Your Gifts at Work

The Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network receives thousands of gifts each year from members of our community. These gifts are designated for many different purposes, but all support an underlying commitment to providing quality care, close to home.

When you support the Friends of Bassett, you support access to exceptional health care in central New York. You support life-saving services for our rural region.

Not only is our own health important, but also the health of family, neighbors, friends, and community. We are all in this together, and a gift to the Friends of Bassett helps everyone.

Your gift to Bassett Healthcare Network through the Friends of Bassett will:

Bring access to health care closer to home

New Mobile Cancer Screening Coach Is on the Road

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in New York State, killing more than 30,000 New Yorkers each year. As many as 12,000 of these deaths may be preventable. Bassett Healthcare Network is dedicated to reducing deaths from cancer, and the best way to do that is by finding cancer early.

Early detection is our best weapon against cancer, but many in our region face barriers to getting the screenings that could give them the most options for treatment. That is why Bassett built its mobile cancer screening coach, a medical center on wheels, to bring cancer screening into these patients' neighborhoods. For eight years, the mobile coach traveled all over the 5,600 miles that Bassett serves, screening the uninsured and under-insured for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Tens of thousands of screenings were performed, many people were referred for additional care, and almost fifty cancers were detected early.

But in August of 2015, traveling on rough country roads, the coach experienced a devastating breakdown. Its left air suspension bag collapsed, causing irreparable damage to the radiation equipment inside. With the help of generous donors like you, we built a new coach and purchased new equipment for it. Now, it is traveling all over our eight-county service region.

You can help us keep it going! To make a donation or find out more, contact the Friends of Bassett at or call (607) 547-3928. Thank you!

Make innovations in technology available to our rural communities

New Radiology Equipment Helps Patients at Little Falls and O'Connor Hospitals

A grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties is helping to fund the purchase of 3-D mammography equipment for Little Falls Hospital in Little Falls, New York. This new digital imaging equipment will enable doctors to produce clearer images of dense tissue, reducing the need for patients to return for additional views. The accurate images produced by this technology lower patient anxiety, create time for more patient visits, and save costs. Most importantly, they help us to find cancer earlier, and early detection is our best weapon in the fight against cancer. 

Your donations, together with funding from the Community Foundation, bring the most advanced and accurate technology to the 2,000 patients who come to Little Falls Hospital each year for their mammograms.

Because of community support, O'Connor Hospital in Delhi, New York will also upgrade its radiology equipment. A new CT scanner and mammography unit will significantly reduce patient exposure to X-rays while also improving the quality of the images, particularly for patients with dense tissue. Clearer images mean that radiologists will be better able to detect cancer earlier. That saves lives.

All around the network, your donations and dollars are making good things happen. Thank you for helping us do this important work!

Help our children receive a healthy start

Bassett Healthcare Network School-Based Health Center Program

In rural central New York, many children live at or below the poverty level in communities where health care is not available. Children are among those least likely to receive routine health care, least likely to be insured, and most likely to require emergency medical service.

Recognizing this gap in health care coverage, Bassett started its School-Based Health Center program in 1992 to deliver primary health services to as many students as possible. Being the first line of defense against avoidable hospital admissions, school-based health centers save state and federal money by providing consistent care for students and ensuring chronic issues are cared for properly.

The Bassett Healthcare School-Based Health Center (SBHC) program is the largest rural school-based health program in New York State, with 20 highly successful school-based health centers in 15 school districts. The program ensures easy access to quality health care services for students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade within their school. The SBHC is managed by Bassett’s Department of Pediatrics. Pediatricians Chris Kjolhede, M.D., M.P.H., and Kerri LeBlanc, M.D., co-direct the program, and Jane Hamilton, R.N., is the clinical manager.

Bassett’s SBHC model offers a unique opportunity for communities and school districts to meet the health and mental health needs of their underserved students by achieving the same vision – that all children will be healthy and ready to learn.

Give compassionate and respectful care

Valley Health Services Opens Assisted-Living Facility in Herkimer

The new Valley Residential Services Living and Learning Community celebrated its grand opening in October last year. The new building is the first assisted-living facility to open in Herkimer County.

“This community structure is for the community residents and for its most precious citizens: its seniors,” said Lisa Betrus, chief executive officer and administrator of Valley Health Services.

The new Adirondack lodge-style facility has 46 studio apartments, a dining room, activity center, hair salon, and other social spaces. There is also a learning laboratory on the grounds to help train approximately 40 health care students specializing in geriatric care each year. A full range of support services are available to residents, including housekeeping, case management, physical and speech therapy, and 24-hour nursing care.

“This is so exciting. This really meets a number of community needs,” said Senator James Seward, who represents District 51 in the Albany legislature. “We had no assisted-living beds in Herkimer County until this Valley Health facility was constructed.”

In total, $5.2 million in state funds and community donations provided funding for the project.

Invest in our rural communities

John May Farm Safety Fund Established, Wins Grant and Is Accepting Applications

Agriculture makes upstate New York beautiful, but it is dangerous work. In fact, according to the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), "agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation." Farm workers suffer a fatality rate that is 800 percent higher than workers in any other industry. The John May Farm Safety Fund was established to honor retiring founder of NYCAMH, Dr. John May. The fund supports farm safety projects (excluding ROPS) for small and medium-sized farms. Examples of possible safety projects include mending fences, fixing cracks in bunker silos, or upgrading electrical systems. A farm is considered small to medium if it has from $10,000 to $100,000 in annual gross receipts or operates as a dairy farm with fewer than 400 cows.

A recent grant from the C.J. Heilig Foundation is helping Bassett Healthcare Network and NYCAMH to work with farmers to promote greater safety. The fund will supply up to $5,000 per farm to applicants it approves. The farm must match the gift, either through dollars or in-kind hours or materials.

NYCAMH is a program of Bassett Healthcare Network that conducts research and runs outreach, education and clinical programs through a variety of community-based initiatives.

Many farmers in this area struggle to keep their family farms open and operating. The help they receive from NYCAMH and the John May Fund can be live-saving. To make a donation to the fund or find out more, contact the Friends of Bassett at or call (607) 547-3928.

Thank you for making a gift to Bassett!

Make your gift today and become part of the Friends of Bassett community.

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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