June 8, 2021

Pediatrician Dr. Suzanne Boulter Named Kay Sidway Award recipient

Dr. Suzanne Boulter, a longtime area pediatrician, has been named the recipient of the Granite VNA Kay Sidway Award, an annual award for individuals who have devoted himself or herself to the education, nurturing, and well-being of families. For Dr. Boulter, the award is especially meaningful. 

“I had so much respect for Kay and her knowledge of young children,” she said of Kay who passed away in 2012. “She understood the importance of a family in the development of a young child. She helped so many parents. I would refer some of my young families over to The Children’s Place and Parent Education Center in Concord because I knew they would get classes on parenting.”

Dr. Boulter always wanted to be a pediatrician. After graduating from Dartmouth Medical School and Harvard Medical School, she spent nearly 30 years at Concord Hospital Family Health Center (formerly Hitchcock Clinic) practicing and teaching pediatrics to family medicine residents. 

Among her numerous accomplishments, she developed and coordinated an oral health curriculum for residents.

“As a pediatrician, I noticed there were several kids, especially poor kids who had very severe and preventable oral health care issues,” she said. “At that time, there was no real emphasis on oral health assessments or screenings in primary care. During our training, we looked beyond the teeth to the tonsils and the tongue, but not the teeth assuming that this was in the purview of the dentist.” 

“The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) was actually just starting to look at oral health,” Dr. Boulter added. “Over a period of time through different grant funding projects, we worked with pediatric dentists and there were a lot of challenges, but we eventually got on the same page.”

Dr. Boulter also served as chair of the AAP Oral Health Initiative and worked on the program titled “Brush, Book, and Bed” which ties together messages about oral health, reading, and good bedtime health and literacy. 

For her extensive work in pediatrics and oral health, Dr. Boulter received many awards and honors including AAP recognition such as the Special Achievement Award, Founders Award, Local Hero Award, Oral Health Service Award, and the Child Advocacy Award. 

“Over the last 15 to 20 years, I have spent a huge amount of time on oral health initiatives at the national and statewide level,” she said. “We trained a lot of pediatricians to go back to their home locations and spread the information and knowledge. I was involved in a lot of national level conferences and presentations. When I look back on my active career, that was one of the things that was unique. It is hard to find something that is new and different and that can really make a difference.”

The Kay Sidway Award was initially presented in 1998 to long-time Concord area educator Kay Sidway to honor her extraordinary dedication to the children of the Concord community. Since then, exceptional individuals who serve the Greater Concord region and Merrimack County communities have been honored with the Kay Sidway Award during our annual fundraiser Passion for Caring, including the late state representative Mary Stuart Gile, Oglesby Young, MD, and Bow School District social worker Pauline Laliberte.