South Nassau Communities Hospital finalized a deal Thursday to acquire Superstorm Sandy-ravaged Long Beach Medical Center, which has been closed since the hurricane struck nearly two years ago.
South Nassau moved forward on the $11.8 million acquisition after receiving assurances from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that it would be reimbursed for the purchase. In Letter of Understanding sent to the Oceanside hospital, FEMA signaled that South Nassau would be reimbursed with up to $176.9 million.
FEMA funds will also go toward developing new health care facilities and other services, including emergency services, at the site.
“This closing signifies major progress in our effort to fulfill our mission to meet the need for patient-centered healthcare services in Long Beach and surrounding South Shore communities,” SNCH President and CEO Richard J. Murphy said in a statement released late Friday. “We’re moving from a complex transactional stage, with intricate legal and regulatory requirements, to a transformational one in which we will focus on how we can provide new medical services.”
The purchase was approved by a bankruptcy court in May.
The hospital also announced that it would pay vacation time accrued by more than 450 hospital-based employees “up to and through the shuttering of LBMC,” it said in its statement.
South Nassau said engineers have been assessing the damage caused by Sandy, and expect the assessment to be completed in November. South Nassau will use that report to create a plan for the future of the medical center.
“South Nassau looks forward to a successful revitalization and development of patient-centered healthcare services that meet the needs of residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities,” the hospital said in a statement.
In July, South Nassau opened an urgent care facility on the barrier island. Still, residents expressed frustration that Long Beach was still without a hospital capable of offering emergency services.