STUART-Sage is defined as someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience. The Council on Aging at the Kane Center presented awards for those senior citizens who continue to provide essential exemplary service to the Martin County community. These awards fall into several categories recognizing the individuals who provided community service, faith-based service, healthcare and health services, human services, service to the arts, and professional services. There were 27 active seniors who were nominated in those categories.

This year a special award titled the Charlie Kane award was presented to a senior who was deemed to have provided preeminent service to the community. The award is named after Mr. Kane who had a brilliant career in service to his country starting with the Central Intelligence Agency. He continued with the establishment of the Kane Center to provide much needed care and opportunities to senior citizens.

“In honor of Charlie, the Council created a new award, to recognize the rarest of individuals who dedicate their lives to fulfill the needs of communities, and even that of our whole society. These rare individuals, regardless of age and career or life paths, pursue goals and opportunities that specifically help people to live well,” said Taylor Gilmour, MPP. “Our 2017 award recipient was chosen for his dedicating decades to teaching, contributing significant medical research, and treating patients without the ability to pay. He fundamentally believes in meeting the health and wellness needs of the medically underserved population of Martin County, and for the past 16 years, he devoted his retirement to not only providing medical services, but also leading the entire Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.”

That award was given to Dr. Howard E. Voss, Medical Director and CEO of Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. He began  his volunteer role at VIM in 2001 when the clinic became independent from Martin Health System. He attended Union College in Schenectady, NY for his undergraduate degree in 1957 and graduated from New York University School of Medicine in 1961.

Howard E. Voss, MD, examining a patient

In addition to his medical degree at NYU, Dr. Voss learned fundamental values of becoming a luminary in the medical sector. He was imbued with the principles of treating patients regardless of their ability to pay, teach those who come after you and produce publishable research.

“Those were the guiding principles of my medical career and after my retirement I was able to fulfill all of those doctrines. It’s been a great privilege to pay back my wonderful education by following those values,” said Dr. Voss.

The VIM Clinic provides free comprehensive medical care to uninsured Martin County residents. Individuals must have an income of $24,120 or less to qualify. For additional information, call 772-463-4128.