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Southern Tier HealthLink Newsletter

February 2013

In This Issue

Dr. Hemant Gupta Joins Southern Tier HealthLink Board of Directors

Provider Spotlight - Karen R. Banks-Lindner DO PLLC

Southern Tier HealthLink - On The SHIN-NY

STHL / MEDENT Users Forum March 26th

Call for Speakers - NYeC Digital Health Conference 2013

Monthly Health Awareness: February is Heart Disease Awareness Month!

New Web Tool Helps EPs Navigate the EHR Incentive Programs

STHL Social Media

STHL Staff



Current Stats:



Providing affirmative

  consent: 150,663


Organizations connected to STHL:

Hospitals: 5

Practices: 122

Imaging Center: 1

Long Term Care Facilities:  2

Public Health Department: 2

Behavioral Health Organizations:                  1


Providers and Clinicians:

Total users;  1,886


Patient Portal:

Total Users:   25,180


January Transactions:

Records sent out and queries: 52,104


Save the Date - Spring HIE Summit - April 18th, 2013


 Southern Tier HealthLink NY Logo   


Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) is pleased to announce that on Thursday, April 18th in collaboration with the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) you will have the opportunity to attend a dynamic and informative meeting about how Health Information Exchange (HIE), your local Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), and New York State are bringing together healthcare providers and consumers throughout the State with technology that can improve health care quality, access, and safety while reducing costs.

Educational sessions will be held in every region of New York this Spring.


At the Binghamton HIE Summit on April 18th you will learn about:

  • The value of HIE in our community and the various ways you can get engaged with STHL, your local RHIO
  • Progress and plans for the Statewide Health Information Network for New York  (SHIN-NY) and what this means to you


Watch for more information to come - including in the March edition of OnTrack!

Dr. Hemant Gupta Joins Southern Tier HealthLink Board of Directors




On February 21st, 2013, Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) issued a Press Release announcing the appointment of Dr. Hemant Gupta to the STHL Board of Directors. Dr. Gupta is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) of Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton, NY in partnership with Ascension Health, the nation's largest nonprofit healthcare provider.  

Dr. Gupta is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Gupta is a board certified internal medicine physician, and has five years of combined experience as a community hospitalist, a primary care physician and an academic hospitalist.  

Of his appointment to the Southern Tier HealthLink Board of Directors Dr. Gupta commented, "It was a pleasure meeting Christina Galanis and the STHL staff.  I look forward to working closely with our Health Information Exchange as it transitions to New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and it's Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) platform.  Greater heights can be achieved through honest collaboration." 

"Southern Tier HealthLink is pleased to have Dr. Hemant Gupta join our Board of Directors.  His experience as Chief Medical Informatics Officer and his extensive knowledge of clinical decision support systems and EMRs will provide an important dimension to our work as we continue to build and improve our provider and patient interface plans" said Christina Galanis, STHL Executive Director.  

here to read the Press Release in it's entirety. 

To learn more about STHL contact us at 607-651-9150, or visit us on the web at




Provider Spotlight - Karen R. Banks-Lindner DO PLLC


Dr. Karen R. Banks



Karen R. Banks-Lindner DO PLLC is a participating organization with the Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) Health Information Exchange (HIE) since 2010. Through the MEDENT / HIE Subscription Service they are able to exchange clinical documents electronically with other practices that use the MEDENT electronic medical record (EMR) system. Continuity of Care Documents (CCD) from the HIE which include information from all STHL data sources can be imported directly into the MEDENT EMR. This function helped the practice meet Stage 1 Meaningful Use last year. As a STHL data source, Karen R Banks-Lindner DO PLLC sends patient health information to the HIE which helps build a more complete patient medical record.  

In addition, through the STHL Web Portal their providers have access to transcribed reports and images with just a few mouse clicks.


"When you just want access to an isolated piece of information on a patient it is quick and easy to get through the STHL Web Portal with patient consent. It is very handy - especially for radiology reports and test values" says Rick Lindner.


Karen R. Banks-Lindner DO PLLC provides general internal medicine care for adults ages 18 and up. A sample of their many services include EKG, pre-operative clearances, simple sutures, hearing evaluations, vision screening, DOT physicals and general care. They believe in services performed the old fashioned way, where the patient comes first.


Seven years ago Dr. Banks left hospital based medicine to embark on a joint venture with her husband Rick Lindner and opened a private practice that would focus on patient centered care in their rural Norwich community. In a time when an increasing number of U.S. doctors are expected to leave private practice in favor of group or hospital based employment affiliations, the Banks-Lindner practice strives to provide better care in a family atmosphere "the way medicine was meant to be". Rick explains it as "a throwback to the 30s, 40s, and 50s in this regard. We know our patients and their family life. Technology has improved medicine since then, but that personal touch is part of what Meaningful Use efforts today are ultimately trying to bring back." 


The Banks-Lindner practice has embarked on several pilot programs with CMS including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). PQRS is a voluntary reporting program which provides an incentive payment to practices who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered services furnished under Medicare Part B. The Banks-Lindner practice reports on several PQRS measures including smoking and tobacco use cessation.  Banks-Lindner is one of fifty practices in New York State participating in the PQRS initiative. 


Rick and Karen believe that seeing the business as a morally based project with improved patient outcomes as paramount to their goals helps alleviate the challenges that come with running a private practice. This philosophy extends to their employees who Rick says were hired based on their passion and fit - not just how they looked on paper.


The business relationship works for this husband and wife team who collaborate day in and day out because each concentrates on their focus. For Dr. Banks it is patient care, and for Rick it is the business side of things. Rick does not get involved with medical decisions, and Karen is hands-off when it comes to implementation. They tweak things as a team as part of process improvement, but for the most part Karen is free to focus on her patients, which is exactly what she wants to do.


Rick comes from a business management background and has this advice to offer: "Learn it and do it yourself or hire someone competent to do it for you. Align yourself with people who can help you grow." That advice applies to many areas of business today. 


When asked about health information exchange (HIE) Rick says "it is growing every day. The potential for improving health care and outcomes is evident. Incorporating the STHL HIE into our practice has greatly improved access to health information when we need it - especially for new patients. HIE is a great tool for improving care and streamlining processes."


Michele Provost, PA


Currently Karen Banks-Lindner DO PLLC employs a staff of seven.  Dr. Banks and Michelle Provost PA see patients Monday through Friday. Visit their website to see more about the Banks-Lindner practice and their home town feel in Norwich.




To learn more about Southern Tier HealthLink and how you can incorporate health information exchange into your practice visit our website at www.sthlny.com, or contact STHL at 607-651-9150 or info@sthlny.com.



Southern Tier HealthLink On The SHIN-NY




As Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) moves forward with its transition to the New York eCollaborative (NYeC) Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHINY-NY) Platform, we would like to keep our subscribers up-to-date through our monthly OnTrack newsletter.


For our first article, it is fitting to introduce you to the SHIN-NY.


What is SHIN-NY?


The Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) is a network of information transmitted between users. Like the internet, as more users connect, it grows, evolves, and becomes more secure, efficient, and easy to use.


As an increasing number of private practices, nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals begin to digitize their records, they have the option to connect to RHIO's (Regional Health Information Organizations) like Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) in their region of the state. The RHIO's collect health record data from the healthcare providers in their area, and, with patient consent, allow this information to be shared securely with other providers in the region.


The SHIN-NY connects these regional hubs to create a private and secure network spanning the entire State of New York and eventually will be the network to support exchange between states.


What this means to you: The patient returning to her family physician for follow-up care after a trip to a radiologist will not need to make any phone calls to request a copy of her results. Neither will her physician. The patient will not need to remember to have images or lab results sent, nor will she need to carry her own records to different doctors by hand. Her primary care physician, when securely connected to the SHIN-NY, will have complete, accurate, and private access to the information carefully gathered by each one of the specialists the patient has visited. Fewer mistakes will be made, fewer tests repeated, and money and time will be saved on administrative details. Most importantly, the patient and doctor will have more time together to discuss treatment options and recovery.


See how the SHIN-NY can make life better. 


Please tune in each month to keep up-to-date with STHL, NYeC and the SHIN-NY. 


For more information about STHL please contact us at 607-651-9150 or visit us on the web at www.sthlny.com 



STHL / MEDENT Users Forum March 26th - Patient Engagement Resources


Join Southern Tier HealthLink on Tuesday, March 26th from 4-6 PM at the MEDENT Users Forum to learn more about where New York State is headed with connecting more providers through health information exchange (HIE), and new ways your patients and their families can get more engaged with their health care.


Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) will give an overview of the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).  Learn how your practice will be able to participate with health information exchange (HIE) in new ways to help you care for patients and meet your Meaningful Use goals.


As more private practices, nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals adopt electronic health records, they have more options available them to connect to Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) like STHL.

The SHIN-NY will connect throughout the state to create a private and secure network spanning the entire State of New York whereby patient information can be transmitted privately and securely between users.  As more users connect it will grow and evolve to more easily and securely share patient health record data with other providers in the region.  Learn more about how this will unfold as 2013 moves on.


Next, Dan Shappee, of AbbVie, Integrated Managed Health Care will present an overview of some new free tools and resources that are available to your practice that can help increase patient engagement and satisfaction, and control costs.

Dan will explain how by putting patients first you can develop enduring solutions that can help support the integration of evidence-based treatment guidelines and the highest level of patient care and service.

In addition, a live demonstration of CoverMyMeds will be included.  CoverMyMeds is a free service that allows for quick submission of Prior Authorization requests for all drugs and all health insurance plans from a single, free, HIPAA compliant and secure website.


The MEDENT Users Forum is a great way to network with other MEDENT users, share tips, tools, and best practices that help you in the work you do every day and in meeting your goals - including Meaningful Use. In addition, you can learn more about how your practice and patients can interact with the STHL health information exchange.


For more information please contact STHL at 607-651-9150 or info@sthlny.com. 



Call for Speakers - NYeC Digital Health Conference 2013




NYeC is seeking speakers for the 2013 Digital Health Conference. Proposals should showcase health IT innovations, use case studies, explore new information technology tools and perspectives, suggest practical applications of existing technologies, and/or highlight the effects of health IT in healthcare advances. We want to hear from thought provoking, engaging speakers who can inspire our audience.

This year we have two types of speaking opportunities: our standard 45-minute to one hour presentation, and a brand new 10-minute talk format. You may apply for one or both types of speaking slots. To submit an application, click


The deadline for speaker submissions is March 31, 2013 at 11:59 pm ET.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email dhc@nyehealth.org or call 646-619-6536. 



Monthly Health Awareness: February is Heart Disease Awareness Month! 



Engaging and encouraging patients to get involved in their own health care is one of STHL's strong commitments to our community.  With our "Monthly Awareness" section of the OnTrack newsletter, we hope to help raise awareness about some of the common diseases that could affect all of us- and educate patients about how they can start to take action. 

Every February 1st the nation "Goes Red" to bring awareness to Heart Disease...and the numbers are hard to ignore.  


Did you know:   

  • One out of every four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. That equates to a whopping 600,000 deaths per year!
  • Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America.
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year.   

STHL Staffers "Go Red" on February 1st to show their support


There is good news however -- heart disease is 100% preventable and controllable.  Heart Health is important, and everyone can get closer to a strong healthy heart by taking small steps everyday.


Visit the links below to get educated on the steps you can take to become "heart healthy".  Don't forget to share what you learn with your family and friends today! 


Helpful Links:


Often times, the warning signs for a woman who is having a heart "event" are very different from that of a man.  Ladies, be sure you know the symptoms!!   
Go Red for Women video link "Just a little heart attack" featuring actress Elizabeth Banks:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7wmPWTnDbE


Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for valuable information about heart disease: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/


Click here to learn the typical warning signs of a Heart Attack, Stroke and Cardiac Arrest.


Heart Health Infographics:




For more information about STHL please contact us at 607-651-9150 or visit us on the web at www.sthlny.com.



New Web Tool Helps EPs Navigate the EHR Incentive Programs 




New Interactive Resource to Determine Timeline for Participation in the EHR Incentive Programs


CMS recently posted a new web resource for eligible professionals (EPs), My EHR Participation Timeline, to the EHR Incentive Programs website. This interactive tool allows EPs to determine what year you will meet Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 of meaningful use in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. It also provides information on:

  • The length of time EPs are required to demonstrate meaningful use at each stage;
  • The maximum incentive payment you can receive each year;
  • The total incentive payment amount you will receive based on your initial year of participation; and,
  • Links to helpful resources from the CMS website.

After choosing between the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, select your first year of participation and the tool will create a personalized timeline with your results. This timeline can be printed and used as a reference for successful EHR Incentive Programs participation. 


For more CMS resources, visit the Educational Resources section of the EHR website.


Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?

Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.  




STHL Social Media    



Keep posted on all the latest news and information from Southern Tier HealthLink (STHL) through our Social Media sites!  


Like us on Facebook to learn more about Health Information Exchange and for general health education and tips, local events, healthcare news, and more!    


Follow our Pins and Boards on Pinterest to keep up-to-date on exciting advances in healthcare technology as well as tons of healthcare tips!  Not on Pinterest?  No Problem!  Use our Pinterest App on Facebook to view and share our Pins with your friends.



Follow us on Twitter @NYHealthScape for the latest news in HIE and healthcare, events, and information about STHL's presence in Second Life.


Read our digital magazine, "Electronic Health Information Exchange" on Scoop.It! to discover the latest national and worldwide healthcare news through articles from various sources on the web, updated daily.

Find us on LinkedIn to learn more about our organization and the services we offer to the medical community of the Southern Tier. If you're on LinkedIn, join our professional network!




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Executive Director

Christina Galanis


Deputy Director

Emily Pape


Deputy Director of Technology & Operations

Paul Almy


Project Coordinators

Kirsten Griffin, Marie Santare-Shaver, Staci Molyneaux


Database Coordinator

Crystal Felker


Help Desk Support Specialist

Christina Anastos


Administrative Officer

Michelle Cleveland


Administrative Secretary

Patricia Blackman


Southern Tier HealthLink | Former Lackawanna Train Station | 45 Lewis Street | Binghamton | NY | 13901