IBRAHIM: Flu, COVID-19 and Hospital Happenings

Flu, COVID-19 and Hospital Happenings


Monthly news and insights by Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network

I am honored to have the opportunity to reach you through “The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.” Each month I will keep you up to date on emerging public health information, share the latest news from Bassett Healthcare Network, talk about health trends in the news, address your questions and concerns, and discuss ways you and your family can stay healthy.

At Bassett, we are dedicated to improving the health of our patients and wellbeing of our communities. With flu season right around the corner, we want to make sure you and your family are protected. Being vaccinated against the flu not only protects you, it also protects people around you who are more vulnerable to flu, such as people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions or lowered immunity, and young children. The flu can also cause certain health conditions—like diabetes, asthma, heart, and lung disease—to become worse. So, protect yourself and those around you. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine each year.

Also, please remember that COVID-19 remains a serious concern. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 helps stop the spread and protects you and those around you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics are officially recommending COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months and older. In fact, Dr. Monica Brané, Bassett Healthcare Network’s chief of pediatrics, tells us: “The vaccines are absolutely safe. As a mother and pediatrician, I recommend the COVID-19 vaccines wholeheartedly for children ages 6 months and older. Protecting our kids against COVID-19 infection is very important, and it’s also one of the most responsible things we can do for our communities as we continue to work together to fight this virus.” As a physician and a father with a young family, I could not agree more with Dr. Brané about the importance of keeping each other safe.

If you or your family need to get a flu shot, start or complete your COVID-19 vaccination series, or get a booster, schedule an appointment with your primary care practitioner or your pharmacy to make sure that you and your family are fully protected.

There is so much more happening at Bassett! By now, you should be seeing us a lot more visibly through our new marketing efforts. We have work underway to completely redesign our call center so that we can improve your experience when interacting with our health care system. We have a dedicated team of practitioners supporting our virtual and telehealth programs available to you now. Recently, we have welcomed several accreditation bodies surveying our services across Otsego County, and have received positive reviews. There is much in store for Bassett, and despite the near-term challenges we face in healthcare, I am emphatically optimistic about Bassett’s future and commitment to serving you.

One of the very best parts of my day is connecting with patients and families. Please do not hesitate to reach out with your comments or questions, and with this new column underway, topics you’d like to hear about in the future. And if you happen to run into one of our amazing employees, please thank them for their contributions. Without them, our mission ceases to exist.

Stay tuned for more exciting information from Bassett and I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful and privileged that you have entrusted your care to us.

Wishing you happiness and health always,

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