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CPH CEO Acker earns Potsdam Chamber award

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POTSDAM - The Potsdam Chamber of Commerce announces David B. Acker as the 2013 recipient of the Commitment to Community Award.

The award will be presented at the chamber’s annual dinner on Nov, 13.

Mr. Acker is FACHE, president and CEO of Canton-Potsdam Hospital. Mr. Acker, through his leadership, understanding, and vision has placed the health of our community center stage. He is a respected leader in the forefront of discussions encouraging collaboration among other north country hospitals and health providers with the goal to improve delivery of health care services to meet the needs of the region.

Acker’s vision to improve the health care provided in our community can be seen in the construction of the Center for Cancer Care, the Helen Snell Cheel Medical Campus at 49 Lawrence Aven., the renovations of the EJ Noble building in Canton, and collaborations with local colleges in research, CPA and PT programs, and nursing programs.

As one nomination stated, “The result for the hospital has been an influx of new physicians and other mid-level providers of high quality, expanded facilities services to meet the needs of the region, and more patients needing care turning to CPH as their provider of choice.” The subsequent effect on the community is new residents, job growth, and a more financially stable health care provider. Mr. Acker serves on the boards of the North Country Healthcare Providers and Northern New York Healthcare Association. He has ensured the hospital sends representatives to (and supports) the St. Lawrence Health Initiative and the Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund.

Through his leadership, Mr. Acker has encouraged CPH to sponsor local sports activities for children, host activities at the hospital for kids such as a Halloween and holiday party, sponsor collegiate and community sports venues, and the Fire Department’s fund drive for a new ladder truck. He also encourages staff to give back to the community by having the hospital host Potsdam Holiday Fund giving trees, hosting a donation box for the Kiwanis “coats for kids” project, and to volunteer to clean the roadway of debris directly surrounding the Potsdam facilities as CPH participates in the Adopt-a-Highway program.

One nomination offered this about Mr. Acker, “what stands out to most of us that have met David and his wife Linda, is their true compassion for humanity. (He) has a deep and abiding affection for his community and for the central place of a hospital in our lives.

He knows how difficult it is for families to travel outside the area for care, he understands the delicate balance required to operate a hospital on razor thin margins in rural areas, and he understands what it takes to be the best at what you do.” He is an avid supporter of buying local and of local growers; you will often see him and his wife Linda purchasing from local businesses and hosting visiting physicians in local restaurant.

The Potsdam Chamber dinner is Nov. 13 with a mixer at 6 p.m.and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Cheel Center Barben Room at Clarkson University. Reservations can be made by contacting the chamber office, 315-274-9000 by Nov. 1.

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