August 21, 2007


Dr. Rosemarie Hurley to receive state award


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer 
Family practice physician Rosemarie Hurley stands for a protrait in the administrative offices of Cortland Regional Medical Center. Doctor Hurley won a state rural health award.

Staff Reporter

MARATHON — Christella Yonta was relieved when her doctor said she would be sleeping in the next room while she was in labor.
“Even though it was her Christmas vacation, she stayed with me until I delivered,” Yonta said.
Yonta had her daughter in 2000, and has been a patient of Dr. Rosemarie Hurley’s ever since.
Hurley, 55, is a family practitioner at the Family Health Network Marathon Health Center and still practices obstetrics at the Cortland Regional Medical Center in Cortland.
Nominated by Yonta, Hurley will be the recipient of a state rural health award.
The award, which will be presented in September, is the New York State Association of Rural Health Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year Award.
“One of my patients nominated me, so that was kind of special,” Hurley said Friday. “It’s an honor.”
Yonta is a member of NYSARH and received a message looking for nominations for various awards.
“When I first nominated her I didn’t expect she would win, but I thought it would be an honor to be nominated,” Yonta said. “She’s a behind-the-scenes kind of person and puts in a lot of hours, typically of which go unnoticed except by her patients.”
Laverna Mastronardi, medical staff coordinator for the Cortland Regional Medical Center, said Hurley works day and night.
“Dr. Hurley is a doctor from the old school of medicine. She works 24/7,” Mastronardi said. “She’s here all hours of the day and night.”
The Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year Award is one of four awards that will be given out on Sept. 13.
According to the NYSARH, the award requires the recipient to be a direct service provider who has demonstrated leadership in bringing health services to citizens for rural New York.
The award was named in honor of Dr. Gary Ogden of Wellsville, who died in early January.
“Candidates for this award should exhibit the same qualities we witnessed in Gary,” the application states. “A passion for life, selfless dedication to their community, their organization, and especially their patients; a strong sense of truth, and the conviction, belief, and action to make dreams a reality.”
Yonta said when she read the requirements she knew Hurley was worthy of the award.
“Since Dr. Hurley has been in Marathon, she has been pretty dedicated to the rural health community,” Yonta said. “She was recruited as part of the National Health Service Corps and one requirement was to stay in a rural community setting for a minimum of three years. Twenty-two year later and she has not left.”
Hurley received her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts. In 1999, she won the physician of the year award for the Cortland Regional Medical Center, and in 2006, received an award for 20 years of service.
Hurley is the secretary treasurer of the medical staff, the physician representative to the board of trustees, and the chairperson of family practice at the hospital.
Hurley said she stayed in Cortland County because of the people she worked with and her patients.
Yonta has been Hurley’s patient for eight years now.
“Marathon is a small rural community and her longtime presence at the local clinic adds to the stability and quality of life in this small town,” Yonta wrote in her nomination.
Mastronardi said Hurley delivers 100 babies a year.
“She’s know for that number,” Mastronardi said. “Ask any patient, any nurse, any doctor. Dr. Hurley is well thought of.”
Hurley said she’s now delivering babies of babies.
Yonta said she plans on going to Lake Placid for the awards ceremony.
“I will be there and some other members of the Family Health administration will be going as well,” Yonta said. “I’m sure Dr. Hurley will be there, too, if someone isn’t in labor. But if someone is in labor, I wouldn’t be surprised if she stayed behind.”



Pretrial hearing adjourned for Cincy man accused of killing child

Staff Reporter

NORWICH — A pretrial hearing for a Cincinnatus man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 16-month-old son was adjourned Monday in Chenango County Court.
The hearing for Jason Allen Sherman, 24, of 5223 Piety Hill Road, has been rescheduled for Sept. 14.
“I have conferred with my client and we are not ready for a pretrial hearing,” said Peter McBride, Sherman’s attorney.
Chenango County Judge W. Howard Sullivan granted the two-week adjournment.
Sherman was arrested on March 22 in connection with the Nov. 10 death of Marshall Lee Barber Jr. in the town of Pitcher.
Sherman, who is not the father of the infant, was indicted after an investigation on two counts of first-degree manslaughter and one count of second-degree assault, felonies.
The child was found unresponsive in his bed at 109 Loomis Lane at approximately 7 a.m. Nov. 10, 2006, and was transported to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of the infant’s death was blunt head trauma and asphyxiation, and was ruled a homicide.



Tree in Cuyler road subject of suit

Madison County man suing county, Cuyler and couple over 2006 motorcycle crash.

Staff Reporter

CUYLER — A Madison County man has filed a lawsuit against Cortland County, the town of Cuyler and a Cuyler couple, saying they are responsible for a downed tree in the road he crashed into on his motorcycle in 2006.
Brett S. Johnson, age unknown, of New Woodstock claims the town, county or the owners of land from which the tree had fallen, or some combination of those parties, is responsible for his injuries.
The accident occurred at 4:27 p.m. July 29, 2006, on West Keeney Road about a quarter-mile south of Keeney Settlement Road as Johnson was driving north on his 1986 Honda motorcycle.
The lawsuit, which the county Clerk’s Office received Friday, did not elaborate on exactly how he was injured or what injuries he suffered.
It also did not specify the damages Johnson is seeking.
Johnson could not be reached Monday afternoon or this morning, nor could his lawyer, Benjamin Rabin, of Alexander & Catalano in Syracuse.
The town, county or both of the municipalities could be liable for Johnson’s injuries because they are responsible for maintaining, supervising and controlling West Keeney Road, the suit claims.
They should have ensured the areas on either side of the roadway were in a reasonable and safe condition, it states.
Furthermore, once the tree was down on the road, taking up both  lanes, the town, county or both should have removed the tree or warned travelers it was there, according to the lawsuit.
Cuyler Town Attorney Mark Suben said he has been in contact with the Alexander & Catalano law firm about the matter.
He said the town believes it has no liability because it does not own the road or maintain the road.