Littauer Physician’s Work with COVID Draws International Attention

Littauer Physician’s Work with COVID Draws International Attention

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home is proud to announce the Medical Director of the healthcare organization’s Hospitalist program, Devjit Roy, MD, has an article accepted for publication with the prestigious British Medical Journal. Roy is one of the authors of the article. “We’re extremely proud Dr. Roy received the recognition he deserves for his work,” says Littauer’s Chief Medical Officer Frederick Goldberg. “The research findings in Treatment of unexplained coma and hypokinetic-rigid syndrome in a patient with COVID-19 provides greater understanding of COVID’s complexity. His work may shape future treatments and clinical approaches for people with COVID.”

The study follows a patient suffering from severe complications of COVID. The patient experienced encephalopathy (damage or disease which affects the brain), hypokinetic rigid syndrome (the decreased and slowed movements similar to Parkinson’s disease), and severe cognitive impairment.

“Some may call the patient’s recovery a miracle,” says Dr. Roy. “But, on the scientific level there’s much more at work. This specific patient in our study was suffering from, not only the negative effects of the virus, but from prolonged hospitalization and being on a ventilator. It was likely this patient was not going to make it.”

We are learning, infection complications from COVID vary from person to person. Some positive with the disease feel little to no symptoms. For others, it can ravage their health and respiratory system completely, requiring intubation and placement on a ventilator. Numerous symptoms of the disease suggest even long-term neurological involvement and complications. Proving more challenging, there is little to no literature to describe neurophysiological cognitive state and treatment of patients in the post-intensive care unit (ICU).

Moreover, the patient in Dr. Roy’s study began experiencing depleted dopamine stores in the brain due to long-term use of anesthetics to keep the patient breathing on the ventilator, without the risk of erratic or inconsistent breathing patterns. This results in preserved consciousness, tremors, and intact eye movements.

“This patient was at risk of not making it,” explained Dr. Roy. “We needed to act fast. So, we tried an approach that was scientifically supported, and it worked. It was very successful.”

Dr. Roy and his care team immediately began treating the patient with Modafinil (used to treat narcolepsy) and Carbidopa-Levodopa (used to treat Parkinson’s disease). These medications have been shown to improve and accelerate functional recovery and sleep-wake cycles.

Within just a few days, the patient was awake, alert, and began showing increased movement of their body. After the first week of treatment, the patient was weaned from ventilator usage, able to communicate meaningfully, and demonstrated increased mobility. When the patient was medically stable for discharge and rehabilitation, the patient continued their medication regiment and showed overall signs of improvement. The patient was discharged home after a month of acute rehabilitation.

“This study is very meaningful to me,” Dr. Roy adds. “Not much was known about COVID at the time – there still isn’t,” Dr. Roy adds. “Nobody would’ve imagined this crisis to happen when it did, and for it to have put such a strain on hospitals, our healthcare systems, and our country. But it did. Yet, we have responded in the best way possible – get more information, understand more about the virus, and find answers. And we are actively doing that.”

Medical Director of Littauer’s Hospitalist program, Devjit Roy, MD

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New Providers Say, “We’ve Got This.”

While many hospitals struggled to find medical care providers, Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home acquired new, talented providers during the pandemic, acclimating them quickly to serve a critical role during a critical time. For the year 2020, the healthcare organization added 28 new providers to its medical staff, totaling more than 200 providers working with Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home. “The members of our community are deserving of great healthcare services,” says Littauer Vice President of Primary and Specialty Care, Patrice McMahon. “That’s why we’ve chosen some of the best providers our patients could ask for.”

Nathan Littauer Primary/Specialty Care welcomed the following providers to its medical staff in the year 2020:

James Alexander, MD, Radiology; Mohammad Al-Hasan, MD, Emergency Medicine; James Bai, MD, Radiology; Emmanuel Bapana, MD, Emergency Medicine; Medhat Barsoom, MD, Emergency Medicine; Kayla Bellinger, FNP, Family Practice; Jeremiah Benoit, MD, Internal Medicine; Susan Duross, NP, Palliative Care; Obafemi Giwa-Amu, MD, Family Practice; Kristi Hecker, FNP, Family Practice; Abigail Johnson, PA, Orthopedics; Monika Kapusniak, CRNA, Anesthesiology; Stephen Little, DO, Anesthesiology; Sandeep Mangalmurti, MD, Cardiology; Trevor McGinley, MD, Emergency Medicine; Harish Moorjani, MD, Infectious Disease; Brittany Mulhall, NP, Cardiology; Elizabeth “Betty” O’Hagan, FNP, Family Practice; Sein Yone Pao, DO, Hospitalist; Ashlee Podolec, NP, Primary Care/OR; Betti Ressler, MD; Locums/Pediatrics; Ryan Richman, MD, Emergency Medicine; Devjit, Roy, MD, Inpatient Specialist/Hospitalist; Thomas Rush, MD, Infectious Disease; Krista Sheils, FNP, Pediatrics; Alison Townsend, PA, Caroga Lake Primary Care; Melissa VanSlyke, ANP, Family Medicine; Omer Wali, MD, Hospitalist; and Timothy Waters, DO, Hospitalist.

“While our nation is experiencing a shortage of medical providers, we have enjoyed great success in attracting high-quality physicians and Advance Practice Professionals to our medical staff,” says Littauer’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frederick Goldberg, “These skilled, compassionate and dedicated medical professionals make it possible for our community to have easy access on a daily basis to what they most need and deserve: patient-centered, high-quality healthcare close to home.” 

In addition to welcoming new providers to the organization, Nathan Littauer Hospital is actively engaged in the early stages of a community and organizational pandemic recovery. The organization’s plan for recovery focuses on internal workforce development, increasing community vaccination rates, and general organizational growth.

New Littauer providers had a few things to say to the community members they serve:

“I am proud to be working with Nathan Littauer,” says Jeremiah Benoit, MD. “The past year has carried unique limitations and concerns, but we can continue working together to keep our community safe. Our Broadalbin Primary Care Center has been able to successfully stay open and accessible to our patients during the pandemic, and I’m adamant we will continue to do so. We have a great team of providers, nurses, and staff.”

Jeremiah Benoit, MD

“Being a healthcare provider during a pandemic presents unique challenges,” says Kayla Bellinger, FNP. “However, it has been reassuring to be part of a team that puts our community and the safety of our patients at the forefront. Most of us go into this field to optimize the health of others and advocate for those who have difficulty doing so for themselves; this has not changed through the pandemic. More than ever, we are here to help our community navigate through a scary and confusing time. Our facilities are open, safe, and we are here for you.”

Kayla Bellinger, FNP

“We are very understanding of the general public’s thoughts about visiting their provider during a pandemic,” says Obafemi “Femi” Giwa-Amu, MD. “But, we want to reassure our community members that we strive to keep our patients safe. We have safe, effective infection control and preventative measures in place, and stringent guidelines to ensure that we are healthy before we even start our day. We have all been offered vaccines as an added layer of protection, for us, and for you! I urge you not to delay your routine appointments, and know that we are here to keep you healthy.”

Obafemi “Dr. Femi”
Giwa-Amu, MD

Littauer’s providers explain, “We’ve got this,” to the people in the region. Now, Littauer providers are eager to help their patients prevent disease, and look forward to continuing a routine course of care. Nathan Littauer invites people back to their community hospital adding, “Health care should not be placed on-hold. We are here to help you heal.”


About Nathan Littauer

Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is a full-service, 74 bed acute care hospital with an 84 bed skilled nursing home. Since 1894, Nathan Littauer has provided safe, high-quality health and wellness services with a focus on securing appropriate new technologies for people residing in Upstate New York. Over the years, the hospital has expanded its services in order to offer health care that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities they serve.  More information can be found by visiting

Palliative Care Service Line Launched at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home is proud to announce the launch of their new palliative care program. The mission of Littauer’s palliative care program is to ease physical, psychosocial, and spiritual distress among those with serious illness. Compassionate conversations with patients regarding their illness, how it affects them, and their family, and what matters most to them in the context of disease – ultimately helps patients and their families to plan and make well-informed decisions in regards to their care. Finally, the completion of advance directives helps ensure a patient’s wishes are identified, respected, and communicated. Susan “Susie” Duross, Nurse Practitioner, is the organization’s new Palliative Care Coordinator. Duross says, “Palliative care ultimately improves lives. It is based on the needs of the patient, so the patient receives a very individualized form of care.”

“We see the landscape of healthcare changing,” adds Duross. “More people are being diagnosed with chronic illnesses and living longer with them. It is important, that for every patient we serve, we are paying attention to what matters most to patients and their families and ensuring that treatment plans consider their unique needs and wishes.”

Since its inception two years ago, Nathan Littauer Hospital’s palliative care program has been widely successful. To date, Nathan Littauer Hospital has provided palliative care services to over 30 patients.

Littauer proudly welcomed Susan “Susie” Duross, Nurse Practitioner, as the organization’s new Palliative Care Coordinator in October, however, the palliative care team at Littauer has grown diversified. The growing palliative care team consists of Littauer teammates: Susie Duross, NP, Care Coordination Manager and Social Worker, Margaret “Maggie” Rowley, and Pastoral Care Coordinator, Reverend Bonnie Orth.

In an effort to further expand knowledge of palliative care principles and practices, Nathan Littauer has joined the CAPC. The CAPC is part of the nonprofit Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sanai, and is the leading organization for training, resources, and technical assistance to aide health care providers in caring for their most vulnerable and complex patients.

With palliative care services at Littauer, ­we can provide a close, unique approach to care for our patients,” says Vice President of Population Health, Geoffrey Peck. “The growing need for palliative care services has existed long before the pandemic, and since we developed the program two years ago, it has been extremely successful.”

Duross affirms the demand of palliative care services during the height of the COVID pandemic:

During the pandemic it has been challenging for our patients, families, and caregivers. Everyone in our community has been affected in some way. We have assisted patients and families by giving them our time; ensuring they are kept updated regarding their loved one’s condition. We have responded to their spiritual needs by providing prayer and healing sacraments as requested, and we have helped reunite family members that were estranged. Additionally, we were able to coordinate a commitment ceremony for a patient and her significant other. Since team health is a vital part of palliative care, we are also helping to ensure all front-line workers are coping during these very stressful times.

Conclusively, the palliative care team at Littauer aims to provide consultation and palliative care services to at least 40 inpatients each year, to patients who are in need of them. As the palliative care program develops and expands to the healthcare organization’s extended care facility, and more healthcare providers become familiar with palliative care through the means of education, it is likely Littauer’s palliative care services will grow exponentially. While the program is now offered on an inpatient basis, the organization hopes to provide the service on an outpatient basis in the future. For more information about Littauer’s palliative care services, please contact Littauer’s Palliative Care Coordinator, Susie Duross, at (518) 773-5254 or via email:

Nathan Littauer CEO Sean Fadale on what’s next for the hospital

A recent interview with Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home President and CEO, Sean Fadale and the Albany Business Review:

With a spot on his college football team, Sean Fadale wasn’t looking far beyond just playing the game and attending classes. As for a career, he was unsure. But when he injured his shoulder — which meant no more football — and required surgery and physical therapy, his eyes were opened to a career path. Fadale became a physical therapist, soon after making his way to the administrative side and eventually becoming CEO of Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, New York. After eight years in that role, Fadale in October became the new president and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home in Fulton County.

Q: “How did you transition from physical therapist to the admin side?” 

A: I graduated, and I got to go back to my hometown and work in the hospital I was born in, able to work as a clinician and rise up through the ranks to a leadership level. I realized as much as I love patient care, I found that on the leadership side I could really affect a broader scope of patients and fellow co-workers by how I lead them. I went back and got my MBA, and that really started my journey. At that point in time, I realized eventually I wanted to be in the CEO seat in health care.

Q: “What’s a major lesson you learned during the eight years in your first CEO role?” 

A: The principles of leadership, from my perspective, are translational. They’re universal. People want to be valued. They want to be heard. They want to be empowered to make a difference on a day-to-day basis. Those are things that I feel can translate from position to position and from organization to organization. One thing I think that I really realized as a new CEO of Community Memorial Hospital is relationships matter. And this goes beyond the organization to the community, to your local and regional politicians, to your board of directors. I entered this organization during COVID, so the connection with the community and the region has all been virtual. So I’m looking forward to making those personal connections that are going to be important for Nathan Littauer and for myself.

Q: “What was it like starting a new CEO role at a hospital during the pandemic?

A: I have been absolutely impressed with what Nathan Littauer has been able to do in response to COVID, and what our staff has been able to absorb and execute, what our leadership team had in place and was able to continue to move forward. What I’m very much looking forward to is our recovery and how we’re going to come out of COVID. As we’re seeing infection rates coming down, it is now time for us to restart the engines.

Q: “Nathan Littauer has had three new construction projects during the pandemic to help fill a need for physicians in the area. How common is it for a rural hospital to have that role?” 

A: This is especially a phenomenon in a rural area, but you’re seeing it more in urban areas, as well, where the hospitals in the regions become the cornerstone for primary care. It is very challenging for doctors and providers to establish their own practices or hang their own shingles. So for rural areas, you have really kind of a twofold benefit that rural organizations provide. One, they provide access to acute, emergent and primary care. Two, they are one of the main economic engines in regional areas. We are one of the major employers in Fulton County. We have a workforce of over 1,000 people. For economic growth, people look at regions for a number of things. We feel that for where we are in rural Fulton County, we make an enormous difference, not just on the health care side, but on the economic side.

Q: “What would you outline as your long-term goals for Nathan Littauer?” 

A: One is that we have a very strong and healthy workforce. Another is that we become the provider of choice for the region. And we want to continue to grow. That growth could be organic, or it could be through partnerships. We are looking down the road and not shutting any doors as far as our opportunity to work with others as an equal partner as we look to maintain our independence going forward.

Q: “Why have you chosen a career lately in rural areas rather than urban?” 

A: There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction for me in not having multiple layers between myself and the patients or myself and our frontline workers. I feel it’s very important to be connected to our patients, to be connected to our frontline staff. My office is right outside our ICU here at the organization, and every day I round through our clinical areas.

Interview has been edited and condensed by Albany Business Review Reporter, Justin Dawes

Sean Fadale
Title: President and CEO
Organization: Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home
Age: 52
Born/grew up: Warren, Pennsylvania
Resides: Northville
Education: MBA and master’s degree in physical therapy, Gannon University; bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, Mercyhurst University
Family: Wife, Stephanie Fadale; sons, JT and Colin
Hobbies: Fadale’s family enjoys watching his son play football for Ithaca College. He also enjoys hiking and fishing.

Nathan Littauer Nursing Home is “One of the best” Opinion – The Leader-Herald

“I know there is a lot of negativity about nursing homes, but we have one of the best right here in Gloversville,” says community member. “It’s Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home.”

Read more of the article on The Leader-Herald’s website, here: