Local News

Friday, September 27, 2019

After a thorough review of plans to transform healthcare delivery in Ulster County and surrounding Hudson Valley communities, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has granted full project approval to HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, for the significant expansion and enhancement of its hospital on Mary’s Avenue in the City of Kingston. The DOH approval of HealthAlliance’s Certificate of Need application is the latest and final administrative milestone for the $92.9 million project.


New HealthAlliance Hospital

The new HealthAlliance Hospital will feature the addition of a two-story, 79,000-square-foot building adjoining the current facility, as well as a full renovation of 48,000 square feet of space within the existing hospital. Key components of the new 175-bed facility will include a newly constructed 25,000-square-foot emergency care center that will incorporate special services for cardiac observation and behavioral health; a newly constructed 10-bed ICU, along with a six-bed medical stepdown unit, providing an intermediate level of care between the ICU and the new hospital’s medical-surgical wards. Nearly all patient rooms will be private.

The new HealthAlliance Hospital will also feature a birthing center with ultramodern labor, delivery and postpartum rooms. The building will have a new imaging department and fully remodeled centers for ambulatory surgery, infusion therapy and endoscopy.


Orange Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines from the latest scientific evidence.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. The acronym FAST (face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911) can help people remember and recognize the general signs and symptoms of stroke.

Quicker response time at the onset of stroke can lead to faster treatment, which results in better chances of survival and decreased physical and neurological disabilities. Highly effective treatments that can be administered early from the onset of stroke include administering the clot-dissolving medication alteplase within three to 4 1/2 hours or thrombectomy, which can be performed within six to 24 hours.


Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville has once again received the Women’s Choice Award for being one of America’s Best for Extended Care. The 82-bed skilled nursing facility, with 115 clinical, administrative and service staff, earned the 2019 Women’s Choice Award for providing exceptional and compassionate care to its residents.


Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville receives the Women’s Choice Award for being one of America’s Best for Extended Care.

The award cited Mountainside for its high commitment to quality, high health inspection rating, more than enough registered nurses and other qualified employees to serve its residents, and a high overall quality rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The award, which Mountainside also received in 2017, is given by WomenCertified Inc. of Hollywood, Florida, and recognizes Mountainside as a facility women would highly recommend for their loved ones’ long-term care, rehabilitation and nursing home needs.


Upon admission to Vassar Brothers Medical Center, all veterans of the U.S. armed forces receive a patriotic bracelet, part of the hospital’s new Veteran Recognition Program. The initiative is designed to recognize individuals who have served our country and prompt all hospital staff, visitors and patients to thank them for their service. The program began in July.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center recognizes veterans with patriotic wristbands.

“The Veteran Recognition Program is a great opportunity for all our staff and caregivers to be able to recognize and acknowledge our veterans, while thanking them for their service,” says Lore Bogolin, Chief Nursing Officer for the City of Poughkeepsie hospital.


The newest member of Putnam Hospital Center’s surgical team is the da Vinci Xi robot by Intuitive. This latest model has several enhancements, including sharper 3D visualization, better range of motion and greater operative reach for the surgeon. The Xi will also expand the types of robotic surgeries offered at Putnam Hospital Center.


The da Vinci Xi robot by Intuitive

An earlier model of the da Vinci robotic surgical system was introduced at the hospital in 2012, ushering in a new era of minimally invasive procedures. Since then, about eight surgeons have used the technology to perform more than 1,600 procedures in the areas of general, urologic, colorectal and gynecologic surgeries. The da Vinci Xi will allow for bariatric and thoracic surgeries to be added to Putnam Hospital Center’s operating suite.



Paul Wright, MD, Health Quest’s Assistant Vice President of Neurosciences

To recognize hospitals for fast-acting stroke care, the American Heart Association recently released its Get With The Guidelines awards. Vassar Brothers Medical CenterPutnam Hospital Center and Northern Dutchess Hospital each earned Gold Plus for following up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines.

The association’s evaluation is based on how well the hospitals provided brain scans, administered clot-busting drugs and prescribed preventive medications upon discharge, among other measures.

The type of award — gold, silver and bronze — relates to the length of time these practices were followed: two years for gold, a year for silver and 90 days for bronze.

The generalized categories of excellent care include how quickly stroke patients were assessed, diagnosed and treated — and preventive treatments given throughout the patient’s hospital stay. A “plus” is awarded to hospitals that meet additional guidelines, such as cessation counseling for smokers, a major stroke risk.



Jason Sperling, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery

Daniel O’Dea, MD, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services

Vassar Brothers Medical Center has achieved three-star overall quality ratings — the highest possible ranking — in four of five cardiac surgical categories analyzed by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

Vassar Brothers earned the high-performance ratings for its patient care and outcomes in procedures to improve blood flow to the heart and body. They include isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR), AVR combined with CABG, and mitral valve repair and replacement.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of 980 cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.


Crystal Run Healthcare has earned the American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Center designation. The designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practicing safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer. Crystal Run is the only facility in Sullivan and Rockland counties and one of two facilities in Orange County to earn this accreditation.


Members of Crystal Run Healthcare’s Diagnostic Imaging Leadership team: Joshua Burkholder, Radiology Manager/RIS PACS specialist; Heather Prisco, Clerical Supervisor; Holly Frank, Associate Director of Women’s Imaging; and Raymond Farquharson, Director of Diagnostic Imaging. Not pictured is Scott T. Hines, MD, Chief Quality Officer.

To receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in CT in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Additionally, Crystal Run has demonstrated it has the required procedures in place for follow-up care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.


The Reiki Therapy Program at Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) recently received a donation of awareness pins from the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research and Awareness. The pins remind inpatients at the hospital to ask their nurse about reiki, a noninvasive, gentle healing discipline that promotes comfort and rest through balancing the body’s energy centers.


Founder of the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund Nicole Feller Lee (second from left) recently presented the ORMC Complementary Therapies Committee a donation to help promote the Reiki Therapy Program at the hospital.

Reiki offers a natural approach to healing and wellness when combined with traditional therapy as prescribed by a physician.

In addition to reiki, ORMC complementary therapies include aromatherapy, pet therapy, virtual reality, music therapy, harp therapy, guided imagery and osteopathic manipulation therapy. For more information about the complementary therapies at ORMC, visit ormc.org/cam.