Dedication and patient advocacy lead to the success of one social worker’s career journey at Northwell
Meet Christina Cheripuram, director of social work services at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Christina’s dedication to providing patients and their families with the best care has led to her successful career journey at Northwell.
Christina’s career history is deeply rooted at Northwell Health. She began as a social worker in 2005, and was promoted to a senior social worker in 2011. She then joined Northwell’s telepsychiatry team in 2016 as a behavioral telehealth care manager, and in 2017, she joined the transplant team as a living donor social worker and living donor advocate. With Christina’s experience and dedication, she advanced to a senior manager at North Shore University Hospital in 2020, and in 2022, to her current role as director of social work services at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). We connected with Christina to hear more about her story in her own words.
When did your career journey start at Northwell?
I joined Northwell 17 years ago, after completing a year as a social work student intern. After graduation, I gained first-hand knowledge and experience on what it meant to be a hospital social worker. I worked with ICU patients on telemetry/medicine units, offering much needed support and collaborating with the interdisciplinary teams to ensure safe discharges and patient/family satisfaction. I enjoyed working in the hospital, facilitating complex discharge plans and being present for patients and families.
Tell us what attracted you to Northwell.
I was drawn to Northwell because of the collaborative work environment and continued education, training and professional development the organization provides that helps you succeed in any role. I enjoy working with patients and being a part of a multidisciplinary team. Working as a social worker, I felt appreciated by my colleagues and I recognized that it was a privilege to witness and offer support and guidance to patients and families during some of the most challenging and precious moments in their lives.
How has your growth and development been supported by Northwell?
Northwell provides a very wide array of career opportunities and pursuing those opportunities has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. This has given me the opportunity to do what I love, think outside the box, and hold myself to a high standard.
What do you love most about working as director of social work services at Northwell?
As the director of social work at Northwell’s LIJMC, I love having the opportunity to hear from my team and utilize their feedback and suggestions to create positive change and process improvement within the department that can also lead to enhanced patient care. As a social worker at Northwell, you’re able to provide ongoing patient advocacy, supporting positive patient experiences, providing safe discharge plans, and ensuring a seamless transition for our patients across the continuum of care.
What advice do you have for those starting their career?
I would encourage all social workers to make the most of every day, and to seek the opportunities to be recognized. Northwell offers multiple resource tools and mentorship programs to help guide you in your career growth.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am proud that my career journey over the years has stayed within the Northwell organization. I have been impacted by so many people along the way, some who have become mentors to me, and all of them have played a part in teaching me and shaping who I am now. In addition, I’m proud of building leadership skills and working side by side with the social workers to support their efforts working with patients and families, as well as supporting the business goals of the organization. I don’t believe another organization could have offered the same level of career growth and support that Northwell has.
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