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Samaritan hospital CEO named Shapiro Award winner

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Thomas H. Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center, was announced Tuesday as the recipient of the 62nd annual Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award during a news conference at the Watertown hospital.

Announcing the award to Mr. Carman, who has been at the hospital 10 years, was Lynn M. Pietroski, CEO and president of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. He was nominated by Lisa A. Weber, chairwoman of the Samaritan Foundation and CEO of Timeless Frames. Mrs. Weber, a past Athena Award recipient, lauded Mr. Carman’s leadership at the hospital and community service.

“Tom has a great vision, and it’s not just here with the Samaritan board that it comes into play,” she said. “He has a very thoughtful approach that’s always collective and community-minded, thinking about what’s best for the community. When you’re leading a business, hospital or nonprofit, the demands on your time are great. Looking at what he’s accomplished in the community, he gives selflessly to change the landscape and make it a better place.”

Since Mr. Carman joined Samaritan in April 2004, the number of donors at the hospital has tripled and amount of annual donations has doubled, Mrs. Weber said. He has served on more than a dozen community organizations and is chairman of the Jefferson County Heart Walk, secretary of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization and member and past president of the Watertown Noon Rotary.

Mr. Carman said he was surprised when he found out about the nomination.

“I appreciate the individual accolade, but it’s truly a team effort here,” he said. “I have a great team with my medical staff, and what really makes it important is the staff on the front lines. And I’ve been so fortunate that the board has recognized the importance of being good corporate citizens in the community. We realize that we are the largest hospital in the region, and we need to set a good example.”

In 2005, Mr. Carman was instrumental in creating the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, said Denise K. Young, executive director of the agency, whose mission is to strengthen ties between Fort Drum and the regional health care system.

“His vision and personal commitment has led the organization to far surpass all original expectations,” said Mrs. Young in a prepared statement. “Under his leadership, the organization has grown to a seven-hospital and multiple-community partner initiative that far surpasses the reach of just Samaratin Medical Center and his day job.”

The Shapiro Award was established in 1952 by Arnold I. Shapiro to honor the memory of his father, a longtime business leader in the community. Nominees are selected annually based on outstanding citizenship or for outstanding contribution in civic or social welfare activity. A panel of past recipients judges the entries in five categories: outstanding citizenship, achievement, leadership, dedication and motivation.

The award will be presented to Mr. Carman during a dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Savory Downtown restaurant in the Best Western, 300 Washington St. Cocktails and hors d’oevres will be served starting at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7. To make reservations, contact the chamber at 788-4400 or by email at events@watertownny.com. The registration deadline is Jan. 27.

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