Becoming Long Island Community Hospital
President and CEO Richard Margulis stands by the name announcement sign with Debra Grimm, chief nursing officer, and Matt Peddie, VP chief information officer.


Becoming Long Island Community Hospital


Formerly known as Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center with a brief trial period as Long Island Medical Center, the only independent hospital left on Long Island has announced its official name change to Long Island Community Hospital — emphasizing community — during their annual employee barbecue last week.

Cynthia Ruf, vice president of branding and stakeholder relations, said the hospital plans to ease the transition by going by both names, BMHMC and LI Community Hospital, slowly making changes to things as small as business cards to as big as advertisements as needed.

“It has always been important to me to get this right. Now I can say, without hesitation, this name represents who we are … everything we do is for the community. If I had to pick out one element of what makes me so proud of this organization, it is the connections our team makes with our patients and guests every single day,” said president and CEO Richard Margulis.

The new name was revealed during the annual employee barbecue in an effort to let the employees “own it” first. It came with a confetti pop and curtain drop reveal while taking an employee photo and was followed by a new rendition of the golf cart karaoke video.

“We wanted the employees to know first, because it’s really about them and the community they serve,” said Ruf. “It’s still the same concept behind the name 100 percent.”

Back in February, BMHMC announced their new name as Long Island Medical Center with the intentions of a complete rebrand. Healthcare, according to Margulis, has changed dramatically, becoming impersonal, while BMH, on the other hand, has remained personal. Over the past five years, with Margulis at the helm, the hospital and its staff have been working to improve the quality of its services, Ruf explained. She said they still hope the rebranding will help the hospital move away from the age-old stigma it once had and toward more of the community feel they have worked so hard to create.

Ruf, according to Margulis, was hired about two years ago with rebranding in mind. The over-a-year-in-the-making rebranding was not a change that happened overnight and the board, he said, carefully made decisions, by holding stakeholder meetings, focus groups, employee surveys and listening to the community.

Since the February announcement, feedback from additional online focus groups and the hired National Research Company suggested a larger emphasis on being a community hospital, the whole reason for the second name change, Ruf said. 

“It puts the word in the name and totally fits who we are and who we are proud to be,” she said. “It’s all about the community.”

BMH confirmed rumors of Northwell Health contacting BMH over concerns for the original name change to Long Island Medical Center, however, according to Ruf, it didn’t affect their decision to change the name again. Rather, it was an internal decision driven by feedback to rework the name and legal actions were never made.

In addition to the new name change, the hospital will be revamping their logo sometime in the coming days and the newly obtained naming rights to the former Pennysaver Amphitheater will also be changed to read Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheatre this summer.

“It’s instantly recognizable of who we are,” said Ruf.

“I didn’t dislike the old name, but I did understand the need to make a change and I am very happy with it. We are a community hospital, it fits right in,” added board member Clyde Parker.

BMHMC, now LI Community Hospital, is the only independent hospital left on Long Island and serves the needs of a 400,000-plus population living within 28 different zip codes.

Founded in 1956, the hospital began as a two-story building on a road built specifically for it. Since then, the hospital has grown, with first an emergency room and many additions, up to the most recent Knapp Cardiac Care Center and the approval of 12 additional hemodialysis chairs at the former John J. Foley site in Yaphank.

They now provide the community with a number of services, including: bariatric care, behavioral health, cancer care, cardiac care, diagnostics, diabetes care and education, emergency medicine, family medicine, gastroenterology, home healthcare, hospice care, hospital services, nutritional services, imaging/radiology, infectious diseases, intensive care, medicine, neurology, nutritional services, nephrology, orthopedics, pain management, palliative care, primary care, pulmonary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, respiratory care, sleep care, spinal, stroke, surgery, women’s health and wound care and hyperbaric medicine.

“We can’t emphasize community enough. We want to be the hospital residents can rely on,” said Ruf. “We want the community to choose us and for our employees to be able to align with our expectations and values.”