PLATTSBURGH After more than a quarter-century serving CVPH Medical Center in one fashion or another, Hannah Hanford is saying goodbye. The director of the philanthropic arm of the healthcare facility, the Foundation of CVPH, has accepted a position not much unlike her current one with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Va. She will begin her new position in February. It is a difficult decision to leave a community that I feel incredibly connected to, said Ms. Hanford. It just felt like it was time for me to take on a new challenge. And a new challenge it will be, she said. While the position will be similar in the sense her responsibilities will focus on raising money, it will be in a completely different venue, a factor which attracted her to the job. I think I have another 13 or 15 years to give to something, said the 50-year-old Keeseville native, and making a change and working with artists in a very creative environment sounded very intriguing. When she visited the centers campus she fell head over heels in love with the mission of the center, which is to provide a setting for painters, musicians, playwrights, photographers and other artists to focus on their art. Artists are invited to a relaxing, serene setting on the centers 450 acres of Blue Ridge farmland, where they can spend two months uninterrupted by the sounds and distractions of daily life and complete their most current project. In a dormitory-style setting, an artist shares common spaces and meals with 23 other colleagues from different backgrounds, creating a very positive, creative energy, said Ms. Hanford. Its a very symbiotic relationship everybody gets something from everybody around them, said Ms. Hanford. Many find their appreciation for their work deepens to a totally different level because they are able to dedicate themselves totally to it. The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts also owns a sister property in Auvillar, a small village in the south of France, adding to its international flavor, said Ms. Hanford, and its appeal. When asked if retirement with the organization overseas would be in her future, Ms. Hanford imagined the possibility. Wouldnt that be nice? My ideal job would be wine taster on a hillside in France with lots of sunshine, laughed Ms. Hanford. Might have to do some cheese too fromage. In addition to her 11 years as foundation director, Ms. Hanford worked for CVPH in various capacities. She began her career with the facility in 1980, working as a food production manager in the nutrition services department. Three years later, she became employment coordinator for the human resources department, a position she held until 1987. During that time, she oversaw the creation of the physician recruitment program for the hospital before taking time off in 1993. She did not, however, stay out of the loop completely. Ms. Hanford continued to perform interim work for the human resources department before coming back full-time as the foundation director in 1996 where she tackled the main objective of her job raising money. In her tenure with the foundation, Ms. Hanford has overseen several fundraisers and campaigns to raise money for the hospital for such things as large equipment purchases to building renovations such as the $6.5 million Vision Campaign currently underway which will see a transformation of the facilitys surgical services department. That campaign has raised the majority of its goal with an impressive $5,238,505 one of the greatest accomplishments Ms. Hanford said she has seen in her time with CVPH. I think the greatest satisfaction that Ive had is not always in the largest gifts that come, although they are certainly very wonderful, but in the small acts of kindness I see on a daily basis, Ms. Hanford said. Our community recognizes the great care thats provided by the wonderful CVPH family. Though Ms. Hanford will miss the people of CVPH and those whose lives have been touched by the facility in her 11 years as foundation director, she knows the foundations board of directors will select a replacement for her who can become as equally entrenched in the community as she has become. Somebody coming in with experience will have the ability to shape it and take it to the very next level, said Ms. Hanford. I think its a very exciting opportunity and its very good for the foundation at this stage to get someone who has experience in another setting and bring that to CVPH. Im excited for what might happen here and Im going to be rooting and cheering from Virginia, said Ms. Hanford.