Mill Etienne, MD, MPH Earns Brain Injury Board Certification

etienneMill Etienne, MD, MPH, director of the epilepsy and EEG laboratory at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Suffern, NY, has recently become board certified in brain injury med

The new certification from The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology establishes the field of brain injury medicine as a definite area of subspecialization in psychiatry, neurology, child neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and provides a means of identifying properly trained and experienced physicians in brain injury medicine.  Dr. Etienne sees patients with all types of acquired brain injury including traumatic brain injury/concussion, stroke, and intracerebral hemorrhage.  He is currently working with local athletic trainers to establish concussion education program for the high school athletes and parents in Rockland County. icine. He is one of approximately 22 neurologists nationwide, and one of only three in New York state, to earn this certification. The first-ever board examination in brain injury medicine was offered in October 2014 in response to increased recognition of the need for this subspecialization.

Since joining Bon Secours Charity Health System in 2012, Dr. Etienne was also part of the inaugural group of neurologists board certified in Epilepsy.

Dr. Etienne took the epilepsy board examination in October 2013 when it was first offered.  The epilepsy board examination officially establish the field of epilepsy as a definite area of subspecialization in neurology and child neurology, and to provide a means of identifying physicians properly trained and experienced in treating epilepsy.  Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological problem – only migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease occurs more frequently.  Dr. Etienne is one of three neurologists nationwide holding dual board certifications in brain injury medicine and epilepsy.  His other board certifications are in the fields of neurology, clinical neurophysiology and public health.

Dr. Etienne is also a recognized expert in disaster medicine, particularly in the area of Ethics and Culture, and served as chief ethicist for the United States Military’s medical and rescue response (Operation Unified Response) to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Since then, Dr. Etienne has returned to Haiti on subsequent medical missions to establish epilepsy and neurology clinics and train Haitian doctors to treat neurological disorders. Dr. Etienne routinely takes medical trainees with him to Haiti to teach them about providing medical care in austere circumstances.  Dr. Etienne is a visiting scholar at the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and he has recently served on the American College of Chest Physicians’ Mass Critical Care Task Force which has published guidelines on mass critical care in the Chest medical journal.  These guidelines provide guidance on the management of mass casualty events as may occur with a Tsunami, earthquake or infections such as Influenza and Ebola.

Dr. Etienne is assistant dean of students and adjunct assistant professor of neurology at New York Medical College. Additionally, Dr. Etienne is assistant professor of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.  A member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society, he has presented his research multiple times at both their annual meetings. Dr. Etienne has authored multiple book chapters and has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. In June 2014, Dr. Etienne was named Top Doctor 2014 by Hudson Valley Magazine.

Dr. Etienne received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his medical degree from New York Medical College.  Dr. Etienne was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow while in medical school.  He completed his neurology residency and epilepsy fellowship at New York Presbyterian Medical Center (University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell). He then obtained his MPH from Columbia University and completed a neuroepidemiology fellowship with a training grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) under the guidance of Dr. W. Allen Hauser.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Dr. Etienne developed an interest in joining the US military.  Dr. Etienne received a commission as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy in October 2004.  In 2009, Dr. Etienne did a voluntary recall to active duty and went on to establish and direct the comprehensive Epilepsy, EEG and autonomic programs at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. While at Walter Reed, he was associate program director of the neurology residency program and was part of the Clinical Neurophysiology teaching faculty for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the NIH.  After joining Bon Secours staff, Dr. Etienne transitioned to the US Naval reserve and currently serves as Chief neurologist for the US Naval reserve.


National Heart Month: Know the Signs

Heart Attack? Stroke?

Do you know the ways to detect various heart diseases? Listed below are symptoms associated with heart attacks and strokes. Please check them out, and always pay attention to the signs your body is giving you!


  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness


  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

REMEMBER, a simple way to spot a stroke is to recognize FAST:

F: face drooping

A: arm weakness

S: speech difficulty

T: time to call 911!

Schervier Pavilion residents celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 8

Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and it’s traditionally a time to celebrate and eat well before the season of Lent.

Although celebrated throughout the world, most people in the United States associate the event with the City of New Orleans. But on Tuesday, February 17, the residents of Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility on the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, had an opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras with a traditional New Orleans King Cake party.

The lavish costumes and parades may not have been part of this event but it was fun celebration none the less and opportunities to participate in traditional events are always available to the residents.

In addition to special Mardi Gras refreshments and treats like punch and chocolate doubloons, the residents, many wearing colorful purple, green and gold hats and beads, were treated to recorded New Orleans music and songs like “Jambalaya, On the Bayou.”

The highlight of the afternoon was the cutting and serving of the King Cake. King Cake is made of a cinnamon-filled dough in the shape of a hollow circle. The cake has a small plastic baby inserted and, according to custom, the person who gets the piece of cake with the baby has to throw the next party.

“We hosted this and other events to give our residents and often their families an opportunity to share a holiday tradition,” said Schervier Pavilion Director of Recreation Kari Call. “We’re happy that our residents were able to enjoy this Mardi Gras celebration.”

As Director of Recreation, her job is to provide recreation resources and opportunities for both the long and short-term residents of the skilled nursing home in order to maintain and improve their health and well being.

All programs at Schervier Pavilion are designed to meet the psychosocial and physical needs of the residents with activities that are not only enjoyable but are also intended to achieve this goal.

Schervier Pavilion, a member of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility licensed by the New York State Department of Health. Dedicated to the highest standard of health care excellence, its full range of services, such as its therapeutic recreational program, are designed to respond to each individual’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

In addition to quality long term care services, Schervier Pavilion also offers a wide range of short-term (sub acute) care needs. Its sub acute services include IV therapy, Rehabilitation therapy and wound care. These services afford residents the ability to recuperate for a short time in the sub-acute unit of the facility and then return home where they can resume a more independent life. In some cases, they can then enter Schervier Pavilion’s Day-At-A-Time, an innovative medical adult day care program that provides nursing services, medication administration, ongoing evaluations, and stimulating activities tailored to each individual’s needs and abilities.



Warwick Valley Chorale at Mount Alverno 1

The Warwick Valley Chorale, approaching its 75th year, is Orange County’s longest running and most distinguished community chorus.

On Tuesday, December 30, approximately 15 of its members led by Accompanist Gail Johnson, gave a special performance of traditional Christmas carols and songs for the senior residents of Mount Alverno Center in Warwick, NY,

Mount Alverno Center, a New York State approved Adult Home with an Assisted Living Program, is part of the Warwick, NY campus of Bon Secours Charity Health System. The facility shares that campus with St. Anthony Community Hospital and Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility.

Johnson, the Chorale’s pianist, who was standing in for Director Stanley Curtis, skillfully played for and conducted the group in both religious and secular Christmas classics; the residents especially enjoyed the Chorale’s unique version of “The Little Drummer Boy,” where the chorus interrupts the drum beat of the well known carol with interesting tangents by Strauss and Beethoven.

“The wonderful performance by the Warwick Valley Chorale during this holiday season was very enjoyable for our residents,” said Mount Alverno Activities Director Amy Steinberg. “We are so happy they came to entertain us.”

Steinberg added that the activities program at Mount Alverno is designed to keep the residents both physically and mentally active. And all programs at Mt. Alverno Center are designed to meet the psychosocial and physical needs of the residents with activities that are not only enjoyable but are also intended to improve their health and quality of life.

Bon Secours Charity Health System, Bon Secours Health System and Westchester Medical Center Announce Exploration of Joint Venture






Contact: Kara Bennorth (Westchester Medical Center) (914) 493-7805

Deborah Marshall (Bon Secours Charity Health System) (845) 494-6558

The Bon Secours Health System (BSHSI), Bon Secours Charity Health System (BSCHS) and Westchester Medical Center (WMC) today announced that they are in exclusive discussions to explore a joint venture corporate relationship among them, in which Westchester Medical Center would become the majority co-member of BSCHS and would work with Bon Secours to achieve high-quality, cost-effective healthcare and care management services in community-based setting.

“A Joint Venture with Westchester Medical Center represents an unparalleled opportunity to enhance the quality of services for the people in the region and would preserve and expand local health care,” said Mark Nantz, Executive Vice President of Bon Secours Health System. “The challenges of today’s healthcare environment require that healthcare systems explore innovative ways to deliver high-quality care through clinical transformation and population health management. We believe this joint venture could achieve the best for both our organizations.”

“Westchester Medical Center’s historic mission has been to ensure that all the residents of the Hudson Valley have the finest healthcare available as close to home as possible,” said Michael D. Israel, President and CEO of Westchester Medical Center. “Our focus remains protecting the valued local healthcare services that the residents of this region have come to expect and deserve and, with our clinical and operational acumen, further strengthening local programs and offerings in the community, which started with our partnership with MidHudson Regional Hospital earlier this year.”

WMC Board Chair Mark Tulis said that these actions are part of a long-term, broad strategic planning effort to invest in the Hudson Valley. “The Hudson Valley is our home and our commitment continues to be making sure that our friends and neighbors have access to the best care right here, without having to leave the region. Our vision is to partner to build on Bon Secours’ strong foundation, enhance what is available and foster integration and coordination, which will require the long-term viability of these partners and more,” Tulis added.

Mary Leahy, M.D., and CEO of Bon Secours Charity Health System said a joint venture such as this one is “transformative and will allow our organizations to thrive in a climate of change. We share a common vision of clinical and operational excellence and a keen desire to maintain the long-held mission of Bon Secours and the Sisters of Charity.”

According to Leahy, Bon Secours Charity would remain a Catholic healthcare ministry with Bon Secours Health System and the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth as members and canonical sponsors.

A Bon Secours Charity joint venture, with management from Westchester Medical Center and support from Bon Secours Health System, will improve and sustain high-quality, compassionate healthcare through population health management with special emphasis on care for the most vulnerable. Israel added that Bon Secours is already a major force in Westchester Medical Center’s current partnership with more than 240 local organizations and 4,000 individual providers to develop an integrated delivery system that will improve care coordination and focus on the specific health care problems faced by the low income populations in the area and dramatically improve the care of Medicaid recipients in the Hudson Valley.

 About Bon Secours Charity Health System

Bon Secours Charity Health System is a multi-state healthcare provider serving nearly a million people in the lower Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. BSCHS has received national recognition, rankings and numerous awards for the level of care it provides including Distinguished Hospital Award for the top 100 hospitals by HealthGrades and Truven’s Top 100 Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery.

BSCHS is comprised of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Suffern, NY; Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, NY; St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, NY; a certified home health agency; two long-term care facilities; an assisted living/adult home facility and several other medical programs located throughout the region. The system employs more than 3,400, making it one of the area’s largest employers Bon Secours Medical Group is BSCHS’s regional network of over 80 primary care physicians and specialists from a broad array of medical disciplines. These skilled clinicians play a central role in bringing personalized, preventive and expert care to people from every stage of life.

About Bon Secours Health System

Bon Secours Health System, headquartered in Marriottsville, MD, a $3.5 billion not-for-profit Catholic health system, owns, manages or joint ventures 19 acute-care hospitals, one psychiatric hospital, five nursing care facilities, four assisted living facilities and 14 home care and hospice programs. Bon Secours’ more than 21,000 employees help people in six states: Maryland, Virginia, Florida, New York, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Visit for more information.

About Westchester Medical Center

Spanning every adult and pediatric medical specialty, Westchester Medical Center is the 895- bed regional medical organization serving New York’s Hudson Valley region and beyond, encompassing a regional academic medical center, children’s hospital, community hospital, two inpatient behavioral health centers, homecare and numerous outpatient health and related services. Well-known for its advanced medical care in trauma and burn, heart, transplant, neuroscience, cancer and pediatrics at our Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, today Westchester Medical Center is home to a workforce of more than 7,000, with more than1,200 attending physicians–the only facility capable of providing immediate lifesaving advanced care between New York City and Albany. Westchester Medical Center serves as a lifeline for more than 3.5 million people in the Hudson Valley region and provides outstanding care to more than 120,000 children and adults every year.


2014 Dedicated Service Award Recipients

The annual Dedicated Service Award (DSA) is given to recognize an employee who has demonstrated dedicated service, an untiring commitment in living the Bon Secours Health System Values and Mission, and has consistently been “good help to those in need”.

The annual DSA recipient is one who embodies the spirit of the Bon Secours Health System Mission to “…bring compassion to health care and to be good help to those in need, especially those who are poor and dying.  As a System of caregivers, we commit ourselves to help bring people and communities to health and wholeness as a part of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.”

 2014 Dedicated Service Award Recipients:

Patricia “Pat” Ciccarone – Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

Nancy Bregaudit – Good Samaritan Home Care

Brenda Wolpert – Bon Secours Community Hospital

Deborah “Debbie” Schradin – St. Anthony Community Hospital

Harold Malloy – Warwick Long Term Care

All DSA recipients and nominees were honored at luncheons throughout Bon Secours Charity Health System campuses during the month of September. The DSA recipients each received a $1,000.00 check and are invited with a guest to attend the 2014 BSHSI Dedicated Service Award Ceremony and Dinner held at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore on Monday, November 10, 2014.

Congratulations to all recipients and nominees.

Meet the 2014 DSA Recipients

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center – Patricia  “Pat” Ciccarone

Pat Ciccarone is a unit Assistant in the Emergency Department (ED) of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center; she has 21 years of service with Good Samaritan, and 17 years in the ED.  Pat is often the first person who visitors, patients, and providers meet upon entering the ED.  Her gentle kindness often puts visitors at ease as soon as they enter through the doors, helping in any way that she can. Pat’s colleagues shared that she is the “heart and soul of the ED.”

Pat is an annual participant on Good Samaritan’s team at the American Heart Association walk.  Pat is a cancer survivor who serves as a special resource for staff members who have been diagnosed with cancer.


Good Samaritan Home Care – Nancy Bregaudit

Nancy Bregaudit is a Registered Nurse who has worked in Home Care for 22 years.  Nancy has a calling for helping those less fortunate, often focusing her help in the Spring Valley area known as the “Hill”. This area is comprised of many individuals who are poor, uninsured, and often times have many social problems that impact their overall health and return to wellness.  While embracing this population, Nancy works tirelessly to provide excellent nursing care to restore them to wellness.  Nancy works seamlessly with Bon Secours Charity Health System social workers and other community agencies to ensure all of her patient’s needs are met.

Nancy is an active member of her church community working on various committees, and volunteers in her children’s school.


Bon Secours Community – Brenda Wolpert

Brenda Wolpert is a Registered Nurse working in the Mental Health Unit at Bon Secours Community Hospital with 22 years of service.  Brenda excels at providing bedside care and inspiring excellence.  She is a blessing for the patients – bringing her expertise and spirituality to the patient population.  One of the psychiatrists on Brenda’s unit shared, “I have worked in the psychiatric field all of my adult life and it is always refreshing to see a nurse like Brenda who has the human touch and deeply cares for each patient each day in the unit.”

In April 2014, Brenda ventured to Honduras to offer her nursing care, and will make a return visit in November.  Brenda also volunteers with the Junior Catholic Daughters where she assists the girls in making items and preparing care packages that she brings on her journeys to Honduras.


St Anthony Community Hospital – Deborah “Debbie” Schradin

Deborah is the Office Coordinator for the Radiology Department with 27 years of service. Debbie is kind and caring employee who is constantly there for the patients and co-workers; offering assistance whenever and wherever she can.  Whether she is helping a confused patient by explaining something, lending an ear to someone with a problem, or consoling someone in a time of need, Debbie is the definition of a dedicated employee.  Debbie treats everyone she meets with respect and compassion- she is a devoted friend who would give anything to help another in need.

Debbie volunteers with activities at Sacred Heart Church.  She was the Assistant to the Girl Scout Leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, sponsors a family during the Holiday Season.


Warwick Long Term Care – Harold Malloy

Harold Malloy is a certified nurse aide for Schervier Pavilion with 3 years of service.  Harold has been instrumental in making each resident he comes into contact with feel like they are the center of his universe, every person he meets walks away with a smile because of his presence.  Harry’s loving, compassionate and kind approach has helped the nursing staff to de-escalate many agitated, restless residents.  Harry was also a Super User for the health system’s new electronic records.

Harry has organized a gardening group with the elder residents in his neighborhood.  He visits with them, encouraging them to do what they can in their gardens and assists them in the tasks that they are no longer able to complete because of physical limitations.

Amy Fotino, RN

For most nursing students, passing the Boards is an accomplishment in itself but for Amy Fotino, the accomplishment came after receiving a passing grade. In 2006, immediately after passing her Boards, Amy landed a job at St. Anthony Community Hospital and could officially refer to herself as a Registered Nurse.

St. Anthony Community Hospital holds a special place in Amy’s heart, especially because it will always be the place where all four of her children took their first breath. In 2002, after birth of her third son, Amy was so amazed by the care of her nurses at St. Anthony’s that she registered for nursing school, hoping to impact others the way she had been impacted. With plans of being an OB nurse, more specifically—an OB nurse at St. Anthony Community Hospital, Amy started classes when her son was nine weeks old. Amy passed her Boards in the summer of 2006 and on a December 2006 day, Diane informed her that she would begin training in OB in January 2007. In Amy’s words, the news brought an incredible amount of excitement; she said, “I was over the moon! I felt like I had won the lottery! I LOVE my job!”

After the birth of her daughter, Amy recognized she had another passion—breastfeeding. She had been very outspoken and one of the unit’s “go-to girls” whenever a patient needed extra help with breastfeeding. Although she was always willing to help new mothers, she didn’t realize that she had to go further with it unit the birth of her fourth and final baby. In 2012, Amy Fotino started an online support group that has grown to almost 250 mothers who support each other on a daily basis. In October of 2012, after realizing there was no place for a nursing mother to comfortably feed her child at Warwick’s annual Applefest, Amy started the “Breast And Rest at Applefest” tent. Over the past two years, the tent has been a huge success, continuously providing comfort to nursing mothers at the fall festival. Over the past two years, Amy has also been involved in staff education, teaching her coworkers about up-to-date standards. Recently, Amy participated in the two-day education fair at St. Anthony Community Hospital to spread the word to all of the hospital’s professionals.

While providing support for nursing mothers and educating her coworkers, Amy looked for ways to continuously add to her credentials. After researching, Amy learned that the Gold Standard Certification for Lactation Consultants, IBCLC, was her next step. Current RNs have to prove they have obtained 1000 hours of direct patient care involving breastfeeding over the past five years, followed by 90 hours of accredited CEs in actual breastfeeding education within the past year and finally, sitting for the Board Exam. Sitting down with Diane, Amy learned that she was well over 1500 hours of direct patient care and had completed her necessary 90 hours. The Board Exam for the Gold Standard Certification for Lactation Consultants is offered one day a year, internationally. Amy Fotino took the exam in July and this past Monday, she received her official letter of Certification from IBCLC.

If you are a nursing mother, or know someone who could benefit from Amy’s knowledge and/or her breastfeeding support group, feel free to contact her through email at or call Diane or St. Anthony Community Hospital’s birthing floor.


American Legion Representatives Present Certificates of Appreciation to Resident Veterans

Opportunities to participate in traditional events are always available to the residents at Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility on the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Charity Health System.

On Tuesday, November 11, representatives from Warwick’s American Legion Nicholas P. Lesando Jr. Post 214 joined Schervier Pavilion residents, families and staff. They were there to help celebrate Veterans Day, a special event for the 19 residents who proudly served in all branches of military service, many as far back as World War II.

The program began with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Recreational Director Kari Call. The Legionnaires then handed out Certificates of Appreciation, one by one, to all those residents present who were veterans.

After everyone sang the National Anthem, the recreation staff served cake and refreshments. Members of the American Legion stayed for the celebration and had an opportunity to swap military stories with the resident veterans.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated in our Veterans’ Day celebration,” said Call. “We are especially grateful to the members of the American Legion who took time from their day to share this celebration with us and to honor the veterans at our facility. We thank all of you for your service.”

As Director of Recreation, her job is to provide recreation resources and opportunities for both the long and short-term residents of the skilled nursing home in order to maintain and improve their health and well being.

All programs at Schervier Pavilion are designed to meet the psycho-social and physical needs of the residents with activities that are not only enjoyable but are also intended to achieve this goal.

Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at Bon Secours Community Hospital Hosts Diabetes Awareness Day

Program featured informative presentations by guest specialists

Diabetis Awareness Day 1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 20 million Americans have diabetes, six million of whom are unaware they have the disease.

On Saturday, November 1, the Bon Secours Community Hospital Diabetes Self-Management Education Program hosted a Diabetes Awareness Day at the Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School in Port Jervis.

The Bon Secours Charity Health System Diabetes Education Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association and meets National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education.  The program offers comprehensive services to help control the disease and to prevent or manage the complications. The Center is an excellent resource for people with diabetes at any stage.

The informative Diabetes Awareness Day event in Port Jervis was aimed at raising awareness about this disease and providing the community with access to educational materials and resources. The event included information provided by the Diabetes Education Program as well as other exhibitors.

A highlight of the Diabetes Awareness Day was a series of presentations on treating and living with Diabetes by guest speakers, all experts in their fields, who are affiliated with Bon Secours Community Hospital.

The first presentation by Dr. Martin Evers, who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, was titled, “What is Diabetes and why is it an epidemic.”

Byoung Yang, MD, who specializes in Internal Medicine, Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care, discussed the importance of skin and foot care for those with Diabetes. Dr. Yang currently serves as the Bon Secours Charity Health System Medical Director of Wound and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

During lunchtime, Allison Wharton, a veteran chef with Morrison Food Service Management, gave a culinary demonstration on healthy eating and cooking methods for preparing vegetables, deserts, soups and other dishes that are beneficial as well as tasty.

The final speaker of the day was Pharmacist Marta Kandiuk-Kuzmowycz, MS, RPH, a member of the staff of Bon Secours Community Hospital, whose informative topic was, “Diabetes Medication.”

Bon Secours Community Hospital Certified Diabetes Educators Tammy Compasso, RN, CDE and Joan Schwegler, RD, CDE, along with other staff members, volunteers and exhibitors were available throughout the day to answer questions and hand out valuable information.

“The purpose of our Diabetes Awareness Day, “said Compasso, “was to provide the community with important information about diabetes from the experts. The staff of the Diabetes Self-Management Program of Bon Secours Community Hospital would like to thank our exhibitors, volunteers and everyone who attended.”

For more information about the Diabetes Self-Management Program of Bon Secours Community Hospital call (845) 858-7795.

Bon Secours Community Hospital, a member of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, is located at 160 East Main Street in Port Jervis, NY. For additional information visit:

St. Anthony Community Hospital Forms Breastfeeding Support Group

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommend breastfeeding. An initiative within one of the five Health Priorities for New York State, breastfeeding is also directly linked to a lower chance of obesity later in life.

St. Anthony Community Hospital has formed a new Breastfeeding Support Group open to all breastfeeding moms and their babies. Preschool age siblings are also welcome.

The group will meet each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon at the Warwick Valley Church of the Nazarene, 601 Route 94 North between the villages of Warwick and Florida, NY. The initial meeting on Wednesday, November 19 proved to be a great success.

The Breastfeeding Support Group was created by Amy Fotino, RN, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The prestigious certification for registered nurses requires 1000 hours of direct patient care involving breastfeeding within the past five years and 90 hours of accredited breastfeeding education within the past 12 months.

Fotino, an OB nurse at the hospital’s Kennedy Birthing Center, has a passion for helping mothers who want to breastfeed their babies.  In 2012, she started an online breastfeeding support group, but she also recognized the need for moms to gather together and support each other in person so she created this new group.

Fotino is also the driving force behind the “Breast and Rest at Applefest,” tent, which she began in 2012.  Prior to that, there was no place for a nursing mom to comfortably feed her baby at the region’s largest festival.  Now, “Breast and Rest” is a feature at the annual event.