SLVHA focuses on scholarships and healthcare initiatives

Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association Board meets semi-annually to discuss local healthcare initiatives. Pictured, are (back row): Sue Seacord, Wilhelmina Sheridan, Jamie Whidden, Craig Stevens, Sue Patterson, Bob White, Roger Neill, Rich Loeber; and (front row): Karen Wolff, Brenda Reeve, Suzanne Snizek, Peg Wiltberger, Mark Simkins, Roseanne Brogan. Missing from the photo are Wayne Newman, Dick Kibbens, Bill Sweeney, George Cook and Patricia Monroe. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE – The Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association held its semi-annual meeting in November to nominate new board members and discuss the progress of local scholarships and healthcare initiatives.

The SLVHA board members present were President Karen Wolff, Treasurer Craig Stevens, Secretary Sue Patterson, Mark Simkins, Rich Loeber, Jamie Whidden, Dr. George Cook, Dr. Roger Neill, Bob White, and Peg Wiltberger. In addition to the board members, Dental Hygienist Suzanne Snizek, District Nurses Roseanne Brogan RN and Sue Seacord, RN, as well as Executive Secretary Brenda Reeve were in attendance. Absent were Vice President Wayne Newman, Dick Kibben, Dr. Patricia Monroe, and Bill Sweeney.

Every six months the SLVHA board meets to discuss projects, local scholarships, and to evaluate its medical programs to ensure that the Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association mission of providing quality services remains its top priority.

Saranac Lake High School (SLHS) senior Sawyer Chase opened the meeting with a video trailer he is completing highlighting the SLVHA expansive history as well as current healthcare initiatives. Chase began digitizing the SLVHA historical photographs and documents in 2014 and recently trained his replacement to continue to preserve the records upon his graduation.

Suzanne Snizek, Saranac Lake Elementary School dental hygienist, reviewed reoccurring proceedures. During the school year she provides each elementary school student with free dental screenings, fluoride rinses, and dental sealants with parental permission. Since 1981, the SLVHA has provided a dental hygienist to area students. Snizek maintains the tradition of providing elementary students with general dental education in addition to recommending those students in need of dental financial aid to the SLVHA board of directors.

District Visiting Nurses Roseanne Brogan, RN and Sue Seacord, RN continue to provide free in-home nursing services as recommended by referring physicians to allow patients to stay in the home and remain independent. The SLVHA started as the District Nurse Association and has been providing medical and financial services throughout the Saranac Lake area since its inception in 1897.

Scholarships were discussed and will once again be awarded to area high school students enrolled in the Adirondack Medical Center New Visions program. North Country Community College students entering their second year of the Registered Nurse or Radiologic Technologist programs will also be granted scholarships.

The Dental Emergency Fund successfully provides grants for basic dental care to permanent, full-time residents of the Saranac Lake School District. Designed to assist anyone in financial need or without dental insurance, each grant awarded provides participants the opportunity to maintain good dental health.

Wilhelmina Sheridan, Nurse Practitioner at the Moriah/Brushton Health Center was nominated and accepted for a position on the SLVHA board.

Scholarship forms and dental grant application information can be found online at or by calling the SLVHA office at 518-891-0910.