This year marks the 5th annual Spark! Challenge created by the Northwell Health Workforce Readiness team and it’s on track to be bigger and better than ever. Unique to Northwell, the Spark! Challenge provides students and team members the opportunity to connect across our vast health care careers.
Programs are provided on-site in both clinical and non-clinical positions for the students to learn directly from our participants. These “Career Days” are followed by an awards ceremony where both student and employees can be rewarded for their activities. Dorothy Feldman, SVP, Chief Risk Officer is a shining example of successful employee involvement and has been a big supporter of the program for years.
A former teacher, Dorothy credits this career history as an influence on her desire to participate in the Spark! Challenge. “The Spark! Challenge gives us a chance to be involved in the communities we serve and to showcase the talent and opportunities at Northwell,” she says, “Having the students on-site has been a lot of fun and my team loves working with them.”
Getting the next generation involved with her risk management team is helping to innovate the way we educate students about health care careers opportunities they might not know much about. And to educate them that Northwell goes beyond just clinical positions. Dorothy says, “The Spark! Challenge has been a wonderful experience for the students that have attended as well as the Risk Management team. We’re able to teach the students and give them information on the variety of career opportunities in our health system outside of the clinical jobs.”
The Spark! Challenge helps students ignite new interest in STEM. By visiting different Northwell departments like the Risk Management team, students get a unique look at where their careers can take them from the employees themselves. These students are the future of our health system, and connecting with them early on is a high priority at Northwell Health.
Not to mention – it’s fun! “Team members enjoy the opportunity to tell the students about their journey at Northwell. For the 2018-2019 program, we are hoping to have even more team members involved.” With three years of experience, Dorothy’s also a great resource for Northwell employees starting the program at their location or participating for the first time. Her advice? “Over prepare! The kids can go through your material very quickly.”