2013 in review: Ogdensburg’s Claxton-Hepburn buys equipment, breaks ground for cancer center addition, welcomes new doctors
Monday, February 3, 2014 - 6:00 am

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the “Progress 2014” section of North Country This Week.

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg started off 2013 with a special incentive bonus for its employees. For the third year in a row, employees had an opportunity to financially share in the success of CHMC by helping the Medical Center meet certain goals tied to patient care and finances.

A state-of-the-art 128-slice CT scanner was added that offers patients highly accurate and advanced diagnostic imaging with the lowest radiation dose using the lowest energy.

A groundbreaking was held for a $4.2 million addition to the Richard E. Winter Cancer Center that adds a new “bunker” and a new state-of-the-art Varian Trilogy linear accelerator.

The year ended with the launch of its new website that is easy to navigate and loaded with information about hospital services and current health topics.

CHMC welcomed Dr. Karen Galvan, MD, Dr. Kome Oseghale, MD, David T. Adams, RPA, Christine Buckley, FNP-BS, Michael J. Perry, MSN, RN, FPMHNP-BC, Alesha Akins-Pedersen, RPA-C.

The SUNY Canton Foundation committed $25,000 in scholarship support to assist CHMC employees seeking a SUNY Canton Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The first recipients are Rebecca Mills, Madison Brossoit and Elizabeth Lytle.

A three-year term of accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy and breast ultrasound was awarded as the result of a review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

The Dr. Ravinder N. Agarwal Renal Center was identified as a top performer compared to other centers nationwide and recognized for superior patient survival outcomes following its annual review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service.

The Breast Health Center was designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR, the only one in the North Country.

A study spearheaded by the March of Dimes showed that a multi-state, hospital-based quality improvement program like the one at CHMC can be effective at reducing early elective deliveries of babies. Claxton-Hepburn joined a group of 25 participating hospitals and was able to reduce their early delivery rate from 24.7 percent to less than one percent.

For the third time in a row, the cancer center was granted a Three-Year Approval with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and joins the elite 25 percent of cancer programs in the country that have earned the accreditation. The center is also the only such facility accredited by the American College of Radiology within 100 miles of Ogdensburg.

Once again, the Diabetes Education Program was awarded the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for providing a quality diabetes self-management education program.

CHMC was honored with an “A” grade in the Fall 2013 update to the Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.

Near the end of 203 Chief Executive Officer Mark Webster announced his resignation after serving in the role for the last ten years. A committee, chaired by Rev. Tom Patterson, and made up of board members, physicians and employees are conducting a national search for a new Chief Executive Officer.

During the search, Chief Operating Officer, Vicki Perrine, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gary Hart will serve as interim CO-CEOs.