The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System plans to keep some of its beds at Glen Cove Hospital when it is converted to an ambulatory center, but how many and for what purpose has not been decided, the medical provider said Wednesday.
North Shore-LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam said it will keep some of the facility's beds certified by the state health department so the medical provider wouldn't need to go through the certification process again if down the road it wanted to use them.
"It was not our intention that we were going to decertify all 265 inpatient beds that currently exist at Glen Cove," Lyman said. "We do want to maintain some of those beds -- even if we're not using them -- for flexibility in our clinical programming."
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said Wednesday that North Shore-LIJ's president and chief executive, Michael Dowling, was listening to the community's concerns. Suozzi, Dowling, a representative for Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) as well as several medical professionals met Tuesday to discuss the hospital's conversion. Suozzi said that Dowling said he would review North Shore LIJ's plans to decertify beds in response to local opposition.
"While there was no commitment that they remain, it's not absolute that they will be going either," Suozzi said. Suozzi said that meeting was an important step toward getting public input into the plan. The plan had sparked a protest at the hospital on Monday and more than 3,000 people have signed an online petition calling for North Shore to reconsider.
"We're in the room," he said. "I'm in the room representing the community and the doctors are in the room representing the patients they serve."
Israel, in a prepared statement, called the meeting "the first step in an ongoing dialogue."
But while Suozzi said he understood that decertification would be reviewed, Lynam said the health system does plan for some of the hospitals beds to go. On an average day, 148 of the 265 beds are occupied.
Though the plan is still being finalized, North Shore-LIJ would move several inpatient programs -- including the traumatic brain unit, orthopedic surgery program, psychiatry program and inpatient physical rehabilitation program -- and the 103 beds that go with them.