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St. Elizabeth's News RSS Feed

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    From left, Scott Perra, MVHS president/ CEO; Nancy Eannace, Bunny Gottuso and Robert Scholefield, MVHS executive vice president/COO, on Founder’s Day.

    UTICA, N.Y. – St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) celebrated its 149th anniversary Friday, December 11 by honoring an employee and a recipient of its community award.

    Following a 12 p.m. Founder’s Day service in the SEMC Saint Marianne Cope Chapel, Nancy Eannace of Eannace Funeral Home received the Founder’s Day Community Award and Bunny Gottuso received the Mother Bernardina Award, which is named after SEMC’s founder and is presented to an employee. The winner of this award is chosen by SEMC employees for significant contributions to the medical center, exemplifying its mission, vision and philosophy and for always going the extra mile.

    The Eannace Funeral Home, Inc. is located in Utica at 932 South Street at the corner of Hammond Avenue. It serves families of Whitesboro, Yorkville, New York Mills, New Hartford, Washington Mills, and many other towns throughout the Greater Utica area.

    Eannace Funeral Home was first established in 1947 at 917 Third Avenue by its founders, Carmine V. Eannace and Nancy (Pacciarelli) Eannace. Known for honorable business practices and high standards of service, it is under the guidance and administration of Nancy L. Eannace, a Licensed New York State funeral director, and a highly-regarded staff.

    “The Eannace Funeral Home plays an important role our community,” said Scott H. Perra, president/CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System and SEMC. “Its leader and her staff help families at a most difficult time and we are grateful to have them in the Mohawk Valley.”

    Bunny Gottuso has been employed at SEMC for 31 years. She currently works as executive assistant to the senior vice president and chief medical officer of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS). She spent most of her career in this position after 10 years as secretary in the Emergency Department. A graduate of Proctor High School in Utica, Gottuso is committed to her job and is a strong supporter of the St. Elizabeth Foundation and its fund-raising events, serving as co-chair of the Lights of Love Committee for 10 years. She has also often organized assistance for employees when their families have undergone difficult circumstances.

    She and her daughter, Tracy, son-in-law, Dominick, and granddaughter, Bianca Nitti, reside in Utica.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    UTICA, N.Y. – The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. (The Foundation) recently awarded $16,500 to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) Foundation to purchase a BloodTrack Emerge system for the SEMC Laboratory.

    The BloodTrack Emerge system allows the SEMC Laboratory to store blood products in the Emergency Department or Operating Room in order to provide immediate access, while also maintaining the security and traceability of the blood inventory. The system increases patient safety by maintaining control of emergency blood, decreases time to access blood in clinical areas and reduces blood inventory and waste.

    “Our ability to purchase this system means that when our staff members are presented with a situation where a patient is losing an excess amount of blood, we have access to an emergency blood supply, which can mean the difference between life and death,” said Andrea LaGatta, director of Development for the SEMC Foundation.“We are extremely grateful to The Foundation for awarding us this grant and helping us to provide better care to our patients.”

    Since 1952, The Foundation has invested $52 million into Oneida and Herkimer counties. The Foundation partners with various nonprofits to make impactful investments in core areas of need, including economic development, education, health and arts and culture.

    “The Foundation is delighted to be able to provide this grant to St. Elizabeth Medical Center,” said Laura Cohen, community investment manager for The Foundation. “We felt this was an important investment as the new system will provide our community members with safer, more technologically advanced services when receiving care at the Medical Center.”

    For information about the SEMC Foundation, visit www.stemc.org/foundation or call 315-801-4441. For information about The Foundation, visit www.foundationhoc.orgor call 315-735-8212.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Caitlin McCann 
    Communications Specialist
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5433
    cmccann@mvhealthsystem.org


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  • 12/08/15--11:37: Breast Surgeon Joins MVHS

  • Laura J. Borgos, MD, FACS

    UTICA, N.Y. – Laura J. Borgos, MD, FACS, has joined the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) as a breast surgeon.

    Before joining MVHS, Dr. Borgos worked as a breast surgeon and director of the Breast Program for Easton Hospital in Easton, Pennsylvania. She also established the Breast Care Program and performed breast surgeries at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and was an attending breast surgeon at South Jersey Surgical Associates in Vineland, New Jersey. Dr. Borgos taught as an assistant professor of Surgery at Temple University Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Dr. Borgos received her Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and her Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed an internship and residency in General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, and a fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. She is board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care and is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Breast Surgeons and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

    Dr. Borgos is accepting new patients and can be reached at 315-624-5764. Her office is located in the Breast Care Center at the Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Avenue, Utica.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    From left, Wendy Barnum, Dolly Golowski and Mary Jane Brosemer prepare to retire from St. Elizabeth Medical Center after a combined total of 111 years of service.

    UTICA, N.Y. – St. Elizabeth Medical Center will lose 111 years of combined experience on Friday, December 11 when Wendy Barnum (34 years), Mary Jane Brosemer (47 years) and Dolly Golowski (30 years) retire from their positions at the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center (SRVFMC).

    A graduate of the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, Barnum was nurse manager of the Pediatric Unit and then worked in the Obstetrics Unit before moving to the SRVFMC in 1996, where she has spent the last 20 years working with Family Medicine residents and patients "It was a great experience to work with all of the residents, many of whom are now our physicians," she said. Barnum retires after most recently serving as the Clinical Operations manager.

    Mary Jane Brosemer began her career with the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in 1969 and worked on the medical-surgical floors for 43 years as a licensed practical nurse. "In the early years, we had to crank beds up and down – they weren't electric," she said. “In general, I like taking care of patients, regardless of what they need, inpatient or outpatient.” Brosemer retires after most recently serving as part of the nursing staff of Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center.

    Dolly Golowski worked in X-ray for 10 years before her time as a patient representative at the Hobart Street location. "Sister Rose Vincent knew everyone's name, and Sister Johanna was the same way," she said. All three said they missed the Sisters and will miss their colleagues and patients. Each of them will be recognized at the SEMC Founder's Day Mass on Friday, December 11 at 12 p.m. in the Saint Marianne Cope Chapel. Their dedicated service is much appreciated and they will all be missed.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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  • 12/03/15--09:00: MVHS Insider (December 2015)
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    SEMC staff members, along with coaches and players for the Whitestown Wolfpack Bantam Minor Travel Hockey Team packed and distributed boxes of Thanksgiving food for 300 families in need at the 40th Annual Operation Share event.

    UTICA, N.Y. – For the 40th consecutive year, staff members at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC), an affiliate of Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), packed and distributed Thanksgiving baskets, complete with turkey and trimmings, to 300 families in need on Monday, November 23. Baskets were prepared and picked up at the St. Elizabeth Medical Arts building on Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford.

    The effort is called “Operation Share,” with this year’s baskets providing Thanksgiving dinner for approximately 300 families, Chairman James Getter said. The staff prepared and distributed approximately 13 tons of food during the day. Coaches and players for the Whitestown Wolfpack Bantam Minor Travel Hockey Team helped staff members to pack and distribute the boxes of food. Recipients picked up the baskets mainly between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

    The annual charitable effort is made possible by major donations from the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation, Chanatry’s Supermarkets, Inc and Fidelis Care New York. Donations also came from physicians, employees, volunteers and others.

    Recipients were recommended by the Sisters of St. Francis, doctors, nurses, other MVHS employees and local agencies, including Catholic Charities and Thea Bowman House.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    AJ Wiswell 
    Graphic Designer & Communications Specialist    
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5607
    awiswell@mvhealthsystem.org


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    The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eighth annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 22) in order to raise awareness about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all healthcare settings.

    “When we compare the way healthcare providers treat patients against what research tells us is the best practice, we routinely find that providers give antibiotics more often than is actually needed,” said Michael Attilio, MD, medical director for the MVHS Medical Group. “Some factors contributing to the over-prescription of antibiotics are providers not being aware of the most up-to-date research that changes the treatment for certain diseases as well as pressure from patients to receive antibiotics. It's likely that not enough is done to help both healthcare providers and patients understand how big of a problem the over-prescribing of antibiotics can be, which can create a false sense of security and make the problem seem like it's not a big deal.”

    Antibiotic resistance, which occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics, is among the most pressing public health threats. The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor contributing to antibiotic resistance and up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed creates additional health risks by increasing the chances a patient will experience a bad drug reaction and also leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which affects everyone in the community.

    “In addition to our efforts, it’s extremely important for the public to be educated on the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics. Informed healthcare consumers can make better decisions for their own health, and can help their healthcare providers make better decisions on their behalf.” 

    Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2015 marks an important year, during which the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria laid out key actions for implementing the national strategy. Furthermore, a White House forum was held in June 2015 to discuss the issue of antibiotic stewardship, and heralded widespread and coordinated commitments to combating antibiotic resistance among a wide variety of stakeholders.

    “Everyone should be concerned about this issue because antibiotic resistance anywhere is antibiotic resistance everywhere,” says Dr. Lauri Hicks, director for CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. “In order to minimize the impact of antibiotic resistance, it is important that everyone only takes antibiotics prescribed for themselves, implement proper hand hygiene in their everyday routine, receives recommended vaccinations and discusses their concerns about antibiotic resistance with their healthcare provider.”

    “The MVHS Medical Group is working to help avoid the over-prescribing of antibiotics by focusing on provider education and quality improvement projects,” said Dr. Attilio. “Information regarding the CDC's Get Smart About Antibiotics Week campaign will be shared with our physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and physician presentations from the New York State Department of Health and MVHS will be offered as continuing education to our providers. In addition, antibiotic stewardship will be part of the Medical Group's quality goals for 2016, during which the rates of antibiotic over-prescribing for certain diseases will be measured and performance improvement plans for our providers will be implemented. 

    For additional information about Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work, please visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart.

    ###


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    UTICA, N.Y. – A two-hour seminar on sports medicine injury care is planned on Wednesday, December 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Allen Calder Conference Rooms 3, 4 and 5 on the St. Luke’s Campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS). Speakers and their topics include:

    • Musculoskeletal injuries - Meira Yeger-McKeever, MD of the MVHS Orthopedic Group

    • Sports-Related Eye Conditions - Lorna Grant, MD of Eye Associates of Utica

    • Dental injuries - Stefani Berry, DDS of the MVHS Dental Residency Program

    • Concussion - Lyndsey Bauer, PhD of the MVHS Neuro Sciences Group

    New York State Education contact hours for Physical Therapy will be provided for this seminar. New York State contact hours for Occupational Therapy will also be provided, pending approval. This course is free and open to all interested providers. Registration is required by calling 315-624-5462 or emailing sgustavs@mvhealthsystem.org by Friday, November 27.


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    UTICA – The City’s Veteran’s Day parade will begin at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Saturday, November 7 and proceed north to the Memorial Parkway. Parade staging will begin at 10 a.m. and the parade itself will begin at 11 a.m. Genesee Street will close to traffic for the parade at 11 a.m. until approximately 12 p.m.

    During that time, and for the duration of the parade, ambulances and other emergency vehicles may enter the St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) campus via Ballantyne Brae.

    SEMC employees and medical staff may use the Ballantyne Brae entrance next to Parking Lot C, after approaching from Oneida Street. If stopped by police or security, staff members should identify themselves as an employee or member of the medical staff and show their name badges.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    Joseph M. Di Maria, MD, MBA, PharmD

    UTICA, N.Y. – Joseph M. Di Maria, MD, MBA, PharmD has joined the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program as a full-time faculty member. Dr. Di Maria is responsible for resident education in both the inpatient and outpatient family medicine settings and has privileges at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

    Prior to joining the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program, Dr. Di Maria served as medical director at Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi, as medical director of Urgent Care at the Institute for Family Health in Ellenville, New York, and as a staff physician at Family Medical Care of Babylon in Dix Hill, New York.

    Dr. Di Maria earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and his Doctor of Pharmacy at St. John’s University in New York, New York, and his Doctor of Medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Atlantic Health System/Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey. He earned his Master of Business Administration at Kaplan University and holds a certificate in Health Information Technology from the American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Di Maria is working toward his Master of Science in Health Informatics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and board certification in Health Informatics.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    UTICA, N.Y. – The St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) Foundation announces its 15th annual Lights of Love Campaign. The Candle Lighting and Remembrance Service will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica. Co-chairs Bunny Gottuso and Christine Abbass invite the public to share in this special event at which people remember loved ones, honor individuals, say “thank you” to someone who has brightened a life through special care or service, or light a candle as a holiday gift.  

    Gifts may be made in memory or in honor of a loved one, in celebration of a birth or special event, in recognition of a patient, in honor and acknowledgment of SEMC staff, or as a friend of the hospital. SEMC will be illuminated by holiday lights, each representing the special people acknowledged through this year’s campaign. A minimum donation of $10 per honoree is encouraged. The deadline to be recognized in this year’s Lights of Love Campaign is Friday, November 20, 2015.        

    Proceeds from the event will used to purchase phlebotomy equipment for SEMC. For more information, please call the Foundation Office at 315-801-4441, email asquires@mvhealthsystem.org or you may contribute online by visiting www.stemc.org/foundation. All contributions are tax deductible.

     ###


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    LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) will host a free, educational event to give the community a rare look at the MAKO, a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm system used for partial knee surgeries, on Wednesday, October 28 from 5-6 p.m. The event will be held at the Travelodge Inn & Suites, 20 Albany Street, Little Falls, N.Y.

    Information on the system and criteria for appropriate surgical candidates will be presented by Andrew Wickline, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who performs the MAKO partial knee procedure. Since February, SEMC has offered robotic partial knee resurfacing, a minimally invasive treatment option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Use of the MAKO system allows less invasive surgery than traditional, total knee surgery. SEMC is the first to acquire this technology in the region east of Syracuse.

    MAKO potentially offers the following benefits as compared to total knee surgery:

    • Reduced pain
    • Minimal hospitalization
    • More rapid recovery
    • Less implant wear and loosening
    • Smaller scar
    • Better motion and a more natural-feeling knee.

    Light refreshments will be served. Call 315-624-5216 with questions about the event.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach    
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    Robert Scholefield, RN, MS

    UTICA, N.Y. – Robert Scholefield, RN, MS, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS). He has served as senior vice president of Operations for MVHS since March 2014.

    In this position, Scholefield is responsible for the operations of the healthcare system, overseeing a number of departments and programs as well as working with the executive director and medical director of the MVHS Medical Group.

    Prior to the MVHS affiliation, Scholefield served as the chief operating officer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC). He has been employed at SEMC for more than 30 years and was previously assistant director and director of Nursing and vice president of Nursing.

    Scholefield earned his Master of Science in Health Systems Management from the New School for Social Research in Utica, New York, and his bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies from the State University of New York at Utica/Rome. He is a graduate of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Utica.

    He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, St. Elizabeth College of Nursing and St. Elizabeth Health Support Services. He has also served on the board of the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    Mario Carrillo, DO

    UTICA, N.Y. – Mario Carrillo, DO, a specialist in Vascular Surgery, has joined the MVHS Medical Group’s new Vascular Group office and has admitting privileges at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare. He specializes in Vascular and Endovascular operations.

    Prior to joining the MVHS Medical Group, Dr. Carrillo most recently was affiliated with Surgical Associates of Utica in New Hartford. He is director of the Endovascular and Peripheral Angiography program at SEMC and medical director of the Utica Vascular Lab.

    Dr. Carrillo earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on Long Island, New York. He completed a traditional rotating internship, general surgery residency and served as general surgery chief resident at Saint Barnabas Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, New York. He also completed a vascular surgery fellowship at the Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey and training at the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, Arizona and at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York. He is board certified in Vascular and General Surgery.

    Dr. Carrillo is accepting new patients and can be reached temporarily at the MVHS Gastroenterology and Advanced Endoscopy Group office at the St. Luke’s Campus in the Professional Office Building, 1658 Champlin Avenue in New Hartford, 315-624-4690, until the new vascular surgery office is complete. The new office will be located on the fourth floor of the Faxton Campus at 1676 Sunset Avenue in Utica and is expected to open in mid-November. The phone number will remain the same.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach   
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    Rebecca LaValley, MD

    UTICA, N.Y. – Rebecca LaValley, MD, has joined the South Utica Medical Office of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Medical Group.

    Dr. LaValley earned her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. She is a graduate of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) Family Medicine Residency Program and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology, summa cum laude, from Le Moyne College in Syracuse. She is board certified in Family Practice.

    Prior to her residency, Dr. LaValley served as a respite provider at Exceptional Family Resources and as an emergency medical technician at Eaves Ambulance Service, both in Syracuse.

    Dr. LaValley is accepting new patients and can be reached at the MVHS South Utica Medical Office, 6 Hampden Place, Utica, at 315-733-2526.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    (315) 624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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  • 10/06/15--05:54: New Hospital Q&A
  • On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, the Board of Directors for the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) announced its selection for a potential site of a new hospital for the community. The new hospital would replace the two inpatient campuses, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) and St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC). What follows is a series of questions and answers developed by the leadership of MVHS about the new plan. This information will be updated periodically.

    What led to the decision to build a new hospital?

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center affiliated in 2014 to become the Mohawk Valley Health System. Our mission is to provide for excellence in healthcare for our communities. We have focused on consolidating existing resources, eliminating redundancies, expanding the depth and breadth of services, improving access and elevating the quality of healthcare services in the region. MVHS has been successful in its efforts thus far, but has been constrained by the age and physical limitations of our existing facilities. The decision to consolidate the two inpatient campuses to a single facility represents the logical progression of our efforts to achieve our mission and was spurred by several key factors:

    • The desire and need to build a facility with the newest technology, services and advancements in patient safety and quality so that our community can receive the most up to date healthcare services that rivals those found in large cities.
    • The growing demand for healthcare due to the rapidly increasing and aging population in this region.
    • The increasing need to improve accessibility and availability by attracting specialists and providing services that otherwise would not be available to our community.
    • The opportunity to gain greater operational efficiencies through the elimination of duplicative and redundant functions will help to reduce the rate of increase in healthcare spending and to achieve improved financial stability.

    What process did the MVHS Board of Directors use to choose the downtown site?

    • The Board worked with Mohawk Valley EDGE, ELAN Planning, Design & Landscape Architecture, PLLC and O’Brien & Gere, a firm that provided preliminary engineering, environmental review and energy consulting services for the project. Potential sites in a five to 10 mile radius from the City of Utica were examined. EDGE assists companies throughout Oneida County who are looking for potential sites or expanding their current operations. Their extensive background and knowledge was very helpful.
    • The Board also engaged an independent consultant, Hammes Company, a firm that works with healthcare clients exclusively. Their expertise is helping MVHS to assess the needs of the new hospital including site requirements, facility planning, clinical operations, service and physician integration, and market assessment and development. Hammes conducted an analysis of the site and is currently developing a more detailed recommendation for the new hospital build.    
    • The Board also has a master list of criteria that a new site needs to meet including but not limited to infrastructure (water, sewer and power), access and a good transportation network. The site also has to have the capacity to fit the hospital operations and associated parking requirements.
    • Twelve sites were reviewed with three sites meeting most of the criteria.
    • The Board has been discussing the new hospital and a potential site for nearly a year. This summer it had two special meetings with the single topic of where best to site the new facility.
    • After extensive review which included open, candid and robust debate, the Board chose the downtown site by a unanimous vote.

    The MVHS Board of Directors will continue to explore the downtown option as long as it proves to be financially viable. If that is not the case a second site option is available – the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH.

    Who is on the MVHS Board of Directors?

    The Board is comprised of 19 community members who are business owners, physicians and leaders of private and public institutions. Board members are not paid and volunteer their time to serve. They live and work in the community and their primary goal is providing exceptional healthcare for our community. A list of MVHS Board members is available on the MVHS website (www.mvhealthsystem.org).

    How much will it cost to build the new hospital?

    The total project cost is estimated to be between $500 million and $600 million. $300 million was awarded to MVHS in April 2015 through the New York State budget to create an integrated healthcare delivery system in Oneida County. It is anticipated that MVHS will finance the remaining cost through borrowing, grant opportunities and philanthropy.

    How big is the site for the proposed new hospital?

    The footprint for the hospital would be located on 17 acres. There are an additional 17 acres surrounding the hospital which could potentially be used for parking garages, medical office buildings or other complementary facilities. Development of the 34 acres may not happen at one time but it is important to be future-focused on the expansion needs of the organization. 

    What about property owners downtown?

    A letter will be sent to the property owners in the area that may or may not be impacted in order to give them an estimated timeline for our evaluation of the site and the feasibility of the downtown location. We anticipate the study will be completed in early 2016. If we move forward we would then anticipate working with the property owners on a purchase offer based on fair market value. It is our understanding that nearly half of the potential sites are currently owned by the City of Utica. We would work with the Mayor and the Planning Department with these sites as we move forward.

    Will the new hospital costs affect community members’ taxes?

    • This year, $300 million was approved in the New York State budget to help create an integrated healthcare delivery system in Oneida County. Those dollars would support the building of a new hospital. This initiative, much like the support of nanotechnology in the area, is designed to support and enhance the quality of life for our region.
    • MVHS is a non-profit organization and receives no operating subsidies from local governments. The cost of constructing a new hospital will not be funded by local taxes.
    • To date we have not had discussions with the city or county regarding the tax impact of a downtown location. It may impact the tax base if the current businesses located in the new hospital area do not relocate within the city or county.

    How many beds will the new hospital have and how big will it be?        

    It is currently estimated that the new hospital will have 420 inpatient beds. We estimate the size will be 900,000 square feet, about twice the size of the hospital at the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH.

    Will there be more private patient rooms in the new facility?     

    All patient rooms in the new hospital will be private. This will significantly help with enhancing quality and the overall patient satisfaction experience.

    How long will it take to build a new hospital? When do we anticipate the new hospital will open?

    The entire process is expected to take five to six years to complete. From final approval of the site, it will take 18 to 24 months of planning and design before construction begins. Once we break ground we anticipate construction to take two and a half to three years. The anticipated opening would be in 2021.

    Would having a new hospital affect doctors in the area? If so, how?

    As a large system, MVHS has much to offer when recruiting new physicians. A single new hospital to support patients in our community will help with the recruitment of specialists to the area. It will also support the needs of patients cared for by our primary care providers. The MVHS Medical Group currently has 19 primary care offices located throughout Oneida and Herkimer counties, a Children’s Health Center, Women’s Health Center and multi-specialty providers including general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neuro sciences and cardiac care. The Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center provides patient care services for the whole family and is also a teaching facility for Family Medicine Residents. The MVHS Medical Group enhances services in our area through greater collaboration and improved clinical quality for patient care.

    Members of our current Medical Staffs will be actively involved in the planning and design of the new hospital. Their input will be essential in building and equipping the new facility to enhance their ability to provide state of the art medical care to their patients.

    How will a new hospital benefit patients who present in the Emergency Departments?

    Currently we have two hospitals with two Emergency Departments only two miles apart. Having one centralized hospital and one Emergency Department helps to ensure that patients are getting appropriate, specialized care. Now patients may present at the “wrong” hospital. They may be experiencing a stroke and go to SEMC instead of the Stroke Center at FSLH. Pregnant patients may present at SEMC when FSLH is the maternity hospital. We don’t have coverage of all specialties such as Orthopedics at each hospital 24/7. Consolidating to one hospital helps to ensure greater coverage for specialized care, improves quality of care and patient outcomes.

    Why are we building? Why not just add on to SEMC and FSLH?

    SEMC opened in 1917 and the St. Luke’s Campus opened in 1957. Since they were built in a time when healthcare was much different than it is today, these facilities were not designed to accommodate the programs, equipment and overall patient-care delivery and safety that are part of our service today. MVHS incurs considerable expenses in order to remain code-compliant and to accommodate new services and equipment in our existing locations. Our current services are provided in space that was renovated to adjust to the changes in healthcare and, as a result, patient flow and staff efficiency are not optimal. Two of the existing campuses, especially SEMC, are also constrained by size and location and cannot easily accommodate much-needed parking areas. A new hospital would help to alleviate these issues since it can be designed based on new technology and the current knowledge we have regarding safe and proper patient-care delivery.

    What will happen to the existing buildings?

    We will develop a transition plan for our current buildings. Not all services will be moved to the new hospital. One or more of our locations will most likely be used for support services that do not need to be at the main campus.

    Will all departments now be in the new hospital (like the Cancer Center) or is there a possibility of some still being off site?

    All departments will most likely not be in one building. The goal of the new hospital is to combine all inpatient services to one location as well as the departments that support inpatient care (i.e. pharmacy, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.). It’s most likely that certain departments, such as the Cancer Center, Center for Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Services and the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing will remain at off-site locations.

    How will philanthropy play a role in the building of a new hospital?

    While the NYS grant to build the new hospital is an excellent beginning, it only covers a portion of the cost to construct a new hospital which is estimated to be between $500 and $600 million. We still need to finance the project through additional grants and loans as well as working with our generous community to obtain contributions. Gifting support from the community will be vital to the completion of the new hospital.

    Will we continue to fundraise for the individual hospitals in the meantime?

    Yes. The new hospital is five to six years away. Our existing services still need updating and we need to continue to make the necessary investments in technology and services. Continuing fundraising efforts throughout the construction of the new hospital is very important to assist in meeting our current operational needs and to ensure quality care, patient safety and customer satisfaction.

    What will happen to the SEMC Chapel if we were to build a new hospital?

    We will be working on a plan for the Chapel which was established by SEMC and not the Catholic Church. We will work with Pastoral Care to develop an appropriate transition for some type of sanctuary in the new hospital.

    Could transportation for those who need it be incorporated into parking plans (i.e. shuttles from large parking lots or garages to hospital entrances)?

    We will look at all conveniences for patients, visitors, employees, volunteers and medical staff to help make access to the hospital as convenient as possible.

    Do we anticipate any services being added or eliminated? What new services might be brought to the area as a result?

    The new hospital will help to enhance services for the Mohawk Valley through collaboration and improved clinical quality and efficiencies. As a single system we have more to offer when recruiting physicians. New physicians can also mean new services for our area, services we have not been able to provide in the past. A single hospital also allows us to further cultivate our centers of excellence by implementing advancements in technology and practice.

    With a single hospital, how will I be able to choose where I receive my care when I only have one option?

    • Under the direction of the New York State Department of Health, SEMC and FSLH began looking for opportunities to eliminate service redundancy in the community many years ago. Services such as Maternity, Stroke, Cardiac, Cancer and Dialysis are now centralized at one of the organizations. Our affiliation is built on the concept of Centers of Excellence. It helps us to have more efficiency within the system and streamline services.
    • Having a single hospital will allow us to enhance and centralize services for our community.
    • Providers choose where they practice and patients choose their providers. More than 600 physicians have chosen MVHS because they are confident in the care their patients receive through our system.

    Will there be an opportunity for community input on the project?

    Community input is an essential part in the hospital design process and will help MVHS to create an ideal patient experience. Community members can provide input in a variety of ways, including:

    • Visiting our website at www.mvhealthsystem.org for updates, information and to ask questions. Our Q&A will be updated regularly.
    • Contacting our MVHS Communications and Marketing Department at 315-624-5600.
    • Community forums that will be scheduled during the planning process with dates and times promoted through the local media.

    Will it be on the bus line (for transportation needs)?

    Ensuring our community has convenient access to our new facility is a priority. We will work with Oneida County officials and the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) to ensure patients, family members, employees and volunteers will have public transportation options available to them.

    What impact will this have on unions?

    It is too soon to determine the impact this will have on union representation. The National Labor Relations Board will be integral in directing the process and providing guidance for all union-related activity.

    Will the affiliation become a full merger? What will happen to SEMC and FSLH – will the names go away as well as the Catholic affiliation of SEMC?

    Although the exact corporate structure has not been finalized, the new hospital will be a single corporate entity with a new name. The new name has not yet been chosen. The new healthcare system will not be Catholic, although certain traditions of SEMC will continue to be practiced and respected.

    10/6/15 

    Media Contact:
    Erin Gigliotti
    Manager/Media Specialist
    315-624-5581
    egigliot@mvhealthsystem.org


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    SEMC is the official cardiac center for MVHS

    The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has centralized all invasive cardiac services at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) providing for greater efficiency in the delivery of care and further developing the centers of excellence for the system. SEMC has always been the center for cardiac surgery and now all cardiac catheterizations and angioplasty procedures will be done there exclusively.

    “We are pleased that we can provide all cardiac catheterizations and angioplasty procedures at one centralized location,” said Hugh MacIsaac, MD, FACC, Cardiac Cath Lab and Interventional Cardiology medical director. “This change helps us to further develop SEMC as the MVHS Center for Cardiac Care.”

    MVHS works collaboratively with emergency medical service (EMS) providers in the area to ensure potential heart attack patients present at SEMC. EMS is a partner of MVHS and has protocols aimed at getting a patient’s blocked artery open within 90 minutes of arrival at the hospital. Patients at the St. Luke’s Campus requiring a cardiac catheterization will be transferred to SEMC.

    Non-invasive cardiac testing will continue at the St. Luke’s Campus and Cardiac Rehabilitation will remain at the Faxton Campus. 

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Erin Gigliotti
    Manager/Media Specialist
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    egigliot@mvhealthsystem.org
    315-624-5581


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    UTICA, N.Y. – The St. Elizabeth College of Nursing (SECON) Scholarship Committee has announced the following recipients of the 2015 fall scholarships and awards:

    Marion Weynachter Memorial Scholarship
    Rebecca Evans, Weekend Senior
    Dawn Straite, Weekend Senior

    Sister Camilla Smith Scholarship
    Kayla Elsasser, Weekday Senior
    Anita Skorina, Weekday Senior
    Shannon Lee, Weekday Senior
    Shawna Lee, Weekday Senior
    Autumn VanEtten, Weekday Senior

    Virginia Biviano Caezza & Joan McSweeney McIntosh Memorial Scholarship
    Alissa LaScala, Weekend Senior
    Allyson Shaw, Weekday Senior

    Slocum-Dickson Foundation Scholarship
    Alaina Broccoli, Weekday Freshman
    Arthur Zemanek, Weekday Freshman
    McKenna Hungerford, Weekday Freshman 

    Mohawk Valley Health System and the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing faculty and staff congratulate all of the scholarship winners.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    315-624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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    UTICA, N.Y. – St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) will host a free, educational event to give the community a rare look at the RIO®, a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm system used for partial knee surgeries, on Tuesday, September 29 from 5-7 p.m. The event will be held at the Sister Regina Conference Room on the hospital’s first floor, near the Admitting entrance, 2209 Genesee Street, Utica.

    Information on the system and criteria for appropriate surgical candidates will be presented by John Sullivan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who performs the MAKOplasty partial knee procedure. Since February, SEMC has offered robotic partial knee resurfacing, a minimally invasive treatment option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Use of MAKOplasty allows less invasive surgery than traditional, total knee surgery and is performed using RIO®. SEMC is the first to acquire this technology in the region east of Syracuse.

    MAKOplasty potentially offers the following benefits as compared to total knee surgery:

    • Reduced pain
    • Minimal hospitalization
    • More rapid recovery
    • Less implant wear and loosening
    • Smaller scar
    • Better motion and a more natural-feeling knee.

    Light refreshments will be served and parking is available in the lots in front of the hospital or in the parking garage. Call 315-624-5216 with questions about the event.

    ###

    Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are affiliates under the Mohawk Valley Health System.

    Sandra Fentiman 
    Manager, Marketing / Community Outreach
    Mohawk Valley Health System
    315-624-5216
    sfentiman@mvhealthsystem.org


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