The health care industry is going through its most dramatic change in history. Because caring runs through everything we do, we strive to stay a step ahead in defining the way care is delivered in these constantly changing times. When you combine this changing industry landscape with a critical shortage of nurses and other skilled clinical professionals, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education takes on a new and urgent priority.
We’re excited to be able to do our part to make a difference. Led by Cheryl Davidson, our Senior Director of Workforce Readiness, we’ve put a number of innovative STEM-focused initiatives in place. And our efforts are being recognized: we were just named a 2017-2018 STEM-Approved Employer by STEM Jobs. Here’s how we earned it.
Engaging students through STEM education.
For our current employees looking to shift their career priorities into the STEM world, we offer fellowships that enable them to learn and grow the skills and knowledge they need for these critical roles. Employees currently in STEM-related careers are also able to promote the importance of STEM education through our SPARK! Challenge. This year, we had employees from 53 Northwell Health departments contribute their time and expertise to the Challenge. Working closely with 700 local high school students they helped immerse these students in key positions throughout Northwell Health. Students then prepare presentations to share what they learned. The benefits are twofold. Students gain a greater appreciation for the wide range of opportunities within STEM fields while igniting a passion for taking on the educational challenges that will propel them forward in this exciting area. At the same time, our employees learn more about different professional areas they may not have thought about before.
Connecting classrooms to careers.
We’re proud to partner with Brookhaven National Laboratory to lead the Long Island STEM Hub, part of a national network of hubs promoting STEM careers. We pair industry partners with colleges and high schools to create pipelines for these high-growth fields, particularly in health care. Activities include:
- Hosting annual forums – We bring healthcare providers together to speak on key topics (nursing, informatics, etc.) with the goal of encouraging students to pursue STEM education and careers. This creates a pool of candidates to benefit the entire healthcare industry.
- Health Care Industry Council – We have established this council as a way for industry and education to share their respective needs and current trends so that they can develop strategies for mutually satisfying these needs.
- Teacher Professional Development Day – These special events connect teachers with businesses to help these educators better plan and develop curricula that will prepare students for tomorrow’s STEM careers.
Advancing the underrepresented through STEM excellence.
We focus on diversity and inclusion, working with veterans, people with disabilities and others who may face unique challenges within the workplace. Since STEM-related careers are the fastest growing and most in-demand area of our economy, STEM education can provide a hand up to those in need. Our work in this area includes:
- Strive – This organization prepares students and those returning to the workforce with additional assistance as well as opportunities to join FlexStaff, our in-house temporary agency.
- Medical Office Assisting Program – We provide learning, assistance with certification and temporary opportunities as a way for people to get a foot in the door of a great career in health care.
- Career Academy – We work to foster excellence in the “three Rs”:
- Rigor – Aligning high school standards to college and workplace expectations
- Relevance and Learning – Advancing education through real-life industry examples
- Relationships – Fostering interaction with lecturers, webinars, internships and more
If you’re passionate about advancing STEM education and think you’re made for an organization that is truly innovative and committed to going beyond the ordinary to advance health care, we’d love to hear from you.