Eastern LI Hospital affiliates with SBU

Stony Brook University Hospital has added Eastern Long Island Hospital to its growing list of affiliations.

The Eastern Long Island Hospital Board of Directors has voted unanimously to approve an affiliation with Stony Brook University Hospital – an important step toward advancing collaborations between the two institutions.

The affiliation is subject to a host of regulatory approvals and the completion of a definitive agreement between Eastern Long Island and Stony Brook Medicine, which includes the university’s five Health Sciences schools and dozens of satellite facilities.

Eastern Long Island, a 90-bed hospital established in 1905, is now developing a long-term strategic plan with SBUH, Suffolk County’s only Level 1 trauma center and the heart of Stony Brook Medicine.

Thomas Murray, a retired banker and chairman of the board of trustees at ELIH, said the board deliberated for “several months” to identify the best strategic partner to help the Greenport hospital address the evolving health care needs of the North Fork and Shelter Island communities.

“We believe by joining Stony Brook University Hospital, the stewardship of [ELIH’s] mission to care for the residents of the North Fork is in good hands,” Murray said in announcing the board’s unanimous vote.

With a shiny new computer building, a thriving biotechnology center, clean-energy incubators, state-funded engineering labs and all the other amazing science happening at Stony Brook University, it’s easy to forget there’s a hospital tucked in there. But 600-bed SBUH is an impressive institution in its own right.

Suffolk’s only tertiary care center – meaning it boasts specialists beyond the primary- and secondary-care stages – registers over 32,000 admissions and nearly 90,000 emergency room visits per year. According to a U.S. News & World Report summary, the teaching hospital performs over 20,000 surgeries annually.

Paul Connor III, ELIH’s president and CEO, said joining the SBUH system will help Eastern Long Island keep up with the rapidly changing requirements of health care “and especially hospital care.”

“Becoming part of Stony Brook University Hospital will allow Eastern Long Island Hospital to make this complex transition while continuing to carry out our long-term promise to the community,” Connor said. “This affiliation will ensure that the health care needs of the community are met for years to come.”

The ELIH alliance marks Stony Brook’s second official affiliation-in-the-making with a Long Island-based community hospital; the university hospital is also hammering out the parameters of an affiliation with Southampton Hospital.

Stony Brook Medicine also runs the Suffolk Care Collaborative, through which it works with several other county-based hospitals and health care providers, and is also involved in residency programs at hospitals throughout Long Island and New York City.

Such affiliations go a long way toward helping the Stony Brook institution improve health care options around the region, noted Dr. Reuven Pasternak, chief executive officer of SBUH and Stony Brook Medicine’s vice president for health systems.

“We are grateful to SUNY’s visionary leadership in its support of our continued work to establish agreements with community hospitals in Suffolk County for the care of Long Island residents,” Pasternak said.