In April, the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce was awarded a grant through the Community Service Society of New York to help small businesses with health care and health insurance issues. Many individuals and small businesses were faced with the lingering effects of the federal health reform bill, which is now well known as the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010. [Read more...]
The community’s dream of having assisted-living complexes in Jefferson County is now a reality, twice over.
A Tuesday ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for Samaritan Summit Village marked the second assisted-living facility in Jefferson County to open this month, along with Meadowbrook Terrace, Champion.
“This is a project that’s been talked about for the better part of 20 years,” Samaritan Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Carman said. “It really was a community partnership.” [Read more...]
Although asbestos abatement has put Samaritan Medical Center a few months behind schedule with some of its $61 million expansion and renovation project, the hospital is moving forward with planning its next phase of renovations.
Spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said asbestos was discovered on 4 Pratt, which is on the fourth floor in an older part of the hospital, where alternate level of care beds are. Patients will be moved temporarily to the former progressive care unit on 3 Pratt while the abatement takes upward of two months to complete. [Read more...]
Despite recruiting challenges, health care and manufacturing poised for growth
As the country heads into 2013 with high expectations for continued economic recovery, the focus in Northern New York and across the United States remains solidly on jobs and job growth. As unemployment rates in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties waver from month to month, no tried and true trend lines have emerged. But business leaders across the north country are optimistic that job growth is in the immediate future. Developing a strategy for growing jobs and identifying potential markets for industries that bring jobs with them has been at the forefront of dozens of discussions in the past several months.
While economists are leery to express too much joy over a growing jobs market, the New York State Department of Labor released a statement in late December outlining how the state added 83,500 private sector jobs last year and the statewide unemployment rate fell from 8.7 percent to 8.3 percent. Industries with the highest rate of growth statewide included professional and business services, educational and health services and trade, transportation and utilities, adding a collective 98,100 jobs in the state. [Read more...]
After spending eight years with Samaritan Medical Center’s Interventional Pain Management Center, Dr. Bhupinder S. Bolla has branched out and opened his own pain-management clinic.
Dr. Bolla left Samaritan in December, and Pain Solutions of Northern New York opened Jan. 2 at Top of the Square, 107 Court St. [Read more...]
OGDENSBURG — Patients of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center already are benefiting from a partnership that makes their medical records easier for health care professionals to share.
The hospital recently partnered with HealtheConnections of Syracuse, the Regional Health Information Organization of central New York.
“Basically, it is a community-based organization that is bringing together patient records from health care providers to increase the efficiency and quality of health care we can provide to our patients,” said Amy J. Robinson, Claxton-Hepburn physician liaison. “We are the first hospital in the county to undertake this.”
The organization compiles and stores patient medical records from hospitals and other health care providers in 11 counties of Central and Northern New York to increase the efficiency and overall quality of health care in the region. Patient’s labs, histories, demographic information and diagnostic tests can be accessed by regional health care providers.
“RHIOs have been around for quite some time,” said James A. Flood, the hospital’s director of information services. “We set up a system where we’re electronically passing demographic information, lab reports, records to this central repository. Many other facilities through Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga are all doing the same thing. We have created a patient-centric database.”
Samaritan Medical Center has contracted with five neurosurgeons from a practice associated with Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, to help fill a void.
Samaritan spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said neurosurgery has remained on the hospital’s physician recruitment priority list, especially throughout the past year since the practice of Dr. John Krawchenko and Dr. Michael P. Owen closed. Samaritan has identified two permanent neurosurgeon candidates and is in discussions with both to bring them here.
Dr. Owen is on the staff but filling in elsewhere, Ms. Kittle said.
Neurosurgeons who have entered an agreement with Samaritan are Drs. David A. Carter, Lawrence S. Chin, Walter A. Hall, Fassil B. Mesfin and Craig T. Montgomery. They will fill in holes in the on-call rotations when the hospital hires the permanent neurosurgeons. The two full-timers will be based in Watertown, but also will be employed by the same practice as the five other contracted neurosurgeons.
GOUVERNEUR — As many as 70 employees at E.J. Noble Hospital could be laid off soon as a result of the closure of the hospital’s lab and other subsequent services closing Friday.
Administrator Charles P. Conole said details as to who would be laid off and exactly when are still being worked out.
“There will be a reduction in force, and we’re working on that,” he said.
Employees may first choose to use their earned time off, such as vacation and personal days, while waiting for the hospital to get its lab up and running. That is something that each affected employee would need to work out with the hospital’s human resources department, he said. If people don’t have earned time, or ran out, they might not be as lucky.
The hospital has 245 employees.
Succession planning and preparing for a shift in long-term care have Samaritan Medical Center building up an administrative army.
Hospital spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said restructuring the administration is a large part of the hospital’s new strategic plan.
“As this plan began to take shape, it became clear that even a year from now our organization will look different,” she said. “Our long-term care services will be 560 beds. The board felt we needed to put leadership and staff in place in order to meet those goals.”
There are 272 beds at Samaritan Keep Home, and with the early 2013 opening of the 288-bed Samaritan Summit Village, long-term care services will develop further for Samaritan.
The hospital already has hired Anthony E. Joseph as vice president for long-term care. He will partially replace Richard A. Brooks, who is the administrator of Samaritan Keep Home and plans to retire late this year or early in 2013. Ms. Kittle said the hospital plans to hire an assistant vice president of support service, which would make up for the other half of Mr. Brooks’s role.
New North Country Neurology patients will be able to get an initial appointment with a neurologist in less than a month as the practice expands.
The Washington Street offices will be expanded from about 3,600 square feet to nearly 10,000 square feet to accommodate two new neurologists with various neurology sub-specialties who will join the practice in July 2013.
“With Fort Drum people coming in, there was more pressure on the practice for more providers,” said Dr. Abdul Latif, a neurologist who owns the practice at 1340 Washington St. “With all the troops coming back, we’ve seen more patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a lot of Army guys with injuries to the neck and back.”