Columbia University, Bassett Healthcare Network Advance Collaboration with Cardiovascular Digital Medicine & Clinical Services

Groundbreaking Partnership Will Connect Patients in Rural Central New York to Advanced Care in Manhattan

Cooperstown, NY Bassett Medical Center of Central New York announced today that it is expanding its digital medicine capabilities to include cardiovascular clinical services in a groundbreaking initiative with Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Through digital technology, Bassett patients will have a direct connection to a wide array of cardiovascular specialists in Manhattan. This innovative collaboration builds on Columbia’s nine-decade-long affiliation with Bassett as a teaching hospital and medical school campus.

This initiative puts Bassett and Columbia at the forefront of advances in rural healthcare and digital medicine. Columbia physicians see Bassett patients from their offices downstate, assisted by nurses in the Bassett exam room, Live video and physical examination using an electronic stethoscope allow the doctor to listen to heart and lung sounds remotely.

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“Our digital health strategies are central to seamlessly connecting our patients in rural settings with world-class physicians, both on the Bassett campus and through our partnership with Columbia,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “Bassett is committed to the ongoing expansion of our digital health capabilities in clinical services across cardiovascular care and beyond.”

“We are very proud to be Bassett’s longtime partner in providing the most advanced and compassionate care to the people of upstate New York,” said Katrina Armstrong, MD, dean of the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Our generation of students has access to a unique clinical experience that forever shaping their approach as physicians, and today’s announcement will expand that opportunity.”

The longstanding academic bond between the two institutions is a tremendous advantage,” said Dr. Michael Holmes, chief of cardiology at Bassett Medical Center. “The unique relationship between Columbia’s nationally renowned cardiac program and college and an exceptional rural hospital brings a full range of high-quality cardiac specialties to Bassett’s patients in Central New York and helps Bassett recruit physician leaders in clinical care, teaching and research.”

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The extension is managed by the program Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Dr. Michael Holmes, Dr. Nick Homa, Deputy Chief and Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Cardiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Cheryl Gelder-Cogan, Interim Administrative Director, Cardiovascular Service Line at Bassett Medical Center.

“Working with visitors produces exceptional results,” says Dr. Homa “Dr. Ibrahim and the outstanding team at Bassett Medical Center are dedicated to providing their patients with world-class physicians through innovative digital healthcare strategies.”

“Columbia and Bassett practitioners regularly engage in formal discussions to ensure quality commitment and oversight of our shared services,” added Dr. Holmes. “As we continue to build collaborations, key statistical reviews related to national benchmarks and quality indicators will move Bassett and Columbia forward together as we work to optimize patient experiences and improve quality.”

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The innovative program, which is already underway, is slated to expand to five days a week, with doctors potentially alternating between clinical settings in both Cooperstown and Bassett, Columbia.

Bassett Medical Center Offers a three-year cardiovascular training program for medical students. Columbia – Bassett Cardiac Fellows spend up to two months a year on rotations at Columbia to round out their experiences, particularly in advanced heart failure, left ventricular assist devices and cardiac transplants. Fellows are primarily based at Bassett’s Cooperstown campus with the opportunity to complete core rotations at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.


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