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Brookhaven hospital approves $15 million Foley nursing home buy

The John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility is

The John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility is seen in Yaphank on April 9, 2013. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center’s board of directors has approved a contract to finalize the $15 million purchase of the former John J. Foley nursing home in Yaphank from Suffolk County.

“We are taking a major step forward in furthering our mission to serve our community … reflective of its diverse needs,” Brookhaven Memorial president and chief executive Richard Margulis said in a statement.

The hospital has plans to provide “vital outpatient services” such as dialysis, adult day care, Medicaid assisted living, pediatric services and drug rehabilitation, according to the hospital’s original proposal to the county last year.

The hospital intends to close on the sale by year’s end and expects to file documents with the state and Brookhaven Town by early 2017 so it can begin renovation work on the former 264-bed complex by summer, according to a statement Wednesday. Brookhaven plans to reopen the five-story building in 2018.

The board’s action comes 11 months after Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone decided to enter negotiations with the hospital after private nursing home operator Kenneth Rozenberg withdrew his $20 million offer for the building.

The contract amicably settled the ultimate fate of the nursing home, shuttered three years ago, after two decades of battles over whether the county should operate a nursing home.

The county is expected to sign the contract Friday, the day Bellone will present his proposed 2017 county budget. Bellone aides say the deal will help the county narrow a $200 million budget shortfall it is facing.

Bellone spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter said that as part of the contract, the county will take responsibility for $580,000 in fees to Brookhaven Town. The fees are required because the land, now publicly owned, is zoned for one-acre homes, and the move to private ownership will intensify the zoned land use.

“Brookhaven is a great community hospital and I am excited we could work together to put the Foley building back into productive use,” Bellone said in a statement released by the hospital.

Since the county legislature authorized Bellone to negotiate a sale, lawmakers will not have to vote again on the issue.

Legis. Kate Browning (WFP-Shirley) said it’s “more than fitting that the hospital buy the nursing home, since the late county Legis. John Foley — after whom it is named — was a former Brookhaven Memorial board member.


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