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News items ...


Greater Hudson Valley Health System appoints new board member

MIDDLETOWN (January 31) - The Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS), comprised of Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center, announces newly appointed Board of Directors Member Ginny Rizzo.

Rizzo served as Chairwoman of the Board for Orange Regional Medical Center and Greater Hudson Valley Health System from 2008-2010 and was Chairwoman when Orange Regional broke ground for the new hospital.

Rizzo spent 24 years with International Paper’s Corporate Research Center in Tuxedo, NY, a Fortune 50 corporation and the world’s largest paper company.

She is the owner and president of Eclat, a management and human resources consulting firm.  She is also Vice President of Rizzo, Inc.; a commercial moving company. She serves as a Director for Orange Bank and Trust Company.

"Ginny brings extensive knowledge, experience and vision to improve the health of our community and govern our healthcare system,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, Darrell Supak.

The GHVHS is a New York State, not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Middletown, New York. It is the active parent company for two member hospitals – Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center.



SLCH welcomes new Board of Trustees chairman

NEWBURGH (January 27) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) announced that Geoffrey Brackett, DPhil, has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Brackett has been a member of the SLCH BOT since 2011, serving as Vice Chair since 2015.

Dr. Brackett has played a key role in SLCH’s transition into the new value-based era of healthcare delivery. When the hospital identified the need to collaborate with a strategic partner, he chaired the Strategic Planning Committee to guide the process. Under Dr. Brackett’s leadership, the committee’s work and diligence resulted in SLCH’s current partnership with the Montefiore Health System, the industry leader in population health management. 

Dr. Brackett was also vital in SLCH’s inclusion in the New York State Department of Health’s Value Based Payment Quality Improvement Program (VBP QIP), which assists hospitals continue operations and vital services as they work toward longer-term sustainability, improved quality and alignment with the state’s Value Based Payment initiatives. Under the Strategic Planning Committee’s guidance, SLCH created and submitted a transformation plan that was the impetus in an infusion of resources through the VBP QIP.

The Executive Vice President of Marist College since 2010, Dr. Brackett has oversight of the College’s strategic planning and annual operations and serves as chair of several operational committees. He is responsible for the direct supervision of a number of departments, including Information Technology, Human Resources, Student Affairs, Institutional Research and Planning, Buildings and Grounds, and Safety and Security.

“Dr. Brackett is a dedicated community member who truly understands the demands of healthcare reform,” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk, SLCH President and CEO. “He has been instrumental in the advocacy efforts necessary at the local and state levels, to transform our community hospital into a thriving health system of the future.”

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY.



Orange Regional Medical Center appoints director of patient advocacy and service excellence

TOWN OF WALLKILL (January 22) - Orange Regional Medical Center announces the appointment of Liza Jones-Kanu, MSN, RN, NEA-BC to Director of Patient Advocacy and Service Excellence.

In her new role, Jones-Kanu will ensure Service Excellence by providing supporting data and retrieval services to Hospital administration to identify the needs of patients and their families. She will also collaborate with Orange Regional Medical Group Administrators to help implement Press Ganey patient satisfaction scoring and benchmarking data.

Jones-Kanu is responsible for the oversight of Orange Regional’s comprehensive Patient Satisfaction Program, which includes the response and resolution of complaints and grievances. She also collaborates with the Chief Nursing Officer, leadership and staff to ensure Service Excellence and Patient Experience optimization. While providing guidance and support to advocacy staff, Mrs. Jones-Kanu will ensure Orange Regional staff delivers culturally sensitive, ethical care while assuring compliance with the Patients’ Bill of Rights. Working with the Language Line Coordinator, she oversees Language Line Interpretive Services and serves as the Administrator for the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction reporting system. In addition, she is responsible for various organizational projects.

Jones-Kanu has over 16 years of experience in nursing and 10 years of experience in nursing leadership. Most recently, she was Orange Regional’s Director of Oncology Services. Prior to that, she was Administrator for Nursing Services at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers.

For more information on Orange Regional’s services visit Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.


Free radon test kits available for eligible Rockland residents

NEW CITY (January 22) – January is Radon Action Month, a good time to learn about radon and its risks, and get your home tested.

"Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. It can build up in your home, get into the air you breathe and can cause lung cancer in you and your loved ones," said Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.

Radon usually comes from the surrounding rocks and soil under your home's foundation and can enter through cracks and openings on the lowest level of your home. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Though radon can get into any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools, you and your family are likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time. The good news is that radon can be reduced by easy, low-cost home testing and repair.

The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program provides free, home radon testing for low to moderate-income families and seniors. A brief home-safety survey is required at the time of the visit. If your home does have high levels of radon, a qualified radon mitigation contractor can make repairs to solve the problem and protect your family. To schedule a free radon test, while supplies last, call (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290.

Residents can also get radon test kits from the New York State Department of Health, for a fee of $11. To learn more about radon and radon testing, fixing your radon problem, radon resistant new construction, and for a list of approved radon testing labs and certified radon mitigation professionals, call the New York State Department of Health at (800) 458-1158, e-mail at or visit


Da Silva-Siegel

Astor Services for Children & Families names new medical director

 RHINEBECK (January 17) - Astor Services for Children & Families, a non-profit organization that provides children's mental health services, child welfare services and early childhood development programs in New York State's mid-Hudson Valley and the Bronx, has announced the appointment of medical doctor, Denize Da Silva-Siegel, as the organization’s medical director, effective immediately. Prior to her new post, Da Silva-Siegel served as Astor’s interim director of psychiatry.

“Dr. Da Silva-Siegel has a wonderful history with Astor, having contributed to our organization in several different capacities, including psychiatry, ambulatory care for children and adolescents, early intervention and crisis consultation,” said Astor’s Chief Operating Officer, Renee Fillette, Ph.D. “Her understanding of our children’s needs and dedication to their care are top-notch. We are fortunate to have her on our team and even more so as Astor’s medical director to the great benefit of all our children and families.”

Da Silva-Siegel earned her post-doctoral residency Fellow in Psychiatry from New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University and a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Payne Whitney Westchester/Cornell University, White Plains. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with certifications in adult plus child and adolescent psychiatry.

Her earlier experience includes private practices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in Tarrytown, New York, among other positions. Da Silva-Siegel is a past volunteer for the New York City Medical Reserves Corps and in 2003 was honored with the M.D. Resident of the Year Award for Clinical and Academic Excellence throughout Residency Training by Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.

Da Silva-Siegel, who lives in New Paltz, New York, and speaks Portuguese and Spanish, is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Visit the organization online at


Orange Regional Medical Center named within America’s best for coronary intervention

TOWN OF WALKILL  (January 17) - Orange Regional Medical Center has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals™ for Coronary Intervention. Healthgrades, the leading online resource helping consumers make informed decisions to find the right doctor and the right hospital for the right care, evaluated nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 34 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

Healthgrades identified the 100 best-performing hospitals across all conditions or procedures evaluated within Coronary Intervention. Orange Regional Medical Center has also received the Coronary Intervention Excellence Award, placing the hospital within the Top 5% in the Nation for the procedure and a five-star rating in this category, as well.

The achievement is part of findings released in the Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation. The new report demonstrates how clinical performance continues to differ dramatically between hospitals nationally, regionally and at the local level, and the impact that this variation may have on health outcomes. A 5-star rating indicates that a hospital’s clinical outcomes are statistically significantly better than expected when treating the condition or performing the procedure being evaluated.

“This award is a testament to our organization’s commitment to quality and the contributions of all hospital staff members in making the designation possible,” said Orange Regional Medical Center President & Chief Executive Officer Scott Batulis.

Additionally, from 2013-2015, patients treated at hospitals receiving the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention Award have, on average 44.6% lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award.

“A given community may have many hospitals, but only a precious few may provide better-than-expected outcomes for the specific care a patient needs,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer for Healthgrades. “Those hospitals that have achieved the Healthgrades 100 Best Coronary Intervention distinction have demonstrated a commitment to exceptional quality of care.”

The achievements of Orange Regional Medical Center go beyond Cardiac services, they are also the recipient of the Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award, as well as Five-Star recipient in Appendectomy and Natural Childbirth for two years in a row.

To learn more about Orange Regional Medical Center, visit


Dr. Maissel

Health Quest Medical Practice appoints chief medical officer

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 11) - Dr. Gerda Maissel has been named chief medical officer of Health Quest Medical Practice.

“I am delighted to return to my hometown,” Maissel said. “As a graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School, I have many fond memories of growing up in the Hudson Valley. I feel lucky to be able to accept an incredible job that is closer to my family and friends.”

Maissel has more than 25 years of experience as a physician in healthcare management. She most recently served as chief medical officer for St. Elizabeth Physicians, the multispecialty physician group of St. Elizabeth Healthcare in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Maissel previously served as chief medical officer for both Baystate Health Northern Region and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.

“I am excited to work for Dr. (Glenn) Loomis again,” Maissel said of Health Quest’s chief medical operations officer and president of Health Quest Medical Practice. “I look forward to joining his new team and being able to make a difference to the health of the community.” 

Maissel received her medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She is a certified physician executive and medical director. She is also board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

To learn more about Health Quest Medical Practice, visit


Holiday donors bring seasonal joy to Astor’s Children and their families

RHINEBECK (January 17) - More than 1,300 children and parents had a brighter holiday season thanks to the 2016 Adopt-A-Family program by Astor Services for Children & Families, a non-profit organization that provides children's mental health services, child welfare services and early childhood development programs in New York State's mid-Hudson Valley and the Bronx.

Through Astor’s Adopt-A-Family program, individuals, schools, youth groups and others collected gifts, including through workplace and church toy drives. Numerous individuals and businesses ‘adopted families’ by donating toys, home goods and other basic needs items for some of Astor’s neediest children and families. Some organizations adopted all the children in an entire Astor program, purchasing and delivering gifts plus providing entertainment for them.

In addition to many people, the following companies and organizations supported Astor’s 2016 Adopt-A-Family holiday program: Adeline Malone Law Office; Allstate Insurance; Central Hudson Energy Group; The Community of Brookmeade; Cooperkatz & Company; Families For Astor Committee; Guardian Self Storage; Koerner Construction; Global Foundries; HealthQuest Medical Practice; Heckler & O'Keefe, CPS, P.C.; Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union; Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson; Laerdal Medical Corp.; Le Petit Bistro; NFP Corporate Services, LLC; Omega Institute of Holistic Studies; Paula Redmond Real Estate; Protiviti; Rondout Savings Bank; RP Hubbell and Company, Inc.; Smith Metropolitan AME Zion Church; Topical BioMedics; Quality Billing Service, Inc.

Astor’s Executive Director and CEO, James McGuirk, Ph.D., said he was grateful for the thoughtfulness and caring of so many people on behalf of for Astor’s children and families.


Braemar at Wallkill earns ‘Best of Senior Living Award’ and Enhanced Assisted Living Residence licensure

TOWN OF WALLKILL (December 19) - Braemar at Wallkill received a ‘Best of Senior Living Award’ from, an affiliate of A Place for Mom, for its elite care and dedication to its residents. Braemar at Wallkill also recently received its Enhanced Assisted Living Residence (EALR) license from the New York State Department of Health.

Part of the largest senior care referral source in North America, annually recognizes outstanding senior living properties and home health care services across the country with their ‘Best of Senior Living Awards’. This is Braemar at Wallkill’s first time receiving the award and it is the only facility in Orange County to earn the recognition this year.

Braemar at Wallkill opened in April 2015. The facility accommodates 200 residents, including 24 beds in a dedicated memory care unit for seniors with advanced dementia or cognitive impairment. It is also the county’s only secure memory unit set within an assisted living residence.

The ‘Best of Senior Living Award’ comes on the heels of Braemar at Wallkill’s licensure as an EALR, which allows the facility to admit and care for residents who exceed the retention standards of adult homes, enriched housing programs or non-EALR assisted living residences.


ORMC main campus

U.S. News & World Report names ORMC a high performing hospital for heart failure and COPD care

TOWN OF WALLKILL (December 14) - Orange Regional Medical Center has been nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a high performing hospital for treatment of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The 27th annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

“Orange Regional is committed to providing exceptional patient care and this U.S. News & Report recognition is an outstanding verification of what we do every day,” said Orange Regional President & CEO Scott Batulis. “The entire Orange Regional clinical and professional staff is committed to excellence in patient care. We are thrilled to receive this honor.”

The U.S. News analysis of hospitals includes data from nearly 5,000 centers across multiple clinical specialties, procedures and conditions. Scores are based on a variety of patient outcome and care-related factors including patient safety and nurse staffing.

Hospitals are ranked nationally in specialties, as well as regionally, in states and major metropolitan areas. U.S. News assigns a rating to hospitals in a handful of common procedures. Orange Regional achieved the highest rating possible for heart failure and COPD care.

A hospital's heart failure and COPD score is based on multiple data categories, including patient survival, volume and more. Hospitals received one of three ratings -- high performing, average or below average -- unless they treated an insufficient number of patients to be rated. Hospitals that earned a high performing rating were significantly better than the national average

The U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings help guide patients to hospitals that deliver outstanding care across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. Methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, nurse staffing and other criteria.   

Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.


L-R: Richard Gillette, Immediate Past President; Robert Ryan, Jr., President; Barbara Klassen,
Executive Director, Benedictine Health Foundation; Sloan Saverine, VP and Sr. Trust Officer,
Key Private Bank; Daniel Gruner, Treasurer, Benedictine Health Foundation

Klock Kingston Foundation grants $25,000 to support health care in Ulster County

KINGSTON (December 6) - The Klock Kingston Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to support the Benedictine Health Foundation's programs that provide financial support and compassionate care to people coping with the diagnosis of cancer, and behavioral health and substance abuse disorders. 

Programs that will benefit include the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund to assist local cancer patients while they receive treatment, $90,000 is distributed annually.  The Foundation also funds valuable workshops and educational forums for adolescents that address behavioral health conditions that can lead to discrimination or bullying and create reluctance for our youth to seek help.  Topics presented are crucial to healthy development, self-esteem and confidence, and share a critical message of persistence,
resilience, self-worth and hard work.     

"We thank the Klock Foundation and Key Private Bank for their continuous support of our mission to raise and distribute resources to support quality healthcare that improves the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of those who are vulnerable and underserved in Ulster County and the surrounding area," stated Robert J. Ryan, Jr., President of the Benedictine Health Foundation. 

The Klock Kingston Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in Ulster County to advance education, literacy, the arts, public health and the sciences.  "As a member of the Klock Kingston Trustees, we are again proud to continue the charitable legacy of Lucia and Jay Klock, and to support health care services in the Ulster County community," stated Sloan Saverine, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer of Key Private Bank. 

The Benedictine Health Foundation, based in Kingston, NY, has supported healthcare programs and services since 1977. 


Dr. Tatelbaum

Dr. Ron Tatelbaum joins Family Services Board

POUGHKEEPSIE (December 6) - Family Services welcomes new board member Dr. Ron Tatelbaum, a cardiologist and long-time community member.

Dr. Tatelbaum comes to Family Services with over 30 years of work in the health sector, including over 25 years as a practicing cardiologist at The Heart Center and then the first Chief Medical Officer at HealthQuest. Dr. Tatelbaum has also served the Hudson Valley community as a board member for Vassar Brothers Medical Center, the American Heart Association, and the Advisory Board of the Marist College Physician Assistant Program.

Now retired, Dr. Tatelbaum continues his community work through a program he started with his wife Shelley called The Stresslessness of Now — Heart to Heart. The program collaborates with other not-for-profits to help people lower their stress levels through more mindful responses.

Board Chair, Paul Haering welcomed Dr. Tatelbaum saying “Family Services looks forward to Dr. Tatelbaum’s service on the Board and the unique perspective he brings to community health work from his extensive experience in both private practice and community organizations.”

Part of the community since 1879, Family Services has been making a difference in people’s lives for over 135 years. Family Services provides programs and services in the Hudson Valley such as: youth services, comprehensive support for victims of domestic violence and other crimes through the center for victim safety and support, forensic services substance abuse prevention and family education; all designed to strengthen individuals, families and community.

A key program of Family Services is the Family Partnership Center, a 100,000+ square foot center in Poughkeepsie where currently 19 not-for-profit and related organizations are brought together in partnership for the purpose of collaboration toward a unified approach to human services and building community.

The mission of Family Services is to help families and individuals help themselves through direct services, collaboration, and advocacy. Last year over 7300 children, adults, and families benefited from Family Services programs. Family Services has programs in Dutchess and Ulster counties, as well as an affiliate, Hudson Valley Mental Health which provides behavioral health services throughout Dutchess and Ulster Counties.


Archcare at Ferncliff Nursing Home in Rhinebeck earns top rating for quality

RHINEBECK (December 6) - ArchCare at Ferncliff Nursing Home has been awarded a five-star rating for quality, the highest level possible, by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CMS star rating system assesses the medical care, physical environment and service quality of 15,000 Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing homes based on in-person government inspections, clinical data and other factors. ArchCare at Ferncliff earned an overall five-star (much above average) rating, as well as five stars for quality measures, which shows how well a nursing home cares for the physical and other needs of its residents.

With the addition of Ferncliff, all five skilled nursing facilities operated by ArchCare, the healthcare system of the Archdiocese of New York, have now earned the coveted top rating.

In addition to providing long-term skilled nursing care, the 328-bed facility is home to the Center for Healing at Ferncliff, which provides short-term, post-hospital rehabilitation. It is also the site of the Center for Neurodegenerative Care at Ferncliff, a new 38-bed unit dedicated to serving the highly specialized care needs of people with Huntington’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS). 

“We’re incredibly proud, and the credit has to go to the superior work and dedication of our care members at all levels, from our physicians, nurses, therapists and other care professionals to our volunteers,” said ArchCare at Ferncliff Executive Director Michael Deyo. “Delivering the highest quality care and service to everyone we care for is always our top priority and at the center of what we do.”

ArchCare is the Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York and one of the nation’s largest and most dynamic Catholic healthcare systems.


Horizon Family Medical Group wins national award 

CHESTER (December 6) - Horizon Family Medical Group received the 2016 HIMSS Ambulatory Davies Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement using health Information Technology (IT) to substantially improve patient outcomes while achieving a return on investment. Horizon Family Medical was the sole ambulatory care delivery organization that was selected as a Davies winner nationwide.  

Among the accomplishments cited by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) were:

  • HFMG reduced 30-day readmissions by 30% in a year.
  • High alcohol consumption has been reduced 18% for at-risk patients.
  • Provider time with patients increased by 27% for scheduled 15-minute appointments allowing more direct patient counseling.

“Building a culture where good business results follow good medicine, we remain committed and enthused about technology, quality care, and lowering costs,” said Horizon Family Medical Group CEO James Olver.






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