Hospice of Jefferson County announces STAR Center transition and relocation to Samaritan Medical Center at the Walker Center for Cancer Care facility

News release

WATERTOWN, NY – STAR Center for Symptom Treatment and Relief will be closing its office on Washington Street in Watertown on June 30, 2022. The palliative care clinic will relocate to the Walker Center for Cancer Care under the operation of Samaritan Medical Center. Hospice of Jefferson County has operated this service since 2019. Due to changes in physician referral patterns, Hospice leadership has determined Samaritan should maintain this service in our community. The STAR Center treats patients needing palliative care management for many different diagnoses, including cancer. Samaritan’s decision to relocate the clinic to the Walker Center for Cancer Care does not mean that only individuals with cancer will be seen. The clinic will provide palliative care to all patients with serious illnesses who need symptom management and social support assistance. Please contact the STAR Center at (315) 755-6086 for any questions regarding your care.

“Developing this palliative care outpatient clinic has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. We appreciate the referrals and confidence the community has given our clinic over the past three years,” said Diana Woodhouse, CEO of Hospice of Jefferson County. “We are confident that Samaritan Medical Center has the resources to continue developing this program and are pleased that palliative care will remain available to our community.”

“Samaritan was proud to financially support Hospice three years ago to launch this service for the community. Today, we are pleased to be in a position to maintain and further develop palliative care in our community,” stated Tom Carman, President, and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “Providing quality healthcare is part of our mission, and this includes quality of life, which is a major benefit of palliative care and something every patient deserves.”

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Hospice of Jefferson County and its Hospice and Foundation Boards for their visionary support of the STAR Center serving the North Country Community,” said Kathy Matas, Ph.D. ANP. “Palliative Care is a medical specialty serving all those with serious, progressive, and potentially life-limiting illnesses that focuses on symptom management, quality of life, and care goals. It is a person and family-centered with a whole-person approach that includes support for both patient and family. It is appropriate from the time of diagnosis and throughout the course of a disease.

Palliative Care requires a referral and is covered by your insurance, as any medical specialty is. I look forward to continuing to provide this valued specialty within the Samaritan Medical Center’s community-based care.”

Beginning July 1, 2022, Samaritan Medical Center will assume complete operations for this palliative care program and help it remain in our community. New patients are being accepted with a referral and can call 315-785-4673 to make an appointment. The clinic will be located at the Walker Center for Cancer Care in the interim.