Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH) has officially joined the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system as of July 1, combining the best in academic and community medicine to improve access to advanced medical care for residents of Long Island’s North Fork and Shelter Island.
Established as the first hospital in Suffolk County in 1905, ELIH will now be referred to as Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital (SBELIH), a 70-bed hospital, SBELIH will work collaboratively with Stony Brook University Hospital and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to increase care, particularly specialized outpatient services. These hospitals in the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system are working together to address healthcare gaps for East End residents, including specialty areas such as trauma, neurology, psychiatry, gynecology, pulmonology, hematology/oncology and orthopedic services.
“By welcoming Eastern Long Island Hospital into the Stony Brook Medicine Hospital System, we remain on the cutting edge of healthcare, implementing new strategies to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences and Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “We’ve taken many bold steps to strengthen our infrastructure across systems to promote excellence in research, education and clinical services.
“Our new Mastery in General Surgery Fellowship program provides Stony Brook surgical fellows with four months of rural surgery experience, thereby also improving surgical physician staffing in the SBELIH Operating Rooms and Emergency Department,” Dr. Kaushansky said. “Second, Stony Brook Medicine offers a psychiatric residency program at SBELIH, which in turn, serves as a clinical campus and training site, increasing the number of physicians, specialists, allied health professionals and nurses on the East End of Long Island.”
Stony Brook Medicine clinicians have staffed and assisted in the development of Eastern Long Island Hospital’s inpatient behavioral health programs, cared for patients who needed specialty care not available at Eastern Long Island Hospital, and provided support and patient transport services via Stony Brook Emergency Medical Services’ two fully equipped fly cars -- first responder EMS vehicles where patients are stabilized for transport -- during times of emergency.
Future plans include a telehealth program that will provide Shelter Island residents with direct access to Stony Brook Medicine specialists. Through Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, wellness services are already being offered in Greenport at the Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute adjacent to SBELIH.
Stony Brook Medicine also maintains a fleet of critical care ambulances and first responders in collaboration with community EMS and SBELIH to enhance emergency care and transport services available to North Fork and Shelter Island residents. Patients at SBELIH that require intensive care are transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital. As a result, patients quickly and easily receive treatment and benefit from enhanced services, including shared medical records, clinical care protocols and quality assurance programs.
“With the help of Stony Brook Medicine, ELIH has gradually grown its footprint during the past few years,” said Paul Connor III, Chief Administrative Officer of SBELIH. “We welcomed neurological surgery and urologic oncology specialists, and we now have General Surgeons from Meeting House Lane Medical Practice in Southampton performing procedures in our Surgical Center of Excellence. I’m gratified that we can offer all these new programs and services to our community.”
While the primary service area is the North Fork and Shelter Island, SBELIH provides regional behavioral health programs for the greater Suffolk County area with medical-surgical services, critical care, psychiatry, and drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation services. It is one of two hospitals on Long Island providing skin cancer screenings to all inpatients through the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation.
In addition, as the North Fork and Shelter Island are retirement destinations, making these communities the oldest population per capita in New York State, SBELIH will respond to the changing healthcare environment with expanded coordinated care, while maintaining high patient safety and satisfaction.
“Bringing these two institutions together is another example of the extraordinary growth Stony Brook Medicine has pursued to serve our patients and address a variety of healthcare needs,” said Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD, Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy at Stony Brook Medicine. “The collaboration will allow the three hospitals to work even more closely together to enable new, local access to additional medical and surgical services and new community-based health programs.”
New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Chairman of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee said, “I am pleased that our shared vision 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. This will provide residents with 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 system a success.”
A key benefit of this agreement is the shared belief that the provision of healthcare should stay local. ELIH Foundation will continue to be governed by its local Board of Directors and all funds raised by the Foundation and Auxiliary will remain local. As in the past, ELIH will make business decisions locally based on the needs of the community and, at the same time, will gain the support of a large, successful healthcare system.
“This is an exciting time for Eastern Long Island Hospital,” said Thomas E. Murray, Jr. Chairman of Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital’s board of directors. “A lot of hard work has taken place, but the reward is here now — to be part of Stony Brook Medicine. Becoming part of the Stony Brook Medicine family allows us to continue our mission, offering the best possible care to our patients and community.”