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Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital Can Move Forward with Affiliation Agreement Following Unanimous SUNY BOT Vote

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STONY BROOK, NY, January 13, 2015 — Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital can move forward with a proposed affiliation agreement following a unanimous vote today at the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees meeting in Albany. The affiliation will enable the two hospitals to work more closely to improve healthcare quality and access, coordination and efficiency for patient care.

“We are very grateful to Chairman McCall and the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Zimpher and our colleagues at SUNY for their leadership in helping us move this forward,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook University, at the meeting when asked to make remarks by H. Carl McCall, Chairman, State University of New York Board of Trustees. “There is still work to be done, but this is an extraordinarily important first step as we look at the future of Stony Brook University Hospital and our ability to compete in a crowded marketplace, but one in which we are excelling. For both Southampton Hospital and for Stony Brook University Hospital, this is a win-win in every sense of the word. We are taking two very strong institutions and strengthening both of them through this action.”

“Our Board of Directors and staff are grateful for the confidence in Southampton Hospital that SUNY Trustees have demonstrated by today’s vote,” said Robert S. Chaloner, Southampton Hospital President & CEO. “We look forward to working with Stony Brook on completing the remainder of the regulatory process.”

Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital have a long history of a strong, cooperative working relationship. The two hospitals have been formally affiliated since 2008, as recommended by the Berger Commission Report issued by New York State Department of Health in 2006. They have been working collaboratively to provide healthcare services to the South Fork of Long Island, with services that are complementary in nature. In August 2012, leadership from both medical institutions signed a non-binding letter of intent to strengthen that affiliation in which the 125-bed Southampton facility would join the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system. And Stony Brook School of Medicine has joint clinical and academic programs with Southampton Hospital.

“The future of medicine on Long Island will change for the better through this affiliation,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.  “Not only will it help to expand outstanding healthcare services to the residents of the South Fork of Long Island, but by increasing clinical training sites will serve to enhance the range of experiences of our medical, nursing and health technology learners, as well as strengthening biomedical and healthcare research, increasing the potential sites and participation in our innovative  medical research studies.”

The planned collaboration will allow the two hospitals to work even more closely together to improve healthcare quality and access, coordinate care and improve efficiency for their patients through shared resources and managing the flow of patients between the two facilities. The affiliation will combine a financially sound community hospital with a high-quality tertiary academic medical center to improve healthcare delivery and education in the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare reform. It will help both hospitals move toward creating an “accountable care organization,” with a network of hospitals, community physicians, shared best practices and electronic medical records. 

“This affiliation will help create a health care delivery system that will better service the needs of Long Islanders, with access to primary and specialty services on the South Fork through an integrated system that provides a full continuum of care,” said L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital, and Vice President for Health Systems, Stony Brook Medicine. “The affiliation will also enhance the quality of healthcare on Long Island; it will integrate health care operations which will foster innovations and improvements in clinical care, education, medical research and community involvement in Suffolk County.”

Patients will receive the best possible care in the facility best suited to the patient’s needs. The relationship also helps both facilities respond to healthcare reform by cultivating a broader, stronger network of hospitals and healthcare providers to improve efficiency, control costs and coordinate care better across Suffolk County.

The affiliation will also expand and enrich clinical training sites to support growing class sizes of Stony Brook’s undergraduate and graduate medicine training programs and nursing and health technology programs. It may also expand access to potential clinical trial participants to further medical research and innovation.

Under the terms of this affiliation, Southampton Hospital will provide care under Stony Brook University Hospital’s New York State operating license. Southampton Hospital Association will continue to employ the workforce of Southampton Hospital, who will remain in their current labor agreement.  

“Today the SUNY Board of Trustees has taken a critical step in advancing a regional plan that I have made a priority throughout my career -providing access to affordable, quality healthcare in eastern Suffolk County,” said Senator Ken LaValle, Chairman of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee. “Building a regional healthcare delivery system will ensure the viability of both Stony Brook Hospital and our community hospitals throughout the area.  With this vote we take a major step forward in building on the excellent healthcare system in Southampton and ensuring that residents have access to specialists and vital services close to home.  I congratulate the leadership at both Stony Brook Hospital and Southampton Hospital for their tireless efforts and dedication in creating this affiliation.  My partner in the Assembly, Fred Thiele and I have worked hard to impress upon the SUNY system the need and benefits of bringing these two hospitals together and commend the Board of Trustees for recognizing the changing face of healthcare and advancing this initiative.  Working together our ultimate goal of providing quality care to the residents in our region will now be realized,” said LaValle. 

This agreement has undergone rigorous operational, financial, legal and environmental due diligence from private auditors as well as SUNY and the Division of Budget.  The Department of Health has also advised that this plan is consistent with its goal of supporting a regionalized health care system on the East End.  As with any such transaction, this agreement now requires the approval of various New York State regulatory and legislative authorities, including the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Office of the State Comptroller.  A Certificate of Need must also be filed and approved by the New York State Department of Health to transfer Southampton’s licensed beds to Stony Brook University Hospital’s license.  Under this agreement, while these state processes are underway, Southampton and Stony Brook will move forward with the process of clinical, academic and administrative integration.

 

 

 

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