Can you please tell me about your career progression and what led you into an HR role?
I started my career as a Cardiac Surgery Physician Assistant. Coming out of training there was nothing I wanted to do more and so I begged for my first job as a new graduate. After practicing for a number of years, I had this nagging feeling that would not go away that I had more to give. My career goal had always been to help change people’s lives which a clinical role certainly allowed me to do but I felt like I could make an even bigger impact.
Unsure of what to do next, a mentor of mine encouraged me to go back to school and “do something about it”. Upon receiving a Master in Business Administration I went on to become a project manager outside of the health system however quickly returned taking on a number of operational roles throughout the health system.
While having the privilege of holding the role of SVP of Ambulatory Operations our President and CEO Michael Dowling approached me about taking over as the head of Human Resources. This was during a time when the role and future of HR in organizations across all industries was being called to question. Michael’s offer immediately intrigued me because I felt like this type of a role would further allow me to advance my career goal.
Now having been in the role for some time I look back at the last number of years and consider myself very lucky to have been given this opportunity. The work we do and the value we provide to our most valuable asset, our people, is a privilege.
How have HR careers in healthcare changed over the years? How do you see them developing in the future?
Over the past decade, top healthcare executives have been relying more and more on HR for innovative and data driven business strategies. In the world of big data and more advanced technology, HR professionals have needed to be data and digitally savvy, focusing on measurable actions that move the business toward its goals. This has transformed traditionally transactional HR roles into more strategic ones.
Within the Health System, our HR team has embraced that change. We continue to move away from just the day-to-day management of HR operations and have focused on becoming true partners with the business. This has resulted in HR’s greater commitment to workforce planning, shaping culture and the employee experience, coaching and developing leaders, building talent pipelines and empowering managers by driving self-service. Given that we are a healthcare organization, we’ve also had the ability and support to drive more HR roles within the wellness space, focusing on the holistic well-being of our employees.
As technology continues to advance and we really focus on the overall experience our employees, new roles will develop within HR. These roles will require advanced skill sets. Our HR professionals will need to be more analytical and enablers of change, with a focus on supporting a diverse and inclusive environment.
How does HR within Northwell impact our organization?
We support business strategy and help to maximize the potential of our strongest asset, our people. We focus on the well-being of our employees within our culture of caring, innovation and safety, enabling them to be their best, so they can take care of others.
We affect the business from the hiring to retiring of our employees, ensuring that we have the right people in the right jobs at the right time in an environment that values diversity and fosters inclusion. We empower our current and future leaders by providing development opportunities and support along their journeys. We help ensure that our employees are rewarded appropriately and recognized for the great work that they do.
What would you like to say to our HR employees during their recognition week?
Thank you! I am so proud of this team and all that we have been able to accomplish together. Our people are the backbone of this organization and we affect them every day. The work that we do matters. By providing support to our employees we enable them to do their job of providing care to our patients effectively and compassionately. Every patient that chooses us to take care of them deserves exceptional customer experience and the highest quality of care possible. Because of you, our employees are able to provide that.