PA named 'Woman of Distinction'

Greg Klein | The Daily StarState Sen. James Seward gives Oneonta resident Mallory Delaney, a physician assistant at Bassett Healthcare Network, the 2020 Woman of Distinction Award for the 51st district Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Cooperstown. 

COOPERSTOWN — State Sen. James Seward awarded Oneonta physician assistant Mallory Delaney the 51st district’s Women of Distinction Award for 2020 during a ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Bassett Hospital. 

Delaney, who works at 125 Main St. in Oneonta, has been with Bassett for five years. She has a master of health science degree from Duke University and is a practitioner in internal medicine and addiction recovery. However, she has spent much of 2020 working with her colleagues to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the region. 

“I can’t possibly accept this award without recognizing what an absolute privilege it’s been to take care of our patients during this time,” Delaney said. “So thank you to all our patients who have given us the strength as we have gone through this time.” 

Seward, who battled coronavirus during the spring, said it is fitting to give this year’s award to a woman in the medical field. 

“Mallory is the embodiment of the many heroes who have been on the front lines throughout the COVID pandemic, sacrificing for the needs of others,” Seward said. “Like so many healthcare professionals and other essential workers, Mallory has put the well being of others first and she has certainly saved lives and positively impacted the lives of countless others.

“It is clear from everything I know and have read about Mallory that she cares a great deal for her patients, and readily accepts the most demanding medical assignments,” he said. 

Bassett Healthcare Network President Tommy Ibrahim said Delaney helped lead the effort to test Oneonta residents in the midst of SUNY Oneonta outbreak the past two weeks. He said she has personally tested more than 1,000 people. 

“Throughout Mallory’s five years here with Bassett, patients continually express how grateful they are not only for her clinical skills but for her ability to listen, explain and be compassionate with her patients,” Ibrahim said. “As the senator notes, Mallory embodies those qualities that we deeply value in practitioners and caregivers across Bassett’s network.”

The award is typically given at an annual banquet in Albany, celebrating the 63 Women of Distinction, one for each state Senate district. The banquet was canceled this year because of the pandemic.

Delaney quoted Mr. Rogers as her inspiration, and his famous quote from his mother telling him that in an emergency he should, “look for the helpers, You will always find people who are helping.”

She said she shares her award with her staff and co-workers who are also being helpers during the pandemic. 

“The capacity to handle this pandemic in our area has been astonishing, and so I feel like when I am accepting this award, I want to accept it on behalf of everybody who has gone through it with me and recognize what everyone has gone through along the way,” she said. 

Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7218.

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