Why did you choose to pursue an engineering career at Northwell Health.
KS: Huntington Hospital, and through them Northwell Health, has been a staple of the community for my entire life. I was born at Huntington Hospital, so I am grateful for the chance to work here and help make it even better. I have had many family and friends that have been helped right here, and now I have the chance to use my engineering skills to help other peoples family and friends.
RA: I personally chose to come to Northwell Health because I wanted to work in a field where I could use my skills and abilities to help people.
Tell me a little bit about your background? Were you always in health care – if you weren’t, why did you decide to get into the field?
KS: I graduated college from SUNY Maritime College in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Coast Guard Marine Engineering License. Using this license I got a job as a civilian contractor with the US Navy. In this job I was on a team that took care of the engine room of one of the navy’s civilian ships. I worked for them for almost a year, during which time I was traveling all over the country and the world. I realized that I wanted something that was more stationary but also wanted to see how my engineering was benefiting people, because in my old job there was a much greater divide between myself and the “customer”. When I started looking for jobs, Huntington Hospital immediately stuck out because it would allow me the best of both worlds. As the Assistant director of Engineering I can use my engineering talents to help the hospital not only with the day to day facility operations, but also with the improvements to it going forward. Every day I know that the work that I am doing in the health care field will help save people’s lives, or at least help the medical staff save people’s lives.
RA: My career started in the Marine Industry after graduating from The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
After working as a Marine Engineer for almost 30 years, including operations in Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and much international travel, it was time for a change. My new path took me to Brooklyn, New York for the next five years and a large 46 high story building housing complex with a centralized power plant. An engineering opportunity then arose to come to Northwell Health Huntington Hospital. I had grown up in Huntington, NY and the opportunity to work and help people at the very hospital I was born in was extremely appealing to me. This was my first endeavor into the Healthcare Industry.
What career growth opportunities does Northwell provide for you and all engineering professionals?
KS: Northwell health is a large healthcare system, and is always growing. As with any system this large, it begins to take on a lot of its own engineering and facility work. As an engineer within the system, there are opportunities to grow within the individual hospitals and into the Physical Assets department and beyond. As a young engineer, there is incredible room for growth within the system.
RA: I believe Northwell Health offers growth opportunities for engineering professionals in different ways. The many engineering responsibilities at a hospital afford engineers the opportunity to hone their skills and expertise in many different disciplines. In addition, Northwell Health is a large and ever growing organization. This allows one many opportunities for future career advancements.
Why would you encourage other engineers to work for our health system?
KS: Working in this health system allows you to have a direct impact on helping people. The sense of purpose here is incredible, all it takes is a walk around the hospital to see all the amazing things that are possible because of the work that our department does every day.
RA: If you are a person who desires work that is personally rewarding and professionally challenging, then Healthcare industry is a good field for you. Northwell Health is a great system because it believes in and fosters a culture where everyone is a caregiver to its patients. You truly feel you are part of a coordinated team supplying patient care.
What new initiatives/ projects have you worked on?
KS: Since July I have been involved multiple projects including the commissioning of two new emergency diesels and testing of their associated transfer switches. I have participated directly in the patient’s environment through Environment of Care rounds and through mock Joint Commission inspections. I have also been involved in the planning of the installation of three new boilers and two new air cooled HVAC chillers. As these projects complete there are always new ideas and projects around the corner that need some input from our department. This ensures that the job will always be exciting.
RA: Since my start a few months back I have been involved in numerous projects of varying sizes. Although it was started before my tenure I have been working to finalize and commission our new Emergency Department addition and its associated 3 MW of emergency diesel power system. I have also been working on the design and construction for three Main boiler installations totaling 650hp, and a chiller relocation and replacement project for 800 tons of air cooled chillers. Both of these projects being simply the first phase of a two phase projects. Additionally, we are also doing work for a new Hyperbaric unit requiring the installation of an additional Oxygen tank and pad, re-powering from 208 VAC to 480VAC, installation of new lab testing equipment, installation of new nuclear medicine equipment , replacement of an Underground fuel oil tank and new air handling equipment. This is all happening coincidentally with multiple departmental re-locations and renovations as well as the day to day repairs and maintenance of the hospital. It is a busy pace covering many Engineering disciplines but is extremely rewarding.