“Uniquely Bassett” Coming to Local Media 100 Years After Its Inspiring Founding

Nearly two years after going silent to regroup on their organizational strategies after hiring a new chief executive officer, Bassett Healthcare Network is re-emerging into local media markets with a legacy-driven ad campaign that focuses on the 100-year-old health company’s impressive history and promising future.

Dr. Mary Bassett 100th Anniversary

The first of these full-color ads highlights the accomplishments of founder Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett, one of the first female medical directors in the United States. A second ad profiles Aurelia Osborn Fox, who is the patron of Oneonta’s A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital first founded in 1900. A third ad features Judge A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor, the namesakes of O’Connor Hospital in Delhi founded in 1921. An adept persevering health care network, Bassett’s Little Falls Hospital was founded in 1893 while Cobleskill Regional Hospital was founded in 1956.

Dr. Ibrahim
        Dr. Ibrahim

“Three pioneering women are the reason Bassett Healthcare Network today has such an impressive legacy of care and compassion in Central New York,” explains Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Bassett Healthcare Network president and CEO.

“Few hospitals can claim that their success comes from the vision of strong women, who were passionate about health care and unfailingly and unselfishly committed to the communities from where they came,” says Ibrahim, who was named Bassett CEO in July 2020.

“We chose to exist in a quiet media period to focus on improving the quality of our health care, to strengthen the core of Bassett medicine, and to position ourselves for medical, research, and education excellence in the century ahead,” explains Ibrahim, who came to Bassett after a national search.

“The compelling stories of Dr. Bassett, Aurelia Fox, and Olive O’Connor are only the first part of the story,” Ibrahim adds. “We are also producing an ad that reminds New Yorkers that Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who was our physician-in-chief from 1953 to 1963, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his own pioneering work on bone marrow transplants that were first conducted at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

“Bassett Healthcare Network is proud of its 100-year history of helping foster healthy rural communities for those we serve and those who ask for the benefit of our experience over the past ten decades,” says Douglas Hastings, Bassett Healthcare Network’s board chair.

“We are blessed to have dedicated caregivers, skilled physicians, and talented nurses serving the patients and families who entrust their care to Bassett’s five hospitals, 21 school-based clinics, numerous community-based clinics, and two remarkable long-term care facilities,” Hastings notes.

“Our health care network is much more than a rural hospital,” Hastings points out. “We have an outstanding cancer institute, nationally-renowned Gender Wellness Center, heart program, orthopedic program, surgical services, primary care, and accomplished research collaboration that is among the most prominent in the region,” he says.

“Our 95-year-plus collaboration with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons trains medical students every year on how to be superb rural doctors with special training in performance improvement, care of patients over time, and care of each patient’s mental health,” says Dr. Henry Weil, Bassett’s chief clinical and academic officer. “The joint commitment of Columbia and Bassett in providing this sort of training in leadership in a rural location is without parallel.

Dr. Weil
          Dr. Weil

“You will not find that kind of program, or that kind of commitment to healthy rural communities, anywhere else. We still have much to accomplish on our journey,” says Dr. Weil. “But that journey benefits from the extraordinary legacy that we remember and respect in our operations daily.”

Bassett calls it its ad campaign “Uniquely Bassett.” It includes two themes. The first, called “A More Excellent Way,” tells the story of Dr. Bassett’s brand of personal care for her patients. The second theme, “Leader in Healthy Rural Communities,” focuses on Bassett’s diverse health care services and programs.

Bassett’s first Leader ad features its comprehensive cancer program. Heart care, orthopedics, surgery, primary care, research, education, and more will follow.

To reaffirm its leadership role regionally, and even nationally, Bassett has recently invested more than $30 million in additional pay for its treasured workforce, has put in motion plans to sponsor the 2022 Bassett Conference on Healthy Rural Communities from October 31 to November 2 at the Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown, has proposed a compelling distinctive license plate to help fund rural health disparities in New York State, and has entered into a promising partnership with Optum, a division of United Healthcare.

“Legacy is important,” Ibrahim says.

“But we are ‘Uniquely Bassett’ thanks to our people today and the care they provide to our patients, patients’ families, and community neighbors. The last 100 years have proved that truth to us and we will continue to demonstrate it to everyone we serve in the century ahead."

“Bassett has a unique legacy,” Ibrahim adds. “A legacy that belongs to you and all of Central New York.”