ELIH History

Eastern Long Island Hospital proudly celebrates its 110th Anniversary in 2015. ELIH, the first voluntary Hospital in Suffolk County, has a rich and progressive history.

Its humble beginnings can be traced back to the Mansion donated by the Wood sisters in 1905. This Victorian structure remained a part of the Hospital campus through 1950.The ‘Little Red House’ is the only remaining structure from the Mansion estate. Although the ‘Red House’ began as a residence for nurses, it housed many different departments, including the Opportunity Shop, Laundry, and Community Relations before returning to its original purpose- nurses’ residence- in 2004.The summer of 1905 marked the beginning of the Eastern Long Island Hospital Association. The Association held their first official meeting on August 16th to establish several committees—House, Building, Wardrobe and Grounds, and a Ladies Auxiliary in order to convert the Mansion into a facility to care for patients. The Auxiliary led the way for the official opening of the Hospital by raising funds to install a steam heating system. Other fundraising efforts led to the installation of an Otis Elevator, and the first x-ray machine in 1916.

During the 1920’s, a motor ambulance was acquired and a modern sewage plant was built. Improvements to the radiology department included the installation of a more powerful x-ray machine. In the 1930’s, the Mansion was expanded with the addition of a childrens ward and a delivery room. Construction of a two-story fireproof brick wing was completed in 1939.

In the 40’s, wartime nurses aides trained for the American Red Cross. A “Victory Fund Drive” launched in 1943 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II resulted in $52,000 in funds raised for further modernization. During the 50’s and 60’s, new programs and equipment were added to enhance the health of the community. Improvements included the purchase of electric beds, cardiac pacemakers, and a 24-hour emergency room service.In the 70’s, the first permanent pacemaker was installed. Further expansion in the 1970’s included new patient facilities for an ICU-CCU, several new operating suites, a helipad, ambulatory care departments, and laboratory facilities.

In the 80’s, ultrasound imaging equipment was acquired, and an 18-bed mental health unit was added. At the close of the decade, a 20-bed inpatient alcohol rehab unit opened.

Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) were both welcomed additions in the 90’s. Other new technology included laparoscopic gall bladder surgery.

In 2003, a community-planned Emergency Dock was added providing access to quality care by land, air and sea. January 2005 marked the opening of a newly rebuilt state-of-the-art Emergency Department.

The combined efforts of the community, medical staff, employees and members of the Board of Trustees continue to make Eastern Long Island Hospital a special place to work.

Recognized for the delivery of consistently high quality care, Eastern Long Island Hospital earned national status of “Top 10% in the Country” and “Best” on Long Island as reported in The New York Times.