Northwell’s culinary tuition forgiveness program is the icing on the cake for Nicole’s career advancement
Northwell Health is now offering a tuition forgiveness program for aspiring chefs. Available to eligible new and current team members, this new program offers up to $10,000 in student loan repayment for Culinary Arts degree graduates over a period of two years. Nicole Feliz, a chef at North Shore University Hospital, is the first to receive this exciting opportunity.
“It was very humbling to find out that I would be the first to receive tuition forgiveness as a culinary member at Northwell Health,” says Nicole, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
By introducing a tuition forgiveness program, Northwell aims to educate and attract innovative culinary students and recent graduates to culinary careers in healthcare. In addition to the forgiveness program, eligible employees can receive tuition reimbursement to further their education starting after one year of employment.
Nicole’s interest in cooking was sparked at a young age as she cooked with her mother and experienced how the power of food can bring people together. But it wasn’t until Nicole read an article in a newspaper featuring Chef Bruno Tison, VP of system food services and corporate chef at Northwell that she thought about following her culinary career dreams in a healthcare setting.
“Reading about him saying that his vision and duty was to put restaurant-quality food in the healthcare industry inspired me,” says Nicole. “I have always looked up to him and his culinary career, and I can’t think of another industry outside of healthcare that would be as self-gratifying for me to contribute to.”
With a new mission in mind, Nicole joined the Northwell culinary team as a second cook through FlexStaff, Northwell’s internal temporary staffing agency. Less than a year later, she was promoted to a full-time tournant chef at North Shore University Hospital. Now, through her work at Northwell, she can leverage her skills to provide nutritious food that brings people together, and helps them throughout their healing process.
“I love working at Northwell because everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. My team and our collaboration makes the job seamless.”
Faces of Oncology Care: Northwell Health Cancer Institute Research Nurses
As one of the largest cancer programs in the New York metropolitan area, the Northwell Health Cancer Institute treats more New Yorkers for cancer than any other health care provider. With the trust of so many, our oncology team members work passionately to help patients thrive.
Unique partnerships such as with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, help this goal as Northwell’s research nurses have the opportunity to work on innovative clinical trials that provide patients with the most promising treatments. And beyond just providing care, their compassion is changing the lives of our patients and their families.
Meet some of our inspiring research nurses below and hear what makes them passionate about oncology research.
Having worked at Northwell Health since 1987, Diane has been a registered nurse in various specialties including post-partum, nursery, medical/surgical, telemetry, and cardiovascular.
But Diane’s interest in clinical research was always in oncology research. “I lost my oldest sister to cancer when I was 12 years old. I witnessed firsthand the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on an entire family. The respect and dignity that was shown to my sister and our family still resonates within me to this day,” says Diane. “That is what inspired me to become a nurse and Northwell Health enabled me to fulfill my dream including earning my bachelor’s degree in 2016.”
This passion for oncology care has only strengthened since she’s become a research nurse “I love working in oncology because each day I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. I come to work knowing that inside this building we have the ability to change lives forever through clinical research. Clinical research is important because it works to find better ways to prevent, detect, or treat cancer and learn new approaches to therapy.”
Beyond just the clinical trials that Diane works on every day to help improve the lives of patients with cancer, she is also a leadership committee member for the Long Island chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). Through her volunteering, Diane is very active in helping spread awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer with the hope to empower women to advocate for their own health.
Her commitment to research, care and education have not gone unnoticed. In 2017 she was recognized as an NOCC Nurse Honoree as well as being recognized as the Northwell Health Clinical Research Nurse of the Year in 2018. But for Diane, it’s very rewarding seeing the impact her work has on patients.
“I look forward to seeing my patients and their families share their life stories. Seeing them celebrate milestones in their lives and knowing it is because they are in a clinical trial is a gift to me.”
Julia started her Northwell nursing career at Monter Cancer Center where she worked as an oncology research nurse on the solid tumor team. In 2017, she transitioned into a new role as a phase 1 research nurse where she cares for patients that are being treated for the first time in their trials.
Julia started as a rehabilitation nurse caring for a large number of oncology patients, and thought her skills could transition into another area of nursing. “I felt that there was something larger out there to fulfill my curiosity and desire in healthcare. Oncology is continuously changing with respect to knowledge, learning, research, treatments and opportunities,” says Julia. “I felt that this field could feed my curiosity and at the same time satisfy my desire to help my patients.”
As an oncology research nurse, Julia is always looking for new and improved treatments with a commitment to helping enhance her patient’s quality of life. In her position, Julia is able to work with innovative treatment modalities and drug combinations that have not been tried yet. “It’s very exciting and rewarding knowing that I am part of creating history.”
And her passion extends beyond research – just a few short months after starting at Northwell, she was awarded with the Patient Recognition Star. “This recognition demonstrated that even the smallest thing we do for our patients means a lot to them,” says Julia.
After receiving her Master of Science in Nursing, Shirley started her clinical research career at Northwell in 2003 initially, as a clinical research nurse practitioner in pulmonary medicine.
In 2015 Shirley returned to research and today is a clinical research nurse for the Breast/GYN Research team at Monter Cancer Center (MCC). “My mother was a breast cancer survivor and I felt this position would allow me to add a very personal touch to the clinical aspect of my job when working with and caring for patients and families,” says Shirley. “Having the privilege to participate in another person’s healthcare journey motivates me to deliver the best patient care. My mother’s journey with breast cancer reminds me that my actions can have a powerful impact on the lives of a patient and their family during an emotionally stressful time.”
Her dedication, ability to establish deep therapeutic bonds and empathize with patients was recognized when Shirley was awarded the 2017 Northwell Care Award during MCC’s patient experience week. Shirley was also invited to be a mentor in the Northwell Health Clinical Research Professional Mentorship program.
Shirley enjoys working as a clinical research nurse and because of the role’s versatility, she is able to represent Northwell Health as a member of the Symptom Intervention Committee for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology national group and also conducts breast cancer awareness information sessions in the community.
When she first started in oncology, Shirley met a patient who changed her life: “When I met the patient and her husband, she shared her personal wish, which made me feel honored to be taking part in her care. She was determined to live long enough to see her son go to his prom.” This instant connection Shirley had with her patient strengthened her passion and with each study visit, Shirley and her patient became closer and developed a bond.
“The most memorable part of her treatment was when she came in and showed me the pictures of her son’s prom,” says Shirley. “She beamed with delight as she told me how she helped her son get ready for the big night. I was overcome with a sense of joy and satisfaction knowing I had been a part of helping her achieve this goal. My role in clinical trials research had given this patient hope. I will never forget her and can never thank her enough because this patient and my mother represent that even just one moment can matter.”
Shirley says “the possibilities are endless as a clinical research nurse” and looks forward to what the future has to offer at Northwell.
Explore clinical laboratory careers at Northwell Health
Clinical Laboratory Careers at Northwell’s Automated Lab
Watch the video below to discover why our laboratory technologists love working in our innovative automated laboratory; home of the largest Roche automated line of its kind in the U.S. and one of the largest labs in the world.
Take a tour of Northwell’s brand-new automated lab in Lake Success, NY. The 101,000 square-foot facility has 84,000 square feet of clinical space, including the largest chemistry and hematology automated line of its kind in North America.
Clinical Laboratory Careers in Microbiology
Hear from Ebru, a clinical laboratory technologist, about working at the brand new Microbiology Laboratory at Northwell Health Labs in the video below.
Northwell’s Brand-New Microbiology Laboratory
Tour our brand new Microbiology lab in Little Neck, NY which primarily performs microbiology tests, including molecular diagnostics, from local hospitals, clinics and physician offices, incorporating the latest technology and advanced robotic testing systems.
An Appointment With: Iris Berman, VP, Telehealth Services
From the time she was a little girl, Iris Berman knew she wanted to become a nurse. Helping to care for her friend’s playground scrapes since she was six years old, Iris couldn’t have imagined that one day she would actually be a nurse with a bright future in medicine.
Starting her career as a registered nurse at Glen Cove Hospital more than 30 years ago, Iris worked per diem in a variety of environments before transitioning to culinary care. Discovering her passion for critical care, Iris eventually became a critical care nurse educator. It was as an educator working in stroke improvement where she first learned how Telestroke’s outcomes were bringing advanced care to patients through the power of technology in a way that wasn’t possible before. With this growing interest in Telemedicine, Iris jumped at the opportunity to apply for a job working in Telehealth within Northwell.
Today, Iris is the vice president of Telehealth Services at Northwell Health. “Telehealth highlights the opportunities and ability of our health system to be progressive, agile, and welcoming all at once,” says Iris. “I am one of the fortunate who truly loves going to work every day.”
We sat down with Iris to learn more about Telehealth Services at Northwell Health and how it’s an exciting career opportunity.
What are the benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth uses technology (two-way audiovisual equipment) that enables patients and care providers to connect across distances, such as a hospital, clinic, office or home.
At Northwell, telehealth has grown monumentally in both acute inpatient, outpatient and direct to consumer (DTC) care. We have coverage of nearly 200 critical care beds in our Tele-ICU environment and use that platform to add other specialty care such as intensivist consultation to EDs, Tele-Neuro Critical Care, Telestroke Care, Teletrauma, Telepeds, Telehospitalists, Remote care to Skilled Nursing Facilities (TeleSNF) and the list will continue to grow. In addition we have a number of DTC programs (currently approaching nearly 30 programs) enabling patients to get care and consultation in their home, clinic, hospital and doctor’s office. Some examples include Tobacco Cessation support, Telegenetics consults, Neurology for movement disorders, Coumadin Clinic and more. These programs are helping to expedite time to expert opinion and mitigate complications that come from delays in care.
Why is Telehealth the future of healthcare?
As more people become accustomed to the digital world, they also become used to technology when they purchase services and encounter healthcare. In addition, the advent of improved technology makes this a more convenient way for everyone to access care on the go with a known provider no matter where they are. I believe care and outcomes will improve as we become more efficient in our access and consumption of that care. Telehealth also leverages nursing expertise in a technology-driven environment that is not as physically demanding, which is appealing for many nurses as well.
How can someone build a career in Telehealth?
There are a number of jobs in Telehealth and at Northwell we are continuing to expand our reach. Jobs will continue to grow and will rely a great deal on gaining experience at the bedside. If you like to mentor, Tele-ICU is for you. As we grow, jobs will continue to expand into areas that may include triaging of calls, training, project management and business analytics. NPs and PAs are especially gaining in popularity as part of a remote Telehealth team.
What is the best career advice you have for those looking to get into TeleHealth?
First and foremost it’s important for nurses to get bedside experience. This is necessary in order to become an expert in the field before transitioning into a Telehealth role. If you are interested in informatics and process design, find a way to thread it through your clinical experience. More and more jobs will look somewhat hybrid as we continue to evolve. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. And lastly, be sure that you are comfortable with being on camera if you are looking to be in the patient care arena of Telehealth.
A taste for success: Boram’s culinary externship at Northwell Health
When it came to her culinary externship, Boram Lee knew she wanted to get a taste of healthcare.
Northwell Health recently partnered with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to host their culinary externs and introduce innovative new culinary talent to healthcare careers. Boram, a student at the prestigious CIA, is the first student to participate in this exciting externship program.
“I heard about the externship from one of my professors and my goal is to be in healthcare so I was very interested,” says Boram. After the application and interview process, Boram was selected to participate and have her summer externship at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH).
At NSUH, Boram participated in a 14-week program under the guidance of the executive chef and sous chef in an immersive learning experience that taught her about food as care, nutrition training, and community food access in addition to more traditional culinary training.
With such a diverse training program, Boram got to experience all the facets of a holistic culinary healthcare career – and grew as a chef along the way! “I learned about the many different diets and allergies patients can have and the variety of menus Northwell creates to support that,” says Boram.
From technical training with the executive chef to nutrition training with registered dieticians, Boram’s externship helped her develop new skills such as menu planning and therapeutic diets. Boram even got to participate in bedside rounds and interactions to see firsthand how our food impacts patients and families.
Throughout her externship, Boram saw just how Northwell is committed to raising the standard for hospital food with Michelin-trained and award-winning Chef Bruno Tison leading the way. Having to create restaurant quality food at a healthier and larger scale was a challenge she enjoyed.
And as for what she’ll remember most from her externship? “It was so rewarding to discover how changing the way you eat can give you a longer lifespan,” says Boram.
Women’s Equality Day, observed on August 26th, is an annual event that celebrates the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, marking American women’s advancement towards equality with men. This year we celebrate the 99th year of the passage of the amendment which granted full woman suffrage. In honor of this important day, we are featuring some of our Women in Healthcare BERG leaders, members and supporters.
Northwell’s Women in Healthcare BERG is empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities. The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Please join us as we celebrate this important day!
Stacey Rosen, MD – SVP, Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Activists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul were leaders in the women’s rights movement. Their focus was to ensure that women were given a fair and equal right to vote. These women have inspired me to carry their message in my current role. While we have made a lot of progress for women’s equality, women are still underrepresented in business leadership positions. It is known that organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, especially at the leadership level, perform better. This is one of many reasons why I decided to become a co-chair or the Women in Healthcare BERG. Our BERG gives our members exposure to leadership and development opportunities that they may not otherwise have in their current role. Our mission is to create a pipeline of women leaders at all levels in our health system.”
Maxine Carrington, JD – Deputy Chief HR Officer; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“We can never ignore our history and the impact of the past on our present-day thoughts, actions, policies, and systems. Women’s Equality Day and other such recognition days enable us to pause and remember, acknowledge how far we’ve come, and contemplate what still needs to be achieved to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect – as they deserve to be – and that their voices, contributions, and human rights are valued. The tremendous enrollment in and support for our new Women in Healthcare BERG is evidence that there is still much work to be done, but also that our Northwell citizens are committed to the work. Given our mission, values, and the collective power that we have, it’s our obligation.”
Joseph Moscola, PA – SVP & Chief People Officer, Northwell Health:
“Women’s Equality Day is such an important day to pause, reflect and evaluate where we are on the journey to equality for women. It gives us the opportunity to rejoice in the successes while together transparently discussing the opportunities and working hard to put words into action. Together we can accomplish anything, advancing the culture of Northwell and thereby the culture of the communities we serve.”
Kerri Anne Scanlon, RN – System Deputy Chief Nurse Executive, CNO North Shore University Hospital; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“In today’s environment, it is more important than ever to celebrate a day that reminds us not only of how far we’ve come but also how much further we have to go within professional environments to ensure true equality. We are fortunate to be part of an organization that is fiercely dedicated to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and to the elimination of inequities for all. The newly-formed Women in Healthcare BERG is a prime example of Northwell Health’s commitment to the promotion of career progression and advancement, mentoring, and succession planning for women across clinical, administrative, and academic settings. This BERG will serve as a catalyst for change within our organization and create a positive ripple effect, allowing for amplification of our voice across the industry and the communities we serve. On behalf of the Women in Healthcare BERG, I’m proud to celebrate a day of such historical significance, and to stand together to build a future that engages and empowers all members of our diverse workforce.”
Stevania Williams – Credentialing Specialist; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women’s equality is important in today’s society because 1) Women make up more than half of the population in the United States and 2) Women in fact make up the majority of voters in the United States. Women’s equality has come a long way but there is still a lot more that needs to be accomplished. When women’s equality is fully established to its highest potential, we as women can have a better legislation to help push for equal rights and opportunities, which includes economic participation and decision making. “A society cannot operate to its full potential when half of its members do not have an equal voice.”
I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because the gap that is associated with women leadership in healthcare is addressed. This program helps women like myself lean into their careers through mentorship which in return develops a pipeline of women leaders within Northwell Health.”
Elizabeth Alexander – Admin Support Associate; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Generally speaking, women in healthcare tend to forget to advocate for themselves because we are focused on treating patients and taking care of their own families as primary care-givers. It is important for us to get involved in professional organizations, continue learning, volunteer and cultivate a professional network. I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because it’s a great forum for team building, networking and professional development that promotes diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and support fellow colleagues, so that together we can advocate, thrive and inspire!”
Patricia Farrell – VP, Katz Institute for Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women do not want power over men, they want power over themselves” – Mary Wollstonecraft
“The Women in Healthcare BERG empowers women through both educational and networking opportunities encouraging them not to accept the status quo but to be that voice and equal seat at the table, to drive change that impacts not only our organization but policy change and change in the communities we live in.”
A Summer with Northwell – My Journey in the Software Engineering Internship Program
Written by: Joshua Zeitlinger, Software Engineer Intern, Stevens Institute of Technology
As a computer science student at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, I began searching for a summer internship opportunity where I could enhance and apply my software engineering skills. I was excited when I found out that Northwell wanted to have an interview with me for the Software Engineering internship. While many in the tech field lust after the likes of Google and Facebook, or dream of working for the next big startup and IPO, the chance to use my skills on tangible problems in healthcare, to positively impact the lives of clinicians and patients was exactly what I was looking for.
During the interview with the Northwell Emerging Technology & Innovation (NETI) team they explained that they are tasked with and given the freedom to find and explore innovative solutions to the most pressing problems in healthcare, primarily through technology and software solutions. When I was offered the internship, I made one of the soundest decisions of my young career by saying yes.
When I started the internship, I was immersed into a week-long extensive orientation and acquainted with the Nora Standalone App, my project for the summer. The Nora Standalone App was envisioned to allow clinicians quicker and easier, secure mobile-based access to patient’s clinical results, reducing the burden and complexity of electronic medical records using modern, and cutting edge technologies. Placed entirely under the internship program, the intern as a whole would own the project from inception to pilot, an unbelievably unique and valuable experience for an intern.
Starting my second week, I had the chance to participate in every part of the software process, beginning with sprint planning and writing user stories. I wrote both back-end and front-end code, as well as unit and integration testing. Skilled and helpful software engineers were available at every step of the process, encouraging best practices, helping me to resolve blocking issues, and suggesting ways to write cleaner code. I particularly enjoyed the weekly code reviews, which packed nearly limitless amounts of useful tips into less than an hour’s worth of time.
From our comfortable and modern office conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, we made visits to several Northwell facilities. I saw clinicians in action at the Lenox Health Greenwich Village, operators taking 911 calls at the Center for Emergency Management and nurses and doctors checking in on patients at Northwell’s eICU hub in Syosset, NY. Frequent Lunch and Learn sessions also afforded me the valuable opportunity to hear from leadership. These engaging and collaborative discussions allowed me to ask questions, make professional connections, and present my work.
I could not have asked for a better internship experience. I had the chance to own my own project, touching every part of the software development process, all while learning more about the organization and healthcare. The incredible experience I had with the NETI team has opened my eyes to the boundless opportunities open to software engineers at Northwell. I think it is safe to say that Northwell should absolutely should be on your list for the next internship or job search!
Explore Information Services careers at Northwell Health
Making health care better is a big deal, and it takes the sharpest minds and most tenacious technology leaders to make it all happen. Our IT team is an impressive group of more than 1,500 skilled professionals implementing and supporting advanced clinical and technological systems for one of the nation’s largest and most forward-thinking healthcare organizations. Watch the video below to learn about our Information Services team here at Northwell Health!
Meet Truly Ambitious Plastic Surgery Nurse Practitioner Nicole Sweeney
This post is a part of a blog series highlighting Northwell Health’s advanced clinical providers (ACP). Each Northwell Health employee was nominated by their manager as an individual who exemplifies the Northwell Health values.
Nicole is approaching her first year as a nurse practitioner at Northwell. However, she brings a breadth of knowledge and years of experience to the workplace every day. After receiving her master’s degree and becoming a nurse practitioner, she went back to become a registered nurse first assistant. It was this move that provided her with a variety of experience and helped develop her passion for working in the operating room. “I loved being in the OR and wanted to continue that aspect of my career as an advanced clinical provider,” Nicole says. Assisting in the operating room provided Nicole with a fresh and unique perspective, one that she would eventually carry over into every room she’d enter.
Years later, the triathlete and busy mom of a 5-year old finds her home at Northwell. She made the decision for a number of reasons but notes, “It was time for an institutional change for me in order to work closer to home.” Northwell Health offered her the flexibility she needed after realizing long commutes to the city were taking precious time away from her family.
And though there are many health systems on Long Island, Nicole felt the direction Northwell was taking its organization was one that was innovative and forward-thinking, and she wanted to be a part of it. “I feel that Northwell Health exemplifies the values I find to be vital – delivery of exceptional patient care, innovation through research and education, and dedication to the staff who make Northwell great,” she says.
Now, 8-months into her practice, she absolutely loves working as an NP in plastic surgery because of how her role is and how versatile her role asks her to be. She says, “Plastic surgery is one of the only specialties that treat many areas of the body from head to toe.” Which means, no two days can ever truly be the same.
Northwell offers unique opportunities for each employee to learn and grow, and for someone as ambitious as Nicole, it’s the perfect situation. Nicole says, “As an NP new to Northwell I look forward to utilizing all the health system has to offer including wellness programs and continuing education opportunities,” adding, “There are so many resources available for staff to grow and flourish!” We know Nicole’s future is bright at Northwell and can’t wait to see how she advances her career here.
Explore Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Careers at Northwell Health
Whether you’re a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, you’ll enjoy tremendous professional autonomy, extensive resources and nearly limitless opportunities at Northwell Health. Watch the video below to hear from some of our Advanced Clinical Provider (ACP) team members about careers and why you should join our team.
My experience as a Healthcare Management Program Summer Associate in the Imaging Service Line.
Written by: Lindsey Feuerzeig, Binghamton University, HMP Summer Assocaite 2019
Healthcare has been an industry that has peaked my interest for most of my life. When I was 10 years old, I went to Huntington Hospital with stomach pains. A few hours later I was transferred by ambulance to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and the next morning I had an emergency appendectomy.
Fast forward to college, I arrived freshman year as a Biomedical Engineering major with a dream to work in stem cell research. Chemistry did not go too well and I switched to my current major, Industrial, and Systems Engineering (ISE), focusing on the optimization of complex processes, systems, and organizations. This major is typically highly focused in manufacturing; however, there has been a recent focus in healthcare as well.
In January 2019, I accepted an internship offer in the Healthcare Management Program (HMP). I later found out that I was placed in the Imaging Service Line, and was interested to see what exactly that meant. The Imaging Service Line provides critical services such as X-Ray, MRI, CAT scan, Mammography, etc. During the course of the internship, I was enthralled with all activities regarding Northwell’s imaging services.
During my internship, I attended outpatient site visits, learned about the clinical aspect of imaging, and most importantly listened, and brought insight back to our leadership team. I worked on volume reports for each facility, as well as equipment reports. I also worked on a major inpatient project at North Shore University Hospital, The MRI Assessment Project. The project detailed data behind the outpatient volume of the hospital including procedure type, referring doctors, and patient demographics. The second part of the project included creating a detailed workflow of the inpatient process and identifying associated bottlenecks. After my completion of the assessment, I reported out at a final presentation to various hospital executives. My project will continue to be executed by my preceptors as my internship has now come to a close.
Reflecting back on my experience this summer, I could not have wished for a better program. The HMP has helped me grow both my technical and soft skills. I was encouraged to step outside my comfort zone throughout all my projects and meet with various stakeholders for their input. As a summer associate at Northwell Health, I was treated as a fellow employee and expected to deliver results to my assigned projects.
I’d like to say thank you to Northwell for offering a robust Healthcare Management Program and I look forward to applying all I’ve learned to my future career in healthcare management.
Summer 2020 applications open in September, check back on our students page for more information.
Against the odds: A nurse’s journey to working at LIJ Medical Center after beating cancer
When Nicole Rivera, RN, was diagnosed with cancer at six years old, she was given only a 10% chance of living. Despite these odds, Nicole’s battle with cancer ended in triumph. “I kicked cancer’s butt and to this day, I remain in remission – 18 years and counting,” says Nicole. “Cancer took my right leg but not my life.”
It was her experience fighting cancer that inspired Nicole to become a nurse and ultimately lead her to her career at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. “I wanted to become a nurse after having amazing nurses help care for me as I fought cancer in one of the hardest battles of my life,” says Nicole. Today Nicole works as a cardiothoracic/surgical oncology step-down nurse where she finds her experience gives her a special relationship with her patients.
“My history has made me a stronger and better nurse because I know how it feels to be on the other side of things,” says Nicole. “I know what it feels like being that patient in bed feeling despaired. My story has allowed me to connect with patients on a deeper level.”
Overcoming the challenges she has had to face, including wearing an above-knee prosthetic, has reminded Nicole of the importance of remaining grounded in life and as a nurse. “It’s important to stay humble and never take health for granted. Every day we see people complain over the little things in life, while there are people out there fighting for their life.”
And it’s a fight that Nicole knows firsthand she can help patients through just by being there for them. “My favorite part of being a nurse is seeing the smile on a patients face knowing I helped make a difference,” she says. “Whether it be something as simple as filling up their water, helping escort them to the restroom or providing comfort after bad news. Their smile makes it all worth it.”
It was both Nicole’s passion and her inspirational story that led to her being nominated as a 2019 New York Mets Nurse Hero. She was recognized at the New York Mets Nurses Night game as one of ten nurse heroes for their dedication to providing exceptional care for patients. Nurses received customized scrubs and got to stand on the field during the first pitch.
Throughout it all, Nicole has always known she was made for nursing, “I put my heart into my patients every day and cannot imagine being in any other profession.”
At Northwell Health, we know our strongest asset has always been our people. That’s why we give our nurses the support they need to grow their careers here. Watch our video to discover why our nurses–whether in emergency, oncology, home care, women’s health, periOperative and more– love working at Northwell.
Operating Room Nursing Careers at Northwell Health
Meet Ana, an operating room registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital. Learn about how Northwell has supported growth in her career from surgical technologist to RN and why she loves coming into work as an OR nurse every day in the video below.
Women’s Health Nursing Careers at Northwell Health
Hear from Joelle, a registered nurse working as a practice manager in women’s health. Discover why she’s proud to be a women’s health nurse and how Northwell has supports nurses in their journey to leadership in this video.
Home Care Nursing Careers at Northwell Health
For Melissa, working as a Northwell Health At Home nurse gives her the unique opportunity to work independently and form close bonds with her patients. Discover why our home care nurses take pride in being able to deliver exceptional care and health education to patients in the home in the below video.
Oncology Nursing Careers at Northwell Health
Hear from Iris, nurse manager at Monter Cancer Center, on the impact of being an oncology nurse at Northwell Health and working at the cancer center that treats more New Yorkers than any other health care provider. Watch below to learn how Northwell gives oncology nurses the resources you need to grow as a nurse and deliver exceptional care to their patients.
Emergency Nursing Careers at Northwell Health
Hear David, assistant director of nursing at Lenox Hill Hospital, talk about his love for working as an emergency room nurse. Discover why a nursing career in Northwell Health’s emergency rooms could be Made for you in the video below.
From neonatal staff nurse to periOperative leader: Gloria’s nursing journey at Northwell Health
When Gloria Collura, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC started her career at Northwell Health 31 years ago as a staff nurse, she didn’t know where her journey would take her.
Starting as a young nurse, Gloria transitioned to working part-time in the neonatal intensive care unit when she had her first child. But as her children grew, so did her career aspirations. And with the encouragement from her leadership, Gloria was able to focus on developing herself professionally.
“I never had to sacrifice my family or work-life balance at all in order to succeed in my career,” says Gloria. “Northwell really enabled me to grow professionally as well as personally.”
After becoming an assistant nurse manager, Gloria benefitted from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and earned her master’s degree. From there she became a nurse manager before moving into leadership positions in periOperative services.
Today, she’s the senior administrative director II for Patient Care Services/PeriOperative Services at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM). Here, she runs the ambulatory surgery center which operates on over 7,000 people a year and the PST department which sees approximately 21,000 patients a year – quite the journey from her start as a staff nurse!
The transition to become a periOperative nurse was a natural one for Gloria. “As a neonatal nurse, you are in the operating room a lot. With exposure to the OR, I was encouraged by leadership to earn my master’s and get into ambulatory surgery. Using the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in one specialty and bringing it to a new area can have great results.”
Even with all her accomplishments, Gloria knows it’s important to never stop developing her professional skills. In fact, she’s recently earned her Nurse Executive Advanced Certification – an accomplishment she never thought she would be encouraged to earn.
“At Northwell, we’re always told not to be afraid to fail,” says Gloria. “Don’t be afraid to expand your wings, don’t be afraid to be innovative, and don’t be afraid to move forward. I’ve taken leaps that I don’t think I would have taken without the support of the organization and its leaders.”
The 2019 Healthcare Management Program Internship Experience
When 34 Summer Associates started their first day at orientation in June of their 10 week Healthcare Management Program Internship, they didn’t realize how impactful their experiences this summer would be. Coming from all over the nation, junior college students joined Northwell to work across 23 hospitals, service lines and departments to be immersed into the day to day operations of a healthcare administrator. Mentored by Northwell team members and leaders, each Summer Associate had an unforgettable experience.
Working closely with their assigned mentor, our Summer Associates had the opportunity to work on real, meaningful projects that had a major impact on Northwell’s business operations. Projects that they were then able to present out to their fellow Summer Associates, Northwell leaders and executives during presentations at the end of their 10 weeks. This summer, over 100 projects were worked on by our Summer Associates, some examples include:
OR turnover time analysis through processing mapping and SWOT analysis to implement process improvement ideas in the operating room.
Helping to implement a new registration workflow for a new facility that is opening.
Designing and implementing a brand-new, more efficient patient tracking system to reduce ambiguity of the patient progress and location and to minimize any delays in turnaround time between cases.
Designing a scorecard to analyze EMS vs walk-in volume, EMS agencies who bring in the most patients, cardiac arrest, trauma and stroke patients, triage levels, and contribution margins in the Emergency Department.
Compiling data to track the availability of beds in order to improve patient flow and communication by developing an automated dashboard.
Helping to prepare for Joint Commission Certification surveys.
Staffing analysis to determine the need to increase staff due to the opening of a new unit or service.
Determining the idle bed time- time from when a patient has been cleared for discharge, to when the patient leaves their room- by looking at team member process efficiency.
Summer Associates also had the opportunity to participate in weekly Educational Sessions at various hospitals and service lines and team building. This summer they also attended the Nurses Night Yankee game along with Northwell nurses, had a team building session at the beach where they played Northwell trivia and beach games and cooked meals at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island to feed families with sick children and give back to the community.
The 10 week experience was more than an internship, it was a stepping stone to help junior college students realize their full potential and career opportunities after graduating from college. Don’t just take our word for it, hear from some of our 2019 Summer Associates!
“The HMP has helped a lost Biology major find his way and believe in himself for his future career. This program is truly phenomenal. I have made connections that I believe will last throughout my entire career.”
Achyut DasguptaSouthside Hospital Summer Associate, St. John’s University
“My 10-weeks at the Cancer Service Line flew by! From day one, I was given meaningful projects and assignments that had a direct impact on the patient experience. The Healthcare Management Program provided me the opportunity to explore Northwell’s extensive health system while also being a valued member of the team at my own site. I could not have asked for a better internship experience!”
Morgan TienkenCancer Service Line Summer Associate, Colgate University
“The Healthcare Management Program was an entirely unique internship that provided me with opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. From day one I was seen as a valued member of my team and given meaningful projects that had a tangible impact on the organization. Not only was I able to grow my professional and technical skillset, but I was able to form genuine relationships with my fellow interns that will last far longer than these 10 weeks!”
Jessica DobkinHealth Solutions Summer Associate, University of Alabama
“The Healthcare Management Program was an incredible experience during which I had the opportunity to get hands-on project management experience, to build relationships with clinicians and administrative leaders, and learn something new every day about what it means to be a healthcare administrator. I was empowered to do meaningful work to make patient care better and better every day and this internship has inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare administration.”
Megan McKennaPhelps Hospital Summer Associate, Georgetown University
“This internship is like no other. The amount I learned regarding hospital management and operations over these past 10 weeks is exceptional, and I have gained exposure that has strengthened my leadership skills.”
Katherine HegermillerPeconic Bay Medical Center Summer Associate, Holy Cross University
“The HMP internship gave me first hand insight into what the field of hospital administration looks like. I got a real feel for what healthcare management is and I can’t wait to continue my path in this field thanks to the HMP!”
Alicia GolyskiSouthside Hospital Summer Associate, Boston University
“This summer has been a very rewarding experience for me. I was able to touch almost every aspect of healthcare administration, and my mentors were sure to give me exposure to whatever I was interested in.”
Brittany SteinekeCohen Children’s Medical Center Summer Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Unbelievable summer, great experience, great environment, best team! I learned so much this summer and grew so much professionally that I can confidently say I want to go into healthcare for sure as a result of this program.”
Chasin MizrahiCardiothoracic/Cardiology Service Line Summer Associate, University at Buffalo
Written by: Valerie Pelling, High Point University Graduate ‘19
I was introduced to playing sports from a young age. Playing soccer, lacrosse and everything in between, I saw my fair share of podiatrists, neurologists, and orthopedists for sports related injuries that were often interrupting my athletic career. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, dealing with these injuries and seeing numerous doctors would lead me to my future career path.
In 2015, I headed off to college to major in Business Administration and to play Division 1 Lacrosse at High Point University. While my academics were going well, I faced a season-ending injury in my sophomore year. I was in need of ACL reconstructive surgery which was a tough pill to swallow, considering I would be out for the next 10 months!
While working with physical therapists to get back on the field, it gradually dawned on me that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. With this new passion, I began volunteering at a local hospital. I connected connecting with patients by conducting surveys on how they felt about their hospital visit. My time spent interacting with patients taught me about the importance of customer service and empathy, which are necessary skills in order to work in this field.
Fast-forward to 2019 when the Hospitality in Healthcare Internship Program at Northwell jumped out at me. I was ecstatic about the opportunity to be a part of the patient experience team in the system that repeatedly got me back on my feet. The hospitality internship has opened my eyes to how Northwell truly differentiates themselves from other healthcare systems. The thought and care that goes into improving its patient and customer experience is impressive and the culture the organization prides itself on is sincere and one of a kind.
My experience at Patient Access Services (PAS), a centralized call center for patients and providers, taught me the importance of respect, customer service, and communication skills. PAS is the patient’s first impression for certain practices, and the thoughtfulness and empathy that the customer service agents provide is the reason why Northwell is so great. From the point of view of a long time Northwell patient, any facility that is associated with the Northwell name gives the greatest quality of care. They treat everyone as if they are family, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside the personnel who make the Northwell patient experience so remarkable.
How North Shore University Hospital is delivering culinary excellence with new In-Room Dining Program
When you think of a fine dining experience, we know hospitals aren’t typically the first location to pop in your head. But thanks to the new In-Room Dining Program at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH), they might soon be.
For the launch of the new program, NSUH’s culinary team worked hard to create a menu full of delicious and healthy options in collaboration with their registered dietitians. From fresh bakery bread with eggplant bacon in the morning to linguine al fresco at dinnertime, all the meals were crafted to maximize nutrition without sacrificing taste. Registered dietitians are also available to help patients design a meal plan to help them on their healing journey.
By providing patients with a choice between nutritional, natural and home-made meals, the new services are just one part of Northwell Health’s mission to change the way patients think about hospital food. We believe that food is medicine and as an important part of the healing process menu options must be customized for clinical needs while being lovingly prepared by talented chefs with local and natural ingredients.
“I am proud to be part of an organization that puts the patient first and gives innovative opportunities to its team members,” says Michael Kiley, director of dining services at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). “The days of the stereotypical ‘hospital food’ are over! Our In-Room Dining Program is set up to provide the best dining experience for our patients by serving delicious wholesome cooked to order with restaurant style menu choices. And all are developed by our creative culinary team of chefs and cooks and, overseen by our caring clinical registered dietitians, ordered through our well trained diet technicians, and delivered by professional positive dining associates.”
And nutritional food doesn’t just help our patients heal, it changes the way they feel. “The In-Room Dining program is where patients forget that they are in a hospital and feel they are in a five star hotel,” says Vanessa Barone, diet technician at NSUH.
Helping to deliver that extra attention and care to the patients has only benefited the relationship between our nutrition team and the patients. “It feels good being a dining associate,” says Eloheim Miller. “It makes me feel happy to make the patients happy. They love this service!” It’s an exciting time to join Northwell’s culinary and nutritional teams as even more innovative practices are being implemented across the system.
“Enhancing the patient experience is at the forefront of what we do every day,” says Sean Butler, assistant director of dining services at NSUH. “Giving patients the choice of what to eat and when to eat it helps them gain a sense of control that is usually lost during a hospital stay. Our goal is to make mealtime their favorite part of their stay here!”
How attending Northwell’s Veterans Hiring Event jump started Edens’ career
Edens Louis knows the versatility of military skills. And as a veteran, Edens was eager to apply his experience to the healthcare industry for a rewarding career. “Serving in the military as a human resources specialist provided me with the computer, customer service, and communication skills that I needed to accomplish any daily mission.”
With these skills and the determination to start a full-time career, Edens attended one of Northwell’s hiring events for veterans. “I had a wonderful experience attending the veterans event,” says Edens. “The Northwell team was extremely friendly, professional, helpful, and heartwarming in how welcoming they were with us veterans before, during and after the event.”
At Northwell, we’re committed to providing opportunities to veterans for a rewarding civilian career. Along with our hiring events, Northwell provides careers workshops, networking opportunities, newsletters and more in support of this mission.
Edens and other veterans who attended the event got to meet with recruiters, hiring managers and even met with Northwell’s president and CEO, Michael J. Dowling. Events like this allow for veterans to get their foot in the door and showcase their unique skills for jobs across our health system. The event gave Edens the drive he needed for his career, “I left the event feeling as if I were already hired and a member of the team.” And after attending the event, Edens worked with Northwell recruiters to schedule interviews to find him his perfect position.
Today, Edens works as a security officer at Zucker Hillside Hospital where he takes pride in giving his all as part of Northwell’s mission to make a difference in helping our communities. He loves going to work every day and is thankful for the support he received throughout his application process from Northwell’s Veteran Program Manager Lyndon Chichester. “Most importantly,” he says, “I get to be a member of a team that is enuring the safety of not only the employees but our patients.”
And for other veterans? “I would definitely recommend other veterans to work at Northwell – it is veteran friendly, the pay and benefits are great, and the other team members are welcoming.”
Certified Sterile Processing Apprentice Program celebrates its first graduating class
As part of our commitment to growth, development and education, Northwell Health partnered with the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the 1199 Training and Employment Funds to create a new Certified Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program that is registered with the Federal Department of Labor (DOL).
Due to our new Certified Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program, Northwell Health 1199 team members from various departments across the organization had an opportunity to train in a new specialty and grow their careers. Team members were provided with the education and training they needed to become a certified sterile processing technician (CST), including the support in preparing for the certified registered central service technician (CRCST) exam so they could earn their national certification. Thanks to the partnership program, Northwell was able to provide employees with paid training in addition to free tuition, books, exam prep and other classroom materials.
We’re proud to announce that all 11 of our program participants passed the exam and all received full time positions at Northwell Health.
“The apprenticeship program has opened doors for employees who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to advance in their field,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, program director of System Sterile Operations. “It allows us to ‘grow our own’ within healthcare and empowers individuals in our organization who otherwise might not be eligible for technical professional careers.”
“This program helped me achieve a goal in my career,” says Gabriel Taveras, a recent graduate. “I started as a housekeeper and now I’m a certified central sterile technician. It has changed my life.”
Students in this unique program are prepared for their career with:
200 classroom hours
400 hours of on-the-job training
600 additional on-the-job hours to earn the Federal DOL certification
Upon graduation, students earned:
LaGuardia Community College Adult Continuing Education Certificate
Federal DOL Certificate
“I was given an opportunity that will change my life for the better,” says fellow graduate Candice Thomas. “I’m grateful that Northwell and 1199 believed in me. The possibilities are endless. Because I stepped outside of my comfort zone and learned what it meant to be a CRCST, I now have a great career.”‘
The Northwell Health President’s Awards program honors and celebrates employees who truly represent the very best of Northwell. Each year, these awards recognize team members who not only surpass our expectations and standards of excellence, but also those who drive innovative business outcomes throughout five distinctive categories Nurse of the Year, Leader of the Year, Teamwork and Exceptional Patient/ Customer Experience and Physician of the Year. Get to know this year’s winners and their incredible stories.
Leader of the Year
Ryan J. Guda, RNNurse Manager, Dialysis Services, Ambulatory
Building on his array of experiences in different fields, Ryan Guda has rebuilt a workplace that adapts to change and established a culture of respect with dramatic effects on the quality of care.
Shortly after joining Northwell in 2015, Ryan met with each team member to hear their opinions about their work environment. By listening and acknowledging his team’s feelings, he was able to re-direct negative behavior in a nonjudgmental manner and win their trust. Even his adept computer skills helped during a transition to electronic record-keeping.
Ryan quickly became an agent of change that has improved the work environment and directly affected the quality of services delivered to patients living with end-stage renal failure. He was successful in turning the team members’ fear of change into hope.
Watch Ryan’s Made for this story.
Nurse of the Year
Jeffrey Rosa, RNSurgical Intensive Care Unit, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Passion for his patients and awareness of the complexities of navigating the emotions and needs of those in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit drive the care provided by Jeffrey Rosa. He witnessed the excellent care provided to his grandmother, and, later, as a paramedic, responded to the horrors of the Sept. 11 attack at the World Trade Center, which solidified his determination to become a nurse.
At Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), Jeffrey is known as “the go-to player,” someone who has made it his business to know everything he needs to know about every patient in a unit where extra compassion, understanding and respect for what patients and families are going through are crucial. He is completely dedicated to inspiring and teaching new nurses to share his passion and expertise. He coaches, mentors and serves as a role model for his peers. Jeffrey lectures the hemodynamics portion of the nursing fellowship curriculum and shares his passion for work he does daily.
Jeffrey participates in countless committees, including the Magnet task force, and as co-chair of the Surgical ICU’s Collaborative Care Council, he facilitates the agenda and pushes LIJMC nursing units to share innovative solutions and champion new ideas and processes.
Watch Jeffrey’s Made for this story.
Nurse of the Year
Alexa Damone, RN Medical Surgical Unit, Glen Cove Hospital
Alexa Damone’s passion for her work is evident to her patients and colleagues by constantly learning new skills to improve medical care.
Alexa has the ability to relate to patients and their families through her caring manner and attentive demeanor. Her deep commitment is evident to her patients and her colleagues and was recognized by the hospital when she was honored in the hospital’s first “Breakfast with the Stars.” She is empathic, compassionate, an excellent communicator, possesses solid clinical and problem-solving skills and serves as an advocate for her patients.
Her commitment to helping peers is inspirational. Upon returning from a sepsis conference, Alexa shared her newly developed knowledge with her peers to improve the identification and prompt treatment of sepsis. She was a part of a project on infection control that led to better hand hygiene and infection control practices on the unit. Alexa is involved in another project aimed at improving the patient experience. With diabetes becoming increasingly prevalent, especially among the elderly, she attended a two-day workshop recognizing the importance of diabetes knowledge, management and education, enabling her to become a unit champion and valuable resource for her peers and patients.
Watch Alexa’s Made for this story.
ECMO-TO-GO Long Island Jewish Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, Southside Hospital
Made up of a team of well-honed specialists, ECMO-TO-GO takes its life-saving skills wherever they are needed, elevating the level of care available to seriously ill patients. The team develops its successes with the cardiopulmonary bypass technique through continuity of communication and care delivered by all team members, commitment to continuous improvement and the depth of care provided by experts from across Northwell. The innovative approach of the team traveling to the patient rather than the other way around means a highly qualified, seasoned team is available to the sickest of patients. With a mortality rate of about 50 percent in these kinds of patients, the concept of such a team grew out of the establishment of an acute lung injury program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and the launch of a heart transplant program. Northwell physicians recognized the need to provide stable, quality care as quickly as possible, leading to the ECMO-TO- GO program.
The strength of the group comes from their ability to harness their differences in expertise to meet the dire needs of a complicated patient population. They do so with seamless coordination, deep compassion, and deliberate communication ultimately forging something stronger than any individual person.
Watch ECMO-TO-GO’s Made for this story!
Exceptional Patient Customer Experience
Adrian MazurChaplain, Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Chaplain Adrian Mazur has chosen to work in the midst of medical crisis, supporting the smallest patients and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as they try to cope with life threatening illnesses. It is his empathy that others quickly notice as he helps fearful, weary and distressed parents who are trying to cope with some of the worst days of their lives.
Adrian, who came to the ministry from a career in finance and volunteer work with an orphanage in Ukraine, works with adolescents in pediatric hematology/oncology. There he helps to establish a connection and genuine trust as the young patients face their own mortality, changes in their appearance and an overall loss of health and stamina.
Often, Adrian plays a significant role in the lives of families that ultimately lose their child to illness. In one instance, he later drove through a snowstorm to be with one such couple at the birth of another child. It is through his presence, compassion, dedication, prayers and listening ear that he helps patients and parents redefine their hopes and maintain their dreams. Adrian’s presence brings a vitality to the hospital and all those he touches.
Watch Adrian’s Made for this story!
Physician of the Year
Carmen Rodriguez, MD, FACOG Voluntary Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
An excellent bedside manner and the care she provides to her patients distinguishes the work of Dr. Carmen Rodriguez and moves many people to say, “She’s the best.” Regarded as reliable, dependable and talented, she is also humble and unpretentious. Dr. Rodriguez leads by example for all clinicians and team members. And her contributions go beyond kindness and compassion. She is known to take on some of the most difficult gynecological challenges via laparotomy, laparoscopic and robotic modalities. Dr. Rodriguez will always fight to defend the reproductive rights of her patients.
Dr. Rodriguez also plays an active role in the affairs and governance of the hospital. She is the associate chair of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center – Performance ImprovementCoordinating Group (LIJMC PICG). She is also a member of the OBGYN department PICG. Dr. Rodriguez finds the time to participate in performance improvement initiatives because she believes that everyone benefits when better care is rendered, mainly for the patient and the community at large, but also for the clinical and administrative team member. She is the president-elect of the LIJ Medical Team member Society, making her the first woman to hold this distinguished position in the history of LIJMC.
Northwell launches Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group
Northwell Health is excited to announce the recent launch of our Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group (BERG)! Our newest BERG focuses on empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities.
To do this, the Women in Healthcare members are committed to mentoring and developing women leaders at all levels within Northwell, including the executive level. Members will serve as both mentors and advocates for other Northwell team members, to help them develop professionally and to educate on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Co-executive sponsors include Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Deborah Schiff, executive vice president, Ambulatory Strategy and Business Development, and Kathy Gallo, RN, PhD, executive vice president and chief learning officer while Dr. Stacey Rosen, vice president, Women’s Health, Katz Institute for Women s Health, Maxine Carrington, deputy chief HR officer, and Kerri Scanlon, RN, deputy chief nursing officer and AED, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at North Shore University Hospital serve as co-chairs. Membership is open to anyone within the health system, including team members like Paola Benitez.
Using your career history to support other women in healthcare
Paola is a manager in the Government Rates and Reporting Group within Corporate Finance. Having grown her own career since she was initially hired as an analyst, Paola knows the importance of giving women the resources they need to develop professionally. “I joined this BERG because I wanted to be actively involved in the health system’s effort towards equality and inclusion,” says Paola. ‘I wanted to be part of encouraging more women to aspire to leadership.”
This isn’t the only BERG Paola has joined – she’s an active member of the Bridges LatinX BERG and has participated in community events that helped educate diverse minorities on the importance of access to health care, fitness and nutrition. She is confident that the Women in Healthcare BERG will be as successful within Northwell and its community.
“It is important to create BERG like this because it allows employees to build networks, share challenges and growth, and work together towards professional goals,” says Paola.
And for women looking to start out in their healthcare careers? Paola has the following advice, “Work hard, take risks and fail early. Do not feel that you must check all boxes in a job description – you will learn along the way!”
Throughout her time at Northwell Health, Margaret Murphy, DNP, RN, NE-BC has been an influential leader at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). As Chief Nursing Officer, Margaret knows the importance of providing nurses with educational opportunities to help them grow while igniting their passion for delivering exceptional care. Read more from our CNO Corner interview with Margaret.
Tell us about your career journey at Northwell Health.
Since joining Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) as a director of patient care services in 2006, I have had the privilege of working for an incredible organization. As I think back to my first interview, I am overwhelmed by the exemplary leaders I have encountered along the way and how fortunate to have been mentored by so many of them. I was also fortunate to be afforded the opportunity by Northwell Health to obtain my doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University.
I have been given extraordinary opportunities for professional growth and I believe in paying this forward so that new leaders can have the courage and wisdom to excel. Much of my career has had a dual focus; building a nursing team that is passionate about creating a high-reliability organization and ensuring that patient safety is our ultimate goal as clinical leaders. Having a vision and a strategic plan that include innovation, teamwork, engagement, transparency, and trust, provides a roadmap for organizational success.
What exciting nursing initiatives are happening at LIJMC?
One of our most exciting initiatives for 2019 includes our re-designation for Magnet®. LIJMC continues to outperform all benchmarks with a BSN rate of more than 92% and a certification rate that exceeds the Magnet benchmark with 25% of our nurses receiving clinical ladder designation. Additionally, we have seen great success with the “CNO cabinet” which was established for identifying and developing tomorrow’s nurse leaders.
LIJMC is also always at the forefront of innovation by:
Continuing to utilize collaborative care councils as arenas for shared governance, performance improvement, and organizational growth.
Building a new Oncology Center of Excellence.
Expanding our robotic surgery program, which received a Center of Excellence certification as did gynecological minimally invasive surgery.
Receiving Joint Commission certifications in Total Joint Replacement, Advanced Palliative Care and Diabetes.
Maintaining certification for Nurses Improving Care of the Health System Elder Certification (NICHE).
Launching an acute lung injury center which was created to deliver extra-corporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to patients that are not recovering with conventional “best practice” treatment.
Why would someone want to work as a nurse leader at LIJMC? How can they make an impact on providing exceptional care?
One of the best reasons to be a nurse leader at LIJMC is that there is a true collaborative spirit. Nursing has a voice at the table. There are so many ways to advance your knowledge at Northwell including continuing education conferences, courses at our Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI), advanced degree programs and leadership development programs. LIJMC is participating in the new Northwell Nursing Mentorship Program with a track for novice nurses and new leaders. This program will focus on individualized development, feedback and partnership.
At LIJMC, there are fellowships in specialty areas such as perioperative nursing, critical care, and emergency nursing. There is a residency program for new graduate nurses. Along with North Shore University Hospital, we partnered with Stony Brook University to facilitate obtaining master’s degrees in Nursing Leadership and in Education; whereby developing our nurse leaders and educators of tomorrow.
What is your career advice for nurses to develop in their career?
My career advice to new and experienced nurses is to understand that they must function as leaders regardless of title. From the onset, they should embark on a life-long journey, and commit to excellence as they move along their career trajectory. Early in their career, it is important to identify mentors, to emulate desirable behaviors such as advocacy, accountability, empathy, and professionalism. Nurses at all levels should mentor and coach while building strong relationships and developing excellent communication skills. Being knowledgeable about the changing health care landscape requires nurses to maintain curiosity and serve as change agents. Most importantly, nurses should recognize each day that while their accomplishments today are extraordinary, striving to make tomorrow’s accomplishments better is truly how we make the greatest impact in our patients’ lives.
Meet Truly Together Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Kareem Nugdalla
This post is part of a blog series highlighting Northwell Health’s advanced clinical providers (ACP). Each Northwell Health employee was nominated by their manager as an individual who exemplifies a Northwell Health value.
This month, we’re proud to introduce you to the Truly Together, Kareem Nugdalla, who is currently a cardiology Nurse Practitioner at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York. Read below to learn more about Kareem and what it’s like to be an ACP at Northwell.
Kareem started his career with Northwell in 2013 as a registered nurse on the telemetry unit at North Shore University Hospital. From there, he became certified as a cardiac vascular nurse and then took the next step in his career by accepting a full scholarship as part of the inaugural class of the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. “My managers encouraged me to become a nurse practitioner and my co-workers supported my dream,” he notes. “Team members have come up to me and said I was their inspiration for going back to school. There was never a roadblock, everyone embodied the ‘Truly Together’ spirit.”
Upon graduating, Kareem became an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and works as a key member of a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary team at Southside Hospital.
What Kareem likes most about working at Southside is the high level of respect and trust that encourages collaboration between all members of the healthcare team, particularly in his relationships with his physician and physician assistant counterparts. Kareem feels that Truly Together collaborative care creates an environment where ideas can be shared and his input is valued. “When everyone works as a team, you can tackle problems by coming up with solutions together. If there is a challenge, I never leave a team member to face it alone. Even if I don’t have the answer, I look for the answer with them.”
Kareem is also proud that his role significantly impacts his local community in a positive way. To him, being part of Northwell is about delivering more than just healthcare; it’s taking care of his own community. “There is a moral compass and a culture of care that drives us to excellence,” says Kareem.
Discover the PeriOperative teams on the forefront of cardiac surgery
When it comes to cardiac surgery, Northwell Health is at the forefront of innovation and exceptional care.
In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) has recently ranked Northwell Health cardiac surgery programs among the best in New York State. And exceptional cardiac care wouldn’t be possible without the hardworking nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists who join surgeons in the operating room.
“Being in the cardiac operating room can be demanding but extremely rewarding. It requires a compassion for your patients and love of the operating services and Cardiology,” says Karen Cary, associate executive director at Staten Island University Hospital. “Always come ready to learn and be voracious in your thirst for knowledge.”
Learn more about some of our cardiac surgery programs across Northwell Health:
North Shore University Hospital (NSUH)
Operating room professionals looking to join the cardiac PeriOperative team at North Shore University Hospital would work alongside high-performing, talented team members who are committed to exceptional patient care. NSUH is home to the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital and has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for cardiac surgery in 2017 and 2018 by Healthgrades.
Featuring one of New York’s largest cardiothoracic surgery programs, the Heart Hospital has become the first and only full-service destination for heart transplantation in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, New York. The DOH report has also recognized the Heart Hospital for having the state’s best outcomes for certain types of open-heart surgery.
Staten Island University Hospital
Staten Island University’s Heart Institute is known for its cutting-edge techniques, procedures, and skilled health care professionals. The DOH has even ranked their cardiologists, interventionalists, and catheterization and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) teams in the top 5% of the nation. Growth continues within this impressive Cardiac PeriOperative Department as it works to perform a full spectrum of increasingly innovative procedures, such as the recently created TAVR program which has already seen success.
Joining the Heart Institute gives PeriOperative professionals the opportunity to work with a compassionate team with a passion for cardiac services. Close collaboration in the operating room and hospital floor ensures the absolute best care for patients and their families.
Lenox Hill Hospital
The award-winning cardiology department at Lenox Hill Hospital has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 best heart programs four years in a row. Lenox Hill is always looking for innovative ways to treat patients; innovation that has led them to performing groundbreaking procedures – such as angiograms and minimally invasive heart surgery.
At Lenox Hill, the cardiology team offers advanced cardiac services in a variety of areas, including electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and heart failure. Nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists will join the skilled PeriOperative team in a brand-new clinical area.
What is Northwell Health’s Radiology Administrative Succession Program (RASP)?
The Radiology Administrative Succession Program is a one-year program that develops and enhances Northwell’s radiology leaders to enable them to take the next step in their career. During the program, leaders are provided with educational opportunities, knowledge sharing, hands-on learning and training with senior radiology leaders across the Imaging service line and hospital radiology departments.
“Succession planning is vitally important for ensuring the continued success of any business. The radiology service line has an amazing pool of top talent who we have identified and developed in an effort to fill future roles. Our goal is to focus on cultivating managers from within Northwell to ensure the leaders of the future are in place,” says Melone Pernice, Administrative Director, Radiology at Plainview Hospital.
Radiology team members are nominated by their leaders to participate in RASP and then the RASP Committee selects the final participates based on their nominations. This year, three team members were selected to participate in the inaugural class.
“RASP demonstrated to me that everyone is part of the same team and each person is fully invested in your success. All components of the program — from the subject matter classes, system level meetings and one-on-one mentoring — gave me the confidence I would need to handle any future obstacles. RASP is essential to ensure the future leaders are prepared for tomorrow, “says RASP participant Adrienne Wilson, radiology manager at Plainview Hospital.