News & Events
St. James Hospital Welcomes New Chief Financial Officer Christopher Graham
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
The St. James Hospital board of directors has appointed Christopher Graham as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Reporting to the CEO, Mr. Graham will be providing fiscal leadership for St. James, including financial services, general accounting, and financial and statistical reporting activities.
Wendy Disbrow, President and CEO of St. James Hospital, expressed her enthusiasm about Mr. Graham joining the team: “Chris’s wealth of experience and knowledge of healthcare system financials will be an invaluable asset to St. James.”
With 30 years of progressive experience in healthcare finance, management and operations, Mr. Graham has served healthcare facilities throughout New York and Alabama. From 2014 – 2020, Mr. Graham functioned as Chief Financial Officer for Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, NY. Following this, he held positions at Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, NY as Regional Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Financial Practitioner Services. In early 2022, Mr. Graham moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to become the System Controller for Baptist Health – Montgomery.
“I am so pleased to be working with St. James Hospital’s board of directors, senior leadership, and financial department,” voiced Christopher Graham, St. James Hospital's Chief Financial Officer. “I look forward to helping St. James advance its fiscal goals to help serve Hornell and surrounding communities.”
St. James Hospital Expands Primary Care Footprint
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
St. James Hospital is pleased to announce the completion of its Primary Care expansion project with the Grand Opening of Primary Care Suite 101 in the Medical Office Building effective Monday, October 23. Physicians, leaders, board members, and family attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which marked a milestone in enhancing healthcare accessibility for Hornell and its surrounding communities.
“This expansion project is the result of continued recruitment success. We recognized that there was a community need for increased access to Primary Care,” Wendy Disbrow, President and CEO remarked
at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “St. James Hospital is so pleased that we have been able to address this need with the addition of new providers and the creation of this expanded space.”
The newly opened Suite 101, located by the Specialty Clinic Suite 102, is now home to three highly
skilled Primary Care providers specializing in internal medicine and dedicated to the well-being of patients aged eighteen years and older. Dr. Eric Tharmathurai, Dr. Julie van Baardwijk, and Advanced Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Wetherby, specialize in adult and geriatric medicine and the treatment of chronic conditions, ensuring comprehensive and specialized care for adults and elderly patients.
“Our Primary Care team is thrilled to open an additional space in the Medical Office Building,” shared Primary Care Practice Manager Tammy Criss. “Dr. van Baardwijk, Dr. Tharmathurai, and Jennifer Wetherby, ANP, have and will continue to do an exceptional job of caring for our patients.”
The suite spans 3,500 square feet and was designed to enhance patient care and provider efficiency. It includes eight exam rooms, a well-equipped treatment room, a spacious nursing station, and three provider offices. The total investment of this project amounts to an estimated $1.2 million, with a large portion allocated to furniture and equipment. Notably, the St. James Foundation was pivotal in supporting the expansion project and executing successful fundraising events throughout 2023. Through these efforts, $34,000 was raised to benefit the expansion project, illustrating the community’s support for accessible healthcare services.
Lisa Schwartz, St. James Foundation Board Chair, stated, “I am very pleased to see the true impact that our fundraising has had. We held three fundraising events to benefit this suite’s opening, and it is so great to see those dollars put into physical form. Our board looks forward to continuing our fundraising efforts to support St. James Hospital, its patients, staff, and our community.”
Primary Care Suite 101 is open from Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Patients can schedule appointments with Dr. van Baardwijk, Dr. Tharmathurai, or Advanced Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Wetherby by calling (607) 385 – 3700.
Advanced Urological Services at St. James Hospital
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Nitin Sharma, MD, is leading a team of medical professionals at St. James Hospital in Hornell, New York, to set new benchmarks in urology services.
His focus on non-invasive or less invasive procedures for kidney stones, along with the acquisition of state-of-the-art technology, has made St. James a preferred destination for urological care. We sat down with Dr. Sharma to discuss the unique features and innovative techniques that make the urology department exceptional.
The Unique Advantages of St. James
One of the distinguishing aspects of St. James Hospital's urology services is its focus on patient convenience and speedy recovery.
“Most of the procedures in urology nowadays are ambulatory procedures or same-day procedures,” Dr. Sharma explains. This not only reduces the burden on hospital infrastructure but also benefits patients as it minimizes their time away from home and work.
Since joining St. James last year, Dr. Sharma has focused on endourology and introduced various non-invasive, or less invasive, treatments for kidney stones. One of the principal focuses is otoscopy, a procedure done with a thin lighted telescope that goes through the urinary passage up into the kidney to identify and treat kidney stones, making no cuts or holes in the body. The department has also acquired a state-of-the-art Super Pulse Thulium Fiber Laser, which Dr. Sharma describes as "much more efficient and
much stronger," enabling better stone clearance, explaining, "This laser's significantly enhanced efficiency and strength makes it more advanced than previous technology. Instead of fragmenting the stone into small pieces, it pulverizes it into fine dust, allowing for good clearance in such cases." "Good clearance" means no significant stone fragments post-procedure. The new techniques make surgical procedures more effective but also improve the patient's experience. “The recovery is faster—the patient can go home the same day. In most cases, patients don’t miss work, they can drive the next day, and they feel back to normal within a few hours,” said Dr. Sharma.
Local Care for the Local Community
Having these advanced urology services available in Hornell means residents no longer have to travel long distances for care. "People had to travel all the way to Rochester or all the way to Pennsylvania for these procedures. Now it's easier, and they feel more comfortable. It's more like a close community here," says Dr. Sharma. The sense of community in Hornell is one thing Dr. Sharma cherishes the most about working at St. James Hospital.
Elevating Patient Care
Dr. Sharma has always been passionate about urology, and working at Hornell has been particularly rewarding for him. He shares, "I like urology. I've always dreamt of urology when I was in medical school. It's one specialty where you get quicker results, which are more satisfying to both the patient as well as the physician." He emphasizes that along with advancements in instruments, the standardization of preoperative counseling and postoperative monitoring also plays a crucial role in improving patient outcomes. The urology department at St. James Hospital, led by Dr. Sharma, sets the highest standards in patient care through innovative techniques, state-of-the-art equipment, and a focus on community well-being. With rapid advances in endourology and the comfort of local care, the future of urological care is here in the Southern Tier.
St. James Hospital Successfully Conducts Mass Casualty Drill in Collaboration with Local Emergency Services
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
St. James Hospital, in partnership with local emergency services, conducted a highly successful mass casualty drill on Wednesday, October 4, to enhance the hospital's emergency preparedness protocols. The comprehensive simulated drill involved a large multi-vehicle accident on I-86 westbound, outside exit 34B, near Hornell and Arkport, and included a school bus and fertilizer truck collision with various degrees of victim injuries and chemical exposure. The drill allowed St. James Hospital, Hornell Fire and EMS personnel, and other collaborators to practice their emergency operations plan and refine their processes effectively.
During the exercise, thirty-one student victims from the BOCES Wildwood Criminal Justice Program portrayed different injury levels, enabling medical staff and emergency responders to triage and treat them using the SMART tagging system. The system utilized four colors, indicating the severity of injuries - black for deceased victims, red for severe injuries, yellow for non-life-threatening serious injuries, and green for minor injuries.
“The collaboration between St. James Hospital and local EMS groups is essential to prepare for real-life events. Unfortunately, a mass casualty event can happen at any time. Our Emergency Department is equipped and prepared for these events, and our staff is dedicated to providing patients with the best possible outcome,” stated Kaleigh Porcaro, Director of Nursing at St. James Hospital.
Hornell Fire Chief Frank Brzozowski emphasized the significance of such drills, saying, “St. James Hospital has always been a big part of our EMS and Advanced Life Support training. Drills like these allow us to perfect our communication, handoffs, and make sure we are on the same page.”
The involvement of the BOCES Wildwood Criminal Justice Program provided a realistic touch to the simulation, offering valuable insights for future professionals in law enforcement. One student participant, Kahley Stuart, shared, “The drill helped open our eyes to all situations that can happen in the Emergency Department and the protocols that nurses and doctors use. As criminal justice students, it taught us what we can expect working in law enforcement.”
Wendy Disbrow, St. James Hospital President and CEO stated, “This drill prepared us for a real-life disaster in a simulated environment. We can ensure that our care team is ready at a moment’s notice with training like this. I want to especially thank members of our St. James Hospital team Caleb Drake, Director of Facility Operations, Kaleigh Porcaro, RN Director of Nursing, Teri Symonds, RN, and Hornell Fire Chief Frank Brzozowski, for their collaboration and for making this drill possible. We are also pleased to have the involvement of the students and teachers of the BOCES Wildwood Criminal Justice Program.”
St. James Hospital appreciates the collaboration and support from all partners involved in this vital emergency preparedness drill. The hospital remains committed to the safety and well-being of the community and will continue to actively engage in initiatives that enhance its ability to respond effectively to emergencies.
St. James Hospital Primary Care Welcomes New Family Medicine Doctor Joy Hur, DO
Monday, October 2, 2023
St. James Hospital welcomes Dr. Joy Hur, DO, to the Primary Care practice in the Medical Office Building, Suite 109. Specializing in Family Medicine, Dr. Hur is currently accepting new patients from newborns to seniors, treats an extensive range of ailments, provides preventative care, and helps patients manage chronic illnesses. When asked about her philosophy of care, Dr. Hur stated, “I promise my patients that I will be a collaborative partner and provide a whole-person approach to care to help attain their health goals.”
Dr. Hur received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown, New York. She then completed her Family Medicine Residency through Brown University at Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island. Dr. Hur takes a special interest in sports medicine and acute care.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dr. Joy Hur now resides in Hornell, NY. She enjoys staying active through saber fencing, snowboarding, and recreational sports leagues like slow-pitch softball. She has also taken a keen interest in learning how to fly a plane and plans to take flight courses in the spring.
Dr. Hur will join the St. James Primary Care practice consisting of Family Medicine Doctors Adrian Ashdown, MD, Rhonda Peterson, MD, Nurse Practitioners Kimberly Betker, NP, Sharon Smith, NP, Catrina Noniewicz, NP, and Certified Physician Assistant Alicia McHale, PA-C. “Our community’s need for primary care physicians is evident,” stated Wendy Disbrow, St. James Hospital President and CEO. “We are pleased to meet this need. Welcome Dr. Joy Hur to our Primary Care practice, as we continue improving access to necessary care.”
St. James Hospital Hosts Community Health Fair
Thursday, September 14, 2023
St. James Hospital hosted a Community Health Fair in their campus parking lot on Saturday, September 9. The event featured St. James Hospital departments, local healthcare organizations, emergency medical and law enforcement staff, and vehicles. Midway through the event, severe lightning forced organizers to end the event early due to safety concerns.
“We looked forward to breaking down barriers to healthcare access by educating our community on St. James Hospital’s services and other local health organizations.” Stated Wendy Disbrow, St. James Hospital President, and CEO. “I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the entire team, and as always, I am grateful to be working with such incredible people.”
Departments from St. James Hospital included Human Resources, Imaging, Infection Prevention, Inpatient Unit, Orthopaedics, Physical Therapy, Primary Care, Patient Registration, Specialty Clinic, and Urgent Care. In addition, local healthcare organizations included Elderwood of Hornell, Arbor Development, Catholic Charities of Steuben and Livingston Counties, Fidelis Care Health Insurance, Ardent Solutions, AIM Independent Living, Human Services Development, New York Connects, Noyes Memorial Hospital, WCKR Radio with DJ Sean Stewart, Cancer Services Program, Visiting Angels, Hornell Partners for Growth, Hornell Family YMCA, Steuben County COMPEER, Oak Orchard Health, Maple City Physical Therapy, Finger Lakes Community Health, Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine Lung Cancer Screening, and Cancer Support Community Rochester.
Steuben County Sheriff's Department offered tours of their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) and provided IDs for children, a part of their Operation Safe Child Program. Next to their fire truck, the Hornell Fire Department demonstrated fire extinguisher safety, and Fremont EMS provided basic education on CPR. Fair attendees were also offered tours of the North Hornell fire truck and the LifeNet helicopter.
Kid-friendly activities included a free teddy bear clinic, a passport to health scavenger hunt, bounce house and yard games by McKenrick Party Rentals, and child vision screenings offered by the Maple City Lions Club. Thank you to The Canisteo Legion Auxiliary, Canisteo Legion SALs, Hornell Women of the Moose, and Hornell Moose Lodge, who provided a monetary donation of the teddy bears used at the teddy bear clinic.
“Though the severe weather forced us to end the health fair early, we were still able to provide access to various healthcare services to our community in one place,” said Logan Peck, St. James Hospital Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications Manager “and we view that as a huge success. We are looking forward to next year!”
St. James Hospital Announces New Chief Nursing Officer, Katherine Warner CNOR, RNFA
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
St. James Hospital has appointed Katherine Warner CNOR, RNFA, as Chief Nursing Officer, effective August 1, 2023. Since February 2022, Mrs. Warner has served as Interim Chief Nursing Officer for St. James Hospital.
As Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Warner will preside over setting best patient care standards, establishing processes and protocols for achieving those standards, and providing leadership to all nurses caring for patients at St. James Hospital.
“Accepting the role of Chief Nursing Officer at the Hospital I started my nursing career fifteen years ago is very special.” stated Katherine Warner, Chief Nursing Officer. “I am honored to lead an exceptionally skilled group of St. James nurses that provide our community with essential care.”
In 2008 Katherine started her career at St. James Hospital, previously located on Canisteo Street in Hornell. Her first position was Charge Nurse in the Inpatient Unit. In 2009, Katherine transitioned from the Inpatient Unit to the Operating Room, where she served as Staff Nurse. Katherine also worked full-time as a Staff Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and served as House Supervisor. Katherine returned to the Operating Room in 2015 and obtained her RNFA (Registered Nurse First Assist) in 2020. After six years of service in the Operating Room, Katherine was promoted to Operating Room Manager. In 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs. Warner was appointed Director of the Surgical Services Department.
“Kate has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, and clinical expertise.” said Wendy Disbrow, St. James Hospital President and CEO. “Kate is a role model for all nurses and a great asset to our hospital.”
St. James Hospital to Start Construction and Welcome Additional Primary Care Providers
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
St. James Hospital has announced that construction will start at the Medical Office Building in early May for the Primary Care Expansion Project. St. James Hospital Board members have awarded FSI Construction the rights to the project, which includes retrofitting Medical Office Building Suite 101, a 3,500 sq. ft. vacant space. The suite will hold three additional Primary Care Providers and act as an extension of UR Medicine Primary Care in Suite 109 of the Medical Office Building.
“The residents of this region deserve access to quality healthcare options. The Primary Care Expansion at St. James Medical Office Building goes a long way to fill one of the most glaring needs locally, access to Primary Care Physicians,” stated St. James Hospital Board Chair, Shawn Hogan. “I am so proud and honored to be a part of an organization that continually strives to provide the best possible health care for our region.”
St. James Hospital has recruited two Internal Medicine Providers, Eric Tharmathurai, MD, and Julie van Baardwijk, MD, who will start in July 2023.
“I am excited to be expanding our footprint to improve access to primary care providers,” stated Wendy Disbrow, St. James Hospital President and CEO. “Our successful recruitment of Dr. Tharmathurai and Dr. van Baardwijk has been the catalyst for this expansion.”
Dr. Tharmathurai and Dr. van Baardwijk will see patients starting in July 2023 in UR Medicine Primary Care, Suite 109, until the opening of Suite 101 in early Fall 2023.
Blueprint of Suite 101, located next to the St. James Hospital connector building.
UR Medicine/St. James Hospital Masking Update
Thursday, February 23, 2023
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has updated guidance for the use of face masks and face coverings for COVID-19 in healthcare settings. Advising all healthcare systems to develop and implement a masking plan for staff and visitors at their facilities based on the CDC and DOH recommendations, which includes COVID-19 and uses transmission levels as a minimum threshold.
Considering the substantial COVID-19 transmission rates in Steuben County and active flu season UR Medicine/St. James Hospital will continue universal masking for patients, visitors, and employees in all clinical areas. Continuing to mask will help protect and prevent the spread to higher-risk patients.
“Over the past three years, universal masking in clinical care areas has proven enormously beneficial at reducing the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases in the hospital, where many patients are medically vulnerable.” said Katie White, St. James Hospital Infection Preventionist “It’s encouraging that COVID is less of a threat than before, but it does remain a threat.”
In accordance with the DOH and UR Medicine/St. James Hospital will continue universal masking in clinical areas.
Employee and Staff Masking Policy:
- Employees/staff must wear a Hospital issued mask in all clinical areas or areas where patients will be encountered.
- Employees/staff who are unvaccinated for the flu must wear a mask in all clinical areas or areas where patients will be encountered.
Patient and Visitor Masking Policy:
- A Hospital-issued mask (will be provided) must be worn at all times throughout the St. James Hospital Facility.
- Individuals who are sick or suspected of having COVID may not visit.
“We hope that once our COVID transmission rates reduce and flu rates decline, we can reevaluate and lift masks in the future.” said Katie White “Until then, we respectfully ask all visitors, staff members, and patients to continue masking in all clinical care areas.”