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A Sunday to Smile About


“As a medical professional you want to do everything you can to help your patients. However, sometimes the best medicine doesn’t come from a bottle, it comes from a smile!” – Adair Galanski, CCLS

Sundays are known for family time – games, adventures, and everyone’s favorite family dinner. Whether it’s a big roast with mashed potatoes, taking a stroll in the park to see who can swing the highest, or having a refreshing day at the beach, it is a day made for bonding. For some children and their families at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) it may not be so relaxing. Instead it can be filled with doctor’s appointments, shots and more.

Adair Galanski, a Certified Child Life Specialist at CCMC, recognizes the importance that this day holds in families hearts and decided to take action by creating a different theme to entertain the children every Sunday throughout the month. “The hope was to create an atmosphere that would allow an opportunity to ease the difficulties of being hospitalized on a regular basis.  I enjoy helping to facilitate a day that patients, families and staff look forward to and enthusiastically participate in,” Adair said. 

Ranging from Disney princesses, to safari adventures, Adair and her team on the Inpatient Hematology-Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant Unit always know how to shift the focus from treatment to fun. “As a Child Life Specialist, my role is to help children understand their medical condition, teach them how to cope successfully with their hospitalization, and help normalize the hospital environment.  Since Sundays are typically comforting days at home, I wanted to create an environment more familiar and fun for patients, families and staff.” Throughout the months she has been the hope, the smile, and the loving hands for so many children and their families. Every difference, big or small, makes a huge impact to those who depend on you. We empower and support every employee to push their limits and create their own style of unique care.

Time to buzz around


Disney princess look alikes

Disney Princess

Take us to the jungle


PJ day


What’s your favorite emoji?

Emoji 2

Feeling like a hippie

Hippie 2

Northwell Purple Constellation Follow Adair and the rest of the Child Life team at CCMC each month and dive into their world of teamwork, friendship and unparalleled care for the little ones who bring light to their life each and every day. 

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A Man of Red White and Blue Who’s Always Here For You


Thirty years ago on October 18, 1984 Anthony Silvera began his journey in the United States Air Force at Basic Military Training. Little did he know during his 30 year career he would be able to serve as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and Commissioned Officer in roles such as a logistician, program manager, flight commander, and an instructor. He would be stationed in Germany, Texas, California, South Carolina and two year long deployments in Iraq. With extensive hands on experience, a hardworking attitude and the determination to succeed in civilian life, Anthony retired from active duty on December 2014 as a Major. Although his transition wasn’t easy, he is now the Northwell Health Veteran Program Specialist and ready to help each Military member who is battling the same struggles he did.

As the end of December 2014 brought a chapter of Anthony’s life to a close he was still excited to begin his journey and adapt to civilian life. With a polished resume and a suit freshly pressed he was ready to take on his first interview. Until he realized he didn’t have one. The lack of emails and phone calls left him unmotivated and confused- surely a man with 30 years’ experience and a college degree deserved a chance to prove himself in an interview. After months of frustration and interviews ending in “You’re terrific, but you’re just not qualified for this position” Anthony had about enough until one day a Veteran Case Manager from Eastern Seals got in touch with him.

“I learned I was making all the classic mistakes. Applying for too many positions and not identifying the correct things on my resume. All simple things that I wouldn’t have known unless I was taught – I will never forget how Eastern Seals helped me get to where I am today” Silvera said.

A little while later he received an email from an employee in Talent Acquisition at Northwell Health (then North Shore-LIJ Health System) about an open position. Thrilled about the opportunity he decided to call her right then and there, “I was too excited to wait and I figured I would get her voicemail since it was 8:00 PM, but to my surprise she picked up! We chatted about the Barracks to Business Workshop and Game of Thrones and she said she would contact me about the open position. I still thank her to this day for finding me.”  A little over a year later his passion for helping Veterans has grown even more, “I was one of them. I understand the struggles they are going through and I’m determined to help them find a career here.”   

Every current service member, transitioning service member, or veteran should know that Anthony is here for you: your needs will be met, your questions will be answered and you will never be alone in this process. He is dedicated to developing, collaborating and managing all relationships and assisting in the transition of Military Veterans into a career here.

dbluetipTransition to a new mission with us. 

Attend one of our Barracks to Business: Translating Military Skills into Career Success Workshops,  search our jobs or contact Anthony at asilvera@northwell.edu.


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We Are A Family, We Are A Team

Gary Levitt

When you work here, you are family.

As an organization we pride ourselves on teamwork, which is only one of the many pillars we stand on. Gary Levitt, RN at Southside Hospital, couldn’t agree more. Whenever he is walking into a shift he knows he will be surrounded by people he can trust, “It means a lot to me to be an RN in the Emergency Department at Southside Hospital.  I am part of the most dynamic team I have ever known.  We all have our different personalities which makes it all the more exciting.  I can honestly say that we are one big family.”

Just like in all families, you have to accept the differences and learn to work around them. Levitt says, “We are always mostly happy together but there are days when we get frustrated with the job and sometimes with each other.  What family doesn’t?  In times of urgent situations, we place our differences aside and work extremely well together.  I can even anticipate a co-worker’s response in a given situation.  I guess when you spend so much time together, you really learn about a person.” Being in such a fast paced and highly demanding job it’s inevitable to avoid conflict but the environment that surrounds you makes all the difference. Gary knows that without the help of his team they wouldn’t be as successful as they are today:

“Our nurses, nurse assistants, physicians, PA’s, NP’s, x-ray technicians, transporters, ward clerks, social workers, case managers, and our leaders in administration all have to work together to provide the excellent care we give on a daily basis.  I can’t do it alone.  I need EVERYONE on the team.” 

Leaning on each other and recognizing each employee for their strengths is exactly the environment we are talking about. Every team is committed to delivering exceptional patient experience, pursuing innovative ideas that are transforming the delivery of health care, and fostering greater teamwork to improve patient safety. The dedication Gary and his team shows is the perfect example of who we are here at Northwell Health: we are teamwork, we are innovation, we are excellence. 

purpletipBegin your journey with us.

Photo: Gary is in the middle of the picture in the black t-shirt. His dedication to his team never fails to impress us: “The enclosed photo is me with my co-workers after a CPR course.  I did not want to send a photo of just myself, but insisted on showing at least part of the team that I am proud to be a part of.” 

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2016 President’s Award Winner for Innovation


About the Innovation Winner

The winner for Innovation, MindFULL C.A.R.E., developed a new model of geriatric-specific patient care to help the growing elderly population, which accounts for more than 46% of hospital stays on average.

The team integrated the disciplines of nursing, psychology, psychiatry, internal medicine, and geriatric medicine to build the program’s structure, process and outcomes. This enabled employees to optimize a safe and therapeutic environment to deliver geriatric-specific quality care. The program started with redesigning an existing unit to include flat-screen TVs, a common area to cultivate socialization and fewer walls to facilitate an open and friendly space. They also incorporated the addition of patient engagement specialists, who were educated on de-escalation and redirection to contribute to a restraint-free environment, decreased risk of de-conditioning and a decrease in use of behavioral medications.

The team approach has not only improved outcomes for these patients, but has also significantly reduced the exorbitant costs associated with one-on-one care. This unit accomplished all this while increasing patient satisfaction. It has earned a 100% HCAHPS score this year, after an average of 77 percent the previous three years. The program has reduced readmissions and eliminated the need for patient restraints.

The implementation of a MindFULL C.A.R.E. Model incorporates Connectedness, Awareness, Respect and Empathy for our elderly population. It’s not only what we need to do, it’s the right thing to do.

Watch their story come to life.

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2016 President’s Award Winner for Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience


About the Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience Winner

The winner for Exceptional Patient/ Customer Experience is Amy Smith, NP, Program Coordinator – Emergency Nursing at Lenox Health Greenwich Village. As a Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention advocate, Amy noticed that there was a great opportunity to better connect medical providers and patients in very difficult situations. She voluntarily responds to overnight calls from local emergency departments for patients who were victims of sexual assault or intimate partner violence.

She chose to become a nurse at North Shore University Hospital eight years ago. She worked on her off days to continue caring for patients in the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, known as SANE. The lure of a day position landed Amy at Lenox Hill Greenwich Village. Although the facility was not officially a SANE center, Amy tended to patients who needed her specialized attention.

Her biggest influence has been from her work as program coordinator of emergency nursing at Lenox Hill Greenwich Village, a leadership role she embraced when the standalone emergency center was set to open two years ago. Since then, Amy has developed the nursing staff and has made strides in building Lenox Hill Greenwich Village into New York City’s newest SANE Center of Excellence.

She’s collaborated with the New York State Alliance Against Sexual Assault to train her staff. Amy has become a preceptor for the Department of Health and she’s helped set protocols for her program. In two years, Amy and her team have helped more than 80 sexual assault victims. She provides court testimony in support of the victims and is working with FDNY to train EMS providers in the pre-hospital care of sexual assault victims.

Her exemplary journey through Northwell Health is a direct result of her passion. From connecting medical providers with patients, to holding patients hands and making them feel comfortable, Amy makes a difference each and every day.

Watch her story come to life.

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2016 President’s Award Winner for Teamwork


About the Teamwork Winner

Transparency of Patient Satisfaction Reviews of Northwell Health Physician Partners Administration recognized that the focus on transparency in patient care quality is gaining significant momentum. With no reliable, transparent way for potential patients to learn about doctors or medical services, the unit began its Patient Satisfaction Reviews Transparency Program.

This journey began with the creation of individual doctor scorecards, based on the Press Ganey Medical Practice Survey. The results include absolute scores, percentile ranks against peer and national benchmarks, and patient comments — the best possible information about the care we provide. Northwell Health’s Find a Doctor profiles feature consumer-friendly data and ratings from more than 130,000 patient surveys, plus more than 12,000 comments on almost 1,000 physicians. Patient satisfaction scores have risen from the 45th to the 64th percentile with the new tool.

Last August, we became the first health care organization in the metro New York area and the seventh in the nation to provide public patient satisfaction reviews. Now, organizations like Duke, Virginia Mason, Reading Health System and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are seeking our expertise in patient transparency. This program has earned national recognition and is now a benchmark for other transparency initiatives.

Watch their story come to life.