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Runners Return to Elizabethtown for Doc Lopez Run for Health

Elizabethtown, NY – Following two years of virtual events, nearly 100 participants turned out for the Doc Lopez Race for Health on Sunday, May 1 in Elizabethtown. Proceeds from the event, hosted by the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary, will go toward the purchase of local farm shares for health center patients participating in the hospital’s Diabetes Education Program.

Runners and walkers came from around the region and as far away as Washington State to support the cause. Jeremy Drowne of West Chazy, New York and Melissa Whyman of Plattsburgh, New York were winners in the male and female half marathon categories with times of 1:22:30 and 1:35:23 respectively. Peru, New York native Brennan Peters was the top male finisher for the 5K with a time of 22:07; and Karly Garren of Jay, New York claimed first place for females in 26:48.

“It’s inspiring to watch runners cross a finish line,” said Denise McLaughlin, registered nurse and diabetes educator for Elizabethtown Community Hospital. “There’s something about seeing people strive for their personal goals with the support of a community behind them. And that’s exactly what’s happening for the diabetes education program patients who are making great strides on their journey toward better health.”

Through the hospital’s Diabetes Education Program, McLaughlin provides nutrition and lifestyle education to health center patients with or at risk of developing diabetes. More than 20 people in the program are participating in a month-long healthy weight loss competition and winners will be eligible to receive a free farm share.

According to Auxiliary President Laura Sells-Doyle, the volunteer group saw this year’s cause as a win-win. “The funds raised through the Doc Lopez event have always gone toward programs or items that enhance the experience for patients at Elizabethtown Community Hospital and its six health centers. This year, the funds will benefit both patients and local farms, truly supporting the health and wellbeing of our community. We are grateful to the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the event a success.”

This year marked the 42nd anniversary of the event, which began along the route Robert “Doc” Lopez ran as he carried the torch for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Though the race route and charity have changed since it was first held, the event has always been about inspiring people to get outdoors to run for a good cause. Event sponsors included: the Kinney Drugs Foundation; Fust, Charles & Chambers; Adirondack Land Trust; Casella Waste Management; Champlain National Bank; Champlain Valley Electric; Lake Placid Sports Medicine; Engineering Ventures, PC; Stafford, Piller, Murnane, Plimpton, Kelleher & Trombley, PLLC; and Westelcom.

For more information on the Elizabethtown Community Hospital Diabetes Education Program or Doc Lopez Run for Health, please visit UVMHEALTH/


About Elizabethtown Community Hospital

The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving residents in Essex County and northern Warren and Washington Counties in New York.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is transforming rural health care at its main campus in Elizabethtown, NY, at a new emergency department and outpatient center in Ticonderoga, NY, and at six community-based primary health care centers located throughout the region. The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 350 employees.

Across the Elizabethtown and Ticonderoga campuses, the hospital maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments; and a variety of specialty physician clinics on a weekly and monthly basis.  

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.  Our partners include:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.