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Olean General Hospital


Olean General Hospital Announces Improvements to Intensive Care Unit

Posted on: 03/02/2011

Olean General Hospital (OGH) is now officially one of the few hospitals in the nation that utilize specially trained physicians, called intensivists, for the direction and provision of medical care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Additionally, OGH today announced that ICU renovations are now complete, further enhancing patient comfort in the unit.


“Our new Intensive Care Unit is a source of significant pride at Olean General,” said Timothy J. Finan, president and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System and member hospitals Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital. “The recently completed renovations, coupled with our new Intensivist program, will ensure the absolute best possible care for the hospital’s sickest patients.”


Intensivists are physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients. Each intensivist at Olean General has completed a primary residency and board certification in a specialty such as emergency medicine, surgery, internal medicine or anesthesiology, as well as a fellowship in critical care medicine. The program is designed to enhance the treatment and safety of ICU patients by providing them with a higher level of care. 


With the presence of intensivists at Olean General Hospital, critical care patients will now be able to receive a level of care and support that was previously unavailable and necessitated transfers to hospitals outside of the region.


“It is very significant that the intensivist program provides Olean General Hospital with the capability to offer best-in-class critical care right here in Olean without having to transfer patients,” said Mr. Finan. “Olean General Hospital’s intensivists are present in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Their only responsibility is the care of our ICU patients. This program allows us to offer the community a level of service that previously did not exist in our area and still does not exist in the majority of the communities across the country.”


Fewer than 20 percent of hospitals in the United States have intensivists directing their ICUs. Research shows that ICUs managed by intensivists experience a 40 percent reduction in mortality, as well as significantly shorter length of stays for ICU patients. Intensivists direct and coordinate all clinical care in the ICU, working with the assistance and consultation of various medical staff members.


Current intensivists at Olean General Hospital include John W. Hoyt, M.D., who completed his Anesthesia Residency and Critical Care Fellowship at Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA; Sandralee Blosser, M.D., who completed her Internal Medicine Residency at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, and her Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowships at Johns Hopkins University Hospitals in Baltimore, MD; William Castaldo, M.D., who completed his Internal Medicine Residency at New Rochelle Hospital Medical Center in New Rochelle, NY, and his Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship at Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, NY; Alex Flaxman, M.D., who completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, NY, and his Critical Care Fellowship at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD; Hector Peniston, M.D., who completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at the Medical Center of Delaware in Wilmington, DE and his Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and Gilbert Witte, M.D., who completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship at the Medical Center of Vermont in Burlington, VT.


Additionally, OGH recently completed significant improvements to patient and staff rooms in the unit, including nurse stations and patient support areas. The changes are designed to provide a new level of support and care to critically ill patients.


“Patients that unfortunately have to visit the ICU deserve nothing but the best possible care,” said Ron Mornelli, COO of Olean General Hospital. “Our new intensivist program provides the highest level of medical support to critically ill individuals, while these renovations reflect our desire to give patients the most comfortable environment we possibly can during a difficult time.”


Patient rooms in the ICU were refreshed with new headwalls, sinks, flooring, ceilings and lighting. Wall protection, window treatments, cubicle curtains and new chairs were also added.


Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital are members of Upper Allegheny Health System.  For more information about Olean General Hospital, visit



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