Hospital to Head to Campus

    A new state-of-the-art hospital is in the works for the Stony Brook Southampton campus through a partnership between the State University at Stony Brook and Southampton Hospital, according to a nonbinding letter of intent signed by both parties and announced in a release dated Oct. 1. The 125-bed facility would join the university’s health care system, with a goal of the two hospitals’ working together to “improve health care quality and access, coordination of care, and efficiency for their patients.”
    With the same number of beds, the hospital would replace the current Southampton Village facility, which opened in 1909. (The fate of that building hasn’t been determined yet.) Money will be raised through a Southampton Hospital-led philanthropic campaign, and increased health care services, jobs, and economic development are expected on the East End as a result of the project, as are expanded educational opportunities for future health care professionals. With more than 1,000 employees, Southampton Hospital is the largest employer on the South Fork.
    The hospital will provide care under Stony Brook University Medical Center’s state operating license, and a joint advisory committee, with members appointed by both hospitals, will serve as advisers. Southampton Hospital employees would maintain their status as private-sector employees, according to the letter of intent.
    The two hospitals, formally affiliated since 2008, will soon exchange financial, business, and legal information, with a final agreement requiring approval from New York State regulatory authorities and the State Legislature, as well as Southampton Hospital’s board of trustees.
    Southampton Hospital is a not-for-profit organization with a medical staff of more than 240 physicians, dentists, and allied health professionals. It has 16 satellite locations across the East End. A 2011 audit reported “excess revenues over expenses of $2.2 million.”
    Stony Brook University Medical Center is a state educational corporation and Suffolk County’s largest hospital, with 597 beds. It has the county’s busiest emergency department, with nearly 100,000 visits annually. The hospital also offers the only Level 1 trauma center, burn center, and comprehensive psychiatric emergency program in the county, and its only bone marrow transplant program. It employs more than 1,000 full-time medical school faculty members and affiliated physicians, and has more than 5,500 staff members.
    Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., senior vice president of health sciences and the dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, said in the release that patients would benefit from the two hospitals joining forces. He added, “It also helps both facilities prepare for health care reform by cultivating a broader, stronger network of hospitals and health care providers to improve efficiency, control costs, and better coordinate care across Suffolk County.”
    When it comes to education, “Construction of a new state-of-the-art health care facility on the Southampton campus would be another building block in the revitalization of the campus,” said Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. “Together with a growing arts program, the new $10 million marine sciences facility, and the establishment of the Peconic Institute,” a kind of policy think tank for the East End, “a new hospital would be a major step toward having the Southampton campus reach its educational potential.”
    “Most important,” Mr. Thiele said, “the proposed affiliation between Stony Brook and Southampton represents an opportunity to provide expanded services and the best possible health care for the residents of the South Fork and eastern Long Island, an area that has historically been described as medically underserved.”