News & Events
Mayor Buckley and UR Medicine/St. James Hospital Strongly Urge Community to Social Distance Amid Growing Local COVID-19 Cases
March 31, 2020… As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grows in Hornell and surrounding communities, with several patients hospitalized at UR Medicine/St. James Hospital, local officials implore the community to take every precaution to social distance.
“We now have several patients on our inpatient unit who are COVID-19 positive,” said St. James president and CEO, Bryan O’Donovan. “We need the community to continue take this public health crisis seriously, to prevent further cases.”
Hornell Mayor John Buckley concurs.
“Now more than ever it’s imperative that people stay home and only go out to get the bare essentials, to minimize their exposure,” he said. “We know it’s difficult, but this situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and we want people of Hornell and surrounding communities to heed all precautions.”
Physicians at St. James Hospital are seeing more confirmed cases and treating those patients, as well as non-COVID-19 patients.
“We have enough PPE and staff to take care of the patients we have,” said Ismail Mehr, M.D., “but we do not want those numbers to climb dramatically. Our community must do everything they can to avoid getting COVID-19, the best way of which is to stay home.”
John Robshaw, M.D., oversees the St. James emergency department, and conveys the same message.
“We are taking all precautions to keep our staff and patients safe, including masking everyone as they come into the building,” he said. “Anyone with severe symptoms – such as shortness of breath and high fever – should go to the emergency department for a higher level of care, and if possible should call in advance (607-247-2300).”
People are urged to follow the guidelines – frequent hand washing, cough/sneeze into a tissue or inside of your elbow, self-quarantine for mild symptoms, and especially, social distancing.
“We are continuing to take care of all patients who come through our door to include COVID-19 positive patients, as well as doing essential surgeries,” said O’Donovan. “We cannot stress enough that social distancing works, and we ask the community to share the message.”
St. James Moves to “Universal Masking” to Limit COVID-19 Exposure
Monday, March 30, 2020
As the novel coronavirus extends its spread throughout the region, UR Medicine/St. James Hospital is moving to “universal masking,” which requires all staff, vendors and visitors within St. James health care facilities to wear a surgical mask at all times. Universal masking applies to all inpatient, urgent care, procedure and clinic locations within St. James Hospital, and takes effect Tuesday, March 31st at 7 p.m.
“Several factors drove this decision,” said Bilal Ahmed, MD, St. James chief medical officer. “The experience of other organizations and countries suggests that taking a universal approach to masking in health care settings helps to keep the pandemic under control. We are seeing a steady increase of cases in Steuben County and the region. Now that the infection is becoming more prevalent, universal masking is a preventative strategy we can take to keep our health care workers and patients safe, and also slow down the increase in positive cases.”
All UR Medicine affiliates, in collaboration with Rochester Regional Health, are taking this approach.
The new directives include:
- All St. James staff, vendors or other visitors must wear a mask while in any common or shared areas of the hospital at 7329 Seneca Rd. and medical office building at 7309 Seneca Rd. This includes the lobby, hallway, patient unit, patient exam rooms, cafeteria, etc.
- Only patients who are COVID-19 positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 will be masked.
“We know that the coronavirus spreads mainly from person-to-person,” said Dr. Ahmed. “The primary means of transmission appears to be respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough that land on a surface (i.e., doorknobs, phones, countertops), or from droplets from a coughing or sneezing person a few feet away. Masks prevent the virus on your hands -- or dispersed from a cough – from reaching your nose and mouth (and why frequent hand washing and hand sanitizers are so strongly encouraged). By masking our entire health care workforce, we are taking yet one more step to reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure among co-workers, with our patients, our family and friends, and our community.”
St. James Hospital and Jones Memorial Hospital Name New Chief Financial Officer
Friday, October 18, 2019
James H. Helms, CHFP, CPA, FHFMA
St. James Hospital and Jones Memorial Hospital are pleased to announce that James H. Helms, CHFP, CPA, FHFMA, has been named chief financial officer (CFO) effective 10/27/19. Mr. Helms will take on a dual role as CFO of St. James Hospital and Jones Memorial Hospital (Wellsville), where he currently is vice president of finance. Prior to his current role at Jones Memorial he served as their director of health information management/revenue cycle and corporate compliance officer.
In this new position, Mr. Helms will oversee the financial operations of both hospitals, including financial policies, financial strategic planning, cost management, budgets, financial reports, funding streams, and the finance staff at both locations. He will also retain some of his financial and operational responsibilities at Jones while taking on some operational roles at St. James as well.
According to St. James president & CEO, Bryan O’Donovan, “We are pleased to work with the leadership at Jones and UR Medicine to create a position that will benefit both of our organizations. Jim is the right fit, and has extensive experience at both entities and is well versed in leading hospitals through transition.”
“This strategic appointment will improve our respective operations,” said Eva Benedict, CEO of Jones Memorial Hospital. “Jim is well respected at both organizations, and has had great success working with the Jones team in stabilizing our financial position. He will work tirelessly to build solid working relationships with our colleagues across the region, so that we all can continue to expand much-needed healthcare services in our local communities.”
Before joining Jones Memorial Hospital in 2013, Mr. Helms served as administrative director of clinic operations/support services and the financial controller at St. James Hospital for nine years. He is a certified public accountant (CPA), certified healthcare financial professional (CHFP), and fellow in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA). He earned his associate in applied science in accounting at Alfred State College and both his MBA and bachelor of business administration at St. Bonaventure University. He also served for twenty five years in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as command sergeant major.
Mark Prunoske, CFO at UR Medicine/Thompson Health and interim CFO at St. James, said, “Not only will Jim help transition St. James into its new facility, but most importantly, he will strengthen the collaboration among the local UR Medicine hospitals so that we can continue to bring high-quality healthcare services to people in this region.”
Founded in 1890, St. James Hospital is an affiliate of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. St. James provides a range of inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency department, general surgery, orthopedics and rehab services, imaging and lab services, urgent care, and a host of local outpatient clinics through its URMC affiliation.
An affiliate of University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), Jones Memorial Hospital is a 49-bed acute care facility serving all of Allegany County, as well as western Steuben County and northern Potter County, PA. Located in beautiful southwestern New York State, JMH is committed to continuously raising quality and safety to higher levels and providing top quality healthcare in a hometown community setting. Jones Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission.
St. James Hospital Rolls Out New Vein Finder Technology
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Purchase Made Possible by St. James Golf Tournament
St. James Hospital announced that is has implemented the AccuVein vein visualization system, designed to improve first-stick success and reduce patient pain. The purchase was made possible through proceeds raised at the recent “Friends Fore St. James” golf tournament.
The Accuvein device helps healthcare professionals easily locate the best vein for venipuncture procedures, such as to start an IV or to perform a blood draw.
“It is a highly effective system,” said Cassie Whitney, St. James education coordinator. “You simply point the device at the skin and click to display the peripheral veins beneath. The infrared technology ‘lights up’ the veins, making them much easier to find.”
Venipuncture is the most common invasive medical procedure worldwide, with an estimated 2.7 million procedures conducted every day in the U.S. alone. Studies reveal that up to one-third of attempts to access a vein fail the first time, creating unnecessary patient pain and discomfort. Improving first-stick attempts is a major goal for healthcare providers.
“People often say they feel like a pincushion when getting an IV started, and the technology we now use at St. James will be a welcome relief,” said Whitney. Staff in the progressive care, emergency, and pre-operative units will use the portable Accuvein system.
Even experienced healthcare professionals can have difficulty accessing veins safely and quickly the first time. Accuvein will be especially helpful with patients who are dehydrated, obese, have low body temperature, whose veins roll, or who have had frequent venipuncture during treatments.
“The Infusion Nurses Society now recommends the use of vein visualization technology such as Accuvein in their standards of practice,” said Melissa Rackmil, St. James chief nursing officer. “This is one more major step we are taking at St. James to implement evidence-based practices that improve patient outcomes and the overall care experience.”
The purchase of the Accuvein system was made possible through proceeds raised at the August 2 “Friends Fore St. James” golf tournament.
“We are delighted to be able to fund this $15,000 equipment,” said Linda Blauers, St. James foundation director. “Participation in our annual golf tournament is a major way that the community can directly help patients at St. James, and we thank all of the players, sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s event a great success.”
Providing the highest quality of care and an excellent patient experience for each and every patient are our top priorities at St. James, said Rackmil.
“Making a difference while providing the best care is why we go to work every day, and the AccuVein device will make a difference in allowing us to improve how we deliver the highest level of care. This is going to be good for the nursing staff, but even better for our patients.”
St. James Hospital Initiates “Quiet Time” to Enhance Patient Care
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Leadership at St. James Hospital announced the rollout of a daily “quiet time” at the facility at 411 Canisteo St., between the hours of 2:30 – 4:30pm and 1:00 – 3:00am.
The program is designed to give patients designated hours to enjoy undisturbed rest and sleep. During quiet time, unnecessary noise will be minimized throughout the facility especially in inpatient care areas. This includes phone usage, loud talking, overhead paging, alarms, use of doors, elevators and equipment, bright lights, cleaning and moving items.
“Hospitalized patients are subjected to noise and constant interruptions,” said Melissa Rackmil, St. James Hospital chief nursing officer. “It’s challenging to get the restorative sleep and rest that are vital to healing. Evidence shows that better rest leads to better outcomes, and we want St. James patients be as comfortable as possible while they’re here.”
Although designated quiet time is established at St. James, not all noise can be eliminated, explains Rackmil.
“The Hospital is a busy place, and during quiet time care will continue and patients will be discharged. But the more we excel at quiet time, the more we will improve the care experience for patients and their families.”
Quiet time signs have been posted in elevators and in patient rooms, and all St. James Hospital staff have been briefed.
“Everyone is on board and we’re excited to roll this out,” said Rackmil. “We welcome all feedback on quiet time, or on any aspect of our care and service.”
Questions and comments can be directed to Melissa_Rackmil@URMC.Rochester.edu, or call the St. James patient relations line at (607) 324-8866.
St. James Hospital Announces Retirement of Dr. John Halpenny, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Monday, August 19, 2019
St. James Hospital announced that long-time orthopaedic surgeon, John Halpenny, MD, is retiring effective August 31, 2019.
Dr. Halpenny completed medical school at the University of Toronto and his residency at the University of Western Ontario. He joined the St. James medical staff in 1994, and established his private practice, Varus Orthopaedics, on Elm St. in Hornell. Throughout his long and respected career, Dr. Halpenny cared for thousands of patients in and around the community. In 2018 he closed his private practice to join St. James orthopaedics at the new Medical Office Building on Seneca Rd.
“We are extremely grateful for the high-quality, compassionate service Dr. Halpenny has provided to the community, and especially to St. James Hospital,” said Bryan O’Donovan, president and CEO. “He cared for many injured adults and children who came through our emergency department, and was always available to patients in need, anytime of the day or night. We thank Dr. Halpenny for his tireless service, and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
St. James Hospital’s orthopaedic clinic is located at 7309 Seneca Rd., Suite 107, Hornell. The team includes Marc O’Donnell, MD, who specializes in upper extremity injuries and conditions; Paul Axtell, MD, who offers general orthopaedic and lower extremity services; and Colleen McTammany, PA, a general orthopaedic specialist who will join St. James Hospital in September. For more information or to make an appointment, call (607) 385-3740.
St. James Hospital Launches $2 Million Capital Campaign
Friday, July 19, 2019
St. James Hospital has formally launched its $2 million capital campaign to fund several capital projects associated with the new St. James Hospital construction at 7329 Seneca Rd. in Hornell. These projects are not included in the $55 million funding that was allocated by New York State to build the new facility.
Funds from the campaign will be used for three purposes:
- build a covered walkway that connects the new Hospital with the Medical Office Building;
- create an outdoor courtyard for patients and visitors adjacent to the dining facility; and
- purchase capital medical equipment for patient care.
“Our goal in the new Hospital is to provide patient-centered care in a convenient, comfortable setting,” said Bryan O’Donovan, St. James president and CEO. “These additional projects will enhance the patient and visitor experience, and we are excited to give community members an opportunity to contribute toward these efforts.”
Pete Wall, St. James capital campaign committee chair, said, “We already have major pledges from several donors, and we invite the public to get involved at any level that they can.”
Secure donations for the campaign can be made by online at giveto.urmc.edu/stjamescampaign or by contacting Bryan O’Donovan at bryan_odonovan@URMC.Rochester.edu, 607-324-8113.
“We are still on schedule to open the new St. James Hospital in early 2020, and these additional projects will be completed following the grand opening,” said O’Donovan.
New Podiatrist Joins St. James Hospital
Monday, June 24, 2019
St. James Hospital welcomes podiatrist Michael Daniels, DPM, DABPM, who will begin serving patients on July 1.
Dr. Daniels specializes in surgical and non-surgical treatment of foot injuries and disorders. He can address a wide range of conditions including heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, fungal and ingrown toenails, tendinitis, shin splints, bunions and hammer toes, corns and calluses, neuromas, infections, flat feet and Cavus foot, arthritis, diabetic and geriatric foot conditions, wound care, injury/trauma, gout, warts and more. He treats both pediatric and adult patients.
Dr. Daniels received his medical degree from Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and did his residency at Sister of Charity Hospital in Buffalo. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine.
Dr. Daniels will be located four days a week at St. James Center for Orthopaedic Care at 7309 Seneca Rd., Suite 107 (entrance B) in Hornell, and do surgeries at St. James Hospital. Appointments can be made now by calling (607) 385-3740.
UR Medicine Women’s Imaging and Breast Center Opens in Hornell
Friday, June 7, 2019
On June 6 nearly eighty people attended a public open house hosted by St. James Hospital (Hornell) to celebrate the new UR Medicine Women’s Imaging and Breast Center, which opened for business on June 10.
Located at the recently renovated Medical Office Building at 7309 Seneca Rd. in Hornell, this new 5,000 ft2 St. James Hospital clinic will offer comprehensive women’s imaging services including screening and diagnostic digital mammography, tomosynthesis (3D) mammography, breast biopsies, benign cyst aspiration, ultrasound imaging (for breast, ob and gyn purposes), and DEXA bone density screening.
“We are excited to open our first regional state-of-the-art women’s imaging center,” said David Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., UR Imaging department chair. “With the new technology and expertise available right in Hornell, patients won’t have to travel outside of the community for advanced women’s imaging care. We also look forward to serving the patients of Jones Memorial Hospital Women’s Health, which is moving into space adjacent to our new imaging clinic. ”
Many types of medical conditions can be evaluated at the new clinic including breast cancer, breast infections and lumps, fibrocystic breast changes, bone density conditions (osteopenia and osteoporosis), gynecological conditions (pelvic pain and cysts), and routine obstetric/fetal development. For more information visit www.StJames.URMC.edu.
St. James Rolls Out Employee Recognition Program
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Leadership at St. James Hospital is delighted to announce the rollout of out an employee recognition program called “ICARE Stars”, to acknowledge staff who provide exceptional care and customer service. ICARE stands for Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence, and is tailored after the program at the University of Rochester Medical Center and its affiliates.
“We have excellent employees who demonstrate the ICARE values every day,” said Bryan O’Donovan, St. James Hospital president and CEO. “This program formally recognizes staff who are passionate about providing the highest level of care and service, and we encourage patients, families and visitors to fill out a nomination card for individuals who exemplify those values.”
The ICARE Stars program was rolled out internally in November to St. James staff, as a way for employees to recognize their peers.
“We’ve had a tremendous response of peer-to-peer recognition, with nearly 400 internal nominations so far,” said O’Donovan. “Now that we are extending the program to the public, we expect the response to be even greater.”
He said the ICARE Stars program provides much-deserved recognition. Staff receive ICARE certificates and are acknowledged online and at periodic internal events.
“Serving the many and often complicated needs of patients and their families can be challenging. The ICARE Stars program gives the public an opportunity to formally say ‘thank you’ to any individuals at St. James – whether they directly care for patients or not – who deserve to be recognized for their compassionate and excellent service.”
Displays of ICARE Stars nomination cards have been placed throughout St. James’s two Hornell locations (Hospital/411 Canisteo St. and Medical Office Buildling/7309 Seneca Rd.). Completed cards can be dropped in any of the ICARE collection boxes located in the Hospital emergency room and main lobby, and at the Medical Office Building near entrances B and D.