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South Nassau Communities Hospital officially partners with Mt. Sinai

South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside officially became

South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside officially became the Long Island flagship health care institution in the Mount Sinai Health System after trustees' final vote on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. South Nassau is seen Oct. 17, 2017. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

South Nassau Communities Hospital officially became the Long Island flagship health care institution in the Mount Sinai system after a unanimous vote by the Oceanside hospital’s board of trustees Tuesday night.

Mount Sinai Health System trustees approved the agreement last month, executives said.

Talks were first announced last May when executives on both sides of the affiliation said they intended to explore a formal agreement that would align medical services, management and governance of the two institutions.

No decision has yet been made on how Mount Sinai’s name will be incorporated into that of South Nassau. In a similar affiliation between NYU and the former Winthrop-University Hospital, a formalized agreement resulted in the Mineola institution being renamed NYU Winthrop Hospital.

South Nassau, a 455-bed hospital that has served Long Island’s South Shore since 1928, is expected to expand its facilities under the agreement, with a $120 million capital contribution from Mount Sinai. The cash will aid South Nassau’s five-year master facility plan, which expands the hospital’s surgical facilities, intensive care units, and emergency department.

“Our goal from the outset was to find a partner seeking to expand services on Long Island who, like us, puts patients first, employing cutting-edge science and treatments,” Joseph Fennessy, chairman of South Nassau’s board of directors, said in a statement Tuesday. He led the hospital’s affiliation talks.

The Mount Sinai system is an $8 billion health care provider that includes the Icahn School of Medicine, seven hospitals in the metropolitan area, and a network of more than 6,500 physicians.

“Long Island has been a target for us for several reasons. No. 1, we have a growing physician presence in Hewlett, Nesconset, Huntington, Bay Shore and Manhasset,” said Dr. Arthur Klein, president of the Mount Sinai Health Network. He said about 200 Long Island private practice physicians are affiliated with Mount Sinai.

“What we had been lacking was a true institutional partner. Being landlocked here in Manhattan, we thought it was important to grow and expand our reach. So when South Nassau put out a request for partnership proposal, we responded very enthusiastically,” Klein said.

Pre- and post-transplant care, especially for liver transplants, now will be offered in Oceanside with transplants available through Mount Sinai in Manhattan, long a leader in transplant medicine, Klein said.

Richard J. Murphy, South Nassau’s president and chief executive, said the affiliation provides “a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity” that he predicts will expand the delivery of many advanced health care services for all Long Islanders. He pointed to increased access to clinical trials, enhanced cancer treatment services and state-of-the-art cardiac surgery.

“We will be their flagship hospital on Long Island,” Murphy said during an interview before Tuesday’s vote.

He added that the affiliation will also expand medical education opportunities for doctors-in-training, with the opening of an internal medicine residency program on South Nassau’s campus.

Internal medicine is considered a key residency training program in teaching hospitals. Currently, South Nassau offers residencies in family medicine, general surgery, podiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Another bonus the affiliation brings is Mount Sinai’s close relationship with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where advanced care for rare and complex disorders has long aided the pediatric population. Sick children treated at South Nassau will now have access to care at the Philadelphia hospital, often called CHOP.

“We are thrilled about what this means for patients and families on Long Island, and look forward to working closely with our Long Island partners to continue advancing care in the region,” Kenneth L. Davis, Mount Sinai Health System’s CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.