La’Dreamer Lark, Patient Access Service Representative and Community Captain
Imagine seeing yourself and your daughter on the jumbotron screen at Madison Square Garden? That is what happened for La’Dreamer Lark this fall when she was invited to Essential Workers Night presented by Northwell Health and named this year’s “Community Captain” in honor of the nonprofit she and her daughter founded. It would be a memorable moment to say the least and in La’Dreamer Lark’s own words, “it was life changing.”
La’Dreamer Lark is a Northwell Health patient access service representative at Lenox Hill Hospital’s emergency department, assisting in the process of admitting patients in need of care. “In my role, I get to meet a lot of people where I can offer comfort and support to our patients because caring for others is a big part of who I am.” La’Dreamer is passionate about being active in her community–always in search of ways to help others both on the job and in her personal life. It’s a characteristic that she has passed down to her daughter, Dreamer “Daisy” Jones Lark and together, they founded the La’Dreamer and Daisy Helping Hands Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that gives back to others.
Since 2018, La’Dreamer and her daughter have helped more than 5,000 children through their back-to-school fundraising events that provided each child with a free backpack filled with supplies including: notebooks, pencils, crayons, scissors, and more to help them kick off a successful school year. When asked why they wanted to give back in this way, La’Dreamer said, “We both love to meet people and help out where we can, and we saw a need in the community.” At these events they do more than just pass out backpacks, they also raffle off prizes to help fund the cause, provide food, and offer fun activities for the families who attend.
La’Dreamer says she and her daughter didn’t accomplish this on their own. They receive a lot of support from friends, family, and Northwell. “Northwell is a place that values employee interests, even when they take place outside of work. The organization and my coworkers donated both money and supplies to contribute to the success of our back-to-school events.”
Support for personal and professional achievements is a tenet that is held firm by the leadership team at Northwell and the organization is committed to giving back to our local communities. With so many programs and initiatives across the organization, Northwell is a place that encourages employees to pursue their interests and passions every day and offers an environment that fosters growth for all team members.
Looking for an organization that supports your personal and professional endeavors? Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health today.
Jennifer Tutone experiences nearly three decades of career growth as a clinician at Northwell
A wise leader once said, when a door opens, don’t be afraid to walk through it. Jennifer Tutone has had many doors open during her 27-year career journey at Northwell Health and she has walked through every one with encouragement from her leaders. Each time, the other side presented opportunity and growth and she continues to embrace new professional experiences at Northwell.
Today, Jennifer is an assistant director of Patient Care Services and Nursing Administration at Staten Island University Hospital with administrative oversight of the hospital inclusive of operational needs, staffing, and patient experience. However, her Northwell career journey began in 1994 as a behavioral health nurse at Zucker Hillside Hospital. During her career journey, she worked across many hospital sites at Northwell and held many roles such as staff nurse, clinical practice coordinator, ambulatory health nurse, assistant director for nursing, site transformation manager, nurse manager, director of information technology, corporate director of innovation, and director of nursing. “Working for Northwell Health has presented me with opportunities to follow my passion for patients and nursing,” says Jennifer.
Jennifer was offered many positions internally because of the skills she learned with each role and her desire to continue learning. There were certain projects she led which opened up doors to new skills and advancement opportunities in roles she never imagined. “What I have learned from each position is to be agile, I have increased my skillset for project management, increased my skillset to being able to acclimate to a role quickly, and I have embraced the organization’s culture to become successful.”
Along her career journey, she had many opportunities to expand her knowledge and grow her skills. Jennifer received tuition reimbursement from Northwell and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master in Public Health. In addition, with the support of her leadership team, Jennifer grew her leadership skills and became responsible for significant projects that impacted the way our organization cares for patients in and out of the hospital. Their encouragement and support created an atmosphere of caring and development which allowed Jennifer to soar to her highest potential. “I am grateful for all of the opportunities which have been presented to me, as they have created the clinician I am today,” Jennifer.
“I value the fact that I can still call Northwell “home” after working here for 27 years and I am incredibly grateful to the individuals I have met along my career journey. My Northwell family will always be special to me and I look forward to continuing to create relationships as my journey within the organization continues.”
Think Hospitality. Think Healthcare. Getting students ready with our Hospitality in Healthcare Internship at Northwell Health
Healthcare may not be the first thing that comes to mind for hospitality majors; however, patient care extends well beyond just providing clinical care. At Northwell, it’s about a patient’s all-around wellbeing that is necessary for their recovery. Sven Gierlinger, Chief Experience Officer and Senior Vice President of the Office of Patient & Customer Experience (OPCE), joined Northwell Health in 2014 from the hospitality industry to transform and innovate the patient experience at Northwell. As part of this mission, he introduced the Hospitality in Healthcare Internship in 2017.
The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is an eight-week, paid program geared toward college juniors and seniors who are passionate about making a difference. It allows students to expand their knowledge of hospitality and apply it in a different way that has more of a meaningful impact. During the program, students partner with mentors who are patient experience leaders at Northwell and shadow hospital-based services such as: patient- and family-centered care, environmental services, food and nutrition, concierge, chaplaincy, marketing, IT, and security.
Upon the close of the program, each intern completes a project assignment, challenging them to focus on one specific patient-centered care opportunity at Northwell. They are tasked with creating a proposal for implementing performance improvement tactics to hospital leadership. These projects help the students think strategically within a large organization, while enhancing their communication, presentation, and project management skills.
“The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is proof that you don’t have to be clinical to make a difference and our interns experience that firsthand,” says Leah Petrosino, Associate Patient and Customer Experience Specialist. “This opportunity allows interns to explore different areas of healthcare, exposing them to various projects and services that enhance the patient experience. The impact this has on the intern, our patients, patients’ families, and our colleagues lasts far beyond the program because it truly proves that every role, every person, and every moment matters at Northwell.”
Growing His Career as an HR professional: Meet Shane Oommen
Working in human resources (HR) for a health care provider is a unique and rewarding career: you contribute to delivering care to our patients by caring for the employees who care for them. Our team members in HR help redefine healthcare in a way that supports efforts to increase employee and patient satisfaction.
“Human resources in health care is different from other industries because the patient and team member are at the center of every decision,” says Shane Oommen, associate executive director of HR at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream and Forest Hills Hospitals. “Everything we do begins and ends with the patient through our team members, and I feel empowered to make a difference.”
Shane has been with Northwell since 2008 and has had opportunities to grow within his role while making a difference every day to support our team members and the organization. Although he works in a non-clinical capacity at the hospital, he ensures patient care is a top priority. “Working in health care allows you to have an opportunity to build relationships with remarkable people who truly care,” he says.
“During the past 13 years I have been fortunate to work with both leaders and team members who have helped shape my career at Northwell,” Shane adds, noting that the guidance he has received helped him develop into a strategic HR business partner. “The culture at Northwell allows team members to think differently, gain new experiences, and grow your career.”
As associate executive director, Shane focuses on three key areas of HR: organizational development, human capital management, and relationship management. “As a HR professional, you need to be a people person,” he says, “and at Northwell we have a great team of HR professionals who understand our team member and candidates.”
How COVID-19 Shaped Shane and His Team
During COVID-19, Shane and his team worked tirelessly to ensure the HR organization was prepared to continue delivering the highest levels of service. “At the height of this pandemic we were all living our values and I knew that I could depend on my colleagues when we needed each other the most. Developing and executing plans and strategies to ensure our patients were cared for during and beyond this difficult time has been rewarding.”
When you join Northwell Health you are a part of a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® as well as a community that creates change. “Working for an organization where I am supported and cared for is also an important part of my job,” Shane says. “I am humbled by that and proud to be part of this amazing HR team.”
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