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.
Mebust has been with Bassett for 16 years as an internist focused on hospital-based medicine.
He has served the last decade as chief of Bassett’s hospitalist division and for four years as medical director of Bassett’s network hospitalist program. Mebust has also been serving as associate chief to Hyman since March of 2019 while a national search was conducted for the next physician-in-chief.
Mebust and his wife Lynne came to Cooperstown with their young family nearly 20 years ago. They anticipated leaving after he completed his internship and residency at Bassett. Instead, Cooperstown became their home.
“Within six months, I felt more attached to the place and people here than anywhere I’ve lived in my life,” recalls Mebust. “This has become our home and I want to do anything I can to help Bassett thrive. Bassett Medical Center and the rest of the Bassett network are extremely important to the population in this rural region. We are here to serve our neighbors; to help them stay healthy, to care for them when they’re not, and to train the people who will be doing this work in the years to come.”
In addition to the duties he assumes as physician-in-chief, Dr. Mebust will continue his work as a hospitalist seeing patients admitted to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. “It is important that I continue my clinical practice and remain intimately familiar with the system for which I am responsible,” Mebust says.
Mebust did his internship, residency, and chief residency at Bassett. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine. He assumed the responsibilities of Chief of the Department of Medicine Jan. 1, 2020.