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Cooperstown, NY – Bassett Healthcare Network in central New York is partnering with Geisinger, a nationally recognized integrated health system in central and northeastern Pennsylvania with 10 hospitals and a 500,000-member health plan, to begin plans to open a specialty pharmacy in 2024.

The specialty pharmacy will offer patients access to clinically complex medications that are not available at regular retail pharmacies, focusing on treatments for complicated diseases ranging from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Presently, specialty pharmacies across Central New York are rare, with locations available in Syracuse, Utica, the Capital Region, and greater New York City areas. Bassett’s new specialty pharmacy will be the first of its kind across the health system’s eight-county service area.

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim

“Opening a specialty pharmacy that is readily available to the rural communities Bassett serves will be a game-changer,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “Right now, Bassett’s three retail pharmacies at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, FoxCare Center in Oneonta, and O’Connor Hospital in Delhi rely on outside pharmacies to supply the specialty medications we prescribe. Bassett serves a 5,600-square mile region the size of Connecticut with many patients receiving highly specialized care for cancer, heart diseases, rheumatological diseases (musculoskeletal diseases), kidney disease, spine conditions, and other types of complex diseases. Having a specialty pharmacy on-site within our health system will bring even more efficiency to the way we deliver advanced care to our patients.”

Plans are underway to assess building spaces and amenities for potential location options. Planning and development are expected to take at least six months to complete. Project experts have not yet determined whether Bassett will expand an already existing retail pharmacy space or construct a new stand-alone facility.

“By putting plans in place to open a specialty pharmacy, Bassett Healthcare Network is taking a major step towards expanding medication and advanced treatment access to its rural-based populations,” says Michael Evans, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Geisinger. “Geisinger is thrilled to partner with Bassett on this important effort. Like Geisinger, Bassett Healthcare Network has grown its organization over the decades with a central mission to bring advanced care to small rural communities. We applaud Bassett and look forward to a long and meaningful relationship.”

“Bassett maintains its commitment to remaining an independent, locally governed healthcare system,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “Part of how we will continue thriving this way for our central New York communities and beyond is by embracing strategic partnerships to expand the resources available to our patients, caregivers, and communities. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Geisinger for their shared vision and partnership.”

About Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health system that provides care and services to people living in a 5,600 square mile region in central New York. The organization includes five corporately affiliated hospitals, over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities, and other health partners in related fields. To learn more about services available throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network, visit www.bassett.org. Follow Bassett on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Bassett Healthcare Network is an equal opportunity provider and employer.