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On the Bright Side

June 13, 2013

Bassett Heart Care Institute marks 10th anniversary

The Bassett Heart Care Institute marked its 10th birthday Wednesday, with wishes to continue helping patients live healthier, longer lives that include celebrating the birthdays of grandchildren.

The institute, which opened in 2003 as a rural demonstration project, has matured to provide patients in the region with state-of-the-art care in emergency and treatment situations, physicians said Wednesday at a celebratory event.

“We have a sustainable model,” Dr. Patrick McNulty, chief of the BCHI cardiology division, said.

On Wednesday, about 75 employees and guests were invited to celebrate reaching the 10th year with a breakfast at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta.

Dr. William Streck, president and chief executive officer of Bassett Healthcare, and Dr. Robert Lancey and McNulty, co-directors of BHCI, spoke about the institute’s past, present and future, and Tom Morgan of Franklin shared his experiences as a patient.

Since opening BHCI staff have performed about 1,000 open-heart surgeries, 4,000 angioplasties, 10,000 catheterizations and 50,000 echocardiograms, McNulty said.

Besides lives saved, treatments and care have resulted in patients resuming day-to-day work and other lifestyle activities, experiencing improved quality of life and living longer to celebrate grandchildren’s birthdays, McNulty said.

The BHCI started with five cardiologists when it opened in 2003, Lancey said, and now it has 17 medical professionals, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Angioplasties, stents and other advanced treatments weren’t available in the area before the BHCI opened, he said.

McNulty said the BHCI started with Streck’s vision and and has developed its award-winning level of care as a result of teamwork. As an example, he said, one patient who had a heart attack received treatment that was the result of 100 Bassett staffers involved in his care.

McNulty said three cardiologists have been hired this year with the best credentials the BHCI has had. The BHCI aims to serve the region and be a medical resource and drawing card not unlike the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., attracts patients from far beyond its geographical setting, he said.

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