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Huntsman Receives Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award

DR. W. THOMAS HUNTSMAN (Photo provided)

COOPERSTOWN—Dr. W. Thomas Huntsman, division chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Bassett Healthcare Network, is the recipient of the 2023 Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award.

“When I heard that I was selected for this award, I was profoundly humbled,” Dr. Huntsman said. “I personally know all the previous recipients, and to be considered in the same company of those fabulous folks is quite the honor.”

The Franck award is among the most prestigious recognitions awarded by Bassett Healthcare Network to its caregivers. It recognizes a physician, nominated by peers, who exemplifies excellence in the areas of clinical care, scholarship and citizenship. It was established to honor rheumatologist Dr. Walter A. Franck, a rheumatologist who provided exceptional care for more than four decades and served as senior associate dean at Bassett’s Columbia Medical School program until his retirement in 2014.

In addition to citing his work ethic, expertise, and surgical skills, Dr. Huntsman’s nomination describes how, after starting as the only plastic surgeon at Bassett Medical Center, he has expanded the Plastic Surgery Division to include six attending surgeons. What’s more, his leadership has been indispensable to making that division a cohesive team that provides patients with the best care possible.

“There is not a more committed member of our practitioner group, in my mind, than Tom,” said one colleague. “He is constantly educating students, residents and new staff members in our division. As a colleague he has supported me from when I started and is always a phone call away for any difficult cases or patients I may have.”

“I came to Bassett with the expectation that I could practice medicine where the patients come first, and my responsibility was to do my best,” reflected Dr. Huntsman. “After 32 years here, I can confidently say that I’ve been able to fulfill that expectation. That has been such a blessing.”


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