Recognizing our skilled nursing facility team members
As National Skilled Nursing Care Week is approaching, Northwell Health would like to recognize the dedicated and compassionate care of our skilled nursing care facilities. Our skilled nurses and certified nurse assistants provide the highest quality care to patients requiring both long-term and short-term care.
Meet some of our team members from the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation:
Alice Caressimo, Registered Nurse
As a registered nurse, Alice’s role is to educate her patients and their families about her patient’s health and help discuss their plan of care. “My work experience with Orzac has been very rewarding,” says Alice. “The compassion and support from the nursing managers and nursing staff I feel is what makes us a great team and contributes to the excellent care we strive to provide.”
Courtney Caldero, Registered Nurse
Working as a registered nurse at Orzac, Courtney not only takes care of rehab patients but she is also a long-term care and hospice nurse. Her daily responsibilities involve wound care, pain management, patient and family advocacy, safe medication administration, and patient safety. She is a proud nurse who loves her job and finds it very rewarding. “You are more than just a nurse,” says Courtney. “You are your patient’s and their family’s sense of comfort–their educator and ears. The profession is not easy by any means but being able to assist and support people through what is the most difficult time of their life is what’s beyond rewarding.”
Nina Bianco, Registered Nurse
As a registered nurse, Nina believes her patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing is priority. She performs an age-specific plan of care based on the individual needs of each patient. Within her first year working as a new nurse during a global pandemic, Nina was supported by her team through every step. “Working together as a team and effective communication are the essentials for providing quality health care and safety.”
Donna Douglas, Certified Nurse Assistant
As a certified nurse assistant, Donna’s role is to provide the patient with the most dignifying care, and assist with their Activities of Daily Living to help them feel strong and confident enough to return to their community. “Working in my facility is extremely rewarding because I gain new perspective on aging. I also get an opportunity to interact with patients daily during a difficult time in their lives when they are away from their family and in a new environment,” says Donna. “I try my best every day to make this tough experience as easy and rewarding for the patient as I can.”
Andrea McDonald, Certified Nurse Assistant
Working as a certified nurse assistant, Andrea provides compassionate care to her patients. Her responsibilities include direct patient care and putting a smile on their face! Her favorite thing about her job is her team who go the extra mile for their patients. “I find working at my facility rewarding because my team is pleasant and competent and I have professional, caring managers,” says Donna.
An Appointment With: Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Senior Vice President, Center for Equity of Care
Jennifer Mieres, MD, FACC, MASNC, FAHA, started her career as a physician at Northwell Health. After a short time away, she returned to the health system in 2010 to establish the office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Literacy. In 2012, she assumed oversight for the Katz Institute for Women’s Health before establishing and leading the Center for Equity of Care (CEC).
Today Dr. Mieres is the senior vice president of the Center for Equity of Care and the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Northwell Health. In addition to her Northwell responsibilities, she is also a professor of Cardiology and associate dean of Faculty Affairs at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell..
We spoke with Dr. Mieres to discuss Northwell’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and the work of the Center for Equity of Care.
What does your role as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer entail?
As chief diversity and inclusion officer, my mission is to identify gaps resulting from disparities in healthcare and establish evidence-based strategies for eliminating them across our communities. For the past 10 years, I have spent most of my time on the design and implementation of programs dedicated to diversity, cultural and linguistic competency, health literacy, and the expanded model for women’s health with the Katz Institute for Women’s Health . Across the organization we have established several strategic partners to help advance our diversity , equity and inclusion agenda forward.
What role does the Center for Equity of Care play within Northwell Health?
Since being established in 2017, our mission has been to advance the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care in partnership with our communities with the goal of achieving health equity.
Northwell has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing healthcare disparities by making diversity, inclusion and health equity a priority in all areas. CEC serves as a resource for the health system and communities, focusing on diversity and inclusion, women’s health, health literacy, education, cultural and linguistic competency, community partnership and appropriate community-and gender-based research initiatives. The CEC defines diversity as the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs as assets to the workplace. At Northwell, we believe that every team member deserves to feel welcomed, respected and supported, and that differences should be acknowledged and embraced.
You founded and oversee Northwell’s Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs). Why is this program so important?
The Center of Equity of Care founded BERGs in 2013 and they have been instrumental in advancing an inclusive culture at Northwell. The BERGs program was established to enhance employee engagement, innovation, talent development, and promote an inclusive culture ensuring the delivery of culturally sensitive, quality patient care. Our BERGs are integral to fulfilling our mission, serve an important role in building a diverse pipeline of talent at all levels and sustaining trusted partnerships with the communities we serve.
During the past year, how has the Center for Equity of Care team helped to foster an inclusive environment at Northwell and within our communities?
The foundation built by the CEC contributed to Northwell’s rapid response to addressing the health disparities unveiled by COVID-19. With the newly established Office of Community and Population Health lead by Dr. Debbie Salas – Lopez, a Health Equity task force was established with the faith-based organizations and community members in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island with a focus on testing and vaccinating members of underserved communities and vulnerable populations served by Northwell.
During this challenging year, our clinical leadership has also created initiatives in response to racial injustice. Recognizing the connections between racism and mental health, Northwell’s behavioral health services works to empower employees to become active participants in dismantling racist structures that contribute to inequity and injustice.
Other anti-racism efforts include roundtable discussions with team members, inclusive leadership training, a Grand Rounds series on health equity, diversity and inclusion, and a Psychology Diversity Training Council. The Department of Medicine also established a Racial Equity Task Force to bring awareness of structural racism within health care and develop anti-racism initiatives and strategies.
What are some of the initiatives your team has planned for 2021?
Overall, we are aiming to advance the link with quality and equity, address healthcare delivery disparities, expanding cultural competency education for the Northwell workforce and to amplify and expand our community partnerships. Working with the Health Equity Task Force, we will continue to invest and partner with our vulnerable and underserved communities.
Additionally, a priority is to foster a culturally responsive workforce to support the mission of the health system. We are evolving Northwell’s Inclusion Academy in alignment with our Center of Learning & Innovation to build team member skill, knowledge and abilities in diversity, inclusion and health equity. We are also developing and implementing programming to build awareness of racism as a public health crisis.
How Northwell is caring for our environment with the GreenBERG
April is Earth Month and we’d like to share how our team members are making a difference in our environment by being part of our Green Business Employee Resource group (BERG).
Each year we celebrate Earth Day we reaffirm our commitment to help protect our planet and work to address climate change. Many of our team members strive throughout the year to be environmentally conscious and make positive changes through our own actions of conservation, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint.
With the impacts of climate change becoming more and more urgent, there’s never been a better time to learn about Northwell’s GreenBERG, a group of Northwell team members who are motivated to improve the environmental impact of Northwell’s operations by advancing sustainable and socially responsible efforts across the organization. Our GreenBERG members are working together to advance positive environmental actions in our communities. Being part of our GreenBERG also keeps you connected with colleagues, helps you build your professional network and be part of meaningful changes made by our organization. Here are some of the top ways they are making an impact.
They take an active role in managing Northwell’s environmental impact in the workplace and in our communities.
Northwell’s GreenBERG is a group that focuses on the environmental impact of our operations and has a real voice in making decisions on how our organization prioritizes sustainable and socially responsive initiatives in the workplace and in our communities. The GreenBERG focuses on energy and emissions; waste; climate change impacts; recycling and a sustainable supply chain.
The GreenBERG helps us achieve important environmental goals that will help ensure our future.
Among the overall goals of Northwell’s GreenBERG, they aim to enhance recycling and waste optimization, improve transportation in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint—including establishing a fleet of “green” ambulances and charging stations—and improve energy efficiency within our workplace, marketplace and the communities we serve.
A priority for 2021 is to expand GreenBERG membership and awareness of the initiatives underway. The group is incredibly proud to be partnering with our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) group and committing to important goals including reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and our electricity usage by 10% by 2027; obtaining 15% of our electricity from renewables by 2030 and increasing Northwell’s recycling volume to 25% of total waste volume by 2027. Other priorities include reducing regulated medical waste and incorporating sustainable and socially responsible products into our dietary menus.
One of the group’s most exciting plans for this year is a partnership with our Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR) BERG to clean and restore locations where military monuments are displayed. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative where two BERGs join together honoring our veterans with a clean environment.
Our members are proud to be part of a group that has a history of getting important work done.
Northwell has placed first in the annual Car Free Day Long Island event for the past eight years – including last year during the pandemic. And members were able to continue to honor Earth Day during the pandemic by providing team members with tips on how to reset their daily habits to be more environmentally conscious.
Northwell removes and recycles 200 tons of cardboard from our supply chain annually and has converted to using biodegradable K-Cups—we use 2.5 million a year!—across our footprint. We also have installed 44 electric vehicle charging stations across our sites and effectively preserved nearly 19,725 acres of forest land by installing high-efficiency equipment throughout our facilities.
Network with team members across Northwell.
Northwell’s GreenBERG has nearly 600 members. That means our members have the opportunity to work with hundreds of team members across the organization, develop new relationships and share the pride that comes with advancing our environmental goals.
Broaden your horizons by working toward a common goal.
Being part of the GreenBERG makes you part of a group of like-minded colleagues. You may all have different professional skill sets and responsibilities, but you are joined together to realize a common goal. The connections you make by being part of this group could lead to opportunities you may not have thought of before and help you make connections that will have benefits both personally and professionally. And it will definitely result in your own satisfaction in contributing to your organization and your community in a very positive way.
Get to know our team members behind the scenes during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
This week Northwell Health is celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week! Our Medical Laboratory professionals play a vital role within our organization by providing crucial information for detecting, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring a patient’s disease. They are our healthcare heroes behind the scenes!
Meet some of our team members:
Ryan Brenkret, Lead Cytology Technologist, Anatomic Pathology Services, Division of Cytology
Working as a lead cytology technologist, Ryan’s primary role is to screen and diagnose cytology cases using a light microscope to look mainly for cancer, infectious diseases, as well as other inflammatory conditions which people may suffer from. “My favorite thing about my career is trying to figure out what the patient has and provide a quality diagnosis, says Ryan. “We as cytologists really have the power to help the patients by providing accurate diagnoses or also by detecting a patient’s cancer in the early stage. Then they can receive the proper, life-saving treatments.”
Daisey Williams, Pathology Histology Technician, Staten Island University Hospital North
As a histology technician Daisey plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, by turning tissue samples into microscopic slides. Leadership has been a constant role model and support system for Daisey where she can voice her opinions and ideas. “My favorite part of this field is knowing that my work can provide our patients with a diagnosis and aide in their treatment and their next steps to recovery,” says Daisey.
Sean Houston, Clinical Lab Technologist, Automated Lab
As a lab technologist, Sean is responsible for running general immunoassay chemistry and drugs of abuse testing on the state-of-the-art, automated Roche line. Sean is within his first year at Northwell and he is looking forward to continuous growth within the organization and laboratory field. His favorite thing about working as a lab technologist? “I enjoy working alongside my diverse and well-skilled team!”
Christina Mikell, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Histology, Plainview Hospital
In Christina’s role, she aides in the processing of surgical tissue specimens. This is where they would chemically preserve the tissue so that they can then embed, cut, and stain representative sections on microscope slides. Within her role, she also performs specialty stains on slides that can help identify certain diseases and/or infections. As a new graduate, Christina has learned many skills within the pathology lab that will help her grow in her career. “My favorite thing about working as a lab tech in the histology department is the hands-on creative work that we get to perform every day,” says Christina. “I am able to take my technical knowledge and create something that can really be seen as beautiful.”
Michael Desimone, Histology Pathology Assistant, North Shore University Hospital
Working as a pathologist assistant, Michael partakes in high-quality patient care primarily through macroscopic evaluation, examination, and dissection of all surgical pathological specimens that come through the lab. Apart of being a pathologist assistant, Michael has enjoyed growing as an educator for pathology residents, pathologist assistant students, and medical technologist students. “We’re able to bring a pathologic process that a student once learned in a classroom and connect it with a real-life patient and specimen, with real implications for care,” says Michael. “I take a particular pride in teaching students and residents important details in macroscopic examination that make a large difference for cancer staging.”
Alexa Duque, Anatomical, Pathology Assistant, Lenox Hill Hospital
As a pathologist assistant, Alexa facilitates the diagnostic process by providing a comprehensive macroscopic examination and evaluation of all surgical pathological specimens. Alexa started her Northwell career journey two years ago and has grown into her role by supporting the lab in different areas. One example includes assisting her supervisor with process improvements which allowed her to gain new skills and insight. “I love that it is primarily hands on and that I get to appreciate the fascinating anatomy of the human body while being able to help patients behind the scenes,” says Alexa.
Roby P. Raju, Supervisor, Clinical Laboratory Operations, Center for Advanced Medicine
As a supervisor in his role, Roby oversees the day-to-day laboratory operations for his team. He ensures the laboratory maintains and follows compliance standards and regulations set by both accrediting and government agencies. “My favorite thing about being a laboratory technologist is that I am proud of the results we provide to the physicians and nurses from our laboratory,” says Roby.
Became a Health Raiser and discover a career well cared for, explore clinical laboratory careers. Apply today!
South Shore University Hospital to open new operating rooms in new Women’s Health Pavilion
Working in an operating room means being on the forefront of innovation and technology to deliver exceptional care to patients in their most vulnerable times. That’s why South Shore University Hospital (SSUH) is expanding its operating rooms and opening new areas, such as a Women’s Health Pavilion, to support patients before, during and after their surgery. It’s an exciting time to join their OR team and take advantage of new opportunities for registered nurses and surgical technologists with OR or OB/GYN experience.
With the opening of the Women’s Health Pavilion comes two new operating rooms at SSUH that will host all our OB/GYN surgeries, including robotic surgery and women’s health related surgeries such as breast surgery and plastic reconstructions. These services are supplementing the already exceptional surgical care our OR team delivers in bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, surgical oncology and more.
The constant innovation of our surgical services also means continued growth for the OR team members at SSUH. Team members have the opportunity to take advantage of career resources from Northwell Health, such as training at our Center for Learning & Innovation or tuition reimbursement for those looking to expand their education. With support from Northwell, our OR team has the potential to do amazing things, and Nicholl Gonzalez, manager of patient care in the operating room at SSUH, is a shining example of what’s possible at Northwell.
Nicholl started her career as a certified surgical technologist at LIJ Valley Stream before becoming a registered nurse and entering our Perioperative Nurse Fellowship Program. “Northwell Health gave me the best opportunity by accepting me into the Perioperative Fellowship Program,” says Nicholl. “Even though I worked in the OR as a surgical tech prior to becoming a registered nurse, my fellowship gave me the confidence I needed as a new grad. I also love the team I work with at South Shore. The entire perioperative team always take care of each other and really know the true meaning of teamwork”
From there, Nicholl’s OR career continued to grow, being promoted to nurse manager at SSUH where she is leading the operating room team through this exciting expansion.
In addition to operating rooms, the brand-new Women’s Health Pavilion will include a new lobby entrance into our Labor & Delivery unit, new labor and postpartum rooms, and a state-of-the-art NICU.
Take a look at what these exciting new areas will look like at SSUH:
Students explore health care careers virtually at the 2021 Spark! Challenge
Northwell Health’s Spark! Challenge: Healthcare Heroes, COVID Edition, has offered high school students an inside glimpse into health care careers each year since 2014 and this year was no different — except it was held virtually. The 2021 Spark! Challenge: Healthcare Heroes, COVID Edition, had 1,500 students from 48 schools across the tri-state area participate. The students interacted directly with Northwell team members for online educational career exploration sessions before attending a live virtual awards ceremony on April 15.
Students had the opportunity to participate in engaging, online educational sessions for 20 different healthcare career fields. One educational session, which profiled a career in Family Medicine, had students follow along with three case studies, taking patient vitals online and gaining an understanding of what goes into a strep test, as well as a COVID test. Some departments showed the proper way to put on and take off PPE.
And while fully transitioning this student event to be online, the Workforce Readiness team that hosts the Spark! Challenge saw an opportunity to make it even more impactful for students. “This year has been completely reinvented,” says Kathryn Graves, talent acquisition project manager on the Workforce Readiness team. “The word we used when planning for this year was flexibility. Whereas in the past students were limited to the one field trip they were matched to, this year students had 20 healthcare fields to choose from and learned about more than five careers each on average.”
After learning about these clinical and non-clinical professions, students chose one role to highlight, creating a poster and/or a video to celebrate the career, as well as to display what they’ve learned. Projects were then reviewed by Northwell judges and the winners were awarded a prize during the virtual awards ceremony.
During the virtual ceremony, students were able to view welcome messages from Northwell’s executive leadership, view and vote for their peers’ videos and posters, and attend a careers exhibit. This exhibit allowed students to learn about areas such as family medicine, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, surgical careers, the Institute for Nursing, and Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation. Students even had the opportunity to meet our therapy dog Hazel over video.
After a full morning of interactive events, it was time for the highlight of the day: announcing the winners! Congratulations to the winners below and be sure to check out their amazing posters from this year’s event.
2021 Spark! Challenge Winners:
Overall Poster Award – First Place: Valley Stream North High School
Overall Poster Award – Second Place: John Bowne High School
Overall Poster Award – Third Place: Hampton Bays High School
Overall Video Award – First Place: Baldwin High School
Overall Video Award – Second Place: Valley Stream North High School
Overall Video Award – Third Place: William Floyd High School
Overall Video Award – Honorable Mention: Sacred Heart Academy
Rookie Award: East Rockaway High School
Behind the Scene Heroes – Poster Award: Thomas A. Edison CTE High School
Clinical & Non-Clinical Professional Heroes – Poster Award: Baldwin High School
Frontline Heroes – NP, PA, & Family Medicine – Poster Award: Lindenhurst Sr. High School
Frontline Heroes – Emergency Medicine – Poster Award: Thomas A. Edison CTE High School
Employee/Facebook Favorite: Herricks High School & Kellenberg High School
Student Favorite: Video: Tottenville High School & Poster: Lindenhurst High School
Connecting COVID patients to their families with the support of the community
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maureen Hayes, an ICU registered nurse at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), proposed a brilliant idea of knitting pairs of hearts for COVID patients and their families. One of the hearts would be given to a patient and the other to a family member, allowing them to feel connected although they are apart. She brought the idea to nursing leadership who thought her idea embodied Northwell’s value of being Truly Compassionate and was excited to see it come to life. This was the beginning of the Connected Hearts Project.
The support of our community and teamwork
Both Maureen and her assistant manager, Andrea Freudenberg, were excited about the Connected Hearts Project but needed help getting started. That’s when Andrea reached out to the community for help in creating as many “connected hearts” as possible. Andrea was already a member of the Facebook group ‘The Islip’s Feed Southside Hospital Employees’ and during the height of COVID, their members donated money and ordered from local restaurants to help feed the staff at South Shore University Hospital, formally known as Southside Hospital. She knew this group would be more than willing to lend a hand with this effort.
The response was overwhelming. The outpouring of love and a united community was incredible. Once the hearts began to pour in, the team members in the ICU were able to distribute them.
“Since its launch in April 2020, our Connected Hearts Project has taken on a life of its own,” says Andrea. The Connected Hearts Group at SSUH has monthly meetings with ICU nurses who continue to come up with ideas to support and comfort their patients. This group not only distributes hearts to COVID patients and families but also to other families who are unable to see their loved ones.
The Connected Hearts Project is still new, but it has created a positive impact on our community, patients, families, and our team members. Members of the Facebook group have commented: “It helped me to feel useful during tough times” and “I was happy to be a part of this project.” SSUH team members have also commented that they love having the ability to provide family with a connection to their loved ones.
At Northwell Health, we’re dedicated to supporting team members’ interests above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. It allows team members to be creative while delivering compassionate care to their patients and partnering with the community.
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From EMT to nurse, career growth at Northwell can take you in many directions
Career growth means different things to different people. At Northwell Health, we support all our team members’ career growths and aspirations, whether they are growing in their current role, taking their career on a different path, or expanding their skills with continued education. Meet Colleen McKenna who experienced her own career growth at Northwell that began as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and continued in nursing.
Her Northwell career began in 2015 as an EMT, where Colleen developed skills to stabilize and transport patients who are in need of emergency medical care. Within a year, she completed a paramedic program at Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation and was promoted into a new role as a paramedic.
As both an EMT and paramedic, Colleen was exposed to direct patient care that inspired her to pursue a nursing career. From that time, she knew that she wanted to provide those skills to her community. “I have always been the type of person that wants to help others and make a difference,” says Colleen.
As Colleen’s determination and passion for patient care grew, she received much support from her leaders to pursue her interest in nursing. She enrolled in prerequisites for a nursing program and was able to continue to work as a paramedic while going to school. With the support of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program, Colleen obtained her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. As her education journey continues, Colleen was accepted into the Farmingdale State College nursing program. “The support from leadership has been amazing. My direct supervisor checks in with me frequently to ensure I am on the right path to achieve my career goals.”
This upcoming December, Colleen will be completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and is looking forward to becoming a registered nurse at Northwell. “Northwell Health is a great company to work for because the opportunity for growth is endless and the health system provides you with all of the necessary tools to help you achieve your goals.”
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
How Holly grew her career and her family with the help of Northwell Health
At Northwell Health, Holly Wagner has found both professional and personal support. As her career grew throughout her nine years here, so has her family – thanks, in part, to Northwell’s fertility benefits.
Holly’s professional growth began when she first joined Northwell in 2012. That’s when the private practice she worked at as a medical assistant became one of the Northwell Health Physician Partners. She became a senior medical assistant in 2015 and through her hard work and dedication, she was able to grow into a new role as a coordinator of administrative operations for the Medicine Service Line in 2018. Two years later, she was promoted again into her current role of associate product services and management analyst with the Soarian Support team.
In her current role, Holly supports the system’s needs with Soarian, a clinical software that helps with patient scheduling. The team is not only responsible for helping to set up new providers or locations as they join the organization but they also create all schedule templates and support patient scheduling needs.
“The support to grow my career path within Northwell has been amazing,” says Holly. “When I worked at the practice level, I was involved in some quality projects which helped me gain contacts and when the coordinator position opened, my manager recommended me. The director of the medicine service line was talking to me about the position within hours of me showing interest.”
This investment in Holly’s development has continued to follow her throughout her career as she moved into a position she had never imagined herself doing – but her leadership did. “Throughout my roles, my leadership has always pushed me to advance my career, even if it meant looking for growth in a new position outside my department. I can’t thank all of the people Northwell has brought into my life enough for this.”
Beyond her professional growth, Holly also experienced personal growth as a result of the many benefits that Northwell offers, taking advantage of what she feels are some of the best health benefits out there. “For me personally, as I am in a same sex marriage and the health insurance benefits have helped me grow my family,” says Holly. “My son is going to be two this May and it was with the help of Northwell Health Fertility at Smithtown that we were able to have him via IUI (intrauterine insemination).”
“Finding a career that supports you professionally and personally is huge. Most of these doctors appointments can be done before work hours but you are going through a lot during these times,” says Holly. “I would not have been able to go through my first pregnancy if it wasn’t for the team of people I worked with. I am currently starting to go back to try for baby number two and couldn’t be more thrilled!”
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
In celebration of Women’s History Month, meet two of our many inspiring, innovative and strong women leaders at Northwell Health. Watch our Northwell Community series to hear how Teri Manno, vice president of Regional Ambulatory Operations, and Sandra Lindsay, director of Patient Care Services in Critical Care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, have made an impact on others due to their accomplishments, from being the first person in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to keeping team members engaged by organizing clapouts for frontline healthcare workers during one of the most challenging times.
Healthcare workers reflect on one year of delivering care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
March marked one year of our Northwell Health team members delivering care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease that has impacted our world on an unprecedented level. While the past year has been like no other, our team members have come together to become health raisers. Throughout it all, they have been a bright light of hope amidst some of the darkest times. We asked our team members to take a moment to reflect on their thoughts and feelings on what the past year has meant for them and how they’ve grown.
Read the reflections of our healthcare heroes:
“I am forever changed as a healthcare professional. It was difficult watching all of our patients come into the hospital alone without the support of their families. It has changed me as a nurse to also be their support system and make being in the hospital less scary for them.”
“I have learned that I need to take time for self-care in order to be a better me, including a better ‘work me’. I’m really happy our workplace supports that.”
“I learned that we are able to fight anything. Northwell has made us all strong in fighting this pandemic. We learned to take care of ourselves along with our patients and we will continue to Raise Health.”
“Throughout the past year, we’ve been inspired by our patients. Their recovery is our recovery. Their hope is our hope. In those dark times they were beams of light. Together we will persevere.”
“I have learned to really appreciate the impact we make for our patients, even working remote or in an office. COVID reminded us of the role each and every one of us has in helping patients get better.”
“This past year has shown me how awesome my Northwell coworkers are. When faced with challenges, we rise to the occasion. I am still in awe of the dedication and compassion they have not only shown the patients but each other as well. I hope to never face a healthcare challenge like this again, but I take comfort in knowing that my Northwell family will be there to get us through it!”
“My whole life has changed tremendously since last March. Since being redeployed from my role as a standardized patient, I have worked with Workforce Safety on mask fit testing, met the nurses and support staff at different hospitals, mobile units and vaccine pods, and came to know church leaders in faith-based testing. With the unflagging, determined and courageous support of our outstanding Community Relations team, I and many others like me have had our eyes opened to the tremendous amount of goodwill, generosity of spirit, and all-encompassing empathy that our Northwell family possesses – and we are all so much the better for it.”
“Scientists and researchers are ‘behind the scenes’ healthcare heroes and this year I felt even more proud of being a medical researcher. It was empowering to see how the complex biology questions scientists spent time understanding and the knowledge/techniques they discovered eventually came together to produce and distribute the vaccines that are giving us hope that we can end this.”
“Being a respiratory therapist over this past year, in the height of a pandemic, has taught us to be creative in problem solving, to provide the bestcare for our patients during uncertain times and promote a positive working environment during the darkest hours. It has taught me the ability to positively influence coworkers and teammates to work together for a common cause and mission.”
“As an MRI radiology manager, my job changed dramatically (during COVID) as we focused on keeping patients safe during MRIs. COVID has given me a greater sense of pride than anything else I dealt with in over 20 years of my career. As a leader I watched my team step up in ways that I couldn’t imagine.”
“These unprecedented times have changed me as a healthcare hero in that I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for every single role within the system. I have witnessed heroism from everyone and I feel lucky to play a small role in a community that exudes cohesiveness, unity and respect – which was so palpable throughout the past year.”
Join our team members as they Raise Health in the communities where we live, love and work. Apply today!
Five Reasons Obstetrics Nurses love working at Peconic Bay Medical Center
At Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Riverhead, NY, registered nurses won’t just find a rewarding career in obstetrics, they will find the opportunity to help their communities grow with expert family-centered care. Our nurses are there for patients during some of the most important moments of their lives.
And there has never been a better time to join the PBMC team. As our women’s health services grow, our nurses are able to work in a community setting within a department that is continually being updated and expanded to enhance the patient experience.
Discover five reasons why our obstetrics nurses love working at PBMC.
1. Career growth opportunities and resources are offered to all team members
PBMC registered nurses and team members benefit from receiving career resources provided by the largest private employer in New York State within a community setting. Some of these resources include our tuition reimbursement program, nurse certification program, and skills-based workshops at the Center for Learning and Innovation. These extensive resources have been put in place at PBMC so our team members can grow their careers while delivering compassionate and innovate care for our patients.
Jillian Cherry, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, manager of patient care, is the perfect example of what is possible at PBMC. See how she has been able to grow tremendously as a nurse in the obstetrics unit since coming to Northwell in 2018.
2. Delivering care in new and renovated units
As PBMC grows, so does the focus on our women’s health services. We want to provide an enhanced experience for our patients and their families. To that end, we are remodeling our patient areas, waiting rooms and adding a new nourishment center.
3. Continuity of care throughout the delivery process
The obstetrics unit at PBMC is a unique setting as our registered nurses provide care throughout the delivery experience. Our nurses care for patients not only during labor and delivery, but in antepartum, post-partum and the newborn period as well.
4. Interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork
Our registered nurses work closely with the obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatal nurse practitioners who care for routine deliveries and C-sections, as well as unexpected high-risk deliveries at any hour. We also have a midwifery program, a certified lactation consultant and experienced nursing staff certified to care for all special need areas.
5. The opportunity to support patients beyond the bedside
At PBMC, we know how important it is to educate our patients as they prepare for this big moment in their lives. That’s why we provide resources for our patients prior to the hospital experience to help ease their concerns and ensure smooth deliveries. Our registered nurses are also trained to provide education regarding breast feeding, the importance of skin-to-skin, safe sleep, and infant care. Our team is also specially trained for emotional support and bereavement for helping our patients in need. We are also proud to offer telehealth lactation follow-ups for our patients.
Susan Knoepffler, chief nursing officer (CNO) and vice president of Nursing at Huntington Hospital, first started at Northwell Health as a new graduate registered nurse in the Neonatal ICU at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). She gained nursing experience at NSUH and beyond before returning to Northwell in 2008 as the patient care services director at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. From there, her career continued to grow and in 2011, Susan was appointed the CNO at Huntington Hospital.
“As I reflect back, I appreciate what an amazing and deeply rewarding journey my career has been,” says Susan. “My passion for patient care and desire to influence through leadership has led me to where I am today.”
Today, Susan uses the experience she has gained to lead the registered nurses at Huntington Hospital. Read more in our CNO Corner interview with Susan.
What exciting nursing initiatives are planned for 2021 at Huntington Hospital?
At Huntington Hospital, we are continuing the Magnet® journey as we prepare for our fifth designation. Currently, our documents are in final review with an anticipated site visit in the fall. We are incredibly proud of our four consecutive designations. This would not be possible without the visionary leaders, excellent outcomes and collaboration across all hospital disciplines. In our mission to promote and improve the health of individuals, families and communities, there will be a continued emphasis made on nursing research.
How does Huntington Hospital support their team in growth and development?
Nurses represent the frontline of healthcare. We strongly encourage and support personal and professional development, job satisfaction and retention. One example is our nurse mentorship program, established to support growth for new nurses in the hospital and nurses transitioning into a new role. The success of this program at Huntington Hospital is evident by the increase in certifications and advances into leadership positions, as well as newly formed, lasting relationships. This program also served as a foundation for the Northwell Health system-wide nurse leader mentor program.
How has nursing evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as we support our nurses and team members throughout the COVID-19 recovery?
2020 was a year like none other. The pandemic hit Huntington Hospital in March of 2020 and oddly enough (or not so oddly) the World Health Organization had proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, honoring the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Little did we know that we would face an unprecedented crisis.
As healthcare workers we learn about preparing for disasters such as hurricanes and mass causality events, but we never prepared for an event like this. This pandemic struck with speed and an incredibly high acuity. Our nurses arrived to work with the fear of becoming sick and the fear that they would bring it home and make loved ones sick.
It became a time of rapid evolution that lasted for weeks as the volume of COVID positive patients climbed at an alarming rate. Although they did not want to be referred to as heroes, our nurses responded in a way that was “truly heroic.” They fought this pandemic with courage, compassion, creativity and resilience.
For all involved, the pandemic forced us to face the challenging situations and impacted us in countless ways. Some of which we may have yet to be recognized. It made us feel softer but stronger, cynical but more sincere, discouraged but hopeful, saddened but joyful, uncertain but wiser and alone but together. The importance is we stayed true to Northwell’s values: Truly Compassionate, Truly Innovative, Truly Ambitious, Truly Together and Truly Ourselves.
What makes working at Huntington Hospital so unique?
We are a hospital that provides comprehensive medical care in a community setting yet supported by the well-established Northwell Health system. There is an incredible sense of pride among all caregivers. The classic matrix model is evident in the integration and collaboration across the organization. The caregivers at Huntington Hospital truly embrace our mission: to improve the health and quality of life for the people and communities we serve by providing world-class service and patient-centered care.
What advice do you have for nurses either starting their careers or looking to continue to grow?
Follow your heart, seize the next opportunity, and stay open to trying something new. Stop to enjoy the small precious moments when you know that you “made a difference” for a patient or their family member. If you are interested in further development, seek out a mentor. That relationship provides a guiding light for your journey ahead.
Starting the search for your next career opportunity may seem overwhelming at first. As a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, Northwell Health wants to ensure you know what you can expect when you apply for an opportunity with us. Read our infographic below as we walk through the stages of Northwell’s application, selection, interview, and offer experience at New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer.
Prepare for your journey to a career well cared for at Northwell.
An appointment with: Dr. Lily Thomas, VP, System Nursing Research
When Lily Thomas, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, started her career as a nurse educator in nephrology at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in 1983, she hadn’t expected that her career journey would lead to her dream job in nursing research.
“At the time there were no formal positions assigned to nursing research,” says Dr. Thomas. “However, that never stopped me from my vision of creating a foundation for developing nursing research. I felt confident that I could seek mentorship from faculty and experts in the field.”
While working as a nurse educator, Dr. Thomas joined a Ph.D. program, eventually assuming the role of Chair of the Nursing Research Council at NSUH, and later was appointed as Chair of System Nursing Research Council. These roles helped her to build the nursing research capacity across the health system and provided the foundation she needed to take on the inaugural role of vice president, system nursing research.
Read our discussion with Dr. Thomas below to learn about the important role of nursing research and its focus on care delivery and patient outcomes.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work of the nursing research team?
As nursing research and evidence-based practice continues to evolve across the health system, we are focusing on three key areas: Creating new knowledge through research; facilitating evidence-based practice (EBP), and building capacity and competency for research and EBP at the system’s sites. The overarching goal of research and EBP projects are to enhance patient care and outcomes. Our studies focus on patient safety, the impact of nursing interventions, symptom management, identifying and validating observed phenomenon and response to illness and treatment. Currently we are also working on some studies related to COVID-19.
What are some of the nursing research studies focusing on COVID-19?
Our team completed three studies after the initial surge in early 2020 and other studies are in progress. The research team at Northwell’s Institute for Nursing (IFN) and two of our hospitals conducted studies to understand the experiences of nurses and nurse leaders during the pandemic, impact of their deployment, as well as nurses coping during the pandemic.
Studies showed that nurses were motivated to work during the crisis because of their commitment to nursing and overall belief that nursing was a calling. Nurses never felt like they were doing enough for patients especially because they saw little recovery. Fortunately, the front line nurses used different coping mechanisms to remain resilient, and peer and team support mitigated feelings of being overwhelmed and powerless. Most nurses looking back on the care they provided during this period, described ways they had grown both personally and professionally. Quantitative studies are planned to utilize these results to explore programs that will ensure the physical and mental health of nurses.
How is research-based practice benefitting our nurses across Northwell Health?
Nursing research builds the knowledge base and science for practice, promotes excellence in nursing care, and impacts quality health outcomes. Our practice has evolved from a research-based practice to evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP combines the best evidence from research, the tacit knowledge successfully utilized in practice (clinician expertise) and patient values, and is utilized for problem-solving and clinical decision making.
We also have several sites that have Magnet Designation® (Magnet Designation is awarded by the American Nursing Credentialing Center in recognition of nursing excellence); and all the health system sites are on a journey to obtain the Magnet designation or re-designation. Meeting the Magnet criteria for Nursing Research and EBP are essential for this designation; the research team continues to prepare and partner with the sites to meet the criteria.
How can someone get into a nursing research career?
Gaining the appropriate knowledge and experience for nursing research will help in preparing for the role. That may include joining research teams as research nurses to becoming a nurse researcher/scientist, an EBP mentor or research faculty. My recommendation is to start participating in research-related activities as soon as your interest arises. At Northwell, this can be done by reaching out to site nursing research and EBP council members or nurse scientists/researchers. Nursing students can seek the mentorship of their faculty as well. Participating in research activities will give you an opportunity to understand research and assess if the role is right for you. Along with the experience it is essential to complete doctoral preparation for nurse researcher/scientist roles.
Why should nurses want to work at Northwell Health?
Northwell Health provides limitless opportunities for a rewarding career and personal and professional growth. The culture at Northwell is inspiring and empowering with unlimited opportunities for career changes or advancement. There are tremendous learning opportunities at Northwell provided through our IFN, Center for Learning and Innovation, and support for obtaining academic degrees through tuition reimbursement or for mentorship from nursing peers and leaders. My career is an exemplar —in 2013, I was inducted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing because the work at Northwell qualified me to obtain this honor.
What career advice do you have for nurses?
Follow your heart! It is important to find meaning in your work and enjoy what you do. Identify what you want and the preparation you would need to reach your goal. Your dream will help you stay the course. Seek mentorship and create a plan to work toward your goal; however, be open to different paths that could lead you there. Learn to persevere! Never lose sight of your goal and celebrate what you achieve!
Celebrating Health Care Human Resources Week at Northwell Health
Happy Healthcare Human Resources Week to all of our HR professionals at Northwell Health! Our HR professionals play an important role in caring for our team members as they care for our patients. Click through the photos below to meet some of the professionals who work across a variety of team to support our organization and learn why they love working in healthcare HR.
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Northwell Health remembers and spreads the light of our fallen heroes due to the COVID-19 pandemic
This March marked one year since Northwell treated the first case of COVID-19. While it has been a challenging year for all of us, the perseverance of our frontline heroes, the power of science, and the hope of ongoing vaccinations and innovative treatment plans brings us comfort for the path ahead.
The most difficult challenge has been coping with the grief associated with the loss of our colleagues, friends, family members and those in our communities. From March 9 to March 14, Northwell held remembrance activities to “spread the light” for our fallen team members and those who we have lost due to COVID-19. New York City – the epicenter of this pandemic – has also declared Sunday, March 14, as a Day of Remembrance to honor everyone we’ve lost.
To spread the light throughout our remembrance week, team members were encouraged to wear blue in memory of those who worked at Northwell and as a show of solidarity for our Northwell community. On site, our chaplains hosted moments of silence and remembrance circles to help our team members find meaning, hope, connection and comfort through togetherness regardless of religious affiliation. Spread the light activities were also available at our facilities, allowing team members to reflect by writing messages on remembrance boards, prayer cards, and lighting luminary bags to symbolize fallen team members.
Team members and their families also continued to spread the light in our communities over the past week as they organized light parades in their neighborhoods, created luminary bags and took a moment to pause to reflect with their loved ones.
During our remembrance week, Northwell also held an organization-wide Town Hall featuring our President and CEO, Michael Dowling, and other senior leaders, to connect our 75,000 team members and speak about the strength and sacrifice of our healthcare heroes. In addition to honoring those we have lost, it also recognized the efforts and unwavering dedication of our team members throughout the pandemic. From March 12 to March 14, our corporate headquarters in New Hyde Park, New York was illuminated in blue to honor our fallen team members and recognize the enduring courage and spirit of our Northwell community.
Throughout these challenging times, Northwell has also supported our team members by expanding benefits, offering prayer groups and providing well-being resources from our Team Lavender, a program at Northwell that provides staff with an opportunity for timely emotional, spiritual and physical support. These resources, such as Tranquility Tents, which offered areas of respite for our hospital workers during their shifts, and opportunities for 1:1 counseling through our Employee Assistance Program, have allowed for us to care for our team members as they delivered care to our communities. A 24/7, free and confidential, emotional support call center for all team members and their families also provided emotional well-being experts to answer their questions, provide additional resources, or just listen.
At Northwell Health, we will continue to battle this pandemic, look forward to brighter days, and support our team members.
We will always remember our brave fallen team members and their families. Join us as we spread the light.
Grow your laboratory career inside Northern Westchester Hospital’s state-of-the-art clinical laboratory
With a state-of-the-art clinical laboratory built in 2020, Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) is a perfect opportunity for laboratory technologists to grow their career and develop their skills with access to the latest in technology. Spanning 12,000 square feet across two floors, NWH’s lab team processes around 350,000 tests per year in Chemistry, Hematology, Coagulation, Urinalysis, and Molecular Microbiology, and provides a full-service Pathology lab.
And as part of a community hospital notably designated as a Planetree Hospital, NWH’s team members foster a culture of respect, empathy and quality care. This spirit of collaboration is embraced by the team members as they work in an interdisciplinary team to support services at NWH including the Emergency Department, the Cath Lab, Maternity unit and more. NHW’s dedicated clinical lab team members aid clinicians in determining their patients’ diagnosis and further the hospital’s commitment to providing the highest standard of quality patient care.
Beyond offering the latest technology, NWH provides its lab professionals with an innovative environment where team members are encouraged and supported with growth opportunities to continue their career journey. Support that Lori Robbins, senior manager of clinical laboratory operations, can attest to personally.
Lori started her laboratory career at NWH in 2003 as a part-time medical technologist working primarily in Microbiology and Chemistry. In 2007, she transitioned to a full-time position in Microbiology and when the opportunity for advancement arose, Lori took it. She became senior manager where she now works to ensure compliance with regulatory agency requirements, oversees orientation of new employees, manages laboratory safety and serves as the quality systems manager.
Beyond just developing her skills in the laboratory, Lori benefitted from Northwell’s professional and clinical development opportunities, such as classes at the Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI). She credits participating in ALEAD, a leadership development program at CLI, with helping her to further grow as a leader. “Being part of Northwell provides us with ample professional support and all the necessary resources,” says Lori. “ALEAD was a great opportunity to develop leadership skills in all aspects of management. Working with peers from different disciplines throughout the system, we shared experiences and, through open discussion sessions, imparted practical knowledge with each other.”
When asked why they love working in the lab, technologists listed work/life balance, great benefits, understanding and supportive leadership, knowledgeable team members, and an environment where everyone is always willing to help among their top reasons. “NWH is a welcoming, friendly facility whose mission is to provide quality patient care supported with the latest technology,” says Lori. “In addition to our patient focus, NWH is fully committed to its staff and community.”
And with the potential for a $10,000 sign-on bonus for eligible laboratory technologists applying to our night positions, there has never been a better time to join the team at NWH! Explore opportunities today.
How our Registered Dietitians make a difference for our patients and communities
At Northwell Health we have an amazing team of registered dietitians (RDs) across the organization who provide both essential and exceptional care to our patients. March 10th is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day and we are proud to recognize the work of our RDs and their commitment to helping our patients lead healthy lives.
Here are four ways our RDs are making a difference for our patients and community:
1. Teaming up to deliver medical and dietary needs
An important part of a registered dietitian’s role is to partner with physicians and health care professionals to coordinate medical and dietary needs specialized exclusively for their patients.
“A part of my role consists of collaborating with physicians and other members of the health care team to address nutritional concerns and provide diet recommendations that will best serve the patient.” – Amanda Sinobio, registered dietitian, Plainview Hospital
2. Setting goals for healthy living
Registered dietitians provide nutrition information to their patients. They help their patients focus on lifestyle changes, meet their health goals, or help them understand their disease better.
“As part of my role I help to plan, supervise, and coordinate team members on all pertinent patient and nutritional concerns.” – Colleen M. Chiariello, manager, nutrition and dietetics, Syosset Hospital
3. Making the right food selections for specialized care
Every patient is unique with different bodies, goals and tastes. Our RDs help tailor a healthy eating plan that is special for all our patients. They discuss with the executive chef of that site possible menu options and how to adjust these recipes as needed. Some of our sites use a food service program to implement an individual patient’s requests, taking into consideration their therapeutic diet, food allergies and preferences. Not only does this help support their nutritional needs so they recover faster but it also comforts the patient to have foods they enjoy during their hospital stay.
“When I speak with a patient/family, I always obtain patient food preferences and try to help with their food service experience as best as I can.” – Rachel Blumberg, registered dietitian, Cohen Children’s Medical Center
4. Promoting health and wellness for long-term benefits
Our RDs use their expertise and knowledge to help their patients understand how they can create lifestyle changes by explaining to them their nutrition assessment. The nutrition assessment consists of obtaining a patient’s diet, review of medical history, assessing nutrient needs and review of related laboratory values/medication. They not only help their patients live a healthy life but also a happier life!
“My favorite things about working as a RD is knowing I am promoting the health and wellbeing of our patients. I find it fulfilling to work in a teaching hospital where possibilities for learning are endless and hope to bring awareness to all regarding the value of nutrition and the pivotal role RDs play.” – Geralyn LaVecchia, registered dietitian, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Lead a healthy career as a Registered Dietitian at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Eight reasons you should join the Cardiac Cath & Electrophysiology Team at South Shore University Hospital
South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), formerly Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, has delivered award-winning heart care for years. And they didn’t become one of the best by maintaining the status quo. By investing in their facilities, recruiting top talent, and delivering innovative treatments to their patients, they’ve become the best through transformation—and it was all for the community where we live, love and belong.
With the growth our cardiac program, that means more opportunities for registered nurses and techs to grow their career at Northwell as part of a team that “mends broken hearts.” Currently we are recruiting for team members in the Cath Lab to join the South Shore family.
Why should you join us? Here are eight reasons:
1. South Shore University Hospital provides growth and development
At SSUH, we know the way to provide the best programs and care to our patients is to develop and invest in our team members. Along with offering benefits such as our tuition reimbursement program and training (including at our Center for Learning and Innovation), our team members have the opportunity to grow within our team.
See the growth that Rachael Haddock, MSN, RN, CVRN-BC, and director of Patient Care Services in Cardiology/Interventional Radiology at SSUH, has grown at Northwell.
2. A Level 2 trauma center and home to Northwell Health’s largest Cardiac Cath and EP program in Suffolk county
Along with being a Level 2 trauma center, SSUH is proud to have two Cath Labs, two EP labs and one Hybrid lab that is shared by Cath, Neuro and Peripheral Vascular teams. Additionally, we have a 17-bedded holding space located adjacent to the labs that helps to improve the patient and team member experience.
3. One of the 50 best hospitals in the U.S. for heart surgery, according to Healthgrades
SSUH is proud to have been ranked by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for the past three years, recognizing our superior clinical outcomes in heart bypass surgery and heart valve surgery.
4. Four-year recipient and first hospital on Long Island to receive the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline” Gold Award
Mission: Lifeline is the American Heart Association’s national initiative to advance the system of care for patients with high-risk, time sensitive diseases that could be life threatening, such as severe heart attacks. SSUH achieved this distinction for its fast response time in consistently getting patients to the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab where blood flow can be restored.
5. Among the nation’s best for heart bypass and heart failure, according to S. News & World Report
SSUH was ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s High Performing Hospitals in Bypass and Heart Failure, scoring significantly better than the national average based on criterion including patient outcomes, volume, advanced heart programs and more.
6. Only Suffolk County hospital recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) as being among the state’s best for heart valve repair and replacement surgeries
SSUH has not only been nationally recognized for our heart valve repair and replacement surgeries, but also our surgeons have been ranked among the best in New York.
7. Opportunities to join one of Northwell’s many Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs)
The accolades aren’t the only reason our team members love working at SSUH–they love our culture as well. At Northwell, we foster an environment where our teams feel supported and encouraged to be Truly Ourselves. Our BERGs allow team members to network across our entire organization in groups with specific business priorities that interest them, helping them discover new ways to have a major impact on the communities we serve.
8. Being a part of New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer
There are many benefits to being part of New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer for Northwell’s vast cardiac network of doctors, registered nurses, techs and more. That includes opportunity for career movement across our many hospitals and physician practices who are all working together with the same mission: to Raise Heath.
Discover a career well cared for among the award-winning cardiac team at South Shore University Hospital. Explore our openings today!
#ChooseToChallenge: Northwell Health celebrates International Women’s Day 2021
March 8th marks International Women’s Day and this year Northwell Health team members are standing together to proudly celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality–emulating Northwell’s culture and values to be Truly Ourselves. Hear how they’re celebrating this year’s theme and why they #ChooseToChallenge to help create an inclusive world.
Meet Tiffany LaSister, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-BC, a Truly Compassionate family nurse practitioner (FNP) in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at Northwell Health.
Today, Tiffany works in a school-based health center within the August Martin High School in South Jamaica, Queens through Northwell Health. However, her journey with us started as a telemetry nurse at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in 2005. As she advanced her credentials, Tiffany’s opportunities within the health system grew and she later worked as a float nurse at LIJ Medical Center.
Working as a registered nurse, Tiffany developed a strong desire to expand her knowledge and scope of practice by becoming a nurse practitioner. “My grandmother was an RN at Bellevue hospital in the 60s and she was one of the driving forces behind my educational advancement,” says Tiffany.” I felt a strong commitment to seek out new challenges in order to meet the evolving needs of society.” With this motivation and with the support of Northwell Health’s tuition reimbursement program, Tiffany returned to school and completed her master’s degree and became an FNP.
As an FNP, Tiffany returned to NSUH in 2014 to work within the Medicine Department. There, she later had the opportunity to work with their home care team, delivering care as a visiting NP for advanced illness and palliative care. Continuing to grow her skills, Tiffany joined the Department of Adolescent Medicine in 2019 where she now delivers care primarily to adolescents.
However, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Tiffany was redeployed to LIJ Valley Stream (LIJVS) to help deliver care to the increasing number of patients. Though working throughout such an unprecedented global pandemic was challenging, Tiffany found hope and support through the Northwell team. “The year 2020 left an imprint on my heart that will remain forever. I have never been more thankful for my colleagues then I was at that time,” says Tiffany. “Working during the pandemic has not only made me a stronger clinician, but a stronger person as well. I learned how to adapt, strengthened my skills, and also served as a clinical investigator for the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study at LIJVS. Although the time was difficult, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my patients and community.”
It was Tiffany’s unwavering dedication and compassion for her patients that led to her being recognized within her community as well. This February, Tiffany was recognized as an essential worker by the Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs as part of their Black History Month celebration after being nominated by a neighbor in her community. “As a local resident, I am honored to serve my community by working at LIJ Valley Stream during the pandemic,” says Tiffany. “This award would not have been possible without the support I have received from my colleagues, for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have derived the strength to challenge myself and perform better at each stage in my career.”
And for any other nurse practitioners or clinicians looking for the next step in their career, Tiffany recommends Northwell Health. “Here at Northwell, we are embraced for who we are, our different cultures and different personalities. The teamwork here is amazing,” says Tiffany. “Our focus on our patients and their families isn’t just part of our culture, it’s the core of who we are and what we do.”
Celebrating National Nutrition Month with Health Choice recipes
This National Nutrition Month, our Employee Wellness team and registered dietitians are helping educate team members across Northwell Health about making informed food choices. Their resources are helping improve well-being by providing the education needed to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.
And at Northwell, we know our team members are all unique, with different personal and professional goals. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health, our Healthy Choice recipe videos provide instructions to a variety of recipes and dietary needs. Our team members even have the opportunity to submit recipes themselves, showcasing their favorite healthy dishes to eat at home with their family.
Join us at home with Loretta Desimone, outreach services associate from Staten Island University Hospital, to make her one pot, easy weeknight meal for the whole family.
U.S. Marine continues to protect our communities as a registered nurse
For Brian Uster, a medical/surgical registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH), nursing was the perfect next step after serving as a U.S. Marine.
“I always felt the urge to help others,” says Brian. “That is why I first joined the Marine Corps and volunteered with the Fire Department. Healthcare allows you the opportunity to directly affect other people in a good way.”
Brian served six years in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as a foreign security force adviser where he helped train and educate foreign militaries while working through interpreters when necessary. He also served as an anti-tank missile-man before being honorably discharged as a Sergeant.
After his service with the Marines, Brian knew that nursing was the next way he could continue to help and protect his community. For Brian, Northwell Health was also the perfect place to pursue this next mission. “I chose Northwell because of the reputation this system has. Northwell has high standards and expects nothing but the best from their employees,” says Brian. “It’s also very veteran friendly. At Northwell, I’ve found a comfortable environment with many different career paths and opportunities.”
And Brian’s experience in the Marines taught him many lessons that he takes with him every day to the hospital. Beyond the reinforcement of the importance of teamwork and commitment, being responsible for creating, managing, and implementing training also provided Brian with leadership skills he uses today as a nurse. But for Brian, one of the most important abilities he gained was the knowledge of how to work in any situation, with anyone. “In the Marines, I learned to work under pressure and in extreme environments,” says Brian. “Working as a foreign security force adviser also taught me how to work with people with all different backgrounds.”
Today, the teamwork Brian experienced in the Marines is something he still feels within his team at NSUH. “I love the environment and the people I work with,” says Brian. “Whenever one of us falls behind, the other nurses help out right away.”
Pierre Mouawad’s career journey from lab technologist to lab director
Since starting his Northwell Health career journey as a blood bank technologist at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH) in 2009, Pierre Mouawad MBA, MT, has been able to grow tremendously within the clinical laboratory team. His growth, from technologist to lab director, is a story that continues to inspire the laboratory team members that he leads at LHH.
By 2013, Pierre was promoted to a transfusion safety officer and later became a performance improvement manager before his current title of director, all while at LHH. Pierre’s ambition and drive for growth was supported by the health system through leadership training programs at the Center for Learning and Innovation and through mentorships with several leaders and team members. And in 2017, Pierre was also able to earn his MBA with support from Northwell Health’s tuition reimbursement program.
Today as director of operations in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pierre oversees the laboratory services at LHH. The laboratory is comprised of 14 areas of specialization within Clinical Pathology, Anatomic Pathology, and Blood Bank. Pierre leads a team of 200 plus members including managers, supervisors, technologists, phlebotomists and administrative staff.
Last year, Pierre and his team were honored to be recognized on a national level with LHH being named Medical Laboratory Observer’s 2020 Lab of the Year. “This recognition made my team and me very proud of our excellent strategic outlook, culture and education, training and quality.” Pierre himself has also been recognized by Healthcare Performance Insider for his laboratory leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I love working with talented scientists and hard-working individuals who are knowledgeable professionals and want to come to work every day,” says Pierre. “The laboratory world has grown so much, and I believe that innovation and culture are the key drivers to be successful in this industry”
Pierre’s hope is that his story inspires both students and other young technologists. “My passion is to mentor students to pursue a career in the laboratory field. Seventy percent of clinical decisions are based on lab results, so laboratory professionals are essential to the healthcare industry – even more so during this pandemic with all the COVID testing,” says Pierre. “I hope to continue inspiring colleagues to grow in the field by learning and being the best versions of themselves through excellent work ethic, challenging themselves, practicing kindness, and being passionate, emotionally intelligent, and empathetic.”
Pierre’s vision is emblematic of the leadership throughout the health system. Growth opportunities similar to those in his journey are available to all employees. The support he received through learning opportunities, benefits such as tuition reimbursement, and the encouragement for sharing ideas are not unique experiences but rather the values that have made Northwell Health once again a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® and 2021 Best Health System for Diversity by DiversityInc.
Discover a career well cared for as a clinical laboratory professional at Northwell Health. Apply today!