SARANAC LAKE - The Adirondack Medical Center Foundation has a new executive director.
Hannah Hanford has been hired to replace Cheryl Breen Randall, who retired in March as head of the AMC Foundation and the hospital's Community Relations department.
"It is a dream come true to come home to the Adirondacks," said Hanford, who grew up in Keeseville and went to high school in Old Forge.
Hannah Hanford, the new executive director of the Adirondack Medical Center Foundation and the hospital’s Community Relations department, talks with reporters last week at AMC’s main hospital in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
Hanford most recently had worked for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Va. She was hired to run an endowment campaign, but said she lost her position when the organization downsized and put its fundraising campaign on hold.
Before moving to Virginia in 2008, Hanford served as the executive director of the CVPH Medical Center Foundation in Plattsburgh, where she helped raise $1 million to renovate the hospital's Center for Women and Children, a maternity care facility. Hanford also worked as a physician recruiter, employment coordinator and food service manager during her tenure at CVPH.
Hanford started at AMC on March 1 and worked with Randall until her retirement later that month.
"There's a wonderful base here that Cheryl has created," Hanford said. "We're poised to take the Foundation to the next level. We're all going to be working toward the goal of making sure AMC is the best it possibly can be."
The AMC Foundation was formed in 1996 to coordinate fundraising for projects at the hospital and oversee AMC's investments.
One of Hanford's first tasks is to complete a match of a $350,000 gift that was made by an anonymous donor for a new angiography suite in the hospital's Medical Imaging unit. The Foundation is trying to raise another $600,000.
"We are closing in on the last $200,000 of that match," Hanford said. "We think we'll make that by the end of this calendar year."
Looking to the future, AMC will update its strategic plan and master facilities plan this fall.
"My hunch is that after they look at those two key documents there will be some big changes on the horizon, and most likely they will involve the Foundation and fundraising," Hanford said.
The hospital, which got its start as the General Hospital of Saranac Lake in what is now Hodson Hall on the campus of North Country Community College, will also be marking its 100th anniversary next year, which Hanford said will be used as a "jumping off point" for more fundraising efforts.
Asked about the prospect of fundraising in a tight economy, Hanford said she thinks she can win over potential donors by reminding them of AMC's importance.
"I won't say that it's ever easy to ask for money," she said, "but I would say that when you believe strongly in a mission of an organization, and you can present that opportunity to donors who are invested in the well being of their community and the health of this institution, then you make that magic happen."
AMC President and CEO Chandler Ralph welcomed Hanford to the community.
"We're delighted to have her here," Ralph. "She's going to do a great job with the Foundation, and working with (Communications Manager) Joe (Riccio) and our staff to get the word out about the great things that are happening at Adirondack Medical Center."
Hanford said she's leasing a home in Lake Placid but plans to establish a permanent home in the area once she sells her home in Virginia.
Contact Chris Knight at (518) 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.