Bassett president to advise state Army National Guard


 Bassett Medical Center President William LeCates was recently selected to serve as the top medical adviser for the New York Army National Guard.

LeCates began serving as the New York Army National Guard State Surgeon on Wednesday, Jan. 1, according to a media release from the New York National Guard. LeCates is a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, according to the release.

He has been in the New York Army National Guard for more than 10 years, he said. He is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and was deployed there in 2010 and 2013, he said. He was also deployed to Liberia in 2015.

LeCates has also been an attending physician in nephrology in the Bassett Healthcare Network since 2003, according to his LinkedIn page.

He said he was honored to be selected for the position.

“It’s a chance to work with soldiers across the state, who are really dedicated great people, and to get to know some leaders across the state who are really exceptional and talented,” he said.

As state surgeon, LeCates said he will oversee the practice and policies of medical care in the Guard. He will also ensure the medical readiness of National Guard soldiers.

“One responsibility is to help our soldiers find healthy practices in their life, find the resources so they can have good wellness and health in their life,” LeCates said. “And to recognize that good health and wellness leads to readiness for our New York National Guard soldiers. Medical readiness is about the personal health and wellness of our soldiers, and the mission of the Army National Guard in terms of readiness and response.”

LeCates will ensure that Department of Defense, New York state, and national medical standards are adhered to, according to the release.

Whether as part of the Army National Guard or at Bassett, LeCates said, his work centers around providing high standards of care.

“The similarities are in understanding and carrying out regulations and quality measures in medical care,” he said.

LeCates said the position requires a time commitment of an average, or a minimum, of one weekend per month and two weekends per year, but there are often times when extra duties are needed. He said the time commitment is similar to his previous work in the National Guard. He will continue serving as president of Bassett Medical Center, he said.

LeCates said he’s thankful for his family, especially his wife Debbie, for their support in helping him carry out his duties in the National Guard and at Bassett. He also expressed gratefulness to Bassett for being a supportive work place.

“Throughout my 17 years I’ve seen strong support for military service members throughout the hospital,” LeCates said. “I’m grateful to work in a place that has a culture very supportive of military service.”

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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