Valley Health Services Honors Senator Hinchey for Work to Address Dementia Care Needs in the Mohawk Valley – Bassett Healthcare Network

Senator Michelle Hinchey visits Valley Residential Services
Valley Health Services (VHS) honors Senator Michelle Hinchey on July 13, 2021. Pictured: Senator Michelle Hinchey, Lisa Betrus, President of VHS, Connie A. Jastremski, Board Chair of VHS, & Tommy Ibrahim, CEO Bassett Healthcare Network.

Valley Health Services (VHS) held a reception on July 13, 2021 at their skilled nursing facility in Herkimer to honor New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey for her work to secure critical funding for dementia-related needs for care and services in the Mohawk Valley Region. 

Valley Health Services is part of the Bassett Healthcare Network and has a special focus on the care of seniors in rural upstate New York. Senator Hinchey is a strong advocate for the needs of seniors. She was instrumental in securing a $500,000 grant which will allow Bassett Healthcare Network and Valley Health Services fund the construction of a new not-for-profit skilled nursing facility which will address current gaps in care, especially for patients with dementia related needs and memory care. The vision for the new facility is to move from traditional, institutional care for those requiring 24-hour skill nursing services to a residential model that promotes dignity, personal expression, family engagement and independence. 

“As someone who has cared for a parent with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), I understand the heartbreaking journey and persistent struggle to find high-quality, specialized care in upstate New York,” says Senator Hinchey in a public statement about the effort.

“These types of devastating diseases affect not only those diagnosed, but those who love them, and one of my top priorities will always be to support the continued innovation of senior care so that no family is forced to navigate a complicated healthcare maze on their own.”

“Across rural and upstate New York, people are living in healthcare deserts — left without the skilled care they need and deserve, especially in the sector of long-term care,” Senator Hinchey continues. “But Valley Health Services, a shining light in the world of senior care, is working diligently and creatively to close the gaps in long-term living opportunities, promote future planning, and deliver specialized neurological and memory care. I’m incredibly proud to have been able to secure funds in the state budget to support their efforts to create a new state-of-the-art residential facility that will serve residents across the Mohawk and Capital Regions — two regions that are severely underserved. No one should have to send their loved one hours away, or even out of state, to receive the care they need, which is why the work of Valley Health Services is so important. This fight is personal to me, and I will always work to close the inequities in our health and long-term care systems so that everyone in New York State can live and age with dignity.”

“We, along with the residents of our region, are grateful to Senator Hinchey for her unwavering support of our vision to provide high-quality skilled nursing care while maintaining the dignity and independence of our residents,” said Lisa Betrus, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer for Bassett Healthcare Network. “The support of the community will be essential to the success of this project, and we appreciate Senator Hinchey’s leadership on this important issue.”


The reception was held at Valley Residential Services in Herkimer, NY. Members of the Bassett Healthcare Network and Valley Health Services executive leadership teams, community leaders, elected official, and Senator Hinchey were in attendance.

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