LEWISTON – In the spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville, Sisters of Charity Health System recognizes the importance of dedicated people who strive to foster a healthier and more vibrant community and yearly presents d’Youville Community Awards.

The awards applaud individuals and organizations who represent the core values of Sisters of Charity Health System: excellence, compassion, respect and stewardship.

This year’s d’Youville Community Awards honorees include:

Drs. Edward and Candace Walworth, Excellence. Candace and Ted Walworth have been a team throughout their careers and marriage. They met in 1966 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and decided they would become doctors together. They came to Lewiston in 1977, Candace as a nephrologist and Ted as a surgeon.

Fire Chief Michel Lajoie, Compassion. Lajoie saw that his team of 74 uniformed and five civilian personnel needed to improve their level of fitness to work safely. Working with WorkMed, the Sisters of Charity Occupational Health Department, a gym was installed at a firehouse and a onsite personal trainer was brought in. The staff was also given physical evaluations and nutrition counseling.

The chief was also concerned about the welfare of his team’s families. He changed administrative policies that previously prevented personnel from taking paid sick leave to care for their family’s needs.

Saints Peter and Paul Basilica Parish, Respect. From its humble beginning in the basement of St. Joseph’s Church and storefront chapel of St. John, to the recent conferral of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul as a Basilica by the Pope, the parish has served as a focal point of French-Canadian Catholics. The parish’s history reflects the faith of French-Canadian immigrants whose struggles, patience and generosity stand as a testament to all immigrant experiences – past, present and future.

The basilica was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1983. Restoration of the church began in 1991 and is ongoing.

The award is not in recognition of the building’s magnificent architecture. The award honors the parishioners for respecting all that the building represents and their dedication to preserving it, their faith and the community.

Theresa Samson, Stewardship. Known in the early 1970s as the “first woman on the board,” many organizations in the Lewiston/Auburn area owe thanks to Samson. She started her career with Lewiston-Auburn Transit in 1952. Forty years later she was president of the bus company, which had become Hudson Bus Lines. It is her business savvy that leads her to be such a strong leader in so many organizations.

Samson has served as a chairwoman or co-chairwoman on some of St. Mary Regional Medical Center’s largest construction projects; most recently the Intensive Care Unit and the Corrine Croteau Lepage Women’s Health Pavilion, raising $3.8 million on those two campaigns alone.

She continues to be involved in serving on no less than eight boards and committees simultaneously, including the Sisters of Charity Planning and Foundation Executive Committees and Community Clinical Services board of directors.

Some members of the community described the evening as a “celebration of the essential goodness of the human condition. All honorees are a living testimony to generosity and service to the community.”

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