While shopping malls are an iconic cultural touchstone of the past couple decades, there’s no denying the sharp decline in their popularity with the advent of online shopping. Some malls across Long Island, most notably the Sunrise Mall, are shells of their former selves.
However, Lake Grove’s Smith Haven Mall, split almost evenly between Smithtown and Brookhaven Townships, has not seen as sharp a decline. Patronage is still frequent, while the current variety of stores is unparalleled by the mall’s past.
And now, the mall can boast another significant development: a Stony Brook Advanced Specialty Care facility.
The unit was announced in 2021 and was slated for construction within the vacant two-story property that once contained Sears department store. Within the last year, construction has been mostly completed. While the facility is not observably under construction, there are certain departments that have not yet been developed within the building. Some of those services, such as orthopedic services, obstetrics and gynecology, and imaging and radiology services, are slated for 2024.
Despite this, the facility is already taking patients in its pediatric center, neurology, internal medicine, and genetic counseling services. The facility also boasts pain management, family, population, and preventive medicine, Diabetes
education, and women, infant, and children (WIC) nutrition programs.
The event offered tours of the entire facility to the press, members of the Stony Brook faculty, health professionals, and elected officials. Elected officials in attendance included, but were not limited to, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R-Kings Park), Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Smithtown),
State Senator Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue), Suffolk Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) of the Twelfth District, Smithtown Councilman Tom Lohmann (R-Smithtown), Smithtown Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo (R-Kings Park), Lake Grove Mayor Robert Scottaline, and Brookhaven Town Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook).
Suffolk Health Commissioner Gregson Pigott, MD, MPH, was also in attendance and received a tour of the facility.
Hal Paz, MD, MS, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Stony Brook University, and Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Medicine, shared how the facility will shape the future of healthcare.
“A critical piece of our planning for the future is making access to world-class healthcare at Stony Brook Medicine easier for our patients — and expansion of our outpatient sites is one way we are delivering on this promise… I applaud those who joined us in the vision to take this large unused retail space and transform it into the modern, accessible outpatient healthcare center it is today. This facility will greatly boost Stony Brook Medicine’s progress toward creating a future that transforms lives on Long Island through innovations in healthcare, research, and education.”
Peter Igarashi, MD, Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, explained how the facility will also include space for clinical research, saying, “Our goal is to provide one-stop shopping where patients can receive clinical care, and on the same visit have the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials that will improve the detection, treatment and prevention of disease.”
Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis said: “Stony Brook Medicine brings world class – and even one of a kind – medical care to Long Islanders’ backyards…Stony Brook Medicine is reminding our patients that we are
here for them. We believe in quality healthcare that is accessible to all.”
Supervisor Romaine said: “This is indeed a great day for Brookhaven, Suffolk County, and Smithtown. This is a great university and hospital, with great staff. You think about life, and you wonder, and you ask people in their everyday lives what concerns them. They’re concerned when a member of their family gets sick, when their mother or father has to be hospitalized. They’re concerned about health, because without health, you don’t have anything else. This facility will do so much good, for so many years, for so many people.”
Supervisor Wehrheim said: “Smithtown is in the process of a renaissance. We are reinventing Smithtown; we’re doing multiple renovations in all three business districts. We are approaching five hundred rental units of luxury apartments. Those people will certainly be served by Stony Brook Medicine, the doctors and people who take care of their health needs and save their lives. This is an excellent partnership and a huge benefit to the new residents who will be coming to live in Smithtown and for Stony Brook Medicine.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony commenced after speeches from public officials and Stony Brook Medicine professionals concluded. Tours resumed afterward.
The development of the facility is set to continue through 2027, with the strategic plan charted for 2029. That plan includes “fostering a high performance culture, transforming healthcare delivery, fostering a culture of research excellence and innovation, providing exceptional inter-professional education, and ensuring operational excellence.”