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.
Our dedication to employee and patient safety in action
Coming together to serve others, that’s what we do here at Northwell Health. And when it comes to protecting our patients, communities and employees, we do everything in our power to do so. Our Administration and Security teams over at North Shore University Hospital have proven just that.
At the end of 2016, the Security team at NSUH knew that they wanted to implement a few changes to make their campus safer. “At any moment of the day, anyone could come onto our campus and walk right into the hospital. With recent events throughout the United States, we wanted to ensure the safety of our patients, their families, and our employees,” said John Ferrigno, Director of Security. On average, over 900 people per hour were entering the hospital through the Main Lobby and they wanted to be able to monitor who was coming in, and for what reason. Que the idea for an employee entrance, where employees would have to scan their ID’s in order to access the building. Que a visitor check-in process and optical barriers to ensure those visiting were there for the right reasons.
“We didn’t want any former employees to have access to our building and we didn’t want to have anyone who wanted to cause harm to others to be able to walk in.” John Ferrigno, Director of Security
The Security team came together and reached out to employees throughout each unit, department and floor to see if they wanted to become a part of their council. At these meetings, the 50 employees who made up the Employee Security Advisory Council worked together to create a plan – this was their timeline:
October 1, 2016: Locked exterior entrances
November 6, 2016: Officers stationed at Visitor Entrances to encourage employees to display ID badges
November 15, 2016: Developed and met with Employee Security Advisory Council
April 20, 2017: Launched the Employee Entrance
June 22, 2017: Visitor Check In Policy began – optical barriers installed but inactive
July 20, 2017: Optical Barriers activated at Visitor Entrances
“When we reached out to employees to become a part of the council they were extremely eager to join. They continuously brought up great ideas and pushed us to think differently. We realized that this was a big concern of theirs and we loved working with each one of them.” Derek Anderson, Associate Executive Director, Hospital Operations
Throughout this process, NSUH has grown their security team from 67 officers to 90 officers and has partnered with Nassau County Police to ensure they had the best security precautions in place. Hour-long trainings were held by Nassau County’s Chief of Patrols who taught employees how to protect themselves in case of an active shooting. This incredible partnership has allowed NSUH employees to feel safe and ready in case of an emergency.
With this new partnership, the support of senior leadership and the excitement of our employees, we know the new employee entrance is here to stay.
“We don’t budge with the new system – no matter what your role is within the health system, or who you are coming to see, you are following the new rules.” John Ferrigno, Director of Security
Photo: Mike Eller, AVP, Laboratories is pictured on the far right.
An appointment with: Mike Eller, AVP, Laboratories
Northwell Health maintains the preeminent laboratory system in New York. With a state-of-the-art Central Lab and 15 hospital-based labs, we perform 27,000,000 tests per year. The lab system is also known for its innovative technology (including the first fully robotic lab systems in the country) and exceptional growth opportunities with the construction of a new 110,000 sq. ft. general laboratory and state-of-the-art, 40,000 sq. ft. microbiology laboratory. Mike Eller, AVP, Laboratories is driving much of this exciting growth. Get to know Mike and his vision for lab leadership!
How did you get into Laboratory Administration?
It was more of a career evolution. I started working in a lab, but as I learned about all the opportunities available, I decided to become more well rounded. I learned about sales by being a sales rep at Core Labs. I learned about finance and the business by working with Bob Stallone, our VP of Labs. I learned about how small, medium and large tertiary hospitals work by becoming administrative director of four of our hospital labs. I learned about project management by running projects and getting my Project Management Certification.
How did you know Northwell Health was the right career destination for you?
Northwell Health is the major player in the region. I wanted to be part of something big and I am amazed at how the system continues to grow. I can make a difference because I have been given that freedom to be innovative, take risks and move out of my comfort zone into new areas, new experiences and new ways to deliver care.
What would you tell someone who is just starting their career in this field?
Be the best at what you are doing, whether you’re a lab tech, accountant, environmental worker, nurse, client services, billing rep, etc. Be the best at whatever you do and this will lead to the next challenge. Then, be the best at that.
What characteristics make a great leader at Northwell Health?
A great leader creates and communicates the vision to the organization. Great leaders surround themselves with great people because they know they can’t be successful alone.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to move into leadership?
Get to know the leaders you admire and respect and let them know where you want to be. You must show interest or you will be overlooked! If you show interest and have the ability, you will get noticed and excel.
How does Northwell Health encourage its employees to progress in their fields?
It’s important to be able to follow a clear map so you know where to go and the steps it takes to get there. Northwell Health Labs has formal career ladders to guide staff and help them reach their goals.
What would you tell an employee who is interested in being a mentor?
If you’re a mentor, be a resource, a teacher and a guide. Do not try to change the person. Let them be who they are and put their own creativity and spin on it. The role of a mentor is to be a guide and resource and help make a better leader than you were. That’s the goal – I want to help someone be better than me.
What exciting developments are happening at Northwell Health’s labs?
For me, it’s the opening of our new Labs at the Center for Advanced Medicine and Little Neck. These two new state of the art labs will be a combined 140,000 square feet. It is a culmination of our growth over the last 20 years. It gives us the ability to perform 5-6 times our current volume.
What can someone expect working at one of the nation’s largest laboratory systems, that they won’t find anywhere else?
When you combine our size with our culture of innovation and excellence, you’ll find opportunity that you can’t find anywhere else. If you have talent, drive and the desire to succeed, you will be successful here.
What’s the single biggest reason to work at Northwell Health labs?
You will be part of the best, most forward thinking health system lab in the country. You will get out of the “basement” and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time to change behavior of patients and providers to improve care and reduce cost.
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!
An Appointment With: Orthopedic Physician Assistant Rachel Zawodzinski
Welcome to An Appointment With, where we sit down one-on-one with our Northwell Health colleagues. Today we’re meeting Orthopedic Physician Assistant (PA) and marathoner, Rachel Zawodzinski.
Why did you choose a career at Northwell Health?
I’m from Buffalo and I wanted to move to the city. I had heard that Northwell Health was a great place to work and that they provide great education to the staff and PAs. Everybody’s happy here because Northwell Health really supports you. Being a Physician Assistant, you learn a lot on the job and since it’s a learning institution with residents and fellows, there’s always an opportunity to learn.
Tell us about your role as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant.
I work with Dr. Hepinstall in adult reconstruction. I started a year ago last April and it was my first job out of PA school! I alternate days between the office and the OR, and in the office I see patients alongside the doctor as well as my own patients. We have an elderly population, as our focus is in total hip and knee replacements. I assist in the OR, which I love. When you are in surgery, you get to see exactly what you’re doing so when patients ask you questions, you can answer them more clearly because you were there — you know what happened. It’s a great environment to experience and learn the best practices.
What should people know about working at Lenox Hill Hospital?
It’s a very close-knit team that we work with regularly which allows us to work together very well. We enjoy each other’s company which also means that we try to make the job as fun as it can be.
How does your job affect your ability to stay active and how does this translate into your work?
One of the hardest things in this field is time management, so it can be hard to maintain an active lifestyle outside of work. I am a runner, so I try to run or work out in the morning before work. When you’re in surgery, you never know how late the day will go. But exercise is something I enjoy and I feel better after doing it — I am a more productive person when I am active, so I prioritize it.
In our field, everyone always wants to achieve something and likes to train for something, whether it be a marathon or to be better in their career. Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves and likes to work toward a goal. We see the complications every day that people can have if they’re not healthy, and that makes you want to be healthy and promote a healthy lifestyle to your patients.
Are you training for a marathon right now?
I continue to run to stay active and plan to do a half marathon in the spring and hope to do another marathon next fall.
What kind of person would be great at being an Orthopedic PA?
Someone who is motivated. A lot of people in ortho are active people and they like the variety between the office and the OR. You have to be flexible and work with change because you can always uncover something unexpected in the OR!
Do you have any advice for people who are looking to become an Orthopedic PA?
It’s a great field to work in and I really love what I do. It’s a great career being a PA in general, so if you want to go down that path, then just work hard and have that goal in mind. When you have the opportunity to learn from the people around you – doctors, techs, nurses – take advantage of it.
We have exciting Orthopedic PA opportunities in new, state-of-the-art facilities in Greenwich Village and Long Island. Like achieving success in a marathon, it starts with one step. Take it here.
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.
From the Cancer Institute to a tertiary hospital – my internship experience
Written by: Alexa Bernardini, 2016 & 2017 HMP Intern
If it had not been for the Office of Undergraduate Biology at my university, I would have never been exposed to the opportunity to apply for Northwell Health’s Healthcare Management Program (HMP). After visiting the office to discuss career opportunities that would combine my passions for the biological sciences and business, a student advisor raved about her experience working for Northwell Health and mentioned I should look into the HMP program. As a sophomore, it was rare to find an internship opportunity that delved into the world of healthcare administration and enabled me to work with so many different departments throughout the health system.
I started my Northwell Health journey at Monter Cancer Center, where I was able to gather resources to build an internal website for Cancer Institute members across all sites. By leading this project, I interacted with many departments such as finance and operations, cancer research, and academic affairs among many others. One of my favorite parts about this project was being able to meet leaders throughout the facility who graciously welcomed me to the team and were happy to answer all of my questions to further my learning and engagement. Our goal was to develop the Cancer Institute as a unified and prominent entity for cancer treatment, research, and education. The first step to achieving this goal was having a place for all Cancer Institute employees to access to information regarding clinical trials, Continuing Medical Education events, cancer conferences, and community outreach initiatives. When my internship ended, I still followed up regarding the progress of my project, and loved knowing that I added value throughout my time at Monter Cancer Center.
Upon reaching my junior year of college, I was able to apply what I had learned at Northwell Health to my courses and campus organizations. As I reflected on what I had learned during my internship, I knew I wanted to return to Northwell Health the next summer at a different site to absorb even more information from a different perspective. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to once again join the HMP program, where I am currently spending my summer in the hospital operations department of Long Island Jewish Medical Center. I have learned that I enjoy working in both atmospheres, LIJ as a large tertiary hospital and Monter Cancer Center as a smaller, outpatient cancer treatment facility. Something I love about the HMP program is that there are so many different sites throughout the health system that participate in the program, and I can hear about other interns’ experiences who are placed at different locations. While at LIJ Medical Center, our team has been collaborating with the team at North Shore University Hospital to work on a hypothetical business case regarding the Pre-Surgical Testing (PST) care model. Our goal was to design an off-site location that combined two of the region’s existing centers. This theoretical project has been a great learning experience to identify what goals a project of this size would want to accomplish, such as the desire to maximize operational efficiencies, standardize procedures, and ultimately create a more positive patient experience. We took the time to plan, shadow their processes on-site, and combine the best practices of both PST locations to create a care model that features an ideal blueprint of the new space, taking into account estimated patient volume and length of stay.
After spending two consecutive summers as part of the Northwell team, I have learned that working in healthcare administration across sites has the common theme of integrating departments and unifying their workflow processes and workplace culture.
Update: Alexa has been offered and accepted a full-time position once she graduates from Cornell University in May.
Submit your resumeto become a Summer Associate in the 2018 Healthcare Management Program Internship.
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:
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.”
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!
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
Photo: Members of our genetic counseling team in the Northwell Division of Genetics & Genomics
What is a Genetic Counselor?
What it is.
According to the National Society of Genetic Counselors genetic counselors: “have advanced training in medical genetics and counseling to guide and support patients seeking more information about how inherited diseases and conditions might affect them or their families, and to interpret test results.”
How to become one.
Genetic counselors (GCs) have master’s degrees from one of 30 programs across the country. Applicants generally have a science or psychology background, but they can come from any field. Other valuable experiences include working with people with disabilities, crisis counseling, laboratory work, and shadowing genetic counselors. GCs are accredited through an examination offered by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Genetic counseling programs are also becoming more common around the world.
Why our employees became one.
“My undergraduate degree and first 20 years of work experience were in theater lighting. Like many GCs, the field was a career change for me. Several personal experiences over the years had sent me to GCs, and I was always impressed at how much they seemed to love their work. Now I am proud to count myself among them.”Michele Disco, Senior Genetic Counselor
“I found out about the profession during high school and during my undergraduate degree, found myself more and more attracted to the science of genetics, but basic science lab work was not for me. When I got the chance to shadow within a genetic counseling clinic was the moment I made the commitment that that was what I wanted to do. I transitioned into a genetic counseling graduate program immediately after my undergraduate degree and now here I am!” Amber Gamma, Genetic Counselor
Why you’ll love it.
“I love supporting families in learning more about genetics and their health, listening to their stories, and guiding them in their decisions. Sometimes the scientific information can help dispel fears about conditions running in the family; other times I need strong counseling skills to compassionately convey difficult news. Constantly staying informed about the rapidly changing field of genetics means that I am always learning. I am also fortunate to teach genetic counseling students, and to give educational presentations, both ways to learn more myself.” Michele Disco, Senior Genetic Counselor
“My favorite part of this field is the blending of education, human connection and science. Genetics is becoming increasingly more important in the field of medicine and being on the forefront of that innovation is incredibly exciting, but being able to translate it to everyday patient care and how the information affects these people and their families is where the real reward lies for me. Through an emphasis on strong patient relationships via empathy and advocacy, I find that not only am I always on a journey of learning to stay abreast of new scientific developments within the field, but I’m also on a journey of learning about my patients, what’s most important to them and how we can use this information to empower them in their healthcare and reproductive choices.”Amber Gamma, Genetic Counselor
What your role will be.
At Northwell, genetic counselors see prenatal, pediatric, and adult patients. For example, prenatal genetic counselors work with expecting couples interested in knowing more about their baby’s health and pediatric counselors work with children. Cancer genetic counselors at the Northwell Cancer Institute and the recently launched, multidisciplinary Northwell Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness work with patients and families concerned about a family history of cancer, or who have cancer themselves.
We are also integrated into many Northwell Health departments and programs, including cardiology, hemophilia and sickle cell disease, pediatric hematology/oncology, reproductive endocrinology/fertility, and the Craniofacial, Marfan’s, and Neurofibromatosis Clinics, among others. Our role is continually expanding. Part of our expansion within the health system means increasing our close collaboration with physicians, advanced care practitioners, nutritionists, social workers, and other health care professionals, and partnering with them to provide patients with the highest level of compassionate care. We also serve as mentors for prospective and current genetic counseling master’s students completing their clinical rotations at Northwell, and are involved in research initiatives through the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
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 resumeto become a Summer Associate in the 2018 Healthcare Management Program Internship.
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!
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!
From the everyday thermometer and blood pressure cuff to the most sophisticated life support, MRI and laboratory equipment, the modern clinician depends on technology in every aspect of patient care. The more advanced the tool, the more important the technological support. Which is why it’s critical that we have experts on our Biomedical Engineering team. And with the increased use of wireless and online communications in health care, this team is more important than ever to protect hospital medical equipment from cyber-attacks.
“Cybersecurity is currently one of health care’s largest concerns. The unlawful manipulation of medical devices locally, or more recently remotely, via malware and ransomware attacks, represents an immediate threat to the safety and security of those for whom we provide care. Biomedical Engineering must now consider the impact of the “Internet of Things” as a growing number of medical devices and systems are electronically integrated, including integration into the medical record.”
— John Langone, Vice President, Biomedical Services Division
Northwell Health’s Biomedical Engineering team assists in the evaluation and selection as well as the management of all equipment maintenance and repair activities that makes our exceptional patient care possible. With 22 hospitals, over 450 physician practices, ambulatory centers, labs, research facilities and more, this team is responsible for approximately 120,000 devices throughout our healthcare system. Those devices and equipment are getting more complex and connected every day.
These new challenges require professionals with additional or “hybrid” skills, part biomedical engineering technician and part medical device security specialist.
What does it take to take on this challenge? You’ll need to be ambitious with a strong electrical engineering background, math proficiency and basic knowledge of physiology. As care continues to move from the hospital environment to offsite or home environments, telehealth is becoming more important. Your experience should include exposure to network and cybersecurity issues, where you will need to think fast and adapt quickly. Above all you must be able to deliver timely solutions to complex challenges, all while keeping your cool under ever-changing conditions.
For those who have what it takes, they can be part of a Biomedical Engineering department responsible for device repair, technological upkeep and preventative maintenance as well as troubleshooting and responding to service recalls on medical equipment. The complexity of the role increases exponentially as you work in collaboration with the health systems network security team to identify and mitigate potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
These positions offer tremendous career potential. Northwell Health has a strong career path, with three levels of Biomedical Engineering Technicians (BMET I, II and III) and in some cases Technical Imaging Specialists, each handling increasingly critical and complex medical equipment. Driven techs are provided with the ongoing education, training and support needed to grow into each level. We also sponsor certifications for all our techs through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). For those looking to excel further in their career, we have a managerial path as well as higher levels of technology training that takes techs into other aspects of medical device management.
My journey in the Healthcare Management Program Internship
Written by: Jimmy Yoder, 2017 HMP Intern
I got the call I would be working in the Big Apple this summer in the middle of my finance class. Filled with excitement, I was practically squirming the rest of class. Needless to say, I didn’t do too well on the quiz that day. Four months later, I was on the way to my dream city for the summer to work at Northwell Health in the Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiology Service Line.
I’ve always had this obsession with living in a big city. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a boring suburb or maybe I just love breathing sub-par air. Regardless, I was made for New York. Northwell Health was the perfect internship for me. However, Healthcare Administration hasn’t always been my path. The majority of college was spent preparing for medical school. This let me dip my toes in the water and see if this is the right choice for me.
Day 1 at North Shore University Hospital rolls around and it was a whirlwind. For starters, my boss LOVES the stairs and my body does not love the stairs. The campus was and still is, so incredible. Almost a tiny city filled with thousands of employees and patients surrounded by world-class healthcare. From the get-go we had assignments. Whether it was data analytics, operations or marketing, we were pushed out of our comfort zone. I literally spent a week staring at excel trying to figure out that beast. The panic of not knowing a single thing about what I was doing began to hit. I sat down with one of the Management Associate Program associates and she told me you’re not growing if you’re comfortable. So I kept on trucking and utilized all the people around me. We were given work that actually means something and can benefit the service line, which not a lot of interns at other companies can say.
My Northwell Health experience has been one for the books. Aside from learning perhaps more information than I have in the classroom, the other interns have pushed the experience from great to incredible. A group of us, the out of state “commuters”, have gotten so close. From after work dinner, Broadway shows, happy hour and so much more, we became closer than ever. I think that is going to be the hardest part, going back to our respective universities and not seeing each other for an absurd amount of time. You know us millennials though; we will stay in touch through one of our 20 social media platforms. Lastly, I am so thankful I had such supportive preceptors pushing me to grow and challenging me, but most importantly helping me learn.
Whether my journey with Northwell Health continues or I end up someplace else, I’ll look back and know I was Made for this.
Update: Jimmy has been offered and accepted a full-time position at Northwell Health after he graduates from the University of Texas in May.
Submit your resume to become a Summer Associate in the 2018 Healthcare Management Program Internship.
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.
“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. 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.”
Thinking differently: Zucker Hillside Hospital nurses are redefining behavioral health patient care
Helping those suffering from behavioral conditions and addictions takes all of us coming together to bring our best insight and ideas. That’s why Zucker Hillside Hospital continues to be an active participant at the annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Conference.
“We really want to focus on the recovery of our patients. Often, mental illness is stigmatized in this country and it’s one of the things we’re striving to reduce.”
–Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC
With eight posters and one podium presentation, we’re so excited to share the amazing things we’ve got going on at Zucker Hillside Hospital with the behavioral health community. Here is a preview of some of the topics our nurses will presenting about:
Experiences and Utilization of the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Preventing and Managing Crisis Situations
Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC
Joe Whelan, BS, RN, MBA
Aggressive patient behavior in psychiatry poses a significant challenge for nurses and other professionals. Despite programs instituted to relieve this burden, injury to staff and patients remains a very real concern. A key issue is the inadequate implementation of least-restrictive aggressive behavior management strategies to cope with aggressive incidents. This led to the development and implementation of the NYS OMH’s two-day course in “Preventing and Managing Crisis Situations.” At Zucker Hillside Hospital, this has led to a 22% decrease in staff injuries related to assaults and a 50% decrease in use of restraints as we reached critical mass in PMCS training. We’re excited to share the details of this solution to a vital caregiver concern.
The Journey Toward a Therapeutic Healing Environment for Patients and a Safe Working Environment for Staff
Marybeth McManus, RN, CNO
Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC
In addition to creating a therapeutic healing environment within psychiatric units and hospitals, it is imperative to provide a safe working environment for staff members. To this end, a number of programs have been implemented over the past decade to foster an environment that is trauma-informed, patient centered, and provides a therapeutic environment to staff and patients. We’re excited to share the initiatives and results of this journey to world-class psychiatric care. We’ll be sharing how these approaches combined with strong leadership are fostering a recovery-focused, trauma-informed, patient-centered environment.
We’re so proud of our nurses’ efforts to apply the latest thinking and practices in the field, and the important presentations that result from these efforts. Join Marybeth, Joe, Kristy and others as we show the exciting results of this commitment at APNA.
“It takes a very special nurse to work in behavioral health. You need to have tremendous integrity and communication skills as well as incredible patience and empathy.”
To learn more about what to expect from our nurses this week, click here.
Becoming a Physician Assistant (PA) is no easy task, but it’s definitely worth it. As we celebrate Physician Assistants Recognition Week we asked some of our employees what their top 3 reasons to become a PA were. Here is what they had to say.
You’ll do something you love every day.
“For the past 33 years, I wake up every day to do something I love – taking care of people and making a difference. This is something that I have wanted to do since a very young age and the profession was quite young at that time. Now with the profession celebrating its 50th anniversary, I can look back and reflect on how happy I am to have been a part of it all of this time and to look forward to at all of the exciting things that are happening in the PA world. We are in a field that is growing exponentially. As the healthcare landscape is changing, so is the need for PA’s.”
-Matthew Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
“Within these roles you will have direct contact to patients – in a physical and conversational way. These relationships drive you to come up with the best treatment plans to help them get better.”
-Martin Morales, Corporate Director, Physician Assistant ServicesYou will be challenged, in a good way.
You will be challenged, in a good way.
“Working in medicine is an ever-changing landscape that requires me to be up to date with the medical knowledge, and processes. There is always a challenge and boredom does not exist. I am also heavily involved in PA education. I am an adjunct at the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies and have been a preceptor for several of the PA programs for many years. To see students that studied under my tutelage go on to graduate and move up to prominent members of the PA profession is extremely rewarding.”
-Matthew Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
“The key to any rewarding job is to be challenged. As a Physician Assistant, you are constantly tasked with assessing your patients’ problems and applying curative/preventative measures. The tiniest intervention can greatly improve an individual’s quality of life. Since PA’s are team players who are constantly interacting with various healthcare professionals, you also have the ability to impact your colleagues – whether it be doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc. One of the reasons why I love my job is the interactions I have with my patients, my coworkers and the privilege of influencing an individual’s life.”
-Jane Joseph, Physician Assistant, Mid-Level Providers, North Shore University HospitalFlexibility.
“The PA model has become more autonomous over the years and this allows PA’s to develop exceptional skill in their area of expertise. Also, the ability to have a nice lifestyle, enjoy my family and make a nice living.”
-Matthew Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
“The versatility of this career is amazing. You can choose any specialty you want without limitations and you can treat a wide range of patients. There will also be a shortage of PA’s within the next 5 years because demand is high and the schools can’t keep up – job security and compensation will never be better.”
“Physician Assistants have the unique advantage of being able to practice in various medical specialties. This allows us to gain experience and constantly expand our knowledge base. We have the ability to find our niche and stick with it, or change specialties at any point in our career. It provides PAs with a wide range of options, a great job market, and lifelong learning.”
-Jane Joseph, Physician Assistant, Mid-Level Providers, North Shore University Hospital
Find an exceptional home for providing extraordinary emergency care.
For remarkable care and exhilarating careers, there’s nowhere like the emergency department at Northern Westchester Hospital. We’re a community-based hospital handling a wide variety of acuity and demographics in our fast-paced, high-volume ED – from newborns to the elderly. If you’ve got drive, ambition and strong critical thinking skills, you’re made for this opportunity.
Delivering the right care…
Northern Westchester Hospital is in a league of its own for its unparalleled quality of care. But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve received some of the most prestigious recognition in our field:
Planetree Hospital with Distinction for 10+ years
Two-time Magnet® designation
Gold Star status as a primary stroke center
“Very few hospitals in the country can claim the honor of both Magnet® and Plaintree recognition – certainly none in our area.”
–Cathy Tarpey, ACPM, RN
…at the right time…
Our ED is there to deliver the most advanced and effective care when it’s needed most. This 26-bed unit handles an average of 29,000 visits per year. Within the ED, we utilize innovative technology, including electronic medical records, telemedicine/telepsych, capnography and more to ensure our patients get the finest care at the most challenging times.
“Our ED has an abundance of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies that enhance patient care and safety.”
–Cathy Tarpey, ACPM, RN
…with the right support…
At Northern Westchester Hospital, everything is in place to help you thrive in your emergency nursing career. The department uses a team-based approach, bringing together highly qualified nurses, physicians, advanced practitioners and techs to provide patients with the best care possible. Looking for the chance to really hone your skills? We provide a Clinical Ladder, tuition reimbursement, cross training for clinical advancement, fellowship programs, student nursing programs (SNAP), paid conference opportunities, free classes for certification plus bonuses for certifications and advanced degrees. With our shared governance model, you’ll also have a strong voice in the direction of our care and your career.
“Working in our ED will definitely enhance your clinical judgment and skills. Our doctors trust and rely on our nurses’ assessments and information.”
–Meghan Walter, ED Quality Rep, RN
…could make this the right place for you.
If you’re looking for the close-knit setting of a community hospital but the vast career benefits of an award-winning health system with access to state-of-the-art procedures and education, you’ll find it at Northern Westchester Hospital. You’re made for more in your emergency nursing career. Here’s how you can get it today!
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.
We’re discovering new directions to help put our patients on the road to recovery
At Zucker Hillside Hospital, we’re applying best practices as well as our own innovative solutions to helping those suffering from a wide range of behavioral conditions and addictions. We’ll be sharing some of these unique approaches to behavioral health at the upcoming American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 31st Annual Conference. Here is a preview of some of the topics we’re presenting:
I Am Unique – Olesya Gavrylyuk, Nurse Manager
We focus on our patients as unique individuals, not as a symptom, a discharge or an admission. That’s the spirit behind the “I Am Unique” presentation. From the beginning of their time with us, we become immersed in our patients’ unique story. When treated like an individual, we can empower and motivate them to find hope, take medication, move on with their treatment and eventually go into the community. We’ve had great success with this approach and have received positive feedback from our patients. Everyone on the Zucker Hillside team works together to make it a success – from the doctors to the housekeepers. It is now being applied in all of our units.
Elevated Family-Centered ECT – Marie Horowitz RN, Nurse Manager
There are many misconceptions about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which have interfered with patient compliance with treatment and their return to optimal health. The ECT team wanted to dispel the myths by embracing transparency with patients and their families. New initiatives include more in-depth education, purposeful rounding in our waiting room, as well as inviting family members to view a treatment. We looked at evidence based practices at other ECT units and explored additional ways where we could elevate our practice. We’ve expanded our hours from early morning to late evening. We provide designated parking, and developed more reasonable ECT fasting guidelines. We have improved our patient and family satisfaction by providing comfort in our waiting room with visits from service dogs, activities such as tablets, coloring books, puzzles and games. We’ve received very positive feedback on our new initiatives and continue to welcome suggestions from our patients and families.
Striving for the S.T.A.R.S. – Paul Panakal, Director of Patient Care Services
Patient discharge can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our work. Yet, our patient satisfaction scores showed there was room for improvement in prepping a patient for discharge. In response, we created S.T.A.R.S. – Strategy Toward Achieving Recovery. Each discipline had a part to play. Nursing provided one-to-one patient education sessions and general education medication groups. Psychologists and social workers offered a coping skills group as well as a handout with discharge instructions. Together, we improved patient understanding of instructions, discharge medications and where they can find help if relapsing. This presentation will show the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve common problems and improve the patient experience.
Our nurses are focused on treating each patient like a person, recognizing their very individualized needs. Presentations like those of Olesya, Marie and Paul show the exciting results of this commitment.
“It’s all about caring, paying attention, being present and listening. A patient is not only a diagnosis. Every patient’s story and experience is unique.”
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!
Northwell Health Nurse Educators inspire and influence the professional role of healthcare professionals every day. Each day the educators are creating nurturing learning environments, improving academic partnerships with nursing schools across the United States, inspiring present and aspiring healthcare professionals through mentorship, and influencing the efforts of improvements in quality and safety in patient care. Find out more about our nurse educators contributions to our successes and the potential opportunities available to Nurse Educators.
Northwell Health Nurse Educators facilitate learning opportunities with high fidelity simulation at the Patient Safety Institute, and learning opportunities at in-patient and out-patient healthcare settings. The learning activities include simulated mock codes, hands-on clinical skills practice sessions, analysis of patient case scenarios with learners, education on interdisciplinary teamwork, practice with communication tools such as TeamSTEPPS, and integrate the humanistic approaches to patient and family care. Northwell Health Nurse Educators coordinate and educate nurses in fellowship programs such as pediatric, emergency department, peri-operative services, labor and delivery, and critical care and work with the nursing students in a summer nursing student externship program. Nurse Educators contribute to over 30,000 contact hours available to nursing staff including conferences with nationally recognized speakers.
“Made for this.. is the motto for our health system, and as a nurse educator, professional development and growth for the team is my primary goal. Through the application of clinical expertise, individuals are driven to improve the care that they provide and ultimately improve the outcomes of our patient’s,” said Ariceles Prince, Critical Care Nurse Educator, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream.
Northwell Health Nurse Educators work in collaboration with over 50 nursing schools from across the United States. In 2016 Northwell Nurse Educators worked with 5,000+ undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The educators’ efforts include coordinating, assisting, and supporting preceptor placement; academic guidance; and exposing aspiring nurses to the diversities of nursing (eg: flight nursing). Northwell Health Nurse Educators encourage and support over 1800 employees on the nursing academic track (or considering returning to nursing school) or purist of specialty nursing certifications.
Also, Northwell Health has the Northwell Health Hofstra Master of Science -Nurse Practitioner program that started in Fall 2015 consisting of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track and Family Nurse Practitioner track. (http://www.hofstra.edu/academics/colleges/nursing-physician-assistant)
Northwell Health Nurse Educators provide mentorship from novice through experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals. The mentorship role includes supporting nurses towards or maintaining their clinical ladder status with nurses growing in tents of Education, Research, Quality, Service Excellence, and Leadership. Mentorship continues with participation in the Northwell Health – Mentoring and Professionalism in Training (MAP-IT) program in the development of humanism among healthcare providers including physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
“What I wanted when I entered nursing was to help people. As a Nurse Educator, now I can cast a wider net. If I can teach orientees how to treat people the way they would like to be treated, I’m fulfilling my original goal in a bigger way as a Nurse Educator here at Northwell Health. Being a nurse educator here is so much more than just a job or teaching; it’s an honor,” said Shoba Kanagamani, System Nurse Educator, Institute of Nursing.
Quality and safe patient care
Northwell Health Nurse Educators utilize evidence-based practice and research to guide the practice of quality and safety in patient care and education as evident by quality outcomes.
Northwell nurse educators are leaders and supporters to facilitate the pursuit of continuous quality improvements. Northwell Health’s champion model has supported a 57% reduction in ICU-CAUTI and a 48% reduction in Non-ICU CAUTI since 2014, a 31% decrease in Clostridium difficile (C difficile) since 2014, and a decrease in pressure ulcers by more than 64% since 2012.
Throughout the health system our nurses depend on our educators to help them understand best practices and to help them advance their skill sets. For them, they always have the support they need, and for the educators, they are always excited to help. “Being in this position, and most importantly, in this position at Norwell, I have been able to expand my knowledge each and every day and I continue to follow my dreams while working with a team that I can depend on. Being a Northwell Nurse Educator has truly allowed me to flourish in my profession and has given me the tools I need to keep succeeding. Because of Northwell, I am made for this,” said Melinda Constantine, Assistant Director of Education, Professional Development & Research Operations, Long Island Jewish Medical Center.