Addressing complex health issues challenging the small rural communities in Central New York.

Bassett’s Center for Rural Community Health addresses complex health issues challenging the small rural communities of Bassett’s eight county region. This region includes some of Appalachia’s northern-most counties. These and their neighboring counties contain many rural communities afflicted with similar demographic, economic, and infrastructure challenges and having disproportionate numbers of citizens who are aged, impoverished, isolated, obese, and otherwise challenged.

The BCRCH conducts rural risk research, works with community partners to implement policies and programs, provides technical assistance, and participates in advocacy for and dissemination of best practices.

Our Programs & Studies

The Center for Rural Community Health currently includes RHENSOM, Living Well, Telehealth Research, Rural Culture and Self-Management Behavior, and School-Based Health Center Research, among other new projects in development.

The objective of the multi-site Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) Study (2016-2022) was to determine the factors that predict the ability of older adults to continue driving safely (and factors that preserve quality of life when older adults reduce or discontinue driving). Bassett served as the “rural” site. Ongoing research opportunities and additional analyses of the LongROAD cohort data are currently being discussed among the study sites.

RHENSOM is dedicated to serving the health needs of our communities through innovative, evidence-based programming and initiatives. RHENSOM was successful in securing a new five year contract from NYS DOH, which began in January 2019.

Living Well Logo

In 2016, Bassett Medical Center received a three-year Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement (QI) grant funded by the US Health and Human Services Administration to utilize the evidence- based Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) and Chronic Disease Self-Management Program…

Defining the Digital Divide: Implications for Improving Access to Care

Telehealth use increased dramatically with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, telehealth’s applicability may be limited for certain vulnerable populations, including those in rural, medically underserved communities. BRI researchers conducted a mixed methods study to learn more about factors associated with telehealth use and how they impact access to care.

The Rural Profile and Health Behaviors

How does “being rural” affect health-seeking behaviors? The geographic and socioeconomic barriers have been well recognized in the literature. However the role of rural culture (e.g. self-reliance, close community relationships) has not been well explored. This study used a novel instrument to measure the rural profile and health seeking-behaviors. Diabetes management was used as the outcome of interest.

Recently Completed Projects


“The Center for Rural Community Health excels at building partnerships and collaborating with other researchers and community-based organizations.”

Wendy Brunner, PhD

Contact The Center for Rural Community Health

For more information about the Center for Rural Community Health, please contact
Wendy Brunner, PhD, via email

Contact Us

One Atwell Road
Cooperstown, NY 13326
1-800-BASSETT (227-7388)

© 2023 Bassett Healthcare Network Research Institute