In health care, we face the realities of life and death every day — it’s what we’re made for — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us. In June 2019, employees in the Department of Population Health lost a colleague, friend and member of the Northwell family.
Their team member passed away at the age of 38, leaving behind three young children. While many knew about her health condition, the news was still a shock for her colleagues for whom she’d been a part of daily life for over five years.
Honoring a legacy and building a better future
While her colleagues struggled with this tremendous loss, they were soon inspired to take positive action.Three senior leaders set up a sponsored bike ride from Northwell’s corporate office in New Hyde Park, NY, to Montauk, to raise funds for Northwell’s Employee Assistance Program, which helps employees and their families in times of need.
Kris Smith, MD, Northwell’s senior vice president of Population Health joined forces with Michael Gitman, MD, medical director of North Shore University Hospital and David Hirschwerk, MD, executive vice chair of Clinical Operations for North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center Department of Medicine. Together they rode the 120-mile trip as a tribute to Fabiola and to show What matters most and what Northwell is made of.
Inspiring others to go above and beyond
The ride inspired team members across Northwell to get involved. “Our Northwell family pulls together to support one another,” says Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO. “Even in the worst of times, we find a way forward and take positive action.”
Kris says, “Going the extra mile (or 120) is an intrinsic part of who we are. It was a challenge, physically and emotionally, but we wanted to demonstrate to the organization that after we grieve, once we reflect — we pick ourselves up and fight on.”
Northwell’s What matters most employee giving program offers our employees a variety of ways to advance Northwell’s mission — all while providing critical support to the area that matters most to each individual employee donor.