The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Jan. 13 to approve an new affiliation agreement between Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital.
“This is a win-win in every sense of the word,” Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “I think we’re taking two strong, fiscally strong institutions, both of which are externally valuable to the community, and strengthening both of them through this action.”
Under the agreement, Southampton Hospital will provide its services under Stony Brook University Hospital’s state operating license and Southampton Hospital employees will stay under their current labor agreement, according to a university press release.
Stephanie Fargnoli, the SUNY senior director of academic health and hospitals affairs, said at the SUNY Board of Trustee’s Academic Medical Center and Hospital Committee meeting on Monday that Southampton Hospital will lease its facilities to Stony Brook University Hospital.
She also said 25 of Southampton Hospital’s 125 beds will be transferred to Stony Brook, the CEO of Southampton will become that Chief Administrative Officer and report to Stony Brook University Hospital’s CEO and a joint advisory committee with members of both hospitals will advise Southampton on strategic initiatives.
The agreement needs to go through several New York state agencies, including the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Comptroller and the Department of Health.
“Not only will it help to expand medicine and medical innovation by enhancing education and research, it will also increase clinical training sites and potential sites and participation for medical research and trials,” Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, the dean of Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine, said in a press release.
SUNY Trustee Eunice Lewin spoke highly of Southampton Hospital during the board meeting.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of patients and commitment to health care for migrant workers and also the Shinnecock Indian nation,” she said. “I believe this affiliation will strengthen both institutions and enhance medical education and training for our students and residents and expand healthcare in Eastern Long Island.”
Under the SUNY Board of Trustees’ resolution, neither SUNY nor the state would fund any new construction or renovations at Southampton Hospital.
Southampton Hospital and the 603-bed Stony Brook University Hospital have been formally affiliated since 2008, as the Berger Commission recommended in 2006.
Leadership from both hospitals signed a nonbinding letter of intent in 2012 that called for Southampton to join the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system.
The letter of intent also called for Southampton Hospital to raise funds for the construction of a new hospital on Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus. The new hospital would replace Southampton Hospital’s current facilities, which opened in 1909.
The SUNY Board of Trustees adopted another resolution in May of 2014, stating that the board “supports the activity of development of viable, long term regional health networks and collaborations by its hospitals.”
That same month, Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn closed after it affiliated with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, costing Downstate millions of dollars.
Two other hospitals, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, are also in affiliation talks with Stony Brook.