Thomas H. Carman receives the 2013 Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award

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December 10, 2013
Contact: Lynn Pietroski, President & CEO
Phone: (315) 788-4400
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Thomas H. Carman receives the 2013 Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award

Watertown, NY – The Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Thomas H. Carman has been selected as the 2013 Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award recipient. This is the 62nd annual prestigious Shapiro award presented and sponsored by the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce, MYABC 50/The North Country CW, and Arnold I. Shapiro and family.

Mr. Carman is the President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center, Jefferson County's largest private employer, employing over 2,300 people. Within the past year SMC has recruited 20+ physicians to the North Country. He encourages and expects his leadership team to be involved. Additionally, he encourages all staff to be active citizens, often affording them the time and support needed in order to do so. Beth Fipps shared her thoughts as a member of the Samaritan team that “Tom walks the walk when it comes to community involvement. He has created a culture of community partnership and collaboration for Samaritan.”

Above all, Mr. Carman dedicates countless hours (above and beyond the work day) making the North Country a better place to live, while encouraging his staff and family members to do the same. His inner drive motivates him to always reach out and help. His accomplishments are numerous and are often the result of his innate foresight and ability to bring stakeholders together to collaborate and offer the best possible solution for the community. Among those contributions are:

  • Chairman of the Jefferson County Heart Walk
  • Secretary of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization
  • Member and Past President of the Watertown Noon Rotary
  • YMCA Board Member and Immediate Past President
  • Member of the NNY Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
  • Member and Past Chairman of the Iroquois Healthcare Association
  • Member of the Central New York Regional Advisory Board of Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Founding Member and Charter President and currently serving his second term as chairman of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO)
  • Past Chairman of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce
  • and so many more...


According to Mr. Carman's nominator, Lisa Weber, CEO of Timeless Frames, Expressions & Decor and Athena Award past recipient, Tom has a keen understanding of what it takes to build a strong community including the need to strengthen the three cornerstones: schools, churches and hospitals. His citizenship and community engagement far exceeds the bar set by many other CEOs who often just focus internally on their facilities and not externally on making the community a better place for its residents to live.

His community engagement can be especially seen through his involvement with Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO). According to Denise Young, Executive Director of FDRHPO, “Tom Carman was instrumental in the creation of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization. His vision and personal commitment has led the organization to far surpass all original expectations. Under his leadership the organization has grown to a seven hospital and multiple community partner initiative that far surpasses the reach of just Samaritan Medical Center and his day job." While assisting FDRHPO, he aided in the achievement of bringing more than $84 million in master-planned upgrades to the five hospitals in the Fort Drum health service area. This was done to meet the needs of a growing population of Soldiers, families and civilian residents, Four newly licensed and operational outpatient mental health clinics, an additional 70 Tricare credentialed behavioral health providers and over $16 million secured for technology infrastructure upgrades to connect healthcare facilities and clinics surrounding Fort Drum to increase access to care and improve the coordination and quality of healthcare. Mrs. Young says, "Tom has never hesitated to give up his personal time to benefit the FDRHPO and the mission to serve both the military and civilian community including late night and early morning meetings even when on vacation. His sacrifices for the benefit of the Fort Drum region are given selflessly never caring who gets credit only caring that the people are served with respect and dignity.”

Among the many others who brought his nomination into fruition were, NYS Senator Patty Ritchie who stated, "With a passion not only for health care—but also for the North Country—Mr. Carman has consistently demonstrated exemplary leadership and under that leadership, those who call our region home have benefitted greatly." and John B. Johnson JR., Chairman of the Board of the Watertown Daily Times wrote, "Tom Carman is the first name suggested whenever advice or help is needed to further a community project, because it is well known that his dedication is unmatched." And lastly from the words of his nominator, Lisa Weber, "Tom Carman arrived in Watertown and has been an agent of change. Because of Tom our community is forever changed into a better, stronger, healthier place. He is most deserving of the Shapiro Award."

The award will be formally presented at a dinner hosted by the Greater Watertown –North Country Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 6, 2014, at Savory Downtown, Watertown, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6:00pm, followed by dinner and program at 7:00pm. Reservations can be made by contacting the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce at (315)788-4400, online at or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. RSVP by Jan 27, 2014. Seating is Limited.

The award was established by Arnold I. Shapiro to honor the memory of his father, a long time business leader in the community. A director of the Chamber at the time of his father’s death in 1952, Mr. Shapiro sensed a need in Watertown for a symbolic annual recognition of exceptional leadership on behalf of our city. Over the years, the award has been presented to many deserving individuals for their contributions and service to our community.

This award is made on the basis of outstanding citizenship or for outstanding contribution in civic or social welfare activity. Entries were judged on five key areas (outstanding citizenship, achievement, leadership, dedication, and motivation) by a panel of past Shapiro Recipients.

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