Category Archives: Rockland County


Good Samaritan Receives Healthgrades 2014 Cardiac Care Excellence Award

Cardiac care at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is in the top 10% in the nation as measured by lowest risk-adjusted complications, according to a new report from Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals. The report, American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, evaluates hospital performance at over 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions from 2010 through 2012.

The new report highlights the disparity in hospital performance for specific conditions and procedures and the impact that this variation may have on health outcomes. For example, from 2010-2012, if all hospitals as a group, performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average 234,252 lives could potentially have been saved and 157,418 complications could potentially have been avoided.   A 5-star rating indicates that Good Samaritan’s clinical outcomes are better than expected when treating the condition or conducting the procedure being evaluated.

Good Samaritan not only performs at a 5 star level – it outperforms other hospitals in the nation in this condition, and as a result has been recognized with the 2014 Healthgrades:

  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Cardiac Care Excellence Award™ in 2014
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall Cardiac Services in 2014
  • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Cardiology Services in 2014
  • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Coronary Interventional Procedures for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Coronary Interventional Procedures for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack for 2 Years in a Row (2013-2014)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Failure for 3 Years in a Row (2012-2014)

More information on the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, including the complete methodology, can be found at

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Blood Drive

Join us Thursday, December 19th from 9:30am-5:00pm in the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Auditorium. Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is located at 255 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern NY.

The need for blood never takes a holiday, so your LifeSaving donation is very important to help us make sure that we have an adequate supply on hand over the next three weeks! Please take the time to come to our drive, and help us avoid a potential blood shortage.

All donors will receive an AMC Silver movie ticket, in addition to coupons from local vendors. Nicky’s pizza generously supplies a coupon for two slices and a fountain soda to each donor. A raffle will also be held for a $25 Visa gift card, and a $20 gift card from The Turn (located across the street from Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center). Each donor will also get a “goody-bag” at the drive.

Are you a male donor with AB Blood? PLEASE call Pat Bonnier at 845-608-3735 or e-mail to discuss how your donation can be earmarked specifically for the Good Samaritan Emergency Department.

2013 Tree Lighting Ceremonies

St. Anthony Community Hospital 

The December 3rd tree lighting celebration was filled with holiday music and song by guitarist Al Eubanks. After a welcoming address by Senior Vice President and Administrator for St. Anthony Community Hospital Jeff Reilly, everyone headed outside for a tree lighting ceremony that began with invocations and blessings of the tree by Director of Pastoral Care Suzanne Evanoff and Chaplain Sister Mary Spano.

All those in attendance sang “Silent Night” followed by a countdown and tree lighting. After singing other traditional Christmas songs, everyone was invited back inside the hospital’s main lobby to enjoy a reception and refreshments featuring cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider.

The entire ceremony and music was broadcast live by Warwick Radio WTBQ

Bon Secours Community Hospital 

Though there was heavy rain outside the night of the Bon Secours Community Hospital Tree Lighting, guests enjoyed a festive celebration indoors in the hospital’s cafeteria dining area with holiday music and song by guitarist Nick Sauschuck and members of the Port Jervis High School Band.

After a welcoming address by Senior Vice President and Administrator for Bon Secours Community Hospital Jeff Reilly, everyone headed outside and braved the rain for a brief tree lighting ceremony, which began with an invocation and blessing of the tree by Sister Cathy Crowley.

Following the countdown and tree lighting everyone returned back inside to enjoy a reception and refreshments along with additional Christmas music.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

The Good Samaritan Foundation rang in the holidays with the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Glee and Gleeful choirs from the Tuxedo Park School joined us with carols, and staff, leadership and the community joined in as we lit the tree and celebrated the spirit of the season.

Also announced that evening were the winners of the Art Contest: I’m A Good Samaritan. Students from the Tuxedo Park School were asked to draw images of “I’m A Good Samaritan.” The winners will hang in pediatric treatment rooms in our new Emergency Department. The winners were: 2nd Graders Jonathan Stone and Brandon Murphy, and 5th Graders Rachel Griegel, Rebecca Weinstein and Katherine Parry.
Congratulations and thank you to all of the students who participated in the efforts, and a special thanks to Kathleen McNamara and Megan Sweeney from TPS.

Holiday Eating Strategies for People with Diabetes By Joan Schwegler, RD, CDE

The holidays are here, oh how time flies! So give yourself a present this season by following a few tips to keep on track managing your diabetes. After all, the holidays are about social gatherings with family and friends and what would a party be without food! Planning and moderation are the keys so don’t be sabotaged in your attempt to keep blood sugars under control. Healthy eating during the holidays is all about choices; with a little preparation, you can enjoy your favorite foods and resist the temptation to overeat.

Are you preparing the holiday meal this year?

Include nutritious food choices like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats on the menu. Plan healthier versions of your traditional foods by substituting light or fat free sour cream in casseroles, sautéing vegetables in defatted broth rather than butter or adding a buttered-flavored spray to vegetables instead of heavy cream sauces, broiling, grilling or roasting meats and poultry on a rack so the fat can drip off, removing the skin from poultry, degreasing gravies by refrigerating and skimming off fat after cooling, substituting egg whites for whole eggs in recipes and whipping chilled evaporated skim milk for dessert toppings instead of using whipped cream. Calories can add up so try to avoid tasting too often when cooking and resisting the temptation to graze by putting leftovers away promptly.

Did you receive a party invitation?

Accept the invitation and have fun. Focus on conversation with family and friends instead of eating. Remember, if you are not planning the party menu yourself, the food options may not always be the healthiest so offer to bring a lower-calorie dish that you will enjoy. A colorful plate of veggies with a low fat yogurt dip will be warmly appreciated by the host or hostess. Don’t arrive at the party on an empty stomach – skipping meals or snacks earlier increases the likelihood of overeating later. Try to stick to your meal plan. Practicing moderation and consistency in carbohydrate intake throughout the day is the key to blood sugar control rather than saving all the “carbs” for later.  So go ahead, enjoy small portions of your favorite foods, eat slowly and practice mindful eating – concentrate on the flavors and textures.  Keeping hydrated by sipping calorie-free drinks such as sparkling water or flavored seltzer will help you feel full. If you choose to consume alcohol, drink in moderation because the calories can add up! The recommendation is no more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men and should be consumed with food to prevent low blood glucose later, especially for someone taking insulin or certain diabetes medications.  A drink is defined as one 5 fl oz glass of wine, 12 fl oz of beer or 1 1/2 fl oz of distilled spirits (80-proof).  A wine spritzer made with club soda or a light beer is a good option to save on calories.

Dining out this holiday season?

The festivity of the holiday season often lends itself to sharing meals with family and friends at a favorite restaurant. Most restaurants will offer a combination of healthy and unhealthy items to choose from so it is important to read the menu carefully.  Menu item descriptions can be very helpful in choosing a lower fat menu item. Avoid menu items that include words such as “fried”, “crispy”, “creamy”, “buttery”, “bisque”, “cheesy”, “smothered”, “gravy”, or “encrusted”. Menu items that are served in a broth, red sauce, or wine sauce are lighter and lower in fat. Restaurants usually serve larger portions – one meal can often feed two or three people! Remember, the strategy is moderation so ask to have half of the meal packaged for take home before you start eating or request a lunch or kids portion when ordering dinner. Limit the bread or rolls by asking  to have them removed from the table and save your “carbs” for a whole grain option like wild rice or choose a small baked potato instead of French fries.  Salad is a good option but make sure to request dressing “on the side” and use a small amount.  Salad toppings like croutons, bacon bits and cheeses can turn a healthy option into a not-so-healthy option, so add sparingly. You can still enjoy a holiday dessert – share one with your dining partner. The trick is to substitute small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates in your meal plan, for example, have the small piece of pie for dessert instead of the roll at dinner. Dining out doesn’t always lends itself to eating at routine times so be mindful that medications may need to be adjusted. If meals are delayed and you are taking insulin or certain diabetes medications you may need a snack at the time you would usually eat your meal. Service in restaurants can be slow, especially during the busy holiday season, so when taking fast-acting insulin for meals wait until you are served before taking it to balance with food.

Going ice-skating?

Dress warm and stay active! Physical activity will help you burn calories, avoid weight gain and keep blood sugars under control.  It is also a good way to reduce the stress that often goes along with menu planning, shopping, cooking and decorating. So don’t take a holiday from your regular exercise routine! Try a seasonal activity, build a snowman, have a snowball fight! Walk a few laps around the mall.  Taking a stroll after eating a holiday dinner is a nice way to appreciate the outdoor decorations with family and friends.

The holiday season is a time to cherish loved ones, ring in new traditions and enjoy some traditional foods.  Whatever holiday you are celebrating, planning your strategy ahead of time will go a long way in reducing the anxiety associated with food focused holidays.

Enjoy this healthier holiday dip at your next party:

Spinach-Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, Servings Per Recipe: 36


  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise dressing or salad dress­ing
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips, or desired dippers

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together mozza­rella cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise dressing, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, and the Dijon mustard.

2. Stir in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Spread the cheese vegetable mixture evenly into a 1-quart ovenproof shallow dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve with red and/or yellow sweet pepper strips. Makes 2¼ cups.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: Calories: 21, Total Fat: 2 g (0 g sat. fat), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1 g.

Used with permission from Diabetic Living® magazine. ©2007 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. For more diabetes-friendly recipes, visit­ 

Good Samaritan Home Care Named Elite

Good Samaritan Home Care has been named a Top Agency of the 2013 HomeCare Elite, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its eighth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,969 agencies considered, 2,496 are elite.

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home health profession, Home Health Line.

“The 2013 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care and serving as leaders in the home health community. Their success is a tribute that managing healthcare data and utilizing it for improvement initiatives lead to high quality care, and we recognize them for their outstanding achievements,” said Mary Oakes, senior vice president of post-acute at National Research. “We congratulate Good Samaritan Home Care on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

“HomeCare Elite recognition is a significant acknowledgement. The shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance payment models is reshaping the healthcare profession. And home health is proving to be an integral part of the continuum. In the face of value-based purchasing and care delivery model changes, the metrics that make up HomeCare Elite methodology shine an accountable light on an industry that may be the lynch pin to achieving affordable care at home,” said Marci Heydt, Product Manager for the post-acute care business group of DecisionHealth.

The entire list of 2013 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the National Research Corporation website at

Dr. Mary Leahy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Bon Secours Charity Health System

CEO, Bon Secours Charity Health System

CEO, Bon Secours Charity Health System

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mary P. Leahy, M.D. as the chief executive officer (CEO) for Bon Secours Charity Health System (BSCHS). For the past month, Mary has served as interim CEO and during that short period has demonstrated her keen leadership abilities. Her insights into better physician relations as well as her knowledge of the market are assets that will guide us as we maintain the momentum of our turnaround at Bon Secours Charity.

In a meeting of the BSCHS board of directors, Mary set forth her immediate goals that are in line with our strategic quality plan and with our mission. She places a high value on our communities, our physicians and our employees. Mary has a deep and abiding understanding of what sets us apart as a ministry and how we will enter the future with purpose and prosperity through good planning and hard work.

In her role as CEO, Mary will lead the local system strategy, operations and performance which include accountability for three acute care hospitals; the Bon Secours Medical Group; a regional home health care agency; two long-term care facilities; an assisted living and adult home.

Mary is a long time resident of the community, an internist with Rockland Pulmonary and has served as Senior Vice President for Physician Practices. She has been a thought leader and active participant as we expand our Accountable Care Organization and launch population health initiatives. In addition, her expertise in managed care negotiations has already resulted in significant improvements in our managed care rates for our physician groups and our acute care hospitals.

We wish to thank the board, the medical community and our employees for their support of Dr. Leahy in her new role as Chief Executive Officer. We know they will join us in our congratulations.


Physicians, clinical staff, and executive leadership cut the ribbon to open the new Ambulatory Surgery Center. From left to right: Eileen Dobbing, Diane Wilcomes, Philip Patterson, Dr. Thomas Facelle, and Dr. Richard Clarkin.

Physicians, clinical staff, and executive leadership cut the ribbon to open the new Ambulatory Surgery Center. From left to right: Eileen Dobbing, Diane Wilcomes, Philip Patterson, Dr. Thomas Facelle, and Dr. Richard Clarkin.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center recently hosted two events to dedicate and bless the all-new Ambulatory Surgery Center. The events provided an exciting opportunity to tour the center before it officially opened on August 12th.

Over 300 people, including hospital employees and members of the community, attended the afternoon ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 1st. On the same day, over 100 board members, physicians, and dignitaries joined the evening dedication to get a sneak peek of the center.

This newly built state-of-the-art facility features four innovative operating suites and beautifully designed private rooms for pre-op and recovery. The center will improve access to a highly trained and experienced surgical staff who will perform a broad range of same-day surgical procedures. Patients will have access to an elevated level of same-day surgical treatment in a space designed to maximize comfort and quality.

This is more than a change of location for same-day surgeries at Good Samaritan; the new center will provide concierge service to patients to smooth the entire day from arrival to departure. The facility is patient- and family-centered with efficient and streamlined processes, a spacious waiting lounge, and plenty of free parking just outside the entrance. In addition, the new Ambulatory Surgery Center will enable the inpatient operating rooms to develop and improve services.

The Ambulatory Surgery Center is in the Suffern Medical Pavilion, conveniently located adjacent to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center at 257 Lafayette Avenue (Route 59) in Suffern, NY 10901.