“I love our hospital and all those I work with. We love to serve the community. It’s an honor to meet and care for so many wonderful people. It’s OUR hospital together,” wrote one Brookhaven Memorial Hospital employee.
“BMH is your true community hospital,” wrote a community member on Facebook.
“I think they have come a long way to providing quality care to our community. It’s time to give credit where credit is due,” wrote another.
That’s the type of feedback Brookhaven Memorial used when contemplating a name change and re-branding initiative.
The word “community” kept coming up.
Indeed, Brookhaven is the last Long Island hospital to remain independent among the ever-widening expansion of regional health systems like Northwell Health and Stony Brook Medicine.
Hence the new name: Long Island Community Hospital.
GreaterPatchouge learned of the name Wednesday.
“People were already referring to Brookhaven as a community hospital,” said Cynthia Ruf, vice president of branding & stakeholder relationships at the hospital.
In February, the Brookhaven Memorial unveiled a new name to its employees and the general public: Long Island Medical Center.
At the time, hospital leaders said incorporating Long Island into the new name was more reflective of the people it serves well beyond Brookhaven Town.
The hospital operates MyHealth Long Island physician practices across the South Shore, including in Islip Town.
Hospital CEO and president Richard Margulis explained that 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 told GreaterPatchogue in February.
However, after the announcement, New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, which operates Long Island Jewish Medical Center, asked Brookhaven to reconsider the name change.
“They thought there might be some confusion,” Ruf said this week.
So she and hospital leaders went back to the drawing board.
“At the end of the day, we got the right name for us,” she said. “We’re not attempting to position ourselves against the big systems.”
“Our position is that we’re Long Island’s only independent, community hospital, and that means we deliver a different kind of care” from the big systems, she continued. “The positive meaning of community seems to work for everyone and the [hospital] board was very supportive.”
In a statement issued Wednesday, Margulis said:
“The name ‘Long Island Community Hospital’ embraces our true identity and the expectations we have for delivering high quality care with a heartfelt connection, from a talented and empathetic team, in a state-of the-art-environment for all of our Long Island community.
“As Long Islanders we are devoted to this community we call home. We serve our patients as guests with a mix of courage and heart that only those from here can understand, and we do this every single day.”
The hospital 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.
The hospital also purchased the former Foley nursing home in Yaphank for $15 million in 2016 with plans to provide outpatient services on the campus, such as dialysis, adult day care, Medicaid assisted living, pediatric services and drug rehabilitation, according to reports.
A rebranding advertising initiative will soon be under way.
Photo: The new Knapp Cardiac Care Center at Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue. (courtesy)