News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Bassett Healthcare

Mary Ann Vunk, 71, of Edmeston; Dr. Streck’s Assistant For 30 Years
IN MEMORIAM

Mary Ann Vunk, 71, of Edmeston;

Dr. Streck’s Assistant For 30 Years

Mary Ann Vunk and Dr. Streck on her retirement. (Contributed photo)

EDMESTON – Mary Ann Vunk, 71, assistant to former Bassett Healthcare CEO/President Bill Streck for many years, passed away peacefully Thursday July 6, 2017, at her home following an extended illness.

Mary Ann was born on Nov. 16, 1945 in Utica, the daughter of the late Donald F. and Kathryn Burns Vunk. In addition to her parents, Mary Ann was also pre-deceased by a brother Daniel Vunk in 1974, and a nephew Joseph Vunk in 2016.

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Faso, Healthcare Advocate Differ On Course Of Reform

Faso, Healthcare Advocates

Differ On Course Of Reform

Family Planning of South Central New York Director Deb Marcus, right, expresses concerns about proposed Obamacare reforms to U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, at a meeting this afternoon in state Sen. Jim Seward’s Oneonta office. Others, from left, are county Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, the state Hospital Association’s Bill Streck, Antoinette Kuzminski, retired Bassett physician lobbying for a single-payer approach, Wayne Mellor of Fly Creek, Judy Fleischer of Oneonta, a former nurse and health-insurance broker, and Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By IAN AUSTIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Faso at this afternoon’s discussion.

ONEONTA – U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, heard concerns of key local players in the national healthcare debate this afternoon, and the two sides appeared to politely disagree on a future course of action.

“We have fundamental concerns that it” – the Obamacare revision being revived in Congress – “will not be an improvement over the current ACA.” said Bill Streck, retired Bassett Healthcare president, now director of innovation for the state Hospital Association (HANYS). “From our analysis, 200-700 thousand people would be at risk along with healthcare in our region.”

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BASSETT CEO SEES $5M CUTS IN AHCA

BASSETT CEO SEES

$5M CUTS IN AHCA

Patients, Economy Will Suffer, He Says

Dr. Vance Brown

COOPERSTOWN – Bassett Healthcare could lose $5 million a year in funding under the American Health Care Act that Congress is scheduled to act on this evening, according to Dr. Vance Brown, the system’s president/CEO.

Referring to a state Health Department analysis released yesterday, Dr. Brown said “that loss may be understated, as the analysis … was limited to hospital-based inpatient and outpatient services. It does not take into account Bassett’s non-hospital based regional clinics.”

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Review Bill Streck’s Powerpoint On ‘Healthcare Landscape of ’17’

Review Bill Streck’s Powerpoint

On ‘Healthcare Landscape of ’17’

Bill Streck, retired Bassett Healthcare CEO, now HANYS chief medical and health systems innovation officer, discusses possible impacts of Obamacare repeal efforts on Otsego County and Upstate New York. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)
CLICK HERE TO REVIEW HANYS POWERPOINT
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Bassett Names Scott Bonderoff President Of O’Connor Hospital

Bassett Names Scott Bonderoff

President Of O’Connor Hospital

Scott Bonderoff

COOPERTOWN – The Bassett Healthcare Network trustees today named Scott Bonderoff president of O’Connor Hospital in Delhi, effective Monday.

He succeeds Dr. Carlton Rule, who is leaving the Bassett system at month’s end.

Bonderoff has been with Bassett Healthcare since 2001 – since 2010 as vice president of patient services & ancillary support at Bassett Hospital. He was chosen from among a dozen internal and external candidates the selection committee considered during its search over the last several weeks.

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BASSETT, ONEIDA STUDY JOINTURE

BASSETT, ONEIDA

STUDY UNIFYING

2-Year ‘Memorandum Of Understanding’

Signed, After Which Decision Will Be Made

By JIM KEVLIN • Special To www.AllOTSEGO.com

Dr. Vance Brown

COOPERSTOWN – Bassett Healthcare is looking to bring Oneida Healthcare  into the Cooperstown-based network as a “full member” at the end of a two-year agreement reached this month, Bassett President/CEO Vance Brown reported today in a letter to employees.

“Under the terms of the two-year agreement (signed Dec. 9), OHC will remain an independent organization governed by its current board,” Brown wrote.  However, “if the initial working relationship proves beneficial for both organizations, it would be both parties’ ambition to bring Oneida Healthcare into BHN as a full member.”

The Bassett CEO calls Oneida Healthcare “an ideal partner,” as it is financially sound and has a 101-bed acute-care hospital on Genesee Street in the City of Oneida, “just down the road from Bassett’s primary care clinic in that city.”

Here is the full text of the memorandum of understanding:

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Husband-Wife Physician Team Retires After 30 Years In Oneonta

Husband-Wife Physician Team

Retires After 30 Years In Oneonta

Drs. Levenstein and Palumbo have announced they are retiring.
Drs. Levenstein and Palumbo have announced they are retiring.

ONEONTA – After more than 30 years of providing patient care and serving the greater Oneonta community, Drs. Michael Levenstein and Deanna Palumbo have retired from primary care practice.

The husband and wife team established Bassett’s first Oneonta-based health center in 1988 on Dietz Street, moving to 125 Main St. in 1994. Over the years, the practice Levenstein and Palumbo started grew from four providers to 19.

Levenstein and Palumbo completed their residencies at Bassett Hospital, beginning in 1981 and 1982, respectively. “Bassett’s residency program was highly sought after,” says Palumbo. “We were trained by wonderful physicians; some of the most rewarding work we’ve done over the years has involved the training of residents and medical students.”

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Bassett CEO: How To Expand Is ‘Huge Strategic Question’

Bassett CEO: How To Expand

Is ‘Huge Strategic Question’

For an hour, and a half-hour of Q&A that followed, Bassett CEO Vance Brown detailed the challenges the health system faces in shifting from a fee-for-service system to an outcomes-based system required under Obamacare.  In response to a question from Sam Wilcox, the retired Bassett psychologist, Brown said how to expand in the future is "a huge strategic questions for us," given the eight-county system is hemmed in by Albany, Utica, Syracuse and Binghamton.  Perhaps an expansion of virtual services is part of the answer, he suggested.  (JIm Kevlin/The Freeman's Journal)
For an hour, and a half-hour of Q&A that followed, Bassett CEO Vance Brown detailed the challenges the eight-county healthcare system faces in shifting from a fee-for-service system to an outcomes-based system required under Obamacare. In response to a question from Sam Wilcox, the retired Bassett psychologist, front left, Dr. Brown said how to expand in the future is “a huge strategic question for us,” given Bassett is hemmed in by Albany, Utica, Syracuse and Binghamton. Perhaps an expansion of virtual services is part of the answer, he suggested.  Brown spoke to a full house in Cooperstown’s Village Hall, part of the Friends of the Village Library’s Sunday Series.  (Jim Kevlin/The Freeman’s Journal)
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TRUSTEES, 4-1, SIGNAL ‘NAY’ TO VILLAGE HOSPITAL ZONE

TRUSTEES, 4-1, SIGNAL ‘NAY’

TO VILLAGE HOSPITAL ZONE

More than 60 residents – many Bassett Hospital neighbors – packed the Village Board meeting room at 22 Main this evening to object to the creation of a "hospital zone" around what was called a "behemoth."  (Ji Kevlin/allotsego.com)
More than 60 residents – many Bassett Hospital neighbors – packed the Village Board meeting room at 22 Main this evening to object to the creation of a “hospital zone” around what was called a “behemoth.”  At right is Rick Hulse, Sr., lower Pioneer Street.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com

Trustee Cindy Falk, left, seeks to convince her colleague of the wisdom of a "hospital zone," but ended up as the sole "aye" in a procedural vote.
Trustee Cindy Falk, left, seeks to convince her colleague of the wisdom of a “hospital zone,” but ended up as the sole “aye” in a procedural vote.  Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Mayor Katz listen.
Bassett President/CEO Vance Brown chats with Wendell Tripp (not pictured), who objected to the "hospital zone."
Bassett President/CEO Vance Brown chats with Wendell Tripp (not pictured), who objected to the “hospital zone.”

COOPERSTOWN – It was only a procedural vote, but the 4-1 tally made it clear: The village’s proposed hospital zone, in preparation since April 2013, is going nowhere.

The vote, on Part One of a related SEQR application, was called tonight during the Village Board’s monthly, and turned out to be the only vote related to the Bassett Hospital neighborhood as trustees grappled with regulatory complexities.

Only Trustee Cindy Falk, who chaired the hospital zone committee, voted aye. The nayes were Trustees Lou Allstadt, Jim Dean, Bruce Maxson and Ellen Tillapaugh. Mayor Jeff Katz said nothing.

“I’m going to vote no tonight. I’m going to vote no next month. I’m going to vote no forever,” said Dean.

FOR MORE DETAILS, PHOTOS, SEE THIS WEEK’S FREEMAN’S JOURNAL

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