2018 Award Recipients

(From left to right, Dr. Robert Delorme, Dr. Zsuzsa Meszaros, and Karen Madden)

Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year Award – Dr. Delorme

The New York State Association for Rural Health is pleased to recognize Robert Delorme, MD for his health leadership in Southern Madison and Northern Chenango Counties with the Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year Award.

Dr. Delorme exemplifies the rural family physician in that he understands the multiple cascading challenges patients and providers face in receiving and delivering rural primary care. Whether it be medical or social issues, Dr. Delorme has taken a personal approach to medicine – being available at all times of the day or night to meet the needs of his patients.

Dr. Delorme believes that Community Memorial Hospital should continuously improve and evaluate. Thanks to his philosophy and hard work, Community Memorial Hospital has been able to open five Family Health Centers in rural communities and achieve PCMH NCQA Level 3 designation for all of them.

Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year Award – Dr. Zsuzsa Meszaros

The New York State Association for Rural Health is pleased to recognize the Rural Academic Partnership under the leadership of Dr. Zsuzsa Meszaros, Director of the Residency Training Program of the Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY).

There is a severe shortage of psychiatrists serving rural communities. To remedy this, the Department of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University developed a novel rural academic partnership that creates a relationship between residents and a rural host for all four years of their residency.

Participating partner organizations currently include Samaritan Medical Center, United Health Services Binghamton General Hospital, Oswego Health and Mohawk Valley Health System.

Senator McGee Rural Health Award – Karen Madden

The New York State Association for Rural Health is pleased to recognize Karen Madden, MA for her leadership in advocating for rural health on a national level.

Ms. Madden has been the Director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health since 2000. She was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services from 2012 to 2015 and a member of the Policy Board of the National Rural Health Association.

In addition to the many accomplishments of her career, this award recognizes Ms. Madden’s critical role in the development of National Rural Health Day–November 15–with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

2017 Award Recipients

Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year Award

Laurie Turner, RDH – Registered Hygienist, Geneva, NY – Finger Lakes Community Health

Dr. Ogden would be proud of Laurie Turner’s commitment to deliver dental services to children. As a Dental Hygienist at Finger Lakes Community Health (FLCH), her passion is shown through her enthusiastic educational messaging that she has taken “on the road” to many medical professionals, parents, and other community groups. Laurie has made it her life’s work to continually encourage the development and implementation of dental programs for children.

As the Director and primary clinician for the FLCH Community Dentistry Program, she serves children at Head Start sites, schools, daycare facilities, and other community locations across rural NY.

Laurie has given dental education to over 30,000 children in her career, and has provided comprehensive dental care to thousands of patients. She is very well known across NYS and has been impactful in working to convince the NYS Department of Health of the importance of promoting and funding school based dental programs. Laurie has been a positive mentor to new dental hygiene students and practitioners, helping them to develop their own messaging for patients in a proactive manner. She continually looks for new opportunities to partner with other organizations and providers to build more capacity for education and treatment in our rural communities and undeserved populations.


Senator Patricia M. McGee Award

Andrea Haradon, AS, BA, MPA – S2AY Rural Health Network

Andrea Haradon, AS, BA, MPA embodies all of the characteristics of the Senator Patricia M. McGee Award. Ms. Haradon has dedicated the better part of her career to improving public health practices and population health outcomes in the Finger Lakes region.

Examples of Ms. Haradon’s commitment include founding the S2AY Rural Health Network (which has been working to improve resident’s health through policy and program implementation with a focus on improving health outcomes for over twenty years) and playing an active role in bringing together and leading the Rural Health Networks across the State in several initiatives for more than fifteen years.

She was a founding member of NYSARH and has served as the President and immediate past President, which has allowed her to bring together diverse cross-sector areas of Upstate New York. She is a founding Board member of the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (PPS) and is also very active in the Care Compass Network PPS (both programs directly involved in the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.

She has spoken statewide about the importance of engaging in DSRIP, and recently applied for, and received, a statewide grant for engaging Community Based Organizations in the DSRIP initiative on behalf of the S2AY Rural Health Network.

Andrea is well known and trusted across the State, having been a leader in rural health for almost 35 years. Her dedication to Public Health and improving the health of New York State residents is surpassed by very few.


Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year

Farm to Food Pantry Collaborative – Michael Berg, Executive Director, Family of Woodstock, Inc.

In collaboration with the Rondout Valley Growers Association, UlsterCorps, and the Buderhof Community; the Farm to Food Pantry Collaborative addresses food insecurity by engaging local farmers to donate locally grown produce and training volunteers to glean, process, and distribute nutritious food to the network food pantries.

The collaborative has been working to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, food insecurity in Ulster County, NY. Starting in 2009, the group has gleaned, collected, and distributed over 390,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to soup kitchens and food pantries in the county. In 2016, the collaborative distributed 68,000 pounds of fresh produce donated by 17 different farms to 30 different food pantries and feeding programs throughout the county.

In 2016, the collaborative also processed 2,000 quarts of produce into items such as tomato sauce, soup, apple sauce, and pumpkin pie; which were distributed throughout the winter months to the network of pantries and feeding programs.

A central component of the program is the recruiting, training and coordinating of volunteers. The remarkable generosity of our local farmers and the strong support the Farm to Food Pantry Collaborative volunteers provide leads to the group to believe that collectively they can be successful in addressing food insecurity in their community.


Celebrate past recipients by visiting our Past Award Recipient page.