COOPERSTOWN – Donald O. Pollock, M.D., who led a lifetime of service to others, including a distinguished and wide-ranging medical career with Bassett Hospital that spanned several decades, passed away peacefully in his home Sunday evening, Sept. 29, 2019, surrounded by family and listening to the final Red Sox game of the season. He was 89.
He was born in 1930 in East Orange, N.J., the oldest son of J. Ford and Helen (Glasson) Pollock. He was raised in Brookside N.J., where he also attended grammar school before going to Morristown High School. He graduated from Morristown as the valedictorian of the Class of 1947.
COOPERSTOWN – Elinor H. Pollock, 87, of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, at Bassett Hospital, surrounded by her family.
She was born April 16, 1928, in Beverly, Mass., youngest daughter of Maurice and Ruth (Pedersen) Hopkins. After graduation from high school, she studied at the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Boston. Following her training, she stayed on to work at the Deaconess, and there met her future husband, Donald O. Pollock, while he was working his way through medical school. They were married June 7, 1953, at the First Baptist Church of Beverly.
The Pollocks first came to Cooperstown in 1955, when Don served his internship and residency at Bassett Hospital. There followed a period of military service, which took the family to a succession of postings, including 2 1/2 years in Eritrea, East Africa. The Pollocks returned to Cooperstown in 1967.
BLOOMVVILLE – Donald B. Martin, 82, two-term Farm Bureau president and a founder of the Atlantic Diarymen who was active in state and national farm policy, passed away at his home on June 27, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.
Born on Oct. 11, 1936, he was the son of the late Wendell and Elisabeth (Sackett) Martin. He married to his wife of 62 years, Juanita Graig Martin, on Oct. 7, 1956.
Donald owned and operated Prairie Hill Farm for over 30 years, retiring from farming in 1986. He spent his entire life on the farm, even passing in the very room where he was born.
SCHENEVUS – Donald R. Connor Jr., 56, of Garnerville, Rockland County, passed away Oct. 31, 2019, with his loving wife and brother-in-law, Frank by his side. His mother and sisters survive him in Schenevus.
He was born July 16, 1963, in Whitestone, Queens, where he also grew up, the son of Donald and Lorraine Connor.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Donald worked for the Sheet Metal Union Local 28 in New York City for 35 years.
Latest ‘Citizen’ To Win
In early 2015, when the credentials of Hometown Oneonta/The Freeman’s Journal “20 Under 40” honorees were published in this newspaper, Stacie Haynes – one of the 20 – called to say how impressed she was by everyone’s accomplishments.
“I’m not worthy,” she said.
It was explained to her that an independent panel of community leaders from Oneonta and Cooperstown had convened, reviewed nominations from the public, and chosen the 20 as among the most promising young people in Otsego County.
The newspaper’s editors hadn’t made the selection and, under the guidelines, had no standing to add or remove anyone.
This year, though, Stacie Haynes, now executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, more than proved the “20 Under 40” judges’ confidence.
By ELIZABETH COOPER • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Bassett’s new president and CEO has been called “a man on a mission.”
Just 39, Dr. Tommy Ibrahim has accomplished a great deal in a short time.
He graduated from medical school at 23 and made a rapid ascent into leadership positions, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief physician executive for Integris Health System, the largest not-for-profit and state-owned health care system in Oklahoma. It’s a top 25 healthcare system, according to U.S. News and World Report.
“He brings to us the experience of being the top physician leader of a large, highly regarded health system,” said Douglas Hastings, chairman of the network board, in announcing the appointment Tuesday, May 19. He praised Ibrahim’s “innovative and forward-looking drive to embrace the future of healthcare and to advance Bassett’s mission of improving the health of our patients and the well-being of our communities.”
Ibrahim will succeed Bill Streck as head of the eight-county hospital system when he arrives here in mid- to late July.
Ibrahim called the position at Bassett “a wonderful opportunity for any leader.”
“It is a phenomenal organization and has a legacy that is unparalleled,” he said, pointing to Bassett’s academic and research strengths and its rural setting. “The opportunity to be a part of that and to continue shaping the future of such a prestigious organization is really the main attraction.”
Ibrahim said he will begin by listening and learning as much about Bassett as possible.
“How we move together as an organization and how we continue the agility and resiliency of Bassett to meet the changing healthcare landscape will be very important,” he said.
He wants to continue to improve access to healthcare in this rural community and to take
a preventive approach to care.
“With the industry transforming before our eyes, it is a wonderful opportunity to use this time as a catalyst for reimagining how we take care of patients,” he said. “It is an exciting time and a great opportunity for us to advance healthcare in new ways.”
► “MAN ON MISSION”
Integris’ website contains a 2019 news release congratulating Ibrahim when he was nominated as one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Leaders.
The release calls him “young, a bit of an overachiever and a man on a mission.”
Ibrahim’s parents – a mechanical engineer and a businesswoman – were born and
raised in Egypt, but emigrated to New Jersey. There, they had two sons, Ibrahim and his younger brother, who now practices family medicine in Chicago, the release states.
The older son’s interest in medicine came after an unspecified “significant accident” when he was 16, he said in the release.
“It was one of those experiences that helps you appreciate life a lot more,” he was quoted as saying. “I’ve always had a deep connection to helping others but wasn’t quite clear on how I was going to fulfill my passion until I had my own experience as a patient.” He attended a 5-year medical school program in Cambridge, England, immediately after high school, graduating at 23.
Integris called Ibrahim’s leadership there “transformational” and said he was “elevating the tenor” of its entire system.
Though Ibrahim is a practicing hospitalist, he opted to go into administration because he felt he could have greater impact there.
“As a physician, I see 16 to 20 patients a day and could make that impact daily,” he said in the release. “As chief physician executive, I can have a positive impact on close to 2,000 patients a day.”
Ibrahim will succeed a local legend: Dr. Streck, an endocrinologist who arrived here in the late 1970s, was Bassett Hospital president/CEO by 1984, and spent the next 30 years building a single hospital in the multi-county system the new president/CEO will inherit.
Retiring in 2014, Streck, now 72, joined HASNY, the Healthcare Association of New York State, as chief medical and health systems innovation officer. But when his successor, Dr. Vance Brown, resigned in March 2018, Streck was summoned back in an interim role as network president/CEO. The position of Bassett Hospital president was created at that time, filled by Dr. Bill LeCates.
At Integris, Ibrahim served as the physician executive in charge of leading the strategic direction for clinical services throughout the 19-hospital health system of owned and joint-venture assets, including all clinical operations, the physician enterprise, and system integration objectives. This position included direct responsibility for system research, graduate medical education and medical informatics.
“I am humbled,” said Ibrahim, “to become part of the Bassett family and to follow in the footsteps of the visionary leaders.”
In 2014-17, Ibrahim was chief physician officer and vice president of medical affairs at Mercy Health Network in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2010-14, he was senior vice president and chief physician executive at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill.
Ibrahim received his M.D. and bachelor of Medical Science degree in England and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, an academic affiliate of Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, Md.
He holds a master of science degree in Health Administration from Seton Hall University. He received a graduate certificate in Organizational Behavior & Executive Coaching from the University of Texas, in Dallas, and was nominated to Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Leaders of 2019.
He is a practicing hospitalist and boarded in internal medicine and hospital medicine.
Ibrahim is also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, fellow in Hospital Medicine, and received the Certified Physician Executive accreditation from the American Association of Physician Leadership.
Ibrahim’s accomplishments also include improving rural health care at Mercy Health Network through the successful implementation of telehealth programs for rural Iowa network hospitals, and improving access to residents in remote communities.
He has held board positions with Autism Oklahoma, Health Alliance for the Uninsured, and The Iowa Medical Education Collaborative, where he served as board chair from 2014-17. Founder of the J. Christian Autism Foundation, he was a Medical Missionary for International Medical Relief in 2016 and was a GI research assistant for the National Institutes of Health in 2009.
Ibrahim grew up in Jersey City. He said he came to Cooperstown with his father many years ago and spent summers on Lake George, so the region is familiar.
He and his wife Marian have two children, John-Christian, 10, and Sophia Haven, 5. They are looking forward to returning East and excited to call Cooperstown home.
“Outdoor galore!” Ibrahim said. “We are going to love the lake. I jet ski and hike and run. I can’t wait to spend my first summer here. It’s very exciting. I can’t wait to get started.”
MORRIS – Donald Gaughan, 91, a World War II combat veteran who helped free the prisoners at Dachau and later worked as a union carpenter in Oneonta before his retirement, passed away peacefully on Aug. 14, 2016, at Chase Memorial Nursing Home in New Berlin.
The son of William and Delilah (Joy) Gaughan, he was born on Dec. 31, 1924, in Oneonta.
COOPERSTOWN – After a nationwide search, Dr. Kai Mebust, who had been filling the role on an interim basis, has been permanently appointed chief of the Bassett Hospital’s Department of Medicine. He succeeds Dr. Charles Hyman, who stepped down after 10 years.
“Kai’s experience and accomplishments as a clinician and as an administrator provide Bassett with the expertise required to provide overall physician leadership to the Bassett organization,” said Dr. Steven Heneghan, chief clinical officer.
COOPERSTOWN – Dr. Tommy Ibrahim has been appointed as the next Bassett Healthcare Network president/CEO, succeeding Bill Streck as head of the eight-county hospital system. He is expected to arrived here in mid to late July.
Extending a Bassett tradition for its chief executives, he is a physician.
Dr. Ibrahim, 39, has held leadership positions within the healthcare industry for the past 14 years, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief physician executive for Integris Health System, the largest not-for-profit and state-owned health care system in Oklahoma.
U.S. News & World Report placed Integris on its list of Top 25 healthcare systems in the U.S.
ONEONTA – Funeral services are Wednesday, Nov. 13, for Donald S. Mitchell, 29, of Oneonta, a musician and lyricist, earned his Heavenly reward Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
Born on Aug. 22, 1990, in Oneonta, to Sandra Layman and Donald Mitchell, Don was a beautiful baby and a shining star from the very beginning. He graduated from Oneonta High School, going on to work most recently at The Otesaga Hotel, of which he was very proud.
UNADILLA – Donald Thomas Sherwood, M.D., 74, of Unadilla, a surgeon in the Tri-Town area for a half-century, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 21, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.
He will be remembered by his family as well as by the community that relied on his tireless work ethic, kindness, vitality, love of all God’s people and creatures, generous spirit, humility and insatiable quest for knowledge.
Born on Jan. 18, 1945, Dr. Sherwood was the third of seven children born to John Robert Sherwood and Helen Cullinan Sherwood at Sunnyside Hospital on Staten Island.
ROSEBOOM – Donald (Don) A. Drake, 81, of Roseboom, retired Cherry Valley-Springfield Central High School principal and, later, school board president, passed away peacefully on Jan. 23, 2019, at the Center in Cooperstown with his beloved wife Susan (Sue) by his side.
Don was born on March 2, 1937, in Cooperstown, the son of Clifford S. Drake and Laura Laymon Drake.
Don married Susan High on Aug. 13, 1960. They have three sons: John (Lisa), Thomas (Laurie) and Michael (Beth) and five grandchildren: Jason (Jessica), Adam, Emma, Miles and Elliot.
IN MEMORIAM: Donald J. Washburn, 94; Ran Feed Stores Near Saratoga
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Donald J. Washburn, 94, a member of the Cooperstown Methodist Church, passed away June 5, 2014, after a brief illness at the Pinecrest Hospice Center, Delray Beach, Fla. He also lived in Bacon Hill, Saratoga County.