February 2019

Each issue of Strictly Business has a theme. Some of the themes repeat annually and some are one-time events. A decade ago health care was a topic for SB every two to three years. Now, because of innovations and rapid changes in the industry, we have added it to our list of annual topics. Here are the health care stories you will find in this issue.

Meet Michelle LeBeau, the new president of both of the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh and Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone. LeBeau, a North Country native and a registered nurse, served in a variety of leadership positions before become CVPH’s Chief Operating Officer in 2015. Her step into the top administrative position came last year.

Think eye care in the North Country and most people think Dr. Kjell Dahlen and Eye Care for the Adirondack. But times have changed. While Dr. Dahlen remains the dean of the eye care community in the area, the practice was sold in 2016. The new principals, Dr. Roy Arogyasami and Dr. Joseph Rini, have made changes, expanded facilities and nearly doubled the number of practitioners. Read their story in this issue.

To address the shortage of primary care providers in the North Country Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital has partnered with Hudson Headwaters Health Network, a nonprofit healthcare system which serves New York counties from the Canadian border to just north of the Capital District. HHHN opened its first Clinton County facility in Champlain in 2017 and now, after nearly a year of construction, Plattsburgh Family Health on Plaza Boulevard is open for business.

Also, recently opened is the Champlain Valley Family Center Recovery Campus in Schuyler Falls. The 18-bed facility offers both stabilization and withdrawal management and medication assisted treatment for those struggling with addiction issues. Counseling and educational lectures, recreational activities, even yoga specifically for recovery and stress management are offered. Additionally, there is on site vocational and educational counseling to help residents formulate a comprehensive discharge plan.

Another example of how times are changing in health care is the opening of Curaleaf, a dispensary for medical marijuana, in Plattsburgh. New York State legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2014 and it is currently one of 33 states and the District of Columbia that allow its use.

If you are skeptical about medical marijuana you will want to read about its use for patients with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord nerve injury, Epilepsy, Chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, and many other problems.

Supplemental insurance is popular with employees and employers. One of the most recognized company’s offering the coverage is Aflac — the one with the clever duck commercials. In the Plattsburgh area there are 11 company agents. You will meet three in this issue.

If you enjoy matching your wits with others, Literacy Volunteers’ annual Literacy Challenge is for you. More than two dozen teams from local businesses will compete at Champlain Centre on Saturday, March 2nd for trophies and bragging rights and to raise money for this vital community agency. It’s a great way to have fun and do good.

This month’s Insight feature presents Sally Meisenheimer, a teacher, counselor, mediator, and former military wife who can best be described as a free spirit who embraces life. Read her story in this issue.

And then Garry Douglas wraps up this February issue with news about the North Country business community’s optimistic view for 2019. Garry’s confident, can-do attitude is always an inspiration.

Of all the ways businesses have changed over the years, few can compare to the changes in the healthcare industry. We are all benefitting… and that’s good for business.