40th Anniversary Oral History Collection

2021 marked the 40th anniversary of Hudson Headwaters Health Network. Our theme for this milestone anniversary, #FortyForward, was all about reflecting on the past while focusing on the future as we envisioned the next forty years of accessible health care.

Hudson Headwaters Origin Story

In 1974, Dr. John Rugge began what would become Hudson Headwaters with a single health center in Chestertown, NY. The Network was officially incorporated in 1981. By 2021, Hudson Headwaters comprised 21 community-based primary care health centers, with a service area stretching from Saratoga to the Canadian border and covering more than 7,400 square miles.

From Our Founder

Hudson Headwaters has always been about and for our communities. Any celebration of Hudson Headwaters is first and foremost an expression of gratitude. This milestone is about the countless members, staff, elected officials, donors and patients who together have made this organization what it is today.

Dr. John Rugge

Hudson Headwaters’ Mission

Our mission has remained the same for 40 years: to provide the best health care, and access to that care, for everyone in our communities.

Learn more about what that means to us.

Forty Forward: The Future of Health Care

We celebrate the legacy of Hudson Headwaters by reemphasizing our commitment to our patients, communities and partners. The best way to do that is to envision the next forty years of accessible care.

Hear from our physicians and leaders about their vision for the next forty years of accessible care.

Together We Are Building Healthier Communities

How does access to health care affect the rural towns of the North Country? In 40 years, Hudson Headwaters grew to 21 locations, all of which became deeply rooted in the communities.

Hear from some of our providers and community leaders about what it means to be part of these communities.

Coming to Work at Hudson Headwaters

Hudson Headwaters’ staff is made up of people with deep ties to the communities we serve.

Hear from some of our past employees about what it was like working for Hudson Headwaters in the early days and how it has evolved over the past 40 years.

Hear from Our Staff

There are many elements of Hudson Headwaters Health Network. No single health center or program stands alone. Together, each one of us contributes to the chemistry that binds our mission with the communities and patients we serve.

Susan Corney
Vice President of Human Resources

Road to Leadership: Dr. Tucker Slingerland

Dr. Tucker Slingerland started as a physician at Moreau Family Health and the Health Center on Broad Street in 2008. He worked very closely with Dr. Rugge before stepping into the CEO role in 2017.

Access for Our Rural Patients: Dr. Paul Bachman

The majority of our health centers are in the rural Adirondacks. In many small towns, Hudson Headwaters is the only health care provider.

Nurses: Empowered to Give Good Care

Nurses are a vital component of Hudson Headwaters. We pride ourselves on making sure their needs are met and that they are empowered to give good care to our patients.

Leaders: Staying Connected to Our Patients

We are proud to be a physician-led Network. Many members of our leadership team, including our CEO, are practicing physicians who see patients on a daily basis.

Health Care for Everyone: Dr. Daniel Larson

At Hudson Headwaters, we believe that no one should delay seeking medical care because of high medical costs or lack of insurance.

Adirondack Emergency Care: Dr. Paul Bachman

Hear from Dr. Paul Bachman what it’s like to be a primary care provider in rural communities where the hospital isn’t easily accessible.

Daniel Way, M.D.: Stories from an Adirondack Physician and Photographer

Dr. Daniel Way and his wife, Dr. Harriet Busch, were two of Hudson Headwaters’ founding physicians and both worked for the Network for more than 35 years. Dr. Way is also a passionate photographer and has captured the stories and photos of his patients from all walks of life.

Homeward Bound: Bringing Health Care Home

“The story of the Homeward Bound and Palliative Care Program is one that is unique to Hudson Headwaters Health Network. In 2006, Dr. Rugge talked with me about an opportunity to work with the Glens Falls Home Foundation. They wanted to support a program serving community-dwelling elders in the Glens Falls/Queensbury area. At that time, the Network was the primary care provider for an ever-increasing number of elders who were unable to come into the office due to frailty. As these elders were getting more vulnerable, they were also becoming less able to access the care they needed. Hudson Headwaters providers had always done some house calls. The vision for Homeward Bound was to expand on this service in order to serve this growing population of homebound patients.”

Patricia Auer, DNP
Former Director of Homeward Bound

Mobile Health: Your Good Health is What Drives Us

In 2021, the same high-quality care that communities had come to expect at our health centers was offered on wheels for the first time with the inception of Mobile Health, one of the Network’s mission-driven initiatives to expand its access to care.

Hudson Headwaters Mobile Health began seeing patients at the Historic Salem Courthouse in Salem, NY, on June 7, 2021.

Learn More

Special Thanks

Cameron Cupp, Oral History Intern, University of Albany
Kayla Hinds, Video Production Intern, University of Albany
Rebecca Sweigart, Video Production Intern, Colgate University