News of Otsego County

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


Tri-Town Hospital

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.”

Father Said, ‘Say Hi To Folks,’ Mother Advised, ‘Be A Leader



Click For Reservations To Nov. 21 Otesaga Banquet

Father Said, ‘Say Hi To Folks,’

Mother Advised, ‘Be A Leader’

Fresh out of Marshall University, Dan Ayres worked for his hometown Weirton Daily Times for three years before joining the Navy in 1982.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Earl Ayres advised his “surprise baby,” 15 years young then his next oldest son, “say hello to people.” Here, the two are on an outing.

ONEONTA – Helios Care is not this captain’s first ship.

A native of Weirton, W.Va., Dan Ayres, with a Marshall University journalism degree and three years at his hometown Weirton Daily Times, joined the Navy in 1982, retiring from the Navy reserves a quarter-century later as a commander.

“I was a surprise baby,” said the youngest son of steel worker Earl Ayres and homemaker Julia.  He was born 15 years after his brothers, who set a high standard: One became an IRS chief counsel, another a CEO of an international consultancy, the third an IBM vice president.

Tough acts to follow, but Dan caught the Ayres fever.

He picked up his father’s gregariousness:  “All you have to do is say hello to people,” Earl would say.  And his mother’s resolve:  “Be a leader, not a follower.”

The parents drummed a message into all the boys:  “You’re going to go to college; and YOU’RE going to pay for it.”

Within five years in the Navy, mostly aboard ship – Dan also met his wife, Sheila, then a waitress at the officers’ club in Norfolk, Va.; she’s now an RN and Bassett administrator – Ayres was promoted to commanding officer at the Naval Reserve Center in Burlington, Vt., on Lake Champlain.

“I loved being on ship,” but when the Navy summoned him back to sea in 1990, he wasn’t ready.

Then Sheila alerted him to the support services VP vacancy at the Fanny Allen.  What did he know about running a hospital?  Sheila replied, “It’s like a ship” – complex, lots of moving parts, 24-7 – “that doesn’t go to sea.”

He applied and got the job, and he a met range of cost, quality and design parameters as Mary Fletcher’s campus expanded.

After a stint with a contract management firm, Intellex, he was recruited to his first hospital presidency in 2004 – he had worked for now-retired Bassett CEO Bertine McKenna at Fanny Allen.  He took the helm at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi, adding the Tri-Town Hospital presidency in 2014.

Recruited away in 2014 to Summersville Regional Medical Center – his West Virginia’s hometown hospital – he had a plan that involved cuts to make the hospital solvent, in the process becoming “very, very unpopular.”

The phone rang, and it was Lola Rathbone, his Catskill Hospice predecessor; he had served on its board for six years. “We want someone who knows something about hospice care and where it’s going,” she said.

“Now, I’m interested,” said the man with a plan, his wheels turning.

Tri-Town Hospital Moves Under Fox Hospital’s Wing

Tri-Town Hospital Moves

Under Fox Hospital’s Wing

Tri-Town Hospital becomes Fox Hospital/Tri-Town Campus on Jan. 1.

SIDNEY – Due to a state regulation requiring satellite emergency departments to be within 35 miles of an acute care hospital, Tri-Town Regional Hospital will come under the purview of Oneonta’s Fox Hospital on Jan. 1.

The facility will be renamed Fox Hospital – Tri-Town Campus with the new year, according to Andrew Manzer, Bassett Healthcare Network vice president/COO.

$25M ‘Medical Village’ Sought For Tri-Town

$25M ‘Medical Village’

Sought For Tri-Town

Bassett Aims To Streamline Health Services

Tri-Town Hospital, serving Sidney, Unadilla and Bainbridge, has been under Bassett’s wing since 2008.

SIDNEY – The Bassett Healthcare Network is seeking a $25 million state grant to build a “medical village” that’s “specifically designed for 24-7 emergency and outpatient services” at Sidney’s Tri-Town Regional Hospital.

The network also announced that an applilcation has been submitted to the state Health Department to allow Tri-Town to operate as a “satellite emergency department” administered by Fox Hospital, rather than the Bassett mother ship in Cooperstown.

Oneonta Physician Appointed CEO At Bassett’s Delhi, Sidney Hospitals

Oneonta Physician Appointed CEO

At Bassett’s Delhi, Sidney Hospitals

Dr. Carlton Rule
Dr. Carlton Rule

COOPERSTOWN – Dr. Carlton Rule of Oneonta has been appointed CEO of both O’Connor Hospital in Delhi and Tri-Town Regional Hospital in Sidney, Bassett Healthcare President/CEO Vance Brown announced today.

He succeeds Dan Ayres, who is returning to his native West Virginia to become CEO of Summersville Regional Medical Center.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Dr. Rule will continue as medical director of Bassett Healthcare Network health centers in Delhi, Andes, Stamford and Walton. Meanwhile, a successor for him at Bassett Family Medicine/Oneonta, where Dr. Rule has been seeing patients since 2012, is being recruited.

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