Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead is shown on Oct....

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead is shown on Oct. 21, 2014. Credit: Randee Daddona

Peconic Bay Medical Center has cleared state and federal hurdles that will allow it to join the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the two announced Tuesday.

Peconic Bay's board of directors voted in late March to join North Shore-LIJ. The vote signaled the end of a 10-year relationship with Stony Brook University Hospital and was the death knell for the East End Health Alliance formed in 2008, which included Peconic Bay in Riverhead, Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker has approved dissolving the East End Health Alliance and, in a separate measure, approved making North Shore-LIJ the active parent of the Riverhead hospital, North Shore-LIJ and Peconic Bay said.

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission's 30-day review period has concluded, and no other federal approvals are needed, they said.

Meanwhile, Stony Brook said that its proposed merger with Southampton, announced in October 2012, and with Eastern Long Island Hospital, announced in July, are "well underway." A spokeswoman couldn't give a time frame.

"We are moving through the affiliation agreement and regulatory process with both institutions, and remain dedicated to our work to create a health care delivery system that will better service the needs of residents of Eastern Long Island, the North Fork, and beyond," the hospital said in a statement.

Peconic Bay spokeswoman Samantha Vigliotta said that the 200-bed hospital still had contracts with Stony Brook, which has provided personnel for the radiology and emergency departments.

"We're working through the transition process; 2016 is the year we'll really start to assimilate," she said.

North Shore-LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam said the focus will be on expanding ambulatory services "to make them a regional hospital."

Peconic Bay becomes North Shore-LIJ's 21st hospital, joining three other North Shore-LIJ hospitals in Suffolk: Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, Huntington Hospital, and South Oaks Hospital in Amityville.

The health system, the 14th-largest in the country, announced a week ago that it is entering into an affiliation with 711-bed Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn that will eventually lead to full integration.

Southampton Hospital was the first East End hospital to signal the end of the alliance when on Oct. 1, 2012, the 125-bed facility announced a nonbinding letter of intent to operate under the 603-bed Stony Brook hospital license. But it wasn't until January of this year that the merger was approved by the SUNY board of trustees, a first hurdle.

The 90-bed Eastern Long Island Hospital voted July 11 to merge with Stony Brook, although it had also been in talks with North Shore-LIJ.

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