At Northwell Health, our mission is to serve and care for the entire community, which is why corporate social responsibility (CSR) — the idea that a business or organization should contribute to society at large — is very important to us. CSR can broaden our leadership role, activities and investments, and we understand that success and responsibility work in tandem to make the health system a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
We spoke with Jordana Zangwill, assistant vice president of CSR, to learn more about Northwell’s CSR initiatives.
Why is CSR so important to Northwell?
At Northwell, we are committed to making a difference in the communities we serve – it’s who we are. CSR is about choosing to put people and the planet first – making sure that we operate in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. As the largest healthcare system in New York, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to make real impact. Providing the highest quality of care and transforming healthcare means broadening our role.
We have 77,000 team members with 77,000 different passions. Our CSR strategy puts us in a position to support these passions while also finding ways to focus, integrate and amplify our efforts.
What are the main pillars or areas of focus that make up Northwell’s CSR program — and why those areas?
At Northwell, our mission and understanding of what transforms health has led us to broaden our role, activities, and investments over the years — including, for example, taking on the challenges of food insecurity and gun violence. While CSR-related work was already happening throughout the health system, we envisioned evolving toward a fully integrated and optimized Northwell CSR strategy.
In an effort to centralize and manage the work being done into one comprehensive strategy and approach, we formed our CSR committee by bringing together a diverse group of individuals from throughout the health system, including representatives from Community and Population Health, Human Resources, Northwell Health Foundation, Finance, Procurement, Communications and more.
Throughout 2020 we worked together to assess our current state, gather input from key diverse internal and external stakeholders and take a systematic and holistic approach to developing our strategy and goals. Many of our leaders and team members played a key role in the development of our CSR strategy through their participation in our stakeholder interviews and survey.
Based on the data gathered, we developed key pillars and focus areas centered around community partnership and well-being, excellence and equity in care, environmental responsibility and team member wellbeing, equity, diversity and inclusion.
What are Northwell’s CSR plans and initiatives?
Examples of some current and past key CSR initiatives at Northwell Health include:
- Our commitment to veterans — We’re working to improve mental and physical health and economic and social well-being through high-quality coordinated care, hiring veterans into the health system and pay differential programs for employees currently serving in the reserves and called to active duty.
- Center for Gun Violence Prevention — Led by Dr. Chethan Sathya, this is an initiative calling for the critical need to implement evidence-based firearm injury and mortality prevention strategies in health care, especially within at-risk communities.
- Tackling COVID-19 in the community — Led by Dr. Deb Salas-Lopez and the Community and Population Health team, Northwell began partnering with trusted community- and faith-based leaders to mobilize a massive campaign focused on delivering diagnostic and serology testing and vaccinations within devastatingly impacted communities, such as vulnerable, low-income communities largely comprising African-American and Latinx people.
- Food insecurity — We continue to focus on food insecurity as a major issue impacting our community and team members. We donated more than 20,000 food items to Island Harvest, City Harvest and Eastchester Community Action Partnership food banks through our virtual food drive in 2020 and early 2021.
- Green initiatives — We have many green initiatives in place centered on reducing energy and emissions, climate change and waste. We’re actively evaluating potential energy-efficiency projects for electric, gas, steam and oil reductions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.