In 1913, Southside Hospital began as a 21-bed hospital in Babylon, N.Y., on the land where the town's post office now stands. Today, Southside is a complex of several buildings with growing programs in most areas of health care, and a member of the Long Island's largest and most advanced health network, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
By 1919, the tiny, not-for-profit hospital had outgrown its original quarters. With contributions from local communities and famous summer residents such as Rudolph Valentino, Florenz Ziegfield and Jack Dempsey, a 50-bed hospital was built on Main Street in Bay Shore where today's medical complex still stands. The "new" hospital opened in 1923. Soon after, Southside acquired the first X-ray machine on the South Shore. By 1929, Southside had admitted 8,000 patients, and had been the birthplace of 1,300 babies.
Southside grew and thrived during Long Island's post-World War II boom, adding the East Wing in the '40s, the Gulden wing in the '50s, the Brackett Building in the '60s and the Tower in the '70s. In 1972, the Southside Family Practice Residency Program, welcomed its first class of residents. The oldest program of its kind on Long Island, it has trained more than 200 family practitioners. More than half of these doctors still practice in this region, forming a vital network of family doctors.
In the years that followed, Southside created the Institute for Physical Therapy. The Regional Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation, the area's only hospital center for adults recovering from brain injuries, and the Frank Gulden Radiation Oncology Center opened. In 1996, Southside became the tenth hospital to join the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, which now has 15 member hospitals as well as long-term care centers, trauma centers and home health care agencies.
The next year, Southside's First Response Paramedic Units began giving life-saving backup support to local volunteer emergency medical services and fire departments. In the next few years, Southside began new programs and services in cardiology, pain management, same-day surgery, inpatient pediatrics, the Regional Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation, the Vascular Institute, the Comprehensive Pain Management Program and the Center for Wound Healing. It opened a new Maternity Center, the Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery, an Electrophysiology Laboratory, and a second Institute for Physical Therapy in Smithtown. Today, it continues to add more specialty services so patients can receive excellent care and still be close to home.