Current News

River Hospital welcomes specialty providers

River Hospital has recently welcomed two new specialty providers: David Schaefer, MD and Steven Mussett, MD. Dr. Schaefer specializes in ear, nose and throat procedures and Dr. Mussett is an orthopedic specialist. Both providers will perform outpatient surgeries within River Hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Unit; as well have office hours to see patients in River Family Health Center.

Dr. Schaefer is an otolaryngologist and specializes in ear, nose and throat procedures such as: tonsil and adenoidectomy , tube placements and Chronic sinusitis.

Dr. Schaefer earned his medical degree and residency at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON. His is Board Certified member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a member of the Canadian Fellowship of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Mussetts’ expertise is in sports medicine, foot and ankle injuries, joint repair/replacement along with general orthopedic procedures.

Dr. Mussett earned his medical degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Ottawa. He also completed a fellowship in foot and ankle reconstruction at the University Health Network Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, ON, as well as a fellowship in adult hip and knee replacement at the Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, ON.

For more information on the specialty services offered at River Hospital, call River Family Health Center at 315-482-2094.

River Hospital now offers 3D Mammography

Women in Alexandria Bay and the surrounding river communities now have access to the most advanced mammograms available, close to home at River Hospital. Equipment upgrades made possible by last summer’s capital grant from New York State have allowed River Hospital to upgrade to 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, which provides several critical improvements for patients.

“3D technology provides a much clearer image of the breast, even if the patient has dense or overlapping tissue”, says Dr. Ali Gharagozloo, radiologist at River Hospital. “This can decrease the potential of patients being called back for additional testing, as well as increasing the ability to diagnose breast cancer.”

A 3D mammogram is very similar to any other mammogram experience for the patient, adding only seconds onto the examination length. But this new screening technology provides a three-dimensional image of the breast using several low-dose X-ray images from different angles. Providers are able to see a clearer image of the breast tissue allowing for earlier detection of breast cancer, and earlier detection of breast cancer has been proven to help save lives.

Benefits of 3D mammography include:
1) More accurate detection: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, 3D mammography can make a tumor easier to see. Reviewing multiple images has helped doctors find more cancers than with 2D images alone.
2) Earlier diagnosis: Overlapping tissue can hide small cancers in a 2D scan. However, with 3D mammography, the image “slices” can be analyzed one by one. This means 3D mammography may help detect cancers earlier than conventional mammography.
3) Better detection in dense breast tissue: Dense breast tissue, often found in younger women, can cause shadows due to overlapping tissue, which hides tumors from traditional 2D mammography. 3D mammography takes images of the breast from multiple angles, thereby offering a cutting-edge look through and around breast tissue.
4) Less Anxiety: 3D mammography can help reduce false alarms. The improved accuracy in diagnosing abnormal structures offered by a 3D view of the breast decreases the number of unnecessary callbacks to women for additional scans and biopsies.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, exceeded only by lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Detecting cancer at an earlier stage will influence a woman’s chance of survival.

In most cases River Hospital’s radiology department offers prompt appointment scheduling, short wait times, and results are usually available in 1-2 business days. Please talk with your primary care provider about your risk for breast cancer. 3D mammography screenings are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. You can also schedule an appointment for a mammogram at River Hospital by calling 315-482-1156.


North Country, N.Y. – Today, the boards of directors of Carthage Area Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, River Hospital and Crouse Health announced clinical affiliations to enhance health care quality and access in Central and Northern New York. The agreement allows the three Northern New York hospitals to develop strong professional and clinical relationships between one another and Crouse Health in Syracuse. The affiliations do not represent a merger or acquisition, but instead will allow each institution to strengthen patient services and share best practices and expertise.

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Efforts are underway to bring 3D mammography, the latest advancement in breast cancer screening, to River Hospital’s Radiology Department. All proceeds from River Hospital’s upcoming Ladies Night Out event will support this effort, which consists of purchasing software upgrades for existing equipment and training, and is expected to cost approximately $140,000.

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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

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4 Fuller Street
Alexandria Bay, NY