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
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