A suburban city of 33,000 is once again receiving emergency health care after its hospital was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
The newly opened South Nassau Urgent Care Center at Long Beach began operations last week, replacing the shuttered Long Beach Medical Center. The medical center, which was flooded during the October 2012 storm, never reopened after revelations surfaced that it was in dire financial shape.
A bankruptcy judge in May approved the sale of the medical center to South Nassau Communities Hospital of Oceanside, which held an open house on Thursday to celebrate the changeover.
"This is just the first step in building a patient-centered, high-quality healthcare delivery system that restores vital healthcare services to the residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities," said Richard J. Murphy, president and CEO at South Nassau Communities Hospital.
While not a full-fledged hospital, the new Long Beach facility — located up the street from the old medical center — has 10 private examination rooms, two procedure rooms and radiology imaging and laboratory suites. Those in need of more extensive care will be transferred to either South Nassau's Oceanside hospital or a hospital of their choice, officials said.
The facility will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Until last week, all Long Beach residents had to either travel to Oceanside or other hospitals further away from the barrier island that faces the Atlantic Ocean.
"Having an urgent care facility in Long Beach is definitely a positive step forward by South Nassau, and we are still advocating to have a 911-receiving emergency room as soon as possible," said Long Beach City Council Vice President Fran Adelson.