Category Archives: Press Release

Bon Secours Community Hospital Nurses Volunteer for Humanitarian Mission in Honduras

The Republic of Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America. More than half of the people live in remote areas where there are no decent roads, running water, electricity, toilet facilities, good schools or modern health facilities. And those who live in cities are surrounded by poverty, disease and squalor. This is where Brenda Wolpert, RN and Eileen Braun, RN, who work in the Mental Health Unit at Bon Secours Community Hospital have decided to spend a week of their time sharing their passion to be “Good Help to those in Need.”®

From August 15 – 27, Wolpert, her son Benjamin, 16, Eileen Braun and other volunteers will offer medical care, compassion and spiritual guidance for the poor of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, as well as in the mountain villages surrounding the community of San Matias.

This will be Braun’s first mission trip sponsored by Love Truth Care Ministries, an organization dedicated to empowering the community through education and health programs. But Wolpert is no stranger to working with the organization’s hospital teams in Honduras. This will be her fourth mission.

“In my first visit,” she said, “I was amazed at how the people would wait on line all day for our free dental services and never complain. They were so grateful. And I returned so changed by this wonderful experience that many others here at the hospital have asked how they can go.”

During a typical mission members of the hospital team will provide free medical services as well as pay visits to a children’s cancer ward and a maternity ward where they hand out small gifts and join with the patients in their prayers.

To help cover some of their out of pocket costs, Wolpert and Braun obtained permission from Bon Secours Community Hospital to conduct a “Tricky Tray” Fundraiser. The proceeds were approximately $1,000.

The upcoming trip to Honduras is an example of Bon Secours Community Hospital caregivers wanting to give more. And in spite of the hard work as well as the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions, Wolpert believes they will return with much more than they gave.

“This is an example of the dedication, compassion and caring nature of our employees here at Bon Secours Charity Health System”, stated Clare Brady, Senior Vice President of Bon Secours Charity Health System.   “So many of our employees carry our Mission of “Good Help” far beyond the walls of our organization and are an extension of that Mission in their personal lives as well,” she continued.

Good Samaritan Hospital Wins 2015 Practice Greenhealth Awards

Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading nonprofit membership and networking organization for substantial health care, has recently announced the winners of the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards. The Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards is Greenhealth’s highest honor for hospitals; recipients are selected from the Greenhealth Partner for Change Awards applicants and are leading the industry with innovation in sustainability.

Bon Secours Good Samaritan Hospital has been awarded the 2015 Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award as well as the 2015 Practice Greenhealth Less Waste Circle of Excellence Award.

Competition was tough as member hospitals all around the nation were vying for one of the twenty-five spots. Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth, said, “Competition was fierce this year among the many advanced and innovative programs at our member hospitals. I commend the winning hospitals for leading the industry with innovation in sustainability, demonstrating superior programs and illustrating how sustainability is entrenched in their culture.”

These awards highlight hospitals throughout the nation that are pushing the envelope by driving innovation in sustainability performance. This year’s list of award winners is packed with innovative achievements. The Circles of Excellence awards honor up to ten hospitals in each “circle” that have achieved at least Greenhealth Partner for Change Award status and have shown outstanding performance in the category for which they have been awarded. The Greenhealth “Circles” include Leadership, Waste, Chemicals, Greening the OR, EEP (environmentally preferable purchasing), Energy, Water, Food, Climate and Green Building. According to Practice Greenhealth, the hospitals awarded the Less Waste Circle of Excellence Award have “excelled in waste prevention and material handling, demonstrated through high recycling rates, low regulated medical waste generation and low rates of total waste generated per patient day.”

The 25 hospitals presented with Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award vary greatly in size but each hospital leads the country in health care sustainability and has the documentation and data to prove their hard work and successes. These facilities have innovative programs and show leadership in their local communities and the health care sector. The award recipients were celebrated on May 14 at the Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner held in Portland, Oregon, closing the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

Suffern, NY-area Pathologist Honored for Professional Excellence

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty Program Recognizes Future Generation of Laboratory Leaders

Pathologist Rachel Hudacko, MD, FASCP, FCAPhas been named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) prestigious 40 Under Forty list for 2015 in recognition of her achievements in the medical laboratory field.  Dr. Hudacko is the Chief of Pathology/Laboratory Director at St. Anthony Community Hospital, Assistant Director of Pathology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, and staff pathologist at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program shines the spotlight on 40 highly accomplished pathologists, pathology residents, and laboratory professionals under age 40 who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as the future of laboratory leadership.

“ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program is an opportunity to recognize the next generation of laboratory leaders from around the globe,” said ASCP President William G. Finn, MD, FASCP. “By providing support and encouragement to these young professionals, we aim to strengthen our current medical laboratory workforce and foster greatness in the profession during this period of historic change in healthcare delivery. We are very fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals who are advancing their careers and helping shape the future of patient care.” 

The 40 honorees will each have the opportunity to share their knowledge about topics pertinent to pathology and laboratory medicine with a blog platform on ASCP’s ONELab website. Later this summer, ASCP will select the top five individuals from the 40 honorees, who will each receive free registration to attend ASCP 2015 Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif., along with a $1,000 stipend toward airfare and lodging. In addition, the winners will receive free enrollment in Lab Management University, a collaborative educational initiative of ASCP and the American Pathology Foundation. The Top Five will also be recognized at ASCP 2015 during an evening reception, Mixology.

More than 100 pathologists and laboratory professionals applied for the 2015 ASCP 40 Under Forty program. Individuals were asked to submit a resume and write an essay addressing the most rewarding aspect of lab medicine, how they see themselves as a future innovator in health care, or bringing the clinical care team together to work towards a common goal. The selection committee included two individuals each from the ASCP Fellow Council, Resident Council, and Council of Laboratory Professionals, as well as 2014 40 Under Forty honorees.

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program made its debut in 2014 and immediately garnered attention from around the globe when a 40 Under Forty honoree, a laboratory professional from Bahrain, was recognized at the 2014 Arab Health Congress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 40 Under Forty recognition also made a powerful impact on all of its honorees, ranging from pronounced recognition within their organization to exciting media attention.

“If you are a young professional who is passionate about pathology and laboratory medicine and you aim to be a leader among your peers, being named to ASCP’s 40 under Forty list is an honor,” says Patrick Reese, HTL(ASCP)CMQIHC, who was named one of the Top Five in ASCP’s inaugural 40 Under Forty program last year. “You are recognized by your peers and your name certainly becomes more visible to a greater audience.”

Press Release: Sleep Disorder Institute Participates In Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep Disorder Institute Participates In Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep Disorder Institute at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center made the answer clear, “Sleep Health is linked to brain, heart, lung and muscle function.”

 Just how important are those eight hours of shut-eye? During Sleep Awareness Week last week, the medical staff at the Sleep Disorder Institute at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center made the answer clear. “Sleep Health is linked to brain, heart, lung and muscle function,” explained Jack Horng, M.D. FCCP, medical director of the Sleep Disorder Institute and a pulmonologist with Rockland Pulmonary and Medical Associates, part of Bon Secours Medical Group. “Research also shows that sleep disruptions or lack of sleep affect our short-term memory, mood and ability to concentrate during the day. Weight gain also may be seen among patients who are sleep deprived.”

While Sleep Awareness Week, promoted by the National Sleep Foundation, highlights the importance of Sleep Health, Dr. Horng and his staff at the Sleep Disorder Institute work year-round to increase public and professional awareness of sleep disorders and to provide comprehensive care in the field of Sleep Medicine. “The benefits of sleep are underestimated by our society,” Dr. Horng said. “We work long hours to keep up with professional/academic demands and accept stimulants such as coffee, tea and sodas to compensate for our sleep deprivation. This feeds into a lack of sleep at night as well.”

Leading a team of board-certified Sleep Medicine specialists, Dr. Horng evaluates and treats patients with sleep disorders such as episodic acute insomnia, experienced by more than 50% of the general population at some point in their lifetime. “Approximately one in three people complain of experiencing sleep disruptions,” said Dr. Horng, “and a tenth of the population suffers from a daytime functional impairment consistent with a diagnosis of insomnia.”

Dr. Horng added that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which patients stop breathing during sleep, is present in 4-6% of the population and is an important condition that can worsen hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and behavioral disorders. Other disorders evaluated at the Sleep Disorder Institute include snoring, which Dr. Horng described as common and increasingly prevalent as we age, as well as restless leg syndrome/periodic leg movement syndrome, which affects 10% of the population in the U.S. but is often misdiagnosed as insomnia or other neurological disorders. Also treated at the Institute are narcolepsy, R.E.M Behavior Disorder, parasomnia/sleep walking and talking, circadian rhythm disorders and shift work disorder.

Regardless of the type of sleep disorder, Dr. Horng stressed the importance of evaluating a patient’s sleep within the broader context of his or her overall health. “The biggest myth among my patient population, and even referring physicians, is that polysomnographic (sleep) study is used to answer why a person sleeps poorly.” He emphasized that all tests, including sleep studies, need to be coupled with a clinical diagnosis or suspicion to be confirmed or negated. “An insomniac taking a sleep study without a history or physical exam will not have an answer to why the person does not sleep,” he explained.

Dr. Hong went on to say that although eight hours has been advocated as good amount of sleep, our body actually will tell us how much sleep we need, and this changes as we age. “There are short sleepers who can get away with four to five hours of sleep and function well without daytime sleepiness. On the other hand, there are people who sleep 9-10 hours a night and still feel like they need to nap to catch up with their sleep.” He observed that we typically deprive ourselves of sleep during the workweek and try to catch up on the weekends. “A good rule would be to strive for whatever number of hours of sleep you need so you don’t feel the need for stimulants or naps to keep you functioning during the day.”

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.



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.



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.