Partnering with Make-A-Wish foundation – two companies whose missions are aligned
Written by: Michele Grossman
One of the main focuses of Northwell Health is providing patients and their families with the best experience possible in situations they didn’t necessarily choose to be in. Most of us chose to work for a healthcare organization because of the intrinsic good with the services we provide, yet working in a corporate office you don’t necessarily get to see the impact your work has on patient experience.
Corporate HR’s office culture committee was created to plan fun events and activities for employees at the 1111 Marcus Ave offices. After raising employee engagement in our office we wanted to take our committee to the next level and help the community. Luckily, we discovered that Make-A-Wish was our neighbors in the building. They hosted a lunch-and-learn for our staff and we realized that their mission and our mission were aligned, and that our employees were interested in giving back to this organization. We decided to partner with them and have our employees work together to raise money to sponsor wishes for children with life threatening illnesses. Make-A-Wish committed that the children we would sponsor would be children who are being treated at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) – this would allow us to take patient experience to the next level.
In May 2016 we kicked off the Make-A-Wish pilot with all of the Northwell Health corporate business areas. This would give us a chance to see if the program would be successful and give the corporate employees a chance to touch upon a level of patient experience they weren’t able to previously. When starting this program, our goal was to raise $10,000 (enough to sponsor one child’s wish) by the annual Walk for Wishes in September. Throughout the summer the corporate offices hosted a variety of fundraising events including the “Wall of Stars”, raffling off reserved parking spaces, wearing blue for Make-A-Wish, jeans days, raffling an Apple Watch, employee car washes, etc. All of these events led us to raise over $22,000, doubling our goal and allowing us to sponsor wishes for two children!
The two children we were picked to sponsor both were diagnosed with Leukemia and were being treated at CCMC. Seraphina, age 10, wished to travel to Paris and go to Disneyland while she was there. Alexander, age 18, wished to go on a tropical vacation so he was scheduled to travel to Hawaii. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the culture committee threw Seraphina and Alexander a send-off party before going on their trips and invited all of the corporate office liaisons to attend as a thank you for all of their hard work and fundraising efforts. It was a great day filled with beautiful decorations and all of Seraphina and Alexander’s favorite foods and desserts. Both families were so touched by what we did for them and it was so nice to be able to lift the spirits of these children. Since this pilot was so successful we were going to roll this program out to all of Northwell Health in 2017 so we can continue to raise the standard of care our patients receive, which goes far beyond the correct treatments, but helps them and their families mentally and emotionally. We look forward to helping more of our patients at CCMC throughout 2017 with the help of Make-A-Wish foundation.