North Shore University Hospital wins Northwell Health’s 2019 Chefs Challenge
Recently, five Northwell Health hospitals competed in the 2019 Chefs Challenge! Teams had 90 minutes to prepare a healthy and delicious meal with a salmon appetizer, filet mignon entree, and an apple dessert – meals that could potentially be served to patients in our hospitals. After presenting to our judges for tasting, North Shore University won first place in the competition. Rounding out the winners were LIJ Valley Stream Hospital in second and Southside Hospital in third.
Meet our New ACP Fellowship Graduates: Krystal, Christine & Sean
This post is part of a blog series highlighting Northwell Health’s Advanced Clinical Providers (ACP).This month, we’re highlighting three “Truly Ambitious” PAs who recently graduated from our inaugural Emergency Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery ACP Fellowship Program class. Currently we offer four specialties for our ACP Fellowship Program: Emergency Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Orthopedics, and Radiation Medicine.
Our Advanced Clinical Providers (ACP) are some of our most ambitious team members, and these new graduates of our Fellowship Program are no exception!
Recent fellowship graduate Krystal Garcia, MS, PA-C fell in love with the fast pace and high pressure of emergency medicine during her clinical rotations as a Physician Assistant (PA) student.
“Once I graduated, I was determined to start my career in emergency medicine,” she said. “But I also wanted to be sure that my first job was in a supportive environment that would allow me to grow and excel. I knew that the Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program fellowship at Northwell would give me the access to clinicians that could teach me the skills I needed to be a knowledgeable and proficient provider.”
Krystal’s favorite part of her Emergency Medicine Fellowship was working in the Southside Hospital Emergency Department. “Everyone that I encountered at the hospital from nurses to physicians to ACPs and consultants, helped make my fellowship exceptional.” she explains.
Not only did Krystal’s fellowship expand her clinical knowledge, it also gave her the confidence to succeed in a career that requires the ability to continuously learn and adapt. She now has a strong foundation to always continue to grow along with new innovations in medicine. Krystal is now a physician assistant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital after graduating from the fellowship program.
Gain essential clinical skills in a new specialty
Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow, Christine Olivencia, MS, PA-C, wholeheartedly agrees. After completing her physician assistant studies at Hofstra University, she enrolled in our ACP fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery. “After completing an elective rotation in CT Surgery during school, I knew that was the field I wanted to work in,” Christine tells us.
“I was aware there would be a learning curve working in such a high acuity environment,” she continues. “I felt the fellowship would provide the training and education necessary for a smooth transition into my current role as a PA in Cardiothoracic Surgery at North Shore University Hospital.”
Christine’s favorite part of her fellowship was the people she met and the relationships she built during the program. She also felt that she was given the chance to grow in every way possible. Her knowledge base expanded, and her procedural and OR skills improved exponentially.
“I learned how to look at a case and use that clinical information to develop a plan and impact outcomes, all the while keeping the patient first in mind,” she says. “I gained confidence through the fellowship to continue to grow into the provider I’ve always wanted to be.”
Optimize your growth and development
Our third fellowship graduate, Sean Storey, MS, PA-C, explains his decision to join Northwell, “The mission and goals of Northwell’s Cardiothoracic Surgery (CTS) Fellowship strongly reflected my personal objectives to be trained at the highest level of proficiency and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to be successful in cardiothoracic medicine.”
During his fellowship, Sean found the mentoring environment and educational structure to be “phenomenal.” He was able to optimize his growth and development by working across the CTS service line at multiple Northwell locations, and now works as a Physician Assistant in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Southside Hospital.
“My fellowship allowed for an amazing learning environment that was paramount to my transition into professional practice. The clinical environment at Northwell accelerated my growth in ways that could have taken years to obtain and has given me a deeper understanding of my clinical roles and confidence in my clinical decision practices.”
Like all of our PAs highlighted this month, Sean would “absolutely recommend” a fellowship at Northwell Health. He, like Krystal and Christine, stresses the opportunity to accelerate individual growth and development and make a successful transition as part of a team that is rethinking and reimaging health care every day.
Northwell’s commitment to employee wellness goes all the way to Rome, Italy
1,900+ teams made up of over 18,000 Northwell employees are competing in the Walk to Rome challenge for a chance at the grand prize – a FREE trip to Rome! The walk is one of the many fun ways that showcases Northwell’s commitment to employee wellness across the organization.
“Everyone’s path toward wellness is unique, made up of various reasons, objectives and outcomes,” says Valerie Gundersen, manager of Employee Wellness. “The annual challenge offers a special opportunity to unite all of our paths into one shared journey toward wellness.”
Here is how the Walk to Rome works: During this innovative employee step challenge, teams of 10 will walk the distance from Dublin (the destination of last year’s challenge) to Rome, totaling approximately 3.9 million steps in eight weeks. Participants track their physical activity to unlock virtual destinations throughout the journey. Teams of ten who successfully go the distance will be entered into the grand prize raffle for a trip to Rome, Italy.
Teams inspire each other to get moving by planning walks during lunch, encouraging each other to take the stairs, and hosting even more walking activities outside of work hours. With a new interactive chat feature and friendly virtual competition against rival teams, there are plenty of ways to stay motivated during the challenge.
Last year’s Walk to Dublin challenge totaled more than 7.4 billion steps by the end of the eight weeks. An amazing 1,200+ teams completed the challenge and were eligible for the grand prize raffle.
Employees reported that because of the Walk to Dublin challenge, they had more energy, lost weight, engaged in teamwork, felt healthier and remained highly motivated to continue taking care of their health after the challenge was over.
And the benefits go beyond physical wellness! “The Walk to Dublin challenge was a great chance for me to become a part of the community at Northwell,” says Jonathan Bateman, an ED associate, “I was a new employee when it started and getting to be on a team helped me build relationships with my co-workers faster than I might have otherwise.”
With even more teams competing this year, Northwell employees are excited to ‘step’ it up to win big—and maybe even celebrate with some well-earned pasta and gelato in Rome.
Starting my next chapter after the military at Northwell Health
Written by: Matthew Scanapico
This Memorial Day, Matthew Scanapico, Project Manager of Ambulatory Operations in the Western Region, reflects on his time as a Sergeant (E-5) in the US Army and how he found a new way to serve through his job at Northwell Health.
My military experience provided me with the discipline and leadership skills that were instrumental in developing my career at Northwell Health. Striving to live my best life every day for the ones whose lives were lost too soon is what keeps me going. Although I struggle from time to time, I do my best to honor their memory.
After my military service, I was hired as a per diem employee at North Shore University Hospital. This gave me the flexibility to be a full time student at SUNY Farmingdale and made me feel part of a team again. In that role, both my leadership and my peers were aware of the hardships I faced overseas. They provided me with the support I needed to be successful in both school and my career and for that, I will always be grateful.
Witnessing the loss of friends, the stress of combat, and the hardships of war, instilled in me the belief that life is too short and fragile to let the “little things” get in the way. Transitioning from military service is never easy, but being hired by Northwell Health provided me with the stability needed to start this new chapter of my life.
For our nation’s veterans, having a stable work environment is integral to their healing process and with Northwell’s vast network of veterans, support is never out of reach. We do incredible things as an organization to hire transitioning veterans.
Northwell prides itself in being more than just a health system, it’s a family, and it’s being a part of something greater than ourselves to both its patients, communities and each other. This value is one of, if not the most, important foundation to a veteran’s life and gives an opportunity to be a part of that bigger picture again.
An Appointment With: Juan Serrano, Director, Military and Veterans Liaison Services
As director of the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services, Juan Serrano leads Northwell’s mission to provide military veterans and reservists with the resources they need to make a successful transition to civilian life including partnering with Talent Acquisition for career opportunities. Northwell is proud to employ thousands of military veterans, and reservists.
A veteran himself, Juan served in the Marines for nine years before he was medically discharged in 2009. From there, he continued his education before joining Northwell as the administrator manager of the Queens World Trade Center Health Program in 2012. In 2015, he started in his current position to help lead and develop innovative programs to serve the veteran community.
We sat down with Juan to discuss his career and the services Northwell offers military veterans.
How has your experience in the military prepared you for a career in healthcare?
My experiences in the military provided me with the skills necessary to pursue and succeed in the civilian sector in a number of ways. Being in the military puts you in situations where you not only have to learn to follow, but learn to lead. It prepares you to work under pressure, to adapt and overcome, and to be innovative. In the military, there’s no task too big and no task too small. Everything is about attention to detail, responsibility, and taking pride in what you do. I think that veterans from all branches of the military possess important skills that are fundamental to the success of an organization across industries. If a veteran is presented with an opportunity, they will thrive.
What are some of the exciting things happening in the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services in 2019?
We have migrated all veteran services into one centralized location to make it easier for veterans and active duty personnel to gain access to healthcare and other resources such as housing, advocacy, community engagement, as well as a direct connection to our recruitment team for employment opportunities. Northwell Health is committed to providing veterans with resources and solutions that help make their lives better. We stand side by side through every stage of their reintegration process post-military career.
What should military veterans and reservists know about working at Northwell Health?
At Northwell, we offer more than just clinical careers – we provide a variety of opportunities where individuals can thrive such as finance, IT, security, culinary, and administration. Our goal is to change the way companies and communities view veterans and inspire other organizations to do more. Outside of the VA, we provide the most healthcare opportunities for veterans, including at the Rosen Family Wellness Center in Queens which is dedicated exclusively to caring for veterans, first responders, law enforcement personnel and their families. We also have a pay differential which has awarded $1.7 million total to employees to ensure they are continuing to receive their Northwell salary while out on military leave. My career advice to veterans is to never turn down a job opportunity and to always approach your career search with an open mind.
Our history of standing side by side with our community has led us to the creation of this pinnacle event during NYC Fleet Week. Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ is a two-part concert that honors Northwell Health’s commitment to veterans and their families, and celebrates their service and sacrifice throughout the years. It’s not just about the celebration itself, it’s about never forgetting.
Taking place on May 25th, 2019, the day event will be held at 31 Rockefeller Center. During the afternoon program, we will hear inspirational stories from veterans and see special performances from artists that include Gavin DeGraw and Boyz II Men, as well as the Broadway casts from Jersey Boys and Wicked. The second portion of our event is a concert at Radio City Music Hall with Imagine Dragons. The concert is completely sold out but Northwell has made tickets available for veterans through VetTix.org. Throughout both events, we will be joined by active duty personnel who are visiting for NYC Fleet Week.
What are some of the ways you stay connected with the Marines?
I will be preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. this October. It will be the first time I do it after my injury in 2004 and I’m excited to be running again.
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Northwell Health
Written by: Bridges Asian BERG co-chairs
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions that generations of Asian Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture.
In honor of the heritage month this May, we are featuring the stories and work of a few of our Bridges Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) members at Northwell Health.
Also featured, is an Asian Pacific American physician leader at Northwell Health, who is partnering with Bridges Asian BERG, to make broader connections and develop new ideas to help transform some of the amazing work spearheaded by this leader.
Please join us, as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May!
I’ve been working at Northwell for about 2.5 years as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) Manager within the Human Research Protection Program at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. My job is to support, facilitate and promote the ethical and safe conduct of clinical research at Northwell Health. We oversee IRB review for all 23 hospitals and facilities throughout Northwell Health that serves to protect research participants’ rights, safety and welfare.
Why did you join the Asian BERG?
I joined the Northwell Bridges Asian BERG in 2017. I have a passion to be a part of that bridge between our health system and local communities, and one of the ways that I serve in that capacity is being the Chair of the BERG Chinese Language Advisory Board (LAB). Our LAB is made up of other dedicated BERG members who are fluent, native speakers who provide consultation to service lines, departments and facilities on optimal methods of communication for the Chinese communities. We also provide feedback on the quality of translated materials by certified vendors to ensure that the messaging is appropriate and clear. By providing advisory services and partnering with Language Access Services from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity we are working to enhance patient experience, customer service and better connect with our diverse communities.
What do you like about working for Northwell?
I feel so lucky to be recognized for my efforts and it encourages me to continue working harder and to be more innovative. I am proud to use my language capabilities and skillsets as a Chinese American to further the causes of our organization and the diverse communities that we serve.
What advice would you give about mentorship?
Mentorship is always important. However, within this organization of 68,000+ employees, mentorship from successful higher-level leaders is not only critical, but it will help individuals advance in their careers quickly. By encouraging mentorship, we are building our leaders of tomorrow.
In 1995 I started at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) as a registered nurse and in 2005 I became a nurse practitioner in Cardiology.
Why did you join the Asian BERG?
I wanted to actively support my community. Many Asian community members want to come to Northwell Health for its great reputation, but due to the cultural and language barriers it may be difficult for them to navigate our facilities. My contribution to close this cultural gap was to be a part of the committee that introduced the Korean seaweed soup (miyuk gook) for mothers who just gave birth at NSUH. In 2008 I started a free monthly health clinic for the Korean community and have continued my efforts to keep the clinic going since then.
Can you tell us more about the Korean health clinic?
Through my years at NSUH, I observed numerous Korean patients being admitted to the hospital due to the lack of healthcare either because they couldn’t afford it or because they didn’t know how to obtain it. Patients would have very serious conditions but did not have a primary doctor, medical or prescription insurance to recuperate and maintain their health. Various professionals such as physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and acupuncturists, volunteered to provide preventive medical services monthly and our team was formed. Since the start of this program, 2,000 patients have been cared for with various conditions, some critical such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, breast cancer, unstable angina, laryngeal cancer, hypertensive emergencies and others. The social workers assisted patients in signing up for Medicare/Medicaid and our team helped coordinate care for further medical treatment and follow up.
What is your advice for others?
We need to care for our families and neighbors. No one can live alone. We need to volunteer our time, support each other’s ideas and use our professional skillsets to help the community become healthier. Many Asian Americans want to help their families and community and can do so in this way. Furthermore, many employees may not know about the BERG, which helps us internally network and externally bridge with communities.
Santhosh Paulus, MD
Santhosh Paulus, MD, site director of Huntington Hospital’s family medicine residency program, is also Northwell Health Human Trafficking Response Program System Taskforce Leader. In 2014, he founded Cycling For Change, a not-for-profit organization, with a mission to cycle, raise awareness and fundraise to support organizations on the front lines of battling human trafficking.
What began as a personal action to raise awareness about human trafficking, “it is a public health issue where individuals are abducted or deceived into servitude and exploited for profit, it is a modern-day form of slavery and the social justice issue of our generation”, said Dr. Paulus.
Dr. Paulus has been appointed as Northwell Health’s Human Trafficking taskforce leader, where he spearheads a human trafficking response program at Huntington Hospital, which currently includes more than a dozen staff members who have been trained by Restore NYC, an anti-trafficking organization, to identify victims and assist human trafficking victims and provide care to survivors. Dr. Paulus is working collaboratively with the Bridges Asian BERG on furthering the mission of the taskforce.
Five Northwell Health hospitals are competing for a chance to be named the winner of the 2019 Chefs Challenge on May 23rd. Tasked with cooking a healthy and nutritious meal, each team will have 90 minutes to prepare a one-of-a-kind meal with a salmon appetizer, filet mignon entree, and an apple dessert. Each team will have three chefs and one certified dietitian who will work together to prepare a meal for guest judges. Meet the teams competing at the Chefs Challenge!
The Southside Hospital team is excited to be able to cook healthy, high-end restaurant quality food that they serve in our hospitals. They are also looking forward to seeing the variety of creative healthy dishes being prepared and presented by the other culinary teams.
Executive Chef, 4 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh herbs
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 15 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Avocados and baby spinach
Cook, 3 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Good olive oil, cauliflower, quinoa, carrots, garlic and cilantro
2nd Cook, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Broccoli and Quinoa
The LIJ Valley Stream team is most excited about showcasing their talents. Executive Chef Patty Sobel says, “I really want to showcase how improved my team at Orzac Rehab and LIJ Valley Stream Hospital has become. I have worked with this team for 18 months and they are rising with culinary skills like the mighty phoenix!”
Executive Chef, 5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: fresh ginger, fennel, oranges, earthy spices like turmeric and cumin, fresh basil, lemon verbena
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 18 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh vegetables, fruit, and fresh herbs
Cook, 20 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Salmon with yellow and julienned red peppers, fresh herbs, chervil parsley, chives, tarragon and fresh garlic
Cook, 4 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Grains- quinoa & farro and fresh grouper with kale swiss chard or spinach
The North Shore University Hospital team is most excited about getting to showcase the culinary abilities they learned in previous culinary experiences and apply them to a healthcare setting.
Chef de Partie, 9 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fermented soybean paste
Laura Zelenka Dufresne
Registered Dietitian, 28 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Asparagus
Chef de Partie, 14 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Brussel sprouts
Sous Chef, 20 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Turmeric
The Lenox Hill Hospital team is excited to collaborate and create dishes that are appetizing, appealing, and healthy enough to fit the Northwell Healthy Choice criteria! These are challenges we come across every day so we continuously educate and put into practice strategies for adjusting diets to be nutritious and enjoyable. This competition gives us an opportunity to think outside of the box and prepare meals that will leave patients feeling healthy and satisfied.
Robert Della Badia
First Cook, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Any type of grain is a great healthy ingredient that can be used for many delicious preparations.
Registered Dietitian, 2 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Pine nuts & quinoa.
Claudio Natalio Bistro
Cook, 2.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Red quinoa and tofu.
First Cook, 4.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish and mango salsa.
The Huntington Hospital team is excited to see the delicious dishes the Chef teams have compiled. They are also excited to work and compete with a group of extremely talented chefs that they can all learn and draw expertise from, while serving people great healthy food when they need it most.
Executive Chef, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: There is no one ingredient, but I love to prepare dishes using great quality, seasonal ingredients
Registered Dietitian, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fruit, herbs, and potatoes.
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish, Fresh Vegetables
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Butternut squash, greek yogurt, tomatillos and chicken thighs
Delivering state-of-the-art care in North Shore University Hospital’s new Transplant/Surgical ICU
Northwell Health has recently opened a state-of-the-art Surgical/Trauma and Transplant Intensive Care Unit at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). The new 13,000 square feet unit cost nearly $24 million and is an important step as NSUH prepares to launch Long Island’s first liver transplant program.
The new unit is not only an example of Northwell’s commitment to its patients but also to its employees through investment in the latest technology that will make it even easier for employees to provide top quality patient care 24/7.
“The unit is very nice. It’s more up-to-date and we have more resources. Everything is accessible within the patient room, you don’t have to move equipment in and out. Meds, charting, supplies – it’s all already in there,” says Jessie Dominique, respiratory therapist at NSUH. Her fellow respiratory therapist Margarette Timothee agrees, “It really makes our work easier.”
With 18 private rooms for its patients, the unit will focus on delivering care for trauma, liver transplants, colorectal surgeries, pancreatic islet cell surgeries and other complex surgeries. It will also work to support NSUH’s Level I trauma center.
“I can already see the benefits of the new and updated technology for the patients,” says Jaclyn Gomez, registered nurse at NSUH. “The bigger rooms are nice and having things like wireless technology and medicine securely available in the room really helps the patient experience.”
The new unit uses innovative technology that enhances the patient’s experience, while also ensuring that staff members have access to advanced equipment and technology to ensure they can provide priority patient care with ease. A few examples include ground-breaking eICU systems, which provide immediate access to telehealth support and around-the-clock patient monitoring. Other innovative enhancements include advanced lighting, glass privacy windows instead of curtains to reduce the spread of germs, an infrared badge system that shows when a patient is being attended to and by who, and a new patient lift technology for safe patient handling.
Trust, honor and dedication – All in a day’s work for physical therapist and veteran Leslie Rudin
If you had to describe members of the US military, the adjectives brave, selfless and strong probably come to mind. It’s no surprise that many who leave the service go on to equally as inspiring careers — including many who work in healthcare. This is certainly true of Leslie Rudin, a physical therapist at LIJ Valley Stream Hospital and proud US Navy veteran.
Stationed at the former Naval Air Station Miramar, widely known as the setting of the movie Top Gun, Leslie served as a plane captain, launching and landing fighter jets. Honorably discharged as a YN3 Petty Officer 3rd Class, she returned to New York and completed a bachelor’s degree at Queen’s College before launching a career in advertising.
During this time, Leslie also married and started a family. When her middle son was diagnosed with autism, she found herself drawn to pursue a new career in healthcare. Goal-oriented and never afraid to tackle a challenge, she obtained her doctorate degree in physical therapy before being hired at LIJ Valley Stream.
Leslie finds that many of the skills and habits she learned while in the military have served her well as a physical therapist.
“It started from making beds in the military,” says Leslie. “It stays with you. I’m very thorough and time-efficient. In fact, I still use military time.”
Leslie also finds that being a veteran enables her to connect in a unique way with the patients she helps every day – especially those who also have served in the armed forces. She believes that it fosters a level of trust and connection that helps her excel in her role.
“I learned respect and dignity in the military,” says Leslie. “This has carried over to how I treat patients.”
When not focusing on helping Northwell patients regain their strength, balance and mobility, Leslie continues to advocate for her son while enjoying quality time with family and friends.
Northwell Health is sponsoring Side by Side: A Celebration of Service™, a special, first-of-its-kind event honoring our veterans, active duty military and their families. This two-part event, taking place on May 25 in New York City, will feature exciting musical performances, exhibits and inspirational stories from true heroes. Learn more.
10 ways we celebrated Nurses Week at Northwell Health
With 16,000+ nurses across Long Island, New York City, Staten Island and Westchester, there were thousands of reasons to celebrate Nurses Week at Northwell Health. Nurses Week is a time for nurses to reflect on the countless lives they’ve touched throughout the year and honor the differences they’re making for patients, families and coworkers. Celebrations across the organization recognized the dedication, skill and compassion that RNs provide 365 days a year. Nurses Week is not only a celebration but a true representation of Northwell’s culture and commitment to our nurses. See below for only 10 of the many ways we celebrated Nurses Week. Also, explore job opportunities and apply to join our creative, fun and compassionate nursing team.
1. Walked the red carpet
To kick off the week, many of our locations gave our nurses the celebrity treatment. Rolling out the red carpet let each nurse take center stage as they arrived to work.
2. Recognized outstanding team members with awards
Our nurses are Made for delivering outstanding care and there are countless records of nurses going above and beyond for their patients. Sites across the system honored some of their brightest stars at their Center of Excellence Ceremonies with various awards from Rookie Awards to Humanism Awards to the prestigious Zuckerberg Award. Hearing the amazing stories about the nominees and winners recognized their compassionate care while inspiring other nurses.
3. Food, food, and more food!
From ice cream sundaes to hot breakfasts, nurses were spoiled with sweet and savory treats. Hospitals and ambulatory locations brought in every type of food imaginable throughout both the day and night shifts. Not only did it keep our nurses well-fed but it provided them with an opportunity to celebrate and bond with their fellow nurses.
4. Took time for wellness and self-care
Just as our nurses are committed to caring for their patients, Northwell is committed to the wellbeing of our team members! Nurses were able to take time to relax and unwind in a variety of ways–from relaxing with our pet therapy dogs to enjoying Reiki and massage therapy. Some sites also hosted lessons on stress management techniques and self-care workshops to empower our nurses throughout the year.
5. Fun in photobooths
In between rounds, nurses were able to have fun in photo booths and take pictures with coworkers to create photographic memories of all the fun they had throughout the week.
6. Dressed up for Spirit Days
Hospitals and locations throughout Northwell hosted a crazy scrub week, a favorite sports team day, college swag night, and more, to let nurses share their interests beyond scrubs. Some even dressed up in their best Florence Nightingale costume in celebration of one of the most famous nurses!
7. Won big with our basket raffles
The basket raffles during Nurses Week are legendary across Northwell for not only their big prizes but the creativity and teamwork that goes into them. Many sites hosted themes for their basket raffles and the enthusiastic nursing teams worked together to fill and decorate their baskets. After voting and announcing a winner, the prizes then went home with lucky nurses from each unit who won.
8. Listened to keynote presentations from Phyllis Quinlan PhD, RN-BC
Northwell’s Phyllis Quinlan PhD, RN-BC spoke to nurses at Peconic Bay Medical Center, Northern Westchester Hospital, and Cohen Children’s Medical Center to help teach them self-care practices and to develop their emotional intelligence. “Nurses are among the most generous people on the planet,” says Phyllis. “Their ability to turn their compassionate nature into the action we call caregiving is a precious gift that they are willing share. It is vital to make time to reconnect,, refresh, celebrate and rejuvenate.”
9. Blessing of the Hands
The Blessing of the Hands is a voluntary non-denominational tradition that recognizes and unites nurses around the world who use their hands daily in the caring of patients. During this special ceremony, warm water is gently poured over the nurses’ hands to refresh and renew their spirit and help their hands continue to heal those that they touch.
10. Spent time together
And most importantly, our nurses were able to spend time Truly Together! Throughout all our activities, nurses reflected on the results of their teamwork and hard work the past year and energized them for the year ahead. At Northwell, our nursing units aren’t just coworkers, they’re family.
Northwell Health has been named one of the nation’s top health systems for diversity, ranking second nationally and No. 1 in New York State, according to DiversityInc’s top Hospitals & Health Systems for Diversity list.
This achievement marks Northwell’s seventh straight year making the list, jumping up the rankings from last year’s No. 5 placement. DiversityInc’s extensive annual survey yields an empirically driven ranking based on talent results in the workforce and management, senior leadership accountability, talent programs, workplace practices, philanthropy and supplier diversity.
“America has gained strength from the generations of immigrants who have assimilated their cultural beliefs and unique skills into the fabric our country,” said Michael J. Dowling, Northwell Health’s president and CEO. “At Northwell, we also believe that our strength as an organization comes from the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve. This recognition is testament to our commitment.”
This is the second such honor in recent months for Northwell, which was named a FortuneBest Workplace for Diversity. Northwell ranks 80th on the annual 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity list, a partnership between Fortune and Great Place to Work that measures how well organizations create inclusive cultures for women, different cultural and ethnic communities, the LGBTQ community, older employees and workers with disabilities.
DiversityInc’s recognition reaffirms our approach to be representative and inclusive of all the communities the health system and its 68,000 employees serves.
“Receiving this recognition validates Northwell Health’s commitment to integrating the tenets of diversity, inclusion and health equity into our health care delivery model and essential to customizing care to improve health outcomes,” said Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, chief diversity and inclusion officer and senior vice president of the health system’s Center for Equity of Care. “Providing culturally-sensitive healthcare and fostering an inclusive workplace is integral to the partnership with our patients on the journey to improved health and wellness.”
The latest DiversityInc rankings reflect new metrics tied to questions that connect talent programs and workplace practices to desired talent results. The analysis also addressed the intersectionality of race by analyzing women and men representation of each race/ethnicity separately, rather than combined. Northwell also was ranked in the top 50 employers recognized for fostering an inclusive work place for members of the LGBT community.
“As a health care organization, we at Northwell health live our values – we are truly ourselves, and in doing so, seek to build trusted partnerships with our diverse patients and communities,” said Michael Wright, Northwell’s vice president of diversity and health equity.
An Appointment With: Winnie Mack, SVP, Health System Operations
When Winnie Mack started her career as an OB registered nurse, she never expected where her career would take her. Since joining Northwell Health in 2002 as associate executive director at LIJ Valley Stream Hospital, her journey has led her to becoming associate executive director at two Northwell facilities, chief operating officer and nurse executive at Southside Hospital, executive director at Southside Hospital, and into regional executive director positions.
Today, Winnie is senior vice president of health system operations. In her role, Winnie is responsible for system periOperative services, the development and implementation of policy and procedure, senior leader adviser to Human Resources for Labor Relations, oversees Community Relations, and works with strategic planning on different programs. Up next, Winnie will become interim president and CEO of Nassau University Medical Center as part of their multiyear agreement with Northwell Health. “In all of the things that I have done in my career, the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do was make a difference,” says Winnie, “I want to have a positive impact on patient care, on employees and on the community. I think this new position will afford me again the opportunity to help a distressed hospital and help stabilize it.”
We sat down with Winnie to hear about her impressive healthcare career and what’s still to come.
While at Southside, you helped fortify its position in Suffolk County and become a tertiary hospital. What initiatives did you lead there to help strengthen the hospital?
The mission at Southside Hospital was always to provide exemplary medical care with compassion and expertise to all in need. When I came to Southside as both chief operating officer and nurse executive, it already offered many services but they needed to be improved and upgraded. Holding both jobs allowed me to really familiarize myself with the staff. To go in and make the right organizational changes to positively impact the hospital, you have to get to know the staff.
One of the major accomplishments Winnie was a part of was starting an open heart program, opening and a large part of that was thanks to the support of the community. To gain that community backing, we started building out a community relations team. Our community relations team went out everywhere we could to talk about Southside, to talk about the changes we were making and to talk about the direction we were going
Along with getting the open heart program, we were able to get CARF accreditation for our extensive rehabilitation services, improved our medicine and surgery programs, received the Gold Stroke Award, built one of the busiest orthopedic programs in the system, and achieved a zero infection rate! We also brought in new trauma surgeons and became a level II trauma center and became the most eastern Northwell tertiary hospital.
How has your experience in a clinical career as a nurse helped prepare you to work in the corporate environment?
I started my healthcare career as a registered nurse in OB and went through several specialties that gave me a well-rounded clinical background. This clinical experience helped me to understand as an administrator in a hospital what issues could evolve and what needed to be done about them. I understood where clinical team members were coming from and was able to listen and relate to them. Having been a nurse in dialysis, medical/surgical, transplant, and critical care among other specialties, also allows me to utilize my clinical expertise to develop protocols. Understanding clinical operations, for me, has become an important piece of how I am able to be successful in administration.
Could you talk a little bit about Ideas at Northwell and how it is helping drive innovation across the health system?
I was given the opportunity to develop the new program called Ideas at Northwell that’s built to help drive innovation among Northwell’s team members. This is a tremendous program that’s taken a year in the making. As an employee engagement program, Ideas at Northwell creates a platform for team members to share their ideas in a challenge-based format to help improve efficiency and potentially save the health system money in operations. These ideas are first crowd sourced, then put to an employee vote and then go through expert review. Our goal is to help employees in their respective places of work within the organization to do their job better. Ideas at Northwell gives them a venue to share their ideas for improvements in processes to help us help them. Whether the ideas are for a better management of conference room scheduling or to remove certain processes that are extraneous, we want our employees to have a space to have their ideas heard. Our launch for our first system-wide challenge is May 6th.
What advice do you have for aspiring leaders?
One of the things that is really important is to lead with your heart. What do I mean by that? Do the right thing. If you always have in the back of your head to do the right thing, you can never go wrong. When you’re in a leadership position, you also have the opportunity to work with your team to energize them and inspire them to move up in their careers. Don’t micromanage – set the goal and let your people be creative and develop their own style to get you there.
It’s also important to always trust and champion your boss and to create the environment that your team is always on the same page. You may disagree, and that’s okay, but you want to remain a united team. Part of that unity is that I don’t say work for me, I say work with me. From the house cleaner to an associate executive director – this is a team, we work together. I also encourage leaders to keep their doors open unless they’re on a call or in a meeting. It’s important for anyone to have access to you and you can help short circuit big problems with visibility. Be visible and be available and you get a whole lot more.
EDIT: Since this interview has been conducted, Winnie has moved into her position of overseeing Nassau University Medical Center as president and CEO of NuHealth.
Written by: Marisol A. Antunez, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
Have you ever wondered if a leadership role is right for you? In my position, I work with leaders on a daily basis and I am always learning and observing their leadership qualities. Regardless of formal leadership education and training, some leaders just have the “with-it-ness” that sets them apart from the flock. Below are three signs that can help answer this question for you: Am I a leader?
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” People want to be inspired. People naturally gravitate toward those who inspire them to do more, to take chances, to run that extra mile toward greatness. A good leader inspires others through their own actions–actions that an aspiring leader should note.
Patricia Brown, AVP, Talent Acquisition at Northwell Health commented, “For me, the quality that made me realize I wanted to be in leadership was the ability to influence change in people.” Words can be encouraging but actions have a lasting effect. Great leaders are passionate about their work and genuinely love to nurture growth in those around them.
You are a visionary/innovator:
You see the whole picture. You see it, you paint it, and you sell it! Leaders naturally are able to think outside the box, be creative, and welcome challenges. Innovation is one of the keys to success in any organization.
If you find yourself always looking for fresh new ideas, coloring outside the lines, and working passionately to contribute to your company as a whole, then you have what it takes to be a leader!
You are a good communicator:
Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say but how you say it?” Communication is an art and a good leader is an expert; consider that leader the Vincent van Gogh of communication. They use their words carefully to be able to share their innovative ideas and get others engaged and excited. They know exactly how to craft the perfect email to present ideas/projects, or address any situation at a professional level. Communication is a pivotal key to being a good leader. Communication and collaboration go hand-in-hand.
Maybe these skills come naturally to you, and if so, then you have discovered your true calling! But these skills can also be developed. With the help of other leaders and mentors, you will learn what it takes to be a great leader who builds a strong, capable, goal-oriented team. So ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to be a leader?” Remember this, a leader doesn’t always have a certain title. People can exhibit leadership qualities every day! Share your experience, spread your knowledge, infect others with optimism, and people will see you as an inspirational leader.
At Northwell, we try and foster these skills in our current and future leaders. Employees can take classes at our Center for Learning and Innovation to develop themselves professionally. Mentorship programs also exist for employees to use our leadership as a resource for their own growth and professional development. Getting active in our Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) or volunteering also helps cultivate leadership skills. “Try to learn from everyone around you, staff and leaders because that is what will form your leadership practice in the future,” advises Barbara Vetoulis, nurse manager of Medical/Surgical at Phelps Hospital, “Learn from leaders that you look up to and consider a good role model.”
It is the policy of the organization to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.