Christopher Towne selected for health care leadership award

Northern Counties Health Care (NCHC) is proud to announce that their Chief Strategy Officer Christopher Towne, MS-HCA has been selected for Bi-State Primary Care Association’s Vermont Hunt Blair Leadership Award.

The Hunt Blair Leadership Award recognizes the potential of every individual has to improve the lives of many people, as demonstrated by the brilliance, tenacity, and vision of Hunt Blair (1960-2015). It is awarded in his memory, on an annual basis, to emerging and evolving leaders who show great promise of a career in the health care field and who embody hunt’s attributes. Hunt Blair spent his career working on health policy issues, health reform, and health IT in various state and national leadership and advisory roles.

Chris Towne was nominated by his peers and selected unanimously by Bi-State Primary Care Association’s Board of Directors to receive this award. Chris has worked in community health for more than six years, serving as Director of Primary Care, Director of Federally Qualified Health Center Operations, and Chief Strategy Officer starting in 2020.

According to Bi-State Primary Care Association, Towne was selected for the award because, “Chris stands out as a committed leader in his community and shares the passion, tenacity, and likeable nature of Hunt Blair that brings people together. Chris Towne has displayed extraordinary leadership responding to today’s challenges, while creating better access to care tomorrow. His can-do attitude and dedication has been exemplary and has made a difference in the health and safety of thousands of Vermont lives.”

While at Northern Counties, Chris has been an important leader in the agencies COVID-19 response. By partnering with the State of Vermont and local hospitals, he has helped to ensure access to testing and vaccination options for the Northeast Kingdom. In addition, he led the effort to start Northern Express Care in St Johnsbury and is now leading the charge to open Northern Express Care-Newport – which is slated to open this summer.

Michael Costa, CEO of Northern Counties, said, “Chris constantly seeks new ways to improve access to care throughout the Northeast Kingdom. He takes a creative and collaborative approach to solve problems, and inspires others to bring forth ideas and try new things in order to fulfill our mission of providing high quality, accessible, and patient-centered health care. All of us at Northern Counties are proud of Chris for receiving this award, and we are thankful for all he does for our organization and the communities we serve.”

Chris will officially receive the award at Bi-State Primary Care Association’s 2022 Awards Ceremony on May 17, 2022 during their Primary Care Conference.

NCHC currently encompasses six community health centers—including a walk-in primary care location, three dental centers, and a certified home health care & hospice division providing a full spectrum of quality, affordable, and compassionate health care services to patients of all ages, throughout the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. For more information, visit NCHC is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,487,248 with 80% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the US Government. For more information, please visit

Bi-State Primary Care Association promotes access to affordable primary health care with an emphasis on reaching underserved populations. Bi-State is a nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with 28 member organizations, including the 22 Community Health Centers in New Hampshire and Vermont.

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