Fewer children are being born in Suffolk County since 2007, but among those families, more parents are choosing to give birth at Stony Brook University Hospital, according to data supplied by hospital officials.
Births between 2007 and 2011 increased 2.9 percent while birth rates in Suffolk declined 17 percent, data show. Hospital officials attribute Stony Brook's growth to several factors. Among those factors: the 2010 formation of Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital and the 2011 opening of the brand-new labor and delivery unit and brand-new 46-bed neo-natal intensive care unit, both of which guarantee each patient a private room.
When births at Stony Brook peaked in 2009, hospital officials attributed it to two factors: the closure of Brookhaven Memorial Hospital's maternity ward and the opening of SBUH's postpartum unit, both of which happened between 2008 into 2009.
Dr. Todd Griffin, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, said Stony Brook has also been doing more outreach among the patient community.
"People are becoming more aware of what’s capable at Stony Brook," he said. "Our children’s hospital and neo-natal intensive care unit have become more prominent. They’re not necessarily going to need what we have at Stony Brook, but it's nicee to know it’s there in case you need it."
Griffin also predicted that going forward, "there will be somewhat of a consolidation of obstetric services in the county."
"From a financial viability to a quality perspective, it’s just too hard to do it if you don’t do it on a larger scale. You can’t do it right," he said. "Probably fewer hospitals [will be] doing deliveries but they will be doing more deliveries than they are currently doing."Year Births at Stony Brook Births in Suffolk County Percent 2007 3,312 17,279 19.2 2008 3,310 16,960 19.5 2009 3,686 15,986 23.1 2010 3,594 15,544 23.1 2011 3,409 14,771 23.2 2012 3,595 N/A N/A
Source: Stony Brook University Hospital Media Relations