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St. Elizabeth's News RSS Feed

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    The Clinton Medical Office will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5, 2013 due to building maintenance to re-open Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
    The staff will be working at our North Utica office and can be reached at 315-797-5810.

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  • 03/04/13--10:27: Cancer Prevention Study
  • Public Invited to Participate in Cancer Prevention Study.

    We all want to know we have made a difference in the life of another. This year, our community has a unique opportunity to make an impact on the lives of many.

    The third Cancer Prevention Study of the American Cancer Society will be enrolling participants at St. Elizabeth Medical Center on Thursday, May 2 from 3-7 p.m. in the hospital’s Sister Rose Vincent, Sister Johanna and Sister Regina Conference Rooms. As part of enrollment, individuals who choose to participate will simply fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by trained phlebotomists) and provide a waist measure. Enrollment will take approximately 20-30 minutes at your local event. From that point forward, study participants will be followed over time to update information via periodic, mailed surveys. Your involvement in CPS-3 will help American Cancer Society researchers understand the causes of, and ultimately determine ways to prevent, cancer.

    If you are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study (which involves completing follow-up surveys periodically over the next 20-30 years), are between the ages of 30 and 65 years old and have never been diagnosed with cancer, then you will want to participate in this study.

    If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, your significant participation comes from telling everyone you know about the opportunity to help prevent cancer.

    Visit, call 1-888-604-5888 or e-mail to learn more about the difference you can personally make in the fight against cancer. Research Today for a Cancer-Free Tomorrow!



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    The Mohawk Valley Heart Institute (MVHI) will sponsor the “My Heart, My Life.” Expo and a Health & Wellness Assessment Booth as part of America’s Greatest Heart Run/Walk.

    The Expo is being held on Friday, March 1, at the Utica College gymnasium.

    Visit us at our Health & Wellness Assessment booth for free Cardiac Health Screenings from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., which will include:
    blood pressure reading, cholesterol reading with a breakdown of LDL and HDL, triglycerides, and diabetic score (that replaces blood a glucose screening). Various healthcare professionals will be on hand to assist and educate you on your results.

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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center and its Medical Group are pleased to announce the addition of Hend Abdelwahab, M.D., to its New Hartford Office at 4401 Middle Settlement Road. Dr. Abdelwahab joins Mark Warfel, D.O. and Toby Taylor, M.D. at that location. Other providers include nurse practitioners: Sandra Gaetano, Sally O’Callaghan, Tracy Stein and Danielle Swiderski. Dr. Abdelwahab is accepting new patients at 797-2398 or 738-1835.

    Dr. Abdelwahab received her Medical Degree, with honors, from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. She is a 2012 graduate of the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program and is Board Certified.

    She and her husband, Ashraf Aly, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist at the St. Elizabeth Women’s Health Center, are parents of three children and reside in New Hartford. Dr. Abdelwahab enjoys reading, portrait drawing, arts, walking and spending time with family.


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  • 02/27/13--09:42: Meet The Pillow Ladies
  • The “Pillow Ladies” are a dedicated group of volunteers who meet at St. Elizabeth Medical Center each month to craft heart-shaped pillows. The pillows are used by patients of the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute who have undergone major heart surgery.

    While recovering, patients hold a heart pillow close to their chest, providing necessary support to their sternum or breastbone. This can be especially helpful during coughing and breathing exercises, which help prevent fluid from building in the lungs.

    It is quite a sight to see as the mismatched pieces of fabric and a variety of materials take shape. Each pillow is made by hand with care and precision. Each is unique in design and color, yet all provide the same symbol of hope and support for those who need them.

    The women behind these pillows seem to be aware of their importance and take pride in every one made. Many have been members for several years, some since the very beginning, over 15 years ago. There is a sense of camaraderie among the group, whose members have come to know one another well over the years. Talk of children and grandchildren can be heard as their hands work steadily, cutting, stuffing, sewing one pillow after another. Before they know it, between 25 and 40 pillows are made.

    If you would to help the Pillow Ladies, please call our Volunteer Department at 315-798-8275. Also, donations of fabric and sewing materials are always needed and can be brought to the main reception desk in the College of Nursing building at 2215 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501.

    Like our Facebook page to view more photos.


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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center and its Medical Group are pleased to announce that Thomas Socash, M.D. has joined the Medical Staff and will continue to provide care at its Town of Webb Health Care Center. The Center is located at 114 South Shore Road, Old Forge. Dr. Socash has been affiliated with Central Adirondack Family Practice since 1990.

    Dr. Socash received his Medical Degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies. He completed a Master of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychobiology from Hamilton College in Clinton. Dr. Socash is a 1990 graduate of the St. Elizabeth Hospital Family Practice Residency Program. Since graduation, Dr. Socash, was also a preceptor for the Residency Program until 2012.

    Dr. Socash and his wife, Pamela, reside in Old Forge, where they raised their family. They are the parents of four adult children, Tyler, Nicole, Trey and Eric.

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  • 02/21/13--11:57: St. E's News
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    The St. Elizabeth College of Nursing will hold two free college financial aid workshops. The first will be held on Wednesday, February 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. and the second on Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The programs will be held at the College of Nursing at 2215 Genesee Street, Utica, in the Multipurpose Room. They are open to the general public.

    The Department of Education disperses over $150 billion in some form of financial aid each year to help millions of students pay for higher education. The public is welcome to attend one of the workshops to see how to benefit and further one’s education.

    The program will include:
    • How, when and why to file the FAFSA (free application for Federal Student Aid)
    • What happens after the FAFSA
    • Pitfalls to avoid in the financial aid process.

    Seating is limited. For registration, please call (315) 798-8347.

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    The St. Elizabeth College of Nursing will hold two free college financial aid workshops. The first will be held on Wednesday, February 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. and the second on Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The programs will be held at the College of Nursing at 2215 Genesee Street, Utica, in the Multipurpose Room. They are open to the general public.

    The Department of Education disperses over $150 billion in some form of financial aid each year to help millions of students pay for higher education. The public is welcome to attend one of the workshops to see how to benefit and further one’s education.

    The program will include:
    • How, when and why to file the FAFSA (free application for Federal Student Aid)
    • What happens after the FAFSA
    • Pitfalls to avoid in the financial aid process.

    Seating is limited. For registration, please call (315) 798-8347.

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    William F. Lindsey, M.D. has joined Advanced Wound Care of St. Elizabeth Medical Center as a full-time physician. Dr. Lindsey was in private practice at Oneida Surgical Group for the past 27 years.

    Dr. Lindsey is Board Certified by the American College of Surgeons. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Lindsey completed a General Surgery Residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Illinois at the Medical Center. He currently serves as a Clinical Adjunct Faculty member of LeMoyne College in Syracuse and the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester.

    Dr. Lindsey serves on the Medical Staff of both St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Oneida Healthcare Center.

    He and his wife, Sheila, are residents of Chittenango. They are parents of four children and 7 grandchildren.

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    Advanced Wound Care of St. Elizabeth Medical Center held an Open House for healthcare providers on Thursday, February 7. Advanced Wound Care is located in the St. Elizabeth Medical Arts building at 4401 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford. Advanced Wound Care of St. Elizabeth Medical Center is the area’s only provider of comprehensive wound care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. It’s specialty-trained, wound care physicians and specialists at the center offer advanced healing therapies. This service is a collaboration of St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Healogics.

    Other treatment therapies of wound care include: Bio-skin substitutes, growth-stimulating wound dressings and off-loading contact casts. These methods may be used for wounds that do not heal by themselves over a period of time.

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a simple and effective treatment in which a patient breathes pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The therapy quickly delivers high concentrations of oxygen through the bloodstream, which helps increase the body’s own natural wound-healing abilities.

    The chamber has clear sides through which patients can see their surroundings, and is equipped with TV and videos. For most people, cuts and scratches heal within days or weeks. But for those whose natural healing process is hampered, a simple sore can become a complex medical problem.

    Approximately 18.5 million Americans have diabetes and, of that population, about 1.8 million will suffer from a problem wound. Since Advanced Wound Care open in 2010, nearly 7,000 patients have been treated.

    National Healing Corporation and Diversified Clinical Services, Inc. have joined together to form Healogics, which is the largest provider of wound care and related disease management in the country.

    Photo identification: Jacob Roberts, Hyperbaric Tech slides a patient into one of three hyperbaric oxygen chambers.



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    Mercy Flight Central announced today at a news conference at 10:00 am at the Medical Center that it will add a new base of operations in Schuyler, NY, three miles east of Utica, at 368 Shortlots Road, Frankfort, NY.

    This expansion will enable the organization to improve service to the mid-state area of New York, an area encompassing a roughly 60-mile radius, and provide faster, more cost-effective service to trauma patients in many under-served Central New York communities. Operations are slated to begin in March of 2013.

    Mercy Flight Central is an independent, community-based non-profit provider of air medical services. Its main base of operation is in Canandaigua, NY, which serves the Greater Rochester Area and points east, west and south. In addition, the organization has a base in Marcellus, NY, which serves the Greater Syracuse Area and points east, north and south.

    “Our decision to expand our bases of operation was made after careful consideration. While Mercy Flight Central has always served this region, in the event of an emergency we could be flying more than 50 miles to an accident scene. As a result, too many critically injured patients travel by ambulance to the nearest trauma center. This time delay can negatively impact the golden hour, which is critical for first responders in saving lives,” added Neil Snedeker, President and Chief Executive Officer.

    “We are pleased to welcome Mercy Flight Central’s new base of operations to our area,” added Richard Ketcham, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Elizabeth Medical Center. “Mercy Flight Central’s arrival fills a serious void in emergency air medical rescue service in our area. This a true benefit for our community.”

    The mid-state region of New York includes the cities of Rome and Utica plus many smaller communities from just north of Binghamton, east to Albany and points north. Patients will benefit from reduced response time and improved outcomes as Mercy Flight Central’s air medical services include trauma management, critical care medicine and advanced airway procedures. Mercy Flight Central’s air medical personnel are trained in all aspects of critical care for inter-facility and on-scene transports.

    Mercy Flight Central expects to add approximately twelve new jobs over the coming year, including flight nurses, paramedics and pilots.

    About Mercy Flight Central

    Mercy Flight Central was founded as a non-profit in 1992 to provide air medical services to residents of New York State and beyond. Since inception, the organization has served more than 12,000 patients and grown to approximately 50 employees. This includes bases of operations in Canandaigua and Marcellus, New York. The organization began operations as an advanced life support air ambulance service and has since expanded to become New York’s premier critical care air medical service with three helicopters and one turboprop jet airplane staffed 24/7/365.  

    Mercy Flight Central provides the highest level of pre-hospital critical care to patients. The organization’s critical care teams consist of highly skilled pilots, registered nurses, paramedics and volunteer physicians. These teams work closely together to care for critically ill and injured patients requiring advanced treatment and rapid air transport to specialized medical centers across the northeast. The aircraft utilized in transports includes helicopters that can travel within a 150-mile radius of Mercy Flight Central’s base locations. Twin engine airplanes are utilized for transports to further reaches of the United States and Canada. Aside from typical patient transports, Mercy Flight Central routinely handles pre-transplant and post-transplant patients.

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  • 02/07/13--06:48: Elizabethan
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    Five Hamilton College students interested in health careers recently spent a week shadowing physicians in the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program.  This is the eighth consecutive year for the program entitled, “A Week in the Life of a Family Medicine Resident.”  Students participating were Tiffany Andrade, Emma Geduldig, Robert Hawkins, Megan Lander and Akritee Shrestha.    

    The students’ days began at 7 a.m. with a morning meeting, during which residents and medical students watched presentations on a variety of medical conditions and case studies.  From 8 a.m. until late afternoon, they shadowed residents in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics at St. Elizabeth and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, or one of several satellite offices nearby.    

    “It was hectic getting into the routine, but this has been a very positive experience,” said Robert Hawkins, a senior student.  “The week has given me insight into the job rather than textbook work.  I saw one child with a fever at the Children’s Health Center and understand there are different protocols for different age groups.”    

    “The students are very enthusiatic,” said Molly Schug, D.O., a third-year resident and one of two Chief Residents.  “Residency involves long hours with patients of all ages.  This has been a positive experience for the Family Medicine Residents, as well.”    

    “I was able to see a delivery on my first day,” said Akritee Shrestha, a pre-med student.  “The experience gives you a way to test the waters and interact with different patients.”    

    Residency is a critical, three-to-seven-year period (depending on the specialty) of medical education during which recent medical school graduates begin to officially practice medicine on their own.

    Dr. Prity Rawal & Akritee Shrestha

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    This portrait of Saint Marianne Cope has been generously donated to the Medical Center from an anonymous donor.

    The artist, Robert F. Whelan, was commissioned by the National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in Washington, DC.
    It was unveiled at the Mass on January 23, the Feast Day of Saint Marianne Cope.

    A replica of the original is now  ondisplay in the Central Admitting area of the Medical Center,and another is on display at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

    Pictured are: Reverend John Comeskey, Sister M.Irene and Richard Ketcham, President/CEO.

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    The Laryngectomy Support Group will be holding its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 14 at 12 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Sister Regina Conference Room on the first floor of the hospital. The Laryngectomy Support Group is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

    A laryngectomy is the procedure to remove a person’s larynx and separates the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck, called a stoma.

    The public is welcome to attend. If you have questions, please contact the Speech Therapy Department at 734-3475. The meetings for the Laryngectomy Support Group are held the second Thursday of each month at 12 p.m.

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    The first annual Marie C. McQueen Scholarship was awarded this month to a St. Elizabeth College of Nursing senior student, Magdalena (Maggie) Wozny of Utica. The scholarship was made possible through the not-for-profit American Family Foundation, Inc.

    The scholarship was awarded to Ms. Wozny for her demonstrated commitment to her faith, compassion, volunteerism and courage in the face of adversity.

    Mrs. McQueen passed way in June 2012 and her family remarked upon the compassionate care that she received from the nurses and student nurses at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, prior to her passing. These same virtues are those that were attributed to Marie by her family.

    Pictured from left to right are: Magdalena Wozny, Sister Dolorosa Lenk, OSF and
    Thomas McQueen. (Sister Dolorosa was Marie McQueen’s sister and Tom was her son.)


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    Gregg Sponburgh, MPH, has been appointed Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

    Mr. Sponburgh received a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from Norwich University Military Academy, Northfield, Vermont. He served in the United States Army, as a Captain, Environmental Science Officer. As a U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Sponburgh commanded a civil affairs company in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002.

    Prior to joining St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Mr. Sponburgh worked as the Environmental Health and Safety Officer at Utica College.

    He is a resident of Mohawk.


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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) have lifted restrictions on visitors under 18 years of age based on a decline in the number of cases of flu-like illness among area patients. The additional visitor restrictions on the Maternity and Pediatric Units have also been lifted.

    While the restrictions have been lifted, the hospitals ask that if you are coming to visit a patient and feel ill with any type of upper respiratory problem that you stay at home and delay your visit to keep yourself and our patients and residents safe.

    The best protection against contracting influenza includes:
    • Frequent and thorough hand washing.
    • Covering all coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a handkerchief or a tissue, use the crook of your arm, not your hand.
    • Staying home from work, school or social events if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains, or other symptoms like nausea or vomiting sometimes associated with influenza.
    • Avoiding people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.

    If you have flu-like symptoms and they are severe and persistent you should contact your healthcare provider. Hospital officials advise against overloading Emergency Departments, Urgent Care facilities and primary care providers’ offices at the first sign of a cold.

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    St. Elizabeth College of Nursing (SECON) will hold an Open House on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the College.

    The College offers a two-year associate in applied science (AAS) degree in nursing, fully integrated theoretical learning with clinical experience within a caring environment. The nursing courses include patient care that is planned and supervised by a faculty member with expertise in a particular nursing area. One of the strengths of the program at St. Elizabeth is its clinical component that combines the theory learned in class with actual nursing practice, allowing for immediate transfer and application of knowledge. SECON offers an evening/weekend nursing program in addition to the weekday program. It is designed to meet the needs of the adult learner who is unable to attend class during the weekday hours.

    St. Elizabeth College of Nursing is one of the first hospital-based nursing programs to receive dual accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

    To reserve a seat at the Open House, go online at For more information, call (315) 798-8347.

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