St. Mary’s Healthcare Names Administrative Director of Laboratory Services
AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Feb. 27, 2024—Asif Syed, a healthcare professional with extensive experience in laboratory management, has been named administrative director, laboratory, at St. Mary’s Healthcare.
Syed has held leadership positions in clinical laboratories across New York state. Most recently, he served as administrative director of clinical laboratories for Precision Clinical Laboratories in Clinton, New York. He has held similar roles at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in Cortland, Oneida Healthcare in Oneida and A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta.
At St. Mary’s, Syed oversees lab operations at the hospital and five satellite lab sites: the Rao Outpatient Pavilion, Holland Circle Medical Plaza, and family health centers in Canajoharie, Gloversville and Johnstown. He also collaborates with Dr. Charles Schwartz, pathologist and medical director, laboratory, at St. Mary’s, to ensure easy access to high-quality lab services for residents of the Fulton-Montgomery region.
“Our goal, always, is to provide timely, reliable lab results for patients and healthcare providers,” said Jeff Methven, St. Mary’s president and CEO. “Together, Asif and Dr. Schwartz have the operational and clinical expertise to help fulfill our strategic objectives and make St. Mary’s the first choice for lab services in our community.”
Syed is a New York state-licensed clinical laboratory technologist, American Society for Clinical Pathology-certified clinical laboratory scientist and an inspector for the Laboratory Accreditation Program of the College of American Pathologists. A graduate of Weber State University in Utah, he also has a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in healthcare management, from New England College in New Hampshire.
Outlook 2024: Lisa Mazzoccone, St. Mary’s Healthcare’s chief people officer
This article was originally published by the Daily Gazette, written by Joanne McFadden on February 22, 2024.
After listening to Lisa Mazzoccone talk about her employer for any length of time, one might be tempted to quit their current job and find one at St. Mary’s Healthcare, an institution that has been serving residents of Fulton and Montgomery counties since 1903.
Mazzoccone joined the St. Mary’s team in September as executive director of human resources and chief people officer. Since then, she’s been part of the systemwide expansion, improvements and upgrades continued by the institution’s new president and CEO Jeff Methven, who took the helm in January of last year.
Mazzoccone, who grew up in the Schenectady area, graduated from the SUNY Oneonta in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After working as an executive assistant for the New York State Assembly, she took a job as office administrator for the national defense litigation firm William Elser. It was her next position — as senior director of operations at Jackson Lewis, P.C., a national law firm focused on labor and employment law that operates 63 offices in 39 states — that augmented her skill set and made her a great candidate for her current position at St. Mary’s, she said.
Mazzoccone’s track record of success in building and sustaining supportive work environments is one reason St. Mary’s brought her on board.
Ironically, she had never pictured herself working in the health care field before she applied, but she has found that there’s something special about it. Her work allows her to make an impact in the Capital Region community as she supports St. Mary’s employees who are seeking to do the same.
Mazzoccone’s desire to have a career with an impact is what prompted her to leave the large law firm after 15 years. “Things were changing, where we were looking to make different decisions that weren’t putting people first,” she said. “I realized that after 15 years I had done everything that I could do,” she said. “I had an amazing career and mentorship path. I wanted to use those skills somewhere that would make an impact.”
She describes her desires and the needs of St. Mary’s as puzzle pieces fitting together.
“They needed someone with a different background and I needed a place where I could make an impact in a positive way. It’s most rewarding going home every day and realizing that you make a significant impact.”
That’s exactly how she wants every St. Mary’s employee to feel.
“I think [human resources] is one of the most impactful professions because you work for your people,” Mazzoccone said. “We have this nuanced opportunity where we touch every single person in every department.”
The HR field has unique challenges, including job descriptions, benefits and compensation, Mazzoccone said. She knows she cannot make all 1,475 staff members happy, but that’s not her goal.
“I do want to make sure that everyone feels respected, validated, safe and challenged,” she said. “Patients are their priority; associates are my priority. This has a domino effect of strength and passion that makes us work together as a unit and be stronger.”
She wants employees to leave at the end of the day feeling satisfied that they were able to help someone in the community or a fellow co-worker.
To that end, Mazzoccone places a high priority on making staff feel valued, employing a variety of strategies to accomplish that.
One is through education, which Mazzoccone believes is key in getting people to come to St. Mary’s not just for a job but for a career. One of her short-term goals is to bolster both the clinical and nonclinical educational opportunities for employees.
“Education is the foundation of all things,” Mazzoccone said. “It assists in recruitment and onboarding, and also helps with retention,” she said, noting that recruitment and retention are “all day, every day” duties for her. To improve education, the hospital system restructured its education department and brought on new resources for the education of staff working in acute, ambulatory, clinical and nonclinical areas, as well as informatics.
Professional development goes hand in hand with education, and one of Mazzoccone’s long-term goals is to expand the health care system’s mentoring programs to ensure that employees have opportunities to develop professionally and feel there’s a career path for them at St. Mary’s.
Another long-term goal is furthering the improvements in the company culture that the health care organization has made in the recent past.
“Culture is something you build on and improve on every day,” Mazzoccone said. Her staff puts on what they’ve dubbed the “HR Roadshow,” where they go out to some of the 15 St. Mary’s locations in Fulton and Montgomery counties to talk about what human resources means and solicit feedback from St. Mary’s associates.
“Then we come back to our office and look at what are the issues and challenges,” Mazzoccone said. “We use that so we can roadmap what we’re going to do, revamping policies to address concerns.”
She and her staff monitor the labor market to make sure St. Mary’s is offering competitive wages and encourage work-life balance through a wellness program with CDPHP, gym membership reimbursement and an employee assistance program that has two full-time staff members on campus. They also recognize outstanding employees with the help of St. Mary’s Associate Recognition Team.
“I think that makes employees feel really valued,” Mazzoccone said.
The changes in community culture have netted benefits, helping Mazzoccone in her recruitment and retention goals. In 2023, 85 employees who had left the organization came back to work after hearing about the changes. Lead X-ray technologist Tabitha Sabater is one of them. Former co-workers reached out, encouraging her to apply.
“That is what I missed the most — the people,” Sabater said. “Once you join the team here, you develop great relationships. Your associates become friends that turn into family. I know that what we have here is unique.”
All that Mazzoccone does is working toward building a supportive work environment.
“It’s a challenge to attain but once you have it, it’s a very special thing,” Mazzoccone said. “Everyone comes together, all working for a larger cause, and that’s really special.”
In the long term, Mazzoccone plans to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).
“When we go out to find new associates and revamp departments, we do that with DE&I at the top. This includes developing relationships with additional colleges within a three-hour radius of Amsterdam. St. Mary’s is also widening its application pool to include bilingual and trilingual staff so that it can better serve and support the community.”
In addition to the traditional job fairs, another recruitment tool the HR department uses is “Walk-in Wednesdays,” where job seekers can come to the campus between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to learn about open positions at St. Mary’s.
While Mazzoccone considers her position at St. Mary’s as her greatest professional accomplishment, being a mom to a 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter tops her list of personal achievements. They got to experience their mom’s new job one day when she couldn’t find a babysitter and her kids had no school.
“They thought because of the gift shop and the cafeteria that this is the best place ever,” she said, laughing. “It’s a very family-friendly environment here.”
To relax, she makes pasta with her kids in their Loudonville home, a nod to her family’s Italian heritage.
She speaks the language fluently, too. “There’s something about making the dough by hand and then rolling it out and then we cut it,” she said. “The almost methodical process that you go through can be really de-stressing.”
Mazzoccone’s enthusiasm for her new position is palpable.
“There is something really special about St. Mary’s,” she said. “It’s almost intangible. It’s electric. And you want to work here. And you want to be a part of what is happening here.”
Q&A with Lisa Mazzoccone
Question: What are St. Mary’s post-COVID hiring challenges?
Answer: I don’t really think that we have many. I think with the impact of 85 people coming back to St. Mary’s as rehires, our retention and our longevity speaks for itself. I think that if I had to say there is one challenge, I would have to say it would probably be the hybrid-remote effect that has gone across the whole country, but we’re addressing that. We’re looking at different positions that don’t have to be on site all day, every day. Obviously patient-facing — like the emergency room — that goes without saying, they have to be there every day. But we’re looking at some of our operations, some specific to billing and collections. We’ve done some remote there. We’re also involved in telehealth and telemedicine when it comes to behavioral health and dieticians. So I think that’s been a really good opportunity for us to test the toe in the water of what remote and hybrid looks like.
Q: What is the labor market like?
A: The labor market I think is strong. We got over 4,700 applicants last year. We hired almost 700 people in 2023. We do probably about 100 or so applicants a week depending on what the position is. I think it’s impactful that we had 26 people come in this week on Walk-in Wednesday. It was the middle of the week, the middle of the day, and you have that many people coming in to really hear about the opportunities, fill out an application, meet the hiring manager, and some of them go on a tour in different parts of the hospital if they can, depending on the position. I think it’s strong. I think that our community stands with us, which is such a great and fulfilling experience. I think it’s only going to increase in 2024, and I think we have all good things ahead with respect to labor and market.
St. Mary’s Healthcare Awarded $1.1 million from NYS Department of Health to Provide Free Cancer Screenings
AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2024—St. Mary’s Healthcare has been awarded $1.1 million from the state Department of Health to provide free cancer screenings to eligible New Yorkers through 2028.
The grant is funded under the DOH Cancer Services Program, which makes no-cost screenings—for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers—available in healthcare settings in every New York State county for uninsured and underinsured individuals ages 40 to 64.
St. Mary’s has led the CSP of Fulton, Montgomery, and Schenectady counties since 2008, with grants renewed every five years. During 2018-2023, the most recent five-year period, St. Mary’s and its 30 regional partners provided 960 free screenings for breast cancer, 205 for cervical cancer and 132 for colorectal cancer. They also provided free follow-up services for 500 patients and detected eight cases of breast cancer.
“These are essential, potentially life-saving services that otherwise might be out of reach for residents in our region,” said Suzanne Hagadorn, program manager, CSP of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties. “With this critical funding, and the support of our local CSP partners, we are detecting cancers sooner, when treatment is more likely to be effective.”
CSP also includes outreach, education and case management services. Its Medicaid Treatment Program provides full Medicaid coverage for treatment costs for eligible uninsured individuals who are diagnosed with breast, cervical, colorectal or prostate cancer. (CSP does not pay for prostate cancer screening or diagnostic services.)
Free CSP screenings are available from St. Mary’s Healthcare, Nathan Littauer Hospital, Ellis Medicine, Bellevue Woman’s Center and other healthcare partners.
St. Mary’s Healthcare Names Director of Patient Access
AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2024—Diana Matei has been named director of patient access at St. Mary’s Healthcare, responsible for key front-end functions—including scheduling, registration
and insurance authorization—that play a vital role in ensuring a positive patient experience.
Matei comes to St. Mary’s Healthcare from Columbia Memorial Health in Hudson, where she served as assistant director of patient access. Previously, she held a similar role at Albany Medical Center.
“Diana Matei is a proven healthcare leader with a passion for patient satisfaction,” St. Mary’s President and CEO Jeff Methven said. “She shares our commitment to ensuring that every interaction helps enhance our patients’ experience and encourages them to return to St. Mary’s whenever they need care.”
Matei has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Purdue Global University and is credentialed as a certified healthcare access manager by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management. She also is a graduate of the Leadership Columbia-Greene program of the Columbia and Greene County chambers of commerce.
St. Mary’s President and CEO Methven ‘building momentum’ after first year
St. Mary’s Healthcare is investing in its future under the leadership of president and CEO Jeffrey Methven, which is already beginning to pay dividends.
“We’re building momentum. Some of the challenges that the organization was facing when I started we were able to overcome,” Methven said.
Stabilizing staffing levels and the finances were perhaps the largest challenges at the independent healthcare organization when Methven started a year ago.
Raising morale was inextricably linked to those goals when the Board of Trustees selected Methven to lead St. Mary’s after a nationwide search.
The extroverted hospital leader is making strides on all fronts, according to board Chairman Michael Pepe.
“It really has begun to turn our culture around and is creating a broader sense of optimism for the path we’re going to take moving forward and the vision we have for what we can become again,” Pepe said.
Since his first day, Methven has prioritized interacting with staff and community members.
“I’m not a clinician, but I can really have an impact on the care that we provide to the community and that for me starts with really being a resource to our associates,” Methven said. “It’s really our associates who are on the front lines. They do just such phenomenal work.”
After initial meet and greets, Methven has remained in circulation at informal gatherings in the cafeteria, regular town hall meetings with staff and by reestablishing larger celebrations, such as the annual gala. He also issues a weekly newsletter to keep employees up to date.
Being accessible and approachable is key to receiving honest feedback about what is working at the organization and what could be better. Downtime from the inherently “serious” healthcare business to simply socialize with peers is also vital.
“Those are the types of things for me that are meaningful and those are the types of opportunities I seek out,” Methven said. “That elevates the level of care and quality we’re delivering to the community.”
The previous absence of those opportunities with leadership in recent years apparently contributed to a deteriorating culture within the organization.
“We value and treasure our staff. We think they’re some of the most dedicated workers in the area. The commitment they have to our vision is unparalleled and they have always had that,” Pepe said. “All people want to feel part of something bigger and all workers want to feel that as well that requires regular interaction with leadership and by leadership.”
Attributing the results to Methven’s leadership, Pepe noted that at least 85 former associates have returned to positions at St. Mary’s in the last year. At least some of those staffers originally left due to the climate of the workplace.
“These people who once worked here are talking to their former colleagues, who still work at St. Mary’s and they’re obviously passing the message onto their former coworkers that the culture is turning around and you might want to consider coming back home,” Pepe said.
A number of Methven’s former colleagues have also followed him to St. Mary’s from Saratoga Hospital, where he previously held leadership roles for nearly 20 years.
FINANCES AND WORKFORCE
St. Mary’s has also been successful in recruiting new staff and providers in a variety of areas, including primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, behavioral health, gastroenterology and oncology.
The healthcare organization is also in the process of establishing an in-house pulmonary team for anticipated launch later this year.
“Pulmonary is one of those critical specialties that does enhance care,” Methven said.
It was not immediately known how long St. Mary’s had been without a pulmonary provider, but the absence meant critically ill patients requiring such care would need to be transferred to other hospitals.
An unknown number of locals experiencing shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms would sometimes travel to other institutions seeking care on their own. Bringing those services in-house will ensure residents can be seen locally and receive consultations in their community hospital when needed. The pulmonary team will also be capable of conducting sleep studies.
“It’s important that the service is available here within our community so that the community does not have to travel as far for that service,” Pepe said.
Expanding services to meet the community’s healthcare needs support both patient health and the organization’s financial health, officials said.
“We want patients to feel likely they can receive care close to home,” Methven said. “At the end of the day, I think we’ve got to grow our way out of some of our financial challenges that many hospitals in the region have been facing.”
These investments and dedicated agency staff have improved patient experience and quality of care, according to Methven, who believes this has supported growing inpatient volumes.
“We’re building trust in the community. As we’re building trust, that’s allowing us to create more loyalty,” Methven said. “That speaks volumes to the tremendous commitment and work of our associates on a daily basis.”
“Those are the things that reinforce for me that I’m in the right position. I made the right decision and I’m in the right place and together we’re going to do great things,” he added.
As the organization treats more patients, Methven said ensuring full reimbursement is received from insurance companies is vital. St. Mary’s is engaging a third party expert to help streamline the accounts receivable process to avoid leaving insurance dollars on the table for provided care.
“As the financial outlook improves, that allows us to make investments in programs and services,” Methven said.
“The ultimate benefactor is the community,” Pepe said.
INVESTING IN FACILITIES
St. Mary’s has a capital budget for the first time in several years, and has already invested in equipment and facilities upgrades.
Projects have included the replacement of the helipad at St. Mary’s Hospital on Guy Park Avenue, the addition of obstetrics beds and the purchase of new ultrasound equipment.
A new wide bore MRI machine will be delivered in the spring. The imaging device with a larger opening will be better able to accommodate patients of all sizes while alleviating claustrophobic “angst.”
Replacing aging equipment with modern technology often provides new capabilities to improve patient care, such as new screening capability with the MRI. Methven said state of the art supplies can improve efficiency and help staff in the normal course of their duties.
At the same time, Methven said an architectural firm was engaged last summer to develop a master facilities plan, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year.
Aside from assessing physical structures, Methven said the plan will analyze the delivery of services at the hospital’s facilities, including the potential to gain efficiencies by centralizing certain services.
St. Mary’s Hospital on Guy Park Avenue and the Memorial Health Center on Route 30 presently each feature both inpatient and outpatient services, leading to redundancies between the aging buildings.
“As we look to grow, we want to alleviate the idea that we’re paying for things twice,” Methven said.
Among other things, the master facilities plan will examine potential benefits from centralizing inpatient services at one campus and outpatient services at the other. Making those sorts of “strategic” decisions will take time after the assessment wraps up.
“My hope is that provides us with a 15 to 20 year roadmap,” Methven said.
Centralizing campuses could be complicated by dual use of the kitchen at Memorial to serve that building’s inpatient programs, while also serving the Edward L. Wilkinson Residential Health Care behind it. The nursing home also relies on heating, cooling and power systems at Memorial.
While there are no plans to reduce or discontinue any services, Methven acknowledged the nursing home is among the programs “constantly” being evaluated to determine whether it is a “core” service for St. Mary’s.
“A lot of hospitals across the country have gotten out of the nursing home business. That is a challenging business,” Methven said. “We have a good reputation and good quality, but we can’t be all things to everyone. I would not be doing my job effectively if that wasn’t one of those programs or services that we weren’t always evaluating.”
For now, St. Mary’s is focused on investing in the workforce and continuing to improve the patient experience at Wilkinson. Methven indicated future evaluations would center on whether the agency is running it as “effectively” and “efficiently” as possible.
“If we get to a point where we feel like we’re not, then who could we partner and collaborate with who could do that as good if not better than St. Mary’s,” Methven said.
Although he plans to continue exploring various options to partner with other area agencies, Methven was clear that St. Mary’s will maintain its status as an independent healthcare organization.
St. Mary’s had joined the Ascension Healthcare Network in 2002, but left the national healthcare system in 2020. Pepe said the Board of Trustees became disenchanted after being required to shift more and more functions to the umbrella agency at costs exceeding those for handling the tasks in-house.
“Sometimes when you belong to a greater national organization it becomes a financial drain and that’s what happened to St. Mary’s,” Pepe said. “That’s not always the answer to hitch your wagon to a larger group, it has its benefits, it has its downsides and right now our appetite is to remain independent to see how we can make a go of it on our own.”
As someone who was born at St. Mary’s and a lifelong community resident, Pepe said preserving the community hospital for generations to come is especially important to him. He said other board members have similar personal motivations in coordination with staff.
“We all have a stake in wanting to continue the success of the hospital,” Pepe said. “At St. Mary’s, we feel a sense of purpose in making sure there is a local option for our community.”
It’s the same for Methven, whose lifelong goal was to lead a community hospital.
“It’s a position that I’m grateful to be in and don’t take for granted,” Methven said. “It’s all about continuing to make those small incremental improvements … so this community has a state of the art, thriving hospital that it can feel proud of.”
Getting to Know: Jillian DeGiulio, St. Mary’s Healthcare
Jillian DeGiulio, a Greater Amsterdam School District graduate and current Broadalbin resident, is interested in helping other people.
A role in human resources, she says, found her. In early December, she was appointed as director of benefits and employee relations at St. Mary’s Healthcare, right in her hometown.
The Daily Gazette sat down with DeGiulio, 36, recently to discuss her journey to this point and get to know a little more about her.
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and space.
Question: How did you find yourself in a role in human resources?
Answer: In college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I loved psychology, sociology and statistics. After getting my bachelor’s degree, I was a recruiter for a small staffing agency. Working very closely with ownership, I learned the ins and outs of running a business, human resources fundamentals and the big impact a bad hire can have on an organization. From there, I decided to pursue a certificate in Human Resources Management to determine if that was the path for me. I quickly discovered how imperative HR is to an organization and how impactful people operations are to the bottom line. I was sold.
As I gained more experience in different areas of HR, I moved into a management role in 2016. I learned how to develop and implement programs, processes, and procedures and how to resolve conflict. I love it because you never stop learning in this field and are always presented with anew situation, problem or opportunity.
Q: Did you think you would have a career in human resources?
A: In college, I didn’t know what career I would have; I had no idea. I liked psychology, I like people, I like statistics and random things. I said, ‘I will study these subjects and see where they take me.’ It did prepare me for my career.
Q: What path did you take to start your new career with St. Mary’s Healthcare?
A: I grew up in Amsterdam, and my sister has worked here at St. Mary’s for many years. I worked for Hill & Markes for over eight years and loved my work there. In 2022, we were acquired, and things were becoming more like a large corporation. I liked working for a family-owned, community-based organization.
I loved everything that I did during my time there. Still, when an opportunity at St. Mary’s became available, I was interested because it’s part of this community where I grew up, where my children and my family live.
Q: You were in a key human resources position during the COVID-19 pandemic. How challenging was that for you?
A: The entire pandemic changed our jobs, a lot of stuff got thrown on HR — tracking [and]reporting — something we never had to deal with before. After that, we saw cultures completely change, including the desire to work from home. People want to be at home more, which is great, and they want to spend more time with their families.
I think there were more employee relations issues and more accommodation requests — all that had to be managed.
Q: Of all the policies within a corporation, the pandemic wasn’t one of the tabs in your HR manual. How did you manage that?
A: Everything had to be created. The Department of Health and CDC all tried. They did great with getting sample policies out there and that sort of thing. But they don’t work in organizations like we do. We had to create our own policies.
Q: In your bio, you mentioned being a cheerleader in college. Does that surprise people?
A: That’s kind of a mix. People that I meet that don’t know me, they’re shocked. They say, ‘You were a cheerleader?’
At my previous employer, we hosted a lot of events, went to many events where my personal side of me came out, and then they were like, ‘Oh, yeah, I can see it.’
Q: You have two young boys, ages 4 and 1. What is it like to be a ‘Boy Mom?’
A: I love being a ‘boy mom.’ I always thought that I wanted to be a ‘girl mom.’ My husband and I struggled to get pregnant, so by Year 3, it wasn’t ‘I want a girl,’ it was ‘I just want a baby.’ They’re wild, just so wild. They keep me on my toes.
Q: You mentioned that you like hiking and being outdoors. Was that always the case?
A: I did not enjoy the outdoors until I met my husband, James. I went to SUNY Albany, spent sometime in Long Island, and liked the busy city life.
Now that I have grown up and have a family, I’m starting to enjoy those things because that’s what’s important to me now. I’ve changed a lot, I guess you could say, since becoming a mom and becoming more of a career and family-oriented person.
I know I’ll be here forever, and I want to be here forever. You have to take advantage of what we have in the area, which is the stuff that I took for granted as a young adult. Now I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, the Adirondacks are so beautiful.’ As a younger person, there are so many great things to doin this area. I was like, ‘Oh, I want to get out of here.’ But now I’m like, ‘I love it here. Why would I ever want to leave?’
Q: To close out our conversation, how about some fun, rapid-fi re questions? To start, what are you streaming and binge-watching right now?
A: My husband and I haven’t gotten into a series or anything since my maternity leave. Since I’ve been back to work, it’s Pete the Cat [Amazon] and Lucas the Spider [YouTube].
Q: What was the first concert you went to? And the latest?
A: Kansas, I was in fifth grade in the 90s. My most recent was Hanson, I saw them in Albany.
Q: What is your favorite wintertime beverage?
A: I don’t drink coffee, I don’t drink tea, so it’s hot chocolate.
Q: What is your favorite to-go or take-out food or cuisine?
A: Pizza with pepperoni. I love Pizza Supreme in Broadalbin. That is my spot — so good.
Q: Name a person, living or dead, you want to have dinner with.
A: Taylor Swift. First of all, she’s so intelligent. She’s a billionaire now, but seems just down to Earth and fun. I think we’d have a good time and I could learn a lot from her.
St. Mary’s Healthcare Names Director of Rehabilitation Services
AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2024—Jason Lambert has been named director of rehabilitation services at St. Mary’s Healthcare. He oversees the hospital’s comprehensive rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as cardiac rehabilitation.
Lambert has more than two decades of experience as a physical therapist and director of rehabilitation programs. He comes to St. Mary’s from Saratoga Hospital, where he was a clinical rehabilitation specialist and clinic manager. Previously Lambert served as director of rehabilitation at Country Hills Healthcare Center in El Cajon, California, and at Golden Hill Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in San Diego.
“Like communities nationwide, our region is seeing increased demand for rehabilitation services,” St. Mary’s President and CEO Jeff Methven said. “Jason has the interpersonal skills and the clinical and administrative expertise to help St. Mary’s continue to grow our rehabilitation program to improve local access to this essential care.”
Lambert has doctoral and master’s degrees in physical therapy, both from Stony Brook University, the State University of New York.
St. Mary’s offers inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Acute inpatient rehabilitation is provided at the Memorial Health Center, and cardiac rehabilitation is available on the hospital’s Guy Park Avenue campus. Physical, occupational and speech therapy, along with other outpatient rehabilitation services, are offered at Mohawk Valley Medical Arts. For an appointment, call (518) 841-3406.
Dr. Hannah Yoon Joins Cancer Care Team at St. Mary’s Healthcare
Dr. Hannah Yoon, radiation oncologist, has joined the cancer care team at St. Mary’s Healthcare. She brings more than a decade of experience at cancer programs throughout the Northeast, most recently at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Williamsport in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Yoon also has a prior connection to St. Mary’s. For a brief period in 2022, she filled in as a radiation oncologist in the hospital’s Tesiero Cancer Center and realized “I am a community physician at heart. I chose to join St. Mary’s for the friendly community atmosphere and the dedication and excellence of the staff and providers,” she said.
“Like so many of our patients and providers, once Dr. Yoon experienced our culture and commitment, she decided to come home to St. Mary’s—and we are thrilled,” said Jeff Methven, St. Mary’s President and CEO. “With her combination of training, exceptional clinical skills and personalized approach to patient care, Dr. Yoon is a wonderful addition to our team.”
A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Yoon earned her medical degree from Cornell University and a Certificate of Professional Achievement in narrative medicine from Columbia University. She went on to complete a transitional internship at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and a residency in radiation oncology at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago.
Dr. Yoon is board certified in radiation oncology and a member of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Korean.
She sees patients in the Tesiero Cancer Center at St. Mary’s Rao Outpatient Pavilion. For an appointment, call 518-770-7557.
Up Next: Opportunity Beckons
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
What a difference a year can make!
Last year at this time, I’d just been named president and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare. It was a dream come true—an opportunity to lead an independent, locally based hospital whose overriding commitment is to provide high-quality personalized care close to home. I learned a great deal my first year, including that I am surrounded by talented people who are devoted to St. Mary’s Healthcare and invested in our success.
In 2023, St. Mary’s saw:
- More people expressing appreciation for the care they receive.
- More applicants wanting to join the St. Mary’s team.
- More patients coming to the hospital, indicating that those who’d been leaving the region for medical care are starting to return home to St. Mary’s.
These early results confirm my belief that when people work together, it’s amazing what we can accomplish.
I am aware that we still have much work to do. Like hospitals all over the country, St. Mary’s faces significant financial challenges. Furthermore, as a community hospital, we bear an additional
responsibility. We must strengthen St. Mary’s financial position now to ensure that our community continues to have a local hospital for years to come.
Given our exceptional St. Mary’s team and the outpouring of support from our community, I am optimistic about the year ahead. I’m confident more people will turn to St. Mary’s and, because
of their care experience, will make us their hospital of choice—especially since we’ll be expanding and enhancing services.
We have exciting plans for orthopedics, cancer care, OB/GYN, behavioral health, and advanced medical imaging. Although finances are tight, these plans will help us grow our way out of some
of the tight spots. We’ll also be smarter and more strategic in other areas, and we’ll continue to collaborate with organizations that share our values and commitment to excellent healthcare.
We hear a lot about today’s challenging healthcare environment—and with good reason. Even so, healthcare remains one of the only fields where we get to make a difference every day in the lives
of others. It’s a privilege to do the work we do, and we do not take that for granted.
Thank you for trusting St. Mary’s to take care of you and your loved ones. It’s a trust we will continue to work hard to earn and to keep.
Jeff Methven, President and CEO
Working Together, We Accomplished So Much
A year ago, St. Mary’s Healthcare announced the appointment of President and CEO Jeff Methven and our determination to build on St. Mary’s strengths, improve our financial position and, most of all, ensure that our region continues to have access to quality healthcare from a local, independent community hospital.
Thanks to strong leadership by Jeff and our Board of Trustees—and the talented, dedicated St. Mary’s team—in 2023 we made great strides toward achieving these goals. Equally important, many in our community recognized these strides and came home to St. Mary’s instead of leaving the region for medical care.
Following are some of our accomplishments this past year:
Brought more of the care our community needs, closer to home
- Added more than a dozen providers in specialties including general surgery, primary care, outpatient behavioral health, inpatient mental health, and medical and radiation oncology.
- Welcomed Amsterdam Family Practice to St. Mary’s Healthcare and our medical group.
- Re-established inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services as a St. Mary’s service line.
- Reintroduced CT scanning at the Rao Pavilion.
- Re-opened beds to expand access to inpatient mental health care.
Strengthened our commitment to excellence
- Earned National Committee for Quality Assurance status for 5 primary care centers.
- Received Blue Distinction Center recognition for expertise in maternity care.
- Achieved Joint Commission re-accreditation for an additional three years.
- Recognized for 100 years of membership with American Hospital Association.
Made investments for future strength and growth
- Purchased equipment to enhance imaging services, maternity and infant care, medication management, patient monitoring, ambulance communication, patient transport, and more.
- Completed exterior upgrades, including to the helipad and Guy Park Avenue campus.
- Enjoyed unprecedented recruiting success thanks, in part, to expanded outreach:
- Filled key positions with outstanding professionals, including 85 former employees who chose to “come home” to St. Mary’s.
- Welcomed 18 graduate nurses from Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 7 agency nurses who chose to join us as permanent team members, and 5 laboratory scientists who will be arriving from the Philippines soon.
- Helped prepare future healthcare providers through our internship partnership with Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES.
- Participated in 60+ career fairs. Hosted multiple Walk-In Wednesday and Nurses Night Out recruitment events.
- Enhanced associate advancement opportunities through Work/Earn/Learn, clinical ladder achievements, and other programs.
- Celebrated associate accomplishments and contributions
- Increased employee engagement through appreciation events and enhanced communications.
Re-energized essential community partnerships
- Benefited enormously from the generosity of our amazing Auxiliary. One of our staunchest supporters, the Auxiliary made a gift of $50,000 and held its 17th annual Christmas in November fundraiser for St. Mary’s.
- Brought our annual Foundation Gala home to Amsterdam’s Sanford Stud Farm and held our Memorial Golf Classic at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
- Awarded Carondelet Community Fund Grants to local programs and agencies.
- Joined community service efforts: Earth Day clean-up, Project Bundle Up, Amsterdam Baby Shower, Montgomery County Office for Aging Senior Picnic, and many more.
- Expanded our affiliate agreements with educational institutions, including WSWHE (Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex) BOCES, Siena College, Hartwick College, and Utica University.
- Increased our involvement with a wide range of organizations, from Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES to Amsterdam Rotary Club, Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Montgomery County Office for Aging, to the Amsterdam Mohawks.
2023 was just the beginning. With the continued support of our community, St. Mary’s looks forward to even more success in 2024 and beyond.