Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years on infrastructure improvements, most notably a new ER and the Knapp Cardiac Care Center, which opened last year.
They’ve added new services and operating suites, and there’s a new lobby entrance under construction.
On Tuesday, hospital leaders unveiled a new name: Long Island Medical Center.
“We are the last community hospital left on Long Island,” said Cynthia Ruf, a hospital VP who led the rebranding efforts in East Patchogue.
CEO and president Richard Margulis made the announcement Tuesday at an internal celebration on campus.
“This is a great day for us,’ said Margulis, explaining the new name and re-brand plan was about 1 and 1/2 in the making. “We want to be careful; we wanted to honor our past yet move us into the future.”
As part of that process, the hospital brought in a third-party organization to run focus groups, this way any negative perceptions of the 61-year-old hospital could be explored and addressed.
“I watched with my own eyes with the focus groups,” and Ruf about learning of negative reactions to the hospital. “But then when we dug deeper much [of the perception] was not based on anything real.”
Meaning, most people who had negative thoughts were either wrong in their assumptions, or relying on third hand negative stores.
“The really positive side of all that, was once we started to talk about all the awards we’ve won and what services are new to the hospital, people would say, ‘Why aren’t you telling people that?’”
Now they will be, but as Long Island Medical Center.
Even, geographically, the name Brookhaven became dated, as the hospital now operates MyHealth Long Island physician practices across the South Shore, including in Islip Town.
Margulis says the hospital’s coverage area is huge compared to other Long Island hospitals, running from Oakdale to East Moriches. And it’s expanding.
“When we look at our data, we see patients from just about every zip codes in Suffolk County,” he said.
Above all, the faculty and staff have become prideful of the hospital’s community hospital status now that they’re the last one on the island.
All other Long Island medical centers are now affiliated with larger organizations that Margulis said might be driven by more of a corporate culture.
“We’re members of the community, we’re your neighbors and we’re here for you,” he said. “And it’s important for people to select us for those reasons. Here you’ll find warmth and understanding.
“And everyone works really hard each day to make those connections.”