Smithtown General Hospital

Throughout the 70s, a small hospital sat at the intersection of Smithtown Bypass and Route 111. Serving the community for almost 40 years, Smithtown General lives on only in memories.

The hospital opened to much fanfare in March of 1961. It was the first hospital in the township, and boasted the most modern radiology department in the metropolitan New York area.

Smithtown General had 135 beds available when it opened. Every room contained a color televison and was air-conditioned. Not including the doctors, the hospital employed 160 people at the time.

In the years that followed, countless Long Islanders watched the birth of their children here. They comforted ailing friends and family members, and also lost people dear to them inside those tan brick walls.

Into the 1970s, Smithtown General went from modern to really showing its age. It also wasn’t without controversy. The hospital was sued in 1978, when a prosthetic salesman was allowed to participate in a surgical procedure without the knowledge or consent of the patient. Let’s just say the procedure didn’t go well.

When the 90s arrived, Smithtown’s days were numbered. Despite it being closed, however, it wasn’t actually torn down until 2007. In the interm, many photos were taken of its decrepit ruins. I won’t share them here, but if want to see creepy abandoned medical equipment and graffiti, they aren’t hard to find.

My memories of Smithtown General are mostly of long boring visits, when the kids got to sit quietly in the waiting room while the adults visited. I also once had a brother who survived less than a day on this planet, all of it spent at Smithtown General.

I understand the memories for many are bittersweet of Smithtown General, and joyous for others. I welcome all of your recollections in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, there was no video footage of Smithtown General and very little information available. I couldn’t even get a definitive answer on when it closed. That’s why the article isn’t specific in that regard. The majority of information is from archived newspaper articles.

Sometimes you just do the best with what you have. 🙂

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36 Responses

  1. Andrew A. Fernandez Jr. says:

    j.c.h.e.o. (joint commision

    joint comission must of closed this hosipatal.

  2. jean says:

    I was a non-union employee of Smithtown General, I’left in 1969, I am now retired. Was there a retirement program at this hospital?

  3. Babs says:

    Was born at Smithtown General Hospital in 1973 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was born there in 1982. I heard there was a fire and then it was demolished.

  5. lARRY bROOK says:

    Goodness, I didn’t know until this minute what happened to Smithtown General Hospital. I was a patient there for five or six weeks in early 1962 – right after it must have opened. I was only 17 but had blood clots in both legs. I will always remember the color TV in my room. My parents were missionaries in Africa, and they flew all the way home to New York to be with me when I died. But I lived! In fact, one night my Dad Ronald B. Brook visited me and we watched the Gregory Peck Moby Dick film on my color TV… LARRY BROOK

  6. Scott Galvin says:

    I was born there in 65 and went back for a minor surgery in 67. All I remember is the chocolate shake I had in the cafeteria and the disgusting cream corn they served me in 67. lol

  7. Valerie says:

    I have mixed emotions about it, I had 2 children there (’83 & ’86) Grandparents passed away there ☚ī¸
    Believe there was a fire and afterward sat awhile until being torn down. Had my 3rd child at St. John’s in ’93. It was gone

  8. Tobi says:

    I was a candy striper there for a long time in the early 80’s. My son was born there in 1992

  9. John Adams says:

    I worked in the lab and as a phlebotomist after high school in 1962. Went from there to NYU , SUNY College of Medicine in Syracuse and practiced as a Pediatrician in the Air Force and in central Ohio. I learned a lot that summer.

  10. Kathryn Del Mastro says:

    My sister and I were the First set of twins born at Smithtown General Hospital

  11. Mildred Seda says:

    I have many wonderful memories of my years @ SGH. I began there in 1970 as an LPN scrub nurse in the OR and left as an RN evening OR Supervisor in 1989 when Hospital was taken over by St Johns (Catherine of Siena) Hospital in Smithtown. SGH had 5 OR rooms which thro the years were updated and modernized. A new addition with coffee shop and lobby (forget year) built adjacent to ER eventually allowed for direct transfer of pts. to OR and ICU unit above. I remember the excitement when passageway connecting OR to ICU was fully operational. I always thought we provided excellent care despite being a small community hospital.

    • Anthony says:

      I too loved my years as a nurse at SGH. Worked there from 80-86, primarily in the ER and ICU, but had floated to almost every unit in the place. I knew all the places and quirks of that building. As staff, we worked hard, but we worked together! We saved may lives, and sadly witnessed the losses too. We were not only colleagues, but friends. We socialized together many times outside the hospital. Never again had such fond memories of super working environment.

  12. Jeff says:

    I was born there in 1962. I went to Smithtown East and did an externship in radiology there which helped me get into the Johns Hopkins radiology program. Great memories and experience working with Richie and Ed in radiology. They were great mentors and the hospital fed the volunteers who worked there. Miss it all!

  13. Kathy says:

    I was born at Smithtown General Hospital in February, 1962. My birth certificate has a lovely artist rendering of the brand new hospital as a watermark. And a fancy gold seal. We moved away to So Cal before I was a year old.

  14. JF says:

    I was born there in ’73. Was driven home to Stony Brook in our Alfa Romeo Giulia.

  15. Charlotte Begley Scotland says:

    I was a candy striper when I was 16 around 1963. Worked in medical records for Sally Levy Librarian from 1969 to 1976. I loved my job. Quit my job and moved to NYC at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and became an LPN. Retired now. Also grew up in Smithtown, NY

  16. Tracy says:

    Myself and my siblings were all born there.

  17. John Courtney says:

    I had surgery an Smithtown General in 1975. Great memories Dr Blumberg was wonderful

  18. Anthony says:

    About the picture-In front is entrance to waiting room. To the left was originally the coffee shop. It closed and was renovated to be medical records. On the right, that wing was 1A orthopedics and above it 2A Med-surg. Funny thing about 1A, on more than one occasion the guys (patients) would undo their orthopedic traction during the night, climb out the window, and head across the street to Pub 111. If their bed was found empty by the charge nurse, the window would be locked and they’d arrive back to find they were discharged. Lol.

  19. I had a tonsillectomy at SGH on the day after Thanksgiving 1962. I was in 3rd grade at Sweetbriar Elementary School. I remember eating ice cream to sooth my throat, spending the night at SGH and being discharged the next morning. I do remember being wheeled out in a wheelchair according to Hospital policy and the nurse lecturing my parents to keep my face covered. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Stavrides along with her 2 daughters came to my house to bring me my next weeks homework the next day.

  20. Andy says:

    I was born there 1970.

  21. Bob says:

    St,. John now St. Catherines bought the hospital and was saddled with a big insurmountable debt. They had no choice but to sell it or shut it down.

  22. Rob McDonough says:

    I was born there in April 1976

  23. Julie says:

    I gave birth to my daughter at Smithtown General in 1988. Although the building by that time had seen better days, the staff was wonderful and gave excellent care. As a treat to new parents, Smithtown General had a practice of serving a special in-room meal the night before discharge. My husband and I enjoyed steak and lobster, complete with a split of champagne!

    Small world note – my daughter gave birth to her own first child recently in the Tampa Bay Area. One of her labor/delivery nurses used to work at Smithtown General and was on duty the night I was in labor in 1988!

  24. Denise says:

    My brother and I were both born there. Me in ’67 and him in ’68. We lived in Levittown then moved to Centereach then to Shoreham. I miss being a kid on Long Island. I moved to Coram in ’87 with Dad and I worked at the Smith Haven Mall as a security guard. I got a LOT of steps in with that job. It was awesome.
    Thank you for this site and all the good memories.

  25. Peter says:

    The hospital was known in the 1990s as CHOWs, Community Hospital of Western Suffolk. It was bought by the then named St John’s Hospital of Smithtown as the hospital was being considered for purchase by a rival hospital group. St. John’s was never serious about turning the hospital around and was used for surgery and psych patients. Then St John’s got into difficulties and CHOWs closed.

  26. Anonymous says:

    My brother was stolen from that hospital in 1982 of June. My mom asked to feed him and the bring in a girl . They shut down the hospital and tracked ppl that left. Finally found him.

  27. fuzzpi says:

    They did surgeries for kings park patients

  28. Tim M. says:

    Born there in November 1964. the world hasn’t been the same since.
    A day of infamy.
    Tim M.

  29. Marie Johnson says:

    How can I got my kids foot prints from 1980 1981 1987

  30. Andy says:

    I was born there August 1970!

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