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Made for going the distance.

Made for going the distance.

26.2 miles. Twenty-six. Point two. And every step is a battle, a struggle between mind, will and body. Running a marathon demands an incredible personal commitment. Months – and sometimes, years – of road training and dietary preparation. Early mornings and long, lonely runs.

Just getting started requires tremendous motivation. But to finish the race, sometimes you need to exceed even your own expectations. As Northwell Health’s VP and Chief Experience Officer, Sven Gierlinger noted, “With the exception of getting married and seeing my first child born, running the NYC Marathon has been the most incredible and exhilarating experience of my life. I never in a million years would have thought that it is humanly possible for me to be able to do that.”

At Northwell Health, being Truly Ambitious is a core Value of ours, it’s no wonder we had several of our employees enter and finish the recent New York Marathon. Here are some of those were in it for the long run:

  • Sven Gierlinger
  • Patricia Farrell
  • Missy Serbonich
  • Whitney Wasserman
  • John Kubisa
  • Jen O’Neill
  • Aaron Lipskar
  • Sara Makowski
  • Joseph Aigbojie

For these exceptionally dedicated individuals, it’s a matter of setting goals and going out and achieving them. “It’s about determination. Being ambitious, pushing the boundaries both physically and mentally,” says Patricia Farrell, RN, Nurse Executive. “When you hit that wall, you have to push through it to complete your goal.”

Health and wellness are two big themes Northwell Health has in common with the NYC Marathon. Competing in and completing a marathon will take you to a level of fitness few are able to achieve. But, you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to make positive changes in your life. You can even start by just walking more and see where that takes you. As our President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Dowling says, “There is no limit to your possibilities if you put your mind to it.”

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Leading the way in STEM initiatives – Chief People Innovation Officer Elaine Page honored as 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM

STEM Careers

Leading the way in STEM initiatives – Chief People Innovation Officer Elaine Page honored as 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM

At Northwell Health, we aren’t satisfied with settling. We search for innovation in everything we do. That’s why we place such a high value on STEM education in achieving our goal of optimizing the health of our community.

Last week our Vice President of HR, Chief People Innovation Officer and leader of our Workforce Readiness Team, Elaine Page, was honored at the 2017 Million Women Mentors Summit & Awards as the 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM Honoree. Promoting innovation and growing our future workforce is one of Elaine’s passions and she understands that the future success depends upon growing and empowering tomorrow’s health care workforce to take an active interest in learning and innovation. With the changing healthcare landscape and a critical shortage of nurses and other skilled clinical professionals, educating our youth on the opportunities in health care and STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) take on a new and urgent priority.

“As I represent many women leaders receiving this honor, I’m reminded of that sage advice as I say thank you today and reflect on all those successful women who’ve helped me.  From my high school teacher who told me I could be anything I dreamed I could be, to my first horrible boss who taught me exactly what not to do when I became a leader…and to the countless women leaders I’ve known who have struggled to make a place in the world for their voice but yet have carried themselves with graceful patience, knowing their time would come. They were and are fierce and I’ve reveled in the lessons I’ve learned from these women and try to impart that wisdom to my own team every day.  So I thank you for recognizing the importance of women leaders in technology: for recognizing how we bring creativity and different thought to a traditionally male field. Thank you for highlighting the importance of women supporting other women, lifting each other up.  It feels good to know that our powerful voices are shaping our future.” Elaine Page, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Innovation Officer

Northwell Health collaborates with internal and external partners to host system-wide STEM career programs, providing teacher education opportunities and fostering transformational education through the creation and support of Career Academies – while our student programs promote the wide scope of STEM-focused career paths and opportunities available within health care. Take a look at some of our initiatives:

  • Medical Marvels – In partnership with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Medical Marvels hosts a competition for 9th & 10th grade students to engage educators and students in exploring, understanding and preparing students for the broad spectrum of STEM career paths.
  • The Spark! Challenge – This is a system wide STEM career awareness program for 11th and 12th grade students. The program highlights high growth and less known careers in healthcare. The Spark! Challenge has hosted over 1,300 students at more than 50 Northwell Health sites.
  • Top Minds Meet webinar series – This interactive webinar series introduces students to key Northwell Health leadership as it highlights various pathways to a successful career.
  • Medical Scholars Pipeline Program – The Hofstra School of Medicine and Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation are preparing high school students for health care careers through hands-on training, rigorous academic classes, and mentorship.
  • Annual Professional Development Day – In partnership with The Feinstein Institute, we’re engaging educators in the broad spectrum of career paths and the skills and education needed to work in tomorrow’s health care.
  • Long Island STEM Hub – Northwell Health and Brookhaven National Lab are Co-Stewards of this regional effort focused on engaging and aligning business and educational communities to engage and develop students for STEM careers.
  • International Internship Program – Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation and University College Cork in Ireland are opening exciting opportunities for undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business information systems.

As we continue to push the boundaries we will focus on enhancing our STEM initiatives and try to understand how we can continue to build successful relationships with other companies who are driven by the same mission. For now, help us in congratulating Elaine Page on her prestigious award!

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Made for going places – Paula Tortorici-Scheff’s story

Employee highlight Paula Tortonici-Scheff

Made for going places – Paula Tortorici-Scheff’s story

Paula Tortorici-Scheff has always enjoyed traveling, visiting new places and meeting new people. And that’s not just in her personal life, it’s with her career as well. Over the years, she has experienced impressive career growth, and all of it at Northwell Health.

Paula started as a Nursing Assistant, and went on to attain her BSN with honors. She earned her New York RN license and was hired as a staff nurse – all within a matter of months. As a driven nursing professional, she became ANCC Medical-Surgical Nursing Board Certified while obtaining Clinical Ladder III status and advanced to Assistant Nurse Manager.

And she was just getting warmed up.

She’s currently an Administrator, Hospital Operations, where she serves as one of the on-site administrators on the evening and weekend shifts. She also provides operational oversight throughout the hospital.

What’s next for Paula? Thanks to a full-scholarship she received to the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, she will soon complete her Master’s degree in May 2018 and become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity of a full scholarship as a student of the first inaugural class at Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing to obtain my Master’s degree. It is not only an amazing experience, but one that is part of an elite and prestigious program and institution. Thank you, Northwell!”

-Paula Tortorici-Scheff, BSN, RN-BC

For those seeking greater opportunities in their own careers, Paula’s advice is simple – “Go for it!” She recommends taking advantage of the education available to Northwell Health nurses at the Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing. “It’s something that you will be very proud to be part of,” says Paula. “It’s a gift having access to the absolute best faculty, physicians, and clinical experiences — it shines above the other programs. We are also guaranteed job placement with the Northwell Health system. But you have to be driven and determined. You have to want it and keep your focus.”

If you’re looking for a place that encourages and rewards you for being truly ambitious, a career at Northwell Health is made for you. “I am very proud of the opportunities Northwell has given me over the last 21 years,” Paula tells us. “I have built my entire career here and I am far from done.”

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When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support

Vets blog header

When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support

Reservists face unique challenges as they balance a civilian job with ongoing military obligations. Just ask Reservist and Core Laboratories Clerk Davesha Taylor. Her Reservist duties include regular training that often involves weekday assignments overlapping her work schedule. We’re honored to be able to help Davesha grow in her career with us while she continues to meet her military commitments.

“I owe a lot of thanks to the kind staff I work with,” says Davesha. “They are very considerate of me whenever I need to take time off for military training.”

We recognize that there’s more to helping our veterans than merely finding them a job. As a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, we’re there to continue to support veterans throughout their time with us – such as offering flexible scheduling and pay differentials for reservists.

For Davesha, her role as a clerk with us is just the start. Her vision and passion is to attend medical school to become a Forensic Pathologist, and we’ll be there to help her make this dream a reality.

“Thanks to Northwell Health, my transition from the military has been smooth and easy,” Davesha acknowledges.

Veterans like Davesha Taylor have sacrificed so much in the service of our country. At Northwell Health, we’re proud that they choose to continue their life of service with us.

If you’d like to learn more about our commitment to your career transition and growth, please visit: NorthwellCareers.com/Veterans.

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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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An Appointment With: Northwell Health Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Ramon Soto

An Appointment With: Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Ramon Soto

Welcome to “An Appointment With,” where we sit down one on one with leadership, doctors, nurses and more to bring you their stories. Today we’re meeting SVP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Ramon Soto, who was the most recent winner of the AHHE Hospital Executive of the Year Award.

How did you know that coming to Northwell Health was the right career move for you?

I didn’t at first. I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Patchogue. When I heard about the Chief Marketing Officer position at Northwell Health, then known as North Shore-LIJ Health System, I just remembered the small health care company from my childhood. After doing my research, hearing Michael Dowling speak, and learning about the advancements at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Hofstra School of Medicine, I fell in love. I saw the power of this organization and I knew there were stories waiting to be told. This is the best job I’ve ever had.

How has the rebranding process at Northwell Health impacted the organization?

Fundamentally, our hospitals used to run regionally and people associated themselves with the single hospital they worked for. Now people feel like they are all together, and there is a sense of community. This has helped improve our engagement scores. As separate entities,  people didn’t know who we were and how we were all connected and now they see all of our locations as one. There has been an undeniable unifying effect on the inside, and ability to shine as a destination health care system.

What is your perspective on leadership?

90% of leadership traits are trainable and there are things you can do throughout your career to be a good leader. My philosophy is: don’t just “dabble” in anything, take it on with all you’ve got. You should know your stuff and strive to be the subject matter experts.   When making a decision, you should bring everyone together to help. Leverage diversity of thought and unity in action. If you give people a voice, the execution is always better. If you can adapt your leadership style to fit the needs of your audience as well as the organization, you will be able to grow and flourish.

You recently earned the AHHE Hospital Executive of the Year Award. What have you learned from that experience and what did that mean to you?

The most important part of the awards evening was that my family was there and I was able to reflect on my heritage. This award made me think of my father. He came from Puerto Rico when he was 12 and he didn’t speak a word of English. He pulled himself up from poverty by going to school at night and working hard. He believed you always had a choice: work a job you enjoy or work a job as a chore. He also said to always stretch yourself, whenever you think you can’t do more, you can. His wisdom helped shape who I am today. I went back to get my MBA at 40 even though I had a successful career because of the drive he instilled in me.

Many people of diverse backgrounds have stories like this, and that’s why in terms of diversity in the workplace, it’s important to include individuals from all backgrounds based on their experience and what they’ve done. We need qualified candidates and we need to choose the best of the best. If we don’t include everyone in that pool of candidates, we’re missing out.

However, no institution should ever settle for people who aren’t the top or relax their standards to bring on talent that isn’t qualified.

What is an interesting fact that people should know about you?

I had a perm in high school!

We invite you to come back for the next moment in our Appointment With… blog!

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From EMT to Director of Patient Care Services

Northwell Health

From EMT to Director of Patient Care Services

Meet Madalyn Frank-Cooper, Director of Patient Care Services at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills. We sat down with her to talk about her career progression and to simply understand why she loves her job. Here is what she has to say.

Why did you fall in love with Emergency Services?

I first fell in love with EMS when I was working as a medical assistant many years ago. One day, while I was working, we called for an emergent transfer for a patient to the hospital.  I was in awe of the EMT’s professionalism, their quick and thorough assessment skills, and the transfer of the patient to the hospital setting. I next joined EMS, and a short time later enrolled in nursing school to further my education and become an RN. I began my career at Lenox Hill Hospital in the ED. I was fascinated by the coordinated, quick decision making of the inter-professional team in this fast paced environment.  I was a clinical nurse for approximately 5 years and was afforded the opportunity to become a clinical liaison, and next found my path in leadership.

What is your role as Director of Patient Care Services?

My role as Director of Patient Care Services is to ensure the best possible care to our patients and to provide our employees with the knowledge and support to do so. This includes promoting an exceptional patient experience, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and a safe environment.  I feel this role is important because enables and promotes avenues for advocacy for patients, families, and staff.

How do you continue to push your employees to provide top quality of care for our patients?

Nursing is dynamic and can drive change.  Placing the patient at the forefront, eliciting feedback from the front line, and explaining the reasons why assist to drive quality of care. Structures we have in place to examine our quality of care include Collaborative Care Councils, Committee work, and focus groups.  These structures promote shared governance and provide insight for the care we are delivering.

What projects are you currently working on?

We have the Nurse Activated Stroke Code Project, where using specific criteria, the nurses are empowered to activate the Stroke Code at the patient point of entry. This has shown to be successful in decreasing our door to doctor, and door to imaging time. Early recognition and treatment yield better patient outcomes, increasing the likelihood of a full recovery. Next, we are looking to expand this concept to patients with sepsis and initiate a Nurse Activated Code Sepsis, with the goal of improved outcomes.

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My Radiology career at Northwell Health

My Radiology career at Northwell Health

Written by: Jennifer Lillibridge

Initially, it never occurred to me to consider Tech School.  I was going to school to become an accountant and during that time I worked in a small radiology facility.  I worked with John, the director of an Ultrasound program.  My desk faced the wall and our desks were caddy corner. One day, John approached me and said, “Consider Ultrasound school and forget accounting”.  In so many words, I told him to leave me alone. He responded, “OK, sit in the corner for the rest of your life”.  I will never forget how I felt in that moment.  I started to pay more attention to the Tech’s and each modality.  Ultrasound interested me because there is an art to it; the probe is your camera.  I was hooked and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Ultrasound.

I began my career at Huntington Hospital in 2008.  I worked with esteemed Radiologist Dr. Wank and he recruited me to go to Great South Bay Imaging in late 2010 when the practice wasn’t even open yet  (I literally wore a hard hat while I interviewed with Bill Brostek).  It may sound cliché, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason.  Just like with John, Bill saw something in me that day.   He hired me as a staff Technologist and then I was promoted to Ultrasound Supervisor and not long after that, I was promoted to Practice Manager of the facility.  Over the course of 7 years, I have seen many changes and growth within our facility.  From the earliest moments of my career, the team that I have worked with has solidified the reasons I was drawn to this field in the first place.  Technologists graduate with a foundation of knowledge in patient care.  It is not until this knowledge is put into practice that a Technologist begins to realize that patient care is the most important part of our job.  Even though a majority of my day is no longer spent scanning patients, patient care remains my utmost priority.

I often look ahead to the future. Just as I have evolved and grown within my career, the field of radiology will continue to evolve and grow. Northwell Health continuously provides opportunities that break down barriers so that there are no limitations to the level of success we can all achieve.  This fosters an environment in which patients can be part of a health system that is a step above the rest.  Northwell Health has afforded me opportunities in my career that I never deemed possible, especially when I look back at myself sitting in the corner all of those years ago.

Many people have not only believed in me but instilled a drive that I didn’t know existed within myself.  The moment I wake up each morning, I have a mantra I often repeat – I am part of something greater and I am going to make a difference today.  I often reiterate this mantra to my team so that we don’t lose sight of our common goal.  Simply put, we all entered this field to help people.  Patient care is our #1 priority.  No matter what an individual’s role is within the health system, that mantra, along with prioritizing patient care, will only enhance the overall success of our Health System.  I wear my Northwell Health hat proudly each and every day.

 Explore our opportunities today.

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From Assistant Clinical Analyst to AVP of the Office of Research Compliance – my career journey


Photo (from left to right): Emmelyn is the third women in the front of the photo

From Assistant Clinical Analyst to AVP of the Office of Research Compliance – my career journey

Since joining our team in 2005, Emmelyn has taken every challenge and turned it into an opportunity. Learn how her career progressed over the years and how we supported her along her journey.

Why did you want to become a part of Northwell Health?

My passion has always been in research and public health and because of this, I ended up moving to the New York area to attend a graduate program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In 2005, Northwell Health offered an opportunity for me to continue working in research as an Assistant Clinical Analyst, focused on regulatory compliance. It sounded like a great opportunity to learn more about the complex regulatory environment of research and work for a very large health care system. This was an exciting new challenge and I was eager to get my feet wet since I was had only had experience working in smaller medical academic centers in Chicago and Boston.

How has your career progressed over the years?

In 2007 I was promoted to a Manager in the Research Compliance department where I continued to work on developing the audit and compliance program and regulatory education and training for researchers throughout the organization. After a few years, I was promoted to Direct the Research Compliance Department and most recently, became the AVP, Research Compliance and Privacy Officer.

What are the biggest projects you are working on right now?

In Research Compliance we regularly perform audits of research throughout the organization and capture metrics. We’re developing ways to more effectively capture data from our reviews and develop analytical tools that can help us better pinpoint areas that may represent operational gaps or challenges leading to compliance issues or areas in need of further education and training. This data can then be presented to leadership and groups for further discussion or actions. At the end of the day, we want to be able to gauge the level of quality and integrity of the research that’s conducted at our organization. Continually evaluating quality and making improvements allows Northwell Health to continue to be a leading organization in research.

The other area I’m involved in is the Business Employee Resource Group (BERG). I’m one of the co-chairs of the Bridges Asian BERG that launched in October of 2016 and we’ve been working closely with the Center for Equity of Care (CEC) and various Service Lines across the organization on a variety of initiatives that seek to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services and build trust within the communities that we serve. We are working to create a larger impact across the workforce, expand the marketplace and better connect with our communities. This is critical as Northwell Health expands its footprint throughout very diverse neighborhoods and we need to work cross collaboratively to make a substantial impact. I’ve worked in minority health initiatives and research and this has always been another passion of mine. Northwell Health offers an amazing opportunity for its workforce to get involved in organization level projects through BERGs, which is fully supported and encouraged by leadership.

Within your different roles, how did you leverage them to be successful?

I always find value working from the ground up and learning a lot along the way from experience, good and bad. Working my way from an Assistant Clinical Analyst to where I am today took many years with a fair share of challenges, failures, and successes. Over time I’ve learned that it pays to take risks sometimes, be proactive and a  self-starter, seek out a mentor and most importantly, to seek and listen to feedback. I was fortunate enough to participate in certain programs within the organization such as the High Potentials Program that exposed me to various management and problem-solving strategies and Corporate leadership. That definitely gave me a different perspective on how our large organization worked and the potential that everyone has within, that could be realized to its full potential with dedication to collaboration, putting in 100% effort, actively networking and seeking mentorship.

In my current role, I’ve found value in communication and being a mentor to others. This includes ensuring a good level of communication with my team, colleagues and with individuals throughout our vast organization. I remember reading an article about how leaders shouldn’t only seek to climb the ladder, but they make sure that they look back and help others up along the way. This rings true as a woman and minority in a leadership position as we definitely have our fair share of challenges in the work place. I always remember the people who have extended their hand to help me along the way to get me to where I am today, and I’d like to do that for others who show the same amount of dedication and enthusiasm working for our organization. I think that truly makes you a successful leader.

Were there any roadblocks you overcame? If so, what are you most proud of?

The hardest thing about career progression is when you advance to the next level. When I was promoted to a Director and had to supervise other employees it was completely new to me and I went through my fair share of trial and error. Fortunately, I had mentors and supervisors who helped me to overcome challenges every step of the way and who serve as role models. Over these years I have worked hard to build the Research Compliance program and expanded the department to where it is today. I am most proud of seeing my staff develop personally and professionally, overcome challenges, and work with me to make the program even better each year.

I have learned so much, met so many people and have grown professionally. Northwell Health has been a terrific place to work and provides so many unique opportunities for the workforce. I’d like to encourage others to seize the opportunities offered at our organization, network and meet with people outside of your department to expand your horizons. Lastly, be engaged and make your career what you want it to be – you are made for this!

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A career I’m proud of – why I decided to join Northwell Health’s team after the Military

Northwell Health

Photo: Luis is the man on the right 

A career I’m proud of – why I decided to join Northwell Health’s team after the Military

Written by: Luis Phillips

My decision to enlist in the military emerged for numerous reasons.  I grew up admiring my father and his service in the military, saw how certain benefits supported my family and the different educational benefits.  I decided to join the U.S. Army right out of high school at age 17 through a waiver signed by my parents, and although the transition from military life to civilian life had the potential to be difficult, the military taught me how to keep calm in the face of chaos. Through my experience,  I have learned how to work well under pressure, improvise, adapt and overcome.

Towards the end of graduate school, I began searching for jobs related to my major in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and it was at this time that I learned about Northwell Health.  I noticed that they offered many opportunities within my major and I also wanted to join their team due to their recognition as a military friendly organization and their commitment to veterans. I had heard through peers about their reputation for being a great organization that encompasses diversity and professional growth. I discovered that they were hosting a veteran recruitment event for which I applied and later led to an interview.

Following the interview, I was hired and began my career at Northwell in 2014 as a Clinical Practice Plan Representative in the Central Business Office. While holding this position I was recognized as Employee of the Month and also nominated for Employee of the Quarter in 2015. After a little more than a year’s time, I transitioned to a Clinical Practice Plan Analyst on the Revenue Cycle Operations team. Within this role, I acquired a unique skill set, which allowed me to develop analytical acumen through SQL to write queries, as well as become the lead analyst and receive the myRecognition Execution award.  With this acquired skill set, a year and a half later I became an Operations Manager for the Clinical Informatics team at the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in 2017.

At the beginning of my career, I was fortunate enough to become a member of the VALOR  B.E.R.G (Business Employee Resource Group).  Since joining this group I’ve had the opportunity to attend some events and share my experiences and stories with other veterans. VALOR is a program that brings veterans together to give them a chance to appreciate one another while also learning from each other’s experiences in the military and in their current roles within the organization, assisting veterans in gainful employment while promoting well-being.

I take a lot of pride in working for Northwell Health and feel a sense of fulfillment in my role because of everything I mentioned above – they support Veterans through the hiring process. They support Veterans while they are a part of this organization. And they support Veterans throughout the communities. I am currently enrolled in the Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program, have been accepted into the MBA program for Strategic Business Management and will be attending Hofstra University in the fall of 2017 with the help of the organization’s tuition reimbursement program.  Being able to work within my field of study and the organization’s commitment to veterans is continuously gratifying. The health systems service to the community, as well as the abundance of genuine people, makes one take pride in being a part of such a rewarding organization.


Photo: Luis and his team after a successful drive for the Ronald McDonald House