The 18-member Board of Trustees of the State University of New York voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve a partnership between Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital that could pave the way for a new campus of Southampton Hospital at Stony Brook-Southampton.
The two hospitals have been formally affiliated since 2008, and in 2012, leaders of both hospitals signed a letter of intent to have Southampton Hospital enter the Stony Brook Medicine health care system.
The SUNY board’s Academic Medical Centers and Hospitals Committe had approved the agreement Monday, and brought it to the full SUNY board for a vote Tuesday morning.
SUNY Trustee Cary Staller, whose family’s bequest created Stony Brook’s Staller Center for the Arts and who is a member of the hospitals committee, told the SUNY board that there are three conditions to the board’s approval.
He said Stony Brook University and the SUNY system will not provide funding for capital improvements for a Southampton Hospital campus, Stony Brook University will establish cash reserves to cover Southampton Hospital’s liabilities, and both hospitals will prepare a comprehensive plan to govern their affiliation.
Under the terms of the affiliation, Southampton Hospital will provide care under Stony Brook’s operating license and the Southampton Hospital Association will continue to employ the workforce at Southampton Hospital under their current labor agreement.
“Our Board of Directors and staff are grateful for the confidence in Southampton Hospital that SUNY Trustees have demonstrated by today’s vote,” said Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert S. Chaloner in a statement provided today by Stony Brook University. “We look forward to working with Stony Brook on completing the remainder of the regulatory process.”
Stony Brook Univeristy President Sam Stanley, who was present at the SUNY meeting, told the board of trustees that the affiliation would allow both hospitals to “compete sucessfully in very crowded marketplace, but one in which we’re excelling.”
“This is a win-win in every sense of the word,” he said. “It’s taking two fiscally strong institutions and strengthening both of them. We’re very grateful. There’s still work to be done but this is a very important first step.”
Trustee Eunice Lewin, who serves on the hospital committee, said she was originally skeptical of the proposal, but after visiting Southampton Hospital was impressed by the hospital’s work to provide care to migrant workers and members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation.
“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 give Stony Brook University Hospital access to expanded clinical training sites for students in Stony Brook’s medical training programs, and could expand the university’s access to clinical trial participants.
The affiliation will now need to be approved by the state comptroller and attorney general’s office and the state Department of Health will need to approve the transfer of Southampton’s licensed beds to Stony Brook’s license.