At a Cooperstown ceremonyat M. I.Bassett Hospital, State Senator James L. Seward announced state awards for two key health programs that operate under the hospital's auspices.
Nurse scholarships and training. Seward said that $50,000 in state aid would help fund scholarships for nursing students enrolled in the joint Bassett/Hartwick/Delhi nurse training program. Part of the funding would also help defray the expense of recruiting, training, supporting and hiring rural health care professionals at the hospital.
Bassett Research Institute. Seward announced an additional $5,000 to fund a science research training program for high school students. The program offers students the opportunity to work in a scientific research setting for eight weeks, providing exposure to scientific and laboratory approaches as possible career paths.
"We are very lucky in our area to have superior health care and educational facilities," Senator Seward said. "Today's funding announcement recognizes how that combination works well together here in Otsego County. The awards I am unveiling today will accomplish two goals: The first is to address in a specific way the shortage of nurses and health care professionals we are experiencing in rural areas. The second is to offer students an exposure to science in a specific health setting that would foster their interest in a future health-science career. The idea is to produce a pool of future young health professionals that wants to serve rural residents."
The funds have been appropriated as part of the 2004-2005 state budget.