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St. Elizabeth's News RSS Feed

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    Accessing healthcare can be challenging for patients, and even more so for those who do not speak the language or are hearing impaired. The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Language Assistance Program has begun using Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) for its patients. This is the latest in healthcare communication technology. It is revolutionizing the ways in which healthcare professionals deliver language services. The VRI system uses internet, videoconferencing and equipment to provide interpretation services.

    Patients may now be provided with a trained medical interpreter by a click of the mouse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This system is especially useful for patients with hearing impairments. Currently, the community is in short supply of qualified sign language interpreters, especially for emergency situations that demand an interpreter at a moments notice. Hearing impaired patients will no longer need to wait to have their healthcare needs met until an interpreter arrives, sometimes hours later.

    This system is currently online at the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center (FMC) and at the main hospital facility’s Emergency Department. Additionally, the system will be available at the Women’s Health Center and the Children’s Health Center building in Utica. VRI will be available on rotation at other Medical Group offices when needed for patient care.


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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center School of Radiography is holding an Open House on Wednesday, November 7, beginning at 6 p.m. The event will take place in the Multi-Purpose Room at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, 2215 Genesee Street. Students and faculty will be available to answer questions about the program and conduct tours of the new school facilities.

    The School of Radiography is a two-year program in radiologic technology leading to national licensing by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology.

    The school was established 67 years ago and is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

    Radiology is one of the fastest growing and increasingly important fields in medicine today. St. Elizabeth School of Radiography is proud to provide Utica and the surrounding community with a quality educational program in Radiologic Technology.

    Reservations can be made by calling 798-8258 or by e-mail to dgleasman@stemc.org.

    Parking is available at the Marian Medical Professional Building located next to the College of Nursing building.


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    The Mohawk Valley Heart Institute (MVHI) will celebrate its 15th Anniversary of cardiac services in October 2012. The first open-heart surgery was performed on October 17, 1997. Recognition was given to all the MVHI staff members for their hard work and dedication, and to all the people in the community who helped Utica hospitals obtain approval for the open-heart program.

    Among the highlights of MVHI’s 15 years:

    ¨ More than 325 open-heart surgeries performed during the first year
    ¨ Inpatient and outpatient rehab visits reach 8,000 during the first year
    ¨ Angioplasty program begins, February 1999
    ¨ New $1.5 million Cath Lab opens, May 2001
    ¨ Fifth anniversary: 2,319 cardiac surgeries, 4,474 coronary angioplasties and 14,978 cardiac catheterizations performed
    ¨ Electrophysiology Services begin, February 2003
    ¨ Collaboration with Masonic Medical Research Lab begins, August 2005
    ¨ 10,000th Angioplasty performed, May 2006
    - American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognizes MVHI for quality cardiac care through its Get With the Guidelines program, July 2006 and July 2007
    ¨ Atrial Fibrillation Ablation performed, the first in the area, December 2006
    ¨ Clearing the Air Award received for tobacco-use prevention on tobacco-free campuses, February 2007
    - As of the 15th Anniversary there have been: 51,286 cardiac catheterizations; 18,046 angioplasty cases; 6,635 cardiac surgeries and 9,731 electrophysiology procedures (EP) and 86,634 outpatient cardiac rehab visits.

    The unique collaboration between St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare through MVHI has not only helped thousands of patients and families, but has also spawned further cooperative efforts. The expertise of all MVHI staff – nursing, technical, and particularly physicians – has had a huge impact on the region’s patient care, and has made MVHI what it is today.


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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center conducted a Point of Dispensing (POD) Mass Vaccination Clinic Thursday, October 4 to prepare for a potential disaster such as pandemic flu.

    The Medical Center is required by the New York State Department of Health to perform trainings on various emergency topics. Simultaneously, the staff used this clinic as an opportunity to vaccinate employees, volunteers, medical staff, area first responders, police and fire departments with the seasonal flu vaccine. Over 560 people were vaccinated during drill.

    St. Elizabeth Medical Center has developed a Pandemic Influenza Plan using current information published by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health. The plan outlines methods of responding to various levels of threat posed by pandemic influenza, with an approach to stepping up prevention and control activities as the threat increases.

    A pandemic outbreak involves a disease occurrence across the globe caused by a new virus. Because the virus is new, few or no people would be immune. Key issues include infection control, occupational health, standards of care, and scope of practice.

    Photo identification: St. Elizabeth College of Nursing student, Andrea Brennan, gives an injection to
    Medical Center employee, Carol Perry.

     


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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center is planning a special Mass in celebration of the canonization of Saint Marianne Cope, which will take place on that day in Rome, Italy. The Mass will be held on Sunday, October 21 at 12 noon in the Medical Center Chapel on the first floor. All are welcome to attend.

    Pope Benedict XVI will officially proclaim Mother Marianne Cope a Saint in the Catholic Church. Mother Marianne was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis and known for her work among the people suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in Molokai, Hawaii.

    Mother Marianne Cope was born Barbara Koob, in 1838 in Germany. She emigrated with her parents and settled in West Utica. Mother Marianne was the oldest of 10 children in her family. Her father became very ill and Barbara went to work in a mill factory to help support her family. During that time, she and her family were parishioners at St. Joseph Church in West Utica (now St. Joseph-St. Patrick).

    Mother Marianne Cope, a Sister of St. Francis, entered religious life in 1862 in Syracuse, N.Y. For a period of time, she ministered as teacher and principal in several schools in New York State. She was instrumental in the establishment of two of the first hospitals in the Central New York area, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica (1866) and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse (1869). These two hospitals were among the first 50 general hospitals in the entire U.S.

    In 1883, Mother Marianne was the only one of 50 religious leaders to respond positively to an emissary from Hawaii with a request for Catholic sisters to provide healthcare on the Hawaiian Islands, especially to patients with Hansen’s disease (leprosy). For more than 30 years, Mother Marianne ministered to these patients at Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii and promised her sisters that none of them would ever contract the disease. To this day, no sister has. Her compassionate care has earned her the affectionate title of “beloved mother of outcasts.”

     Many of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, along with lay people from Utica, Hawaii and beyond, will be traveling to Rome for the canonization ceremony.

     The Medical Center has recently installed a large banner on the outside of the building, as well as driveway banners and posters, to commemorate Mother Marianne and her impact in the establishment of the hospital.

    Kateri Tekakwitha, a native American Indian, will be canonized at the same time. Kateri Tekakwitha was known as the Lily of the Mohawks and was born in Auriesville, New York. 


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    The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation held its 34th annual dinner dance during an elegant evening with the theme “Hot Caribbean Night”. The event was held on Saturday, September 29 at the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford. Two hundred and sixty-six people attended the gala, helping to raise more than $96,000 to benefit the purchase of Neurostar angiography equipment.

    The evening began with cocktail hour and entertainment provided by steel drum performer James Tartaglia, followed by Caribbean inspired dining stations. The event also included a live auction for a dinner party for eight in your home provided by four-diamond-rated chef, Michel DiGiorgio, and Cellar Master and Advanced Sommelier, Gino Campbell from the Yahnundasis Golf Club, a silent auction, a wine grab bag, a photo booth, and dancing to the popular local band, Last Left.

    Special thanks to co-chairs Dr. & Mrs. Timothy Page, the Dinner Dance committee, presenting sponsor, Mohawk Hospital Equipment, Inc., and major sponsor IBEW Local 43/NECA Fingerlakes Chapter. Social sponsors include, Adirondack Financial Services, Bank of Utica, Mohawk Valley Imaging, PC, and Oneida Electrical Contractors.

    For more information about other Foundation events, please call 734-4287 or visit www.stemc.org/foundation.

     

     

     

     



    Photo attached, Dinner Dance Committee: From, left to right, Karen Burton, Sandy Srour, Andrea LaGatta, Dr. Timothy Page, Brigitte Page, Elizabeth Hotvedt, A.J. Wiswell, Amy DeMetri, and Barbara Brodock.

     

     

     

     


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    The Laryngectomy Support Group will be holding its monthly meeting on Thursday, October 11 at 12 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Sister Rose Vincent Conference Room on the first floor of the hospital. The Laryngectomy Support Group is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Medical Center. There will be a round-table discussion regarding the biggest problem for those individuals with a laryngectomy and how to solve them.

    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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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center will conduct a Point of Dispensing (POD) Mass Vaccination Clinic Thursday, October 4 to prepare for a potential disaster such as pandemic flu. The Medical Center is required by the New York State Department of Health to perform trainings on various emergency topics. Simultaneously, the staff will use this clinic as an opportunity to vaccinate employees, volunteers, medical staff, area first responders, police and fire departments with the seasonal flu vaccine. All participants must bring their Medical Center photo ID.

    St. Elizabeth Medical Center has developed a Pandemic Influenza Plan using current information published by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health. The plan outlines methods of responding to various levels of threat posed by pandemic influenza, with an approach to stepping up prevention and control activities as the threat increases.

    A pandemic outbreak involves a disease occurrence across the globe caused by a new virus. Because the virus is new, few or no people would be immune. Key issues include infection control, occupational health, standards of care, and scope of practice.


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    David R. Spotanski has been appointed Director of Mission/Customer Services at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Mr. Spotanski is responsible for promoting the original mission of the founding Sisters of St. Francis in 1866. He will also oversee the Medical Center’s customer service initiatives, Pastoral Care, Volunteers and Guild, as well as the Patient Advocate and Marketing and Public Relations departments.

    Mr. Spotanski received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Technical Journalism from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. Prior to joining the Medical Center, Mr. Spotanski served for eight years in the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, and eighteen in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, most recently as Chancellor for Administration and Pastoral Services.

    He and his wife, Sharon, are the parents of three grown children, Erin, Jonathan, and James.

       

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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center began the operation of Laboratory services at the Town of Webb Health Center located at 114 South Shore Road, Old Forge on Monday, September 17. The Laboratory is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Health Center does close for lunch from 12 to 1 p.m.

    Trista Williams remains at the Health Center and is now a St. Elizabeth Medical Center employee. The Laboratory services are available to all patients with any type of insurance and any physician. The St. Elizabeth computer system will ensure that each individual’s test results will be automatically sent to his or her doctor. All that is needed is a physician’s prescription.


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    The St. Elizabeth College of Nursing has announced that Elaine Brown, MS, RN has been named Dean of Academic Affairs effective August 6. In her new role, Mrs. Brown will participate in the daily operations of the College: recruitment, hiring and orientation of faculty. Additionally, she is responsible for scheduling, faculty assignments and faculty performance reviews.

    Mrs. Brown is a 1974 graduate of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York (Regents External Degree), Albany and her Master’s Degree in nursing from Syracuse University. She has been employed at the College of Nursing since 1977, having served in the roles of Course Coordinator of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and Fundamentals Nursing Lab Coordinator.

    “Mrs. Brown has been a valuable asset to the College and has co-written all Self Studies that have been done for accreditation purposes,” said Marian Kovatchitch, MS, RN, College of Nursing President. “Her expertise is valued by the faculty and we look forward to having her on the College Administrative Team.”

    She resides in New Hartford, with her husband, Scott. They are parents of two sons, Scott Jr., and Jacob.

    Mrs. Brown replaces Laurie Franklin, MS, RN, who is returning to a faculty position to fulfill her desire to teach and work closely with the nursing students.

       

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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center, in accordance with Section 2803-1 of the Public Health Law, has submitted its 21st Annual Community Service Plan to the New York State Department of Health.

    It includes information on community health priorities identified by Medical Center staff, in collaboration with other area hospitals, community partners and local public health agencies.

    To receive a free copy of the Community Service Plan, please send your request to: St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Marketing and Public Relations Department at 2209 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501. All requests should be submitted in writing. The plan is also posted on the Medical Center website at www.stemc.org/about_stemc/.


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    The Laryngectomy Support Group will be meeting at St. Elizabeth Medical Center on Thursday, September 13 at 12 p.m. in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab Conference Room on the second floor of the hospital.

    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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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center and its Medical Group are pleased to announce the addition of area native, Margaret M. Cooper, D.O., to its East Utica Office at 1256 Culver Avenue. Dr. Cooper joins fellow pediatrician, Dr. Matthew Mittiga. Additional providers at the East Utica Office include: Dr. Julie Betro-Shkane, Dr. Tanya Perkins-Mwantuali and Carolyn Smith, P.A.-C. Dr. Cooper is accepting new patients.

    Dr. Cooper earned her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine Degree from Edward Via irginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, VA, where she received the David G. Williamson Memorial Scholarship. She completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Dr. Cooper completed an Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration from Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.

    She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

    Dr. Cooper and her husband reside in New Hartford with their dog.


       

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     As the nation and world look towards the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA, St. Elizabeth Medical Center will join organizations and individuals across the county and around the globe to remember and honor the thousands of innocent lives lost. There will be a Mass of Remembrance held in the Medical Center Chapel at 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11.

    All are welcome to attend.


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    In an effort to improve communication with family members of patients having surgery, St. Elizabeth Medical Center has begun a new paging system.

    The J-Tech paging system is a hand-held pager that alerts the patient’s family to return to the Surgical Waiting Room for an update on the completion of surgery or a status change. The pagers are issued to the families upon arrival in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit.

    “Implementing the paging system has allowed us to improve our ability to quickly locate and communicate the patient’s status to families during the operative experience,” said Kimberly Panko, MSN, RN, Nurse Manager of Ambulatory Surgery and Post Anesthesia Care Units. “This additional communication tool has provided families with the reassurance and comfort that they will receive notification regarding their loved one at the earliest opportunity.”

    Families are now able to walk around the Medical Center grounds, cafeteria and parking facility knowing staff members and physicians will be able to reach them for any updates.

    The initiative was formulated by the staff from Ambulatory Surgery, Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Surgery.

       

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    St. Elizabeth Medical Center announced today that a staff reduction has been implemented in order to ensure the hospital’s long-term sustainability. The delivery of safe, high-quality patient care remains the primary focus and patient care will not be affected.

    St. Elizabeth currently employs 1,975 people. Fewer than 10 employees will be laid off, representing eight different departments. Most of them will be offered the opportunity to apply for any vacant position for which they qualify. No registered nurses will be laid off.

     “These are difficult decisions in challenging economic times,” said Richard Ketcham, President/CEO. “We have a responsibility and an obligation to the community we serve, the Medical Center and its Board of Trustees to ensure the long-term sustainability and fiscal health of the organization, while continuing to meet our mission.”

    Numerous factors led to the reduction of the Medical Center’s workforce including the decreased reimbursement to hospitals by New York State Medicaid over multiple years. In addition, Medicare reimbursements have not kept pace with the high cost of care.

    St. Elizabeth has experienced over $11 million of New York State Medicaid cuts in the past three years. New York State’s ongoing budget crisis presents immense financial challenges to patient-care providers, who continue to receive cuts to their payments. “We will continue to work with our elected officials on achieving Medicaid reform that includes the redesign of the Medicaid system,” Mr. Ketcham said.

    Vice President Human Resources Patrick Buckley added, “Administration is aware that this layoff affects not only the Medical Center organization, but individuals and families. We understand that valued employees and others are affected in this process. The Human Resources Department is currently working to support our employees and departments.”

    Mr. Ketcham stated that he is confident that patient care will not be affected through this process. “We anticipate a seamless transition as the Medical Center continues its mission of providing excellence in healthcare and education in our community,” he said.


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    The Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorders Center at St. Elizabeth Medical Center has received its fourth re-accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) for a period of five years. The Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorders Center was the first sleep center in the Greater Utica-Mohawk Valley area to earn this distinction, dating back to 1997.

    Accreditation is a voluntary process to assess sleep programs and is based on Standards for Accreditation established by the AASM. The AASM is a professional medical association representing practitioners of sleep medicine and research. To receive a five-year accreditation, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional quality healthcare as designated by the AASM. The AASM accreditation process involves thorough inspection of the center’s facility and staff, as well as an evaluation of testing policies and procedures, patient contact and education, and physician training. Additionally, the facility must provide a detailed quality assurance plan and include evidence of successfully meeting clearly defined goals and objectives as they relate to the quality of medical care in the community it serves.

    The Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorders Center at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, located in the College of Nursing building, features a state-of-the-art, sleep monitoring control room and six comfortable bedroom suites. The Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorders Center at St. Elizabeth Medical Center has a staff of three registered polysomnographic technologists who are dually credentialed by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. They are Jami VanEtten, RN, Director; Diana Watts, RT; and Alex Naumenko.  Additional staff members are: Janice Stone, RT, Patty Kuhl, RT, Lisa Sementilli, RTT, Cindy Falk, RT, Nancy Scagel, RTT, and Dawn Gilchrist, RTT, all respiratory care practitioners; Carletta Darling, Kim Jones, Michelle Andrews, and Carol Cross, LPN, administrative staff; Steven Levine, D.O., FASM, FCCP, Medical Director; and Matthew LaBella, RPA-C.

    The Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorders Center at St. Elizabeth Medical Center is uniquely equipped to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of various sleep disorders. It has been serving the community for over 16 years with highly qualified professionals and the most advanced instrumentation.

    “One of the more common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea syndrome,” said Medical Director Dr. Steven Levine. “Signs and symptoms may include snoring, periods where one sleeping stops breathing or gasps for air, morning headaches, frequent awakenings with need to urinate, problems with concentration and memory, mood swings and a feeling of depression, to name a few. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition,” he said. “Studies indicate that it may result in an increased risk of hypertension, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, diabetes, stroke and other vascular diseases.”


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    The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation will hold its annual Dinner Dance during a vibrant evening with the theme “Hot Caribbean Night”. The 34th Annual Dinner Dance will be held on Saturday, September 29 at the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford. Proceeds from the event will benefit the purchase of Neurostar angiography equipment for the Medical Center’s peripheral vascular program.

    The evening will begin with a cocktail hour and steel drum music, followed by gourmet, Caribbean-style dining stations and dessert. The event will feature an exciting, live auction of a five-course gourmet dinner and wine tasting in the winner’s home, courtesy of the Yahnundasis Golf Club’s four-diamond-rated chef, Michel DiGiorgio, and master sommelier, Gino Campbell. The event will also host a silent auction, dancing to the local band, Last Left, and more. To learn more about this event, make your reservations or to bid on any of our auction items, visit www.stemc.org/foundation/dinner-dance/.

    The Foundation appreciates its Presenting Sponsor, Mohawk Hospital Equipment; Major Sponsor, IBEW Local Union 43/NECA Finger Lakes Chapter; as well as its Social Sponsors, Adirondack Financial Services, Bank of Utica, Mohawk Valley Imaging P.C. and Oneida Electrical Contractors.

    For more information about this or other Foundation events, call (315) 734-4287 or visit www.stemc.org/foundation.


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    Lyle Fuller, a patient at Advanced Wound Care, recently celebrated his 103rd birthday. A favorite among the staff, Lyle was surprised with balloons, cupcakes and best wishes all around during his appointment on July 3, 2012.

    Mr. Fuller’s doctor, Leo P. Sullivan, MD of Surgical Associates of Utica said, “I am absolutely amazed at the results at Advanced Wound Care. The gentleman is 103 and had an ulcer on his leg for six months; it’s a tribute to Mary Ellen Schrader and the entire staff that he healed so well.”

    Mary Ellen Schrader, RN, MS,CWON, clinical coordinator of Advanced Wound Care, said, “Mr. Fuller’s wound presented a challenge to our staff, but through surgery and consistent therapy, his recovery was truly amazing.”

    Mr. Fuller lives at Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center in Rome, NY. His large family includes four daughters and two sons-in-law, Ida Chrzanowski, Elida Armstrong, Virginia and Bob Lenhart and Jean and John Champlain, as well as numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

    “It means so much to us to know that he is so well-liked by the staff over there,” said Mr. Fuller’s daughter, Ida. “You hear so many bad things in the world today and not near enough of the good....thank you for being part of the good.”

     

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