NCFHC’s 19th Annual Night on the River to be held at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

North Country Family Health Center’s annual spring fundraiser, A Night on the River, will be held at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, Clayton, on Friday, May 11, 2018. The 19th annual cocktail reception and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will offer guests an evening of food, drinks, music and silent auction opportunities. Music will be provided by Oceans Below. Tickets are $75.00 per person and are available by contacting the North Country Family Health Center’s office at 315-782-9450, x8037 or

The evening’s highlight is the variety of featured auction items as well as silent auction items donated by local individuals and businesses. This year’s main featured auction item is “Compass Rose” a 2’x 2’ hand-blown German glass piece with kiln-fired images by local artist Scott Ouderkirk of Glass Goat, Hammond, New York. Additional featured auction items to date include: two $2,000 gift certificates to Sundance Leisure; a two person round-trip flight to New York City aboard a twin engine Beech Baron; a three night stay in Lake Placid in a luxurious Adirondack Chalet; a two night stay in Key West, Florida at the Curry Mansion Inn; and a two person guided turkey hunt with guide Jim Costello of Alexandria Bay. New for 2018 is an all-day pre-event auction on Froggy 97 on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Individuals will have the opportunity to bid via the radio station on a two person fishing trip inclusive of a shore dinner with Captain Rich Clarke, SignMan Charters, Clayton, New York. “Our on-air live auction is new for us this year and we are excited to provide an opportunity for radio listeners to call into the station, or go to Froggy’s Facebook page, to bid on an amazing day of fishing – what a great way to celebrate the beauty of the St. Lawrence River,” comments April Fallon, Marketing & Community Relations Director.

Also new this year staff at NCFHC have teamed with local artist, Lisa Morgia, Morgia Designs, to design and sell candles for the event. Candles are available in two sizes, 12 ounce and 4 ounce, and come in three scents – vanilla, grapefruit mango and love spell. Each large candle holds a sterling silver compass charm within its own wick; the small candles adorn an anchor charm. Large candles are $25.00 and small candles are $10.00. Sterling chains are offered too and are $15.00 each. A compete flyer regarding candle sales is available on NCFHC’s Facebook page. Candles and chains are available for sale by contacting Mickey Lynch, Senior Administrative Assistant, at or by calling Mickey at 315.782.9450 x8037.

“We continue to be grateful for the community’s support of our mission to improve the health and wellness of those in our community,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “Our event continues to be a success thanks to the amazing generosity of so many local individuals and businesses.”

The event is made possible through the generosity of Event Sponsor UnitedHealthcare as well as Major Sponsors: Community Bank, NA; Continental Construction; and 7News/Fox 28/MeTV North Country; Sponsors: A.T. Matthews & Dier Agency; BCA Architects & Engineers; Bonadio & Co., LLP; Car-Freshener Corporation; Community Broadcasters; Foy Benefits, Inc.; Joey Marie Horton; Krafft Cleaning Service; NBC Watertown; Joseph & Diane Recupero; Thousand Islands Landscaping Company, Inc.; and Visualutions, Inc.; Supporters: Budget Blinds of Watertown; David D. Crapser, UBS Financial Services Inc.; Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes; Northern Credit Union; Pepsi Beverages Company; RBC Wealth Management; Dr. Gerald & Donna Schneeberger; UBS Financial Services – The Couch Group; and Westelcom; Friends: Bay Brokerage, Inc.; Leo Coleman; and Meola Enterprises, LLC; Special Thanks: 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel; John Aitken Photography; Coughlin Printing Group; Charles Garlock & Sons; Lavender’s Blue; McQuade & Bannigan; Morgia Designs; Party Rentals; Diane Recupero; Stephens Media Group; and Kathy Williams.

North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to approximately 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who have insecure housing.

For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit or call (315) 782-9450.

2018 Final Cover NOTR



Excellus BlueCross BlueShield awards $133,500 grant to NoCo for school-based dental units

Ribbon Cutting at Ohio Street School: Left to Right:
Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; Joe Butler, Mayor, City of Watertown; Patti  LaBarr, Superintendent, Watertown City School District; Henrique Montandon, 4th grade student, Ohio Street School; Teri Duffy, 4th grade student, Ohio Street School, Mark Taylor, Principal, Ohio Street School; and Mark Gaines, North Country Family Health Center Board Member and General Manager, NBC Watertown.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has awarded a $133,500 grant to the North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) to purchase five mobile, school-based dental units to enhance NCFHC’s School-Based Dental Program. The grant will allow NCFHC to update its dental equipment and serve more students each year.

NCFHC provides school-based dental services at 12 school locations within five school districts throughout Jefferson and Lewis Counties and must continually move six existing portable dental units between the 12 sites. The new funding will allow NCFHC to purchase the additional mobile school-based dental units over a three-year period, 2018-2020, increase the School-Based Dental Program’s efficiency and almost double its capacity to serve children in need of preventive dental services.

“A big part of our mission at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is helping to improve the health of the communities we serve. We’re all becoming more aware of the significant role our oral and dental health plays in our overall health and well-being, so we are very excited to partner with the North Country Family Health Center to bring this school- based dental service directly to more local children throughout the region,” said Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) grant program provides funding to local, nonprofit organizations that share the organization’s vision for healthier communities. The initiatives supported span multiple years and include specific objectives and measurable outcomes for improving community health. The grant dollars are disbursed over several years to ensure they significantly and positively affect public health.

“Partnering with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will allow us to increase the number of children we serve within our School-Based Dental Program which means the difference of a child receiving preventive oral healthcare and education, or not, in many instances,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “Providing services to children directly where they are – in school – puts children at ease and allows parents to not have to worry about transportation, the cost of losing paid time at work to take their children to appointments, and out of pocket costs for services. The partnerships we have with local school districts and community supporters, such as Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, allow the Health Center to carry out its mission to improve the health and wellness of those in our community. We embrace these partnerships which allow us to provide more accessible care to children and their families.”

NCFHC operates school-based dental only sites at Alexandria Central School, Copenhagen Central School, Lowville Academy & Central School, Ohio Elementary in the Watertown City School District; Clarke Middle/High School in the South Jefferson School District; and Glenfield Elementary, Port Lyden Elementary, and South Lewis Middle/High School in the South Lewis School District.

NCFHC has been providing dental services to residents of the North Country for over 20 years through its community-based and school-based locations. NCFHC’s School-Based Dental Program began in 1994 and was the first school-based dental clinic in New York state to have a dental hygienist and part-time dentist working together to provide preventative and restorative dental services to students in school.

In addition to the dental sites, NCFHC also operates four comprehensive school-based health centers that provide medical, behavioral health, and dental services in the Watertown City and South Jefferson school districts, as well as two additional school-based health centers providing medical and behavioral health services in the Watertown City School District.

In 2017, more than 2,000 students utilized the NCFHC’s school-based services. No student is turned away from the School-Based Health Centers—students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services, and counseling services to name a few. All services are provided with no out-of-pocket cost, including co- pays and deductibles, to families.




NoCo Celebrates National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) joins school-based health center providers and advocates from across the nation in recognizing the month of February as National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month is sponsored by the School-Based Health Alliance, a national organization that promotes and supports school-based health centers to assure all children received high quality, comprehensive healthcare. The Alliance is celebrating the month with the theme, Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies.

North Country Family Health Center opened its first school-based primary care site at North Elementary in the Watertown City School District in December 1993. Since 1993, NCFHC has opened five additional School-Based Health Centers and expanded its school-based services to include not only medical services but dental and behavioral health services as well.

Today, NCFHC operates six School-Based Health Centers in the Watertown City and South Jefferson School Districts. Students in the Watertown City School Districts are served at School-Based Health Centers at North Elementary (serves all elementary aged children), Harold T. Wiley Intermediate School, Case Middle School, and Watertown High School. Students in the South Jefferson School District are served at School-Based Health Centers at Mannsville Manor Elementary and Wilson Elementary. Students who attend the Clarke Middle/High School at South Jefferson utilize the School-Based Health Centers at either Mannsville or Wilson Elementary. In addition to the six School-Based Health Centers NCFHC also provides school-based dental only services to students at Alexandria Central, Copenhagen Central, Lowville Academy & Central School, and South Lewis Central. In 2017, over 2,000 students utilized the School-Based Health Centers. Currently NCFHC staffs 19 employees within its school-based sites.

“We are very proud of our School-Based Health Centers and our employees who staff our Centers,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “Having the opportunity to provide care to children right where they are, in school, is critical. Our goal is to help students stay well and avoid school absences – we truly believe that healthy students learn better.”

No student is turned away from the School-Based Health Centers and all services are provided with no out of pocket cost to families. Therefore, health insurance co-pays and deductible do not apply to families. Students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services and counseling services to name a few. “As a working parent within the Watertown City School District I utilize the NCFHC School-Based Health Center for my children, who attend South Jefferson schools. It is a fabulous service and I feel confident with my children’s diagnosis. I don’t have to take extra time off from work when my kids are sick because they have the opportunity to be seen right at school, and if my kids need a prescription it is ready to go when I get to the pharmacy,” states Rebecca Sullivan, Physical Education teacher Ohio Street School.

“Our School-Based Health Centers are a great back-up plan for parents. We communicate with student’s primary care provider and coordinate the care they need – whether it is just a cold or a chronic ongoing issue,” states Heather Lupia, School-Based Health Center Administrator. “We enjoy being at the schools and are proud of all the services we can offer students.”

Enrollment in school-based health centers is easy! Parents, or guardians, can visit the North Country Family Health Center’s website,, on the site’s main page under school-based care to sign-up their son or daughter. Anyone needing assistance enrolling their son or daughter can contact the School-Based Health Center Administrator, Heather Lupia, at

NoCo Welcomes New Internist, Joanne La Fleur, MD

Joanne La Fleur, Internist North Country Family HealthCenterNorth Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) is pleased to welcome Joanne La Fleur, MD to their staff as the Health Center’s new Internist. Dr. La Fleur will provide care for adults and specializes in the day to day management of chronic diseases. She joins the Health Center’s current team of community-based primary care providers: Scott Stern, MD; Farhana Asim, MD; Kit Veley, FNP; and Kate Gates, ANP-BC all who coordinate care for adults and children within the Center’s Pediatrics & Family Practice located at 238 Arsenal Street in Watertown.

Dr. La Fleur completed her undergraduate education at McMaster University in 2007 and then received her Doctorate of Medicine from Michigan State University in 2012. She completed her residency at the Medical College of Georgia, July 2012 – August 2015 and was awarded Resident of the Month at the Medical College of Georgia in 2015. Dr. La Fleur is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Prior to joining the staff at the Family Health Center she was a Hospitalist in Lawton, Oklahoma at the Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

“We are fortunate to welcome Dr. La Fleur to our staff. Her training in chronic disease and disease prevention will assist our adult patients – especially our aging patients who deal with complicated conditions. She understands the importance of care coordination and integration of services which are tenants of the Health Center’s model of care and is skilled at proving patient health education and prevention strategies,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “Dr. La Fleur will complement our existing staff and makes a great addition to the North Country medical community.”

If you are interested in making an appointment with Dr. La Fleur please call our office at 315-782-9450. She is actively taking new patients age 18+. Additionally, the Health Center’s other pediatric and family practice providers are actively taking new patients as well. Please call to make your appointment, our patient service representatives would be glad to assist you. North Country Family Health Center prides itself on being a Patient-Centered Medical Home and provides services that are accessible, high quality, affordable, patient-centered, and integrated.

Internists are regularly referred to as “a doctor for adults” because they focus on the management of chronic medical problems and the reoccurrences of those problems. Internists typically assist patients who have had heart failure, strokes, lung problems, and or high blood pressure. Internists work with patients to assist with issues such as weight management, smoking, and other infectious and chronic diseases that compromise a patient’s health.

“I look forward to my new position at North Country Family Health Center and am excited to begin working with and educating patients,” comments Dr. La Fleur. “My treatment approach is that of a partnership with my patients. My job is to help with day to day management of my patient’s chronic problems in addition to helping them prevent secondary health issues.” Dr. La Fleur resides in Watertown with her husband, Chris, and their two children. The family enjoys exploring all that the North Country and the Thousand Islands has to offer.




Mannsville Manor Elementary School-Based Health & Dental Program Celebrates 10 Years of Operation

IMG_1481North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) is pleased to announce its School-Based Health & Dental Program at the Mannsville Manor Elementary, 423 North Main Street, Mannsville is celebrating its 10th year of providing health and dental services at the school. NCFHC will host a luncheon from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3rd for all staff at the elementary school in honor of the 10 year celebration.

“Mannsville Manor Elementary is a very special site as it was our first School-Based Health Center to open within the South Jefferson Central School District 10 years ago,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “All students are eligible to enroll in the School-Based Health & Dental Program regardless of income or current healthcare provider. Enrollment is a great back-up plan in case a student doesn’t have a healthcare provider.” Startup funding for the Mannsville site was provided by a $65,000 grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Mannsville Elementary School-Based Health Center is staffed by a family nurse practitioner, a patient service representative who coordinates student visits to the nurse practitioner, and a licensed clinical social worker who is able to provide behavioral health services when necessary. Staff care for students when they are sick or if they experience chronic care issues such as diabetes or asthma. Well child and annual physical exams are also offered to students. In addition the School-Based Center offers preventative dental services with the help of a dental hygienist and a patient service representative who schedules regular dental cleanings for the students. “We are proud to serve 275 of the 338 elementary students at Mannsville – up approximately 12.7% from last year,” comments Heather Lupia, School-Based Health Center Program Administrator.

“Many parents choose to enroll their children just in case – in case they are not able to leave work to care for a sick child or they are not able to get their sick child into their primary care provider as soon as they’d like. Additionally, many parents choose us as their primary care provider for their children.”

In addition to the Mannsville Manor Elementary School, NCFHC also hosts a similar School-Based Health & Dental Program at Maynard P. Wilson Elementary. South Jefferson Middle and High School students can utilize the Mannsville Elementary or Wilson Elementary site, for their medical needs too. Preventative dental services are provided at Clarke Middle/High School. Similar to South Jefferson Central School District, NCFHC has School-Based Health Centers within the Watertown City School District at North Elementary, Wiley Elementary, Case Middle School and Watertown High School. NCFHC provides dental only sites at Alexandria Central, Copenhagen Central, Lowville Academy & Central School and South Lewis School Districts.             “It has been proven time and time again that healthy, happy students are more engaged in school in general,” comments Jeff Ginger, Principal, Mannsville Manor Elementary. “Our students, as well as our teachers and staff, are lucky to have the on-site health and dental services provided by the North Country Family Health Center’s School-Based Health & Dental Program. As Principal I understand the importance of having healthy, happy students attending my school each and every day.”

North Country Family Health Center Awarded Business of the Year

Congratulations to the staff and Board of Directors!

The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce presented the Family Health Center as Business of the Year in the non-profit category of 50 or more employees.

Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, accepted the award today at the Chamber’s luncheon. Ms. Horton commented, “I would like to dedicate this award to the staff of North Country Family Health Center that have built a legacy of caring and have remained dedicated to our mission of imporving the heatlh, wellness, and quality of life of individuals in our community since our founding in 1971. It is because of our amazing staff – and their passion as well as their dedication to serve – that made this award possible.”

LeRay Family Dental Celebrates Opening

June 12, 2017
North Country Family Health Center’s new Family Dental office, at LeRay Medical, celebrates its official opening!

Community, board and staff members enjoyed tours and refreshments at the new Family Dental office.

The Family Dental office provides services to both adults and children and is located just off Route 11, outside Fort Drum’s main gate. Schedule your appointment today ~ 315-782-2628.

Pictured in the ribbon cutting ceremony were: (left to right) Denise Young, NOCO Board President; Mary Jo Richards, representative from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s office; Bonnie Fikes, representative from Senator Patty Ritchie’s office; Nicole Quintin, Dental Practice Administrator; Jana Shaw, MD, Chief Medical Officer; Cheryl Fazio, Clinical Operations Officer; Dr. K. Nicole Bell, DDS, Family Dental; and Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director.