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.

A Legacy Gift Helps Reach Out and Read
A Legacy Gift Helps Reach Out and Read

A Legacy Gift Helps Reach Out and Read

Pattee Carrier recently made a gift to Bassett's Reach Out and Read Program through a legacy left in her late husband's will that will have a significant impact on the lives of area children. Reach Out and Read is a national early literacy program run through Bassett's pediatric department.

Mrs. Carrier chose to help this program because she knows that her husband would love it.

A retired petroleum distributor, Charles "Chuck " Carrier volunteered to teach remedial reading in Florida's Sarasota school district where the Carriers spent their winters. He loved working with children.

Mrs. Carrier said that "There was one little girl with red hair that I remember well. He asked her what her name was and she said, 'Annie,' and he said, 'I'm Chuck,' and she started giggling. When he asked her, all serious, 'Why are you laughing?' she said, 'Because my dog is named Chuck!' They were friends after that. She even brought him Girl Scout cookies.

"My husband enjoyed kids," Carrier said--and they had four boys of their own--"but he loved Bassett!" So she decided that supporting Reach Out and Read was exactly what he would have wanted her to do.

Through Reach Out and Read, Bassett's pediatricians are able to give new books to each child they see. Many children grow up in poverty here and live in households without books. Their parents may lack literacy skills, and some may not have been read to as children when they were growing up. Without help, these young people arrive at school unprepared to read.

Children who arrive at school unprepared to read are the most likely to get discouraged, become pregnant early, use illegal drugs, commit crimes, leave school, and remain stuck in poverty. Reach Out and Read was started to address this problem. It makes early literacy a part of pediatric primary care. During each visit to the doctor, pediatricians encourage parents to read aloud to their young children and give their young patients books to take home.

Bassett runs Reach Out and Read at each of its pediatric clinic locations. At every well-child visit, the pediatrician gives the child a developmentally and culturally appropriate new book to take home to keep. The pediatrician also provides extensive instruction and modeling to the parents.

There are nine well-child visits for children from ages six months to five years, which enables pediatricians to have nine extended encounters with parents and children. This also means that each child will begin school with at least nine new, highly-rated books at home. Bassett has been running the program for 18 years now. Many other health care networks nationwide also participate. Multiple studies done in the past twenty years conclude that the program makes an enormous difference in children's lives. It certainly helps them learn to read--but it also helps them to climb out of poverty.

The only cost of Reach Out and Read is the cost of the books that the pediatricians give to the children. Bassett distributes about 7,000 award-winning books to children each year. Early literacy has been shown to increase high school graduation rates, to help children cope with stress, and to provide a solid foundation for later success.

Reach Out and Read is an ongoing program throughout Bassett Healthcare Network. If you would like to help children in your community, a gift to Reach Out and Read is a great way to do it.

A Commitment to Giving Back
A Commitment to Giving Back

A Commitment to Giving Back

Tom and Sue Hughson of Oneonta and Cooperstown are strong advocates of giving back to the communities where they live. Sue doesn’t hold back in her praise and affection for A.O. Fox Hospital and Bassett Medical Center, remarking that “Bassett has it all. It doesn’t matter if you need a generalist or specialist. Tom and I are so fortunate to have these hospitals’ excellent services and practitioners in our own backyard.” She also appreciates the convenience that FoxCare on Route 7 in Oneonta offers the couple. Sue says she has been especially thinking of the doctors, nurses, and front-line staff during the breakout of COVID-19 in our region, wishing them well in their care-giving responsibilities.

Tom is an Oneonta native, and Sue originally hailed from Syracuse, New York. Now retired, Tom started his insurance career in 1958, working at the firm his father founded in 1933, T.P and T.M. Hughson Insurance Agency (now Hughson & Benson Associates). This followed his graduation from Dartmouth College and a two-year stint with the U.S. Army in Germany. In the 1960s Sue was a trail-blazer, as one of only four women in Syracuse University’s College of Forestry. Her study of pulp and paper science eventually led her to managing the chemical lab at the SUNY Oneonta for many years. Sue’s interest in engineering and science continue to this day. The couple’s children and grandchildren live locally and abroad.

Tom and Sue have chosen to make A.O. Fox Hospital and Bassett Medical Center two of their philanthropic priorities. Donors since 2013, Tom and Sue are Cupola Society members, Bassett Healthcare Network’s giving society created exclusively to honor and recognize individuals who have helped to support Bassett through a planned gift. The couple has designated their joint and individual charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs) to Bassett. This particular type of planned gift enables you to receive payments during your lifetime, with the remainder of the gift benefiting Bassett after you and your beneficiaries pass.

The Hughsons are also long-time members of the President’s Forum, which recognizes donors who make gifts of $1,000 or more annually, and you will find their names in the annual Milestone Giving listing, which honors donors who have supported Bassett and its affiliated hospitals for five or more years. Some years, the Hughsons have thoughtfully chosen to designate their contribution to the John May Farm Safety Fund, established for New York farmers needing financial help to improve work-related safety on their farms.

While modest and unassuming in their generosity, the Hughsons are wonderfully inspiring role models for the community-at-large. They are giving back, making both immediate and long-lasting differences to an organization that has provided them with high quality and compassionate health care close to home. How fortunate we are to have neighbors and donors like Tom and Sue in our own backyard!