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Lewis County Hospital Foundation honors dialysis “cheerleader”

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LOWVILLE — A Martinsburg man who has spearheaded the effort to bring dialysis here has been chosen as the Lewis County Hospital Foundation’s 2012 citizen of the year.

Edward Ingersoll will become the foundation’s third annual honoree at its summer gala Sunday at Tug Hill Vineyards on Route 12 west of the village.

“Ed is in his 90s,” wrote William H. Wormuth, a founding member of the hospital foundation, in a nomination for Mr. Ingersoll. “Can you name another individual presently or in the past who is in their 90s acting similarly regarding their passion and their cause?”

Mr. Ingersoll in 2005 presented to county legislators a petition signed by more than 2,400 people requesting dialysis services here.

He also enlisted state Sen. Joseph L. Griffo, R-Rome, to assist with the project and, in 2010, started a “Dollar-A-Week Club” to heighten public awareness and raise some funds for the dialysis idea, according to a foundation release. More than $3,000 has been turned over to the foundation in support of the project thus far, the release states.

Mr. Ingersoll also recently announced a goal of raising $100,000 by enlisting 2,000 people to each contribute $50 toward the dialysis project.

The state Department of Health earlier this year approved a certificate of need for DaVita Inc., Buffalo, to operate a dialysis clinic on Lewis County General Hospital’s North State Street campus, and officials at the county-owned hospital held a groundbreaking ceremony in March in hopes of commencing the project by next year.

“Ed has been the cheerleader of this project for many years, and this small tribute celebrates Ed’s focus and unwavering support in moving the dialysis project forward,” said John Hirschey, foundation vice chairman, in a statement.

Mr. Ingersoll will be the first non-physician to receive the award. The first two honorees were obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Josefina Tan-Domingo and the late Dr. John C. Herrman, a longtime surgeon, hospital manager and community leader.

Those interested in attending the foundation’s seventh annual gala may still pre-register by calling the foundation at 376-5110. The event will include a VIP early preview at 3:30 p.m. and a general party and auction at 5 p.m.

Items to be auctioned include Michael Ringer prints, Syracuse University basketball tickets, gourmet dinners, a stay on Shamrock Island and a week’s stay in the Bahamas.

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