Bassett Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. William LeCates is moving on, announcing to colleagues today (January 12) his plans to transition away from his leadership role at Bassett Healthcare to pursue a new opportunity in New York City.
Bassett Healthcare Network Director of Marketing and Communications Angie Blair said Dr. LeCates will remain with Bassett as its Northern Region Executive through April 30, 2022, to ensure “continuity of leadership as we move forward.”
The New York State Department of Health on Monday (December 20) added Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown to its list of health care facilities with “minimal capacity,” forcing a temporary halt to elective surgeries and procedures for at least two weeks beginning later this week.
Under a November Executive Order from Governor Kathy Hochul, the state bars facilities with a staffed bed capacity of 10 percent or less from performing certain elective procedures and surgeries. Certain electives remain allowed, including those relating to cancer and diagnostic reviews, neurosurgery, intractable pain, trauma, cardiac with symptoms, and others.
[Editor’s note: We invited Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bassett Healthcare Network, to reflect on his first year at the helm of our regional healthcare facilities. He provided to The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta the following as a first-person, open letter to the communities the network serves.]
Dear Friends, Neighbors and Colleagues,
By many measures, 2021 was challenging and transformative for our community and Bassett Healthcare Network. When I began my tenure as President and CEO of Bassett, we were in the early stages of a pandemic that we hoped would last weeks or months, but became the largest global pandemic in a century. This crisis has been daunting and has tested our resolve in ways we could not have imagined. Through it all, our caregivers and practitioners did what they do best — cared selflessly for our patients and community.
Bassett Healthcare is offering a vaccine clinic to the community, including children ages 5 to 17, on Saturday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bassett Medical Center’s outpatient clinic in Cooperstown.
The clinic will offer boosters for the Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer as well as first and second Pfizer doses for children and flu shots.
Those receiving vaccines need to be established patients of Bassett Healthcare network in order to participate.
Bassett Healthcare Network last week awarded ‘gratitude’ bonuses to its full complement of some 5,000 full- and part-time employees, made possible in large part through a donation from the Scriven Foundation.
Speaking with The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Dr. Tommy Ibrahim credited the entire staff for its hard work throughout another year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of course it’s been another tumultuous year,” he said. “Bassett Healthcare and every person we serve was carried through it on the shoulders of our caregivers and practitioners.”
Cooperstown, N.Y. – Bassett Healthcare Network announced today that full- and part-time employees across the health system will receive substantial gratitude bonuses, made possible in large part through a generous donation from the Scriven Foundation. Bassett Medical Center board chair Jane Forbes Clark was instrumental in advocating for the funding.
The bonus comes as a thank you to Bassett Healthcare Network’s nearly 5,000 caregivers and practitioners for their dedication and hard work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today is Whiteout Wednesday, a virtual event sponsored by Bassett Cancer Institute (BCI) in order raise awareness for Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Community members, patients and Bassett employees are wearing white to shine a light on this disease.
November 18, 2021 is the Great American Smokeout-a day dedicated to quitting tobacco use. Patients who use tobacco and wish to quit are invited to visit www.bassett.org/2021-smokeout to find resources including Bassett’s one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling.
The main entrance to Bassett Medical Centers Clinic is temporarily closed due to a problem with the overhang roof. The facilities department and McCarthy Construction are working on a long term solution. Meanwhile, visitors to the clinic should use side entrance.
Just one day after the vaccination mandate deadline, Bassett Healthcare was forced to cut services in certain areas because of a loss of staff members, Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Bassett announced the changes Tuesday, calling it a need to “redeploy staff temporarily” because of shortages.
Services affected include outpatient laboratory draws, which are now by appointment only. Cooperstown Convenient Care has been forced to close and wait times for phone calls will take longer than usual, according to a media release from Bassett Healthcare.
Healthcare groups in Otsego County are dealing with the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and the need to keep their facilities staffed.
Bassett Healthcare Network, one of the largest employers in the area, is determined to vaccinate its entire workforce in spite of backlash and the potential loss of employees.
Bassett has made some progress on the vaccine front. According to an internal email penned by Bassett Healthcare CEO Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, vaccinations of its employees are at 90%. About two weeks ago, the vaccination rate was only 75%, according to Bassett officials.
ONEONTA — Hundreds of protesters, along with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, marched to A.O. Fox Hospital and through Main Street Friday, Sept. 17, to protest the vaccine mandate put in place for healthcare workers.
The protesters chanted slogans such as “stop the mandate” as they walked through downtown Oneonta towards the hospital. There were signs that said “unmask our children” and “protect our liberties.”
The vaccine mandate from Bassett Healthcare was in response to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mandate that all healthcare workers should be vaccinated.
Prior to the march, the protesters rallied at Damaschke Field.
“I’m here to support the medical professionals and support their right to not have an injection they’re not confident,” Salka told AllOtsego.com. “Last year they were heroes, this year they’re zeroes.”
COOPERSTOWN — In response to the state government mandating vaccinations for all healthcare workers, Bassett Healthcare has given its employees a deadline of Monday, Sept. 27, in order to have the first dose of the vaccine.
The mandate does not offer room for religious exemption but it does allow medical exemptions.
An internal email, penned by Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, CEO of Bassett Healthcare, said if employees are not vaccinated by Sept. 27, “you will no longer meet the regulatory requirements to be employed by Bassett Healthcare Network.”