ELIH Foundation board members purchase quick-turnaround diagnostic system

COVID-19 Testing Equipment Donated




Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation board members Peter and Erica Harold have donated a diagnostic system to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“North Fork residents Peter and Erica Harold are longtime friends of Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and the Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation, and their contribution will serve as a powerful weapon in this war,” the hospital said in a statement.

Peter and Erica Harold. Independent/Courtesy Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital

The couple purchased a GeneXpert, currently in the Greenport hospital’s laboratory, which delivers a rapid flu diagnosis in 30 minutes. Cepheid, the manufacturer, has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to test for the novel coronavirus on this same equipment with a 45-minute turnaround time for results.

Adapting to the new normal has been the hospital’s mission, caring for patients while protecting staff and the local community from the highly-contagious virus. Information surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving, with new updates from state and local governments every day. Hospitals need to adapt just as quickly, predicting the need for supplies, staff, and additional resources to safely forge on.

“Our entire hospital staff is working tirelessly to ensure the safety of their patients, their families, their community, and themselves,” said Paul J. Connor III, chief administrative officer for Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital. “This generous donation from Peter and Erica is going to play an enormous role in aiding our staff to win the fight against this virus.”

The GeneXpert system has a higher test capacity that will allow the hospital perform six tests every 45 minutes, as opposed to the current two-chamber equipment that performs two tests at once.

“Having the extra capacity and quick turnaround time will be significantly beneficial to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital’s medical staff, the community, and the Department of Health,” the hospital said. “It will also better prepare the hospital for future outbreaks, which is possible from what literature has indicated.”

The 70-bed hospital said it has received an “overwhelming amount of support” from the local community in response to the pandemic. Last week, Shari Hymes, a respiratory therapist, purchased a $10,000 high-velocity nasal insufflation system, a mask-free treatment used on COVID-19 patients who are having difficulty breathing. Local business owner Randy Frankel also contributed $100,000 to the foundation’s COVID-19 Action Fund .

For more information about how to support Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and its foundation, call 631-477-5164 or email elih_donations@stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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