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Samaritan Medical Center, Clifton-Fine Hospital to detail affiliation plans Tuesday

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STAR LAKE — Representatives from Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, and Clifton-Fine Hospital will host town-hall style meetings next week to introduce their joint plan to expand and strengthen community health care services here.

Details will be provided at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday sessions at the Clifton Fine Community Center, 4208 Route 3.

“Our board first announced its plans to seek a partner facility in late 2012,” Clifton-Fine Chief Executive Officer Robert Seamon said in a prepared statement. “We subsequently chose Samaritan Medical Center and have spent months finalizing the affiliation agreement and planning the expansion of services in and around the Clifton-Fine area. These town meetings are a great opportunity to share our plans and gather suggestions from the people who utilize our services. It’s a relationship that will ensure that Clifton-Fine Hospital is better and stronger long into the future.”

Earlier this year, Samaritan CEO Thomas H. Carman said hospitals have moved toward collaboration instead of competition, and commended Clifton-Fine “for its forward-thinking approach to ensure its ability to overcome these challenges and thrive — for the good of the many tight-knit communities it serves.”

According to a joint news release issued Wednesday, Mr. Carman and Mr. Seamon will be joined at the 7 p.m. meeting by Samaritan physicians who are providing services, or may provide them in the future, to Clifton-Fine patients. Both sessions will review Clifton-Fine’s new strategic plan.

Four focus areas of the plan, according to the news release, are access to care, workforce, information technology infrastructure and quality initiatives.

The formalized partnership between the two hospitals already has resulted in the inclusion of endoscopy services with Samaritan general surgeon Dr. Eduardo Barayuga. He began services in Star Lake two months ago. According to the release, other services that may be added include cardiac testing, pulmonology, women’s health, ophthalmology, dentistry and telemedicine/telehealth.

A call seeking more information to Janet Rhodes, Clifton-Fine Hospital, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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