Chenango’s oldest insurer has committed a quarter of a million dollars toward a new emergency room and walk-in center at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Officials from Preferred Mutual Insurance Company presented a ceremonial check in the amount of $250,000 to hospital and campaign leaders on Tuesday. The pledge, to be paid over the next five years, is the largest corporate commitment to be announced since the Norwich hospital kicked off a capital campaign last month.

“We are proud to support UHS Chenango Memorial and its campaign to improve access to emergency health services for the local community,” said Chris Taft, President and CEO of Preferred Mutual Insurance Company.

The New Berlin-based company, founded in 1896, has a workforce of over 300 people and has a long history of focusing its philanthropic efforts in Chenango County.

“Our roots are in Chenango County,” said Taft. “This community has supported us for over 120 years as we’ve grown into a Top 200 property and casualty insurer where we’re committed to helping people live assured. To us, there is no better way to help this growing community live assured than by supporting UHS Chenango Memorial’s campaign to expand the level of medical care and healthcare solutions available. We are thrilled to be able to give back to the community that has been our biggest champion.”

Dr. Drake Lamen, President and CEO of UHS Chenango Memorial, thanked Taft and his leadership team for their commitment to the hospital and community.

“We are incredibly grateful for Preferred Mutual’s support and leadership,” Lamen said. “They are an organization truly committed to making this community a better place for all who choose to live, work and raise families here in Chenango County.”

According to the hospital chief executive, Preferred Mutual’s leadership gift brings the hospital closer to the capital campaign’s $3.5 million fundraising threshold.

The campaign, announced at the grand opening of the facility’s new Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center earlier this month, will support construction of a new Emergency Room and Walk-In Center, as well as strategic investments in Diagnostic Imaging and infrastructure to support the growth of future services. The work is part of the first phase of the hospital’s Chenango Medical Neighborhood Plan, which will transform the delivery of care at UHS Chenango Memorial.

“This is the largest concentrated investment in our facility in more than 50 years,” Lamen said. “Preferred Mutual’s generous commitment of $250,000 will help ensure we can leverage both the state funding we are receiving and our own resources to fully realize our vision for this project, and ensure the sustainability and vitality of our hospital for generations to come.”

For more information on the 2019 Chenango Medical Neighborhood Capital Campaign, contact Melissa Stagnaro, Director of Fundraising and Business Development at UHS Chenango Memorial, at (607) 337-4183 or via email at

Preferred Mutual Insurance Company provides property and casualty insurance coverage to more than 232,000 individual and business customers through a network of more than 500 independent agents throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In business since 1896, Preferred Mutual is rated “A” by A.M. Best Company and is headquartered in New Berlin, New York. Learn more at

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital is a member of United Health Services, a locally owned not-for-profit 916-bed hospital and health care system serving the Greater Binghamton region from more than 40 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.