St. James Hires Two New Surgeons

July 24, 2018

From St. James Hospital:

UR Medicine’s St. James Hospital is welcoming two full-time general surgeons to its medical staff this month, strengthening the general surgery presence in Hornell with a range of leading-edge techniques and enhanced surgical capabilities, including advanced minimally invasive surgery. Brian P. Watkins, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S., and Adam Basler, M.D., will be continuing the legacy that longtime Hornell surgeon A. Byron Collins, M.D., has built in the community over the past five decades. “The addition of these two surgeons to our medical team is the next step in growing the overall services available at St. James Hospital,” said President and CEO Bryan J. O’Donovan, “as we continue our comprehensive plans to open a new medical office building this year and a new hospital in 2019.”

Watkins began July 15. He will be based in Hornell and will operate at St. James beginning in August, providing advanced minimally invasive surgery, endocrine surgery and broad-based general surgery. He also will serve as division chief for UR Medicine Regional Surgery, working collaboratively with established surgeons at affiliates Jones Memorial and Noyes Health as the team focuses on strategies to grow the programs at their respective hospitals. He is passionate about rural health care and is excited to begin working with the St. James staff and becoming a part of the Hornell community. He recognizes the value of providing general surgery in the region, allowing patients and families the opportunity to stay close to home for care and post-surgical recovery. “I am grateful for this opportunity to begin serving Hornell and increase access to general surgery options,” Watkins said. “Providing this broad range of surgeries, including leading-edge techniques such as minimally invasive surgery, means many more patients and families can remain in this community before, during and after their procedures. That is our goal whenever possible.”

He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and completed his general surgical residency at Wisconsin’s Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, which is well known for training surgeons who wish to serve patients in rural locations. Watkins served as a rural surgeon in Wisconsin for three years with the Mayo Clinic, and for the past 15 years has been an attending surgeon at Rochester General Hospital. He has been teaching at RIT for more than a decade and at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry since 2015.
Basler also will be based in Hornell and will operate at St. James. He received his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and recently graduated from his surgical residency at Michigan State University. He joined the staff July 1. He will practice broad-based general surgery, and has particular clinical interests in complex laparoscopy, breast surgery and endoscopy.