Working as a Home Health Aide at Northwell Health, Where Compassion Meets a Rewarding Career
There is a trademark characteristic that ties our Northwell home health aides (HHA) together: a deeply ingrained passion in caring for others. Often inspired by personal experiences, home health aides step up to provide at-home care for patients who cannot care for themselves. In such an intimate setting, relationships are built with the patients and their families who rely on the compassion our HHAs always bring.
Jeanette Mazzilli, home health aide with Northwell Health, says that one of the factors behind her decision to become an HHA was her own desire for a compassionate aide to help out at home with her father a few years ago. “While caring for my dad when he was ill, I realized that being a home health aide was a great career path for me. I took the free training course with Northwell Health and now enjoy helping my patients get better.”
Fellow home health aide of 13 years Sandra Chin also touts her own family as her source for inspiration: “My aunt Daisy was an HHA and I watched her care for her patients like they were her own family. When she became ill herself, I stepped up to care for her and loved doing it so much that I turned it into a career.” Sandra joined Northwell in 2019 and has found it to be a company like no other, providing support and training every step of the way.
A career as a home health aide is multi-faceted. Never a dull moment as you coordinate patient care with a team of nurses. Each unique patient comes with their own care plan and needs, and Northwell provides the training to meet those needs and assist the patient on a path to better health. “The RN who taught the course was a great instructor who answered all of our questions. I learned about patient care, safety, HIPPA compliance, and received many other home care instructions that prepared me for my role,” Jeanette says. When asked about the training course, Sandra Chin added, “The course is three weeks long, but very informative, and one of the best things is that I met some wonderful people.”
A day in the life of a home health aide can involve going over the patient’s care plan with the patient and their family, taking note of the patient’s progress. Sometimes the patient’s care plan requires monitoring their intake of medication, preparing meals, taking patients for walks, and assisting them with daily tasks. It’s a gratifying career according to Sandra: “The fulfillment I feel at the end of every shift when someone says, ‘thank you for being here’, makes it all worthwhile.”
That rewarding feeling continues outside of the patients’ homes because our home health aides know that Northwell Health is full of opportunities to raise their career expectations. Jeanette views her HHA position as the start to a long-term career in healthcare. “I have plans to expand my career at Northwell Health. This position has enabled me to use my natural compassion and incorporate new skills learned on the job so that I can grow.” Sandra agrees, saying that benefits at Northwell Health like tuition reimbursement, free training, and leaders who mentor you along the way create, “an environment and atmosphere that fosters the growth and development of its employees’ both career-wise and personally.”
HHAs are hands on as they play point person between patients and nurses which makes this role one of the best in healthcare to have a direct impact in the community. Jeanette recalls one particular instant early on in her career that stays with her to this day: “My most memorable moment was when a family member told the nurse assigned to my patient that they were relieved to have me in their lives. One day, I had noticed that the patient’s blood pressure was low and he seemed disoriented so I contacted the RN for immediate medical assistance. The family was grateful for my ability to keep calm and keep the patient stable while medical services arrived.” Sandra likens the role to being “an anchor” for patients and families going through a challenging time. Whether she’s serving breakfast, arranging transportation, or joining her patient on medical appointments Sandra says, “It gives me a sense of satisfaction I wouldn’t give up for any other job.”
If you’re ready to raise your career expectations as a home health aide with Northwell Health, apply now. A career well cared for is waiting for you.
From Nursing Assistant to Public Relations, Angela Mandelos Grew Her Career in Unexpected Ways at Northwell Health
Northwell’s culture was a perfect environment for a curious 22-year-old starting her career as a nursing assistant at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH). That curiosity was fed by the encouragement Angela received from leaders and peers she worked with. Words of encouragement alone may seem like an incubator for growth but at Northwell, Angela also found support in learning opportunities provided by the Center for Learning and Innovation, having leaders who served as mentors, and benefits such as Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program.
That support made the decision to continue her education easy, attaining a bachelor’s degree followed by an MBA in Healthcare Management. Throughout this time, Angela was also given multiple opportunities by SSUH leadership to participate in various hospital committees which expanded her scope and knowledge of the health system.
The combination of her continued education, her desire to spread her wings, and Northwell’s workplace culture helped set new directions for Angela’s career journey in the organization. Angela embarked on a second phase in her career with the department of service excellence at SSUH. She became a certified patient advocate, led an award-winning team, and soon grew in her role again. First, she served as director of community relations and then as principal of public and media relations at SSUH, which is the role she holds today. “These positions expanded my knowledge of our community and the importance of preventive education,” Angela says.
Her experiences made her a thought leader in community engagement and communication, and Angela sees it as an opportunity to impact not only the workforce but the patients cared for at Northwell Health. Angela believes that her successes wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of teamwork, “I am grateful to have leaders and peers who support my ideas and offer continuous motivation; we support and respect each other.”
Angela’s Northwell career journey unexpectedly took her from nursing assistant to principal of public and media relations. When asked what inspired her to grow her career at Northwell, Angela explains, “My years as a nursing assistant provided me with firsthand knowledge of patients’ experiences, and the day-to-day efforts of frontline heroes. Those moments inspired me to keep pushing myself to be their voice and to help create an environment that brings smiles to all.”
One piece of advice that Angela has for both new and seasoned employees looking to grow their careers at Northwell: “Make every moment meaningful. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something new, make new connections, or to make a difference!”
A Team of Trailblazers in and out of the Operating Room
The perioperative team at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) and Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) takes their commitment to wellness very seriously. Not only the wellness of their patients, but also their own wellness and that of their colleagues. This is why recently the group of 14 registered nurses, certified surgical technicians, surgeons, managers, and support staff from LIJMC and CCMC laced up their hiking boots and hit the trails, something they do together regularly.
While these outdoor team-building exercises are a great way to enjoy nature, they are also a chance to get to know one another better and form bonds that help them work better as a team inside the operating room. . “Forming a better relationship/bond with your co-workers helps us work better as a team while at work,” says Danielle Colwell, assistant nurse manager, patient care at CCMC. “You gain more respect for one another and are more eager to assist each other when the need arises, which in the operating room is quite often.” It’s that kind of commitment, support and mutual respect among colleagues that makes Northwell Health a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
Northwell encourages its employees to find ways to make their wellness a priority both at work and outside of work. We provide the resources and support to make wellness more convenient and fun like incentives for exercising, such as walk challenges and wellness contests, as well as workshops, wellness apps, and access to resources for emotional and stress management, financial well-being, healthy eating, and more.
Nurturing wellness and empowering our people to decompress, get outside, and stay active however it best suits them is essential in healthcare. And we encourage and embrace opportunities for our teams to find ways to focus on their well-being together and bring that commitment and collaboration back to their careers at Northwell.
Inspired by the Support from Northwell, Our Northwell Health Nurse Choir Aims to Inspire America
Seeing the Northwell Health Nurse Choir on America’s Got Talent reinforces what so many Northwell employees believe: Northwell is a place that is open to our endeavors be they personal or professional.
These nurses did not know each other prior to forming the choir but found it easy to make a connection through the power of music and a common passion for nursing at Northwell. Joining their voices from across the health system, the Northwell Health Nurse Choir aimed to inspire America – and they have!
“I still cannot believe that I am part of this experience and I have the honor of representing nurses on a national stage. I hope that the joy we show when performing is felt by healthcare providers and anyone else watching us. I hope that the hope we feel when singing can be hope for those watching too, and that everyone can feel our message: that we have survived a dark time together and we are moving into a hopeful next chapter,” says Winnie Mele, director of perioperative services at Plainview Hospital.
The decision to represent Northwell on the national stage was a chance they seized. They knew that the backing from Northwell would be there because of the organization’s commitment to uplifting their employees and the communities served.
Emanuel Remilus, registered nurse, Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), appreciates having the health system behind them citing, “Northwell provided a place where we could take precautions to be protected from COVID and practice together. That was the first time we met each other in person, and it was magic – our voices and personalities came together like we had known each other for years. We come from different towns, hospitals and backgrounds, which is great because it gives us diversity in our sound and an opportunity to learn from each other.”
Fellow choir member and registered nurse, Julieta Hernandez, who works at CCMC, adds, “If we hadn’t had a place to get together and practice singing together, I don’t know that we would have been so successful. Northwell also supported us by giving us time to practice and resources for choreography and vocals. It’s been a great experience because of this support!”
Northwell is a workplace where you don’t feel like you’re checking your personal life at the door in exchange for your professional life. It’s more like walking into your shift with extended family. With initiatives such as the BERGs (business employee resource groups) that bridge our external and internal communities, promoting growth and learning opportunities with a tuition reimbursement program, and the championing of employee interests, such as the nurse choir, an employee’s whole self is embraced into the organization.
That feeling of knowing that your interests are welcomed and supported is something that is sensed from the ground up. Fellow nurse choir member, Gaelle Clesca, pediatric nurse practitioner, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, affirms this: “This opportunity is evidence that Northwell supports its own.” You’ll even hear it often from our President and CEO Michael Dowling: “Our Northwell family pulls together to support one another.”
Be sure to catch our nurses during the live quarterfinal rounds of America’s Got Talent this August! AGT airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. eastern on NBC.
If you’re inspired by the passion that our Northwell Health Nurse Choir has for bringing joy to others, join our team of 18,000+ nurses and discover a career well cared for. Explore nursing opportunities here.
U.S. veterans mentor students and share valuable career insights
Northwell Health launched a pilot student veteran mentorship program to deliver career insights and share life experiences between veterans and students. With the initial program pilot, two participants from St. Joseph’s College, who were in their junior and senior year of college studying computers and biology, were paired with two veteran mentors in our organization.
The program goal is to give students who served in the military insight into our organization and help them to learn various career paths based on their major. With plans to expand, the program is expected to continue to grow both mentor and student participants on a semester basis.
One of the mentors was Andy Roberts, senior director of corporate social responsibility in Human Resources Solutions, who helps plan for emergencies and ensures Northwell is ready for anything. Andy is also an Iraq war veteran who served in the U.S. Army. “I understand that the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging and I was eager to support the Student Veteran Mentorship program when I heard about it,” he says. “Mentorship programs offer insight into different careers and highlight opportunities many people may not normally be able to gain otherwise.”
Andy also gained a great deal during the program from his student. “Mentors can be reminded of the sacrifices our veterans have made and being a mentor can help you reinforce your own skills while providing a fulfilling opportunity to give back to someone making a career change.”
Northwell Health supports our veterans with a wide range of resources and opportunities for service members as they transition from active duty to civilian life as we strive to serve our patients, communities, and each other.
CNO Corner – A conversation with Christine Kippley
Christine Kippley, chief nursing officer (CNO), started her nursing career journey in Chicago, Illinois as a staff nurse on a medical surgical unit. She obtained her MBA at Loyola University and soon became a nurse manager. Christine managed both a medical surgical unit and an outpatient diabetes center where she became a certified diabetes educator. In 2010 she moved to New York where her first job was as a nurse manager at Plainview Hospital on the medical oncology unit, and later she transferred to Huntington Hospital to manage their medical surgical unit.
In 2013 Christine was selected for Northwell’s high potential program and became a Beginnings new hire orientation facilitator, where she obtained her nurse executive certification. From here, she earned a great opportunity to be the director of case management at Huntington Hospital before being selected to lead nursing at Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) as its chief nursing officer.
PBMC, which is located on Long Island’s beautiful east end, is a team of nearly 1,500 caring professionals who are delivering healthcare to Riverhead and the surrounding communities in Suffolk County and Eastern Long Island.
We learned more from Christine about what makes Peconic Bay Medical Center so unique for nursing and a wide variety of careers.
Tell us about the nursing team at PBMC.
The nursing team at Peconic Bay is inclusive of both experienced and novice nurses. This provides a great environment for learning. Over the past few years, PBMC has added many new opportunities for nurses with experience and those new to the profession as we are experiencing significant growth. As our services have grown, our nurses have spread their wings and have been offered new opportunities in the Cath lab, PACU, OB, ED and leadership. Many of our nurses in these specialty areas started at PBMC on the medical surgical or telehealth units.
How does PBMC support growth and development for nurses?
Our nursing councils provide a platform for our nurses and leadership to share information and be involved in decision making. The councils are comprised of nurses from each unit in our facility. We are well on our way to achieving nursing excellence and pursuing Magnet status. We were one of the 16 Northwell facilities that recently achieved American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Practice Transition Accreditation Program accreditation with distinction for our nurse residency program. Many of our nurses are currently enrolled in BSN and MSN programs and certification is highly encouraged.
What exciting nursing initiatives are available at PBMC?
One example is our recent application and acceptance to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Age Friendly facility initiative. This program will provide a framework for us to care for our most vulnerable and largest population. Another example is our oncology services expanding to the east end, and with that, we have designated one unit for our oncology patients. Educational opportunities are provided to the nurses staffing this area to care for this special population.
Why is unique for nurses working at PBMC?
One of the best things about working at PBMC is the friendly community feel of the hospital. Being a smaller community hospital there are endless opportunities to explore new things and get involved.
What advice do you have for nurses either starting their careers or looking to continue to grow?
My advice to any new nurse is to just say YES to any opportunity, both clinical and educational, that comes your way. Don’t be afraid! Every experience will help you grow and prepare you for the next step, wherever that may lead you!
The Motivation to Grow in a Northwell Career: Meet Senior Medical Assistant Samara Robb
“I know my future at Northwell is bright.” That’s a common view shared by Samara Robb, senior medical assistant at Northwell Health Physician Partners Internal Medicine of Woodbury, Long Island, who sees endless career opportunities ahead of her.
Samara’s optimism is fueled by her experiences at Northwell, starting with the support she receives to tackle any challenge. “It feels good to know I can reach out to leadership for guidance in areas where I lack the knowledge,” she explains.
Feeling valued plays another important part. For example, Samara has seen her feedback for a pilot program — both pro and con — considered and implemented by leadership. The level of respect between leadership and her team has inspired her to become a leader herself, by returning to school for a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration for leadership from Capella University. Northwell’s support extends to this effort as well: “Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program has been a great help,” Samara says. “It eases the financial burden.”
Samara embodies the Northwell core value of being Truly Ambitious as she pursues her dreams while taking care of patients, assisting physicians and training other medical assistants—highlighted by the relationships she builds with the patients she encounters. “Each day is another opportunity to put a smile on a patient’s face,” she says. “Whether it’s with a compliment or just a helping hand, it makes my day better knowing that I was able to help.”
That passion to help and support is integral to Northwell’s culture. Samara recalls a personal life challenge in which she had to miss work because of her grandfather’s passing. “Upon my return, my station was beautifully decorated with ‘I miss you’ and ‘We’re so happy you’re back’ messages,” she says. “It made me feel really appreciated and loved.”
Ask Samara for one (of many) reasons why she loves working at Northwell — and what makes Northwell a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For — and she’ll say, “Respect. Knowing you are respected by your employer motivates employees.”
At Northwell, all employees are encouraged to pursue what growth means to them. With benefits including tuition reimbursement, learning opportunities through Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI), and a positive Culture of C.A.R.E., the support for growth is everywhere.
It is Northwell Health’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all applicants and employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, disability, pregnancy, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital or familial status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, their or their dependent’s sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.
Northwell Health reserves the right to amend all terms of employment.