Hospital has been caring for a century

Hospital has been caring for a century

A view of the plans for the new emergency department. Photo from Huntington Hospital

Huntington Hospital has more than just its age to celebrate.

Because it has been serving the community for 99 years, working to fulfill its mission of providing high-quality health care to Long Islanders, the institution and its staff have been named Times Beacon Record Newspapers People of the Year.

Huntington Hospital has grown since its establishment in 1916.

“It has really transformed from being a community hospital to a community hospital that functions more like a university hospital,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Grosso said.

Grosso has worked there for 31 years. He said the hospital doesn’t simply treat patients but also helps educate medical students and residents alike, preparing them for any medical complications that may occur inside or outside hospital walls.

Patients go to the hospital for anything from minor health issues to robotic surgical procedures.

The latter treatment could involve, for example, a hysterectomy with a single incision that leads to minimal scaring, less pain, low blood loss and a faster recovery.

The SkyHealth team poses for a photo on the hospital’s new helipad established this past summer. Photo from Huntington Hospital
The SkyHealth team poses for a photo on the hospital’s new helipad established this past summer. Photo from Huntington Hospital

According to Executive Director Dr. Gerard Brogan, those complex procedures have “won the highest praise based on quality and clinical outcomes.”

In addition to that praise, the hospital has received several awards for its techniques, including one from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for stroke care, accreditations from the Commission on Cancer and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence award from the American College of Radiology.

Its nursing staff has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and Huntington Hospital was the first to receive such a designation three consecutive times.

“What makes Huntington so unique is its commitment to … provide the highest quality care possible anywhere, and to do it with the greatest caring,” Brogan said. “It’s not just enough to give great quality care. It also has to be quality caring.”

According to Grosso, prominent Huntington resident Cornelia Prime, who was already in her 70s, spearheaded the push to establish a hospital in the early 1900s. At the time, the closest facility was in Mineola. Prime wanted the local hospital to be a high-quality medical facility that would cater to the area’s growing population. In December 1914, she purchased the five-acre property on Park Avenue where the hospital still stands. She established the Huntington Hospital two years later.

The hospital joined the North Shore-LIJ Health System in 1994. Connecting with other facilities expanded the resources available to medical staff and patients.

It isn’t done growing. It’s expanding in 2016 to include a new emergency department to replace its current one and accommodate a recent increase in patients — the entire facility serves 50,000 patients annually.

Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) said he is proud to be a part of the institution for the past 20 years, starting as a resident in training and now as the chief of otolaryngology.

“Huntington Hospital has placed such an emphasis on serving the community and providing support,” he said in a phone interview. “They offer superior medical care and continue to update based on the needs of the community.”

Grosso said the institution is unique because of its deep roots with Huntington.

“The hospital continues to build and expand to meet the needs of the community,” Grosso said. “[It] has an unusual real relationship with the community and one of the reasons … is because it’s been there for 100 years and … there isn’t [another] hospital next door.”