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Dr. Kelt to stay at Medical Center

Dr. Peter Kelt has signed an agreement with Shelter Island Town to take over the back office at the Medical Center. Supervisor Gary Gerth confirmed the signing Wednesday morning, saying the five-year lease is for a token $1 a year with no charge for utilities.

Dr. Kelt, in turn, may opt to sign his own agreement with another group of physicians who could staff that office. If he decides to do so, it could be either ProHealth of Lake Success or Hudson Medical, which has offices in Greenport and Riverhead.

Both have expressed interest in helping to staff the back office with Dr. Kelt, but it would be his decision, Mr. Gerth said.

Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams, presiding over Tuesday’s Town Board work session in the absence of Mr. Gerth, said talks with Dr. Kelt were ongoing all week. She credited Cliff Clark, who asked to be part of those talks as a proponent of keeping Dr. Kelt on the Island, with helping to keep the discussions calm and focused.

Dr. Kelt plans to close his front office on Dec. 18 and NYU-Winthrop, with which he has been affiliated, will remove equipment from that space the following day. Dr. Kelt will reopen his practice by Jan. 15, Mr. Gerth said.

Dr. Nathanael Desire, who will be leaving the back office space, may be among those tapped by Stony Brook University Hospital to staff the front office. Stony Brook and officials signed a five-year lease agreement earlier this month that takes effect Jan. 1, 2020,

Mr. Gerth said he has a meeting with Dr. Desire Thursday night and would be encouraging him to stay. Dr. Desire has been seeing patients at the Medical Center two days a week. He also functions as medical director at Greenport’s Peconic Landing.

Stony Brook has indicated to the supervisor that its plans call for two doctors to occupy the front office and a nurse practitioner and physician assistant. To date, Mr. Gerth said Stony Brook has a signed agreement with Dr. Josh Potter, who lives on the Island and is completing his residency at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in July to help staff the front office.

But the town must await word from Stony Brook, expected within a week or two, about who else will be staffing that front office.

This is a developing story and will be updated on the Reporter website as circumstances merit.