News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Fox Hospital

George W. Smith, Jr., 93; WWII Veteran, Rome School District Retiree

IN MEMORIAM: George W. Smith, Jr., 93;

WWII Veteran, Rome School District Retiree

George W. Smith Jr.

ONEONTA – George W. Smith, Jr., 93, went home peacefully to the Lord on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

George, Junior or Smitty, was born in Rome, N.Y, in 1926, the son of George and Maude (Race) Smith.  In 1944, he joined the Navy to defend our freedom in World War II.  He trained and served on the USS Manatee in the South Pacific.  His service to our country is something he always held in deepest honor and respect.

Returning from military service, Smitty married his sweetheart, Doris Clark, in October 1947 in Rome. Together they raised their sons, George W. Smith, III, and Gary M. Smith, now an A.O. Fox Hospital vice president, spending summers on Piseco Lake.

Within Limits, Bassett Lets Inpatients Have One Visitor At A Time

Within Limits, Bassett

Lets Inpatients Have

One Visitor At A Time

O’Connor Starts Today; Other Hospitals Wednesday

COOPERSTOWN – Beginning this week, one visitor at a time per inpatient will be allowed in Bassett Healthcare Network facilities between noon and 8 p.m. daily.

That’s effective today at O’Connor Hospital, Delhi.  It begins Wednesday at Bassett, Fox, Delhi’s O’Connor, Cobleskill Regional and Little Falls hospitals.

Bassett, Fox Allowed To Do Elective Surgery

Bassett, Fox Allowed

To Do Elective Surgery

COOPERSTOWN – Bassett Medical Center and Fox Hospital in Oneonta have been given the go-ahead to resume elective surgeries (outpatient) and non-urgent outpatient procedures, it was confirmed today.

A news conference is planned at 10:30 a.m. next Tuesday, May 12, to outline plans for resumption of those services.

Elective surgeries were put on hold after Governor Cuomo’s emergency declaration Friday, March 13, as Bassett and Fox reorganized to focus on the anticipated challenges from COVID-19.

Parade Past Fox Honors Front Line Workers

Parade Past Fox Hospital

Honors Front Line Workers

Jeff Joyner, Fox Hospital president, waves as decorated fire trucks from 17 area departments, including police and EMS, drove by the hospital this afternoon in a parade dedicated to thanking Fox Hospital staff for their work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the fire companies, the parade also included Mayor Gary Herzig, The Red Knights Motorcycle Club and a fly-over from the LifeNet helicopter. At right, Kristy Gee and Tiffany Pickett let the drivers know their appreciation as the parade passes by them and their fellow workers lined up outside Fox Hospital. After passing the hospital, the parade continued onto the Fox Care Center to laud workers there as well. (Ian Austin/

Maureen Glueckert, 83; Native Of Scotland, Fox Hospital Employee

IN MEMORIAM: Maureen Glueckert, 83;

Native Of Scotland, Fox Hospital Employee

ONEONTA – Maureen Glueckert,  83, a native of Scotland who moved to Oneonta in 1999 and worked at Fox Hospital, passed away on April 11, 2020, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was born on Sept. 28, 1936, in Clydebank, Scotland, to Catherine and William Gorman. Maureen graduated from Clydebank High School and then she moved to the United States in January 1960, where she met and married Fred Glueckert a year later.

Fox Will Handle Nighttime Sidney ER Calls In Oneonta

Fox Will Handle Nighttime

Sidney ER Calls In Oneonta

SIDNEY– Effective May 1, Fox Hospital’s Tri-Town Campus in Sidney, part of Bassett Healthcare Network, will be shifted to a daytime schedule, with emergency services available only from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

“A physician-staffed emergency department, laboratory, and radiology services will remain available at Fox’s Tri-Town Campus, along with a variety of specialty services including orthopedic care,” said Fox Hospital President Jeff Joyner. “Patients who need a higher level of care will continue to be transported to the closest acute care hospital appropriate to their medical condition.”

OCCB Brings Summer Early Through Concert

Summer Comes Early

Through OCCB Concert

The Oneonta Community Concert Band, above, performed its “Good Ol’ Summertime In Winter Concert” this afternoon in the halls of the Foxcare Center.  Led by Conductor Kerri Hogle, Milford, the band’s selections included “Seventy-Six Trombones,” ‘The Magnificent Seven,” “Carousel Selections,” and more. At right, David Hayes and wife Julie Suarez Hayes applaud after the band concluded the evening with “America, The Beautiful.” The next public concert will be held on Flag Day, June 14, 2020. (Ian Ausin/

Connie Quackenbush, 80; 1957 OHS Graduate Worked At Fox Hospital

IN MEMORIAM: Connie Quackenbush, 80;

1957 OHS Graduate Worked At Fox Hospital

ONEONTA – Constance “Connie” Quackenbush, 80, passed away Jan. 22, 2020, at Bassett Hospital.

She graduated from Oneonta High School in 1957 and was formerly employed at Fox Hospital.

IN MEMORIAM: Lorana R. Wong, 89; LPN At Fox Hospital


Lorana R. Wong, 89;

LPN At Fox Hospital

Lorana Wong

ONEONTA – Lorana R. Wong, 89, a nurse at Fox Hospital for nearly two decades, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 at Chestnut Park Rehab and Nursing in Oneonta.

She was born on Sept. 22, 1930 in Central Islip, Long Island, the daughter of Winthrop and Ruth (Fleming) Reid. She married Dr. Swee Chee Wong on Aug. 4, 1959, in Geneseo. He predeceased her on March 4, 2012.

Moving to Oneonta in 1971, Lorana was employed for 18 years as an LPN at Fox Hospital. She was very active in the Fox Hospital Ladies Auxiliary.



A Warming Shelter Planned – But Where? Asks Committee

A Warming Shelter Planned,

But Where? Asks Committee

Jennifer Shuman, the Medical Affairs Staff Coordinator and Ethics Board member at A.O. Fox Hospital, addresses the Caring for the Homeless Collaborative at their meeting this evening. (James Cummings/


ONEONTA – Plans for The Caring for the Homeless Collaborative’s proposed warming station can get underway once a location is determined, the group discussed today during their meeting.

“We’ve come up with a couple of locations, but for one reason or another, it fell apart,” said Lynn Glueckert, executive director, Catholic Charities.

Among the proposed sites were the Salvation Army and the River St. Baptist Church, but the spaces were discovered to be too small or unfitting.

Brett Ann Whitney, 71; Hartwick Graduate, Fox Hospital Nurse

IN MEMORIAM: Brett Ann Whitney, 71;

Hartwick Graduate, Fox Hospital Nurse

Brett Ann Whitney

ONEONTA – Brett Ann Whitney, 71, of Oneonta, a nurse at Fox Hospital for many years, passed away early Monday morning, Oct. 21, 2019, following a short battle with cancer.

She was born on Feb. 11, 1948, in Manhattan, the daughter of Robert and Leila Odum.
Brett received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Hartwick College before joining Fox.

Fox, FOR-DO Host First Anti-Addiction Program

Fox, FOR-DO Host First

Anti-Addiction Program

“Knowledge is Power” panelist Julie Dostal, LEAF executive director, makes a point after hearing FOR-DO’S Ben Riker, right, discuss the brain’s role in creating addiction, as well as available recovery services. Other panelists are, from left, city Superintendent of Schools Tom Brindley, OPD Sgt. Branden Collison, OFD Assistant Chief Jim Maloney, Dostal, Bassett ER Nurse Manager Karen Peterson, Southern Tier AIDS Program’s Rebekah Smith, FOR-DO Executive Director Debra Berrios and Gary Hearl, addiction recovery coach, of Fairview Recovery Services. The program, at Oneonta High School, was the first of three planned by Fox Hospital and FOR-DO. (Jennifer Hill/
Administrator Named At Fox Nursing Home

Emhof Leaves Cooperstown Center

Administrator Named

At Fox Nursing Home

Jeff Emhof

ONEONTA – Jeff Emhof, a veteran nursing home administrator at Focus Otsego and the Cooperstown Center, as well as Chase Memorial in New Berlin,  is the new administrator at Fox Nursing Home, it was announced today.

A licensed nursing home administrator in New York State for more than 11 years, comes to Fox from the Cooperstown Center, where the facility received state recognition for improvements over the past two years, the press release said.

Annual Canstruction Event Yields Over 1 Ton of Food

Canstruction Construction

Yields Over Ton Of Food

Linda Drake, SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility & Community executive director, presents Abe Lippitt, Cooperstown, with the Best Meal Award for his 4H team’s pirate-ship entry in this year’s Canstruction event. The 0415 FIRST Robotics team took the Structural Integrity Prize for its rocket ship; Fox Hospital, Best Use of Labels award for its Operation board game, and SUNY took the Judge’s Favorite award with its soccer field. All in all, the event brought in 2,645 pounds of food that will be donated to area food banks. You can still place your vote for the People’s Choice Award at the Southside Mall throughout the week. (Ian Austin/
Hospital Safety Monitor Gives Fox Hospital an ‘A’

Hospital Safety Monitor

Gives Fox Hospital an ‘A’

ONEONTA – Fox Hospital was awarded an “A” from The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade, placing the organization among the top facilities nationwide for patient safety excellence.

The Leapfrog Group is a national organization committed to improving healthcare quality and safety for patients. The Safety Grade assigns an A, B, C, D, or F grade to hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms among patients in their care.

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