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$ 4. 95 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Syracuse, N.Y. Permit # 568 The Central New York Business Journal 269 West Jefferson Street Syracuse, NY 13202 The Nurse Connection Staffing expands into Syracuse market. Page 5. Health-Care Career News. Page 6. The List: Home Health-Care Agencies. Page 10. INSIDE December 5, 2014 Business Journal News Network Business Journal News Network U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), second from right, and Syracuse VA Medical Center Director James Cody, right, help cut the ribbon to formally open the new Women Veterans Wellness Center at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. See story, page 7.
Page 1: 120514 hcp flip


Presorted StandardU.S. Postage Paid

Syracuse, N.Y.Permit # 568

The Central New York Business Journal269 West Jefferson StreetSyracuse, NY 13202

The Nurse Connection Staffing expands into Syracuse market. Page 5.

Health-Care Career News.Page 6.

The List: Home Health-Care Agencies. Page 10.


December 5, 2014

Business JournalNews Network

Business JournalN e w s N e t w o r k

Business JournalNews Network

Business JournalNews Network

Business JournalNews NetworkBusiness JournalNews Network

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), second from right, and Syracuse VA Medical Center Director James Cody, right, help cut the ribbon to formally open the new Women Veterans Wellness Center at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. See story, page 7.

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Page 2 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014

SYRACUSE — The Onondaga County Medical Society elected and installed Dr. Dennis Nave as its 187th president during its annu-al dinner held Nov. 13 at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool in Salina.

Nave succeeds Dr. David Halleran as the organization’s president.

Founded in 1806, the Onondaga County

Medical Society’s current membership includes 1,228 physi-cians and 348 medical students.

The Medical Society also presented Dr. Fuad Farah with the Distinguished Service award, the orga-nization’s highest honor.

Farah is a professor emeritus of medi-cine and dermatology at SUNY Upstate Medical University and chief of dermatol-ogy at Upstate University Hospital.

It also presented awards to Dr. Cynthia Morrow and Dr. Michael Lax for Physician

Service to the Community; and to Dr. Thomas LaClair for Physician Service to the Medical Society.

Morrow resigned as Onondaga County Health Commissioner in April, and the Medical Society noted her work in its citation.

“As the Commissioner of Health, you feared that the proposed realignment of the Maternal Wellness and Child Care pro-grams, which would remove them from the oversight of the Health Department, would reduce funding and access to programs that serve the women and children in our community. At first you worked internally to alter the path of this misguided initiative. When those attempts failed, you resigned from your position, which you had proudly held for nine years, in opposition to the re-alignment,” according to the citation posted at the Medical Society’s website.

The Medical Society presented award citations to Ruth Heller, area vice presi-dent of the local 1199 Service Employees International Union that serves health-care workers, and Patricia Burnham, a regis-tered nurse at the Community General campus of Upstate University Hospital, for Service to Medical Care.

The Medical Society made its first pre-sentation of the Jerry Hoffman Advocacy Award to Dr. Philip Kaplan for “his commit-ment, efforts, and involvement in support of organized-medicine advocacy,” according to a news release from the organization. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]






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Onondaga County Medical Society elects Dr. Dennis Nave as president



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HealthCare Provider • Page 3December 5, 2014

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Welch Allyn rolls out online parts store for health-care customersSKANEATELES FALLS — Welch Allyn’s customers spoke and the medical diagnostic-device manu-facturer listened. The re-sult is a newly launched website for U.S. custom-ers that includes improved features, making it easier for clients to interact with Welch Allyn by computer, tablet, or smartphone.

“We recognize that customers like our product, but we have to recognize that’s not enough anymore,” says Julie Sheedy, direc-tor of customer experience and communica-tions at Welch Allyn. That’s why the new site

includes features such as new search capabili-ties, numerous self-ser-vice transactions like checking order status, webinars, and white papers.

A company survey showed that 70 per-cent of visitors to the device maker’s website come there for support or help, whether it’s to identify a needed part or check on the status of an order, Sheedy says. The new site (www.welchallyn.com) makes all of those processes easier, and Welch Allyn took it a step further with the introduction of an on-line parts store that bypasses the company’s normal distribution channels.

Customers had identified the capability to get parts quickly as an area that needed im-provement, Sheedy says. Through the nor-mal distribution channel, a customer would contact its distributor who would order the part and then deliver it to the customer once it was received from Welch Allyn. The whole process took anywhere from one to two weeks, she notes. That caused problems

for some customers, particularly those who only had one of a particular piece of equip-ment and couldn’t afford to wait two weeks for a replacement part.

Welch Allyn worked with VML of Kansas City on the website redesign, including the parts store. To create the store, the com-pany looked at what parts customers order most often and made those available for order online. That includes products such as component parts, probes, plastics, cables, lamps, and power sources.

A total of 700 parts are available through the online store to health-care customers, biomedical professionals, distributors, and medical students. Orders must be placed with a credit card.

Other features of the site include tools for easy access to information or to find a distributor, online warranty registration,

how-to videos, a frequently asked questions section, a new insight and research section, and other tools to connect website users with the content they need.

The goal, Sheedy says, isn’t so much about generating new sales. It’s more about building customer loyalty by making it eas-ier for clients to interact with Welch Allyn and get what they need. With that in mind, the company is tracking online-order trends to measure customer loyalty. “We hope that percentage will increase,” she says.

The site soft-launched in October and the company received more than 100 orders in that three- to four-week period, Sheedy says. That shows there was a true demand for the service, if people are finding it with-out Welch Allyn even promoting it, Sheedy notes.

Going forward, Sheedy says the manufac-

turer will add more products to the online store as demand dictates, will make a sig-nificant investment in adding video content to the site in 2015, and may even consider expanding the online store to international customers at some point.

Welch Allyn currently generates 35 per-cent of its sales from international custom-ers, and that makes expanding the online store an area of interest, Sheedy says.

Headquartered in Skaneateles Falls, Welch Allyn’s products include EMR-interfaced vital signs and cardiac monitor-ing diagnostic products, physical diagnosis instruments, and infection-control products. Founded in 1915, the manufacturer employs nearly 2,600 people in 26 countries. q

Contact The Business Journal News Network at [email protected]

Illness inspires launch of New Hartford wellness firm NEW HARTFORD — Jack Kunkel was working for his family’s Kunkel Ambulance Service in Utica in 2008 when he become quite ill.

Kunkel, who was serving as the com-pany’s director of operations and as a paramedic, says he had no energy and

was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and de-pression.

His illness, Kunkel says, didn’t make sense because he worked out daily and looked like the “epitome of health.”

It turned out that Kunkel wasn’t sleep-ing enough and didn’t understand how to control his own stress, he says.

At the time, he was seeking several phy-sicians and health-care practitioners that

just weren’t able to help him.“So I … went on a quest to help myself,

and that’s [when] I fell in love with well-ness,” says Kunkel.

He is now the sole owner of Revolutionary Wellness, a New Hartford–based firm he launched in 2010.

It operates in an office at the Paragon Athletic Club location at 8387 Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford.

Revolutionary Wellness focuses on well-ness and nutrition, and includes a corporate-wellness program that offers lectures and customizable instruction for companies, both large and small, according to its website.

When asked how he’s feeling nowadays, the 38-year-old father of two proclaimed, “I’ve never felt better.”

Kunkel spoke with the Business Journal News Network on Nov. 7.

“There’s so much more to wellness than people just thinking I should stand more at my desk or I need to walk after work … There’s a whole gamut and when you teach people that stuff, it’s exciting when they change their lives,” he says.

Kunkel contends the program bene-fits employers with lower health care and





See WELLNESS, page 11

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Page 4 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014

Do you have a pain in your neck? Your smartphone may be the culprit.

A study in the November issue of the medical journal Surgical Technology International found that the billions of people in the world who use a mobile de-vice, like a smartphone or tablet, are prone

to poor posture due to the way they tilt their head to look at their device.

In a neutral position, an average adult head

weighs 10 to 12 pounds. The study found that as the head tilts forward by various degrees, as it often does when checking or sending phone messages, the force on the neck increases to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees.

The farther forward a person bends his head, the more stress is put on the

spine, concluded the study’s author, New York City–based spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj, M.D. This additional stress could lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgery, according to the study.

On average, people spend two to four hours each day reading or texting on their devices or reading a book. This translates to 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess

stress on the spine. While giving up your phone or books

may not be an option, Hansraj suggests that people make an effort to look at their devices with a neutral spine and avoid spending hours a day hunched over a de-vice. q

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Page 10 • HealthCare Provider October 26, 2012

A New York City–based not-for-profit home health-care organization has received state approval to expand its Medicaid managed long-term care plan to 24 counties out-side of the city — includ-ing several in the Syracuse and Utica areas.

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is moving on plans to spread its VNSNY Choice Medicaid Managed Long Term Care plan to Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, and Onondaga counties. That’s after the state approved the market expan-sion in September.

The managed long-term care plan is tar-geted at seniors and individuals with chron-ic illnesses and disabil-ities who cannot live

independently at home, but do not want to move into a nursing home. It’s a voluntary option for Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries that provides nurse-care managers who visit members’ homes and coordinate the health-care services they receive.

News of VNSNY Choice’s expansion follows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ac-cepting recommendations from a Medicaid Redesign Team in February. The redesign lifted a moratorium on the extension of existing Medicaid managed-care plans, ac-cording to Christopher Palmieri, president of VNSNY Choice Health Plans, who also acted as an adviser to the state during its Medicaid redesign. VNSNY has been open

to the option of growing its service area since before that moratorium was lifted, he adds.

“We’ve been interested in expanding our service area since about 2003,” he says. “It was something that we’ve been working on for the entire year. We started our process to apply for market expansion in the early part of 2012.”

VNSNY Choice isn’t the only Medicaid managed long-term care plan that will be growing into Central New York and its sur-rounding areas. Fidelis Care, a Catholic health plan based in Rego Park in the New York City borough of Queens, announced in August it was expanding its Fidelis Care at Home managed long-term care program into 11 counties in and around Central New York.

Numerous plans have applied to the state for expansion, Palmieri says. VNSNY Choice wants to offer its plan to all eligible New York residents eventually, he contin-ues.

“Our organization felt that we should be offering our coordinated care through managed long-term care across the state,” Palmieri says. “[This] expansion was one step toward becoming a statewide health plan and serving all 62 counties in the state.”

MV/CNY expansionVNSNY Choice has opened a Utica–area

office at 2 Ellinwood Drive in New Hartford and hired three employees to start building relationships with senior centers, nursing organizations, and hospitals that could be-come part of its network. Palmieri expects to hire more employees in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley in the future, although exact timelines and staffing levels are not set.

“It is safe to say that we’ll have a major

presence in Oneida County, Herkimer County, and Onondaga County, and we’ll look at whether we need an office in Madison County,” he says. “A lot of our work force is field based.”

VNSNY Choice has hired its own nurse care managers in New York City. It could follow that model in upstate New York, or it could turn to subcontractors if they seem like a good fit, Palmieri says.

“Those care managers have a direct relationship with the patients today,” he says. “When there aren’t those opportuni-ties, we’re happy to build the infrastructure ourselves.”

The Medicaid managed long-term care plan does not have any members in Central New York or the Mohawk Valley at the mo-ment. It could sign up interested members today but will likely make a push at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013, according to Palmieri.

VNSNY Choice doesn’t know how many members it will sign up, and it’s not clear how many competitors it will face in the up-state market. It has nearly 14,000 managed long-term care beneficiaries in New York City, Palmieri says.

Rough estimates show the plan will re-ceive about $18,500 per member per year in Medicaid revenue. Those payments will vary by hundreds of dollars in different state rating regions, however.

“Around the first of the year is when we’ll have a formalized business plan based upon what we’ve projected and budgeted,” Palmieri says. “The challenge we have right now is, because there has not been a man-aged long-term care delivery system for this type of long-term care in the past, it’s going to be tricky to get the rates right.”

VNSNY Choice has 1,470 total employ-ees. It offers Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid long-term care plans, and a health plan for individuals with HIV/AIDS and their children. It forecasts premium revenue of about $1 billion in 2012 — about $550 million of which will come from man-aged long-term care plans. Palmieri didn’t

have estimates of premium revenue for 2013, but says top-line revenue is estimated to be about $1.8 billion in 2013.

The managed long-term care plan has existing operations in New York City’s five boroughs and previously received state approval to grow into Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.

More recent state decisions have given it approval to expand into Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, and Onondaga counties, as well as other counties. They include Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Schoharie, Warren, Washington, and Monroe counties.

VNSNY Choice has hired seven people in Fishkill in Dutchess County to spearhead its efforts in the Hudson Valley counties. It leased a 3,000-square-foot office there.

Palmieri is no stranger to the Mohawk Valley. He’s a Utica–area native who helped build Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Senior Network Health managed long-term health-care plan in the late 1990s, he says. q

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HealthCare Provider • Page 5December 5, 2014

SYRACUSE — The Nurse Connection Staffing, Inc., an Albany–based pro-vider of nursing staff for long-term care facilities, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and school districts, is expanding into the Syracuse market.

Dan Moran, the firm’s managing direc-tor, says it “is technically referred to as a staff-augmentation company.”

Moran spoke with the Business Journal News Network in a phone interview on Nov. 24.

When an organization calls and says it needs a nurse or a certified nursing assis-tant (CNA), Nurse Connection Staffing has people it can deploy to fill that shift.

“It’s not perma-nent placement, it’s not temporary place-ment,” says Moran, who launched his firm 28 years ago.

With an aging population, the work at long-term care and assisted-living fa-cilities is ongoing, and “that’s not going to

change.”“Their challenge is finding people,” says

Moran.Moran is searching for office space that

would give the firm its “foothold” in the market. He and market manager Charles Harkola were searching in Fayetteville and in downtown Syracuse, he says.

Moran is seeking space that’ll accom-modate a few offices and conference space.

“We’re not going to lock into a three-year lease now. It wouldn’t make any sense for us,” says Moran.

They have been recruiting in Central New York for a few weeks. They also held a hiring event on Nov. 25 at the local office of the New York State Department of Labor at 450 S. Salina St.

As Moran sought options for expansion, he examined the number of annual con-tracted hours in a given region.

Contracted hours are the number of hours an organization might need from a staffing firm.

In the eight-county Albany region, orga-nizations have about 1 million contracted hours available. When he started examin-ing the number of contracted hours in mar-kets statewide, he says the data indicated Syracuse was “one of the top markets in New York” with more than 2.4 million con-

tracted hours per year. “So, there’s a significant potential … for

our business model,” Moran contends.Through their marketing and recruit-

ing, Moran and Harkola are finding a “fair amount” of people who enjoy this type of work; it provides “flexibility,” especially to some of the company’s CNAs, who tend to be younger and have children.

The Nurse Connection Staffing em-ploys 11 in Albany, including Moran; 11 in Syracuse, including Harkola; and about 200 field staff members (those who fill the posi-tions), according to Moran.

They hired about 10 people at the Nov. 25 event at the local office of the state Labor

Department. The firm has hired a total of 25 nurses in the Central New York region as of Dec. 2, a figure it expects to rise to near 50 by the end of the year, according to Harkola.

Employees are bonded, insured, and Nurse Connection Staffing carries their li-ability, he adds.

The firm looks for candidates with six months to one year’s worth of experience. “When they go into a facility, they have to walk in and they have to know what to do … because there’s no training time,” says Moran.

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Page 6 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014


Oswego Health has ap-pointed David Wang, M.D., of CRA Medical Imaging, as the new chief of service for medical imaging. He has more than 20 years experience as a physi-cian radiologist. Wang earned his medical de-gree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at Sinai Hospital of Detroit and his fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in nuclear medicine, also located in Detroit. While he is trained in all medical-imaging areas, Wang special-izes in nuclear medicine and mammogra-phy.


Vaishali R. Baxi, M.D. has joined the staff at Rome Memorial Hospital as a member of its hospitalist team. A graduate of the Medical University of the Americas in Nevis, West Indies, she also earned an MBA in health-care adminis-tration, with a minor in public health from Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Baxi is certified in fun-damental critical care support, basic life sup-port, and advanced car-diac life support. She also has a bachelor’s degree in business administration in fi-nance and investments from Wayne State University in Detroit. Kiran Yelakanti, M.D. has also joined the Rome Memorial medical staff. He earned his medical de-gree from the Osmania Medical College in Andhra Pradesh, India and completed his residency in pediatrics at the Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.


St. Joseph’s Physicians announced that Vijaya Seepana, M.D., Travis Webb, M.D., and Nicole Mattes have recently joined the practice. Seepana is a member of St. Joseph’s Physicians Family Medicine in Fayetteville. Webb and Mattes will see patients within St. Joseph’s Physicians Surgical Services. Seepana is a graduate of SUNY Upstate Medical University and completed her residency in family medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. She completed her medical

education at Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada, India and her residency in fam-ily medicine at Glen Cove Hospital in Glen Cove, N.Y. In addition to English, she is fluent in Telugu and Hindi. Webb provides general surgery services to St. Joseph’s Physicians Surgical Services pa-tients. He earned a medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and an undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany. Webb completed his residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. Mattes completed the FNP program at SUNY Upstate Medical University and is a graduate the physician assistant program at Le Moyne College. Prior to joining St. Joseph’s Physicians, she worked as a general surgery physician assistant at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center has ap-pointed Katie Taylordirector of patient ac-counting, effective Dec. 1. She replaces Michael Scherr, who is retiring after 15 years of service to St. Joseph’s. Taylor brings 10 years of financial ex-perience to the position. She has worked as a financial analyst at St. Joseph’s, as well as Community General Hospital. Taylor also has served as manager of Eclypsis and most recently was an application leader for the hospital billing portion of the SJLinked/Epic implementation. She earned a bache-lor’s degree in business administration, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from SUNY Potsdam and an MBA from SUNY Oswego. Taylor is certified in Epic Resolute hospital billing and serves as an officer on the board for the Central New York chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. SLOCUMDICKSON MEDICAL


Prasanna Venkatesh Kumar, M.D. has joined Slocum-Dickson Medical Group PLLC in the specialty of cardiol-ogy. He is a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist specializ-ing in coronary, struc-tural, and peripheral interventions. Kumar completed his interventional cardiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and his cardiovascular diseases fellowship at Louisiana State University

Health Science Center in Shreveport, La. He completed his internal medicine intern-ship and residency at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science at the Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, Ill., where he also served as chief resi-dent. Kumar earned his medical degree from Madras Medical College in India. He has also served as a clinical instructor of medicine, and clinical assistant profes-sor of medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) an-nounced that Irving Raphael, M.D., and Bradley Raphael, M.D., are joining the practice in December. Both doctors have a long history of providing orthopedic care to patients in Central New York, and are experts in sports medicine. Irving Raphael has been the director of sports medicine and head team physician at Syracuse University for many years. He is also an orthopedic consultant to the NCAA, NBA, NFL, and PGA. He is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and completed his orthopedic residency at Upstate Medical School, where he is now a clinical assistant professor of orthopedics. Bradley Raphael also received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery at Cornell-Weill Medical School in New York City, and also completed a sports medicine fel-lowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. While in California, Bradley Raphael gained extensive experi-ence working with athletes alongside the team doctors for the Los Angeles Lakers, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the University of Southern California. Also joining SOS are Deborah Pflugh and Brandon Weaver, mid-level profession-als who have worked with Drs. Raphael. Pflugh is a graduate of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center School of Nursing, and she received her certification as a nurse practitioner at SUNY Health Science Center. Weaver is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a bach-elor’s degree from its physician assistant program. He is a clinical preceptor for RIT, providing instruction in patient care, treat-ment, and mentoring to physician-assistant students.


Universal American has hired new employ-ees who will join the company’s Northeast regional headquar-ters in Syracuse. New team members include: Marge Mercury, ex-ecutive director of the Northeast market. Prior to joining Universal American, she held several executive posi-tions in the health-care industry, including

at the Camden Group, Evercare, and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Mercury is a registered nurse and received her master’s degree in health-care manage-ment from Hartford Graduate Center. Mary Reed, executive clinical consultant, pre-viously was the direc-tor of clinical services for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in health-care administration from New School University. Patty Smith, manager of case management, previously was a triage coordinator at Upstate University Hospital and a school nurse in the Baldwinsville Central School District. She has a bachelor’s de-gree in nursing from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Jennifer Young, director of ad-ministrative services, was previously the manager of member-ship management for Univera Community Health and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Medaille College. Holly Bennett has been hired as Today’s Options case man-ager. Prior to joining Universal American, she was a Telehealth nurse at Arnot Health. Bennett received her registered nurse certi-fication and associate degree in nursing from Corning Community College. Lorr y Stubley was hired as executive director of Today’s Options Clinical Programs. She comes to Universal American with an extensive background in health care and business management. Stubley received her master’s degree in health service management from The New School for Social Research, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the State University of New York Institute of Technology, her associate degree in nursing from Mohawk Valley Community College, and a Lean Six Sigma certification from Purdue University. Kara Thoreck has joined the company


















Continued on page 11

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HealthCare Provider • Page 7December 5, 2014

Syracuse VA Medical Center opens Women Veterans Wellness Center SYRACUSE — The Syracuse VA Medical Center on Dec. 1 formally opened the Women Veterans Wellness Center, which will provide primary care and specialty care, including care for mili-tary sexual trauma (MST) and reproductive health care.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) attended the ceremony.

The Women Veterans Wellness Center (WWC) has two full-time providers, a physi-cian, and a nurse practitioner.

Together, they provide care, including pri-mary and gender-specif-ic care, for nearly 1,000 women. These two providers also provide gender-specific care to another 200 women in primary care teams,

dubbed Red and Blue, respectively. The Wellness Center provides gynecology

services four days per week, urology three

days per month, and mental-health services four times per week.

A pharmacist will be available in the clinic on a regular basis beginning in January. The WWC also provides rural health care with tele-mental health, tele-gynecology, and tele-primary care phone clinics.

“Women have served bravely and honor-ably for generations and the roles and jobs that women perform in our Armed Forces have expanded even more significantly in re-cent years and during the on-going conflicts. This center is devoted to ensuring that these Veterans get the care they deserve and have earned,” James Cody, director of the Syracuse VA Medical Center, said in a Gillibrand news release.

In addition to the wellness center, the local VA Medical Center also dedicated the Corporal Kyle Schneider Family Waiting Room.

The facility named the room in honor of a 2006 graduate of C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville who was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Helmond Province, Afghanistan on June 30, 2011.

The Family Waiting Room serves as a place of respite for veteran families waiting for their veterans while they receive care at

the VA.“As Kyle’s parents and family, we are

grateful Kyle’s memory and sacrifice are honored in this way by the VA. It has been a source of comfort to us to hear from the families who have used The Cpl. Kyle Schneider Family Room, and tell us how meaningful and helpful it has been for them. We would like to thank all those involved in making The Cpl. Kyle Schneider USMC Family Room a possibility,” Rick and Lorie Schneider, parents of Corporal Kyle Schneider said.

Gillibrand wrote to then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, urging him to approve the new name for the waiting room.

The Corporal Kyle Schneider Family Waiting Room is supported by volunteers from

the Corporal Kyle R. Schneider Foundation, which was formed in Schneider’s honor.

“These ceremonies today at the Syracuse VA hospital were so important for the com-munity here,” Gillibrand said. “We honored the bravery of a Baldwinsville Marine who gave his life for his country, and we honored the women who make so many sacrifices to serve in our military. The past, present, and future of our military were represented proudly today, and it was a privilege to be a part of this day of celebration at the Syracuse VA.”

Gillibrand is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]

eriC reinhArdtjoURnAl STAff

Southern tier healthLink plans to merge with smaller downstate organizationBInGHAMTon — Southern Tier Healthlink (STHl) plans to merge with Taconic Health Information network and Community (THInC) into a single “qualified entity” called HealthlinknY.

A qualified entity (QE) was previously referred to as a regional health-information organization (RHIO), according to a news release the organizations issued on Nov. 17.

STHL and THINC are calling the merger a “step toward unified exchange of health information in New York.”

The organizations had been collaborating on projects and consult-ing services and even-tually thought it would be a “great idea” to merge, says Christina Galanis, executive di-

rector of Southern Tier HealthLink.“So we got our heads together, looked at

budgets and resources, and, as you would imagine with most mergers, two companies can often find economies of scale by com-bining activities under one umbrella,” says Galanis.

The organizations started preliminary discussions in November 2013, she says.

Galanis, who will serve as president and CEO of the merged organization, spoke with the Business Journal News Network on Dec. 1.

Galanis has been aware of THINC since 2005 because both organizations started under the state’s HEAL grant program, which ended in 2012.

STHL was formed as an entity following

the 2005 application for HEAL I (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law) grant funding.

Of the 13 RHIOs that started with state funding in 2005, some organizations serv-ing the New York City area have also merged, reducing the number to eight, says Galanis.

STHL is a nonprofit health-information organization that says it uses technology to bring together Central New York health-care providers and consumers to “improve health-care quality, access, and safety while reducing costs.”

Binghamton–based United Health Services, a regional health-care system; Lourdes Hospital of Binghamton; and other stakeholders established STHL in 2005.

Fishkill, N.Y.–based THINC says it works to advance the use of health-information technology through the “sponsorship of a secure health-information exchange net-work, the adoption and use of interoper-able EHRs [electronic health records] and the implementation of population health-improvement activities.”

“New Yorkers will see their health care improve as a direct result of this important union between THINC and STHL,” Susan Stuard, executive director of Taconic Health Information Network and Community. “By joining forces, we will be able broaden our current services for patients and doctors, and expand our policy work.”

Stuard will serve as a senior vice presi-dent of HealthlinkNY focusing on grants, demonstration projects, and population health-improvement activities, says Galanis.

The merged organization will span 11 counties across the Southern Tier, Catskills, and Hudson Valley.

STHL currently employs 14 full-time workers. A 15th employee joins the Binghamton office on Dec. 15, says Galanis. THINC currently employs four full-time

workers and plans to add two additional employees by January.

STHL is moving its Binghamton office in August “to accom-modate our expand-ing staff,” she says. It currently operates in a 3,800-square-foot space in the Lackawanna Train Station at 45 Lewis St. in Binghamton.

The office will move to a 9,100-square-foot space at 49 Court St. in Binghamton.

The New York State Department of Health in November authorized the or-ganizations to certify as one entity in the 2015 certification, which will take effect in May.

HealthlinkNY has a website that refers to the Binghamton office as the Western office and the Fishkill office as the Eastern office.

The New York State Attorney General and the Supreme Court of New York will need to review and approve the merger before it takes effect.

Galanis plans to file the paperwork for the merger before the end of the month.

“We have been told by others that have gone through this process that it can take anywhere from three months to a year,” she adds.

About healthlinknYSTHL has built a health-information ex-

change in its region and will expand the technology into the Hudson Valley as part of HealthlinkNY. THINC has established a “collaborative” model for “primary-care transformation and population-health im-provement,” which will expand to include the Southern Tier with HealthlinkNY, ac-cording to the news release.

The new collaborative offers “secure”

electronic access to statewide health in-formation for participating providers and patients in the region, along with informa-

tion and tools to help in “health transformation,” the organizations con-tend.

As a QE of health information-technology, HealthlinkNY will main-tain patients’ electronic health records from par-ticipating health-care or-ganizations and provider

practices across the region, consolidating them into more “centralized and consoli-dated” records, the organizations said.

A combined, 20-person board of directors will govern the new HealthlinkNY organiza-tion.

Galanis says RHIOs are now referred to as QEs, which are eligible for pub-lic funding. RHIOs are required to meet certain regulations and are subject to an external third-party audit before reaching QE status. If an organization doesn’t pass the audit, then it’s not eligible for public funding.

“And if you’re not a qualified entity, you cannot connect with the other RHIOs, or other qualified entities. You can’t come on … to what we call the SHIN-NY,” says Galanis.

The merger occurs as the state is begin-ning to interconnect the QEs as part of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), a network that enables the exchange of electronic-health records across the state.

New York is the “first large state” to create a public utility network of this kind, which funding included in the current state budget is supporting. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]

eriC reinhArdtjoURnAl STAff

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), second from right, and Syracuse VA Medical Center Director James Cody, right, help cut the rib-bon to formally open the new Women Veterans Wellness Center at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.


To C



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Page 8 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014

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Cayuga Medical Center, Schuyler Hospital form Cayuga Health SystemITHACA — Cayuga Medical Center of Ithaca and Schuyler Hospital of Montour Falls (Schuyler County) in late October announced the establish-ment of the Cayuga Health System, a new regional health-care network.

The new organization unites the hospi-tals in a network that delivers health-care services while maintaining the identity and governance of each hospital, according

to a joint news release from the hospitals.

The two facilities are also using their original names with a new logo that identi-

fies each hospital as a member of the Cayuga Health System.

Incorporated as a New York nonprofit corporation, Cayuga Health System is de-signed to accommodate the possible ad-

dition of other hospital and health-care related organizations as deemed “appro-priate and beneficial” to support regional health care, according to the release.

“Cayuga Health System is the culmina-tion of three years of collaboration and in-novation on the part of our lead-ership teams, boards of direc-tors, and medi-cal staffs. Both of our hospitals are stronger for it, and the patients we serve will benefit now and in the years to come,” John Rudd, president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center, said in the release.

In working together over the past three years, the hospitals have learned that they “can do more together” than on their own for both facilities and the residents in their combined service area, Andrew Manzer, president and CEO of Schuyler Hospital, said.

“Our goal is to keep health-care services local and to collaborate in a long-term vi-sion that will result in the delivery of a high level of care in both our communities,” said

Manzer.By serving a larger regional population,

the hospitals are in the “strongest possible position” to meet future challenges, Larry Baum, chairman of the Cayuga Medical Center board of directors, contended.

“We are able to pro-vide special services, such as percutane-ous coronary

intervention for heart-attack patients and subspecialty orthopedics, because we have a sufficient number of patients to support the practices of these specialists. In pro-viding care to a larger population base, as we are doing through the Cayuga Health System, we can offer a higher level of ser-vice to all of the communities we serve,” said Baum.

Schuyler Hospital says the partnership between the hospitals has already yielded financial rewards.

“Our positive experience in working to-gether is already well established,” Kyle Tuttle, chairman of the Schuyler Hospital board of directors, said in the release.

“This affiliation enabled Schuyler Hospital to obtain a HEAL (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law) grant of $6.5 million from the New York State Department of Health. These critical funds were used for a major renovation, including new operat-ing rooms at Schuyler Hospital to support our growing outpatient surgery program in orthopedics and general surgery.”

Cayuga Medical Center is a 204-bed, acute-care regional medical center with a medical staff of 250. Its formal clinical col-laborations include partnerships with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, Sands-Constellation Heart Institute in Rochester, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Schuyler Hospital is a 25-bed critical-access hospital with a medical staff of 30 and a 120-bed skilled-nursing facility in Montour Falls.

Three affiliated primary-care centers pro-vide walk-in care in Montour Falls, in Ovid (Seneca County), and in Dundee (Yates County), according to the release. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]

eriC reinHardtjOurnAl STAFF

The Nurse Connection Staffing han-dles background checks, criminal-record checks, and credential verification through New York state, says Moran.

“We do all that and we don’t charge for

that,” he adds.When asked how the company is mak-

ing itself known to organizations in Central New York, Moran replied with a laugh, “It’s called marketing, calling; marketing, calling.”

Harkola has been alerting local organiza-

tions about what the company is and does, says Moran.

“In our market research, there’s about 120 facilities in the Central New York area, not including Binghamton,” he says.

Some use staffing agencies and some do not, he notes.

On its website, Nurse Connection Staffing boasts that it currently serves 120 clients in the Capital region and upstate New York area. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]

nurSe ConneCtion: Firm currently serves 120 clients in the Capital region and upstate New York areaContinued from page 5

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HealthCare Provider • Page 9December 5, 2014


Congratulations to the 2014 Excellence in Health Care Honorees!

Representatives from Bankers Healthcare

Group, Inc.

Attendees enjoying the s’more station at the event

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Visit bizeventz.com to view all of the event photos and see what other exciting events are coming up!Follow bizeventz:

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Page 10: 120514 hcp flip

Page 10 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014

THE LISTResearch by Nicole Collins

[email protected] (315) 579-3911

Twitter: @cnybjresearch

ABOUT THE LISTInformation was provided by representatives of listed orga-nizations and their websites. Other groups may have been eligible but did not respond to our requests for informa-tion. While The Business Journal strives to print accurate information, it is not possible to independently verify all data submitted. We reserve the right to edit entries or delete categories for space considerations.

WHAT cOnSTITUTES THE cnY REgIOn?Central New York includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

nEEd A cOpY Of A LIST?Electronic versions of all our lists, with additional fields of information and survey contacts, are available for purchase at our website, cnybj.com/ListsResearch.aspx

WAnT TO BE On THE LIST?If your company would like to be considered for next year’s list, or another list, please email [email protected]

HOME HEALTH-CARE AGENCIESRanked by No. of Home Health-Care (HHC) Employees




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HealthCare Provider • Page 11December 5, 2014

disability costs; enhanced employee pro-ductivity; reduced employee absenteeism; decreased rates of illness and injuries; enhanced corporate image; improved em-ployee satisfaction, recruitment, and reten-tion.

For employees, the benefits include more access to health-promotion resources and social support; improved health status and job satisfaction; lower out-of-pocket costs for health-care services, reduced premiums, deductibles, and co-payments; lower costs for acute health issues; and increased well-being, self-image, and self-esteem.

Carbone Auto Group and PAR Technology Corp. (NYSE: PAR) are cus-tomers of Revolutionary’s corporate-well-ness program.

Kunkel also handles clinical nutrition and weight loss for individuals. He has worked with a “couple hundred” individuals on those concerns in the past few years, he says.

Some organizations have also requested he provide programs during the lunch hour for their employees, including a re-cent visit to Hamilton College.

He’ll also try to help companies that have a specific wellness request.

“I would be able to build a program spe-cifically for them,” says Kunkel.

Kunkel has one full-time employee. Dominick Manfredo serves as the firm’s vice president and is responsible for day-to-day operations including marketing, sales, and communications for Revolutionary Wellness.

He also works with two doctors and a therapist who serve as consultants as Kunkel assembles the lectures he deliv-ers as part of the company’s corporate-wellness programs.

He works with Dr. Joseph Colosi, who specializes in functional and wellness medi-cine and is board-certified in family medi-cine; Dr. Kareem Hamad who practices

as a hospitalist at St. Elizabeth Medical Center; and Robert Wittman, a therapist who works with individuals, couples, and families in a privately held practice for more than 20 years, according to the Revolutionary Wellness website.

Wittman operates a practice in Clinton, according to a Google search.

Kunkel has organized more than 40 lec-tures on topics that include introduction to weight loss and wellness; fat loss and increas-ing metabolism; food quality; stress; goal set-ting; food psychology; and how to sleep.

He declined to disclose his firm’s rev-enue information, but noted the “business

has always been profitable from day one.” New Hartford–based Trainor, which de-

scribes itself as a “strategic planning, brand strategy, and business optimization consul-tancy,” helped create the Revolutionary Wellness website.

Kunkel has a master’s degree in ap-plied clinical nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Empire State College in 2010, along with several certifications. q

Contact Reinhardt at [email protected]





















A publication for and about

healthcare providers in CNY




HCP 2015 DATESFebruary 16April 20June 8August 3October 19December 14

HealthCare Provider is distributed to:

as an executive assistant. She previously worked at not-for-profit organizations and has extensive experience supporting top-level executives.

upstate medical university

Sandra Delaney has been named as-sistant vice president for shared business services at Upstate Medical University. She first joined Upstate Medical in October 2006, as the director of payroll services. In January, Delaney was assigned to provide oversight to the ac-counts payable, campus purchasing, and contracts departments and has been critical in helping to create a more efficient pro-cess for contracting and purchasing. She was honored with a presidential employee recognition award as campus employee of the year in 2103. Delaney earned a bach-elor’s degree from Columbia College and an MBA from Le Moyne College. Prior to her appointment at Upstate Medical, she was controller for Young & Franklin Inc./Tactair Fluid Controls Inc., a local manufac-turing firm, for nearly 20 years.

health-care career NeWS (continued from page 6)


WellNeSS: He also works with two doctors and a therapist who serve as consultants

Send your Health-Care Career News to:

[email protected]

continued from page 3

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Page 12 • HealthCare Provider December 5, 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Honorees and Thank You to Our Sponsors!

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Adam Rombel, Editor-In-Chief of The Business Journal News Network

Joyl Clance, BizEventz, left, and Event Emcee Deborah Cabral,

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Michelle Barber, Kelly’s Choice