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Dr. W. Thomas Huntsman

Cooperstown, NY – Dr. W. Thomas Huntsman, Division Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Bassett Healthcare Network, is the recipient of the 2023 Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award.

“When I heard that I was selected for this award, I was profoundly humbled,” says Dr. Huntsman. “I personally know all the previous recipients, and to be considered in the same company of those fabulous folks is quite the honor.”

The Franck award is among the most prestigious recognitions awarded by Bassett Healthcare Network to its caregivers. It recognizes a physician, nominated by peers, who exemplifies excellence in the areas of clinical care, scholarship and citizenship. It was established to honor rheumatologist Dr. Walter A. Franck, a rheumatologist who provided exceptional care for over four decades and served as senior associate dean at Bassett’s Columbia Medical School program until his retirement in 2014.

In addition to citing his work ethic, expertise, and surgical skills, Dr. Huntsman’s nomination describes how, after starting as the only plastic surgeon at Bassett Medical Center, he has expanded the Plastic Surgery Division to include six attending surgeons. What’s more, his leadership has been indispensable to making that division a cohesive team that provides patients with the best care possible.

“There is not a more committed member of our practitioner group, in my mind, than Tom,” says one colleague. “He is constantly educating students, residents, and new staff members in our division. As a colleague he has supported me from when I started and is always a phone call away for any difficult cases or patients I may have.”

“I came to Bassett with the expectation that I could practice medicine where the patients come first, and my responsibility was to do my best,” reflects Dr. Huntsman.

“After 32 years here, I can confidently say that I’ve been able to fulfill that expectation. That has been such a blessing.”

The Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award

Physicians are nominated for this prestigious recognition for demonstrating extraordinary service to patients, students, colleagues, and the community — traits that emulate the career of retired Bassett rheumatologist Walter A. Franck.

Click here to view previous years' recipients of this award.

Dr. Walter Franck receiving the VP&S Distinguished Service Award in Clinical Science

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 upstate 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.