Dr. Dorothea “Susan” Badenhausen of Brasher Falls, New York, was a country doctor. She was likely one of the last of her kind to make house calls to patients, even in the dead of a North Country winter.
Born in 1935 in New York City, Dr. Badenhausen started out her medical career as a researcher. But, after a while, she realized she wanted more. She decided to go back to school, and in 1971, at age 36, Susan Badenhausen received her Doctor of Medicine from Boston College. She set her sights on the North Country, moving to Brasher Falls in 1975.
“She didn’t want to open a private practice in the city. She wanted to use her education to go where she would really be needed. St. Lawrence County, New York is such a place,” said long-time friend Pat McKeown. “I think the Tri-town Region, Brasher and Stockholm and Lawrence advertised for a physician, a community physician. She saw it, checked out the place, saw that it was pretty low on the income scale, saw that the majority of her patients would be Medicaid or Medicare patients, they didn’t have a lot of private insurance. And she said, as she said to me later, ‘That’s the place I wanted to be.’”
Dr. Badenhausen gave over 30 years of service to her North Country patients. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 83. The Dr. D. Susan Badenhausen Legacy Fund was established through her bequest at the Northern New York Community Foundation. Her bequest included grant awards to several area non-profits, including WPBS-TV.
Mark Prasuhn, President & General Manager of WPBS noted that “Dr. Badenhausen was a passionate fan of the opera and the arts, and so WPBS was a natural choice to be included in her bequest. Our team has worked to leverage the resources provided in this generous grant to raise awareness of the arts in St. Lawrence County through several interrelated initiatives, which we believe effectively honor Dr. Badenhausen’s legacy and love of the arts and the North Country.”
Four specific initiatives were supported by the grant:
1. Great Performances: Now Hear This virtual screenings
In the height of the pandemic in January 2021, North Country audiences were able to enjoy two virtual screenings of episodes of this classical music documentary hosted by Orchestra of Northern New York Music Director and Conductor Kenneth Andrews with program host Scott Yoo.
2. Artists of St. Lawrence County
WPBS created a series of ten short-form video programs highlighting North Country artists, singers, and musicians in St. Lawrence County, along with a biographical segment on Dr. Badenhausen. The programs aired as segments on the station’s flagship current affairs series, WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories, Tuesday nights at 7:30, beginning April 5th; and will be available on the WPBS video player (watch.wpbstv.org) and mobile app. The stories can be found below.
3. Back Roads Museums: The Frederic Remington Art Museum
This half hour documentary television program profiling the Frederic Remington Museum in Ogdensburg will receive its world premiere on WPBS on Tuesday, June 7th at 7:30 pm. A native of Canton, renowned artist Frederic Remington depicted scenes and figures of the American Old West, and the museum’s impressive collection makes it one of the leading cultural institutions in Northern New York. Back Roads Museums is a new documentary series, in development as a collaboration of Canadian independent production companies Blomeley Communications and TPC Productions. Read the Press Release here.
4. Community Event in St. Lawrence County
To promote and debut Artists of St. Lawrence County, WPBS worked with partners to organize a community event including a screening of the ten short programs and artistic performances in September of 2022 at the Frederic Remington Art Museum.
WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories – Artists of St. Lawrence County
Dr. Susan Badenhausen of Brasher Falls was a country doctor, likely one of the last of her kind. She gave over 30 years of service to her patients, including house calls even in the dead of a North Country winter. When she passed away in 2018, she left a legacy that continues to give, showcasing many of the artists and musicians of St. Lawrence County.
John Morrow is an Ogdensburg artist whose creative style weaves nature, man, and time as an underlying theme. Internationally, his work has been on the cover of Readers Digest. Regionally, he and his wife own the Clark Art gallery in Ogdensburg.
Carrie Hill is a talented basket maker on the Akwesasne Reservation.
Classical guitarist Douglas Rubio is a talented musician and professor is a solo recitalist and chamber musician. He is also a massive fan of the Beatles and teaches a class on their style of music.
Brian Dunbar is a talented flutist who teaches at SUNY Potsdam. Brian stands out not only as an award-winning musician but also as a change maker for black artists in the music community.
Margaret Chalker is an educator and opera singer whose talents and career have taken her across the globe.
Nestled in a studio along the St. Lawrence River in Hammond is an incredible artist, Scott Ouderkirk. His stained glass creations and boat restorations are undeniably unique.
We take you to the Akwesasne reservation for the powerful music of Bear Fox.
We take you inside a drumming circle at St. Lawrence University, where instructor Len Mackey teaches West African drumming.
A small museum in the heart of Ogdensburg expands and deepens the appreciation and work of artist Frederick Remington.
An additional segment with Gouverneur artist and national television host, Wilson Bickford, who passed away in December 2021, aired in the spring of 2021.
In case you missed it, we spoke with artist, author, teacher and host of “Painting with Wilson Bickford” aired nationally on CreateTV. Fans in Northern New York and Ontario might be surprised to know, that world famous WILSON BICKFORD grew up right here, in Gouverneur, New York and still calls the North country, home.