Doctors Patricia and Jay Chapman Honored as Rural Practitioners of the Year

Two Pulaski-based physicians, known for the compassionate quality care they provide their patients, were presented the Rural Practitioners of the Year award during a new provider welcome reception.

Jay Chapman, MD, and his wife, Patricia (Pat) Ledden Chapman, MD, provide care at Oswego County Health Services Inc., located on Delano Street in Pulaski.

Doctors Patricia and Jay Chapman
Doctors Patricia and Jay Chapman

The two physicians, who said they were highly honored to receive the award, will celebrate their 30th year with the health center in July.

At the reception, held to welcome new physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, the Chapmans talked about how providing care has changed during the last three decades.

“What has been exciting is watching NOCHSI expand from a small organization which was just a house originally in Pulaski to locations offering primary care services throughout Oswego County,” said Dr. Patricia Chapman.

In January 2013, through the Oswego County Collaborative, NOCHSI expanded to include health centers previously operated by Oswego Health and Oswego County Opportunities.

With this transition, which ensures efficient quality care throughout the county, NOCHSI now operates health centers in Fulton, Oswego, Mexico, Parish and Phoenix, as well as its Pulaski site.

The two physicians also agreed that technology has played a key role in improving patient care.

They recalled a time when typically three patient visits fit on a single sheet of paper and on occasion in order to review past patient visits, there could be much paper shuffling.

“Now, we have our patient’s whole history organized in an electronic medical record,” Dr. Jay Chapman said.

Dr. Jay Chapman earned his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from St. Lawrence University in Canton and went on to earn his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. He completed his family practice residency at the University of Rochester’s Highland Hospital.

Dr. Patricia Chapman is a native of Sandy Creek and is the first woman from that community to earn a medical degree.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Boston University and her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. She was the first student from the Syracuse medical school to be accepted into the family practice residency program at Highland Hospital, which continues to be considered among the top ten in the nation.

While few women were seeking careers as a physician when she was, Dr. Chapman said she was glad to see that today that trend has certainly changed.

Both Drs. Chapman began their practicing careers as locum tenens physicians in the rural areas of New York, Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho, Alaska, and the West Indies. They joined NOCHSI’s Pulaski Health Center in 1984.

Both physicians are diplomates with the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Family Practice.

The physician pair are also associate professors at Upstate Medical University, where they serve as preceptors for medical students through the Rural Medicine program. This program promotes rural practice opportunities for aspiring physicians.

Aside from his active practice, Dr. Jay Chapman is a supervising physician among NOCHSI’s school based health centers. Within the APW and Pulaski school districts, he has instituted the “medical minute,” which is an ongoing morning program announcement. He also conducts classroom presentations for young students on health topics.

He is a medical consultant to Harbor Lights, a chemical dependency service in Oswego County, and along with his wife, serves in a similar capacity for Oswego County Hospice.

Dr. Patricia Chapman has been an active member of the Oswego County Medical Society, serving as past president and chair of the workers’ compensation board.

Both have participated in the Lake Placid Sports Medicine Society. Dr. Patricia Chapman was an event physician at the Lake Placid for the World Masters cross country ski races, while her husband was a participant.

The physicians not only promote healthy lifestyles for their patients and the community at large, but they also participate themselves in a number of healthy lifestyle activities.

They engage in bicycling, canoeing, cross country skiing, hiking, rowing and running. Jay is an assistant coach for the Sandy Creek/Pulaski cross-country ski team. Both also advocate and practice progressive medicine through their information technology and advanced medical knowledge.

Their participation on NOCHSI’s computer application committee has been a critical influence in the successful implementation of electronic medical records at NOCHSI.

Both are active participants and supporters of the cultural arts. Together, they perform by playing and singing in the Tug Hill Players, a band specializing in Celtic and folk music.

Dr. Jay Chapman is a board member of the Salmon River Fine Arts and is past president with the board of directors of the Tug Hill Tourathon. He also served for a number of years on the Pulaski Village Planning Board.

The new provider welcome, which honored 25 new practitioners who are providing care in Oswego County, was hosted by the Rural Health Network of Oswego County and sponsored by NOCHSI, Oswego Health, Oswego County Opportunities and the SUNY Oswego OBCR/Workforce Development Board of Oswego County.