Stony Brook Medicine said Monday that Eastern Long Island Hospital has officially joined its health-care system.
The Greenport-based hospital has been renamed Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital.
Eastern Long Island has been formally affiliated with Stony Brook since 2006. The 90-bed acute-care hospital agreed to join Stony Brook in 2015.
“Many small and rural hospitals are closing, and this preserves the hospital and allows us to be part of a budding health system,” said Paul Connor III, chief administrative officer at Eastern LI.
Officials said Stony Brook plans to expand services in Greenport.
“Behavioral [mental] health will be one of the services we will focus on expanding,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, a senior vice president of health sciences and dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “We have more behavioral health patients at the university hospital than we can handle, and expanding it at Eastern Long Island will help. Behavioral health is the biggest need at the health system.”
Kaushansky added that Eastern Long Island will be an “education site for students and fellows. About 80 percent of hospitals are community hospitals, not university hospitals, so it makes sense for them to gain experience there.”
Stony Brook has been in expansion mode in recent years. It officially took over Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in 2017, about five years after the hospitals agreed to merge.
In June, Brookhaven-based Long Island Community Hospital and Stony Brook said they are focusing on a possible affiliation agreement. Long Island Community is the last remaining independent hospital on Long Island.
Other health systems have also expanded recently by taking over formerly independent hospitals. For example, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson became part of Northwell Health in January 2018. At about the same time, Oceanside-based South Nassau Communities Hospital joined Manhattan-based Mount Sinai Health System.
Smaller hospitals save considerable money by moving to larger health systems’ electronic medical records systems and leveraging purchasing power, said Dr. Margaret McGovern, vice president for health system clinical programs and strategy at Stony Brook Medicine.
“Electronic medical records are quite costly,” she said.