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Three North Country hospitals affiliate with Crouse Health

By Eric Reinhardt


Crouse Health of Syracuse on Tuesday announced an affiliation agreement with three North Country hospitals. Officials from all hospitals involved are pictured at WWNY-TV in Watertown. They are (from left to right) Rich Duvall, CEO of Carthage Area Hospital, Dr. Seth Kronenberg, chief medical officer at Crouse Health, Kimberly Boynton, CEO of Crouse Health, Ben Moore, CEO of River Hospital, and Nate Howell, CEO of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center. (Photo provided by Crouse Health).

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Crouse Health in Syracuse on Tuesday announced affiliation agreements with three North Country hospitals.

The organizations are Carthage Area Hospital in Jefferson County, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County, and River Hospital in Alexandria Bay in Jefferson County.

The affiliations “do not” represent a merger or acquisition, but instead allow each hospital to “strengthen patient services and share best practices and expertise,” Crouse contended in a news release.

Under the affiliations, each institution will continue to operate as an independent, separately licensed, community-based hospital and maintain its existing board-governance structure.

Additionally, each hospital will continue singular responsibility for assets, operations, liabilities and budget. Labor agreements between each organization and its professional unions are “unaffected,” Crouse said.

Crouse Health is “proud” to be affiliating with the three hospitals to “enhance access” to health-care services in the North Country, Kimberly Boynton, president and CEO of Crouse Health, said in the release. “Crouse shares many of the same attributes as these hospitals, including similar missions, open and transparent cultures and a focus on physician and employee engagement,” she said.

Through the affiliations, patients will have “access” to specialized care and physicians throughout Central and Northern New York. They will be able to see specialists from the hospitals participating in the agreement when needed, either in the hospital, in physicians’ offices or through telemedicine, which will be supported through Crouse Health’s affiliation with Northwell Health, which is headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York on Long Island.

The telemedicine option will enable diagnosis and treatment while “eliminating unnecessary travel time or delays” for patients in the North Country, according to Crouse.

The leaders of the thee North Country hospitals had the following to say about the
affiliation agreements.

 “The river communities we serve are deeply aware of the need for, and value of, a strong local critical access hospital. The affiliation strengthens River Hospital by providing our patients access to a whole new level of specialized care,” Ben Moore, CEO of River Hospital, said in the Crouse release.

Richard (Rich) Duvall, CEO of Carthage Area Hospital, added, “From realigning the organization to serve its communities more efficiently and effectively to improving staff and finances, the board and leadership are confident that a clinical affiliation with Crouse Health, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center and River Hospital will strategically position us for years to come.”

“An affiliation with Crouse Health, further backed by Northwell Health, will provide the tools we will need to successfully navigate upcoming health care challenges,” said Nate Howell, president and CEO of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.

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