World Class Care in Central New York at Auburn Community Hospital

By Katy Mena-Berkley
Monday, April 27, 2020

Auburn Community Hospital offers a wealth of specialized services to the Finger Lakes region.

When patients in Cayuga County and surrounding areas need high-quality, patient-centered health care, they do not have to travel far. Auburn Community Hospital (ACH), a not-for-profit facility, provides both acute and general hospital services to the population of 80,000. Roughly 95% of ACH physicians are board-certified in one or more specialties, ensuring that the majority of patients can access the care they need close to home.

ACH’s comprehensive scope of services includes cardiology, neurology, radiology, bariatrics, and obstetrics, as well as lifestyle-focused programs in areas such as nutritional counseling and pastoral care.

“At Auburn Community Hospital, our vision is simple. We will provide the best outcome for every patient, every time. We want you to know that we are always challenging ourselves to make the healthcare experience better for our patients, physicians and staff and ultimately our community. ACH health system invests in our community to make it better and trusts that our community will make the health system better in turn. We are neighbors and we need to take care of each other,” stated Scott Berlucchi, President & CEO, Auburn Community Hospital.

Collaborating for Cancer Care

Enhancing the expertise of the oncology specialists at ACH is a partnership with Syracuse-based Upstate Cancer Center, the only academic medical center in the region. Upstate’s program is ranked in the top 20% in the United States by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and is the only facility in Central New York accredited by the organization.

Located on the hospital’s first floor, Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn Community Hospital offers a spectrum of advanced diagnostic and treatment resources delivered by board-certified physicians and nurses with extensive experience in hematology and oncology.

“We’re very excited about bringing all of the resources of Upstate and an academic medical center to Auburn,” says David B. Duggan, MD, Professor of Medicine at Upstate Cancer Center and Medical Director of Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn Community Hospital. “The physicians we work with are highly trained and have many years of specialized training.”

The skilled nursing staff at Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn is trained to administer a variety of treatments, including chemotherapy and infusion regimens, implementing plans designed by specialists and tailored to each individual patient. In the event that consultations or procedures are not available at the Auburn location, patients will have priority access to the facility in Syracuse. In either location, patients can expect a multidisciplinary case review by a team of experts.

“Bringing the Upstate team to Auburn provides that team approach to cancer care that all patients want,” says Christina Sherman, RN, Director of Auburn Community Hospital Cancer Services, Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn Community Hospital. “We want second opinions. We want to know what other doctors think. These are doctors who are world-class in their fields of expertise. This practice is built with the patient in mind.”

As a resident of Auburn and a longtime member of the Upstate Cancer Center team in Syracuse, Sherman was a strong proponent of the collaboration with ACH.

“Auburn was an underserved area in terms of cancer services, and I was seeing patients from my community drive to Syracuse for the expertise that they needed,” Sherman says. “The Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn offers local options from a multidisciplinary team in a familiar and intimate setting. Dr. Duggan grew up in Auburn, and his expertise in the field is unmatched.”

In addition to cancer treatments, Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn provides on-site pharmacy and phlebotomy services to streamline the delivery of medications and lab results.

Upstate Cancer Center at Auburn Community Hospital

Examination Room

Infusion Room

Dedicated to Core Values

In every area of expertise, clinicians, nurses and administrators at Auburn Community Hospital deliver service in accordance with four key principles. Clinicians who refer patients to ACH can count on:

  • Collaboration. Each individual on the ACH team works together with patients, external partners and one another to enhance health and well-being throughout the community.
  • Accountability. The ACH staff takes personal responsibility for individual and team performance.
  • Respect. Treating patients, families, co-workers and other members of the community with consideration, dignity and sensitivity is a priority for ACH.
  • Excellence. Adhering to the highest standards when delivering clinical care and overall service as well as continuously enhancing knowledge and skills is of paramount importance to the ACH team.

“Not only do we take care of you and your family when you have health issues, but we are also the largest employer in the area and with that comes a significant responsibility. Auburn Community Hospital generates more than 1,200 jobs in this community and helps maintain and improve our quality of life in this beautiful region of New York State,” Scott Berlucchi stated.

Answering the Virtual Call During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the most critical ways Auburn Community Hospital has been a leader in meeting the needs of the community during recent months is by rapidly enhancing telehealth capabilities for 90% of affiliated healthcare providers. The adoption of telehealth at ACH has been led by Paul Fu, MD, neurologist and Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Initially intended to offer choices for rural patients in need of routine appointments, the telehealth options were made available to any patients who would prefer to have consultations at home during the pandemic.

Auburn-based software development and services company Medent provides the telehealth options to ACH, and the process is seamless for clinicians and patients alike. Once a patient schedules his appointment, he receives a link through either an email or text message. When the appointment time arrives, the patient may open the link on a computer, smartphone or tablet and virtually connect with the provider.

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