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News of Otsego County

Bassett Healthcare

Letter from Jim Renckens: Please Hold…

Letter from Jim Renckens

Please Hold…

After 2 years going silent to regroup their organizational strategies, under new CEO Tommy Ibrahim, and the Bassett Healthcare —“Your call is very important to us please stay on the line your call…”—Network is emerging with a legacy driven ad campaign.

This new campaign—“This call is very important to us please stay on the…”—will highlight the accomplishments of its founder Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett, one ofthe first female medical directors in—“Your call is very important to us please stay…”—the United States. It is a wonderful opportunity to share the history of our beloved MIB hospital. We ,who spend much time at MIB have not been aware of how—“This call is very important to us please…”—important and ground breaking Dr. Bassett was.

Toss your old medications safely

Toss your old medications safely

Bassett Healthcare warns thousands of Americans call poison control hotlines, get admitted to the hospital, or die each year because of home medication errors or accidental consumption. Eliminating unneeded medications can save lives, they say, especially for children, the elderly, and, yes, pets.

Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin and Bassett Healthcare will provide an opportunity for county residents to dispose of those no-longer-needed medicines in a safe way on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, happening Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

See the below for collection sites throughout Otsego County.

Opinion: Listen to your nurses

Opinion: Listen to your nurses

[Editor’s note: The following letter comes from Diane Earl, RN, submitted on behalf of the NYSNA nurses at AO Fox and Fox Hospital Tri-Town Campus]

Like nurses everywhere, the nurses at A.O. Fox Hospital and Fox Hospital Tri-Town Campus have experienced some of the most harrowing times of our careers these last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as a patient is discharged from the hospital, that bed is then almost immediately filled with a patient who has been waiting — sometimes for days in the ER — for a bed to open up on the inpatient unit. Our hospitals are overwhelmed and understaffed.

Nurses on the frontlines are dedicated to caring for our patients, but we often leave our shifts feeling like we haven’t been able to give our patients the best care — even when we stay late. It’s a terrible feeling. To make matters worse, we don’t feel like we have the support from management to improve the situation. There are not enough nurses; what used to be a nursing shortage is now a crisis as more nurses leave due to feeling underappreciated for the work we do.

Back in July, we felt more optimistic. Bassett Healthcare Network’s new president and CEO, Dr. Ibrahim, started making some changes to better serve our patients in a multi-county area.  The nurses at A.O. Fox Hospital and Fox Hospital Tri-Town Campus, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, negotiated a union contract that was fair to the hospital, to NYSNA members, and ultimately, to our patients.

So, it came as a shock when money was donated by a generous benefactor to give all Bassett employees a $3,000 year-end “thank you” bonus for their courageous work during the COVID-

Bassett’s Dr. LeCates ‘transitioning away’ from Network leadership

Bassett’s Dr. LeCates ‘transitioning away’
from Network leadership

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.”

NYS to force temporary halt to electives at Bassett in Cooperstown

NYS to force temporary halt to electives at Bassett in Cooperstown

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.

Bassett chief reflects on a busy first year at helm

Dr. Ibrahim

Bassett chief reflects on a busy first year at helm

[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 offering vaccine clinic in Cooperstown on Saturday, December 4

Bassett offering vaccine clinic in Cooperstown
on Saturday, December 4

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 bonuses thank workers

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim

Bassett bonuses thank workers

By Ted Potrikus

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.”

Bassett Healthcare Network Gives Gratitude Bonuses to Employees

Bassett Healthcare Network Gives Gratitude Bonuses to Employees

 

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.

Bassett Cancer Institute Shines a Light on Lung Cancer this November

The Cancer Service Line Caregivers and Practitioners at the Bassett Cancer Institute observe Whiteout Wednesday.

Bassett Cancer Institute Shines a Light on Lung Cancer this November

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.

Bassett Healthcare forced to cut service because of worker shortages

Bassett Healthcare
forced to cut service
because of worker shortages

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

Protesters decry mandates in Cooperstown, Oneonta

An unidentified protester demonstrates against vaccination mandates at Bassett Healthcare
Network in Cooperstown on Tuesday, Sept. 21. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com)

Protesters decry mandates in Cooperstown, Oneonta

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters staged two rallies in Otsego County in the past week, bringing their message to Bassett Healthcare and others.

Hundreds of protesters, along with Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, marched to A.O. Fox Hospital and through Main Street in Oneonta on Friday, Sept. 17.

Protesters also marched Tuesday, Sept. 21, in Cooperstown, from the Otsego County Courthouse to Bassett Medical Center.

Healthcare groups take different vax views

Healthcare groups take different vax views

Despite court stay, Bassett to require employees to comply; Cooperstown Center asks state to reconsider

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

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.

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