March 4, 2012

Business Briefs: March 4, 2012


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Recruiters hired

PLATTSBURGH — Coming off a year of strong sales growth, ETS has added three recruiters to its staffing team.

▶ Nikki Burdo, healthcare recruiter: In 2011, ETS-Healthcare was launched to service strong demand for experienced healthcare professionals in the North Country. Burdo brings her education and experience in Child and Family Services. She attended Plattsburgh High School and Plattsburgh State.

▶ Mark R. LaFountain, manager of sales and marketing: Face to Face Solutions is a motto at ETS, and LaFountain provides clients the care and attention that is critical to a successful staffing operation. A North Country native, he will conduct face-to-face visits with both existing and prospective clients and brings insight and business opportunities to the ETS staffing teams.

▶ Ryan Buck, direct-hire recruiter: Buck originally worked as an intern at ETS under the direction of David Coryer in the Direct-Hire Division at ETS. He has returned upon graduation from SUNY Geneseo. His role will include finding key employees actively sought by the manufacturing clients at ETS.

Anchor departing

PLATTSBURGH — WPTZ/WNNE morning anchor Mary Morin is expecting her first child and will be leaving her position with the station to spend more time with her growing family. She will continue to teach at Plattsburgh State.

"I want to thank all of our loyal viewers for starting each morning with me," Morin said. "It's been an honor serving you. I greatly appreciate your enthusiasm and kindness."

Morin has been a part of NewsChannel 5 Today since 2009 and a part of the WPTZ team since August 2005. She served as the chief correspondent for the station's Project Economy coverage including the Who's Hiring, Fraud Squad and Recall Roundup reports.

"Mary has been a consummate professional over the years and she will be missed," said WPTZ President and General Manager Paul Sands.

During her time with the station, Morin has reported in all three of the states covered by WPTZ. Originally from New Hampshire, she began her career with WPTZ's sister station, WMUR.

The search for a new morning news anchor is underway.

Hospital awards

UTICA — Fifty-three upstate New York hospitals last year earned more than $21 million in quality-improvement incentive payments from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of the health insurer's Hospital Performance Incentive Program (HPIP).

In the past three years, incentives from Excellus have exceeded $61 million.

"Collaborating with our hospital partners to link payments to improvements in health outcomes and patient safety has resulted in our members getting the best quality of care and the most value for their health-care premiums," said Carrie Frank, vice president of quality and health informatics at Excellus.

Eleven hospitals in the Utica/Rome/North Country Region participated in this program in 2011, including Adirondack Medical Center, Alice Hyde Medical Center and CVPH Medical Center.

Launched in 2004, the HPIP program evaluates participating hospitals on more than 300 performance measures. Target outcomes are jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer.

Driver honored

PLATTSBURGH — United Parcel Service has included 29 drivers from New York among 1,235 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.

The list includes Michael Lynn of Peru, who works at the Plattsburgh location.

New York boasts 151 active Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 4,201 years of accident-free driving. Ronald McKnight of the Bronx is New York's senior safe driver, with 43 years of accident-free driving, tying him for the fourth-best driving record among UPS's 102,000 drivers. There are 5,293 total UPS drivers in New York.

Globally, 5,842 active UPS drivers are members of the Circle of Honor. Collectively they've racked up 161,746 years and more than 5.3 billion safe miles during their careers, or the equivalent of circling the earth more than 212,000 times.

The number of new inductees represents the largest increase in new members in a single year in the company's history.

UPS invested $175 million in 2011 on safety training and employs its own comprehensive driving course called "Space and Visibility." All UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods beginning on the first day of classroom training through the company's defensive driving platform. The training continues throughout their careers.

Transport service

ELIZABETHTOWN — Elizabethtown Community Hospital has added an ambulance transport service to its Emergency Department. Integrating an ambulance with the hospital's services allows it to improve the quality of patient care by cutting transfer time in half.

The hospital purchased an ambulance at the end of 2011 and outfitted it with all necessary equipment. It has also hired an ambulance driver, along with emergency medical staff to operate the hospital's transfer program.

Historically, ECH has relied on the region's ambulance services to transfer its patients. Until recently, one of those services was stationed in Westport, able to reach the hospital in 15 minutes.

"The issue is time," said Emergency Department Manager Julie Tromblee, RN. "This hospital must ensure that patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible. Waiting for an ambulance service to travel 40 minutes to reach our facility, pick up the patient and then travel another 40 minutes to another facility is simply not an option."

The ECH transport unit will be stationed on hospital property, ready to transfer a patient in minutes.

Currently, local emergency medical squads from throughout Essex County bring patients to the hospital. After ECH staff provides initial care and stabilizing treatment, the hospital transfers these patients to other facilities.

Patients with significant illness or injury have limited time to receive treatment, an amount of time known as the "golden hour."