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Samaritan Hosts 8th Annual Dinner to Recognize Physicians

Published on: February 26, 2020

Dr. Jan K. Turcotte to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

WATERTOWN, NY – Samaritan Medical Center will host its eighth annual Physician Recognition Dinner on Thursday, April 2, 2020. This event, supported by the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee and Foundation, is held on or 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.

Dr. Jan Turcotte
Dr. Jan Turcotte

The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Jan K. Turcotte, MD, a surgeon who has served Samaritan Medical Center for more than 32 years.

Dr. Turcotte was born on New Year’s Day 1948 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 went on to complete 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 many healthcare committees at Samaritan. She served as Chairperson of the Credentials, OR-ASU, and Medical Executive Committees, as well as 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 advocate for medical care in the North Country, speaking locally and at the state level – even meeting with the New York State Commissioner of Health during a time of nursing strikes.

Dr. Turcotte was, and still is, active in the community, having served on the boards of the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, YMCA, and the Northern New York Community Foundation. Since 2012, she has supported the Foundation Board of Hospice of Jefferson County, where she is the current President. She has also served on the Board of Trustees of Samaritan Medical Center for several years and currently holds the position of Chairperson.

In her spare time, Dr. Turcotte enjoys baking, grappling with New York Times crossword puzzles, tutoring at Literacy of Northern New York, and spending time with family at her camp on Higley Flow in St. Lawrence County.

“The North Country is blessed to have had Dr. Turcotte practice medicine here for more than 30 years, and Samaritan continues to benefit from her guidance as she leads our Board of Trustees,” said Thomas H. Carman, President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “We are proud to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and we invite the entire community to join us in recognizing her, and in thanking all of our physicians for their time, talent and commitment.”

The Physician Recognition Dinner is being held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 2 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Watertown. This event is open to the community and tickets are $30 per person.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Samaritan’s Medical Staff Relations Office at 315-779-5184 or visit www.samaritanhealth.com/physiciandinner.