Dr. Tommy Ibrahim: Extending Healthcare in our Region and Beyond

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President & CEO, contributes a regular column to The Freeman's Journal, Hometown Oneonta, and AllOtsego.com. The piece below was published in January 19, 2023 editions.

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues,

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim
        Dr. Tommy Ibrahim

At Bassett, we are welcoming 2023 with a renewed energy and refreshed perspective. As we look at the year ahead, we are incredibly optimistic for the future of healthcare in our region. 2023 will inevitably bring challenges—this is the case for all hospitals and health systems right now. But Bassett caregivers are adaptable and embrace each new opportunity with determination and enthusiasm. I'd like to share a few examples of the ways Bassett is advancing healthcare in our Central New York region and beyond.

I'm thrilled to announce that Bassett Medical Center has recently earned prestigious Primary Stroke Center Certification with The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Mark. This outstanding accreditation recognizes hospitals that meet superior standards to improve outcomes for stroke patients. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S – providing advanced care to our rural communities is essential. In addition to the neurologists on staff in Cooperstown who also serve our entire network, Bassett has a successful TeleHealth partnership with Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, providing 24/7 advanced neurology care on-call.

When we hear "TeleHealth," many of us think of consulting with a doctor over a video or phone from home. But virtual health is comprised of much more. Bassett's E-Consults allow patients to connect with specialists at partner institutions from the convenience of their local Bassett hospital or clinic – besides neurology and other sub-specialties, our newest offering is a cardiovascular clinical services partnership with world-class physicians at Columbia University Irving Medical Center using live video and electronic stethoscopes. Other options, like E-Visits, allow patients to access online examination and treatment tools that are mobile-friendly and automatically send prescriptions to your preferred NYS pharmacy once approved by a practitioner. Learn more about all the virtual care options available to you by visiting our Get Care Now page.

Bassett is continually enhancing and tailoring our care to the needs of our patients while exploring and embracing highly advanced technology and treatment options. Last fall, Bassett began offering Lutathera, a specialized radiotherapy used to treat rare neuroendocrine cancers. For those with the need, it is an essential treatment, and Bassett offers it close to home.

We strive to make new therapies like this accessible to patients without the need to drive across the state to a larger city. This is just the first of several breakthrough pharmaceuticals in this class that will be offered through our network.

Finally, in recent months, Bassett Medical Center has added Robotic-Assisted Bariatric Surgery to its suite of surgical weight-loss options. This innovative procedure provides our bariatric patients with shorter recovery times, less postoperative pain, and shorter hospital stays, offering our patients the same options available in large urban areas.

I know 2023 is going to be a good year for innovative thinking, removing boundaries, and embracing each new opportunity together. I can't wait to share more of the exciting things happening at Bassett with you throughout the coming year. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim
President & CEO
Bassett Healthcare Network