MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The largest health system in the Tri-State Area now has a new name.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the North Shore-LIJ Health System has been renamed Northwell Health. The new name is meant to reflect the hospital system’s growth beyond Long Island, but patients said it will take some getting used to.
A new TV ad showed off a New Year’s baby born at what is now Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Medical Center on the Queens-Nassau County line. The ad also showed off the new name for the hospital system.
“Northwell Health – look north,” a voiceover announcer says in the ad.
Michael Dowling, the president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health, said after years of discussions it was finally time to reflect the system’s major expansion beyond the borders of Long Island.
“The system was named after two of our hospitals – North Shore and LIJ – and now we have 21 hospitals,” Dowling said.
A map shows the health system’s growth over the last decade into New York City and its boroughs – including Staten Island. The “north” part of the new name reveals plans further to expand all the way into New England.
“Up into Westchester, up into Connecticut and Massachusetts — I think that’s the potential,” Dowling said.
Dowling added that the health system’s 21 hospitals will still retain their original names, with Northwell Health just being added on. But it was clear Monday that some longtime patients were not sure what to make of it.
“Northwell? Are you kidding me? That’s silly,” said Charles Fiesel of Glen Cove, Nassau County.
“Change it now? I don’t know,” said Julie Galaga of Manhasset, Nassau County. “I think it’s going to confuse a lot of people.”
“For years, they’ve heard North Shore, North Shore, and now Northwell?” added Mildred Smith of Hicksville, Nassau County. “What is the difference?”
The system’s administrators said the difference is that the new name will emphasize wellness. Some patients understood the intent.
“I like the name, but I understand that,” said Mark Fishman of North Hills, Nassau County. “It’s more descriptive, the new name – Northwell – and that’s what they try do go, get you well in this hospital.”
And patients will have plenty of time to get used to the new Northwell name. It will take up to two years t change the entire system’s signage.
Right now, Northwell is ranked among the top 15 hospital systems annually, with more than 61,000 employers.