but has plans to do so.

“Unregulated nicotine levels also mean unregulated chemicals,” said Dr. Lhungay.

The Dutchess County Board of Health urges you not to use e-cigarettes, except possibly for smoking cessation purposes, and then only under a physician’s supervision.





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