In December 2017, the boards of directors of Carthage Area Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, River Hospital in Alexandria Bay and Crouse Health in Syracuse announced a clinical affiliation to enhance healthcare quality and access in Central and Northern New York. As communicated at the time, the North Country affiliation with Crouse Health does not represent a merger or acquisition, but instead is providing the foundation to allow each institution to strengthen patient services in their respective communities while sharing best practices and expertise.
Crouse North to Coordinate Centralized System Planning
Since the four organizations announced the partnership, siginificant planning, sharing and collaboration has occurred, including the recent establishment of Crouse North. This new regional entity, which includes representatives from the leadership and Board of Directors of each hospital, is overseeing the coordination of clinical and physician services in the North Country region. In addition to his role as CEO of Carthage Area Hospital, Rich Duvall has been named interim Regional Director of Crouse North until a permanent director can be recruited.
“Crouse North provides the structure and strategic support to enable coordinated planning and provider recrutiment moving forward,” says Duvall. “Our goal is to enhance access and care delivery for the communities we serve by developing an integrated, system approach to strenthen and grow clinical and operational services among the affiliated partners.”
“With our strong focus on keeping healthcare local, this structure will allow us to identify clinical programs and services that may not currently be available to North Country residents, improve coordination of care between the partner hospitals and take advantage of Crouse’s affiliation with Northwell Health,” adds Duvall.
As part of the collaborative planning processs, Walter Fink, DO, has been named Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, further reinforcing and supporting current and future efforts to achieve enhanced integration of clinical services in the region. Dr. Fink also continues in his role as Carthage Area Hospital CMO.
Clinical Progress: Access to Care
From a clinical standpoint, the affiliate partners have been working to develop a system of clinical care delivery that will enhance access to health services in a number of specialty areas. Planning discussions have involved numerous North Country-based physicians and board and medical staff leadership from each of the affiliate partners.
Clinical areas currently being evaluated include urology, cardiology, neurosurgery/spine care and OB/GYN services, among others. “The model we are putting in place will have numerous North Country-based specialists sharing clinical services as needed at the partner hospitals,” states Crouse Health Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer Seth Kronenberg, MD.
The three North Country affiliate partners and Crouse Health continue to work together to implement current initiatives and to identify future opportunites to provide accessible, coordinated clinical care for North Country residents, including telehealth in the areas of endocrinology, cardiology and neurology/stroke care.
“Working collaboratively, we have made solid progress in a relatively short period of time and through the establishment of Crouse North we look forward to building on and advancing the strategic goals that brought our organizations together,” states Dr. Kronenberg.
For additional information and ongoing affiliation progress updates, visit crouse.org/crousenorth.
River Hospital is now offering the LSVT BIG therapy. The Physical Therapy Department at River Hospital will now offer LSVT BIG, a therapy that addresses the unique movement impairments associated with Parkinson’s disease. It provides people with the disease the tools they need to keep moving and stay active. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements used in daily life. One therapist and two physical therapist assistants are now certified to provide LSVT BIG therapy at River Hospital.
“The LSVT BIG program teaches participants how to think in terms of extending their movements to make day to day tasks easier. Participants will leave the program with a lifelong exercise program, better balance and the ability to walk more quickly and take bigger steps,” says Emily Chase, MSPT, the LSVT BIG certified therapist at River Hospital.
Because LSVT BIG therapy is customized to each person's specific needs and goals, it can help regardless of the stage or severity of your condition. That said, the therapy may be most effective in early or middle stages of Parkinson’s, when the patient can both improve function and potentially slow further symptom progression. Beginning LSVT BIG before significant problems with balance, mobility or posture will often lead to the best results, but it's never too late to start. LSVT BIG can produce significant improvements even for people facing considerable physical difficulties.
If you or a loved one is interested in this program, please talk with your provider or call the physical therapy department at 315.482.1116.
The healing of invisible wounds starts here. With no other intensive outpatient service like this in the country, River Hospital took on the important task of offering outpatient mental health services designed specifically for active duty military personnel and veterans experiencing effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These programs keep our Active Military and Veterans close to home while they continue healing and acquiring the tools to cope, providing education and support to those impacted by the effects of combat. Both programs serve as intervention options to reduce potential admissions of service members to an inpatient level of care, focusing instead on building coping skills and supports in the community.
Active Military - Partial Hospitalization Program
The program currently has the capacity to serve 30 active duty military personnel five hours a day, five days per week, Monday through Friday, which can be broken down into two different groups. Groups focus primarily on combat and non-combat Post Traumatic Stress. In addition to group participation, each service member also receives individual therapy with an assigned therapist and medication management with an assigned prescriber.
Veterans - Intensive Outpatient Program
The Intensive Outpatient Program offered to Veterans is a trauma-focused group program where Veterans are among peers who have had similar experiences and are facing similar challenges. Groups deliver Cognitive Processing Therapy with a number of adjunctive groups such as relationships, addiction, emotion regulation, health, and wellness. A VA referral is required if you receive VA benefits. Please contact your VA Provider.
The River Community Wellness Program (RCWP) also offers services to families affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Nurturing Parenting Program is a family-centered, trauma-informed initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglectful parenting and child-rearing practices. RCWP therapies include:
River Hospital is a safe harbor for your health and wellness. Accessible by boat and car, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality inpatient care, emergency services, and outpatient services. We invite you to explore our website and learn more or call (315) 482-1277 for more information Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm, Tuesday-Friday 8:00am-7:00pm.
Accessible by boat and car, we pride ourselves on delivering high quality inpatient care, emergency services and outpatient services for routine and diagnostic testing. River Family Health Center offers a variety of primary care services, on premise, for the entire family. Our Ambulatory Surgical Unit offers same day surgery on an outpatient basis for a number of specialties. River Hospital Convenient Care offers same day non-emergency appointments