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Donor Stories

Why do your friends and neighbors support Bassett Healthcare Network? For many, a gift to Bassett is a way of saying thank-you for care received. For others, it is a way to invest in the community, to make it a better, safer place for everyone.

Whatever your motivation for giving, you are not alone. Here are some stories of our generous donors and why they chose to support Bassett through the Friends.

Donor Makes Better Physical Therapy Equipment a Reality


Eugene Thaw, seated on the new total body exerciser, with michael rutledge, manager of rehabilitation services, at physical therapy on railroad avenue in cooperstown.

Eugene Thaw, a strong supporter of Bassett Healthcare Network, was at the physical therapy department in Cooperstown when he noticed that a piece of equipment called a total body exerciser was malfunctioning.

“I tried to use it, but it had a kind of hiccup in it,” he said. Mr. Thaw discussed this problem with Michael Rutledge, the manager of Bassett’s physical therapy program, and offered to purchase a new machine for the department. Mr. Rutledge was thrilled. He described the new piece of equipment as similar to a recumbent bicycle. It’s the most highly used piece of equipment in the department. The version that “hiccupped” has been in use since 2003 and is quite worn.

The new model donated by Mr. Thaw has a swivel seat and is wheelchair accessible. Like the previous version, it provides both upper and lower body exercise, with adjustable, bi-directional resistance. It’s more user-friendly, with step-through access and multiple strength options for safe training. Mr. Thaw wanted all patients to have access to this top-of-the-line machine. The physical therapy staff is very excited about this new equipment. So are we! Thank you, Mr. Thaw, for sharing this gift with all of us. It will help many people for years to come.

St. Agatha Foundation

St. Agatha Foundation The St. Agatha Foundation has been supporting care for cancer patients at Bassett since 2012, when a patient familiar with the foundation’s work asked the organization to expand its reach into the Bassett service area.

Funding from St. Agatha Foundation helps women with breast cancer cope with the many stressors and expenses related to treatment: co-pay costs, lymphedema sleeves, wigs, physical therapy, and transportation to weekly appointments. All of these are part of care for breast-cancer patients, but not all are covered by insurance nor are easily affordable.

Patients in the Bassett Healthcare Network can apply for assistance at the Bassett Cancer Institute. A hospital committee meets monthly to review and approve grants.

“Breast cancer treatment and recovery can be immensely expensive, and we constantly see our patients struggling with financial stressors. It is wonderful to work with a foundation focused on directly supporting the financial burden on patients. The St. Agatha Foundation has given us an invaluable resource to aid our patients in need.”

Christine Conklin, Manager, Bassett Cancer Institute & Community Outreach

Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network

Office Hours Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Address 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326