At Bassett, we are welcoming 2023 with a renewed energy and refreshed perspective. As we look at the year ahead, we are incredibly optimistic for the future of healthcare in our region. The new year will inevitably bring challenges—this is the case for all hospitals and health systems right now. But Bassett caregivers are adaptable and embrace each new opportunity with determination and enthusiasm. I’d like to share a few examples of the ways Bassett is advancing healthcare in our Central New York region and beyond.
I’m thrilled to announce that Bassett Medical Center has recently earned prestigious Primary Stroke Center Certification with The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Mark. This outstanding accreditation recognizes hospitals that meet superior standards to improve outcomes for stroke patients.
Over 150 years ago, in 1867, Susan Fenimore Cooper—the visionary daughter of our illustrious James Fenimore Cooper—founded the Thanksgiving Hospital, the first such hospital in the Village of Cooperstown and, so it’s told, in the state. Dedicated to the “weak and suffering among the population of Otsego County and the adjoining counties,” it had 16 beds. At the time Cooperstown was a small rural community with 1,600 people.
Established in appreciation of the end of the Civil War, the Thanksgiving Hospital was guided for three decades by Miss Cooper, working closely with Dr. Wilson T. Bassett, an Otsego County-born son of a veterinary surgeon who had emigrated from England in 1815. When Bassett began his medical practice in the 1840s, in Mount Vision, there were 60 physicians in Otsego County, six of them in Cooperstown.
Bassett Medical Center is the recipient of an $82 million grant from The Scriven Foundation to make rapid improvements resulting in greater patient care access. The health system will also launch significant recruitment and retention initiatives for staff in key areas.
Bassett Medical Center’s midwifery program received national attention recently when it received the With Women for a Lifetime Commendation from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). This honor recognizes the hospital’s 35-year history of providing midwife care to families of Central New York.
“It’s a great honor to receive this public recognition of our work,” says Laura O’Shea, certified nurse midwife (CNM) at Bassett Medical Center (BMC). “As the director of midwifery, I am indebted to these incredible professionals that I work with every day. Bassett midwives have worked full-tilt all the way through the ongoing COVID pandemic. The midwives appreciate the team approach to care. That includes nursing, pediatric, anesthesia, obstetric, and other caregivers in providing the optimal care for the families we serve.”
Patients, visitors and caregivers at Bassett Medical Center (BMC) are invited to step into the dreams of local artists through an art exhibit recently installed in the BMC cafeteria. What’s in a Dream? is an array of square tiles, each contributed by a student, resident or staff member of Springbrook in Oneonta. Together they form a unified, mosaic-like pattern spanning the northeast wall of the dining area.
As the installation’s name implies, each mini-composition is a peek into its creator’s dreams. The full gambit of dreams are included — sleeping dreams, daydreams, personal longings, or aspirations for the future. Some squares depict a scene or image. Others include words, phrases or icons. Still others are an abstract mix of paint or multimedia.
FLY CREEK – Geoffrey Harrison Goodwin, 50, passed away on June 15, 2022, at home in Fly Creek. He was born December 30, 1971, at New York Hospital to Gary and Sally Goodwin. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1972 and then to Fly Creek in 1988.
After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1990, Geoff attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree. He worked as a Laboratory Technician at Bassett Medical Center for four years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University.
Geoff was a writer. His freelance publications were wide ranging but he took the greatest pleasure in his poetry and short stories. He loved and collected books and also ran an independent bookstore where people delighted in stopping by to visit and joke with him. He was fascinated by words and their meanings and got into trouble in high school for reading the dictionary instead of whatever he should have been doing. Based in Natick and Framingham Massachusetts, Geoff really enjoyed living in the Boston area. He had a lifelong passion for the Boston Celtics.
COOPERSTOWN – Robert Bernard Schlather, Esq., Cooperstown lawyer, CPA and philanthropist, died Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown as a result of a brain tumor diagnosed in June 2020. He was 75.
Born May 3, 1946, in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, Bob was the second eldest of thirteen children of Bernard Paul Schlather and Helen Virginia Bilskey. Raised in Elyria, Ohio, he graduated in 1964 from Elyria Catholic High School. He went on to attend and graduate magna cum laude with a BA in Accounting from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and earned his Juris Doctorate and graduated cum laude from University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana. In addition, he was awarded a Certificate in English and American Law from the University of London as part of the Notre Dame Law School curriculum. He successfully completed the New York State Bar and Certified Public Accountancy Exams in 1971 and commenced work in the tax department of Price Waterhouse & Co, in both New York City and London.
On July 14, 1973, Bob married his best friend, Karen Ruth Hammer in a ceremony at Saints Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in St. James, Long Island. They moved to Cooperstown in 1976.
ONEONTA – Lloyd H. Johnson, 83, passed away January 30, 2022 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown from complications of Covid and underlying health conditions.
He was born April 24, 1938 in Halcott Center, the son of Milbert and Edna (Simmons) Johnson.
He married Rosanne Brickwedde on November 17, 1956 at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta. Together they owned and operated the family dairy farm, Fairlane Farm on Delhi Stage until the early ‘80’s. Lloyd then drove truck until he was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. After a grueling recovery he went to work at Ouleout Golf Course in Franklin for close to 30 years.
NYS MAMMALS – 6:30 p.m. Youth are invited to learn about the different mammals that live around us in NY State. Open to 4-H members, Leaders, other key volunteers, any youth who wants to learn. Free, registration for online program required. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension. 607-547-2536 or visit cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2022/01/24/4-h-mammals-all-around-us
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.”
VIGIL – 7 p.m. Bassett will hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the patients who have died of COVID-19. Family is invited to attend in person. All others are invited to attend by Zoom. Presented by Bassett Medical Center. 607-547-3626 or visit www.bassett.org/2021-memorial