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Ready to build your 2018 well-being toolbox?

Ready to build your 2018 well-being toolbox?

Our employees are. If you’re up to date with what’s happening at Northwell, than you’d know that we recently updated our myWellness platform – and our wellness team hasn’t stopped there. They have been working hard to create new programs, challenges, and partnerships to make sure our employees have the best tools and stay motivated in their wellness journey.  These tools are available to them at any time through our desktop platform, or if they’re on the go, on the Virgin Pulse mobile app. Here are the top resources our employees have access to support them throughout their journey:

1. SelfHelp Works LIVINGLEAN – This video coaching program was designed to help our employees beat cravings and change their habits. We’re challenging them to open their minds to something new so they begin to feel control — over what, when, and how much they eat! Several Northwell employees who completed Living Lean report a shift in how they are eating as well as successful weight loss and maintenance. (And this comes at no cost to our employees!)

2. Virgin Pulse Nutrition Guide – If our employees create a nutrition profile using the Nutrition Guide, they’ll receive free health tips and a recipes enewsletter from Zipongo. Through the Nutrition Guide, our employees maximize features in myWellness that track calories, healthy habits and weight – plus, they will have access to hundreds of healthy recipes. (Another great tool that is free for our employees!)

3. Weight Watchers – Have you heard about the new Weight Watchers Freestyle Program? Looking for a Weight Watchers At-Work program?  Our employees receive a discounted rate and 50% reimbursement for a covered Weight Watchers program when they meet the attendance requirements.

4. The Center for Weight Management – Northwell Health offers a multi-disciplinary approach involving medical, psychological and nutritional assessments followed by an individualized treatment plan. Our team consists of a physician, psychologist, and nutritionists who work with each patient to teach goal setting, medically-supervised weight/behavioral management, planning skills, and problem-solving. (Employee insurance plans are accepted.)

All of these resources are accessible to our employees through the new myWellness program, where they can also explore other tools and programs! Are you ready to crush your fitness goals this year?

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Made for volunteering

Photo: Amelia is in the pink shirt, surrounded by her colleagues

Made for volunteering

Written by: Amelia Zito

I first began volunteering at Staten Island University Hospital on March 26, 1993. I decided to volunteer at the hospital because I retired and wanted to give back to my community and to the place that provided my family care for many years. I also wanted to volunteer in order to keep my mind sharp and myself active, and I was very happy to be placed in the Human Resources Department because that was my previous field of work. I had retired from the position of Assistant Treasurer in the Personnel Department of Standard Charter Bank in New York City where I had responsibility for disability, pension, and all aspects of payroll.

When I first began volunteering, I assisted the recruiters with a variety of tasks and soon felt like part of the family. This is one of the reasons why I remained in HR all these years – I was never made to feel like a volunteer, but rather a valuable member of their team and family, which I still feel today, almost 24 years later. I still assist the recruiters and some of my tasks involve typing all the form letters and envelopes sent to internals informing them that they were not chosen for a transfer, making copies, filing, creating and labeling new binders at the beginning of each year for various recruitment forms, and boxing up previous year’s recruitment forms and files for storage. I also type up a report at the end of each year which lists the months, amounts, and total of internal form letters sent out. When needed, I volunteer in other areas such as HR training, where I help put together the folders for New Hire Orientation. My favorite volunteer memories are of the long-standing and close friendships I have developed with certain members of the HR staff and the special recognition I received for my Staten Island University Hospital Volunteer Service – namely the President’s Call To Service Award in 2008 and The Staten Island Inter-Agency Council on Aging Award in 2013. Both of these awards highlight my integrity, responsibility, and character of my personality.

My years here have been interesting and fruitful. I have learned much from the Human Resources Team and believe they learned much from me and my experiences. I encourage anyone who wishes to be a part of this amazing team to look up volunteer opportunities, because they will treat you like family.

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Celebrating Hindu Culture and Traditions through Diwali – The Festival of Lights


Celebrating Hindu Culture and Traditions through Diwali – The Festival of Lights

Written by: Neva Harold

Guyana, a small third-world country in South America is made up of six main ethnic groups – Amerindian, Chinese, East Indian, African, Portuguese and Europeans. This is primarily due to the British-era colonialization of land and the use of laborers from different parts of the world to work on the sugar plantations. For a small country, Guyana is very diverse. Learning about culture, values and traditions of our people had been a great passion of mine growing up. It gives me great pleasure as a member of the BRIDGES Asian BERG and the Ambulatory Services Diversity and Health Equity Committee to share with everyone, the culture and traditions of one of the main religions in Guyana – Hinduism through its largest and festive holiday celebration of Diwali.

Diwali is a celebration enjoyed not only by Hindus but also Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. The significance of Diwali is different for each religion. For Hindus, Diwali is as important as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. Diwali is derived from the root word Deepavali which means “row of lights”. The festival is celebrated worldwide in October/November depending on the cycle of the moon (new moon). The common theme of the significance of Diwali is the triumph of good over evil or the destruction of all negative qualities – violence, anger, fear, jealousy, greed, etc, to embrace more positive ones. Diwali celebrates the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.

In Guyana, India and around the world, Diwali is celebrated by lighting clay lamps or diyas to signify light over darkness or good over evil. Hindus celebrate the return of the Hindu God Rama to his kingdom after 14 years in exile. They light diyas as a sign of welcome and tribute to Rama. Additionally, during Diwali, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth is believed to enter one’s homes to give them good fortune and prosperity for the year.

The celebration of Diwali is always a festive one. Growing up, we had to always spring clean our home because if we didn’t, it is believed that the Goddess Lakshmi will not enter our home and bring good fortune. We bought new clothes to wear, lit hundreds of diyas and made lots of sweet and savory snacks. The best part of Diwali for me was visiting friends and family and sharing the holiday with them regardless of their religion. It always gave me this sense of warmth and togetherness to be with everyone – family and friends that did celebrate Diwali and the ones that didn’t. Today, Diwali celebrations at our home in the United States are the same like they were in Guyana. And my favorite part – we still invite our non-Hindu neighbors, friends and family to participate in the festivities and educate everyone about the significance of Diwali. This year, I gave each of my team members a diya to light in their homes for good fortune and prosperity and brought in an assortment of sweets for them to savor!

May the light of the diya bring you and your family happiness, joy, good fortune, prosperity and success always! Happy Diwali to all!

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Our NP Leaders – Leading the way for Advanced Practice Nursing

Photo: Our Advanced Practice Leadership Council being truly together at a holiday celebration last year

Our NP Leaders – Leading the way for Advanced Practice Nursing

Our Nurse Practitioner leaders are continuously pushing the boundaries to find unique ways to keep our Advanced Practice Nurses engaged. And with over 900 advanced practice nurses in over 17 specializations, they need to. As we rolled out our internal employee promise earlier this year, our leaders came together at the 4th annual Director’s Development Day where they focused on their accomplishments over the year, reflecting on the good and the not so good, as well as goal setting for the System Advanced Practice Leadership Council and workforce for 2018, making sure it’s aligned with our new promise.

Throughout the day they went through different exercises to connect our refreshed values to the work they do every day. As they reflected on how our employees are Truly Compassionate, Truly Ambitious, Truly Innovative, Truly Together and Truly Ourselves, they came up with different ways to recognize our employees who go the extra mile for their colleagues, patients and patient families.

“It is a system wide mission to get over 90% engagement scores by 2020 and we want to be leading the way. This day is just one example of how we are bringing our leaders together to think about how we can keep our employees engaged and happy by connecting them to our employee promise which embodies who we are as an organization and what we want to achieve.” Carol Patrick, Corporate Director of Advanced Practice Nurses

Our leaders focused on strengthening the communication and dissemination strategies within our organization and the groups dialogued about ways to recruit and retain our advanced practice workforce, becoming the employer of choice for Advanced Clinical Providers. Autonomy, team collaboration, value, and recognition were key areas that echoed the sentiments of the advanced practice members in creating action items for successful, and sustainable implementation. Embedding our culture of care and diversity into optimizing accessible, efficient, safe patient centered experiences were unanimously threaded throughout all groups in exploring how we as Advanced Practice Nurses at Northwell Health are truly Made for this.

Explore our opportunities.

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2017 Innovation Challenge – Made for Big Ideas™ Showcase!


2017 Innovation Challenge – Made for Big Ideas Showcase!

At Northwell Health we search for innovation in everything we do. At the beginning of October, we gave our employees an opportunity to compete and win for one of two funding awards of up to $500,000 during our 2017 Innovation Challenge to bring their innovations to life. One winner was selected for an innovative idea in clinical care and one was selected for large-scale margin improvement.

With 130 submissions from employees all over the health system, we had 40 semifinalists, and then 8 finalists who presented their innovative ideas in front of a panel of judges, while our executive leaders were gathered in a separate room to watch. A bit of nerves, a lot of amazement and even some laughter filled the rooms as the presentations carried on. Take a look at our finalist’s presentations at the Made for Big ideas Showcase!

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Celebrating Chinese Culture and Traditions through Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid Autom festival

Photo (from left to right): Philip Dong is the fourth employee from the left gathered with the other members of our Asian BERG

Celebrating Chinese Culture and Traditions Through Mid-Autumn Festival

By: Philip Dong 

As a part of the BRIDGES Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) it’s a passion of mine to share the tradition, spiritual and ethical values of the Asian culture across the health system’s facilities and network.  The BERGs are made up of employees passionate about embracing relationships with diverse communities served by Northwell Health, and the BRIDGES Business Employee Resource Group is focused on fostering shared understanding of cultural, spiritual and ethical values in the context of healthcare delivery among employees and communities.

On October 4th, I had the privilege to be part of a Diversity and Health Equity Committee meeting and for the first time, introduced one of my most treasured holidays – Mid-Autumn Festival, to Northwell Health’s executive senior leadership. The festival was also celebrated at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research by the Chinese Association at the Feinstein Institute (CAFI) which was organized by Dan Li, President of CAFI and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Autoimmune and Cancer Research at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Celebrated throughout different Asian regions, this festival has a history of over 3,000 years and commemorates the end of the autumn harvest. It is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year, where people celebrate through family reunions, akin to Thanksgiving in the United States.

In China, Mid-Autumn Festival was also a time for moon-worship and moon cakes are the must-eat food item during ancient times because the round shape symbolizes reunion and happiness. After worshipping the full moon, family members would savor the cakes together. And while moon-worshiping is no longer a practices ritual, moon cakes are still a traditional pastry to be enjoyed during the festival. The Americans have turkey, but we have delicious cakes with sweet fillings.

The modern day celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival shares much of the same principles as Thanksgiving; that of family gathering and giving thanks. Ever since I was a child, the festival instilled in me a strong sense of family bonds and love. To this day, the clinking of plates and clattering of shuffling mahjong tiles stir up warm, resonant feelings of my Chinese family heritage. To me, the Mid-Autumn festival is more than just a time to eat and be merry – it’s a precious moment when everyone takes a step out of their normal routine to gather as a family and appreciate each other.

To all who celebrate this holiday, I hope you enjoyed this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival!


8 FeinsteinMi Autumn Festival Celebration

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Giving to others is what our nurses are made for.


Giving to others is what our nurses are made for.

In the wake of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey inflicted upon the Houston area, the need for medical care rose to crisis levels for those impacted by the flooding and who rely on their healthcare providers to manage existing chronic conditions. In response, Northwell Health connected with its counterparts at the Houston–based MD Anderson Cancer Center to offer assistance to match the hospital‘s specific needs. Within 24 hours after requesting help from its clinicians, Northwell enrolled more than 600 employees interested in volunteering. Here is one of our volunteer’s stories.

Written by: Angela Daly

As nurses and healthcare workers, we are there for people at times when they are most vulnerable; we step up when we are needed without a moment of hesitation. I was in nursing school when Hurricane Sandy destroyed my hometown of the Rockaway’s in Queens in 2012. Thanks to the kindness and amazing gestures of so many who stepped up when we needed them the most, my neighborhood made a strong comeback, allowing me to graduate on-time and start my dream job as a float nurse for Northwell Health.

When I heard that Houston, Texas was expecting to be heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey, I immediately stepped up to volunteer. The week that I spent in Houston was an amazing experience that allowed me to give back to the world the same gestures that were once given to me in a time of crisis. I was able to use my talents and training as a Northwell Health Nurse in a way which was valued and so appreciated by so many. I was so proud to be a part of Northwell’s nursing team during that week in Texas as I relieved the nurses and allowed them to get home to their families and to begin the recovery process. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a nurse, and the finest example of how Northwell Nurses and I are Made For This!


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Our candidates know best, and they told us we were.


Our candidates know best, and they told us we were.

We are honored to receive the Glassdoor Best Place to Interview Award. Ranked 19 out of 100 companies, we are proud to know that our candidates had a positive experience when they began their journey with our organization.

“Our candidate experience is of paramount importance to us.  We strive to ensure that all candidates begin to get to know Northwell, well before they set foot inside our doors.  So being acknowledged as a great place to interview means that we are giving folks an early positive experience with us, one that sets the stage for them to be highly engaged and successful once they join our amazing team.  Our employee promise states that we never settle, and always strive to be our best.  Earning this special recognition means that we are continuing to push boundaries, and make people’s lives better.”

-Elaine Page, Chief People Innovations Officer, People Innovation & Solutions Team

Want to know what our recruiters look for in candidates while they are interviewing? Take a look at their responses below!

What is your best advice for acing an interview?

Research. Research. Research.  Find out as much as possible about the company, the interviewer, and anyone else that may be involved in the hiring decision.  Doing your homework shows that you are prepared and actually care about the opportunity in front of you.  And you never know what you may discover.  Attending the same college as your potential new boss opens the door to great conversation! Always remember to be enthusiastic, engaged, inquisitive, and goal oriented.

When I am interviewing a candidate, I look for behavioral traits that stand out in a positive way.  Candidates who are personable, enthusiastic, and know what they want and why they want it, these are the type of candidates that I am confident sending on hiring manager interviews.

What is your favorite interview question?

It’s very easy to answer this question with, “What are your strengths?”.  But my favorite interview question is, “What are your weaknesses?”.  Knowing what you need to improve on as an individual or as a professional shows great self-awareness.  This also lets your prospective employer know what developmental opportunities may exist for you within the organization.

What do you look for in a candidate?

Someone that is overall passionate about what they do who are ready and eager to start a career with us and not just looking for a paycheck or job. We love candidates who can easily relate to others and who enjoy working with people on all levels. Don’t forget to mention the times you have gone above and beyond within your current and previous roles – we want to see you have heart and that you are willing to go the extra mile.

What do you wish candidates knew about Northwell Health?

Once hired there is so much room for growth and advancement. The managers and leadership are truly invested in your personal and professional growth.  This is an employee friendly environment and we are always trying to come up with different ways to enhance the employee experience. There are so many different volunteer opportunities and events to participate in such as wellness programs, make a wish, concerts, etc. When interviewing, the Talent Acquisition Specialist that conducts the interviews are really down to earth and just want to know about your skills, experience and if this right fit for you, the department and the institution as a whole – so don’t be nervous. Think of the interview as a conversation. (Hint: We love to hear about your accomplishments and future goals)

Think you’re made for this? Explore our unlimited career possibilities.

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More than coworkers – friends who were made for each other.

More than coworkers – friends who were made for each other.

You know how sometimes you meet a person for the first time and you just click? That’s how it was for Erin Alesi and Josephine Corcoran. They met through a mutual friend when Erin started as a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH). And even though they’ve never worked on the same unit together, they’ve built an amazing friendship over the years.

“One of the unique things about this hospital is that it’s not just a bunch of people working nine to five and going home. We’re family.”

 –Erin Alesi, RN

Whether it’s scrubs or sweatpants, double-shift or day off, the best news of your life or the very worst, the people of SIUH are there for each other. They support and love one another through all the ups and downs of life. That’s why, when Josephine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, they were devastated. This was their sister who was hurting and in trouble.

Josephine had a long, hard battle ahead of her. Everyone wanted to do something to keep her spirits up as she went through an incredibly challenging time in her life. Her good friend Erin, had an idea for a fun way to encourage Josephine that would simply tell her that she can beat this and that everyone was behind her all the way. No matter what…don’t stop believin’. The video above is the result of this labor of love.

With lots of inflatable guitars and microphones – literally “air guitars” – they all rocked out and acted silly as they tried to encourage, lift up and make Josephine smile. It was a blessing for her friends to be able to do this for her. And it was a joy to watch everyone be truly together to make it all happen.

“Sure, it was a bit corny and silly but we just wanted Josephine to be able to smile again, to laugh at us and know that we were thinking and praying for her.”

–Erin Alesi, RN

Josephine is doing well and continuing to fight. Because we know that every moment matters, we hope that in some small way, we were able to show Josephine the same kind of compassion she shows to all around her. If you’re looking for a place where you can truly be yourself, where your coworkers are your family and where even the smallest gestures can change a life, you were Made for this.

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Motivated to stay healthy – how our annual Wellness Challenges have benefited our employees


Motivated to stay healthy – how our annual Wellness Challenges have benefited our employees

A healthy employee is a happy employee. Did you know that each year we have Wellness Challenges for our employees to keep track of their personal health?  These challenges involve tracking your healthy and unhealthy habits, reducing stress, or simply encouraging you to move around more. Last year at our annual employee barbeque our President and CEO, Michael J. Dowling, awarded prizes to the challenge winners who were all secretly hoping to win the grand prize, a trip to any one of our seven destination options, ranging from Peru to China to Thailand.

Last year alone, Mr. Dowling handed out 14 prizes to employees who completed all 3 challenges. One winner, Imee Sarmiento, recently took her trip to Rome with her husband.  Wanting to get in on the fun, Imee’s sister Lulette (who also works for the health system) decided to plan a trip at the same time.

Throughout their trip, they got to visit many famous cities such as Florence and Siena, but one sight they didn’t expect to see under the Tuscan sun was former United States President Barak Obama and the Air Force One Leaving the Rome Airport.

“Winning this trip was an incredible experience! It was an enticing incentive for employees to promote health and wellness as well as encourage camaraderie amongst its employees,” said Imee. These sisters have been a part of our nursing family for 14 and 20 years respectively.

“We don’t really know any company that granted their employees any wellness challenges and incentives such as the experience we just had. It’s amazing and totally reinforced Northwell Health’s dedication to be a forefront in leading and promoting employee satisfaction,” said Lulette.

Here at Northwell Health, we are always looking out for the health of our employees. Our wellness initiatives not only allow our employees to maintain their health outside the workplace, but while working as well. Over the past few years, we have continued to put the health of our employees first by providing healthy food options at the cafeterias throughout our facilities and snack options in our vending machines. So far these challenges have helped hundreds of employees lose weight and change their lifestyle.