Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network brings you news about what your gifts help us to do across our entire 5,600-square mile service area, with regular updates from providers and patients.

Check here to be inspired by other patients’ experiences, register for upcoming events, or support your favorite Bassett cause.

You can support our annual fund by making a donation online.

To learn more about what your donations are helping us to do, click on the news headlines below.

Grateful Family Creates Fund for Patients in Need
Grateful Family Creates Fund for Patients in Need

Grateful Family Creates Fund for Patients in Need

John Anagnost lost his first wife to cancer. In gratitude for the care that she received at Bassett Medical Center’s Cancer Institute, he wanted to create a fund to help other patients. When he explored this option, he found that a similar fund already existed: the Bob Simon Fund. The Anagnost and Simon families combined resources to create the Bob Simon-Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund.

This fund honors both Mr. Simon and Mrs. Anagnost. It exists to help patients diagnosed with cancer who find themselves in financially challenging circumstances. A cancer diagnosis is daunting for anyone, but can be particularly frightening for patients who have few financial resources, as treatment can involve expensive medications, radiation therapy, and surgeries.

Today Rita Emanuel, John’s second wife, is his partner in philanthropy. Together they support the efforts of providers at the cancer institute and—most importantly—the healing of patients who pass through the doors there.

One woman in her early forties recently moved to the Cooperstown area from Pennsylvania and came to the cancer center for treatment, suffering from metastatic lung cancer. Because of her move, she had to wait a month to get health insurance, but needed medication during that month to continue with her treatment.

Counselors at the cancer center helped this patient to obtain health insurance, but she had to wait a month before it went into effect. Assistance from the Loretta Anagnost Fund helped this patient continue her treatments and continue to receive medications during the month when she had no insurance. Without assistance from the fund, this patient would not have been able to afford these life-sustaining medications.

She is deeply grateful for the assistance she received from the fund. Many other patients have also been helped.

You can help too, by sending a donation to the Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Let us know you want to support the Bob Simon-Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund. Thank you!

Early Literacy Efforts Help Young Brains Develop and Young Children Succeed in School
Early Literacy Efforts Help Young Brains Develop and Young Children Succeed in School

Early Literacy Efforts Help Young Brains Develop and Young Children Succeed in School

Two programs at Bassett Healthcare Network are helping children from birth to age five develop their brains, prepare for literacy, and prepare for success–at school and in later life: Books for Babies and Reach Out and Read. Each program is an inspired way to help area children, and each depends on donors.

Books for Babies launched in June at Bassett Medical Center’s birthing center. Barbara Potter, a librarian at Kinney Memorial Library in Hartwick, started the program after discussing it with four other area libraries: Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Huntingon (in Oneonta), and Springfield. Potter also found a partner in Better World Books, an online book distributor that agreed to donate all of the board books needed for the first year of the program–1,000 total.

When she had secured the books, Potter needed donations to purchase fabric for book tote bags as well as people who would donate their time to sew the bags. Volunteers from Mount Vision, Oneonta, and Cherry Valley contributed to the effort. Nearly 1,000 bags have already been made.

Research from a wide variety of sources shows that exposing children to books at an early age helps their brains to develop. In fact, 95 percent of a child’s brain is formed in the first six years of life, according to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Reading to children teaches them to love books and helps them with a variety of skills, such as listening and paying attention. The instruction offered to parents as part of the program is also important, as is the intimate time that a parent spends with a young child while sharing a story.

With Books for Babies, every child born at Bassett receives an individually sewn tote bag containing a new board book along with a book mark and brochure from that child’s local library, encouraging the parent and child to visit.

Robin Stasilli, nurse manager in the birthing center said, “Reading aloud to your baby provides positive stimulation and enhances bonding. And it’s an activity you can continue for years to come.”

Pediatrician Dr. Lisa Mooney would agree. She manages Bassett Healthcare Network’s Reach Out and Read program. It also prepares young children for early literacy and success in school.

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based program that begins after newborns leave the hospital. Parents and children make nine well-child visits to a pediatrician before a child enters kindergarten, and it is during these visits that Bassett starts Reach Out and Read.

During each pediatric encounter, the physician speaks with the parent about how important it is to read to the child, demonstrates how, and encourages the parent to make reading with their child into a routine. At the close of the medical visit, the pediatrician gives the child a new book to take home and keep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed Reach Out and Read, calling it “an essential component of pediatric primary care” for children.

For many of these children, the books they obtain at these doctor visits are the only books they will have in their homes. Because of Reach Out and Read, they will enter school understanding how to hold a book, how to turn pages, and what words are.

Many studies show that children who gain this experience through Reach Out and Read are better prepared to succeed in school, have improved language skills, show increased capacity to pay attention, and develop a greater love of reading. They even have better high school graduation rates.

The only cost of Reach Out and Read is the cost of the books, which Bassett obtains for about $2 each. Bassett gives away 7,000 books each year through this program.

You can make a difference in a child’s life by making a gift to support these programs. Make a gift online
or mail your donation to Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Thank you!

Large Grant Funds Innovative Program to Train Nurses at Bassett and Increase Access to Primary Care
Large Grant Funds Innovative Program to Train Nurses at Bassett and Increase Access to Primary Care

Large Grant Funds Innovative Program to Train Nurses at Bassett and Increase Access to Primary Care

A new $2.7 million grant will enable Bassett Medical Center and four regional schools of nursing to create a program that will provide increased education for nurses who already work at Bassett and train new nurses who want to work in rural health care. Ultimately this program will help rural patients gain greater access to primary care. By offering additional educational opportunities to nurses, the program also seeks to help nurses maintain a high level of satisfaction in their work.

Bassett obtained the support for this program from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, which funds innovative programs that promise to boost the health of rural and economically vulnerable populations.

The program will be rolled out in phases. In the first phase of the program, licensed practical nurses who work at Bassett’s ambulatory care centers will receive support for additional education, building credits toward their associate degree and certification as an RN.

Bassett nurses who already have certification as RNs but want to earn Bachelor of Science degrees may also receive support through this program, including compensation for primary coursework needed for that degree.

Funds from this grant will also be used to support professional development and continuing education programs for practicing nurses and clinicians working in primary care.

SUNY Morrisville Division of Nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing, SUNY Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Department of Nursing are partnering with Bassett Medical Center to create this program. Bassett’s community health centers and school-based health centers are likely sites for clinical training, where chronic disease prevention and control, mental health, and substance use conditions may be emphasized.

Both caregivers and patients will benefit, as provider education levels rise and patients’ access to primary care increases.