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South Nassau Gets $6.6M for Urgent Care Center in Long Beach

Long Beach Medical Center. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Long Beach Medical Center. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside received a $6.6 million federal grant to rebuild an urgent care center at Long Beach Medical Center, which has remained closed despite having been rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the bayside facility nearly a year ago, Gov. Cuomo’s office announced Thursday.

The grant will provide support for staff, clinical services, equipment, supplies and other expenses for South Nassau to start and operate a comprehensive hospital level urgent-care facility on the LBMC campus, including 12 exam rooms, an ambulance triage, a laboratory, and radiology imaging services, all of which will provide care on a walk-in basis without an appointment, according to Newsday

South Nassau stated that the grant would also "allow for studies which will assist in the long-term redevelopment of the Long Beach Medical Center campus. These will include a complete physical assessment of the very substantial infrastructure damage to the facility and building systems sustained as a result of Sandy."

The federal Superstorm Sandy Social Services Block Grant is part of $200 million in federal dollars awarded to more than 450 human service providers and other community-based organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

“This funding will help providers cover significant costs resulting from the storm, including repairs and renovation of critical facilities, unreimbursed expenses, and ongoing services to impacted New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With today’s grants, we are directing assistance to the people and communities that need it most so the State as a whole can continue to build back stronger than before.”

Since June, LBMC has been in negotiations with South Nassau about a potential merger, the details of which remain undisclosed. The 162-bed hospital sustained $56 million in damages during last year’s storm, but although work to repair the hospital, including the emergency department, was completed in June and will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state has kept the facility closed.

The state cited as reasons for its decision LBMC’s loss of more than $2 million per year since 2008 and the lack of a sustainable healthcare business model and plan to meet community needs. In a letter to the hospital’s Board of Trustees, state Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah called on the hospital to declare bankruptcy and merge with South Nassau in Oceanside unless it can generate a viable financial plan.

However, LBMC officials maintained that an acute-care hospital with emergency services is necessary on the barrier island, given its isolation from the Nassau County mainland and distance from neighboring hospitals.

Sharon Playeer, LBMC’s director of public affairs, was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon.  

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