OSWEGO – The Rural Health Network of Oswego County honored two longtime healthcare providers for their dedication to their patients and the community during a Rural Health Champion Award Ceremony held Dec. 18.
Recognized with the awards were Mario Magsino, MD, medical director for Farnham Family Services who also provides care at the Veterans Administration’s Oswego location and Ellen Holst, who retired in June from Oswego County Opportunities.
In presenting the award to Dr. Magsino, Eric Bresee, executive director of Farnham, said the physician’s experience, wisdom and approach were appreciated by staff and patients.
“Dr. Magsino is a thoughtful and dedicated physician who truly cares about the health of our community,” said Bresee. “He has devoted his career to supporting veterans and people struggling with substance use disorder. Dr. Magsino’s calm and steady guidance is highly valued on the Farnham clinical treatment team and his contributions help us provide a higher quality and more comprehensive level of care to the people we serve.”
As for the care Dr. Magsino delivers at the local VA clinic, he is known to be a committed and compassionate physician to his patients and his staff.
Dr. Magsino said he was honored to receive the award, which he was presented with several immediate family members present.
“I am really thankful to Clinical Director Mary Jo Proietta-Halpern, and Eric for giving me their trust and allowing me to work with their staff and treat patients with substance use disorder,” he said.
Holst was presented her award by Dan Dey, CEO of Northern Oswego County Health Services Inc., who called her a tireless advocate for Oswego County that worked diligently to bring services to the county.
He also applauded her civic mindedness and dedication.
Holst has been a member of the Oswego Health Board of Directors for nearly 20 years and currently serves as secretary.
She is vice president of Operation Oswego County and also served on the RHN board for 22 years, 15 of which as chair.
As the Senior Director of Health and Nutrition at OCO, Holst led the planning and directed the operations for the agency’s reproductive health centers, along with its nutrition services, Women Infants and Children program, the health insurance navigators program and the migrant health and cancer services programs in Oswego County.
In addition, she oversaw the strategic planning and evaluation efforts for all services, ensured adequate staffing patterns, fiscal viability, as well as federal, state and local regulatory compliance.
Holst said she appreciated being able to collaborate with other health and human service groups in Oswego County.
“I have been blessed to work with individuals who really, really care about the people they serve and the organizations they work for as well as working together,” Holist said. “My colleagues elsewhere don’t have this benefit.”
Leanna Cleveland, Rural Health Network Coordinator, said the two individuals were chosen due to their commitment to improving services in Oswego County.
“Ellen was selected for her dedication to the Health and Nutrition Services department at OCO and her decision to continue to serve on community committees after her retirement,” she said. “The committee also recognized Dr. Magsino’s ongoing work as the medical director at Farnham and the patient care he provides at the VA.”