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

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bassett Medical Center in 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 direct connections to a broad array of cardiovascular specialists in Manhattan. This innovative collaboration is built on the foundation of Columbia’s nine decades-long affiliation with Bassett as a teaching hospital and medical school campus.

This initiative places Bassett and Columbia at the forefront of rural healthcare and advances in digital medicine. Columbia physicians seeing Bassett patients from their offices downstate are assisted by nurses in Bassett exam rooms, including physical examinations with the use of live video and an electronic stethoscope allowing the doctor to listen to the heart and lung sounds remotely.

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

"We are very proud to have long been Bassett's partner in providing the most advanced and compassionate care to the people of upstate New York," says Katrina Armstrong, MD, Dean of the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Generations of our students have had access to a unique clinical experience that forever shapes their approach as physicians, and today's announcement will expand that opportunity."

“The long-standing academic tie between the two institutions is a tremendous advantage,” says Dr. Michael Holmes, Chief of Cardiology at Bassett Medical Center. “The unique relationship between Columbia’s nationally renowned cardiac programs and college, and an exceptional rural hospital, brings the entire range of high-quality cardiac specialties to Bassett’s patient population in Central New York, and assists Bassett in recruiting physician leaders in clinical care, teaching, and research.”

The expanding program is guided by Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Dr. Michael Holmes, Dr. Nick Homma, Deputy Chief of the Cardiology Division and Chief Medical Officer at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Cheryl Gelder-Kogan, Interim Administrative Director, Cardiovascular Service Line at Bassett Medical Center.

“Working with visionaries creates exceptional results,” says Dr. Homma. “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,” adds Dr. Holmes. “As we continue to build collaboration, key statistical reviews relative to national benchmarks and quality indicators will propel Bassett and Columbia forward together as we work to optimize patient experiences and enhance quality.”

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

Bassett Medical Center offers a three-year Cardiovascular fellowship training program. Columbia – Bassett cardiac fellows spend up to two months a year doing rotations at Columbia to round out their experiences, specifically with advanced heart failure, left ventricular assist devices, and cardiac transplants. Fellows are primarily based at Bassett’s Cooperstown campus with the opportunity to complete key rotations at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

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