Embracing diversity and inclusion to drive effective change
When Andrea De Loney began her career at Northwell Health, she started in a role that would help her gain insight into the variety of roles and opportunities across the organization. Starting as a talent acquisition specialist in 2015, she met countless individuals in different specialties throughout the system and learned about the many ways people were making a difference in the communities we serve.
Andrea transitioned to the HR team at LIJ Forest Hills Hospital where she worked as the strategic alliance and development coordinator. There she managed over 20 Collaborative Care Councils and served as an engagement survey ambassador to help promote employee engagement within the hospital. Andrea also led the hospital’s communication strategy workgroup as they implemented new “Rounding Town Halls” which increased attendance and visibility of executive leadership.
It was her passion for ensuring that the voices of our team members were heard that led Andrea to her next role as a project manager with the Center for Equity of Care in 2018. As project manager, Andrea had a primary focus of relaunching Northwell’s Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) Program. BERGs, and Employee Networks are an essential part of our values, as they were established to enhance engagement, innovation, talent development, and promote an inclusive culture for our workforce and patients alike. Since the program’s relaunch in October 2018, Andrea and her team successfully increased membership by over 85 percent.
“With over 70,000 team members, it is quite easy to feel overwhelmed when seeking opportunities for personal and professional development at Northwell,” says Andrea. “Our BERGs and Employee Networks are designed to bring these experiences to the members, keeping cultural humility and the unique experiences of our workforce in mind.”
With the successful relaunch of the BERGs, Andrea’s responsibilities have expanded to include co-leading various workforce diversity and inclusion projects in partnership with Human Resources, and managing Northwell’s DiversityInc Award application process. Always striving to enhance her skills, she also became a certified Cook Ross Unconscious Bias trainer for the health system, and co-leads the Social Belonging and Inclusion subgroup that strives to even further celebrate Northwell’s Truly Together ideology.
Andrea’s hand in crafting internal and external initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion has helped build a feeling of belonging throughout the organization. She says, “Celebrating diversity and providing spaces for team members’ voices to be heard is so essential because it creates an authentic culture of belonging within any organization and community. How do we maximize the richness of our workforce? Through listening, and being open and receptive, and celebrating each and every contributor.”
With many accomplishments, Andrea continues to find more ways to support the advancement and development of our team members at Northwell. “One of the most powerful things that Northwell has done is acknowledge racism as a public health issue,” says Andrea. “When the reports of the recent deaths due to police brutality and misconduct hit the news, so many of us could not remain silent. We chose vulnerability and shared the raw emotions that exist within the Black community; senior leadership received that and knew, in that moment, something had to be done.”
In response, President and CEO Michael J. Dowling was joined by members of our senior leadership team for a live, organization-wide town hall and Q&A that focused on racial injustice and what we can do individually and as an organization to help fight racism and discrimination“My hope is that all of these efforts reach 100% of our workforce, and that we all play an active role in driving policy changes that will move our communities and society forward.”
Being involved in fighting for systematic change, Andrea is able to help foster an environment that is not only diverse and respectful but encourages its members to bring their best selves to work every day. Andrea says, “What makes me proud to work here is seeing how action-oriented and results-driven we are as an organization, specifically around topics that are generally deemed ‘uncomfortable.’” She continues, “In my almost five and a half years here, I can truly say that I’ve not only been invited to the table, but also given opportunities for my voice to be heard.”
Take a moment with us to celebrate this champion and the incredible, meaningful work she has done and continues to do to elevate Northwell on a local and national level. The example that she sets is appreciated and with confidence, we can say her career is truly well cared for at Northwell Health.
To join Andrea and other healthcare professionals making a difference in New York State’s largest private employer and healthcare provider, view our opportunities here.
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