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!