Shawna Vernisie, Creative Art Therapist

2017 President’s Awards Winner: Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience

Shawna Vernisie, Creative Art Therapist

Here at Northwell Health we are continuously encouraging our employees to be their best, and this week at our 11th Annual Presidents Awards Gala we honored those who aren’t satisfied with settling and are always pushing boundaries.

The annual President’s Award Program honors and celebrates individuals and teams who represent the very best of the organization. These employees surpass Northwell Health’s expectations, standards of excellence, and drive innovative business outcomes through three distinctive categories: Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience, Innovation and Teamwork. What makes this award special is that individuals or team are nominated by senior leadership for their contributions. Take a look at this year’s Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience award winner.

Shawna joined our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in June 2013, but her story as a musician doesn’t start there. For Shawna, music began when she spent time in the NICU as a newborn and her parents sang to her. Shawna joined us in a part-time role, but as her talent became evident we worked to increase her to full-time status, which happened in 2015. She has blossomed, both as a healer and in her scope of work. In order to bring peace to those families whose children may be at the end of their journey, she creates songs for families using their child’s heartbeat – a beautiful tribute and lasting memory for parents whose time with their child was all too short. All within a year she has implemented a volunteer music program, implemented the use of heartbeat recordings, created a fieldwork placement for NYU’s music therapy students, and so much more.

The music Shawna creates and shares with our patients and families is the soundtrack to our Culture of C.A.R.E. We honor our President’s Awards winner for the difference she makes, the legacy she has helped to create, and for the way her talent sustains us all. Thank you for giving 100% of your heart to your work and the way you represent music therapy to us all. 

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