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Chenier retires as CP director; Richey takes over

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CANTON — Doris A. Chenier has retired as executive director of Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country and passed the helm to Anne F. Richey, who was associate director.

Mrs. Richey said she hopes to continue the work started by founding director Lorraine I. Laurin and Mrs. Chenier. The agency, which has its executive office at 4 Commerce Lane, serves people with developmental disabilities in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

“I think the future means absolutely to do the same thing we’ve been doing,” Mrs. Richey said. “It’s being able to continue the mission and work with the staff we have. They’re really wonderful.”

Mrs. Richey is a Harrisville native and longtime resident of Canton with her husband, John, and son, Benjamin. The family previously lived in Massena. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Potsdam and joined CP of the North Country right out of college in 1985. When she joined, the agency had about eight employees. It now has more than 570.

“As an agency, we have grown and started new services,” Mrs. Richey said. “There were needs that weren’t being met. We’ve developed programs and services as a result of that.”

Mrs. Richey said she viewed Mrs. Chenier’s retirement with sadness and as a period of adjustment.

“She provided good leadership,” Mrs. Richey said.

Mrs. Chenier started her career with the agency in 1986 as the supervisor of caseworkers. She previously had worked at the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services. Mrs. Chenier became director when Mrs. Laurin retired in 1998.

In 1987, the agency was certified by the state Department of Health as a diagnostic and treatment center, and part-time clinics opened in Franklin and Clinton counties. In 2002, CP of the North Country became an affiliate of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State with its own board of directors.

The agency operates residential, respite and family service programs, an outdoor recreation program, and case management, among other services.

It also operates Community Health Center of the North Country, a federally qualified health center, with locations in Canton, Malone, Gouverneur and Watertown. The health centers are open to all members of the community, whether insured or not, providing a sliding fee scale based on income.

“The mission of CP of the North Country has always been to meet the needs of the community, be it social or health. This is the legacy Lorraine Laurin left. I have tried to continue that legacy and I know that it will go on as the baton is passed to Anne Richey,” Mrs. Chenier said in a statement. “It has been a privilege for me to have been a part of CPNC and to have worked with such wonderful staff.”

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