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(Photo: Michael Rogers/HFMG)

“Turning the Town Teal” to raise awareness of ovarian cancer

WARWICK (September 14) - Local ovarian cancer survivor Kathy Colquhoun and a group of Horizon Family Medical Group/Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine students turned the town teal on Friday, Aug. 31 to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.     

The group tied teal ribbons to trees and telephone poles along Main Street in the village. They also talked with shop owners and distributed educational materials on the disease.

Dr. Alex Joanow, who is affiliated with both Horizon and Touro, said, “Despite raising awareness and improving treatment strategies, we still don’t have a screening tool for ovarian cancer.  It is a disease process that has many vague signs and symptoms, such as bloating and pelvic pain that are often overlooked. Therefore, the best screening technique is to see your gynecologist on an annual basis or when these symptoms develop.”

Dr. Joanow, a Horizon Obstetrician and Gynecologist, is a founding partner of the medical group. He is also Director of Clinical Rotations and Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Touro.

Dr. Joanow oversees the clinical sites – including Horizon Family Medical Group – where third-year Touro students receive their training.

 “We are thrilled to be participating in the Turn the ‘Towns Teal®’ campaign for the third year,” Horizon CEO Jim Olver said. “We hope it will raise awareness among our patients and the public of ovarian cancer, its subtle symptoms and risk factors. We applaud survivor Kathy Colquhoun and the Horizon/Touro medical students who took part, as well as Dr. Joanow, who was instrumental in the effort.”

Dr. Kenneth J. Steier, Touro Executive Dean, said, “The TouroCOM faculty and medical students are proud to participate in events such as this to help raise awareness of issues such as ovarian cancer.  We commend the Village of Warwick and Horizon Medical Group for their work in improving the health care of our community.”

Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard said, “Public displays such as ‘Turn the Towns Teal‘ ribbons on street trees throughout our business district are visual reminders and conversation starters about the issues that surround ovarian cancer.”

“Turn The Towns Teal”® is a national campaign to promote awareness of ovarian cancer. During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, volunteers call attention to this disease by tying biodegradable, USA-made ribbons in various locations like town centers, businesses, places of worship, neighborhoods and on their individual properties, according to the campaign’s website.


Dr. Stickel

Dr. Nicholas Stickel joins HQMP Division of Pulmonology

POUGHKEEPSIE (September 16) - Pulmonary-Critical Care and Internal Medicine specialist Dr. Nicholas Stickel has joined the Health Quest Medical Practice Division of Pulmonology.

“I’ve met the most courteous, helpful and professional healthcare professionals at Vassar Brothers Medical Center,” Stickel said. “The Health Quest system is evidently well poised to grow in its ability to better serve the Hudson Valley community and I’m proud to become part of the team.”

Stickel most recently worked at State University of New York – Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he completed his fellowship in pulmonary/critical care. During that time, he received a publication in the pulmonary journal Chest for his work on asbestos lung disease in the veteran population, which he presented at the annual international conference. Pulmonary disease specialists, also known as pulmonologists, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the various diseases and conditions that affect the lungs.

He completed his internal medicine residency at New York University Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, now called NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, where he received awards as outstanding resident and resident teacher of the year. He received his medical degree from St. George University in Grenada and his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.

He sees patients in Poughkeepsie as well as in the Intensive Care Unit at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

For more information, visit


National Suicide Awareness Month

NEW CITY (September 1) - September is National Suicide Awareness month. According to the CDC death by suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States among all age groups. Loss through suicide is not isolated to people with pre-existing mental illness or substance use disorders. It affects all age groups, all ethnic groups and all religious groups. Loss by suicide has a lasting impact on the friends and family left behind. Screening for suicide and awareness of the warning signs, along with knowledge of community resources is important for all of us. #BeThe1To--save a life.

Full details on our Community Page


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SLCH Security Officer Correll Miller-Jones donates blood

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital hosts successful blood drive

NEWBURGH (August 7) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH), in partnership with the New York Blood Center, conducted a blood drive at its Newburgh campus on Monday, July 30. The event resulted in 57 total blood donations which will be used to support hospitals in the greater New York City area and Hudson Valley, including SLCH.

The blood drive was coordinated by the SLCH Laboratory Services department.

“I’m incredibly appreciative of the efforts put forth by our entire team and our colleagues at the New York Blood Center to execute such an important event,” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk, SLCH President & CEO. “We had a great turn out from both the public and our staff, once again demonstrating our community’s thoughtfulness and generosity.”

The New York Blood Center was founded in 1964, and is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. Nearly 2,000 donations are required each day in the New York/New Jersey area to meet the demand of patients who need blood and/or platelets transfusion, including cancer patients, trauma victims, newborns, new mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, and people with chronic conditions such as sickle cell disease.

For more information on how to donate, or to learn how to organize a blood drive, go to


St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation announces 2018 Gala honorees

NEWBURGH (July 30) - The St. Luke's Cornwall Health System Foundation announces that Dr. Geoffrey Brackett, Ms. Michelle Rider, Esq., and Mr. Patrick Ortland will be honored with the Leadership in Transformation Award at the 2018 Gala set for September 15 at Anthony’s Pier 9. Additionally, Father Mark Connell of San Miguel Academy will be recognized as the Community Commitment honoree.

L-R: Dr. Geoffrey Brackett, Chairman of the SLCH Board of Trustees; Anne Marie Schoonhoven, Executive Director of the
St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation: Patrick Ortland, and Michelle Rider, Esq. SLCH Board of Trustee;
Joan Cusack-McGuirk, SLCH President and CEO;  Father Mark Connell; and Jill Cappa, Chair of the 2018 St. Luke’s
Cornwall Health System Foundation Gala, and Foundation Board of Directors member.

All three Leadership in Transformation honorees served as Chair of the St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Board of Trustees, including Dr. Brackett who currently holds that position. All are being recognized for their dedication and diligence in leading the search for a strategic partner to lead SLCH through the current healthcare transformation, leading to SLCH’s official partnership with Montefiore Health System this past January.

Dr. Brackett, the Executive Vice President of Marist College, has been on the SLCH Board of Trustees since 2010 and has been Chairman since 2017.

Ms. Rider became involved in hospital leadership as part of the Foundation Board of Directors in 2007. She has been an active member of the hospital Board of Trustees since 2010, including serving as Chairwoman from 2015-17.

Mr. Ortland served on the Board from 2007-16, and served as Chairman  from 2013-15.

Father Connell is the Executive Director of San Miguel Academy, a private boys school that provides exceptional education opportunities from an underserved population. He is also a member of the St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation Board of Directors.

“All of our honorees have given an incredible amount of time, talent and experience to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital ” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk, SLCH President and CEO. “The knowledgeable guidance of Geoff, Michelle and Patrick, has put SLCH in the position to continue to be at the forefront of healthcare transformation in the Hudson Valley. Father Mark’s work at San Miguel and with the Foundation have made an unbelievable impact on the lives of his students, their families and our communities. We are proud to recognize all of these individuals for their outstanding contributions.”

This year’s Renaissance of Healthcare Gala will be held on Saturday, September 15th at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. For more information regarding the event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Foundation office at (845) 568-2580 or Online registration is available at


St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital honors Stillman family

CORNWALL (July 30) –St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) recognized the legacy of the Stillman family, founders of the Cornwall Hospital, with a plaque featuring the poem, “Cornwall Hospital” by Janet Dempsey.

Nathaniel Stillman, the grandson of Dr. Ernest Goodrich Stillman and Mildred Whitney Stillman, recently joined SLCH administrators and other community members for a short ceremony to commemorate the family’s philanthropic legacy.

“We would like to thank the Stillman family for its continued commitment to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital,” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk, SLCH President & CEO. “With the continued evolution of our healthcare delivery system, we are in the midst of further transforming the Cornwall campus into a robust outpatient center with services to meet the needs of our community.”

Nathaniel Stillman, joins community members and hospital leadership for ceremony to commemorate the
Stillman family’s philanthropic legacy

The Cornwall campus houses an extensive list of services, including Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation services and a Balance Center, through SLCH’s partnership with Burke Rehabilitation Services, also a member of the Montefiore Health System. The Littman Cancer Center, Infusion Suite, Pain Management, Center for Sleep Medicine and the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine are also part of the outpatient center.

Additionally, renovations are underway to expand the Center for Rehabilitation and add outpatient Dialysis services.

Dr. Stillman founded the Cornwall Hospital in 1923. St. Luke’s Hospital and Cornwall Hospital merged in 2002, and just this year, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital became an official member of the Montefiore Health System.


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Orange Regional Medical Center names director of radiation oncology

TOWN OF WALLKILL (July 30) – Orange Regional Medical Center announces that Betty Koshy has been promoted to Director of Radiation Oncology. Koshy has been the Manager of the Radiation Oncology Department for five years. During this time, the Radiation Oncology Department consolidated operations within the Spagnoli Family Cancer Center. New programs have also been developed under Ms. Koshy’s direction, including Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) of the Brain and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT).

Koshy is a trainer for the People Centered Communication program at Orange Regional as well as a member of the ORELATE Team and the Employee Recognition Committee. The ORELATE Team’s focus is on patient experience scores and enhancing communication and effectiveness in working with patients and their families. Ms. Koshy has also co-chaired the Patient Choice Awards which highlight the positive efforts by various departments throughout the Hospital.

Koshy won the Orange Regional Most Compassionate Leader Patient Choice Award in 2016. She also graduated from Leadership Orange in 2014 and won the L.E.A.D (Learn, Evolve, Advanced, Developed) Award which was a nomination by her class.

She received her Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Houston in 2016. She also completed an Administrative Residency with Veterans Affairs which provided practical training in healthcare management. 


New providers join Greater Hudson Valley Health System Medical Group

WALLKILL/HARRIS (July 27) – The Greater Hudson Valley Health System Medical Group announces the following new providers to its team:





  • Ayfer Ekiz, MD obtained her medical degree from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Ekiz joins Orange Regional Medical Group as a Hospitalist.
  • Reena Patel, MD received her medical degree from American University of Antigua in Antigua & Barbuda. Dr. Patel is joins the Urgent Care team and will serve both Orange Regional Medical Group in Middletown and Catskill Regional Medical Group in Monticello.
  • Chujun Yuan, MD, PhD received his medical degree from Qingdao University Medical College in Shandong, China and his PhD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. Dr. Yuan joins Orange Regional Medical Group as a Behavioral Health Provider.
  • Olanrewaju Olukitibi, MD, MPH received his medical degree from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr. Olukitibi is joins Orange Regional Medical Group as a Behavioral Provider.
  • Raghuram Gorti, MD, RVT, FACS received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. He completed his Fellowship Training in Vascular Surgery at the University of Rochester, New York and Wayne State University, Michigan. Dr. Gorti joins Orange Regional Medical Group and will be leading the new service line of Vascular Surgery.


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Dr. Meytes

General surgeon joins Northern Dutchess Hospital, enhances weight-loss surgery

RHINEBECK (July 19) - Northern Dutchess Hospital is growing its weight-loss surgery program and expanding access to general surgery.

Dr. Vadim Meytes will perform bariatric and general surgeries at the hospital and see patients at Health Quest Medical Practice’s Rhinebeck general surgery office.
 He is trained to offer minimally invasive hernia repair, gallbladder removal, acid reflux surgery, gastric bypass, sleeve surgery and more.

“Since early on in my surgical training, I recognized a growing need to be able to offer the highest level of care in the most minimally invasive approach for a variety of diseases,” he said. “I look forward to working in the Rhinebeck community."

He is also a trauma surgeon on the medical staff of Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

Meytes completed a bariatric fellowship in June at New York University Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, where he also completed a general surgery residency in 2017. He graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine with a doctorate degree in osteopathy and Manhattan College with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

To learn more, visit


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ORMC and CRMC cited for stroke care

WALLKILL/HARRIS (July 6) – Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) and Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The two hospitals, both members of the member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, were cited for meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. This included evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines, all toward the goal of improving recovery time and reducing the risk of death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients receive education on managing their health, and a follow-up visit is scheduled.

“Treatment within three hours of presenting symptoms of a stroke, not only provide the best chance for survival, incurs less disability after a stroke,” said Medical Director of Orange Regional’s Stroke Center, Olga Fishman, MD. “To receive this recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, shines a spotlight on the hard work of our team and Orange Regional’s commitment to providing immediate high-quality care for stroke patients.”

A stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. To better prepare people to respond to a stroke in a timely manner and with appropriate action, Orange Regional supports using the FAST acronym to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of stroke:

  • F = Face Drooping
  • A = Arm Weakness
  • S = Speech Difficulty
  • T = Time to call 911

The acronym can help people remember and recognize the general signs and symptoms of a stroke, including weakness or numbness on one side, facial drooping, slurred or irregular speaking, vision loss and severe headache or dizziness. The sooner symptoms are recognized, the sooner medical help can be sought.


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Randi Port with her award

Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services Council awards presented  

VERBANK (June 28) - The Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council presented special recognition for EMS providers, EMS agencies and local hospital staff on Wednesday night at the Union Vale Fire Department and Rescue Squad Station No. 1 in Verbank. The annual awards highlight the important role of first responders and the invaluable and critical services these men and women provide to the community. Dutchess County Public Safety Dispatcher Randi Port was named as the EMS Communications Specialist of the Year.

 “Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients, especially our own, Randi Port,” said County Executive Marc Molinaro. The invaluable services Ms. Port and her colleagues provide cannot be recognized often enough. We are grateful for the dedication these men and women show on a daily basis to their community and Dutchess County.”

Ms. Port was selected as EMS Communications Specialist of the Year for her handling of an incident involving a call concerning a 53-year-old who was unresponsive and not breathing. By using the training she received as an emergency medical dispatcher, she instructed a bystander over the phone on how to assess the patient and successfully provide CPR, resulting in the patient arriving at the hospital with a pulse and breathing.

This year’s recipients of the Dutchess County EMS Council Awards include:

  • Basic Life Support Provider of the Year - Posthumously
    Michael Murphy, EMTB, Union Vale Rescue Squad
  • Basic Life Support Provider of the Year
    Jason Ryan, EMTB, LaGrange Fire District
  • Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year
    Nate Plambeck, EMTP, LaGrange Fire District
  • EMS Agency of the Year
    Roosevelt Fire District – Rescue Squad
  • EMS Educator of Excellence
    NYS Trooper Stephanie Higgins, NYS Police
  • EMS Communications Specialist of the Year
    Randi Port, EMTP, Dutchess County Dept. of Emergency Response
  • Excellence in EMS Quality and Safety
    Air Methods – Life Net Air 2
  • Registered Professional Nurse of Excellence
    Lisa Walz, RN, MidHudson Regional Hospital
  • Physician of Excellence
    Alexis Johnson, MD, MidHudson Regional Hospital


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Dr. Kazbay

Catskill Regional Medical Group adds gastroenterology to its growing services

HARRIS (June 26) - Catskill Regional Medical Group now offers Gastroenterology services as part of its specialty care.

The Gastroenterology Department at Catskill Regional Medical Group led by Kasim Kazbay, MD has physicians and healthcare providers who are trained to investigate the digestive system and diagnose its disorders. Gastroenterologists perform a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including colonoscopy, endoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound and liver biopsy. 

Kasim Kazbay, MD, is Board-certified in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He earned his medical degree from Ege University Medical School in Izmir, Turkey and his Ph.D in Microbiology and immunology from Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, NY. Dr. Kazbay completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at New York University and a Fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Kazbay treats all liver and alimentary tract diseases. He performs all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures involving esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), Colonoscopy and ERCP. 

Catskill Regional Medical Group (CRMG) is part of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, comprised of the well-established and highly regarded Orange Regional Medical Center and Catskill Regional Medical Center. The Greater Hudson Valley Health System has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies™.

For more information including office hours, visit


Catskill Regional Medical Center’s R.I.S.E. Program Seeks Volunteers

HARRIS (June 18) – The R.I.S.E. - Rape Intervention Services and Education Program - at Catskill Regional Medical Center is seeking volunteers. Volunteer training starts on Monday, June 25, 2018 from 5:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.

“We welcome anyone who has a few hours a month to dedicate,” said RISE Program Manager Debbie O’Malley. “We are looking for creative self-starters that can work independently and be a supportive resource.”

RISE volunteer activities vary depending on the individuals’ interests. Volunteers may choose from a wide variety of RISE needs including, but not limited to, assisting at community events, facilitating support groups, hotline coverage, research, and some clerical duties.

The RISE program of Sullivan County, advocates for residents of all ages who are or have been a victim of sexual violence. RISE provides individual and group counseling, and advocacy and accompaniment services to the emergency department, police station, and court appearances. Counseling and prevention education is offered to children at local schools. The Program maintains a 24-hour rape and sexual assault hotline by dialing 845-791-9595. Trained staff and volunteers provide callers with emergency crisis intervention, crisis counseling as well as information and referrals. The program also provides free educational and or training programs to schools, community and professional organizations. RISE relies heavily on volunteer help.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information on services offered, please contact the RISE office at 845-794-3300, ext. 2440 or e-mail


Orange Regional Medical Center and NeighboRx Pharmacy partner to offer Meds to Beds service

TOWN OF WALLKILL (June 18) - Orange Regional Medical Center announces that it has partnered with NeighboRx Pharmacy, which operates within Orange Regional’s Outpatient Building, to offer a Meds to Beds service for inpatients. NeighboRx Pharmacy has also expanded its hours to include Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The Meds-to-Beds Program consists of our pharmacy hand-delivering prescriptions to hospital patients' bedsides before they are discharged,” said NeighboRx Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist Rory Garland. “This ensures they leave with their medication in hand before leaving the hospital,”

Pharmacy staff is also available to answer any patient questions or concerns before their discharge and can also deliver to the patient’s home for future re-fills to ensure continued compliance of their medications. 

“Orange Regional continues to show its commitment to our patients and our community by providing high quality pharmacy services within our facility,” said Greater Hudson Valley Health System Vice President of Information Technology & Chief Information Officer, Brian Tew.  “This pharmacy is a tremendous asset for our patients and employees. It is a welcomed addition to our campus because it delivers an important healthcare service to our patients by making the transition from hospital to home easier.”

The pharmacy is a convenient option for patients, the general public and Medical Center staff. It offers a full range of prescription medication services, including personalized pharmacist services. The pharmacy also carries over-the-counter medications and medical supplies including walkers and rollators; diabetic supplies; wheelchairs; knee; arm; wrist and ankle braces; crutches; bath and safety supplies.

The pharmacy accepts most major prescription drug plans and is staffed by professional registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. It is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and now on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free prescription delivery in Middletown and surrounding areas is also available.

All patients may access pharmacy services by calling (845) 333-7250 or by visiting  


WMCHealth’s Heart & Vascular Institute opens new Kingston office

KINGSTON (June 18) - The Heart & Vascular Institute of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) has a new office location at network affiliate HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus, welcoming longtime Kingston cardiologists Ellis W. Lader, MD, and Aneta D. Dimova, MD, to the Institute’s team.

The Heart & Vascular Institute now occupies the offices of the former Mid-Valley Cardiology practice, at 111 Mary’s Ave. in Kingston, on the Mary’s Avenue Campus, providing a seamless transition for patients previously cared for by Drs. Lader and Dimova at the same location. Drs. Lader and Dimova practiced at Mid-Valley Cardiology for more than 20 years.

Drs. Lader and Dimova see adult patients in Kingston for a wide range of conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart valve disease, coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, angina, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, valvular heart disease and congenital heart disease.

Patients also benefit from access to a broad range of advanced cardiovascular services, and many other disciplines, at WMCHealth’s flagship Westchester Medical Center and at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, another member of WMCHealth.

“We are pleased to welcome the expertise of Drs. Lader and Dimova to WMCHealth’s Heart & Vascular Institute,” said Julio A. Panza, MD, Chief of Cardiology at WMCHealth. “Kingston-area patients now have access to the broadest possible range of solutions from a team of world-class physicians, supported by some of the most highly skilled and experienced nurses and technicians in the region. WMCHealth’s Heart & Vascular Institute is committed to providing the highest-quality comprehensive cardiovascular care and expertise to residents of the Hudson Valley, close to home, in the communities where they live.”

Drs. Lader and Dimova see patients at the new offices of WMCHealth’s Heart & Vascular Institute, 111 Mary’s Ave., Suite 3, in Kingston. The office phone number is 845-339-3663.






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