The former John J. Foley Nursing Facility at 4 Grover Drive, in Yaphank, is up for sale.
According to an emailed statement from NYU Langone Health, which took over Long Island Community Hospital, formerly Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, “Long Island Community Hospital (LICH) originally purchased this property from Suffolk County in 2016 and subsequently made a decision to market the property for sale. After NYU Langone Health’s affiliation with the hospital took effect, the decision was made to sell the building. It is our hope that the property’s new owner will find an appropriate community use for it.”
A source observed recently that a window was open at the building and the interior seemed to be in disarray.
NYU Langone Health and Long Island Community Hospital announced their affiliation in 2021.
Back in December 2015, Suffolk County legislators voted unanimously to sell Foley to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center for $15 million, with a 120-day due diligence period.
The county closed the 18,749-square-foot building at the end of June in 2013. It meant discharging patients to other facilities, some of whom had been there for decades and had special needs. Staff also had to scramble for new jobs. It was a 264-bed Medicare and Medicaid-certified skilled nursing facility and was considered a caring public health resource.
Suffolk County, under county executive Steve Bellone, ultimately claimed it was too expensive to run.
At the time of the BMHMC purchase, the hospital had plans to move its dialysis center on West Main Street to the former Foley facility and was hoping to partner with a nonprofit to bring a Medicaid-reimbursed nursing home. Offering alcohol and drug services as well as veterans services, and expanding outpatient services besides hemodialysis with sleep testing, transitional and primary care, were among the possibilities.
While there were other offers, Ken Rozenberg, CEO of Centers Health Care LLC, bid $20 million with contingencies, but BMHMC’s offer was more attractive because it was believed local staff and services would be used. It was also agreed that the John J. Foley name would remain.
John J. Foley was a former legislator who believed in and pushed for establishing a responsible public health facility that opened in 1995.
In 2020, it was being considered as a temporary facility to house COVID patients.
BMHMC’s dialysis presence at 109 West Main Street is still there, under Long Island Community Hospital, said mayor Paul Pontieri.
“If the original plan for the dialysis center to be at Foley was followed through, it would have been possible to have a hotel there at that time. That was the plan then, but things change.”
Former Suffolk County legislator, New York State senator, Brookhaven Town supervisor and New York State deputy regional director of Long Island State Parks Region Brian X. Foley, son of Suffolk County legislator John J. Foley, who died in 2009, commented on the sale.
“It’s a surprise to me that Long Island Community Hospital was attempting to sell the property. I thought after the plans unraveled, they’d find another health care use. At the time it was constructed, I had a number of county engineers tell me it was one of the best constructed buildings they ever worked on.”
When NYU Langone was asked if they were marketing the building to other health care agencies or to whoever was interested in the property, they replied: “NYU Langone Health is engaged in a broad marketing effort to a pool of potential buyers.”
Foley said he’d hope NYU Langone would reconsider offering the building to a health services organization as part of their mission. “I believe they have the means themselves to bring it up to standards and offer public services to the region,” he said. “The Long Island Region of 3 million people is graying, and this building is well placed to serve that population as well as other populations with the right combination of staffing and technology.
“This isn’t a criticism; it’s just pointing out an opportunity.”