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Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner Returns Thursday, September 29

A celebration of excellence in our community.


TROY, N.Y. — The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the return of the annual Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner.  Held in-person for the first time since 2019, the highly anticipated event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Troy on Thursday, September 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  These honors recognize businesses and individuals that invest in the economic, cultural, and humanitarian advancement of Rensselaer County.  This year, these prestigious honors recognize the exceptional dedication and commitment of three recipients whose leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic assisted our communities to respond and recover.

The Van Rensselaer Corporate Award will be presented to St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP); The region’s largest non-profit health care network responded to the pandemic by increasing bed capacity and working to secure PPE to help health care workers stay safe. SPHP expanded its virtual health services to better connect patients with health care providers and offered COVID testing at primary locations and urgent care centers throughout the region. In December 2020, SPHP became the area’s first health care institution to offer monoclonal antibody therapy, the only FDA-authorized COVID treatment. SPHP has expanded its monoclonal therapy outreach to eligible COVID-positive residents of its skilled nursing facilities. With 170 locations and 12,000 employees, the impact SPHP has had on individuals, communities and our region in the past year is significant.


The Van Rensselaer Small Business Award will be presented to UCM Digital Health; UCM Digital Health delivers an end-to-end healthcare solution that combines a digital front-door platform with 24/7 telehealth triage, treatment, and navigation services, all designed to lower costs, improve outcomes, and provide a better patient experience for millions of individuals. Partnering with Rensselaer County and CDPHP, UCM Digital Health provides “ER Anywhere”, an app that connects patients with emergency medical professionals. When the pandemic hit, UCM Digital Health was already providing solutions. Their team of emergency medical providers, care coordinators, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and ER physicians, used their virtual capabilities to triage patients and treat as needed or direct them to appropriate care. UCM Digital Health continues to support individuals around the clock, sharing important COVID resources.


The Edward H. Pattison Citizenship Award, known as the “Ebbie” will be presented to Maryfran Wachunas.  Maryfran serves as the Rensselaer County Public Health Director, placing her at the heart of the area’s response to COVID-19. Under her leadership, the county established a Point Of Distribution (POD) at Hudson Valley Community College to provide vaccinations and also operates community vaccination clinics at locations throughout the county. In May of 2021, Rensselaer County reached an important milestone: 300,000 testings for COVID in one year. Opening its own testing facility proved to be key in battling the spread of COVID cases in Rensselaer County. Throughout the pandemic, the health department, led by Wachunas, has spent days, nights and weekends providing information and comfort to county residents. She has served as public health director since 2006 and is former director of the county’s Children With Special Needs program.


The Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner is sponsored by: Bouchey & Clarke Benefits | OneDigital, Capital Bank, CDPHP, and Sunmark Credit Union.


For more information about The Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner and the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, visit  

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