By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center and Long Island’s North Shore-LIJ Health System announced on Tuesday that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) initiating “exclusive negotiations” to explore a partnership.
“This preliminary announcement is the result of a focused, 12-month strategic planning process by the Maimonides Board of Trustees and our executive team to identify a regional partner whose vision and commitment to excellence are aligned with ours,” Pamela S. Brier, president and chief executive officer of Maimonides Medical Center, said in a statement.
“We look forward to our continuing discussions with North Shore-LIJ and both agree that benefit to the communities we serve will be our highest priority,” she said. Maimonides, a highly-regarded hospital located in Borough Park, is known for its cardiac care, cancer center, obstetrics and a children's hospital.
“North Shore-LIJ has been exploring opportunities in Brooklyn for several years, as we continue to expand beyond our traditional service areas on Long Island, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan,” Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ said.
“We believe Maimonides would be an ideal partner, considering the medical center is already the pre-eminent provider of health care in Brooklyn,” he added.
After a final agreement is reached, Maimonides will continue to operate as a full-service, tertiary hospital. North Shore plans to make Maimonides the hub of a network of services in Brooklyn.
Maimonides has 711 beds and over 70 subspecialty programs; North Shore-LIJ’s hospital system includes 19 hospitals on Long Island, in New York City and the northern suburbs and employs 54,000 people, making it the largest private employer in New York State.
The two institutions partnered last March in a bid for the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, in a deal with developer Don Peebles and ProHealth Care Associates. The joint proposal would have offered a slate of health services at the Cobble Hill site, but would not have operated LICH as a full service hospital.
Their bid, which came in second, was rejected by LICH operator SUNY in a controversial RFP process. Fortis Property Group ended up with the LICH campus for a bid of $240 million.
NYU Langone Medical Center is currently operating a walk-in emergency department on the LICH site, along with Lutheran Medical Center. NYU Langone and Lutheran are also in the midst of a merger.
Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released an executive budget which included $700 million in capital funding for health care in central and eastern Brooklyn.
In October 2013, the Cuomo administration floated the idea of replacing the aging campuses of three Brooklyn hospitals – University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) at SUNY Downstate, Brookdale and Kingsbrook Jewish—with a new $1 billion hospital in East Flatbush, Crain’s reported.