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SLC Chamber of Commerce gives Business of the Year award to Canton-Potsdam Hospital

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POTSDAM – Canton-Potsdam Hospital took home the 2012 Business of the Year award at the annual St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce dinner.

“No one likes getting sick,” said Patricia L. McKeown, executive director of the Chamber, “but when something happens you don’t call Ghost Busters, you call Canton-Potsdam Hospital.”

Vice President of Administrative Services at the hospital, Marlinda LaValley, said “Our progress would not be possible without our community.”

She especially thanks area businesses and hospitals that have partnered with Canton-Potsdam Hospital over the years.

Ms. McKeown touted the ability of the hospital to operate in the black for the past five years while still growing.

The hospital is hoping to break ground on a $5 million construction project, designed to expand the space for physicians, before the winter sets in.

Richard D. Jacobs, the hospital’s chief financial officer, said of the project, “we’re planning to fund it ourselves. We’ve got the doctors, we need to find space for them as soon as possible.”

The new facility will be an expansion onto the Medical Campus located at 49 St. Lawrence Ave. in Potsdam. It will include space for doctors as well as an urgent care facility.

The Chamber dinner also saw the recognition of several area business leaders.

John A. and Maureen A. Ward, owners of St. Regis Reality, were given this year’s Commitment to Community Service award for their work redeveloping downtown Brasher Falls.

David C. Swanson, president of North Country Savings Bank, took home this year’s Volunteer of the Year award.

The event, held at SUNY Potsdam’s Student Union on Thursday, was attended by 228 people this year, up from last year’s 217 attendees, said Jo Ann Roberts, events and promotions manager and membership coordinator for the Chamber.

“I think the community believes in what we’re doing,” said Ms. Roberts, adding that the economic development and tourism marketing has brought a lot of business to the area.

Ms. McKeown highlighted the numbers when it came to judging the success of the Chamber.

In 2011, for instance, tourism generated $111,417,000 for the county, an increase of more than $5 million from 2010.

“The numbers say it all,” she said.

Ms. McKeown also noted that it is an election year, but she isn’t concerned about the impact it will have on the county. Whoever gets elected, she said, the county will keep plugging along.

“One thing we do know, in St. Lawrence County, it’s never boom, it’s never bust.”

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