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November 18 • 07:49 PM
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Fundraising Campaign Kick Off for Primary Care Expansion


06/22/2012 - O'Connor Hospital launched a Primary Care Connections Campaign Friday, June 15 aimed at raising $2.5 million to expand and renovate the current primary care facility on the O'Connor campus and build a new primary care center in Andes. The projects will help address a shortage of primary care providers in the Delhi and Andes communities.

"This project will more than double the number of patient visits that can be accommodated in our Delhi primary care facility," explained Dan Ayres, CEO. "At the same time, the Town of Andes has approved a plan to build a primary care center on South Main Street in the hamlet of Andes that Bassett Healthcare Network will operate, pending state approval. The combined projects will alleviate the severe shortage of primary care physicians that Delaware County is experiencing."

James Thomson, chairman of the campaign committee, said $1.5 million has already been raised toward the Primary Care Connections Campaign's $2.5 million goal. "Given the number of people who have voiced concern over the shortfall in our region of primary care services, I am confident this campaign will be embraced by the communities we serve. The combined projects demonstrate a clear commitment on the part of O'Connor Hospital and Bassett to meeting the health care needs of the region."

A recent study by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School of Public Health at the University of Albany showed a deficit in the number of primary care physicians needed in the region of between five and nine percent. In the last year and a half, three of the existing four private primary care physicians in Delaware County closed their practices. At the same time, while the overall county population has declined, the number of older people has increased by 5.5 percent.

Work on the expansion of the primary care facility on the O'Connor campus will continue through the summer. The new space will allow for as many as nine primary care doctors. Meanwhile, a certificate of need application is before the New York State Health Department for the Andes health center, which will be led by Dr. Susan Fiore, a physician who lives in the area and is well known to the community.

Other members of the Primary Care Connections Campaign committee include: Robert Armstrong, Sheila Ayres, Dr. Alberto Gaitan, Lucile Frisbee, Peter Hamilton, Dennis Marsh, Paul Roach, Carol Spinelli, and William Sunkenberg. The work of the committee is being supported by Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, the nonprofit philanthropic organization that supports all of Bassett's affiliates by raising funds and community awareness.

For more information about supporting the Primary Care Connections Campaign, please contact Amy Beveridge manager, Fund Development at O'Connor Hospital at 607-746-0331 or email amy.beveridge@oconnorhosp.org. To learn more about O'Connor Hospital and Bassett Healthcare Network, visit www.bassett.org.

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