Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has replaced the Democratic chairman of the board that runs Nassau University Medical Center with investment company executive Matthew Bruderman, a major Republican fundraiser.
On Friday, Blakeman, a Republican, appointed Bruderman 50, of Centre Island, as the new chairman of NuHealth.
The nonprofit public benefit corporation runs NUMC, the only public hospital in Nassau County, and the A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility in Uniondale.
Bruderman replaces Edward Farbenblum, who was appointed NuHealth Chairman by former Democratic County Executive Laura Curran and will keep his seat on NuHealth's board of trustees.
Farbenblum owns numerous nursing homes in New York State and has touted his ability to turn around distressed hospitals.
Blakeman defeated Curran, a Democrat, in her bid in November for a second term.
Under state law, the county executive has the power to appoint the NuHealth chairman.
Bruderman's appointment to the board will last until Feb. 28, 2027.
In a statement, Bruderman said he looked, "forward to using my extensive experience in business and health care to restore NUMC to sound fiscal footing and allow the county's critical safety net hospital to serve Nassau residents for decades to come."
Bruderman, who served on Blakeman's county executive transition team, is chairman of Bruderman Brothers, LLC and Bruderman Assett Management. His family's investment business was founded in 1879 in Belgium.
Last month, Bruderman and his wife, Kerri Beth, hosted a fundraiser for New York gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) at their home, according to a news release from Bruderman's company.
Former Vice President Mike Pence attended, and the event raised $500,000 for Zeldin's campaign.
State election records also show Bruderman donated $200,000 to the Nassau Republican Committee in October 2021 and $10,000 to Blakeman's campaign on Jan. 25.
Blakeman said in a statement to Newsday Bruderman would, "work with the Board, administration and staff to improve the quality of services and bring new revenue opportunities" to NuHealth.
In an interview with Newsday, Farbenblum questioned the validity of Bruderman's appointment to the board, saying there may not have been a vacant seat for him to take.
Curran appointed Ann Kayman to a board seat on Dec. 17 to succeed trustee Warren Zysman.
But Nassau County Attorney Thomas Adams wrote to Farbenblum on Monday that Kayman's appointment was "premature relative to the Board's staggered terms, and therefore ultra vires."
The legal phrase means beyond one's legal authority.
Farbenblum said Blakeman should file a motion in court to determine whether Kayman's appointment was valid.
"The current county executive has some objection to the validity of that appointment. I haven't seen any legal opinion or backup as of yet," Farbenblum said.
Nonetheless, Farbenblum said he would support Blakeman's pick to replace him as NuHealth chairman.
"Any help I can offer to his new chairman, I'm there," Farbenblum said. "The county executive assures me that his appointments are people who understand distressed [hospital] turnarounds."
Dr. Anthony Boutin, chief executive and President of NUMC, said of Bruderman in a statement: "His strong business and health care background will be a valuable asset as we work to provide world class care to Nassau’s most vulnerable residents."