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Radiologic Technologists – the difference they make at Northwell Health

Photo: Members of our Radiology team at the 2016 Northwell Health Walk

Radiologic Technologists – the difference they make at Northwell Health

Since Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of the x-ray in 1895, the field of imaging technology has advanced from a chance scientific discovery during a lab experiment in Germany into an integral part of every patient’s management of care around the world, and across Northwell Health.

“Radiology technologists make a difference throughout our health system by providing physicians with images that enables them to treat or diagnose a disease. Over 230,000 studies are performed by imaging technologies in the department of radiology at LIJ alone. It is safe to say that radiology technologists are the eyes of medicine.” Andreas Nicou, Senior Administrative Director, Department of Radiology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

The Imaging Service Line at Northwell Health prides itself on being able to provide prompt and accurate subspecialty imaging and interpretations of images acquired on the most technologically advanced imaging equipment, in a safe and comfortable environment. We offer our patients convenience and easy access to our imaging facilities 7 days a week, throughout the Northwell catchment area. Our highly skilled, licensed, registered, and certified Imaging Technologists make all the difference when it comes to delivering the optimal patient imaging experience and obtaining the highest quality images possible, leading to prompt diagnosis and follow up care.

“Our imaging technologists are “Truly Ambitious” in their pursuit for continuous learning and advancement of both the field of imaging and their personal career development and growth. Our academic program affiliations offer an advanced teaching environment which allows our new recruits entry level opportunities at Northwell Health, as well as additional upward mobility opportunities and career ladders for existing team members.” Jim Henglein, Senior Director, Support Services, North Shore University Hospital

Imaging Technologists at Northwell Health have career opportunities in diverse modality areas which include X-ray, MRI, CT, Special Procedures, Cardiac Catheterization, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound and Peripheral Vascular, and Radiation Medicine technologists.

“Our technologists are truly ambitious because they never let the increasing demands of the field or the never ending advancement of radiology technology hold them back. They are resilient and always manage to adapt to the changes and thrive in order to provide our patients with the quality care they deserve.” Andreas Nicou, Senior Administrative Director, Department of Radiology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

Our state of the art imaging environment includes an advanced and integrated Picture Archival Communication System, the most advanced clinical & research MR imaging magnets available, the lowest dose CT scanners available on the market, Ultrasound with 3D imaging capabilities, PET and SPECT CT, and the most advanced Imaging for Women’s Health and Breast Imaging including the most current digital platforms for Tomosynthesis.

“Our goal is to attract highly skilled imaging professionals in order to complement our existing imaging team, and offer them career growth opportunities in a very exciting and challenging environment. Each year during the first full week of November we celebrate National Radiology Technology Week by honoring and recognizing all Imaging Technologists for their commitment towards providing the highest level of diagnostic imaging and imaging guidance for our physicians to diagnose and treat diseases. We thank them for their support, teamwork, and dedication to their profession and to our patients they provided during the past year by holding week long activities including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and other social activities.” John J. Aloisio, Assistant Vice President, Imaging Service Line

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Experiencing health care through the Healthcare Management Program Internship

Northwell Health

Experiencing health care through the Healthcare Management Program Internship

Written by: Ketrah Mugambe

When I first started my summer internship at Northwell Health in the Healthcare Management Program, I thought I had a sound idea of what I wanted to do in my career. Being a science major, it made perfect sense to want to pursue healthcare from a clinical standpoint. I had no idea of what an administrative job in health care could offer. I figured – why not go against the grain a bit? Why not see what else is out there?

So I spent eight weeks with a little yellow notepad and a ballpoint pen, trying to absorb every aspect of health care management I would encounter. From finance to operations to data analytics, my learning curve was intense. My projects were new and overwhelming. And unfortunately for me, my pure science course load in undergrad proved to be absolutely zero help.

Every day in the office was different, and the variety of projects that I had was a true testament to that. To name only a couple, I was tasked to give suggestions of improvements to an oncology lab based on my observations, as well as to create an internal employee survey measuring employee satisfaction and engagement. I was working with real-time data, and important information that was of great use to my preceptors. It was a bit intimidating, determining the best way to utilize it all.

What motivated me, though, was the trust my preceptors had in me to get the job done, despite me being an intern with so much to learn. Throughout each of my projects, I was expected to know exactly what was expected of me, but to also know what my limits were and when to ask for help. I was called on to report back the results I found, making me feel like an integral part of the discussions that took place in that second-floor conference room. And most importantly, I was held accountable for ensuring that my output was my absolute best effort. Each day brought a different challenge, but I had the guidance and the support I needed to meet each one.

So while I came into my internship not really knowing what to expect, I can happily say that this summer turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I not only learned a lot about Northwell, and their commitment to their patients and employees, but I also learned a lot about myself, and about what my capabilities are. This summer I had the great opportunity to be a part of a team, a team that needed me just as much as I needed them.

For those of you wondering where I stand in terms of my career plans now, the administrative side of healthcare has definitely caught my eye. The hustle and bustle that occurs behind the scenes, and not on a care facility’s main floors is an experience like no other. But overall, I have come to learn that there is definitely a career for me in healthcare, regardless of what path I will ultimately decide to take.

Submit your resume to become a Summer Associate in the 2018 Healthcare Management Program Internship.

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Giving to others is what our nurses are made for.

Angela-Daly

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.

Glassdoor

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

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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Leading the transformation of health care – our people were made for this!

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Leading the transformation of health care – our people were made for this!

“Buckle up, because we’re going to be going to places we’ve never been before.” – Maureen White, RN, VP, Chief Nursing Executive

This is no time for “business as usual” or following the “status quo” or any other cliché you can think of. We’re defining the healthcare industry of tomorrow! That means we HAVE to think differently and deliver innovative solutions to achieve results we’ve never achieved before. To make our communities healthier, we’ll need to get out of our comfort zones as healthcare leaders. Above all, we need to drive nursing excellence through highly-engaged leaders.

That is exactly what happened at this year’s Nursing Leadership Retreat, “Beyond Boundaries: The Amazing Race to the 90th Percentile”. Held on May 15 and 16, approximately 220 nursing leaders – Nurses Executives, Nursing Directors, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Managers, and High Potential Bedside Nurses – attended the retreat. The goal – to take our engagement and satisfaction scores to the 90th percentile and beyond! You could tell from day one that things were going to be different.

On the first day, we broke from past retreats by engaging participants like never before with games, puzzles and even a scavenger hunt. The participants divided into teams and were asked to explore various companies in the Midtown Manhattan area. Each activity served to challenge the participants’ teamwork, communication, creativity, and awareness of their surroundings. The challenges focused on developing best practices for customer experience, employee engagement, quality standards, and identifying characteristics of the best places to work.

On the second day, we heard the insights of a wide variety of exceptional presenters, including Dr. Jim Merlino, formerly the Chief Patient Experience Officer at the Cleveland Clinic and presently the President & Chief Medical Officer of the Strategic Consulting Division at Press Ganey. Dr. Merlino shared his strategies and experiences regarding how to lead an organization in patient experience. He also included Northwell Health specific recommendations in his discussion based on his knowledge of the health system’s Press Ganey performance.

  • Dr. Jim Merlino, formerly the Chief Patient Experience Officer at the Cleveland Clinic and presently the President & Chief Medical Officer of the Strategic Consulting Division at Press Ganey. Dr. Merlino shared his strategies and experiences regarding how to lead an organization in patient experience. He also included Northwell Health specific recommendations in his discussion based on his knowledge of the health system’s Press Ganey performance.
  • Darren Williams, of the Barry Wehmiller Leadership Institute and Simon Sinek who presented on “Finding the CEO in Yourself” and developing the leader in others. They explored who to find fulfillment in watching others actualize their fullest potential.

As we move forward, we identified a number of topics to focus on in our efforts to remain at the forefront of the healthcare field:

  • The future of health care on a national and local level:
    • External factors that will influence/effect Northwell Health such as competition, the economy and the ACA
  • Strategies for addressing these external factors:
    • The role of Nursing in meeting the strategic vision of the health system

At Northwell Health, we’re revolutionizing every area of health care. If you have a pioneering spirit and a forward-looking attitude, you were made for this. Come be part of it and learn more here.

“If you want to accomplish something, you have to believe it’s always possible.” – Maureen White

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We’re sending shock waves throughout the medical world.

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We’re sending shock waves throughout the medical world.

What difference can an electrical impulse make in combatting complex illnesses and injuries? Every difference.

Bioelectronic Medicine combines our knowledge of electrical signals and neural pathways to redefine how we predict, diagnose, and treat an incredible range of medical conditions. We’re teaching the body how to heal itself – without side effects.

“We are on the cusp of treating diseases in new ways that we would not have been imagining five years ago.” –Christopher Czura, PhD, Vice President Scientific Affairs

A moving experience.

“There seems to be no limit to what’s possible in this field. We have been able to restore movement in the hand of a paralyzed young man through an electronic brain implant.” –Chad Bouton, Director, Center for Bioelectronic Medicine

Is it possible to set free a person who has been imprisoned in their own body by paralysis? Yes, and we’re doing it. We’re developing devices that create a neural bypass around damaged neural pathways so the paralyzed can regain motion.

What happens in vagus.

A lot of what we’re able to accomplish with Bioelectronic Medicine focuses on the vagus nerve. This system of fibers runs from the brain stem to several major organs, including the heart and digestive tract. By identifying the relevant neural pathways and stimulating the vagus nerve electronically, we’re able to provide healing for conditions such as bleeding and many autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus.

“Many rheumatoid arthritis patients that had failed multiple pharmaceutical treatments, experienced relief from their symptoms with Bioelectronic Medicine,” says Chad Bouton.

Thinking differently about prevention.

“Imagine waking up in the morning to an alert on your smartphone. A tiny device in your body analyzed your blood chemistry overnight and contacted your doctor about a possible issue – and even scheduled an appointment. This is the future of medicine.”–Chad Bouton

Beyond treating existing conditions, bioelectronic devices could have a dramatic impact on our ability to better diagnose disease. By monitoring biomarkers in at-risk patients and listening to the body’s own clues, we can perform real-time diagnostics and track the progress of a patient. This could lead to warning those at risk for cancer, diabetes, and other debilitating dangerous conditions.

Give your career a jolt.

“Seeing how these breakthroughs change real lives — and knowing it’s just the tip of the iceberg — is most exciting. It’s just the beginning.”

–Kevin Tracey, President & CEO, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Are you ready to work on the leading edge of one of the most exciting areas of medical research today? The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is looking for you to help advance the incredible potential of Bioelectronic Medicine. Our work is opening up exceptional opportunities for:

  • Molecular Biologists – Identify the targets of disease for treatment
  • Neuroscientists – Identify the neural pathway to manipulate the target
  • Neural Electrical Engineers/Computer Scientists – Design the device to manipulate the appropriate pathway

Explore these careers today!

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Our nurses love what they do and where they do it.

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Our nurses love what they do and where they do it.

“Employees feel like they’re part of a family when they come to work here.”–Marianna Vazquez, Associate Executive Director, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Executive, Plainview Hospital and Syosset Hospital

You can’t argue with the numbers. At Plainview Hospital and Syosset Hospital, our recent employee surveys with engagement percentages in the 90s are among the highest in our health system and show that our nurses love working here. Our employees mentioned the exceptional care we provide and our supportive leadership as key reasons for their high satisfaction.

Two great hospitals with one great passion.

The more you know about Plainview and Syosset Hospitals, the more you’ll want to grow your nursing career at one of these places.

Plainview Hospital

We currently see approximately 35,000 emergency patients per year at our 204-bed teaching hospital. A designated Stroke Center, Plainview is also recognized by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer for Quality Measures for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Surgical Care. The Joint Commission has certified Plainview in advanced diabetes and hyperbaric medicine. We also have certification in minimally invasive gynecology. To maintain our high standards, Plainview is fostering an environment focused on nursing excellence with Magnet® status as the ultimate goal.

Syosset Hospital

Our 103-bed community hospital is home to the Orthopaedic Center of Excellence, the Davis Vision Eye Surgery Center and the Interventional Pain Management Center. We’re a 911 Receiving Station and a designated Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. We’re also a designated Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the American Society of Bariatric Surgery.

Both hospitals also serve as clinical campuses for the Hofstra Northwell Health School of Medicine. No matter which hospital you work in, you’ll be part of New York’s leading health system and the state’s largest private employer offering competitive compensation and benefits, continuous learning and educational opportunities and advancement potential.

“We’re committed to giving our emergency nurses the best support possible, including advanced technology and an extensive orientation.”–Debra Clifford, RN, Nurse Manager

  Interested in joining our Plainview/ Syosset team? Explore our unlimited career possibilities today. 

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From the United States Air Force to our Veteran Program Specialist

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Picture: From left to right, Lyndon is the 5th person standing near the middle 

From the United States Air Force to our Veteran Program Specialist

Each year at Northwell Health we set the goal to help as many Veterans as possible, and without the help of our Veteran Program Specialist, Lyndon Chichester, we wouldn’t have been able to hire over 500 veterans last year alone. It’s with great pleasure that I was able to sit down and speak with him the other day to learn about his transition home and what it means to him to help others who are going through the same process. 

On April 24 2001 at Fort Hamilton Military Base in Brooklyn, NY,  Lyndon Chichester, with right hand raised calmly uttered “I, Lyndon Chichester, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” With that statement Lyndon began an 8 year journey in the United States Air Force. During this time he was a Computer Network, Switching, and Cryptographic Systems Specialist, stationed in Arizona and Virginia, both during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Lyndon also completed various technical and military training in Texas and Mississippi. He later separated from the Air Force as a Staff Sargent at Langley AFB in October 2008, and received an honorable discharge. Subsequently, Lyndon moved to New York and attended New York University School of Professional Studies, where he earned a BS Degree in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in International Business and Global Management.

When Lyndon graduated in May of 2012 he started applying online to many openings at various well-known companies and was surprised when calls to interview weren’t coming in as frequently as he expected. “I felt like I was the toast of the town when I graduated. I thought that because I was a Veteran with a Bachelors Degree there was no way I would go the whole summer of 2012 without a job offer. However, that’s exactly what happened” Lyndon states. He also recalls, “I went from feeling high to feeling low real quick, and to add to that the financial pressure of maintaining a family was scary and daunting.”

 

As the season switched to Fall, Lyndon’s friend who was an IT contractor employed with another organization, gave him the business card of the IT recruiter that hired him. “When my friend gave me the business card I was very skeptical of my marketability as a candidate at the time and was expecting another failed attempt at employment. I didn’t know why I was calling this recruiter because my last IT related job was in the Air Force and 3 years had already passed.” The phone call was successful because Lyndon was invited in for a face to face interview at that organization’s Midtown office and was hired as an IT Account Executive, which in 3 months turned into an IT Recruiter role. “My two years at my previous organization was a great learning experience because it is where I learned what employers look for in candidates. I also learned the art of the resume, recruiting, and interviewing.” After four  years of IT recruiting experience in the staffing world, Lyndon joined the Northwell Health family as a Talent Acquisition Specialist in June 2016. In December of 2016, Lyndon was promoted and is now the Veteran Program Specialist for Northwell Health. In this role he leverages his background as an experienced recruiter and a United States Air Force Veteran to work with the Veteran community, helping to drive Northwell Health’s Veteran recruitment goals and efforts.

Lyndon said “It is an honor and a privilege to work with our Veterans. My passion is to help all of our Veteran applicants gain successful employment with Northwell Health. Veterans bring an unmatched array of strengths and experiences to the workforce including leadership training, integrity, teamwork, working among diversified groups in high pressure environments which gives them a high level of sensitivity to diversity and inclusion beneficial to productive corporate work environments. Our Barracks to Business Workshop leverages and translates the skills Military members have to civilian resumes that our hiring managers can simply understand. It’s always exciting to learn that we’ve hired another Veteran. That’s the mission.”

Every current service member, transitioning service member, or veteran should know that Lyndon 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 passionate and dedicated to assisting Veterans in their transition from Military service to a promising Northwell Health career.

Sign up to join our Veteran Talent Community.

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Turning a dream into reality – the birth of 3D bioprinting

Turning a dream into a reality – the birth of 3D bioprinting

Written by: Todd Goldstein 

You might be thinking, what in the world is bioprinting and why would a team spend years developing it? Well, 3D bioprinting is the use of 3D printing technology with materials that incorporate viable living cells. The end product produced is tissue for reconstructive surgery. This type of technology can transform the way medicine is practiced. Just think about a world where organ donors are no longer needed – if you need a transplant of some sort, it can be printed on demand from your own cells while you wait. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning… 

My journey within Northwell Health started off 30 years ago when I was born at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. After a brief 20+ year hiatus, I returned in a very stereotypical way – I was a student who needed a side job with lots of shifts and flexible hours. After some investigation I applied to work per diem as a patient transporter at North Shore University Hospital, where I worked at night while I was completing my master’s degree. It was a perfect fit for me; I was able to converse with patients as I wheeled them around the hospital for their various tests and discharges.

As I was completing my degree, I applied and was accepted to the PhD program at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. I wasn’t sure what I specifically wanted to work on, but I knew I had a knack for technology and a new found appreciation for Orthopedics & Radiology.  I worked 4 years at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research completing my degree in the Laboratory of Orthopedics Research under Dr. Daniel Grande PhD. We spent countless hours working on 3D bioprinting of cartilage, bone, and tracheal tissue. The environment I “stumbled into” was one of collaboration, innovation, and patience. It was challenging, but very rewarding. The lab provided an environment filled with students, residents, fellows, physicians, and research scientists all working to further medical knowledge and create new treatments for patients in need. Anyone in the lab was able to “grab the bull by the horns” so to speak, and take on a project they deemed interesting. You took ownership and were able to see it through to the end.

One day, in walked two chief surgeons with the idea of tissue engineering lab grown tracheas. Dr. Lee Smith MD and Dr. David Zeltsman MD were interested in our capabilities within the lab and if we were willing to work with them on a non-orthopedic project. Dr. Grande said “Todd if you want to spear head this project, go right ahead, just let me know what you need.” Over the next two years we worked to build up a protocol to 3D bioprint tracheal replacements in the lab. It was our hope of one day transplanting a replacement into a patient – to restore their breathing would become a reality.

 

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Once I had the support I needed, we began right away. While we are not at a point to transplant lab grown organs, we are well on our way. To kick off this type of project we started to build our own 3D printer that could create our tissue since the commercially available printer options were extremely expensive. We took a desktop 3D printer, stripped it down to its guts, then using design software created new printer heads that could accept living cells within a jello like material. Many early mornings and late nights watching the 3D printer whirl around in circles placing layer after layer of cells, gel, biocompatible, and biodegradable scaffold materials were necessary to get this idea to become reality. After much trial and error we were able to print a living “breathing” lab-grown trachea.

In the beginning of 2016 the 3D bioprinter was submitted into Northwell Health’s Breakthrough contest where the winner received additional funds to further their research and make their scientific dream a reality. All of the 61,000 employees in our organization were able to vote on the breakthrough that they found the most significant in effecting patients care, and the printer happened to be the winner. Without Northwell’s support this project would still be just an idea. I have been able to take away important skills throughout this journey – whether it be about patient customer service, or a complicated statistical analysis of scientific data, without the Northwell Health family like environment I would still be wandering the halls looking for my niche. I have now graduated from the medical school and Northwell has created a unique roll for me as I share my time between the Orthopedics Lab and the Northwell Ventures Team serving as a technical analyst, as the hospital rolls out new innovative business ventures furthering our patient care capabilities.  I now get to help shape the innovative future of healthcare, both in and out of the lab, as we take ideas from the bench top and translate them to the bedside.