Midwifes mingle and more

What's new for healthcare in the Upper Delaware region

Posted 11/3/21

What's new for healthcare in the Upper Delaware region

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Midwifes mingle and more

What's new for healthcare in the Upper Delaware region


Honor and remember with WMH auxiliary’s Love Lites

HONESDALE, PA — The annual Love Lites display, a project of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, will light up the year on Monday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m.

People can sponsor lights on trees near Wayne Memorial Hospital’s main entrance, in honor of or in remembrance of loved ones. The lights cost $5 each and the names are placed in a memory book, which is available in the hospital lobby from early December through the first week of January 2022. The book will also be posted on the hospital’s website at www.wmh.org.

Coupons can be printed from the website and mailed along with a check payable to WMH Auxiliary. Send it to Kathie Carlson, 33 Tennis Club Circle, Lakeville, Pa. 18438.

Everyone is welcome to the outdoor ceremony, which includes a blessing of the memory book by a member of the clergy. The brief observance also features appropriate Christmas music performed by members of St. Tikhon’s choir and the Honesdale High School chorus. Grab-and-go light refreshments will be available.

Love Lites began in 1991 as an auxiliary fundraising project and as a service to the community during the holiday season. Auxiliary members say that the lights on the trees outside Wayne Memorial Hospital, which the community can see every day throughout the season, remind us of the love and caring of family and friends.

Love Lites will be available for sponsorship this year.
Love Lites will be available for sponsorship this year.

Pilong named president/CEO of Garnet Health

MIDDLETOWN, NY — Starting January 1, Garnet Health will have a new president/CEO.

Alfred Pilong Jr. will take over, replacing Scott Batulis, who is retiring after 15 years at the helm.

Pilong started as a pharmacist and over time moved into healthcare leadership in complex health systems. Most recently, he served as CEO of Novant Health UVA Health System in Warrenton, VA. The system is now known as UVA Community Health.

Garnet Health’s Board of Directors Chair Virginia Rizzo said, “We are extremely happy to have Mr. Pilong join our tremendous Garnet Health family and welcome him to our beautiful area. Scott Batulis has done an amazing job leading our organization over the past several years and helping us to improve regional healthcare. As Mr. Batulis nears his retirement at Garnet Health, we look forward to the years ahead with Mr. Pilong and are confident Garnet Health’s tradition of excellence will continue.”

Shorter hours at Forest City lab site

FOREST CITY, PA — Hours are being curtailed temporarily at the Wayne Memorial Outpatient Services laboratory services site in Forest City.

This will help mitigate staff shortages at Wayne Memorial Hospital, according to a statement from the hospital.

The Forest City location, housed in the Family Health Center at 100 Dundaff St., will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be closed Mondays and Fridays.

Patients needing blood draws and other lab services are asked to call ahead 570/785-6622 to be sure staff is available to assist them.

The hope is that the site can return to its normal five-day-a-week schedule at the end of November.

Wayne Memorial offers lab services at the hospital and several other outpatient sites. Visit the laboratory services section on https://www.wmh.org for more information.

Free online gastrointestinal cancer support group

MIDDLETOWN, NY— If you’ve been diagnosed with GI cancer, support is out there.

The Garnet Health Medical Center will offer a free online gastrointestinal (GI) cancer support group from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m, on the second Tuesday of each month beginning November 9.

It’s for those who have been diagnosed with any GI cancer, including colon, rectal, stomach, anal, esophageal, biliary, gallbladder, liver or pancreatic cancer. This group will provide education, resources and a confidential forum for patients and their families or caregivers to share their common fears, concerns and experiences.

To register for the GI cancer support group, please visit www.garnethealth.org/events.

Advocate Eileen Geysen honored by NAMI-NYS

ALBANY, NY — She’s served the cause for 25 years, and her work has helped “countless people in Sullivan County impacted by mental illness,” said Lori Schneider, local head of NAMI.

Eileen Geysen of Forestburgh has been recognized with the Muriel Shepherd Award, which is named for NAMI-NYS’s founding president. It is the highest award the program gives a member.

NAMI works with both people with psychiatric diagnoses and their families, providing support and the reassurance that none of them are alone.

“Eileen has made a positive difference in the lives of both peers and families through her consistent care and devotion as a NAMI Signature Programs leader, as well as her participation in the affiliate’s Compeer functions,” said Schneider. “Eileen is also a fierce advocate who shares her invaluable insight and experience with families who are just starting out on their advocacy journeys and has made herself available any time, day or night.”

Midwifery mingle deemed a success

HONESDALE, PA — The Midwifery Mingle, celebrating National Midwifery Week, was deemed a success by all.

A gathering for women of all ages plus their children, it featured dozens of guests at the outdoor event at the Cooperage in Honesdale on October 7.

There were information booths about Wayne Memorial services and snacks from the Kitchen Cricket.

Among those who showed up for the celebration was first-time attendee Uma Frances Kurtain, who was born in the Wayne Memorial Hospital’s New Beginnings birthing suites on September 23. Kurtain, who was decked out in her “A Midwife Helped Me Out” onesie, and her mom, Arrah Fisher, took a minute to pose with certified nurse midwife Kate Scully from the Women’s Health Center.

Kate had been Arrah’s midwife throughout her pregnancy and had the honor of helping to deliver Uma just a few weeks prior.

For more information about the Women’s Health Center or Wayne Memorial’s New Beginnings birthing suites, visit https://www.wmh.org.

Timothy McCausland has been named a board member at Garnet Health.
Timothy McCausland has been named a board member at Garnet Health.
Garnet Health appoints new board member
MIDDLETOWN, NY — Timothy McCausland has been named a board member at Garnet Health.
He is a managing director with Sterling National Bank in Middletown. Prior to joining the bank, he spent over a decade in senior roles at Orange Bank & Trust Company, and before that was president/CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development in Monticello.
“We are excited to welcome Mr. McCausland to Garnet Health’s Board of Directors,” said Virginia Rizzo, Garnet Health Board of Directors Chair. “We believe his strong experience will bring significant value to our health system.”
Wynter Newman was recently honored at the APEX award luncheon.
Wynter Newman was recently honored at the APEX award luncheon.
Kudos to Wayne Memorial administrative director 
HONESDALE, PA — Wynter Newman, administrative director, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), received the Career Achievement award from Pennsylvania Community Health Centers (PACHC). 
The presentation was made at the APEX award luncheon on October 13 during the 2021 PACHC conference and summit in Lancaster. 
The award is given to an individual who demonstrates employee excellence and a strong work ethic, and who started at a lower position, advanced, and serves as an inspiration to others.
Newman joined WMCHC as a dental assistant in 2010. By 2013, she had become the administrative assistant to the executive director. As her duties evolved and she became a practice manager, Newman worked on the opening of the Honesdale VA outpatient clinic and the achievement of the Patient Centered Medical Home designation for primary care. 
In 2020, she became the administrative director.


Precautionary measures in effect at Delaware Valley Hospital

WALTON, NY — The goal is to protect lives in the region and keep everyone—residents, patients and staff—safe.

After careful consideration of the volume of COVID-positive cases in the region, and the fact that symptoms of the common cold and flu are often the same as those seen in COVID-19, Delaware Valley Hospital will implement the measures listed below.

If you’re coming for outpatient testing, treatment or provider appointments, they ask that you come alone. If you need assistance, please limit this to one adult support person. Your support person may be asked to wait in the waiting room or in the car during your time with your provider in order to maintain social distancing and limit the potential for exposure.

If you are bringing a child in for an appointment, make arrangements for the care of other children in order to limit their risk of exposure.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, contact your provider’s office to determine the next steps in your or their care. Virtual visits are offered, as well as limited telephone visits.

Visiting hours at the hospital are from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are limited to two per patient for patients in single rooms and one per patient for patients in double rooms, so social distancing can be maintained.

Before an appointment, a screener will ask you questions to determine whether you have any symptoms or have been put at risk due to travel or exposure.

The main entrance of the hospital has been re-opened from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After hours, on weekends or on holidays, patients/visitors should use the ER walk-in entrance.

All of the hospital’s facilities have implemented safeguards to minimize your exposure risk related to COVID-19. This includes socially distant waiting rooms and staggered appointments to reduce numbers in waiting rooms. All people are asked screening questions and they all have their temperatures taken.

Masks are required for everyone over two years of age, unless a medical condition makes it medically intolerable.

For more information, see the hospital’s website at https://www.nyuhs.org/location-search/uhs-delaware-valley-hospital.

Telehealth services get $421,000 at Wayne Memorial Health Centers

HONESDALE, PA — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (Pa.) announced that Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers will receive $421,000 in federal funds toward telehealth and connected care services for patients at home or in mobile locations.

The money will be used to purchase cameras and headphones so staff can better communicate with patients. It will also be used for ultrasound machines for obstetrical tests.

“The demand for telehealth services has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cartwright said. “Healthcare providers’ ability to administer telehealth services helps lower the barriers to accessing affordable healthcare for vulnerable seniors, patients living in rural and underserved communities, and working families across northeastern Pennsylvania.

The funding comes through the Federal Communications Commissions’ COVID-19 Telehealth Program.

For more information, contact Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers at 570/251-6676.

New Hope Community embraces telehealth

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY—Telehealth is widely credited with keeping medical services going in the pandemic. New Hope Community, which serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), began using telehealth provided by StationMD late last year in more than half its residences.

The move streamlined health services, a spokesperson said, and avoided unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.  So this month, New Hope announced the expansion to all 42 of its homes.

Urgent care will be provided remotely, 24/7, from board-certified physicians who specialize in treating people with I/DD.

The initial trial started with those who were most at risk of chronic or serious illness. Within the first six months of implementation, the program resulted in a 90 percent reduction in visits to the hospital and urgent care facilities for ailments such as rashes, pink eye, minor infections or nausea, according to a statement from New Hope. It is projected that telehealth will save an estimated $30,000 annually in expenses.

“Telehealth has revolutionized our clinical services and we are excited to be expanding this partnership with StationMD,” said Debra McGinness, New Hope CEO. “Now, we can fully ensure that all of the men and women we support have quick access to highly qualified, experienced  professionals who understand their needs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

A trip to the doctor’s office or to the emergency room is especially traumatic for people who may have sensory, communication or mobility issues, she continued. “Streamlining care with new technology often creates a better patient experience and achieves  significant cost savings as well.”

Because of telehealth, New Hope Community resident Donna has been able to skip the stress of an emergency room visit. “I like this much better. It helps me and the staff, and I can stay home when I don’t feel good.”

Central Services technicians Randy Tenbus, left, Tom Clewell, Joanne Sprovach and Kim Scholl are now fully certified.
Central Services technicians Randy Tenbus, left, Tom Clewell, Joanne Sprovach and Kim Scholl are now fully certified.

Central Services techs fully certified at Wayne Memorial

HONESDALE, PA — One of the most important safety teams at Wayne Memorial Hospital, the technicians in Central Services, are now all fully certified.

Central Service Technicians are responsible for decontaminating, inspecting, assembling, disassembling, packaging and sterilizing surgical instruments essential for patient safety. The technicians were tested on their experience, knowledge and skills.  

“This team is critical to preventing infection,” said Beth Korb, RN, manager of perioperative services, “and I cannot overstate their importance to the success of our hospital and surgical services.”

Vaccine clinics in Pike County

HAWLEY, PA —The Pike County Office of Emergency Management is partnering with Wayne Community Health Centers to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the Pike County Training Center every third Wednesday of the month, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The next clinic will be held on November 17.

All brands of vaccine will be available for first, second or booster shots if applicable: Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Advance registration is requested. Call the Wayne Community Health Centers COVID hotline to schedule an appointment at 570/253.8197. You can also register online at https://www.wmh.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Looking to complete medical assistant training locally?

HONESDALE, PA — If you’re training to become a medical assistant, and need to finish hands-on, in-clinic experience, you can do so at a Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) primary care office.

WMCHC is teaming up with the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) as an externship partner.

According to WMCHC Human Resources Coordinator Victoria Purdy, who will serve as the site’s program coordinator for NIMAA, students will be paired with a preceptor and spend 12 hours a week over the course of 29 weeks refining skills taught through a combination of online learning and in-person labs.

“Potential students must apply directly with NIMAA,” said Purdy. “If they are accepted into the program, their clinical may be done at any of our nine primary care sites based on student preference and availability to staff with a preceptor.”

In addition to the hands-on clinical, students will also be required to complete between two to four hours weekly in a skills lab classroom. The site for WMCHC’s classes will be overseen by Jo-Ann Sames, RN, who has been appointed site facilitator.

NIMAA offers students flexible online learning, affordable tuition at under $7,000 (including tuition, fees and books), and course completion after only seven months’ time. The application deadline is November 14 for the spring cohort, which begins in March 2022. Visit www.nimaa.edu for more information on how to apply.

Raising funds for the community at DaHunt for the Cure. Diane Medici, fundraiser co-founder, left; Charlie Medici, co-founder; Elizabeth Rowley, president and CEO of Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.
Raising funds for the community at DaHunt for the Cure. Diane Medici, fundraiser co-founder, left; Charlie Medici, co-founder; Elizabeth Rowley, …

DaHunt for the Cure raises $200,000

MONTGOMERY, NY — It turned out to be the most successful sporting clays shooting event in the history of the fundraiser.

DaHunt for the Cure has announced that this year’s event raised $200,000 for Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations.

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan and the Cancer Resource Center of the Hudson Valley were named the event’s top beneficiaries.

Love Lites, Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Wayne Memorial Hospital, lights, Garnet Health, Alfred Pilong Jr. Scott Batulis, Wayne Memorial Outpatient Services, gastrointestinal cancer, support group, Eileen Geysen, NAMI, National Midwifery Week, Midwifery Mingle, Delaware Valley Hospital, telehealthcentral service technicians, vaccine clinics,


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