Displaying items by tag: saratoga hospital

Thursday, 13 February 2020 11:21

Saratoga Hospital Names Three to Board of Trustees

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital has appointed three new board members effective Jan. 1: David J. Collins of D.A. Collins Construction Company, Kari Cushing of Franklin Community Center and Elizabeth Wood of Shenendehowa Central School District.

Collins, of Greenfield, is president and CEO of D.A. Collins Construction Company. An industry leader, he chairs the board of trustees of Rebuild New York Now and serves on the boards of Associated General Contractors, Empire State Highway Contractors Association and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation board and the advisory board of Leadership Saratoga.

Cushing, of Ballston Spa, is executive director of Franklin Community Center. During her tenure, the center has added and expanded programs and tripled the number of people served. A graduate of Leadership Saratoga, Cushing has been named a Woman of Influence by Saratoga Today and been recognized for her community service by the Saratoga Springs Rotary Education Foundation. She serves on the supervisory committee of Saratoga’s Community Federal Credit Union.

Wood, of Ballston Spa, is deputy superintendent of Shenendehowa Central School District. She has more than two decades of experience as an educator and administrator. Wood holds leadership roles in the New York State Association of Women in Administration and served on the board of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. She is the 2019 recipient of the Excellence in District Administrative Leadership Award from Capital Area School Development Association. She has a doctorate in education leadership from Sage Graduate College.

Published in Business
Thursday, 16 January 2020 10:52

Saratoga Hospital Expands Urgent Care in Queensbury

QUEENSBURY — Saratoga Hospital has added space and services at the former Adirondack Urgent Care center, which is now known as Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care – Adirondack.

 Patients have easy access to urgent care—no appointment necessary—from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Walk-in X-ray and laboratory services are also available seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for X-rays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for lab draws. A prescription is required for lab and X-ray services.

 The hospital invested about $750,000 in the renovations and expansion, which created three more exam rooms plus space for lab drawing and other services.

 “This expansion makes it easier for patients to access important healthcare services, and that has a positive impact on community health,” said Nicole Salone, site and medical imaging manager at Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care – Adirondack.

 Urgent care provides walk-in services for patients with minor illnesses or injuries. Extended hours enable patients to receive the prompt, high-quality care that can prevent conditions—such as strep throat, earaches and upper respiratory infections—from getting worse. Prompt treatment also can prevent contagious infections from spreading.

 Patients with a serious illness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness or a life-threatening emergency should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

Saratoga Hospital operates urgent care centers in Queensbury and Wilton. The Queensbury center is located on Route 9, just north of Walmart, in the Mount Royal Plaza. For more information, go to UrgentCareAdirondack.org.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS —Dr. Josenia Tan has been named medical director of pathology and laboratory medicine at Saratoga Hospital. She also has been elected chair of the department at the hospital by the Saratoga Hospital medical staff.

Tan came to Saratoga Hospital in 2018 as assistant medical director of pathology and laboratory medicine. Previously, she was an assistant professor and associate chief of laboratory medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.

She heads a team of three anatomic and clinical pathologists. All are members of the faculty in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Albany Med. All also are on the Saratoga Hospital medical staff, assigned full time—and exclusively—to Saratoga Hospital.

Tan earned a medical degree from Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation in the Philippines. She then completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology and a fellowship in cytopathology, all at Boston University School of Medicine. Tan is board certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology and has subspecialty certification in cytopathology.

Published in Business

SARATOGA SPRINGS —Ongoing peer support can have a positive impact on the emotional and physical health of people with diabetes and, whenever possible, should be integrated into diabetes care.

That’s among the key recommendations presented in a “Perspectives in Practice” article co-authored by Saratoga Hospital’s Lisa Hodgson and published in the December 2019 issue of The Diabetes Educator. The peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal focuses on the science and art of diabetes management.

A national leader in diabetes self-management education and support, Hodgson is the clinical nutrition manager at Saratoga Hospital, a registered dietitian, certified dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She is the second of eight co-authors of “From the American Association of Diabetes Educators: The Role and Value of Ongoing and Peer Support in Diabetes Care and Education.”

The article reports findings of a national survey of accredited diabetes self-management education and support programs and emphasizes the vital role of support — from healthcare providers, family, friends and community leaders — in helping those with diabetes meet the challenges of managing their chronic health condition.

“One of the most significant messages is the importance of including support strategies for anyone who is living with a chronic disease,” Hodgson said. “The longer the duration, the more an individual will need support and the more likely the nature of that support will change over time.”

The best way to understand and meet the needs of those with diabetes “is to listen to the people who are living the experience day to day,” Hodgson added.

As part of her research, Hodgson reviewed social media sites and participated in and moderated online chat sessions for people with diabetes. Those interactions have shaped her perspective and practice.

“I’ve become an even stronger advocate for making sure we include ongoing support as part of our programs at Saratoga Hospital,” Hodgson said.

She also advocates for mutual respect between the peer support community and healthcare providers. “Both groups bring enormous value and can do even more if we stay focused on our common goal of supporting the individuals who are living each day with the challenge of managing diabetes,” Hodgson said.

As clinical nutrition manager at Saratoga Hospital, Hodgson oversees a team of 20 nutritional professionals who work with patients in primary care and endocrinology practices, Saratoga Community Health Center, Saratoga Bariatric Surgery Center and other hospital locations. She also serves on the Saratoga County Prediabetes Coalition and on the board of directors of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Published in News
Thursday, 05 December 2019 12:35

Saratoga Hospital Earns ‘Most Wired’ Designation

Saratoga Hospital has been named one of “Healthcare’s Most Wired” organizations, a designation that recognizes the hospital’s commitment to using information technology to improve patient care and safety.

A total of 16,168 organizations participated in the annual Most Wired survey, which is conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. Fewer than 400, or 3%, earned the Most Wired designation.

In the Capital Region, only Saratoga Hospital and its affiliate Albany Med made the Most Wired list.

“The Most Wired designation reflects our ongoing efforts to bring the benefits of today’s information technology to our patients and staff,” said John Mangona, vice president and chief information and compliance officer for Saratoga Hospital. “We continually invest in systems, technology and talent to improve the way we deliver care and protect the privacy of our patients.”

CHIME is the professional organization for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. Its annual survey provides benchmarks to help healthcare organizations evaluate their progress in adopting and maximizing IT solutions. The goal is to improve patient safety and outcomes by driving change in the healthcare IT industry.

Saratoga Hospital was certified at “level 7,” which recognizes organizations that are “starting to achieve meaningful clinical and efficiency outcomes.” The hospital scored especially well in the category of security, underscoring Saratoga Hospital’s commitment to securing patients’ personal health information.

Published in Business
Thursday, 08 August 2019 14:25

Under The Tuscan Sun

Photos by SuperSourceMedia, LLC. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital 37th Annual Gala, “Under The Tuscan Sun,” was held July 31, 2019 at The Polo Meadow at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Saratoga Hospital’s Annual Gala is a highlight of the Saratoga Summer season - and a major source of support for the Saratoga Hospital’s Saratoga Community Health Center. The gala raised a record-breaking $501,310.

Published in Entertainment
Friday, 21 September 2018 12:02

Malta YMCA Grand Opening

SARATOGA SPRINGS —
 On Tuesday, September 18, the Saratoga Regional YMCA officially opened the doors on the Malta YMCA. The new Y is approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of a 55,000 sq. ft. facility shared with Saratoga Hospital and includes an Early Learning and School Age Child Care Center as well as a Healthy Living Center. Andrew Bobbitt, Saratoga Regional YMCA’s CEO says he is excited to expand the Y’s mission in the community.


 “The Y is more than a place to work out — we’re a place of community. With our new facility, we’ll be able to have even more of an impact in Malta and the surrounding communities as we can now serve up to 6,000 members.  Of course, our members will have access to new machines and spacious exercise rooms, but there will be so much more. We’ll be offering early learning readiness programs for our smallest community members, before and after school care (B.A.S.E.), as well as some very exciting partnered programming with Saratoga Hospital.”

“We’d like to thank the major donors who supported this project: Stewarts and the Dake family, Adirondack Trust, the DeCrescente family, and Ballston Spa National Bank,” Bobbitt continued.

“I said at the groundbreaking ceremony that synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. To us, this partnership is the exemplification of synergy. The Y and Saratoga Hospital are leading the way for community integrated health in our area. Times are changing and our approach to community health needs to adapt. We at the Y, together with our community partners, are committed to finding better ways of improving the overall wellness of our community by considering the whole person: mind, body, and spirit,” said Alysa Arnold, President of Saratoga Regional YMCA Board of Directors.

“This project really was touched by so many people... Really the roots go back to what is a philosophy of our board... That where appropriate, and where we can drive value, collaborating with a partner is really our preferred approach. We’ve found that that has worked very well on a number of occasions. This property is an excellent representation of partnering,” Angelo Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, said.

The new Y features: • 8,700 sq. ft. Healthy Living Center • Early Learning & School Age Center (Full day childcare, preschool, B.A.S.E.) • Warm Yoga Room • MYZONE (Heart Rate
Monitoring System) • 65 Group Exercise Classes a week included in your membership • Dedicated Cycle Room • Private and Tranquil Massage Room • Family Inclusive Classes • KidzCare (A safe space for your child/children to learn and play while you work out!) • New Equipment • State-ofthe-art Playground Along with these new features, a membership at the Malta YMCA will also grant members access to all five Saratoga Regional YMCA locations (Battenkill, Corinth, Malta, Saratoga Springs and Wilton) as well as access to over 1,500 Ys nationwide.

“This has an interesting feel to it in that hospitals tend to be a little sterile and aloof and the presence in the Y gave it a much warmer potential feel that may make people significantly more comfortable,” Bill Dake, Chairman of Stewart’s Shops, explained.

“This has been a project years in the making,” Bobbitt stated.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 09 August 2018 13:17

Above & Beyond Hike Dedicated to Amy Raimo

Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On July 27, Adirondack Trust Company President and CEO Steve Von Schenk and his son Paul made an attempt at the Adirondack Great Range. The plan was to climb 10 peaks (covering 25 miles), all in one day. The purpose of their hike was to raise funds and build awareness for Saratoga Hospital's Addiction Medicine Program. After 16 hours of hiking, they completed 8 of 10 peaks (20 of 25 miles). For this one-day event, Paul von Schenk raised more than $11,500, for a grand total of over $65,000 for the Above & Beyond Challenge, sponsored by
the Adirondack Trust Company.

"We also dedicated this hike lovingly to the memory of Amy Raimo, who died tragically a few weeks ago. Amy was the head of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation and was a champion of this cause and the entire Hospital. She cared deeply for the Hospital, and her absence is sorrowfully felt. In her last post to us, she said, 'Rock the Ridge, guys!!!' And we did. Rest in peace, Amy,” said Von Schenk.

To learn more about the Above and Beyond Challenge, or to donate to this awesome cause, visit www.classy.org/event/ above-and-beyond-challenge/ e181066.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 20:00

Opioid Nation - Part Three

EVE SPOKE with her daughter, Katie, just a few hours before she overdosed on heroin. She had been clean for awhile and was doing pretty well. “I’m just glad that the last thing I said to my daughter before she died was, ‘I love you.’ Otherwise, I would have killed myself.”

Ken and Maureen’s only child, Dan, had been struggling to get off opioids and heroin for a few months and seemed to be holding his own. About seven months before he died, he had finally admitted to himself and his parents that he was in serious trouble. He tried to get into a rehab facility in New York, Vermont, anywhere. There just weren’t any available spaces. When Dan relapsed and overdosed, he was at home, where his parents found him. “The thought of him dying on the street, totally alone would be completely devastating to us. Living with that would’ve been worse than what we already have had to live with.”

Kellie is a divorced mother of two daughters and a son, all young adults. One daughter is sober after years of substance abuse disorder and she is doing well. The eldest daughter is working on a master’s degree in criminal justice. And the third, her son, is living on the streets in California, addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine. She had no choice but to finally make him leave. He was becoming abusive and she knew there was nothing else she could really do for him. She also had to worry about herself and her own well-being. “Just imagine putting a chain around your waist and hooking it to the car your kids are driving—it’s insane and people don’t understand. But it’s true. It’s very hard to separate yourself from motherhood.”

 “I had to distance myself.” But Kellie feels like the “tough love” is on herself and not on her son. 

Using “tough love” as a way of getting an addict to change his or her behavior or seek help has been, until recently, a generally accepted model. Countless parents tell stories of being told repeatedly by well-meaning and caring friends and family members to kick their child out. Let them see what it’s really like to be on the street; to be truly alone, without a life preserver, with no other options than summoning up that seemingly buried reserve of will power and resolve that would ultimately offer salvation.

Like most parents, turning from a child can be next to impossible. Maureen and Ken understand the hard choices. “As parents, it’s our job to protect our children and to never give up.”

Tough love goes counter to our nature, our natural protective instincts as parents. Eve agrees, and she adds that, like Maureen and Ken, she “detached with love” not from her daughter, but from the addiction. 

All the parents in this article said that they never gave money, or rides to meet friends who they knew were selling drugs. They had rules for their children, which they tried to enforce as best they could. But they couldn’t turn their backs entirely. They held onto hope. And they continued to try to instill that hope in their sick children. 

“You don’t want them to lose all hope—I let Katie know that I had hope for her always. “I’ll never regret not turning from her the night she died,” says Eve.

Brian Farr is an assistant professor at Hudson Valley Community College, in the Human Services and Chemical Dependency Counseling Department. He serves as president of the Prevention Council of Saratoga County and is a substance abuse counselor with SPARC. He is also in his 22nd year of being drug- and alcohol-free. He would like to see the media stop using the word “addict” and call it what it is referred to in DSM 5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: “substance abuse disorder.” 

In a recent panel discussion moderated by Farr at the Maple Avenue Middle School, he cited some sobering statistics: Heroin-related deaths have tripled in the United States since 2010; 78 people will die from an opioid or heroin overdose each day; one in 14 New Yorkers will report substance dependence or abuse disorder this year; the epidemic is killing people at the same rate as the AIDs epidemic in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

And yet, Farr said that addiction—or substance abuse disorder—is the only disease that people get into trouble for having. 

Dr. Joshua Zamer, MD, DABAM, Medical Director of Addiction Medicine at Saratoga Community Health Center, agrees. He explains how the pleasure receptors in the brain’s limbic system respond to stimuli. The limbic system is the brain’s “reward system" and is responsible for human motivation and our survival as a species. “It makes very basic things—like food, water, sex—rewarding." 

He goes on to explain that, if we eat chocolate cake it feels good and it causes a “hit” of dopamine in the brain. “Drugs and alcohol will raise the level of dopamine 1,000 times more than the piece of cake,” something Dr. Zamer says the brain was not designed for. “It’s a massive overload on the system.”

In substance abuse, as the brain is regularly assaulted by these overloads, it develops a tolerance until it “craves” the substance and needs it to survive. Zamer refers to the cycle of increasing dependence and addiction as the “hijacked brain.” 

Once the brain has become addicted to a substance like alcohol or heroin, rational thought, sound judgment and ethical decision-making recedes and the addicted brain will do anything to get that hit of dopamine it now needs to function and survive; anything, including stealing, lying, even resorting to violence.

Zamer calls the challenge of overcoming substance abuse disorder a matter of changing what goes on in the “deep brain,” that part of the mind that is now in control. At the Saratoga Community Health Center, Zamer and a substance abuse counselor work with patients on an outpatient basis to help wean users off drugs and re-establish healthy patterns of behavior. For that, Zamer believes the patient must remain free of all substances—not just the “drug of choice.”

However, similar to the parents, spouses and loved ones who struggle between tough love and enabling, Zamer knows only too well the tough choices that sometimes need to be made. While the classic addiction programs tend to be very rigid and will usually kick someone out for failing a urine test, Zamer says that they grapple daily between giving the patient another chance versus becoming “enablers.”

“It’s the same issues these families must deal with. If the addict in your house continues to use, steal, lie, it gets tricky. Some say that you have to get them out of the house. But it’s tough. If it was my kid, could I cut them off like that? The other thing is that sometimes people need to hit rock bottom in order to see the light. Remember that, with addiction, you don’t care. Your brain has been hijacked and you have tunnel vision. But when people do get some insight and realize they want to change, they can be helped. But the tough thing is, is that rock bottom going to kill them?”

There just are no easy answers. For Kellie, while she is so happy that her daughter is doing okay and staying on the right path, she also says that she tries to continue to hold out hope for her son. But she admits that she has planned his funeral in her mind more times than she cares to count.

For Ken and Maureen, they now speak for a son who no longer can. The couple has become very active in the regional treatment and counseling movement and they try to get their story out to young people and their parents. “If we can reach just one or two people, that is what we can do to keep Dan with us,” says Maureen. Ken recalls the valiant effort that Dan made, first to get into a treatment program and, when the system failed him, to try on his own. He remembers the good times he spent with his son during that time. If they had forced him onto the street, they would not have those memories to cherish.

For Eve, there were times when she had to tell Katie to get away, but it was never for long and the “real Katie always came back and said, ‘I’m sorry.’” 

“I wasn’t happy with her disease,” she adds, “but I would never stop loving her. And they need to know that they are loved despite everything.”

 

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Published in News
Thursday, 12 April 2018 20:34

Opioid Nation - Part Two

IN THE 1960’s during the height of the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” counterculture, 80 percent of people who sought treatment for heroin addiction reported that their addiction began with the use of heroin, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Citing a 2014 study, the Institute reported that a staggering 75 percent of people seeking treatment for heroin addiction reported that their use began with a legitimate prescription, written by their doctor or administered in a hospital. Those drugs – oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, to name a few – prevent the pain message from reaching the brain.They also facilitate a feeling of relaxation and euphoria, which is one of the reasons it is so easy to become addicted. 

The major drug companies – who have made billions of dollars with these drugs – created marketing campaigns and tactics that were not only unethical; for millions of people whose lives have been forever altered, they might be seen as downright criminal. As the American public became hooked on painkillers, regulations and monitoring programs were being instituted, which made it more difficult to obtain prescription opioids. Many people have turned to the streets, looking for cheaper and more readily-available heroin.

The resulting costs to families and communities are obvious, and the American taxpayer – whose tax dollars go to fund our police departments, our first responders, our prevention and treatment programs – ultimately are the ones footing the bill for the unfettered greed of the behemoth pharmaceutical companies, for whom profits win out over ethics. A perfect example is Purdue Pharma.

In 2001 Oxycontin, manufactured by Purdue, generated $3.1 billion in revenue for the drug giant. It is a powerful opioid, which Purdue touted in the late 1990’s as being nearly “addiction-proof.” Just a decade or two earlier, physicians had been very conservative about prescribing opioids because of their highly addictive nature. This class of drugs was typically reserved for use only in cancer patients and others suffering from extreme pain.

But a “perfect storm” was brewing, to borrow the expression used by Dr. Joshua Zamer, Medical Director of Addiction Medicine at Saratoga Community Health Center. The medical profession had embraced the model of thinking of pain as a “fifth vital sign.” Physicians were being trained to view pain as equally important as other vital signs like blood pressure and respiratory rate, and they were increasingly under pressure to alleviate pain.

That pressure, combined with the marketing genius of companies like Purdue, resulted in a shift in how members of the medical community viewed drugs like Oxycontin. They became a viable option for patients dealing with chronic or severe pain. As more and more people gained access to opioids to make their pain go away, the insidious and invisible epidemic began to seep into every layer of the nation’s socio-economic strata.

Purdue Pharma publicly acknowledged just how brilliant their marketing efforts were, and in 2007 the company pleaded guilty to“intent to defraud and mislead the public,” paying $635 million in penalties. Indeed, it was a small price to pay, given the profits the company had already reaped.

According to a recent article in The Daily Beast, over the next two years the opioid epidemic is expected to cost the United States about a trillion dollars and result in the deaths of nearly 100,000 people.

The costs to our cities, towns and counties come in the form of increased spending on police and first responders, higher insurance costs, and the need for more prevention education and outreach in the schools and in the communities. President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis; but, to date, there has been no move by the Administration or Congress to increase funding to alleviate the devastating effects on towns, municipalities and counties.

To date, approximately 250 cities, towns and counties across the country have filed lawsuits against Big Pharma in the hopes that they can recoup the monies that have been spent – and will continue to be spent – on the many efforts to combat the epidemic.

Peter Martin, Public Safety Commissioner for the City of Saratoga Springs and former Saratoga County Supervisor, voted in 2017 with his fellow supervisors to file a lawsuit against the major drug companies on behalf of Saratoga County. Schenectady County also filed its own lawsuit in 2017 and, in the past two weeks, the city of Schenectady has followed suit.

Martin said that, while the city of Saratoga Springs is currently considering whether to join a multi-district litigation – which is similar to a class-action lawsuit – he said that damages are easier to obtain at the county level. “The county is responsible for Medicaid, which is where some of the largest damages are incurred and, certainly, a city like Saratoga wouldn’t have the same magnitude as the county, which is why we are waiting for more advice on the issue,” said Martin.

The law firm of Dreyer Boyajian LLP is representing several cities, counties and towns in New York State, including the city of Schenectady, Fulton County, Plattsburgh and other entities such as hospitals, American Indian tribes – in short, anyone who has been harmed by the ongoing epidemic. According to partner Don Boyajian, joining a multi-district litigation can increase the effectiveness of the actions. He pointed out other lawsuits in past years where corporations ended up pleading guilty and making reparations.

In all of this, the model has been the Big Tobacco lawsuits that were filed by the states in the 1990s. The end result of those suits in 1998 was a $246 billion payout, which the tobacco companies will not be done paying until 2025. The goal of these city, town and county lawsuits is to make Big Pharma feel the same pain that Big Tobacco experienced. In the process, we can only hope that Big Pharma will feel a twinge of conscience as well. 

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