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An agreement that officially appoints Samaritan Medical Center as temporary operator of North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) has been finalized. The agreement, signed late last week by SMC, the New York State Department of Health and NCFHC is the result of the three parties working closely over the past several weeks to develop and implement a sustainable long-term solution that ensures NCFHC’s continued operation and provision of services to residents in the community.

As part of the agreement, SMC will manage the day-to-day operations at NCFHC for a period of not more than 180 days and subject to extension by DOH as it determines necessary. As operator, SMC has named Mrs. Joey Marie Horton interim executive director of the clinic. Mrs. Horton is currently the Director of the North Country Healthcare Providers Network and Deputy Director of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization. She has experience past experience working as School-Based Health Program Coordinator at then-North Country Children’s Clinic.

The agreement also requires SMC to prepare and submit a work plan within the first 30 days, which identifies and offers solutions to NCFHC deficiencies, financial difficulties and a timeline for implementing the plan to DOH for approval.

The agreement enables SMC to step in on a temporary basis, under the guidance of the Department of Health, in order to continue uninterrupted services to the community while developing a long-term plan for North Country Family Health Center to become self-sustaining. At the end of the term of the agreement, it is expected the SMC will step down as temporary operator and return full operations of the Clinic to its leadership and Board. The ultimate goal will be to ensure that the Clinic is better and stronger than ever.

Throughout this entire process, the North Country Family Health Center reminds the community that all of their programs and services are fully staffed and operational in all locations, including school-based health clinics, adult care, pediatric care, pediatric dental care, behavioral health and WIC. Appointments for new and established patients are welcome and can be made by calling (315) 782-9450 or visiting the web-site at

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Samaritan Medical Center | 830 Washington Street | Watertown, NY 13601 | (315)785-4000 | Toll-Free 1-877-888-6138
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