Evolution of suburban hospitals on Long Island and NSHC
NSHC grew out of concern held by hospital trustees that hospital facilities in the Nassau and Suffolk counties were inadequate to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding population. In 1951, these trustees formed a citizen’s committee chaired by James W. Carpenter of the Long Island Lighting Company. Its report was completed in 1954 and called for the development of a hospital council to better plan, coordinate and finance health care facilities and services on Long Island.
In 1955, a group of six voluntary, not-for-profit hospitals formed the Hospital Council of Nassau County. In 1956, a seventh Nassau facility was admitted to membership and the Council’s charter was expanded to include seven Suffolk facilities under a new name, the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Inc.
NSHC was born just as the Baby Boom generation got underway and settlers flocked to Long Island. This population explosion and expansion necessitated the need for more hospital beds, more preventive and primary care services and eventually, ever more advanced medical technology, treatment, testing and diagnostics. Iron lungs gave rise to hyperbaric oxygen chambers, digital and filmless x-ray technology replaced cumbersome x-ray equipment and many invasive surgeries became laparoscopic procedures. Today, advances in pharmaceuticals for pain and diseases offer hope to patients never imagined just several decades ago.