St. James Mercy Health System, Hornell NY
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St. James Mercy Hospital

News Archive 2013





St. James Mercy Hospital Launches Patient Education Channels
December 30, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced that The Patient Channel and Newborn Channel are now available in patient rooms and online to the public.

Funded by St. James Mercy Foundation, these 24-hour patient education TV channels provide free network-quality programming. The goals are to educate patients and their families to increase their awareness of medical and health issues, encourage informed communication with medical providers, and promote a sense of empowerment during the times when accurate information is most needed.

Programming on The Patient Channel covers a wide range of topics including asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking cessation, health/wellness and other topics. Programming on The Newborn Channel includes breastfeeding, child safety, baby and mom wellness, child development and more. New programs are added throughout the year.

"St. James Mercy Foundation proudly supported this initiative to help patients and their families take a more active role in their own care," said Sylvia Bryant, foundation executive director. "Programming includes real patients and doctors who share their stories to help others understand not just the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a health issue, but also ‘how’ they can positively deal with it."

Content on The Patient and Newborn Channels is controlled by independent advisory boards consisting of experts in medicine, patient care, education and ethics, whose objective is to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of programming. They review all content prior to airing and identify new opportunities for topics that are contemporary and of high interest to the general public.

"The Patient Channel and Newborn Channel increase access to education 24/7, whether online or in patient rooms," said DeNae Gibson, Nurse Manager of Women’s Services. "The outcome is that our nursing staff is able to recommend quality, up-to-date educational programming for patients in their time of need. The programming is also available online to the community."

Access to The Patient Channel is on TV channel 7 in SJMH patient rooms or by visiting www.ThePatientChannelNow.com, and entering the passcode 06802. The Newborn Channel is on TV channel 46 in patient rooms or by visiting www.thenewbornchannelnow.com, and entering the password 06802.

Visit our Patient Channel and Newborn Channel page.




St. James Mercy Hospital Confirms Planned Closure for Inpatient Adult and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services
December 3, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) applied for closure of its inpatient psychiatric units in June 2013, and is moving forward with an anticipated closure date of December 19, 2013. Final approvals from the New York State Office of Mental Health and Department of Health are in process, and SJMH is working with the state to attain final approval for closure.

Individuals who have a psychiatric emergency are advised to go to the nearest emergency department. SJMH has agreements with four hospitals that are authorized to evaluate psychiatric complaints, to transfer and evaluate patients who present to the SJMH emergency department. The hospitals include WCA Hospital (Jamestown), Wyoming County Community Hospital (Warsaw), Olean General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s/Arnot (Elmira).

SJMH has informed the Office of Mental Health of its tentative plan to discontinue admitting psychiatric patients as of December 5, 2013. Local EMS and law enforcement services have been informed of the plan, and SJMH emergency department staff will be trained to assist individuals who need to be transferred for evaluation.

During the closure process SJMH has consulted and worked closely with Office of Mental Health, Steuben County Mental Health, and other agencies, and will continue to assist patients in accessing inpatient and outpatient mental health services.




SJMH Announces Creation of "St. James Mercy Center for Orthopedic Care"
December 2, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) is pleased to announce the opening of a new clinic that will bring comprehensive orthopedic services to Hornell. Staffed by a team of providers affiliated with Rochester General Hospital, the St. James Mercy Center for Orthopedic Care will offer a robust set of orthopedics consultations via a full-time office practice as well as inpatient and outpatient surgeries to be performed at SJMH. The clinic is scheduled to open for business January 6, 2014.

The Center for Orthopedic Care will be located at 432 Canisteo Street and will be open five days a week, with call coverage available 24/7 via telemedicine services. The orthopedics team consists of:

  • Michael Leit, MD, orthopedic surgeon with expertise in hand, elbow and shoulder disorders;
  • Sendhan Rajamanickam, MD, orthopedic surgeon with expertise in degenerative arthritis of the hip and knee, arthritis in young adults, and foot and ankle conditions;
  • Steven Posnick, MD, orthopedic surgeon with expertise in shoulder and knee conditions and sports medicine;
  • Christine Blonski, DO, family medicine practitioner with expertise in sports medicine; and
  • Christopher Leberth, PA, with orthopedics and surgical experience.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Leit and this outstanding team of orthopedic surgeons to create the St. James Mercy Center for Orthopedic Care and expand local orthopedic services in the Hornell community," said Jennifer Sullivan, SJMH interim president and CEO. "Our mission is to provide local access to high-quality healthcare services, and we are very pleased to be able to offer this caliber and range of orthopedics care locally, including total joint replacements and sports medicine. This is the first step toward what we hope will evolve into future collaborative opportunities around specialty services that expand and ensure access to care for Hornell residents."

"Our orthopedic team is enthusiastic about serving patients in the Hornell area," said Dr. Michael Leit. "SJMH has an excellent reputation for quality and outcomes, including surgical services. Already, in meetings with local providers, we have been warmly welcomed to SJMH and are looking forward to joining the local community of care."

Sullivan continued, "We are proud of our high-quality rehabilitation services for patients recovering from surgery or illness. Now, SJMH patients who need major joint procedures such as total hip and knee replacements will have access to the entire continuum of surgical and rehab care right here, close to home." St. James Mercy offers inpatient rehabilitative care at its Mercycare campus and outpatient physical therapy at the Hospital campus.
St. James Mercy Center for Orthopedic Care




St. James Mercy Publishes 2013 Community Service Plan
November 20, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)
Community Service Plan 2013 (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has completed its 2013 Community Service Plan and has posted it to its website (www.stjamesmercy.org/community.shtml).

New York State hospitals are required by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to create and distribute an annual Community Service Plan that describes the hospital’s plan to address local health priorities. The priorities were identified through a community health needs assessment in 2012 in collaboration with Steuben County Public Health and partner agencies, based on the state’s "Prevention Agenda 2013 – 2017" (www.health.ny.gov/prevention/prevention_agenda/).

A public document, the Community Service Plan describes SJMH’s progress toward meeting the Steuben County priorities which include two identified challenging areas regarding the prevention of chronic disease:

  • Reduce obesity in children and adults
  • Reduce heart disease and hypertension

The partner agencies also chose to address the following disparity:

  • Promote tobacco cessation, especially among low SES (socioeconomic status) populations and those with mental health illness


Community Plan 2013
St. James Mercy’s 2013 Community Service Plan can be accessed at www.stjamesmercy.org/community.shtml.
Community Service Plan 2013 (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital actively participated in the needs assessment and has been integral in the development of collaborative programs to address local priorities. Some of SJMH’s key programs over the next three years include breastfeeding education to address maternal weight control, chronic heart failure reduction program, heart disease support group, outpatient adolescent tobacco assessment, and will also support county programs.

SJMH will report its progress on an annual basis, and continue to collaborate with Steuben County Public Health and partner agencies to address and monitor local health priorities. For more information visit www.stjamesmercy.org/community.shtml and select "2013 Community Service Plan."




St. James Mercy Hospital 2013 Community Service Plan
November 18, 2013, Hornell, NY
17-page PDF

The Community Service Plan includes the

  • Public participation process
  • Assessment and selection of public health priorities
  • Identified goals and strategies
  • St. James Mercy Hospital’s Three-Year Plan is to
    • Reduce obesity in children and adults
    • Reduce heart disease
    • Reduce tobacco use with adolescents
  • Steuben Health Priorities Team Work Plan (SJMH is active member)




Town Meeting...Postponed
"The Vision and Future of St. James Mercy Hospital"
Updated November 7, 2013, Hornell, NY

We’ve been advised of a scheduling conflict on November 20th (date of the SJMH Town Meeting), so we are postponing the event. We will reschedule the Town Meeting for after the holidays, and will notify the public when we have a new date. Thank you for your support!




CHE Trinity Health Names Richard J. Gilfillan, M.D., to be CEO
October 29, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

The CHE Trinity Health Board of Directors announced today that Richard J. Gilfillan, M.D., former director of the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), will be the system’s new president and chief executive officer. St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell is a member of CHE Trinity Health.

Dr. Gilfillan has been a leader in U.S. health care for more than 20 years, building successful organizations in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors to deliver better outcomes for people and communities. As CMMI’s first director, he launched the Center in 2010 and worked quickly with payers and providers to develop innovative models for improving patient care and reducing costs. As chief executive at Geisinger Health Plan, he led the design of new payment systems and medical care initiatives that increased the quality of care for patients.

"Rick’s leadership and many accomplishments across the spectrum of care, including his years as a practicing physician and as a successful industry executive, assure us that he has the experience, compassion and values to lead our ministry and Catholic health care to a strong future," said CHE Trinity Health Board of Directors Chair Dr. Melanie Dreher, Ph.D., RN. "In the midst of a transforming industry, Rick brings a national presence and comprehension to guide our ministry as we pursue new opportunities, tackle new challenges and fulfill our mission."

The CHE Trinity Health Board of Directors approved Dr. Gilfillan’s appointment unanimously. He will begin his new role November 18.

"CHE Trinity Health has a strong legacy of delivering exceptional care throughout its ministry. The Board is committed to building on this success and making our ministry a national leader in transforming U.S. health care into a high-value care system that improves the lives of the

  Richard J. Gilfillan
Richard J. Gilfillan, MD, newly appointed president and chief executive officer of CHE Trinity Health, of which St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell is a member
people and communities we serve. I am honored to be selected and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with CHE Trinity Health’s dedicated colleagues and regional health ministries to accomplish this mission," Dr. Gilfillan said.

"We are excited Rick will join the CHE Trinity Health team, and we will work together to ensure a smooth transition," said CHE Trinity Health interim CEO Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A. "The Board reviewed many strong candidates for this job, and Rick stood out because of his leadership, track record for innovation and shared commitment to the mission and values of our ministry."

"All of us at St. James Mercy Hospital look forward to working with Rick and his leadership team as we implement a transitional vision and strategy for SJMH," said Jen Sullivan, SJMH interim president & CEO.

Prior to his appointment at CMMI, Dr. Gilfillan was president and CEO of Geisinger Health Plan and executive vice president of insurance operations for Geisinger Health System, a large integrated health system in Pennsylvania. Previously, he was the senior vice president for national network management of Coventry Health Care. He also held earlier executive positions at Independence Blue Cross.

Dr. Gilfillan began his career as a family medicine physician and later became a medical director and a chief medical officer. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

CHE Trinity Health is the second-largest Catholic health care delivery system in the nation. It serves people and communities in 20 states from coast to coast with 82 hospital (including St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell), 88 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide more than 2.3 million visits annually. It was formed in May 2013, when Trinity Health and Catholic Health East completed their consolidation to strengthen their shared mission, increase excellence in care and advance transformative efforts with their unified voice. With annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets over $19 billion, the new organization returns more than $800 million to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. CHE Trinity Health employs nearly 86,000 people, including nearly 4,000 employed physicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, CHE Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country’s aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit either www.trinity-health.org, www.che.org or www.newhealthministry.org.




October 30th Presentation – "Taking Patient Safety to a Higher Level: Now and in the Future"
Posted October 9, 2013, Hornell, NY
Flyer (PDF)

Presented by: The Bethesda Foundation and St. James Mercy Hospital

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
6:00 PM – Registration & Social Hour
7:00 PM – Presentation

Program Objectives:

  • What is patient safety and why is it important?
  • How do safety, quality, and patient centered care fit together?
  • What is a "culture of safety" and what is the role of a "just culture"?
  • What is the best strategy to improve patient safety now, and as the health care system is redesigned under health reform?

The evening presentation features Robert Panzer, MD, Professor – Department of Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Chief of Quality Officer at University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital.

To reserve a seat please contact Kelly Grillo at (607) 324-8700 or email kgrillo@sjmh.org by October 25th.

The program is free and open to the public.




St. James Mercy Hospital Interim CEO Outlines Vision for Hospital, Healthcare in Hornell
September 25, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital is quickly approaching a pivotal moment in its history, but "continues to provide quality, compassionate care" according to the hospital’s Interim President and CEO Jennifer Sullivan. Sullivan articulated her vision for the hospital and for healthcare in Hornell at last night’s Community Summit hosted by the City of Hornell and the Industrial Development Agency.

More than 75 community leaders, physicians and stakeholders attended the event, which featured a presentation by Sullivan entitled "A New Day, A New Vision, A New Look at Healthcare in Hornell."



Pictured is George Prete, Vice Chair, City of Hornell IDA and Dr. Ismail Mehr, Chief of Anesthesiology, St. James Mercy Hospital at the Community Summit held September 24 at The Main Place. Seventy-five business leaders, physicians, board members, and SJMH administration staff attended the event.


"St. James Mercy Hospital is an economic engine driving local business development in Hornell," said Jim Griffin, Hornell IDA executive director. "With so many recent changes at the Hospital, we want our community’s leaders to understand the vision for the future of local healthcare services in Hornell as well as how we as a community can support this vision."

"St. James Mercy Hospital is very much open for business, providing the same safe, quality, accessible, and cost-effective healthcare as we have for over 120 years," said Sullivan during her remarks.

Sullivan outlined the many challenges facing SJMH – low utilization, declining reimbursements, and challenges to attracting and retaining physicians, to name a few. The hospital, said Sullivan, is facing a pivotal moment where it must quickly realize a new vision for healthcare services.



Interim president & CEO, Jennifer Sullivan, presents her vision for the future of St. James Mercy Hospital at the Community Summit held September 24 at The Main Place. Seventy-five business leaders, physicians, board members, and SJMH administration staff attended the event.


This vision includes the selection of a larger, tertiary care partner, and a newly focused suite of services that directly addresses the needs of the community. In addition, the hospital will be requesting funding and regulatory assistance from state legislators.

"The economics are such that we will need to move very quickly to realize our new vision," said Sullivan. "And, more than anything, we will need to embrace change. Change is the only way our hospital will stay viable for the long-term. Change is essential to sustaining our ministry.

"I am confident we will continue our healing presence in the community, with the support of our dedicated partners in care, the talented medical staff and colleagues who embody our mission, and our loyal and supportive neighbors," added Sullivan.

Mayor Shawn Hogan applauded the meeting, and thanked the community for the participation in the discussion about the future of healthcare in Hornell.

"St. James Mercy contributes more than $106 million to the local economy through payroll, taxes, capital expenditures, and community benefit programs and services," said Hogan. "But, more than that, the people of Hornell are fortunate to have quality healthcare services available close to home, and we encourage the community to support its continued presence."




St. James Mercy Hospital Announces Planned Date to Close Inpatient Adult and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services
September 20, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has completed the application process to discontinue operation of inpatient adult and adolescent psychiatric care services at the hospital located at 411 Canisteo Street in Hornell. Pending approval from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Department of Health (DOH), the planned date of closure is December 19, 2013. Behavioral health employees were informed of this planned date on September 20. The plan for closure does not include the MATCH addiction treatment program located at the Mercycare campus (1 Bethesda Drive, Hornell).

According to Jennifer Sullivan, St. James Mercy Health System Interim President and CEO, "This is a very challenging time for behavioral health programs. SJMH’s is not the only psychiatric care program facing closure, as NYS recently announced the plan to consolidate several state-run facilities into regional centers of excellence. Working with Steuben County Mental Health, OMH and other agencies, we will continue to assist patients in accessing inpatient and outpatient services. We are collaborating with county and regional providers to ensure transition and continuity of care for this vulnerable population."

During the process SJMH consulted and worked closely with OMH and Steuben County Mental Health to develop a transition plan. SJMH also attempted to secure a behavioral health partner to take over the program.

As stated when the intent to discontinue services was announced in June, the decision to pursue discontinuation of inpatient psychiatric care services was very difficult for SJMH administration and board of directors. "Unfortunately, due to cuts in reimbursement brought on by health reform, Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) payment models, and shorter lengths of stays, SJMH can no longer sustain these services," said Sullivan.

"For decades, St. James Mercy has been a leader in inpatient psychiatric care services, thanks to our excellent staff, providers and programming," said Sullivan. "Our reputation for high-quality, compassionate care is second to none, and we thank and commend the staff for their extraordinary professionalism and commitment to patients, not only during this difficult time, but for the many years we have served the community."




Local Artist, Janet Van Brunt, Displays Work at St. James Mercy Hospital
September 16, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Local artist, Janet Van Brunt of Hornell, New York, has loaned a collection of paintings to St. James Mercy Hospital for display in the lobby and emergency room hallway areas.

A retired secretary and assistant grant administrator from Alfred University, Van Brunt has displayed her artwork in a number of local venues including The Arts Council of Corning and Steuben Trust Company. "We are delighted to share these lovely original paintings with our patients and visitors at the hospital," said Sylvia Bryant, VP Mission Integration and Community Outreach.


Janet Van Brunt
Paintings of Hornell artist Janet Van Brunt are now on display and on sale at St. James Mercy Hospital.


Van Brunt specializes in traditional subjects such as landscapes, barns, old mills, etc., working mostly in acrylics. "I love this area with its typical New England countryside and buildings and try to reflect that in my paintings," she said. The paintings at the hospital are for sale, and the artist has generously offered to donate a portion of the proceeds to the St. James Mercy Foundation.

Van Brunt’s interest in art started late in life when most of us have the time to develop our interests and hobbies. "You need time to devote to a hobby like painting and now that I’m retired I have that time," she said. Van Brunt has a business background with no formal training in art. Her professional career included twenty two years at Alfred University in the School Psychology Department and the Powell Institute, from which she retired in 2011. She now spends her time traveling, painting, gardening and enjoying her family and friends. The paintings at the hospital will be on display through the fall.




Sullivan: Patient safety first-rate
September 5, 2013, Hornell, NY
The Evening Tribune Online Article
Article (PDF)

Visible, optimistic and energized.

The description fits St. James Mercy Hospital interim CEO Jen Sullivan, as she leads the facility forward during a challenging and precarious time for small, community-based healthcare organizations across the nation.

The hospital board and CHE-Trinity Health named Sullivan interim president and chief executive officer of St. James Mercy last month, following the resignation of Mary E. LaRowe. Previous to her current appointment, Sullivan was the hospital’s chief financial officer.


Sullivan: Patient safety first-rate
St. James Mercy Hospital interim President Jen Sullivan at an event Wednesday to honor employees and highlight the facility’s patient safety record. Photo by Neal Simon


A hospital spokesperson told The Tribune last week that Sullivan is committed to reinforcing employee morale. Sullivan was right in the mix Wednesday at a "No Harm Across the Board" celebration. The event was an opportunity to highlight the hospital’s patient safety efforts and show appreciation for employees. Staff visited the cafeteria, where they were treated to brownies and ice cream sundaes. Sullivan had lunch, and then planned to join in, helping to serve employees some sweet treats.

Sullivan said the event was a chance to "thank the employees for what they do and let them know they are doing a good job."

"People need to be thanked," she added. "Healthcare is a people business."



St. James Mercy Hospital employee April Kepner gets some whipped topping on her icre cream courtesy of Pat Butray-Frey, who is with the hospital’s infection prevention. Hospital staff was served brownies and ice cream sundaes Wednesday in thanks for their efforts to keep patients safe. Photo by Neal Simon


Mercycare employees, evening and night shift employees and workers at off-site locations were involved in the celebration as well.

Sullivan said she is optimistic about St. James’ future, and she decried "self perpetuating rumors" that the hospital is facing closure. Sullivan said once the rumors start circulating in the community, they become taken as factual.

She praised a letter written by Rhonda Peterson, president of the medical staff, which was published recently in The Tribune. Peterson wrote about "activities happening behind the scenes" to improve and sustain the hospital.

St. James is currently in talks with Rochester-based healthcare systems about partnering with the Hornell hospital. Sullivan said an announcement on an agreement, if one is reached, could be made soon.

Earlier this year, St. James announced layoffs equivalent to approximately 50 full-time employees. In June, the hospital confirmed it was applying to the New York State Office of Mental Health to discontinue inpatient psychiatric services. That process is underway.

Sullivan is also focused on physician recruitment and community outreach, a spokesperson said last week.

Sullivan said the hospital’s record on patient safety is outstanding. Officials said the hospital "scores in the top ten percent nationwide for patient safety."

According to St. James Mercy Hospital’s most current data on hospital-acquired conditions, there have been no ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients since 2009. The hospital also reported the following progress on patient safety, based on current data.

  • No central line-associated blood stream infections.
  • No falls and injuries.
  • No venous thromboembolism (blood clot in the vein).

Sullivan said while other hospitals may face problems like those listed above, "they are not happening here."

St. James Mercy employs almost 700 workers. It has just under 500 full-time equivalent employees.




"Our Community...Our Hospital"
A Message to the Hornell Community from the St. James Mercy Hospital Board of Directors
September 2, 2012, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Change of any kind is always challenging and often unsettling. St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has seen much change in the past months, from the rapid demands of healthcare reform to the recent transition in leadership. Change is also an opportunity for growth and renewal, and it is in this spirit that the SJMH Board of Directors writes this message to the Hornell community.

First and foremost, we want to emphasize that despite the many rumors in the community, SJMH is open for business and intends to continue providing the same quality, accessible healthcare we have for over 120 years. There is no plan to close the Hospital. The board, together with CHE (Catholic Health East) Trinity Health, is actively seeking opportunities for growth and partnership. We are fiercely committed to building good relationships with our employees and healthcare providers, community residents, and community leaders. We share a common purpose of preserving and providing quality, accessible healthcare in Hornell, which is essential to a growing economy and thriving community. We look forward to working with interim President & CEO Jennifer Sullivan to achieve those goals.


SJMH Building


We also want to express our sincere gratitude to the Medical Staff, employees, volunteers, and leadership team at SJMH for their dedicated, focused leadership of the Hospital during this time of transition. Already, we are seeing a renewed hope and engagement as the new leadership team shares and implements a new vision and direction for SJMH.

Your support for SJMH right now is especially critical. In a variety of ways—from utilizing services, to referring patients and clients, to serving as a volunteer, to contributing to the annual campaign—your support will make a critical difference to the life and vitality of the Hospital, now and into the future.

On behalf of the SJMH Board of Directors, thank you for your support of the Hospital and for all you do for St. James Mercy. Together, we can and will keep our Hospital strong in our community.

Sincerely,
Sister Mary Fran Wegman, Chair
St. James Mercy Hospital Board of Directors




St. James Mercy moving in right direction
August 30, 2013, Hornell, NY
The Evening Tribune Online Article
Article (PDF)

As President of St. James Mercy Hospital Medical staff, member of the Board of SJMH, and community physician for over 20 years, I would like to make a few comments concerning the recent change in Administration at the hospital and to address some of the rumors.

First and Foremost, the Hospital is not closing. There are many activities happening behind the scenes to help grow and improve the health services available in the community. There are excellent and dedicated physicians associated with St. James Mercy who are anxious to work with the new administration to guarantee long term health care in our home town and surrounding communities.

There are many fabulous things about our local hospital that we should all be proud of. The care provided from the Emergency Room, to the Medical Floors and ICU, through the Operating Room and into the Nursing Home is excellent. We have competent and caring staff that provides exceptional care.

Our new administration is open to fresh ideas and anxious to help move St. James Mercy Hospital into the future to not only meet the requirements of health reform, but to be better than what we have been.

Please think positively about our Hospital. Talk about your good experience at St. James Mercy and not just the bad or the rumors.

And finally, let your health care contacts know what we, as your local health care providers, can do to meet your health needs.

We are all here to provide you the best service possible.

Rhonda Peterson, MD
President of St. James Mercy Hospital Medical staff
Hornell




St. James Mercy Hospital Names New Interim President and CEO
August 13, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

The St. James Mercy Hospital board of directors and CHE Trinity Health have announced that Mary E. LaRowe, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, is leaving the organization effective August 16, 2013. Jennifer L. Sullivan, CPA, St. James Mercy Hospital’s current chief financial officer, has been named interim president and chief executive officer.

LaRowe joined St. James Mercy Hospital as president and CEO in January 2007. Under LaRowe’s leadership, St. James Mercy was named a "100 Top Performance Improvement Leader" by Thomson Reuters in 2007 and 2008, setting national benchmarks for the rate and consistency of improvement in clinical outcomes, patient safety and hospital efficiency. The hospital was also recognized for exceeding state and national benchmarks in renal (kidney) disease treatment, inpatient acute care, quality and patient safety, and long-term care.

"During her tenure with St. James Mercy Hospital, Mary has been a mission-driven leader who worked to improve quality and safety and build strong relationships with colleagues, patients and the community," said John Capasso, executive vice president, CHE Trinity Health.

"The SJMH board of directors is grateful for Mary’s leadership and service during a time of challenge and change, with the advent of health care reform, and we wish her well in future endeavors," said Sr. Fran Wegman, R.S.M., chair, St. James Mercy Hospital board of directors. "We are looking forward to working with Jen Sullivan as we lead St. James Mercy Hospital forward in support of our mission to provide quality, accessible health care services in the Hornell community."

Sullivan, who joined St. James Mercy Hospital in 2003, has more than 20 years experience in finance and operations management. Prior to joining St. James Mercy, she held positions at Arthur Andersen, Rochester, N.Y.; KPMG Peat Marwick, Boston, Mass.; Unity Health System, Rochester, N.Y.; and the Catholic Healthcare Audit Network, St. Louis, Mo.

About St. James Mercy Hospital
Founded in 1890 and based in Hornell, N.Y., St. James Mercy Hospital is a 232-bed not-for-profit health organization sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy that provides care in Steuben and surrounding counties, with emphasis on the poor and underserved. Its full range of services includes acute and intensive care, surgery, emergency, inpatient behavioral health and addiction treatment, maternity, long-term care, dialysis, rehabilitation services, and five satellite clinics throughout the service area. St. James Mercy Hospital is a member of CHE Trinity Health, a multi-institutional network. St. James Mercy Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that provides financial resources to fund equipment and services for St. James Mercy Hospital. For more information, visit www.stjamesmercy.org .

About CHE Trinity Health
CHE Trinity Health was formed by the consolidation of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health, and is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 21 states from coast to coast with 82 hospitals, 89 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide nearly 2.8 million visits annually. It was formed in May 2013, when Trinity Health and Catholic Health East closed their consolidation to strengthen their shared mission, increase excellence in care and advance transformative efforts with their unified voice. With annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets of about $19.3 billion, the new organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. It employs more than 87,000 people, including 4,100 employed physicians. The consolidated ministry is committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities and is known for its focus on the country’s aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments and the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services – ranked by number of visits – in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of programs. For more information, visit: www.trinity-health.org, www.che.org or www.newhealthministry.org .




St. James Mercy’s Dialysis Unit Again Achieves "Five Diamond" Patient Safety Rating
July 23, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital’s dialysis unit was recently recognized by the End Stage Renal Disease Network of New York for demonstrating best practices in patient safety, achieving the highest level in the Network’s "Five-Diamond Approach" patient safety program. Since inception of the program in 2011, SJMH has achieved five diamonds every year.

The ESRD Network of New York believes it is important for each dialysis facility to incorporate patient safety into their organizational culture. The Five Diamond patient safety program is geared toward helping dialysis facilities better implement patient safety awareness and principles among both staff and patients.

"Five diamonds is an outstanding achievement, and reflects our commitment to providing the highest quality service to patients," said Joan Lecceardone, SJMH Director of Dialysis. "We thank Dr. Hariprasad, our nephrologist, as well as the entire dialysis team for their attention to patient safety, and ultimately, for helping to improve our patients’ quality of life."


Dialysis Unit Achieves 5 Diamond Patient Safety Rating Again
St. James Mercy Hospital’s Dialysis unit again earned a "five diamond" rating for patient safety. Pictured are Dialysis staff (L-R) Susan Weber, Susan Dunning, Susan Bob, Joan Lecceardone, Dr. Hariprasad, Jennifer Oyer, Erica Wickham, Joanne Clark. Other staff not pictured Kathy Bedford, Luanne Foy, Gloria Franklin, Terry Hosmer, Patricia Koch, Veronica Oakes, Rissa Poklinkowski, Diane Sherman, Jerry Gath.


Located at the Mercycare campus in Hornell, St. James Mercy Hospital’s Dialysis Unit has been providing life-enhancing services for patients with end-stage kidney failure since 1980. Dialysis replaces a patient’s kidney function until a transplant is available, or in most cases, helps the patient lead a reasonably comfortable life for months or years. St. James Mercy can treat up to 30 dialysis patients a day, and also provides training and follow up for dialysis patients who are at home or in the nursing home. For more information visit www.stjamesmercy.org/dialysis.shtml .




St. James Mercy Hospital’s School of Radiology Graduates Twelve
July 12, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital’s School of Radiologic Science held graduation ceremonies on June 23rd at the Main Place in Hornell, formerly Knights of Columbus. Class of 2013 graduates include James Beaver, Jr., Katie Cleveland, Julie Donlon, Britney Gardner, Adam Gentile, Maria Haefner, Erica McCaffery, Lindsey McCumiskey, Kristen Owen, Kayla Siperek, Samantha Tipton, and Jaime White.

Bridgett Mayorga, Director of Education for the School of Radiologic Science, welcomed the twelve graduates and guests attending the ceremony, and presented diplomas and special awards following dinner. St. James Mercy Hospital Auxiliary donates funding to the School of Radiology to support scholarships and program equipment. "All of us at the School are grateful to the Auxiliary members who work so diligently throughout the year to make funding available to support this program. I would also like to thank Lakes Radiology, Inc. for its continued sponsorship of the graduation ceremony," said Ms. Mayorga.

Auxiliary scholarships are given to a senior and junior student with the highest academic average. Ryan Hopkins was awarded the Junior Scholarship and Jaime White received the Senior Scholarship.

The Joseph Vetter Memorial Award is given in memory of Joseph Vetter who passed away in 1999 during his first year in the program. This award is based on strength of character that epitomizes Joseph Vetter, and was presented this year to Julie Donlon.

The Sister Colette and Sister Margaret Ann Scholarships were established up by alumni to honor the school’s first program director, Sister Colette, followed by Sister Margaret Ann, who together governed the program for 32 years. These scholarships are based on clinical strengths and awarded to a student at each of the five clinical sites. Mary Liz Lewis, Clinical Coordinator, presented scholarships to Kirsten Owen – Ira Davenport, Jaime White – Jones Memorial, Maria Haefner – Noyes Memorial, Kayla Siperek – Olean General, and Britney Gardner – St. James Mercy.

Established in 1949, the School of Radiological Science offers programs in diagnostic radiography and ultrasound. For more information visit www.stjamesmercy.org/school.shtml or call (607) 324-8265.




Hospital Auxiliary Contributes $27,300 to St. James Mercy Foundation
July 10, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Thirty-three members of the St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) Auxiliary gathered on June 11 at the The Main Place/Knights of Columbus for the annual Auxiliary Appreciation luncheon to commemorate their work on behalf of St. James Mercy Hospital. The Auxiliary also presented its annual gift to St. James Mercy Foundation in the amount of $27,300.

The majority of this year’s gift is earmarked toward renovating the second floor at McAuley Manor (SNF2) to create a more home-like environment and wait staff-style dining for residents. "This is a continuation of our extensive ‘culture change’ project at McAuley Manor to improve comfort for residents and interaction between residents and staff," said Sylvia Bryant, Vice President of Mission Integration and Community Outreach. "The Auxiliary gift is providing the means to transform the physical environment at Mercy Care to lead to better, more meaningful care for residents." The Auxiliary’s annual gift will also provide support to SJMH’s School of Radiologic Science.


Hospital Auxiliary Contributes $27,300 to St. James Mercy Foundation
Lynne Freeland (left), co-chair of St. James Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, presents a check for $27,300 to Mary LaRowe, president and CEO of St. James Mercy Health System. This year’s Auxiliary gift to St. James Mercy Foundation will support renovation of SNF2 at McAuley Manor and the School of Radiologic Science.


Auxiliary co-chair, Lynne Freeland, acknowledged the tireless work of the volunteers. "Our extraordinary Auxiliary members work very hard to support SJMH through fundraising activities and events, such as the Christmas Bazaar and Food Fair, and by operating the Aquinas Gift Shops," she said. "Their commitment supports many valuable services and programs at the hospital and nursing home, and it’s an honor to work with them."

President and CEO Mary LaRowe acknowledged the Auxiliary for its long-time support of the greater Hornell community. "The Auxiliary has been integral to St. James Mercy for well over 100 years. As the single largest donor to the Foundation, the Auxiliary has contributed nearly $700,000 since its founding in 1904. These dedicated volunteers make it possible for SJMH to continue its mission of serving the poor and disadvantaged who need vital, local healthcare services." New Auxiliary members Carol Gomez and Connie Mullen were welcomed at the luncheon.

For more information about the Hospital Auxiliary or St. James Mercy Foundation, visit http://www.stjamesmercy.org/auxiliary.shtml or call (607) 324-8240.




St. James Mercy Hospital Letter to the Editor
June 26, 2013, Hornell, NY
Letter to the Editor (PDF)

Earlier this month, St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced its intent to apply to the New York State Office of Mental Health to discontinue inpatient adult and adolescent psychiatric services. (See below, News & Events).

For many years, providing inpatient behavioral health services to the community has been an integral part of our healthcare mission. The decision to initiate the discontinuation process was not a reflection of lessened community need; nor was it indicative of the quality of care provided by expert, dedicated staff. Simply put, SJMH cannot afford to continue providing inpatient behavioral health services due to escalating cuts in reimbursement rates and mandated shorter length of patient stays.

In particular, the rise of Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs) and managed care organizations are driving the admission approval process, length of stay and discharge criteria of the Medicaid patient population. Medicaid recipients represent approximately half of our inpatient psychiatric care volume. As a result, the covered length of stay has been declining since 2011 at a rate of 10% per year and continues to decline, which not only impacts our revenues but more importantly, may force patients to be discharged sooner than may be therapeutically advised.


Mary E. LaRowe


The "rightsizing" of inpatient psychiatric care is happening across New York State, in urban areas as well as rural areas. One example is the recent merger of inpatient psychiatric units at Buffalo General Hospital and Erie County Medical Center in order to sustain the availability of services in that area. In fact, virtually all providers of behavioral health services are actively seeking to form partnerships in order to continue providing needed care in the face of increasing regulatory and economic challenges. Partnering allows greater opportunity to better manage patient volumes, share risk, and leverage reimbursement, all the while focusing on quality services—there is strength in numbers.

To date, SJMH has not succeeded in striking a partnership around behavioral health services, despite our diligence in reaching out to potential collaborators. Therefore, we are initiating the process of discontinuation of services with the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the NYS Department of Health. Both agencies must approve the plan for closure, a process that may take many months to complete. In the meantime, as we work through that complex process, the psychiatric care units at SJMH are still open for business, accepting referrals and providing services to the community. SJMH’s behavioral health services are known for care excellence, and staff on these units have responded to this challenging news with professionalism and compassion—a testament to their commitment to and concern for the well-being of patients and the community.

Of course, simply discontinuing a service does not necessarily lessen the demand. We recognize that our community still needs behavioral health services, and SJMH will do all it can going forward to assist patients in finding alternate care. Our clinical staff will work with law enforcement, referring agencies, and state officials on a plan for transferring to other facilities those patients who may still present at SJMH’s emergency department for psychiatric care after services are discontinued.

To say that this is a challenging time for healthcare in general and SJMH in particular is something of an understatement. Yes, it’s a tough environment. And yes, we’ve recently had to make some very difficult decisions in order to sustain organizational viability. In this new healthcare environment, regrettably we can no longer be all things to all people and are focusing on the core business of acute care, outpatient services, and continuing care, as we preserve local healthcare for our community.

The support and advocacy of everyone in the community, especially our committed employees, medical staff, and volunteers, is important and makes a difference as we continue to provide quality, essential healthcare services to all who need it. Working together, we can keep quality local healthcare services available and strong in our community.

On behalf of our patients, residents, and clients, as well as the staff of SJMH, thank you for all you do for St. James Mercy Hospital.

Sincerely,

Mary E. LaRowe
President & CEO
St. James Mercy Health System




St. James Mercy Foundation Welcomes New Board Member, Ellie Morey
July 1, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Ellie Morey has recently joined the board of directors of St. James Mercy Foundation. She will serve a term of four years.

Ms. Morey is Human Resources Manager/Business Partner at Alstom in Hornell, and has worked in the rail transit business for over twenty years. Early in her career she served as a Licensed Professional Nurse at local skilled nursing facility. She has a degree in Human Resources from Phoenix University and has been an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

"We are very pleased to welcome Ellie to the Foundation board," said Sylvia Bryant, Executive Director. "She is uniquely experienced in both business and healthcare and will be integral to the fundraising efforts for St. James Mercy Hospital and its mission of providing quality, accessible healthcare to the most vulnerable in our community."

St. James Mercy Foundation also re-elected the following officers in April to serve a one-year term: Beverly Gilbert, Chair; Steve Peck, Vice Chair; and Peter Wall, Secretary/Treasurer.

For more information about St. James Mercy Foundation and other volunteer opportunities visit www.stjamesmercy.org/foundation-overview.shtml or call (607) 324-8240.

  Ellie Morey
SJM Foundation welcomes new board member, Ellie Morey.




St. James Mercy Scholarship Awarded to Michael Murphy
June 27, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital is pleased to announce that Michael J. Murphy has been named its 2013 Memorial Scholarship winner.

Awarded annually to one high school senior, the $500 scholarship was established over 20 years ago. To be eligible, the student must be a St. James Mercy employee or child of an employee, be accepted by an institution of higher learning, and submit an application and letters of reference.

Michael will continue his education at Cornell University, where he will pursue a degree in Agricultural Science with a minor in Business. During Michael’s high school career at Wayland-Cohocton Central he was involved in 4-H, soccer, basketball and baseball, and was team captain for basketball and baseball during his senior year. Michael, an avid agriculturist, developed his own farming practices while in elementary school, has grown and marketed his own produce to local consumers, built his own beef herd, raised market hogs, and worked for several neighboring farmers.



L-R: Scholarship Committee member Linda Blauers, Sue Murphy, Committee member Laura Vetter, Scholarship recipient Michael Murphy, John Murphy, Committee member, Jen Spike, and Sylvia Bryant, VP Mission & Community Outreach.


He has also been involved in community service and has volunteered at Farm City Day, participates in the Big Brother program, made metal sculptures in BOCES for an auction to benefit the Vincent House in Wayland, and for eight years has been altar server at his church. Academically, Michael excelled in the advanced placement classes since eighth grade and has several college courses to his credit.

Michael’s parents are father John, and mother Susan Murphy, who is Lead Physical Therapist at St. James Mercy Hospital.

Seven talented and ambitious students applied for the 2013 Memorial Scholarship. St. James Mercy Hospital congratulates Michael and sends best wishes to him and the other six candidates, as they pursue their careers and continue to serve their communities.




10th Annual "Friends Fore Mercy" Golf Tournament Raises Over $23,000 for St. James Mercy Foundation
June 26,2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

The 10th annual "Friends Fore Mercy" golf tournament to benefit St. James Mercy Foundation raised $23,141 at the event held Friday, June 14, at Twin Hickory Golf Club in Hornell. Twenty-four teams and forty-five sponsors participated in this year’s tournament, as well as nineteen volunteers from the hospital and community. The Foundation provides resources to benefit St. James Mercy Hospital, and all proceeds from the golf tournament will directly benefit Hospital equipment and program needs.

"The ‘Friends Fore Mercy’ golf tournament is a well-known community tradition, and this year’s event was a great success as always," said Sylvia Bryant, Foundation Executive Director. "The golf tournament is one of our major fundraising events. All of us at St. James Mercy are grateful for such a strong show of support from the community, sponsors and players, as well as Hospital staff and volunteers."



The winning team of St. James Mercy Foundation’s annual "Friends Fore Mercy" golf tournament shot 60 at the June 14 event at Twin Hickory Golf Club. Pictured are team members (left) Steve Biancuzzo, Ed Amore, Chuck LaFlaur and Kevin Scott.


This year’s corporate event sponsors were ALSTOM Transportation, Lincoln Financial Group, and Steuben Trust Co. Simmons-Rockwell Ford offered four hole-in-one prize opportunities, including the chance to win a 2013 Ford Fusion SE. Additional sponsors and prize donors for the event may be found at http://www.stjamesmercy.org/foundation-golf.shtml .

Twin Hickory PGA professional Bryce Ingalls was available to hit team drives for a $10 donation to the Foundation. Additional funds were raised with two drawings courtesy of Time Warner Media/Melissa Meyer for a Yankees game package (won by Roxann Hall) and PlayStation 3 (won by Mark Darrow). Fran Cardamone won the 50/50 cash raffle.

With a score of 60, the winning team was comprised of Kevin Scott, Ed Amore, Steve Biancuzzo, and Chuck LaFlaur. Second place with a score of 62 included team Brian Schu, Jim Sexton, Fran Cardamone and Jimmy Sexton. Women’s closest to the pin was won by Kate Kreger and men’s closest to the pin by Jimmy Sexton. Women’s longest drive was won by Mary McInerney and men’s longest drive by Ed Amore. Skins winners included teams Scott, Howard and McInerney.

Plans already are underway for the 2014 "Friends Fore Mercy" tournament. For information on next year’s event as it becomes available or to volunteer, contact St. James Mercy Foundation at 607-324-8240 (LGardner@sjmh.org).




St. James Mercy Hospital Scores in Top 10% for Patient Safety
June 25, 2012, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) was recently recognized for its efforts to reduce the number of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI’s), scoring in the top 10% of facilities nationwide.

The HAI’s are tracked by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through the National Healthcare Safety Network and IPRO, the not-for-profit Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for New York State. Three HAI’s are tracked – Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI), Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), and Hospital acquired C. difficile infections (HO-CDI).

According to a report covering October 2012 to March 2013, SJMH’s acute/ICU units had zero cases of CLABSI, zero cases of CAUTI, and only one case of HO-CDI. "These are extraordinary results and places SJMH in the top 10% of comparable hospitals in NYS and across the nation," said Trish Uldrich, Chief Nursing Officer. "SJMH’s HAI rates have been consistently low for the last three years due to our safety efforts, including outstanding infection control procedures in the OR, at the bedside, and in the central sterile department."

"An excellent hospital starts with excellent staff," said Pat Butray-Frey, Infection Prevention Officer. "At SJMH we take pride in our employees and the service they provide, and have a very aggressive, proactive system-wide program in place to help protect our patients from infection. Our efforts include a wide array of practices from encouraging hand hygiene for staff and visitors at SJMH facilities, to the use of checklists, to bundling medical supplies so that it is easy for hospital staff to follow infection-prevention protocols."

Patients and their family members are encouraged to become active participants in SJMH’s infection prevention initiatives. "As a reminder to help prevent infection, we encourage patients and family members to wash your hands often, insist that your health care provider wash his or her hands, and ask the care provider if the patient’s central line or Foley catheter is still needed," said Butray-Frey. "We thank our physicians, nurses, central sterile staff, and housekeeping staff for their unwavering commitment to patient safety!"

For more information about the SJMH’s patient safety initiatives visit www.StJamesMercy.org/quality.shtml .




SJMH Rated Favorably by New York State Partnership for Patients
June 18, 2012, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has announced that its patient safety results are within the top 10% of hospitals statewide, according to a report from the New York State Partnership for Patients (NYSPFP), a statewide hospital quality improvement initiative.

SJMH performs better than or equal to the state target in regards to catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated blood stream infections, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism (blood clots), ventilator-associated events, injuries from falls and immobility, and pressure ulcers.

"We are delighted to report our outstanding results, as we strive to continuously improve clinical care and outcomes for our patients and residents," said Trish Uldrich, Chief Nursing Officer.

The NYSPFP initiative began in 2012 engaging over 170 hospitals to improve quality and patient safety, with a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and preventable readmissions by 20% within two years.

"We have involved staff at all sites including clinical, administrative, and allied personnel to make patient and resident safety a top priority," said Uldrich. "Participating in this initiative speaks to our mission of providing the best quality care to meet the most urgent health care needs of our rural area."

For more information about the Partnership for Patients visit www.nyspfp.org .

New York State Partnership for Patients




St. James Mercy Hospital Announces Plan to Discontinue Inpatient Adult and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services
June 12, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced intent to apply to the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) to discontinue operation of inpatient adult and adolescent psychiatric services located at the hospital at 411 Canisteo St. in Hornell. Once submitted to OMH, the discontinuation process is expected to take several months, with a projected date of completion early in 2014. SJMH is also seeking approval for the plan from the New York State Department of Health (DOH). The plan does not include the MATCH addiction treatment program.

According to Mary LaRowe, St. James Mercy Health System President and CEO, SJMH’ s behavioral health employees were notified on June 12 of the intent to discontinue services. "The decision to pursue discontinuation of inpatient psychiatric care services was a very difficult one for SJMH’s administration and board of directors," she said. "We recognize the need for these services locally, but unfortunately cannot sustain them due to cuts in reimbursement brought on by health reform, Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) payment models, and shorter lengths of stays. To preserve other mission-critical healthcare services at SJMH, we must take this difficult step to focus resources going forward on our core business, including acute care, continuing care, and outpatient services," she said.

SJMH has consulted and worked closely with OMH and Steuben County Mental Health in this process, said LaRowe. "We also have actively sought out a behavioral health partner who can help support provision of services in the community, but have not been successful in doing so. We will continue to collaborate with county and regional providers to ensure transition and continuity of care for this vulnerable population."

Patients who need services after the discontinuation will be referred to other facilities in the region that provide inpatient psychiatric care. "Our Emergency Department staff will receive special training in that referral process for any patients who may come in to SJMH once services have been discontinued," said LaRowe. "We remain committed to assisting local patients and will assist as much as possible in transfer to an appropriate facility for subsequent treatment."

SJMH’s inpatient adult and adolescent psychiatric services draw patients from a seven-county area. Approximately 48 clinical and non-clinical staff work in the units. "We have been very fortunate to provide this specialized care to upstate residents for many years," said LaRowe, "and we are grateful to our behavioral health physicians and staff for providing high-quality, compassionate care to patients and families in crisis."




St. James Mercy Foundation Tees Up for 10th Annual "Friends Fore Mercy" Golf Tournament
May 23, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the "Friends Fore Mercy" golf tournament, hosted annually by the St. James Mercy Foundation. Golfers and sponsors alike are invited to participate in charity event on Friday, June 14 at Twin Hickory Golf Club at 1799 Country Road 109 in Hornell. All proceeds from the tournament benefit St. James Mercy Hospital.

"A long-standing Hornell tradition, the ‘Friends ForeMercy’ golf tournament raises nearly $30,000 each year to support quality healthcare programs and services at St. James Mercy Hospital,"said Sylvia Bryant, Foundation Executive Director.

Registration is $65 for non-Twin Hickory members and $51 for members, and includes greens fee (18 holes), breakfast, lunch, dinner by Milliners Southern Smoke, and prizes. Cart fee is $28 (two riders per cart). Players also will have chances to win a 2013 Ford Fusion SE and golf excursions courtesy of Simmons Rockwell Ford, and a Yankees game package.

A number of major sponsors have already committed to the tournament including Alstom, Lincoln Financial Group, Independence Administrators, Procair, Sisters of Mercy, and Steuben Trust Co. Sponsorship levels start at $200 and door prizes are also welcome.

"We thank the community for considering this opportunity to join us in a fun and worthwhile event for St. James Mercy Foundation," said Bryant. "Participation by players, sponsors and volunteers is critical not only to a successful golf tournament; it also helps to ensure the success of St. James Mercy Hospital in providing quality healthcare in our community."

Team and sponsor registration forms are below. For more information call (607)324-8240.




Kimberly Hoover, RPA-C, Begins Practicing at Alfred Clinic
May 17, 2012, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announces that Kimberly C. Hoover, RPA-C (Registered Physician Assistant – Certified) will begin practicing part-time at SJMH’s clinic located in Alfred, NY starting June 3.

Ms. Hoover joined SJMH in 2010 with a specialty in pediatrics. She has served at the pediatric offices of Dr. Uzma Mehr (Hornell) and Dr. Gayle Mosher (Wayland), as well as cared for residents at the Mercycare skilled nursing facility. Ms. Hoover will continue to work with Dr. Mehr.

Ms. Hoover earned her RPA-C degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, is certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

"We are delighted that she is joining the Alfred practice to provide continuity of service after Dr. Susan Mason departs on May 31," said Mary LaRowe, President and CEO. "We are also continuing to recruit for a fulltime physician at the Alfred office."

Patients who would like to make an appointment in Alfred can call 587-8192.

  Kimberly Hoover, RPA-C,
Kimberly Hoover, RPA-C




Hornell Rotary Partners with St. James Mercy Hospital for Community Blood Screening
May 13, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

The Hornell Rotary Club has engaged the laboratory services of St. James Mercy Hospital for its annual Community Blood Screening. The screening will be offered from 6:00 to 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 1st in the St. James Mercy Hospital Cafeteria. Participants should use the Canisteo Street Entrance.

The Community Blood Screening Program serves as an early warning system for residents in identifying current or potential health problems. A comprehensive blood screening is conducted for a $35 fee with the results sent to the participant’s physician. Additional screening for prostate cancer is available for an additional fee as well.

To register, please call (607) 968-1488 between the hours of 9:00 AM to Noon or 5:00 PM-7:00 PM, Monday through Friday.




St. James Mercy Hospital Announces Workforce Reduction
May 6, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced that it is implementing a workforce reduction amounting to the equivalent of 50 full-time employees. The layoffs will include clinical and non-clinical staff, and include elimination of positions and reduction of hours.

"SJMH is continuing to experience significant declines in patient volumes, patient days and revenues as well as reduced state and federal reimbursement, and we cannot continue to support our current operation under these conditions," said Mary LaRowe, President and CEO of St. James Mercy Health System. "We deeply regret having to take these actions, because in a small, close-knit community like ours everyone knows someone who has been impacted. We are committed to assisting those affected employees through support from Human Resources and Mission Services."

Employees were informed of the reductions on May 6. With the staffing cutbacks, SJMH will employ the equivalent of 546 employees.

"In addition to this workforce reduction, we have recently closed several other service lines to reduce overhead and preserve our core business, which includes medical/surgical services, outpatient services, and continuing (long-term) care," said LaRowe.

"We recognize that to survive and grow, rural hospitals need to be formally affiliated with a larger, more comprehensive organization," she said. "This imperative has directed our strategy for several years, and will continue to do so in the future." SJMH is continually seeking partnerships that will strengthen its core business and leverage provision of services in the community, including recruitment of providers.

Health reform is also influencing decisions about the business. "There are still many unknowns as to health reform’s real impact," said LaRowe. "While expanded coverage will reduce uncompensated care, many rural hospitals will have to make upfront investments to handle the influx of new patients. Even then, many of the newly insured will be covered under Medicaid, which pays hospitals much less than the cost of providing care. We will also see significant cuts in Medicare reimbursement. Thus, our strategy for the future is to develop and implement models of acute care, outpatient care and continuing care to meet community needs while being responsive and accountable to the requirements of health reform."

SJMH’s strategy for the future is responsive to industry changes. "Our vision is to provide quality, coordinated care throughout a person’s lifetime," said LaRowe. "The industry is quickly moving toward outpatient services, the need for more integrated care, and value-based purchasing for services measured by quality, not quantity. That trend, coupled with declining reimbursement, has forced us to consider our current offerings, and in some cases, divest certain services."

Although the service offerings may change, LaRowe says that SJMH will have a strong presence in the community for years to come. "St. James Mercy Hospital has a long history of serving the Hornell area, with our mission commitment to those most vulnerable and in need starting more than 120 years ago by Father James Early and the Sisters of Mercy. Building on that heritage and mission commitment, we are committed to serving the community well into the future."




St. James Mercy Hospital Letter to the Editor, Evening Tribune, Hornell, NY
Mary E. LaRowe, President & CEO
April 25, 2013
Letter (PDF)

As the saying goes, the one constant in life is change. St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has seen much change in the past few months, including the recent resignation of some of our practitioners. We want to assure our friends and neighbors that primary care services will continue to be available locally, and that the quality healthcare services you expect and rely on are still available at SJMH.

To give some perspective, there are various models of physician practice in the healthcare industry. Some physicians are employed by a hospital, some are part of an independent group, and others are single independent providers. Employed physicians receive a salary from the hospital and are provided with the services and facilities to run their practice. Independent physicians are responsible for all of their practice needs. Variations of these three models exist in our service area.

In late March, Dr. Adrian Ashdown, Dr. Virginia Shephard and Dr. Robert J. Whelpley of the Elm St. Family Practice in Hornell tendered their resignations as employed physicians at SJMH, to go into private practice with Dr. Bruce MacKellar of Canisteo Valley Family Practice. These resignations become effective in August 2013. Kimberly Betker, NP of Elm St. Family Practice also tendered her resignation in January to join Dr. MacKellar’s practice. Dr. Susan Mason of Alfred Family Practice has tendered her resignation to relocate out of state to be closer to her family, effective May 31. Although five family practice providers are leaving SJMH as employees, it amounts to the loss of only one provider to the community. As they have for many years, we anticipate that the four providers formerly with Elm St. Family Practice will continue to refer patients and services to SJMH. We look forward to a continued strong working relationship among all community physicians, whether employed or independent, as together we pursue our common mission of providing quality, accessible healthcare services in the community.


Mary E. LaRowe


Earlier this year, Dr. Irvin Oh, SJMH orthopedic surgeon, resigned for other practice opportunities and to be nearer family. While we were sorry to see Dr. Oh leave, we are very fortunate to have Dr. John Halpenny, an independent orthopedic surgeon at SJMH, who has provided outstanding service to the community for many years.

Just last week, Dr. Pasquale Picco, medical internist and pulmonologist, made the decision to leave SJMH employment and establish a practice in Wellsville. While he will no longer be employed with SJMH, Dr. Picco will continue to provide some services to the Hospital. He is committed to helping us keep quality healthcare services available in the community, as is all of the SJMH-employed physician group, which includes Dr. Gayle Mosher (pediatrics), Dr. Andres Rubert (obstetrics / gynecology), Dr. Uzma Mehr (pediatrics), Dr. Irfan Rizvi (general surgery), and Kim Hoover, NP and Meg Wright, both of whom work in Dr. Mehr's pediatrics office. This group works closely with independent physicians within and outside of our community to ensure residents have easy access to quality healthcare services.

Recruitment to a rural healthcare environment is always a challenge, but we are continuing recruitment efforts to cover critical specialties needed in the Hornell community. In the past year SJMH was fortunate to bring an excellent general surgeon to the community, Dr. Irfan Rizvi, who is also board-certified in colorectal surgery. We are very fortunate to have practicing at SJMH the team of two excellent general surgeons in Dr. Rizvi and Dr. Byron Collins, both of whom are dedicated to keeping local healthcare strong in our community.

While we are indeed fortunate to have such a strong complement of physicians working in our community, the increasing challenges of health reform continue to pose significant barriers to the growth of services. In a recent radio interview on WLEA, Dr. Spencer Annabel noted the changes due to sequestration cuts and in Medicare reimbursement that will impact virtually every provider, locally and nationally. He noted that since 2004, there has only been a 4% increase in Medicare reimbursement and now half of that has been eliminated.

Every year, hospitals like SJMH are expected to provide services, adhere to stricter quality and patient satisfaction requirements, but are paid less for the services provided. And the model of patient care is changing. Historically a hospital was paid based on the diagnosis of a particular patient. Dr. Annabel explained that through health reform, all patients (not just those covered by Medicare) will be placed into big risk pools, and hospitals and providers will be given a lump sum of funds from which to care for all the patients in that pool, regardless of the diagnosis or the scope of services provided. So if there are a lot of high-risk patients in a pool, all of their care has to be paid from that lump sum.

That is why so many hospitals like SJMH are working to affiliate with a regional partner, to attain critical mass and share the risk. SJMH continues to develop affiliation opportunities, and we look forward to sharing more information with the community as we make progress on those fronts.

The good news is that the final New York State budget passed in early April contains no new healthcare cuts for hospitals. The 2013-2014 budget eliminates a 2% across-the-board Medicaid cut and rejects a proposal to permanently eliminate the trend factor (an annual inflation adjustment). The Taxpayer Relief Act, which passed on 1/1/13, included Medicaid cuts for "disproportionate share hospitals" (hospitals with a large number of Medicaid and uninsured patients). SJMH is a disproportionate share hospital, and we have urged our state legislators to invest some of the savings generated by health reform back into care delivery to help hospitals. We are pleased that state lawmakers agreed with this sound policy approach.

We thank everyone at SJMH and in the community who helped advocate for rural hospitals during the state budget process, who support SJMH by bringing your business to our local facility, and for all you do to keep quality healthcare services strong in our community. We look forward to serving our community needs in the future.

Sincerely,
Mary E. LaRowe
President & CEO
St. James Mercy Health System




Local Artist, Barbara Elsenheimer, Displays Paintings at St. James Mercy Hospital
April 24, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Local artist, Barbara Elsenheimer of Arkport, New York, has loaned a collection of paintings to St. James Mercy Hospital for display in the renovated lobby and emergency room hallway areas.

An art teacher at Arkport Central School for the last 15 years, Elsenheimer has displayed her artwork in a number of regional venues including banks, businesses and galleries in Rochester, Buffalo, Ellicottville, Hornell and Corning. "We are delighted to showcase and share these beautiful original paintings with our patients and visitors," said Sylvia Bryant, VP Mission Integration and Community Outreach.

Elsenheimer specializes in mixed media collage and painting, with a concentration in both acrylic and oils. "I work mostly in abstraction but often add representational images in my work," she said. The paintings at the hospital are samplings of various series from the last few years. All are for sale, and the artist has generously offered to donate a portion of the proceeds to the St. James Mercy Foundation.

Local Artist, Barbara Elsenheimer, Displays Paintings
Paintings of Arkport artist Barbara Elsenheimer are now on display at St. James Mercy Hospital.

Elsenheimer’s interest in art started when she was very young. "I was greatly influenced by my father and in particular my aunt, who, as an artist, worked with Walt Disney and was a master in watercolor painting," she said. Elsenheimer went on to attain a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the visual arts at Syracuse University, Masters of Science in Art Education at Alfred University, and Master of Fine Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology. She taught for 20 years at Alfred University in the Education Department and is currently teaching at Arkport Central School.

The paintings at the hospital will be on display through the summer.




Dr. Pasquale Picco Resigns from St. James Mercy Hospital
April 19, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced today that Pasquale Picco, MD, medical internist and pulmonologist, has tendered his resignation from St. James Mercy Hospital, according to Mary LaRowe, SJMH President and CEO, who accepted his resignation on April 18. Dr. Picco’s effective date of resignation will be August 30, 2013.

"We regret Dr. Picco’s decision, for he has been a dynamic, engaged member of our medical staff for nearly 18 years," said LaRowe. "All of us at SJMH will miss his many contributions to the Hospital, not just as a clinician but also as a leader, and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor."

"My decision to leave St. James Mercy was a difficult one," said Picco. "SJMH provides wonderful care to the Hornell community, and I have truly enjoyed working at the Hospital. It’s been an honor to be part of such a dedicated staff, and also to have the opportunity to provide care to so many Hornell residents."

Dr. Picco will be establishing a practice in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine with Jones Memorial Hospital, in Wellsville, New York. He expects to continue working collaboratively to provide some services to SJMH in a consulting capacity, and is working with SJMH administration to finalize those details.

According to LaRowe, SJMH will work collaboratively with Dr. Picco to assist patients during this change. "We are all committed first and foremost to providing quality care to his patients," said LaRowe. More information will be forthcoming from Picco and SJMH regarding how patients may access records or otherwise transition to a different provider.

While his practice is changing to a new location, Dr. Picco does not plan on moving his residence. "I have lived in Hornell since 1995," he said. "This is a great place to raise a family, and we are pleased to be part of the Hornell community." Picco said the opportunity to establish his practice in a new environment presents a challenge he is looking forward to.

"Change is the one constant in the healthcare environment right now," said LaRowe. "We will miss having Dr. Picco on staff at SJMH, appreciate his ongoing support, and are pleased that he and his family will continue to be part of our community."




Part II of Battling the Bulge... "Fitness & Exercise"
April 11, 2013, Hornell, NY
Flyer (PDF)

Do you need a commonsense approach to an exercise program? Dr. Susan Mason (Alfred Family Practice) and Laura Vetter (Community Wellness) will share some simple, safe and inexpensive techniques to help you get and stay in shape.

Join us ...
Wednesday, May 8
6:30 – 7:30pm

Hornell Golf Club
473 Seneca Road
Hornell, NY

  Dr. Susan Mason
Dr. Susan Mason
 
Laura Vetter

This educational lecture is open to the public and offered free of charge by St. James Mercy Hospital.

Reservations are preferred but not required.
There are 3 ways to reserve your seat: please call (607) 324-8146 OR email information@sjmh.org OR fill out the form below by Friday, May 3rd.




"Friends Fore Mercy" Golf Tournament, June 14, 2013
April 8, 2013, Hornell, NY

Please join us for the 10th annual "Friends Fore Mercy" golf tournament on Friday, June 14th at Twin Hickory Golf Club, located at 1799 Country Road 109 in Hornell. Breakfast and registration are at 8:00am and shotgun start promptly at 9:00am. Lunch, prizes and dinner (featuring Milliners Southern Smoke) are included.

Hosted by St. James Mercy Foundation, the "Friends Fore Mercy" golf tournament raises nearly $30,000 each year to support quality healthcare programs and services. Your participation in this event makes a difference to the lives of all residents in our community.

Four-person teams and cash/in-kind sponsors are welcome:

For more information call (607) 324-8240.

We look forward to seeing you on June 14th, and to a great day of golf to support a great cause!




St. James Mercy Hospital and Fidelis Care Promote Covering the Uninsured in Hornell Schools
February 28, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital and Fidelis Care teamed up during the month of February to promote health insurance coverage for local youth. Laura Vetter, Community Services Director at St. James Mercy, and Joe Bassage, Outreach Specialist for Fidelis Care, used National Children’s Dental Health Month as the platform for communicating with Hornell City School District teachers and parents. Youth pre-K through 2nd grade were provided information packets on dental health and health insurance coverage. Toothbrushes were also sent home with each child. In addition, teachers were given resources to promote dental hygiene and health insurance coverage for youth in their classrooms. "There is evidence that poor dental, as well as poor vision and physical health play a role in a student’s classroom behavior and attendance," says Vetter. Bassage concurs. "Essentially, no child should be denied health insurance and Fidelis is making sure that this message is being heard."

A coloring contest on promoting good dental health was also held in district classrooms—students from each grade level received certificates and movie passes to the local theatre.

Coloring Contest Winners in Pre-K, Kindergarten and First grade at N. Hornell display their submissions
Coloring Contest Winners in Pre-K, Kindergarten and First grade at N. Hornell display their submissions.

Front Row (left to right): Allyson Scott, Madison Rudenauer, Rachel Holbrook and Myah Burns

Second Row (left to right): Gage Hill, Stella Argentieri, Amaya Hoffman and Kylee Bentley

Third Row (left to right): Barb Kramer (Principal), Joe Bassage (Fidelis Care) and Laura Vetter (St. James Mercy Hospital)

Coloring Contest Winners in 2nd grade display their submissions
Coloring Contest Winners in 2nd grade display their submissions. Pictured left to right: Laura Vetter (St. James Mercy Hospital), Morgan Trudell, Will Zamora, Tyson Tigner and Joe Bassage (Fidelis Care)




St. James Mercy Hospital Announces Closure of Sister René Dental Center
February 8, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) announced that it is closing the Sister René Dental Center located at 17 Seneca Street in Hornell, effective March 8, 2013.

According to Mary LaRowe, St. James Mercy Health System President and CEO, "This was a very difficult decision for SJMH’s board of directors and leadership. In spite of our efforts to increase volumes and reduce expenses, the costs associated with operating the Dental Center are not sustainable. The program presents significant financial risk due to reimbursement issues, with Medicaid as the payor for the majority of patients. In order to preserve other mission-critical healthcare services at SJMH, we must take this difficult step to minimize overall risk to the organization," she said.

Ms. LaRowe stated that SJMH has worked closely with the New York State Department of Health and has diligently sought out resources and partners to take over the dental practice, but has been unsuccessful in striking an agreement to transfer the business. "Many providers of similar services in the area are experiencing similar challenges, given the economic downturn and the steep decline in reimbursement rates," she said.

Staff at Sr. René Dental Center will assist patients in identifying alternative dental providers. "We recognize our patients’ need for ongoing care, and we are committed to helping them find other resources for dental services," said Ms. LaRowe. "We have identified other regional providers who are accepting new patients, and will assist patients in their transition as appropriate."

Sister René Dental Center was established to provide care to people who otherwise might not have access to dental services. "We recognize the need the Sr. René Dental Center has filled in our community, and we are grateful to have been able to serve the community in this capacity," said Ms. LaRowe. "Especially, we are thankful for the high quality, compassionate care our dental staff has provided to patients over the years," she said.




Local Artist, Jay Pullman, Shares Artwork with St. James Mercy Hospital
January 23, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

Arkport artist Jay Pullman, whose family has a longstanding connection with St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH), has loaned a collection of prints to SJMH for display in its recently renovated lobby and emergency room hallway areas.

Pullman, a local artist of larger renown, shows his work widely around the greater Hornell area and has expanded into galleries in the Rochester area. A former teacher who came to painting as a passion, he draws inspiration from the natural environment of the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier and from places as diverse as Provence and Tuscany.

Local Artist, Jay Pullman, Shares Artwork with St. James Mercy Hospital
Local artist, Jay Pullman, puts the finishing touches on the temporary display of his artwork at St. James Mercy Hospital.

"We are thrilled to have these beautiful prints displayed in the public areas of the hospital," said Sylvia Bryant, VP Mission Integration and Community Outreach. "They add a warm and inviting touch to our newly remodeled hallways and lobby."

Pullman has said that behind each of his works is "a thread of a story" that inspires the piece and also helps connect the viewer to the work of art. The current prints on display depict scenes from around the greater Hornell area and include "Sudden Storm," "Sun Valley Summer," "Waiting for Spring," "Newfield Family," and "On the Shore." All the prints are for sale, and the artist has generously pledged to donate sale proceeds to the St. James Mercy Foundation. In addition, some of Pullman’s artwork has been made into greeting cards, which are also available for sale in SJMH’s Aquinas gift shops starting next week.

The connection between St. James Mercy Hospital and the Pullman family stretches from the legacy of the late Dr. James Pullman, a long-time family practitioner in Hornell, to the creation more recently, in 2005, of the Pullman Women’s Health and Birthing Center. "We are grateful for the Pullman family’s generous support over the years and for Jay’s willingness to share some of his beautiful art with our employees and visitors," said Ms. Bryant. More information about Jay Pullmanis work is available at www.pullmanpaintings.com .




SJMH Auxiliary...the Gift that Keeps on Giving
January 7, 2013, Hornell, NY
Press Release (PDF)

For more than 100 years, St. James Mercy Hospital (SJMH) has been proud to partner with the Hospital Auxiliary, founded in 1904 to provide volunteer and financial support to SJMH. Throughout the year, Auxiliary members, all of whom volunteer their time and talents, organize and coordinate numerous fundraising activities at both the hospital and McAuley Manor to help support SJMH’s strategic priorities to improve quality of, and access to care.

The Auxiliary’s most recent activities include a two-day Holiday Bazaar in November, chaired by Margaret Johnson and raising over $3,300. The bazaar, an annual event, featured homebaked goods, handmade crafts, "new to you" sale, and variety of raffles. Throughout December, the "Trees of Life" on display in the Hospital and McAuley Manor lobbies provided a beautiful opportunity for employees and community members to honor loved ones with gold ornaments for a $10 donation. "This year’s ‘Trees of Life’ raised $1380 to support St. James Mercy Hospital," said Lynne Freeland, Auxiliary co-chair and event organizer. "It’s become a holiday tradition for SJMH staff and community residents who take time to honor loved ones while helping to beautifully decorate the lobbies."

Another popular December event—the Book Fair—offered a wide variety of books and fun accessories for children and adults. Coordinated by Terry Pullman, this year’s one-day sales totaled over $2,800, with SJMH Auxiliary receiving a portion of the proceeds from the vendor, "Books R Fun." The Auxiliary plans to offer a spring Book Fair, date to be announced.

Proceeds of Auxiliary activities help fund various Hospital projects including the purchase of equipment, construction and renovation projects, scholarships, and other program needs that serve patients, residents and clients. "In recent years, the Auxiliary has funded refurbishments for Mercy Care Break, the adult day program at McAuley Manor, renovations to the SJMH lobby, and scholarships and instructional materials for the School of Radiologic Sciences," said Sylvia Bryant, Executive Director, SJM Foundation. "In 2012, the Auxiliary’s contribution of $27,250 made it the largest single donor to the SJM Foundation. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and resourceful group like the Hospital Auxiliary working on behalf of SJMH."



 
 

St. James Mercy Hospital
411 Canisteo Street
Hornell, NY 14843
(607) 324-8000
information@sjmh.org
www.stjamesmercy.org

 
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