Bassett Healthcare C.E.O. Dr. William Streck says he had a vision when he took over the helm at the then Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown in 1984.
30 years later he says he is happy that vision came to fruition as Bassett Healthcare now provides service to a several county region through 28 clinics and 6 hospitals, but he says healthcare is an ever changing field and that change at Bassett must continue.
Streck was honored during a breakfast at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown on Friday. He is set to retire on July 1st.
Bassett Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Bertine McKenna says Streck is truly a visionary, "He's changed the entire landscape of his region, over 5,000 square miles. He's created a healthcare system for people who didn't have healthcare. And so that's our goal is to be right there when patients need us. That is his goal as a doctor and that's his goal as a CEO."
McKenna says Streck was not only a visionary but a great leader, "And to continually change when we didn't want to change, he would lead us through it, and say this is where we have to go. So he created that beating heart of Bassett that exists now."
Dr. Thomas Morris, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bassett says he has enjoyed his close working relationship with Bill Streck and believes Bassett would not be what it is today, if it wasn't for Streck's leadership, "No matter what challenge or issue came before us, he always said, let's analyze it, let's get to the bottom of it and figure out the best solution."
Streck says he is proud of where Bassett is and where it is headed, "The important part of the Bassett Network, is that it is a network. We've been broadened by this involvement in all the communities. We have hospitals in 6 different communities, clinics in 28 communities."
Streck says he often thinks of a 2009 front page New York Times front page article where he and Bassett were featured, "It's a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling. That is really the way we have to look at healthcare, whatever you have accomplished, it's just that, and then there is a next phase."
Streck says he may be retiring from his position, but not from the healthcare field, "I want to stay active in it, and there have been a few opportunities that have been made available to me and I'm going to sit back a little bit and take a measured approach to the next step."
New C.E.O. Dr. Vance Brown will take over Bassett on July 1st. Brown comes to Bassett from MaineHealth in Portland, ME, where he has been Chief Medical Officer since 2008.