Left to right at the Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony, held on July 23 at Peconic Landing, are: New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.; Paul J. Connor III, Chief Administrative Officer, Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital; Greenport Mayor George Hubbard; Thomas E. Murray Jr., ELIH Board Chairman; Scott Russel, Supervisor, Town of Southold; Michael A. Bernstein, PhD, Interim President-Designate, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stony Brook University; Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; Al Krupski, Suffolk County Legislator; Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy, Stony Brook Medicine; and New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle.
A crowd of over 100 supporters gathered on July 23 to celebrate Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital (SBELIH) joining the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system to improve access to advanced medical care for Shelter Island and the North Fork of Long Island.
“Today is a momentous occasion for Stony Brook University as we combine the best in community and academic medicine,” said Michael A. Bernstein, PhD, Interim President-Designate, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stony Brook University.
“Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital offers a unique academic experience for residents and fellows through its community-based hospital setting,” Dr. Bernstein said. “We hope that this environment will inspire graduates of this program to explore professional opportunities in medically underserved areas.”
SBELIH is a clinical campus and training site for Stony Brook Medicine, which will help increase the number of physicians, specialists, allied health professionals and nurses on the East End of Long Island. Stony Brook Medicine already provides a psychiatric residency program at SBELIH. A new Mastery in General Surgery Fellowship program provides surgical fellows with four months of community hospital experience and improves surgical physician staffing in the SBELIH Operating Rooms and Emergency Department. Surgeons from Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Meeting House Lane Medical Practice provide additional physician coverage.
“By combining our resources among our three hospitals, we are able to better match patients with the right type of care in the right facility,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences and Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “Patients across Suffolk County will be the true beneficiaries of our coordinated efforts, as we improve healthcare access and quality for East End residents.
Stony Brook has already improved access to pre-hospital emergency care on the North Fork, with two EMS “fly cars,” staffed by paramedics who serve as first responders on the scene of emergencies. In the future, Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) and SBELIH will begin offering telehealth connections between the Emergency Departments of the two hospitals, and on Shelter Island, to improve direct access to Stony Brook Medicine specialists.
Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy, Stony Brook Medicine, said that formalizing the relationship with SBELIH will improve access to medical and surgical services, as well as specialty care, and offer new community-based health programs for the North Fork and Shelter Island.
“Our objective is to create a truly integrated healthcare delivery system that improves efficiency, reduces costs and, most importantly, improves the coordination of complex episodes of care for our patients as they move through our system,” Dr. McGovern said. “To do this effectively requires improved caregiver communication, integration of electronic medical records and elimination of organizational silos, so that we can provide care for our patients seamlessly across our integrated system.”
The three hospitals in the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system will work together to address healthcare gaps for East End residents, including neurology, gynecology, pulmonology, hematology/oncology and orthopedic services.
“This relationship will strengthen our local campus with expanded medical staff and the development of new programs,” said Thomas E. Murray, Jr., ELIH Board Chairman. “We will be consulting with the community to further assess their needs in the operation of Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital Strategic Plan, and through this collaboration deliver a more comprehensive, efficient, and even higher quality of care.”
Paul J. Connor III, Chief Administrative Officer for SBELIH, who has served as the hospital’s CEO for the past 20 years, helped shepherd the new relationship with Stony Brook Medicine.
“From here, we can now see the future of healthcare for the communities we serve, and that future is bright,” Connor said. “Bringing together the best of academic and community medicine to continue the 114-year mission of the now Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital, along with creating new healthcare options to keep health care local, are the overarching tenets of this union.”
“Today is the culmination of a collective vision that began 20 years ago,” said New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. “That shared dream of increasing accessible, quality, affordable healthcare across the East End today becomes a reality with the addition of Eastern Long Island Hospital into the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system. Now, residents will have greater access to specialists, clinical trials and advanced technology, all combined with the convenience and personalized care of a community-based hospital. I commend everyone involved for all of their hard work in successfully making this healthcare network a success.”
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. stated, "I congratulate everyone involved in the merger between Eastern Long Island Hospital and Stony Brook Medicine. The new Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital will provide residents on the North Fork and Shelter Island with more services and a wider network of doctors. It will also allow officials to identify and address the existing healthcare gaps in the region. With Stony Brook at the helm, residents across the East End can come to expect enhanced quality healthcare and access to integrated community medicine.”
Pat Brennan, a former patient at both Stony Brook University Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital, praised the care she has received at both hospitals, as well as the EMS crew that transported her to SBUH when she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
“It has always been a comfort to me to know we have such a wonderful community hospital available to us on the North Fork,” she said. “The new association with a teaching hospital is invaluable to the staff and the patients and provides the potential to attract new physicians to the North Fork. It is encouraging to know that future North Fork residents and my family members will continue to have first-class medical facilities available to them for the foreseeable future.”