By L. Reuven Pasternak, M.D.
When hospitals in the same region are able to work together, they can deliver health care to residents in ways that are complementary, efficient and effective.
We are celebrating a major milestone in the development of the Stony Brook Medicine health system to transform health care on the East End of Long Island. On Aug. 1, Stony Brook finalized an agreement with the 125-bed Southampton Hospital — now called Stony Brook Southampton Hospital — to join as a member of Stony Brook Medicine.
Although Stony Brook and Southampton have been providing health care services to the East End for nearly 10 years, this formal agreement will enable us to improve health care quality and access, coordinate care and improve efficiency for patients through shared resources and managing the flow of patients between the two facilities.
Patients will benefit from this relationship because it helps our hospitals match the level of care provided to the level of care needed in the facility ideally suited to a patient’s needs. It provides patients from eastern Long Island with greater access to Stony Brook Medicine’s specialists, clinical trials and advanced technology, combined with the convenience and personalized care of a community-based hospital.
In the time that it has taken to finalize our agreement, we have successfully collaborated on bringing new services to the East End, the most critical of which is the new cardiac catheterization laboratory, part of the Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center, which will be the first on Long Island to open east of Route 112, and where clinical operations are scheduled to begin on Sept. 5.
And coming in late 2018 is the new Phillips Family Cancer Center, a facility that will be staffed by both Stony Brook-based physicians and physicians from Southampton and promises to make top-level cancer care more easily accessible to East End residents.
Stony Brook and Southampton have been working collaboratively in our hybrid operating room, which is also part of the Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center. This specialty operating room, equipped with sophisticated imaging, enables Stony Brook board-certified vascular surgeons to perform minimally invasive interventions to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, complex peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease and the entire spectrum of vascular conditions.
Additional cardiology services have been established in the East End area. Stony Brook cardiologists Travis Bench, M.D., and Dhaval Patel, M.D., have opened practices at 676 County Road 39A, Southampton, and 600 Main Street, Center Moriches, so that patients with specific types of focused cardiac issues can get care closer to home.
Another important benefit of our agreement is that we now have additional clinical training sites to support the growing class sizes of Stony Brook’s undergraduate and graduate medicine training programs, as well as health technology programs. Graduate medical education programs, including internal medicine, family medicine internship and residency programs, plus osteopathic medicine programs in surgery and transitional year resident programs are currently being offered at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital with additional rotations planned for emergency medicine medical students and residents.
Together we are taking a bold step forward for the advancement of health care as we build on our successful collaborations to better serve the needs of Long Islanders.
Dr. L. Reuven Pasternak is the CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital and vice president for health systems, Stony Brook Medicine.