Rome Memorial Hospital focuses on quality and access to care


​“Rome Memorial Hospital strives to function like a major medical center, but with the heart of a community hospital,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Basil J. Ariglio. “The proof is reflected in our quality outcomes and evidence-based practices that we implement to deliver exceptional care.” 

“Most recently, we received additional validation of our commitment to patient safety on reports from both the state and federal governments,” Ariglio continued. “On the New York state report on hospital-acquired infections, Rome Memorial Hospital’s rates for surgical site infections for hysterectomies and hip replacements were zero. We continue to outperform other hospitals in the region in protecting our patients from hospital-acquired conditions, which include infection and other preventable complications.”  

Other hospitals in the region, in Utica and Syracuse, were penalized with a 1 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for having a HAC score above seven.

Rome Memorial has been on the leading edge of protecting patients for many years, according to Ariglio.

“For example, there have been no central line blood stream infections in our Intensive Care Unit since December 2006,” he said. “That consistent track record demonstrates that our processes and procedures are ingrained into the every-day practices of our caregivers. It’s automatic. As president and CEO, I entrust my care and the care of my family to the staff at Rome Memorial Hospital.”

Rome Memorial has also been recognized as having the lowest cesarean section rate of 20 hospitals in the Central New York region at 5.7 percent based upon 2012 published data. Patients in the hospitals maternity department expressed their appreciation for the quality and compassionate care they received while delivering their babies by ranking the maternity department team higher than 99 percent of hospitals nationally on patient satisfaction surveys.

The Emergency Department also scores highly on patient satisfaction surveys, outperforming 74 percent of hospitals nationally and 99 percent of hospitals in the region.

According to Hospital Compare, a consumer-oriented website that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care, patients who come to the Emergency Department at Rome Memorial are in and out more quickly than any other hospital in Oneida County, with an average length of stay under two hours. This time also compares favorably with the national average of 133 minutes. 

The hospital’s Residential Health Care Facility earned a four-star rating in three of four categories reported on the Nursing Home Compare website. The hospital-based, full-service 80-bed skilled nursing facility scored higher than any other nursing home in Oneida County.

As it has in years past, RMH’s commitment to delivering high quality, accessible care was proven with new healthcare providers and expansion of services in 2014. These included:

Hospitalists – Stephen P. Smith, MD, joined Eagle Health Physicians’ as medical director of the hospital’s hospitalist team. Smith came to Rome after several years as medical director of hospitalists at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup, Ga.

A graduate of the University of Rome Medical School, Rome, Italy, he served his residencies in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein Medical School, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, the Bronx, and the University of Medicine New Jersey, Mountainside Hospital, Montclair, NJ. He is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Also new to the hospitalist team are Vaishali R. Baxi, MD, and Shashi Kumar, MD.

A graduate of the Medical University of the Americas, Nevis, West Indies, Baxi also earned her master of business administration degree in health care administration, with a minor in public health, from Davenport University, Grand Rapids, Mich. Baxi is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association.

Kumar graduated from BJ Medical College, Pune, India. He earned a master’s of science and a doctor of philosophy in biological sciences from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, and did post-doctoral training in oncogenomics at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Baltimore Md.  

New surgical providers – Board certified general surgeon Abha Ojha joined the staff at Rome Surgical Specialists, 267 Hill Road, Suite 300. Dr. Ojha performs general and laparoscopic surgical procedures at Rome Memorial Hospital.

She earned her medical degree at Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner, India, and, in addition to post-graduate training in India, she completed her internship in general surgery at the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Lexington, Ky., and residency at the Metropolitan Group Hospitals program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, in Chicago.

Also new to the staff at Rome Surgical Specialists is Physician Assistant Lindsey Sampo. Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Sampo assists Drs. David Kulick, Abha Ojha and Pedro DelPino, in the care of their surgical patients.

A graduate of Clarkson University, Potsdam, Sampo earned a master of science degree in physician assistant studies. She did her undergraduate studies at St. John Fisher College, Rochester. In addition to her board certification, she is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

General surgeon Jessica Hurwitz joined the practice in January of this year. Board certified, Hurwitz earned her degree in medicine from Albany Medical College, completing her training at Jacobi Medical Center, North Central Bronx Healthcare, North Shore University Hospital and Stamford Hospital.

Boonville Family Care – Family Nurse Practitioners Linda A. O’Connor and Tracy Bova have joined the staff at Boonville Family Care, 13407 Route 12.

O’Connor earned associate of applied science degrees from Mohawk Valley Community College. She continued her education at Syracuse University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and did additional course work at SUNYIT.

The family nurse practitioner earned her certification at Community General Hospital in Syracuse in 1983 and was among the first nurse practitioners to treat patients in this area. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and has more than 30 years of experience in family practice and internal medicine.

Bova earned her associate of applied science degree from Mohawk Valley Community College. She continued her education at SUNYIT, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as her master of science in nurse practitioner.

She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  

CAMDEN FAMILY CARE – Physician Assistant Rebecca Friemann has joined Dr. Benjamin Sommer in providing primary care for all ages at Camden Family Care, 5 Masonic Ave. Friemann earned her master of physician assistant studies degree from Marywood University, Scranton, Pa. She also has a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish studies as well as a minor in nutrition and dietetics.

DELTA MEDICAL – Nurse Practitioner Bridget Arquette has joined the staff of Delta Medical, 1819 Black River Blvd.

Arquette earned her bachelor of science in nursing and her master of science in nursing as an adult nurse practitioner from Syracuse University College of Nursing. She also earned a post master certificate as a family nurse practitioner through the Community General Nurse Practitioner Program. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

ROME MEDICAL GROUP – Kiran Yelakanti, MD, has joined the Pediatric Department at Rome Medical Group, 1801 Black River Blvd.

Yelakanti earned his medical degree from the Osmania Medical College in Andhra Pradesh, India and completed his residency in pediatrics at the Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn. 

LAB FACILITIES IN CAMDEN – Rome Memorial opened a new lab collection site at Camden Family Care, 5 Masonic Ave. The lab is open 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday for routine and diagnostic testing services. The new lab site is not limited to patients of Camden Family Care.

PATIENT PORTAL – With the hospital’s new secure patient portal, patients can now access their lab and diagnostic test results online by providing a valid email address at registration during their visit. The portal provides patients with free personalized and secure online access to portions of the medical records related to their hospital stay or Emergency Department visit at Rome Memorial, as well as medical imaging and blood work results.  

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH UNIT – The state Department of Health approved the addition of a 12th bed in the unit to expand access to mental health care for the community. The SBHU continues to maintain capacity status.


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