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North Country Leadership Summit Awards Hudson Headwaters’ Melissa Gooley and Stacy Smith

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Melissa Gooley, RN and Stacy Smith holding awards outside in Lake George
Melissa Gooley (left), RN, regional practice leader, and Stacy Smith (right), director of integrated services, with their awards

Two Hudson Headwaters staff were honored during Adirondack Health Institute’s (AHI) 2023 North Country Leadership Summit on September 27 and 28 in Lake George.

Melissa Gooley, RN, regional practice leader, was recognized as a 2023 Rural Health Champion of the Year by the Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN), a program of AHI. This award reflects the dedication and passion Melissa has shown in her years of service, along with the leadership and guidance she displays to ensure exceptional care delivery to the community. Gooley oversees operations of health centers in Tupper Lake, Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake and Champlain, and will oversee new health centers set to open in Malone, Lake Placid and a second Plattsburgh location.

“An example of Melissa’s leadership is how she has effectively managed growing pediatric needs during this past year as our Champlain and Plattsburgh health centers have accepted thousands of new patients,” shared Pam Fisher, director of external affairs, who presented the recognition to Gooley during the summit. “Melissa has played a key role in developing a second Plattsburgh health center, Plattsburgh Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, set to open in 2024. She is a true servant leader to the communities of the North Country that are near and dear to her heart.”

Stacy Smith, director of integrated services, was named a 2023 Telehealth Innovator of the Year by the North Country Telehealth Partnership, a program of Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) and AHI. This award reflects Stacy’s dedication and innovation in developing virtual care services that improve health outcomes in the community.

“As demands for primary care have continued to rise in the tri-lakes region, Stacy operationalized and championed the use of telehealth services to connect patients in Saranac Lake with available providers on our mobile health center,” said Brittany Silvestri, vice president of population health, who presented Smith with the award during the summit. “Stacy’s creative thinking has resulted in greater utilization of Network resources and has resulted in less wait time for patients in need. Her efforts have paved the way for a scalable on-demand telehealth program that is currently in development.”

“After several years of transitioning to a virtual event, it was great to bring the 2023 North Country Leadership Summit back to an in-person event,” said Eric Burton, chief executive officer of AHI. “We were pleased to recognize Melissa Gooley, RN and Stacy Smith from Hudson Headwaters as Rural Health Champion and Telehealth Innovator award winners this year. Melissa and Stacy demonstrate the collaborative and dedicated spirit of the North Country in serving and improving health care in our communities.”

Pam Fisher
Director of External Affairs
Hudson Headwaters Health Network
[email protected]