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Jan K. Turcotte, MD Set to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Published on: March 16, 2022

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center will host its eighth Annual Physicians’ Recognition event on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, honoring Jan K. Turcotte, MD, with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Due to the COVID pandemic, this special occasion was postponed in 2020 and 2021. This year’s event will be held virtually via Zoom.  

Dr. Turcotte was born in Potsdam, New York, the daughter of Charles and Ruth Turcotte. Her father was the superintendent of St. Lawrence County BOCES, and her mother was a librarian at Potsdam Central School, which Jan attended and graduated as valedictorian from in 1966.

After high school, she attended Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she studied biology and participated in the college’s honors program all four years. At the time, this meant pursuing extra courses in English, Philosophy, and Theology in addition to her regular studies. Dr. Turcotte graduated Cum Laude from Le Moyne in 1970, earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology.

She continued her education at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Society – an accolade given to those in the top 6% of the class. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1974 and remained at the medical college for the next five years to complete an internship and residency. Dr. Turcotte was the only woman accepted into the college’s surgical program in 1974 and became the first woman to complete a general surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1979.

She then completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at the University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1980, Dr. Turcotte joined Dr. Louis Battista and Dr. Walter Minaert as an associate at their general and vascular surgery practice in Watertown, New York. A year later, she joined the Watertown Surgical Group of Drs. Gardner, Meyerdierks, Stone, and Gregor – beginning a 32-year career in general, vascular, and breast surgery in Watertown. She retired from practicing medicine in 2012.

Throughout her career, Dr. Turcotte was an active member of the medical staff at Samaritan. She served as Chairperson of the Credentials and Operating Room – Ambulatory Surgical Unit committees and Chairperson of the Department of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Surgery. She also was President of the Medical Staff in 1992. In these leadership positions, she was a voice and advocated for medical care at Samaritan and throughout the North Country.

Dr. Turcotte previously held roles with the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, YMCA, Hospice of Jefferson County, and the Northern New York Community Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Trustees of Samaritan Medical Center for several years and currently holds the position of Chairperson. Another noteworthy accomplishment is her recent election into the Healthcare Trustees of New York State. 

Those interested in attending the virtual presentation should RSVP online at For questions concerning the online event, please contact the Foundation and Marketing Office at 315-785-4584 or email


About the Event: The annual Physician Recognition event is supported by the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee and Foundation and is held around National Doctors’ Day (March 30) each year to honor Samaritan’s active and retired physicians for their dedication.

As part of this event, one physician is selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was established to recognize a Samaritan physician for his or her leadership and service to the health and wellness of Northern New York. Whether in their private practice, hospital duties, board or medical staff leadership positions, or volunteer work, Samaritan’s physicians dedicate their time and talents to make our community a better place to live.