Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association elects new officers

Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association board and staff members meet to discuss elect new officers and discuss continued health care initiatives. From left in front are Suzanne Snizek, Karen Wolff, Peg Wiltberger, Roseanne Brogan and Jamie Whidden; in back are Roger Neill, Wayne Newman, Mark Simkins, Wilhelmina Sheridan, Bob White, Craig Stevens, Sue Patterson and Susanne Seacord. Missing are Brenda Reeve, George Cook, Dick Kibben, Rich Loeber, Patricia Moore and Bill Sweeney. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association welcomes Wayne Newman as president and Peg Wiltberger as vice president with Craig Stevens renewing his term as treasurer and Sue Patterson returning as the not-for-profit group’s secretary.

Newman has been a member of the board for the past four years.

“My father came to Saranac Lake for the TB cure,” he said. “Helping tuberculosis patients was the first role of the Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association. They were able to help my father when he needed it and now I am able to repay the favor and give back to the community.”

The SLVHA first provided a visiting nurse to patients when the organization was founded in 1897 as the District Nurse Association and continues to provide health care to homebound patients based on a doctor’s evaluation. Though providing in-home nursing care is the foundation of the SLVHA, the organization continues to provide additional healthcare services to people living within the Saranac Lake school district.

“People don’t seem to really know about us,” says Newman. “We are the group that works behind the scenes. For example, the SLVHA has been funding the Saranac Lake elementary school dental hygienist since the ’80s. Suzanne Snizek and those before her have made an impact on the dental care and education of all students. Ms. Snizek provides fluoride, dental rinses, and dental sealants with parental permission, with the help of the Voluntary Health.”

Newman proudly listed other services available to Saranac Lake residents. He understands that people may not feel that they qualify for services, but he encourages anyone to reach out to the office and fill out the appropriate forms.

“We have helped people get hearing aids as well as reconstructive dental work and braces. We provide high school and college scholarships. There is also a room in the SLVHA office dedicated to medical equipment for anyone to borrow.”

The Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1897 and is dedicated to improving the health of the people within the Saranac Lake Central School District through funding healthcare initiatives and scholarships for students in the medical, nursing, rehabilitative, and allied fields of study. For more information about services and how to obtain them, call 518-891-0919 or saranaclakevha.org.


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