River Hospital to provide PTSD care
ALEXANDRIA BAY — Fort Drum soldiers may receive additional care for post-traumatic stress disorder closer to post with the announcement of increased services at River Hospital that could begin in the next few months.
“This is an area where there’s a lot of unmet need,” said Ben Moore III, the hospital’s CEO. “We’re very excited to do this.”
The hospital will offer a partial hospitalization program for active-duty military, in partnership with Holliswood Hospital, which offers inpatient mental health care at its Queens facility.
Holliswood Hospital will supply River Hospital with clinical and administrative assistance, quality control and assistance in recruiting and hiring, and will serve as project management consultant.
Mr. Moore said there was no similar outpatient program in the region.
Col. Mark W. Thompson, commander of Fort Drum’s Army Medical Department Activity, said in a statement that the new service was an “important addition” to treatment options available to soldiers on post.
The hospital initially intends to serve 10 soldiers in group and individual care for an average of two to three weeks. Over time, the hospital hopes to double the number of soldiers it can serve over two half-day sessions.
The program will be placed in former administrative space between the hospital and the primary family care practice. The space will be renovated, which will take a few weeks. Plans call for hiring a psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, three social workers and an art therapist, and Mr. Moore said he hoped recruitment would take a few months.
“We’ll get it started and have it go as fast as we can,” he said.
The hospital was given approval to offer the services by the state Department of Health on May 31.
The project has been in the works since November, when it was proposed to the Jefferson County Community Services Board, which unanimously supported the measure.
The hospital will collaborate with soldiers’ health insurer TriCare to provide the service.
Mr. Moore said that should the program become a success, the hospital could branch out and offer extended mental health care for the general public.
Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2012
Cynthia Simpson Retirement Announced
Friday May 11thCynthia Simpson, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, completed her duties as health care provider for River Hospital and River Community Clinic, and enters retirement. We are extraordinarily grateful for the service Cindy has given to our patients, our community, and our institution. We are planning a community event to thank Cindy and recognize her for her service, to be held on Thursday, May 31stat the American Legion, Post 904, Rock Street, Alexandria Bay from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.
A native of Alexandria BayCindy Simpson graduated from Jefferson Community College as a registered nurse in 1980, completed the Obstetric/Gynecologic Nurse Practitioner Program to become a Women's Health Care Specialist in 1993. She continued her studies at Community General Hospital in Syracuse and became Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified in1997. Cindy has served as the Health Officer for the Town of Alexandria. She has demonstrated loyalty and leadership in a variety of ways, including her service in the United States Army Reserves for 12 years.
During the years that the hospital, while under the name of Edward John Noble, was under threat of closure, Cindy Simpson was the mainstay of provider care at the institution. While she enjoyed the counsel of other providers and the support of the nursing staff, she worked long hours and was responsible for making critical medical decisions concerning the health of a large portion of the area’s population. She was among the first to respond to give whatever assistance necessary to keep the hospital open to the public.
Ms. Simpson was critical in the start-up of River Hospital. She helped raise money immediately for the “Concerned Citizens for EJ Noble Hospital” and held an office in that group until the papers for the hospital were signed. River Hospital was formed, and new board members were appointed. She saw patients tirelessly and patiently until other medical professionals and doctors could be recruited to join the effort to expand and improve healthcare in the region.
Cindy served as River Community Clinic Manager, as well as President of River Hospital’s Medical Staff Committee. And, while she served in her professional position as Certified Family Nurse Practitioner at River Hospital and River Community Clinic, her passion and efforts have reached beyond the activities of her employment. Ms. Simpson has made major contributions in the health of the rural communities of the area. She has performed numerous speaking engagements for various organizations, and countless hours in Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Awareness screening event, compensated by knowing she is educating and offering invaluable services to the community. With her own special mix of knowledge, common sense and good humor she has a remarkable ability to deliver health services with tenderness and compassion while talking to patients at their individual levels of understanding. She is highly respected by patients not only in the office setting, but also while she is seen throughout the community.
Today that passion continues. Cindy looks forward to spending time with her grandchildren and other family and friends. In addition, she looks forward to traveling, catching up on some reading and plans to do some gardening.
Cindy is naturally compassionate and a friend to all. Today, through the efforts of this community and special people like Cindy, River Hospital continues to grow and improve access to vital health services to this area.
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012
River Hospital Foundation and River Hospital Offices Moving to New Location
River Hospital Foundation and some River Hospital offices are relocating to 3 James Street, downtown Alex Bay beginning this week. The Foundation Office is scheduled to move from the current Route 12 location to the newly renovated space once occupied by CP Roman’s Night Club on Friday of this week, January 27th. The Post Office Box 567 mailing address, as well as telephone and fax numbers will remain the same.
Patient Billing and Finance offices currently located at Route 12 are scheduled to move next week, Monday January 30thto the 3 James Street location. The administrative offices currently located adjacent to the hospital are scheduled to be relocating to 3 James Street during the week of February 6th. The mailing address and telephone numbers for hospital staff will remain unchanged.
The relocation of offices will bring the hospital, Primary Care Clinic and Foundation staff closer together and will make additional on-campus space for new clinical services. “Because Critical Access Hospitals must retain all clinical services on the same campus, this makes the most business sense to relocate the non-clinical services and administration offices” says Ben Moore, River Hospital CEO. Recent additions to the growing list of health care offerings include Cardiology and Gynecology specialists. New services are already under serious consideration for the office space which will soon be vacated by the administration. The growth of our outpatient volume is critical to our plans to stabilize the financial condition of the institution in these challenging times for health care facilities.
A complete renovation of the 5,580 square foot ground floor will make an easy access for the public on the James Street side of the building. The hospital has entered into a 10 year lease agreement with Empire Management.
Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012
River Community Clinic Receives Recognition from Tobacco Cessation Center
On Thursday, January 5th, 2012 The Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York (TCC of NNY) recognized River Community Clinic for their diligent efforts over the past several years in the treatment of tobacco dependence. River Community Clinic has achieved the highest level of partnership with the TCC of NNY and was recognized for their efforts with a plaque presented to them by the TCC’s Joel Schuyler, CTTS (Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist). The Tobacco Cessation Center originally worked with the Clinic in 2007 to assist them in the implementation of the US Public Health Service Guidelines for tobacco dependence treatment. The Clinical Practice guidelines are the Standard of Care in tobacco cessation treatment in health care settings and River Community Clinic was among the first in their area to implement them. The Clinic Nurse Manager, Chris Jewett, who together with the staff and providers Dr. Aaron Huizenga, Dr. Mahreen Razzaq, Jeniffer Alberry, FNPC and Cynthia Simpson, FNPC, has continued to provide excellent tobacco cessation services to the community. Since tobacco is the single greatest preventable cause of death and disability, these efforts are critical to the community’s overall health.
The Tobacco Cessation Center of NNY is one of nineteen cessation centers statewide and covers the tri-county area to assist healthcare providers to aid their tobacco dependent patients through training, assistance and implementation of the Clinical Practice Guidelines. This is just one of several critical programs which comprise the state of the art New York State Tobacco Control Program. For more information on how to quit or to schedule an appointment at River Community Clinic call 315-482-2094.
Photo: Presentation of Plaque
Left back: Judy Hunter-Eves (Respiratory Therapist), Chris Jewett (RN & Clinic Nurse Manager), Dr. Aaron Huizenga (DO), Wendy Morrison (LPN), Billie Jo Bowes, Karen Denner, Marcia Graves (LPN), Robin Whitcomb(LPN) Dr. Mahreen Razzaq (MD)
Front left: Theresa Vinson, Cynthia Simpson (FNP-C), Jeniffer Alberry (FNP-C), Joel Schuyler (Tobacco Cessation Center of NNY)
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012
River Community Clinic Achieves Certification as a Patient Centered Medical Home
River Community Clinic, in partnership with the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, are pleased to announce we have attained certification as a Patient Centered Medical Home level 3, the highest level of this important new health care model. Scoring 91.25 out of a possible 100 points, among the highest across the North Country Health Information Partnership (N-CHIP) project, this certification puts our small, rural practice at the forefront of the evolution of health care in the country. Patient Centered Medical Homes must meet a variety of nationally-recognized quality standards, including:
- Written standards for patient access and enhanced communications
- Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
- Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care
- Adaptation to patient’s cultural and linguistic needs
- Use of information technology for prescriptions and care management
- Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
- Systematic tracking of referrals and test results
- Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance
This certification is awarded for three years through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (www.NCQA.org).
In the Patient Centered Medical Home model, the patient’s primary care doctor acts as the central hub, or home, for everything going on with that patient. The primary care doctor can find out quickly and efficiently if the patient is admitted to a hospital and can get in touch for follow-up care. Specialists and doctors are linked so test results go right back to the primary care office. The model aims to use the latest advances in information technology to restore some of the values of old-fashioned small-town medicine – knowing your patient better, coordinating their total care – back into modern medical practice.
“PCMH standards really stress involving a lot of different people – physicians, nurses, specialists, social workers – and that also includes the patients. It does expect the patient to take some responsibility for their care as well: what they’re doing at home, whether they’re complying with their medications, whether they’re following up with specialists’ appointments. And it does that by involving them with the discussion in the first place, so they have a better idea of the whole process, the progress of their disease and why we’re doing what we’re doing,” says Dr. Aaron Huizenga, medical director of River Community Clinic.
Being certified at level 3 as a Patient Centered Medical Home means River Community Clinic meets the highest standards of health care coordination under this cutting-edge health care model. We have implemented a system to get patient feedback about their visits, and already as a result of that feedback are reserving space for same-day appointments to provide better access to our patients. We are using electronic medical records and are the only Critical Access Hospital tied into the new regional health information exchange, named HealtheConnections, which allows electronic patient histories to be shared online across health care providers with patient consent.
“The health information exchange is really going to make the retrieval of information much better,” says Dr. Huizenga. “Because of our location and a lot of the specialists in Watertown and Syracuse, our access to all that information is going to be so much better. And going the other way, they will be able to access information from us as well. It will make things significantly more seamless and much more complete so everyone’s getting a much better picture of what’s going on with a patient."
River Hospital hosts specialists who come from outside the hospital, and they, too, will be able to access the health information exchange during their time practicing at River.
River Community Clinic decided to pursue Patient Centered Medical Home certification in part because of some of the chronic health issues we see among our patients. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and asthma are the top four diagnoses at our clinic. With chronic conditions especially, better coordinating patient care and improving patient education can go a long way toward preventing relapses and repeat inpatient hospital stays, and widening the time between acute episodes of illness.
Because the clinic is a part of River Hospital, the same clinicians care for patients through the clinic as well as at the hospital during inpatient stays. That means River Hospital patients, too, benefit from these improvements to care.
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011
River Hospital responds to community desire for more communication
River Hospital has responded to the community’s request for more open communication by hosting community meetings to share information with residents about the hospital’s programs and services and updates on financial stability, said Andrea C. Bates, River Hospital Foundation director of development. About 600 people in river communities took the survey in December.
“What we noticed from that was people wanted to know more about River Hospital,” she said. “They knew we were there, but what we did wasn’t prevalent. We’re committed to more and better communication with our communities. We’re here. We’re trying.”
Mrs. Bates said those community outreach meetings have been successful in developing conversation between hospital administrators and residents, and has sparked the implementation of a new marketing campaign. Part of that marketing plan includes the creation of a hospital newsletter and use of the River Hospital Foundation as a platform for hospital programs and services.
“We’re not just an emergency room,” she said. “That’s a misconception. We’re more than that — a lot more.”
Outpatient services offered there include ambulatory surgery, laboratory services, radiology, cardiopulmonary, physical therapy, smoking cessation, obesity counseling, diabetes counseling, nutritional support and primary family health care.
Inpatient services include acute care, laboratory services, physical therapy, cardiopulmonary therapy, nutritional support services, physical therapy and evaluation, medical management of illness, palliative care, wound care, respite care and telemetry.
Mrs. Bates said River Hospital will use local media and community outreach meetings to let residents know when new physicians are recruited to the hospital and when new services will be offered. New specialties residents want to see at the hospital, according to Mrs. Bates, are cardiology, gynecology, orthopedics and mental health services.
“What we found in doing those conversations with the community is they don’t want to have to travel for those,” she said.
Recruiting physicians would be the easy part, she said, but it would take some reconfiguration of space to add all four services.
If the community does not stay apprised of what is going on and does not support the hospital at 4 Fuller St., then it will be hard to keep the doors open, she said.
Future community outreach meetings will be announced later this summer. For more information, call Mrs. Bates at 482-4976.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011
Summer MASH camps teach students about medical careers
ALEXANDRIA BAY — Students from Thousand Islands area high schools learned basic medical procedures Monday involving needles, thread and fresh produce.
Oranges played the role of people as eight students took turns sewing up their “patients’” lacerations during the fourth annual Medical Academy for Science and Health, or MASH, camp at River Hospital, 4 Fuller St.
Dr. Harriet Burris, emergency department medical director, created cuts in each orange with a scalpel, showed how to clean a wound properly and demonstrated the proper stitching technique.
“The way you tie a knot on a stitch is a square knot and to do an instrument tie,” she said, as she demonstrated the procedure with a curved needle. “Wrap it around the instrument and tighten it. I love what I do, and this is one of my favorite parts. When you’re sewing up someone, you don’t have to talk about medicine; you can talk about anything.”
She said she took time out of her day to teach students a few techniques so they could see all that is involved with emergency medicine.
“It’s a never-ending process,” Dr. Burris said.
Kristin C. Glass, 16, who will be a junior at Thousand Islands Central this fall, said her first MASH camp experience was preparation for college and an eventual career in radiology.
“I’m not really interested in anything else,” she said. “With X-rays and ultrasounds — I want to do that.”
Other participants, all girls, wanted to explore medical careers in surgery, orthopedics, speech therapy, nursing and neurology. Wearing their MASH camp scrub tops, they visited each department at River Hospital to give them snippets of various medical fields.
The camp, held also at other north country hospitals this summer, is sponsored by the Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliance. Sandy L. Hazen, alliance program manager, said the camp encompasses a curriculum base and is divided into three levels. The first is for first-year students who will explore careers in health care and receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification, while level 2 students will learn how to provide basic first aid and survival skills and to apply sciences to health problems. Level 3 students learn basic assessment skills and explore illness through case studies, mini lectures and diagnostic procedures.
Eventually, the program will be able to track students’ participating in MASH camp, set up “job shadows” through the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization and then see what universities and program of study each student chooses.
After suturing up their produce patients, MASH camp participants spent some time with Headly, a mannequin head used to teach people how to find airways to get patients breathing and stabilized. Dr. Burris said that brings medical personnel back to basic medical procedure ABCs — airway, breathing, circulation.
Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011
TIERS to begin transport service
CLAYTON — The Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service soon will begin transporting mobility-impaired residents to and from medical appointments with a wheelchair van donated by River Hospital, Alexandria Bay.
Roland G. "Rolly" Churchill, executive director of TIERS, said the rescue service hopes to start offering the new service by the end of the month.
Mr. Churchill said people do not have to use wheelchairs in order to take advantage of the service. TIERS will transport anyone with difficulty reaching a destination — medical appointments, doctor-ordered therapy, dialysis, prosthetic service and dental appointments — because of injury, illness or other reasons.
Also, he said, residents who have mobility difficulties "can use this service to go to weddings, graduations, even funerals if they need to."
The handicapped-accessible van — named "Hillary" after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who helped the hospital obtain the Ford van in 2004 — previously was used to take adult day-care center patrons to and from River Hospital.
River Hospital closed its adult day-care center and 27-bed skilled nursing unit last spring due to financial difficulties.
The new TIERS transportation service will be offered primarily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. After-hours and weekend service must be arranged a week prior to the planned trip.
For more information or to arrange a wheelchair van service, call TIERS at 686-4333.
Medical patients covered by Medicaid must first call Coordinated Transportation Solutions at 1 (800) 818-6781, which will call TIERS to schedule a trip upon confirmation that the person meets criteria for medical transport.
Those not covered by Medicaid may inquire with TIERS about other insurance coverage or private-pay arrangements.
ON THE NET
(Article from Watertown Daily Times.com)
Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2011
SENATOR RITCHIE: RIVER HOSPITAL TO BENEFIT FROM SENATE-PASSED BILL
Long-delayed change in payment rules could help preserve health care in the Thousand Islands
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate passage of a bill she cosponsored that helps secure the future of rural hospitals like River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, and Clifton Fine Hospital in Star Lake.
The bill, S.5431-A, will require the state to pay rural “critical access hospitals” for their actual costs of providing services, instead of relying on reimbursement formulas that currently leave the facilities shortchanged.
“The staff and board of directors of River Hospital have fought a heroic battle to keep this very important facility open to insure that the residents of the Thousand Islands region receive care when they need it,” Senator Ritchie said. “But current formulas shortchange hospitals like River, by paying less than they receive for the same services from private insurers and Medicare.”
“I recently toured River Hospital and saw firsthand the kind of outstanding care their doctors, nurses and staff provide every day,” Senator Ritchie said. “Hospital officials told me this reform was key to safeguarding their ability to continue to provide the excellent service and health care that people of our community have come to expect.”
Thirteen of New York’s 43 rural hospitals—including River and Clifton Fine in Northern New York—are designated as “critical access hospitals,” meaning they are located in underserved areas, have fewer than 50 beds, provide 24-hour access to emergency care, and have a record of efficient delivering of health care.
The bill has languished for several years without being enacted into law.
(Post from Senator Richie's website)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
Convenient, High Quality Services in River Hospital’s Radiology Department
From routine x-rays to sophisticated radiologic procedures, River Hospital’s imaging department can service your radiology needs. Our newly remodeled department with state of the art computerized technology provides the patient the highest level of care while offering a convenient, comfortable and welcoming environment. We offer services 7 days a week. Procedures can be scheduled with minimal wait times and in many cases same day service is also available. With our state of the art system we can have results the same day if needed. River Hospital’s radiology department can provide diagnostic radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, breast biopsy, done densitometry, sonography and computed tomography. Our 16 slice CT scanner as well as our computerized radiology system allows us to obtain high quality diagnostic images. What this means for our patient is a fast and accurate diagnosis from the ER or on an outpatient basis. We also have evening ultrasound appointments for your convenience. Take advantage of the high quality services River Hospital has to offer. Conveniently located in the River Communities.
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