Stony Brook Celebrates Completion of New Children’s Hospital

On Oct. 17, Stony Brook University commemorated the latest advancement in medical care for children with the completion of the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

“Today we celebrate Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where our youngest patients benefit from world-class healthcare,” said Michael Bernstein, PhD, Interim President for Stony Brook University, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on the Stony Brook Medicine campus. “This beautiful new, state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital will expand Stony Brook’s capabilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of children and their families across Long Island.”

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson cited Stony Brook Children’s as the latest evidence of Stony Brook University’s leading role in healthcare education and clinical care for the SUNY system.

“Through significant New York State investment and private donations, SUNY is well positioned to serve the healthcare needs of the state by educating future generations of medical professionals and providing direct care at our excellent hospitals,” Johnson said. “That couldn’t be more true at Stony Brook University today, as we celebrate the new Children’s hospital; the direct result of strategic collaborations, state funding, and generous support from many individual, corporate and foundation donors.”

“Nine years ago, we literally planted a flag in the ground and declared the ‘birth’ of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “Our children’s hospital has grown up quickly, and now has become the leading children’s hospital on Long Island, with more than 180 pediatric specialists in more than 30 specialties.

Stony Brook Children’s provides cutting-edge research, child-sized technological innovations, clinical trials and breakthrough techniques to benefit pediatric patients as Long Island’s only children’s teaching hospital.

 “The new hospital was designed with patients at the center of our thinking and planning, to promote their safety, well-being and healing,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Knapp Professor of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children's Hospital. ”When it opens, Stony Brook will be the only children’s hospital on Long Island with all single-patient rooms, which will allow us to combine the best practices in modern pediatric medicine with a child-first, family-first philosophy.”

The hospital project received broad support from legislators, the community, civic organizations, schools and philanthropic organizations, as well as individual donors. It was made possible by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the State University of New York under the leadership of former Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher through a $35 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, $50 million in State Senate funding for the hospital and the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building from Senators John Flanagan and Kenneth LaValle, and through $50 million in support from a historic $150 million gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons.

“I am pleased to continue my support of the Children’s Hospital,” said Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. “It is critically important that families going through such an emotional time will receive cutting-edge healthcare close to their homes and their support systems. The facility is well on its way to becoming a preeminent children’s medical care provider in the region.” 

“It is truly my pleasure to have the opportunity to join the Stony Brook University community to celebrate the opening of this state-of-the-art facility that will bring enhanced care to the most vulnerable of our region,” said Senator John Flanagan. “Having worked jointly with Senator LaValle to secure state funding for this project, it has been rewarding to see it being utilized to ensure that all families who will come here will have the greatest possible care and we congratulate all involved for making this a reality.”

“Stony Brook Medicine has been such an important resource for the health and wellness of the Long Island community for so long,” said David Knapp of the Knapp Swezey and Island Outreach Foundations, which have provided philanthropic support for the new hospital. “We are excited about the opening of the new Children’s Hospital building, knowing that it will ensure the children of Suffolk County receive the very best care available.”

Delaney Unger, an Osteosarcoma survivor who received a unique amputation called rotationplasty in the spring of 2017 at Stony Brook Children’s, sang the praises of the hospital staff who cared for her.

“It became my second home,” she said of the children’s hospital. “During my time there, the doctors, nurses and Child Life [Specialists] became family to me. They were there for me with whatever I needed to make me as comfortable as I could be. They were always there with a smile to make me feel better.”

“I must say, I am a little jealous of the new beautiful Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” said Delaney, 13, daughter of Noah and Melissa Unger of Selden. “I can attest that not only will the children who stay here get the best possible care, but they will also do so in a fantastic new facility designed with them in mind.”

Each room of the new hospital includes patient, family and healthcare provider areas. State-of-the-art hospital beds will capture and download patient information directly into the patients’ charts. Every room contains a proprietary security system, with interactive televisions, in-room refrigerators and kid-focused menus.

The hospital has separate child and teen playrooms, as well as common areas, including an outdoor garden, and a classroom with wi-fi so students can keep up with their studies.

For family members and visitors, the hospital provides a new Ronald McDonald Family Room, courtesy of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, to offer a welcoming place for family respite, comfort and support. 

The hospital’s design and amenities are supported by research that shows that a child-friendly environment contributes to better outcomes for children. Patient rooms include multi-colored wall lights controlled by patients, to give them a greater sense of control over their environment during what can be a frightening time for them and their families.

“We have enjoyed the support of Long Island’s artistic community in providing artwork for the facility with a Long Island nautical theme, complete with a lighthouse and a wall-sized live feed from the Long Island Aquarium,” said Dr. McGovern. “It is truly an outstanding art collection for the entire community, living in harmony with the building's architecture and reflecting the healing mission of Stony Brook Children’s.”

In anticipation of the hospital’s opening, a community-wide Open House took place on Nov. 2. More than 1,000 community members came to the event to learn about and tour the new facility, enjoy performances by a local school choral group, view a health and safety art show and participate in a wide range of kid and family friendly activities. Over 150 volunteers from Stony Brook Children’s and the community donated their time and energy to help make this event a success.

At the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony are, left to right front row: New York State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick; Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association and Chair of the Stony Brook Council; Kenneth Kaushansky MD, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle; SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson; Michael Bernstein, PhD, Interim President, Stony Brook University; David and Michele Knapp from the Knapp Swezey and Island Outreach Foundations; New York State Senator John Flanagan; Peg McGovern, MD, PhD, Knapp Professor of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital; Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright; and Lisa Santeramo, Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, representing New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.