Friday Fix: September 22, 2017

Senator Ritchie secures $50,000 for vision care, Jefferson Community College hosts first "white coat ceremony" for nursing students, and River Hospital is approved to treat veterans with PTSD

friday fix

We get it – keeping up with daily news is hard.

That’s why every other week, North Country Vitals picks three pieces of important healthcare news and compiles them into the Friday FixSome are local and others affect our state, country, or world. We even do our best to break down complicated subjects and offer commentary to help you understand how the news affects your daily life.

So, what has been making headlines in healthcare recently? Here’s what we found:

1. “Ritchie Secures $50,000 to Strengthen North Country Health Care”

Earlier this week, state Senator Patty Ritchie announced she had secured $50,000 to help the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) improve access to vision care for residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The money will be used by FDRHPO to purchase digital retina cameras and other technology needed to implement Diabetic TeleRetinopathy services at local primary care offices. Diabetic TeleRetinopathy allows a physician to take a detailed photograph of a diabetic patient’s retina and send that photo securely to an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist for expert review. This process can save a diabetic patient’s vision by detecting eye abnormalities early. It also saves the patient time, money, and extra travel.

“Implementing Diabetic TeleRetinopathy will not only ease the burden on patients who would otherwise travel hours for this kind of specialty care, but it will also encourage new patients to get screened,” said FDRHPO Executive Director Erika F. Flint.

To read the press release from Senator Ritchie’s office, click here.

2. “White Coat Ceremony for JCC Nursing Students”

On Thursday, Jefferson Community College held the first-ever “white coat ceremony” for incoming students to its acclaimed nursing program. A white coat ceremony is a traditional way of welcoming new students to a school’s medical program, allowing them to don a white medical coat and cross the stage with their classmates.

WWNY-TV7/FOX 28 covered the ceremony, which welcomed JCC’s largest nursing class yet. According to 7 News, the college’s nursing program expanded from 48 to 56 students this year, following its recognition by RegisteredNursing.org as the #1 college nursing program in New York State.

To watch a broadcast of JCC’s white coat ceremony, click here.

3. “River Hospital PTSD program gets VA approval for veterans’ treatment”

According to this recent article in the Watertown Daily Times, River Hospital‘s unique post-traumatic stress disorder treatment program for active-duty Fort Drum soldiers will now be expanded to serve veterans.

The article explains that, after a year of negotiations, the hospital’s River Community Wellness Program was given approval from the Department of Veteran Affairs to treat veterans with PTSD. Since February 2013, the program has worked with more than 400 active-duty soldiers in its outpatient setting in Alexandria Bay.

“As a veteran myself, I feel offering other veterans in need this level of service is very important,” Program Director Bradley Frey told the newspaper. “While the VA does the best it can do, some vets need more than they can offer. We have what is needed and know how to provide it.”

Click here to read the full article.

We’ll See You October 6 for the next Friday Fix!

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