Hudson Valley Health


Breast Cancer Options in Sullivan County
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Beacon group learns about breast cancer prevention

BEACON (November 14) - The Women of Faith, Health and Wellness Ministry invited Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood, and Board Member and Chairman of the Board Medical Committee, Dr. Amy Novatt, OB/GYN, to address the meeting of the group at a workshop on Breast Cancer Awareness which took place at Springfield Baptist Church in Beacon on Saturday. (photo attachment)

"This organization teaches African American women about breast cancer prevention, awareness of early symptoms, and overall women's health," explained Nettie Womack, Springfield Baptist Church minister and co-founder of the Women of Faith, Health and Wellness Ministry.

Both she and her sister, co-founder Patty Nelson are breast cancer survivors and choose to share their stories with women of this ethnicity to educate them about breast cancer.

"Miles of Hope funds programs like this one to educate and perform outreach to groups of women particularly affected by high breast cancer mortality rates,” said Forood. “Early detection is the key for both African American and Latina women who are adversely affected by late stage detection. All women will benefit from early detection which means getting an annual mammogram and being aware of any changes in their body. Dr. Novatt addressed this extensively in her talk and after an hour and a half of questions, everyone was enlightened by the information on breast cancer prevention."

Miles of Hope is a public charity with a mission to fund outreach, education and services for people affected by breast cancer within the 9 counties of the Hudson Valley. For more information, .


Antibiotics aren't always the answer: November 13-19 is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week

NEW CITY (November 14) - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that if you have a cold or flu, antibiotics won't work for you. When you feel sick, you want to feel better fast; but antibiotics aren't the answer for every illness.

Most illnesses are caused by two kinds of germs: bacteria or viruses.

"Antibiotics can cure infections caused by bacteria, but not infections caused by viruses (such as colds or flu, most coughs and bronchitis, sore throats not caused by strep bacteria, or runny noses),” said Dr. Ruppert. “Taking antibiotics for viral infections will not cure the infections, keep other people from catching the illness, or help you feel better."

Get smart about antibiotics by following these tips:

  • Prevent infections by practicing good hand washing and getting recommended vaccines. Washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family healthy by preventing the spread of germs that cause infections. Vaccinations help prevent infections that may require antibiotics and helps prevent diseases from spreading.
  • Do not ask for antibiotics when your doctor thinks you do not need them. Remember antibiotics have side effects. When your doctor says you don't need an antibiotic, taking one may do more harm than good. Instead ask for the best treatment for your illness.
  • Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover antibiotics. Antibiotics treat specific types of infections. Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow bacteria to multiply.
  • Ask if watchful waiting is right for you. For some illnesses, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting, meaning waiting a few days to see if you get better before deciding to prescribe antibiotics.
  • Ask about side effects. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any side effects of the antibiotics.
  • Take the antibiotic exactly as your doctor prescribes. Even if you feel better, do not skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic early without approval from your doctor.
  • Never save antibiotics for future illnesses. Discard any leftover medication once the prescribed course of treatment is completed. Rockland County's "Operation Medicine Cabinet" collects all outdated, unused and unwanted medications including all controlled substances and non-controlled substances. Visit for more information.

Taking an antibiotic when it is not needed can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance. Although some people think a person becomes resistant to specific drugs, it is the bacteria, not the person, that become resistant to the drugs. When resistance develops, antibiotics may not be able to stop future infections. Every time someone takes an antibiotic they don't need, they increase their risk of developing a resistant infection in the future.

When you use antibiotics correctly, you do the best for your health, your family's health, and the health of those around you. For more information talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit the New York State Department of Health website at


Crystal Run Healthcare welcomes four new providers 

TOWN OF WALLKILL (November 13) - Crystal Run Healthcare announces the addition of four new providers to the practice

Ratika Gupta, MD, is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is seeing patients in West Nyack. Allergy & Immunology will be a new specialty now available at Crystal Run Healthcare in Rockland County.

Gary Loden, MD, is Board Certified in Urology and specializes and is seeing patients in Newburgh.

Amish Naik, MD, specializes in Orthopedic Surgery with and is seeing patients in West Nyack.

Ann Stewart, ANP-BC, is a Board Certified Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specializing in Internal Medicine and will provide care to patients in Rock Hill.


ORMC gets national award for stroke treatment

TOWN OF WALLKILL (November 10) - Orange Regional Medical Center received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

ORMC Stroke Committee

Hospitals earning the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods. They must also achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures. To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Orange Regional earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed,” said Medical Director of Orange Regional’s Stoke Center, Dr. Olga Fishman. “This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely. Orange Regional continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

Orange Regional has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center or as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

For more information on stroke care at Orange Regional, visit



Northern Dutchess Hospital, Thompson House appoints military veteran to improve quality of care

RHINEBECK (October 17) - Dr. Peter Fish, a decorated military medical officer, recently joined Health Quest Medical Practice to serve as medical director of the Thompson House skilled nursing center and Northern Dutchess Hospital’s post-acute care.

In this role, Fish will oversee medical care for Thompson House’s nearly 100 residents. He will also act as a liaison between Northern Dutchess Hospital and post-acute care providers, such as skilled nursing centers, to improve quality of care and reduce hospital readmissions.

Already familiar with the Hudson Valley, Fish is a 1987 graduate of Vassar College with a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science.

Fish recently moved to Rhinebeck from Honolulu, where he completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Hawaii, expanding his experience in trauma, emergency and occupational medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at St. George’s University Medical School in Rutgers, N.J., and is a graduate of Yale University’s physician assistant program.

The U.S. Army National Guard major has held various roles during his distinguished military career. He was chief medical officer with a field artillery company in Afghanistan, and earned a Bronze Star in 2010. He served at an Iraq combat hospital in 2006 and 2007, as the officer in charge of medical affairs and a flight surgeon. 

The Thompson House is known as the Northern Dutchess Residential Health Care Facility. For more, visit or  


WMC Health Network announces appointments

VALHALLA (October 17) – The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) recently appointed Susan Gerry as Senior Vice President for Strategic Alliances and Partnerships, Kelly MacMillan as Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Mecca Santana as Senior Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement.  All three bring extensive public policy, legislative and leadership experience to their positions and will help to forward the network’s role in being a catalyst for health and well-being and bringing primary and advanced healthcare to families across the Hudson Valley, as close to their homes as possible.




As Senior Vice President for Strategic Alliances and Partnerships,  Susan Gerry will play a pivotal role in the development and implementation of strategic relationships to help Network entities in their roles as anchor institutions in the communities they serve by developing and implementing plans that optimize the engagement of business and community stakeholders in alignment with the economic, workforce and healthcare access priorities in local communities.

In her position as Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Kelly MacMillan will develop and direct strategies that identify and foster relationships with elected officials and government agencies in order to ensure open lines of communication between WMCHealth and public officials in the communities it serves.

A University at Albany alumna, Santana double majored in Criminal Justice and Political Science, plus secured a law degree from Hofstra University. A Central New York native, Santana currently resides with her family in Blauvelt where she cycles and coaches her daughter’s softball team.






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