Growth and Opportunity in Celebration of Filipino American History Month
Join us as we celebrate inclusivity, connection and our commitment to building a better world during Filipino American History Month. This year, with a theme of “Recognizing 125 Years of Philippine-American History,” it is a time we can reflect on the past and celebrate the future with our community.
This October, we are featuring two Northwell team members who are part of our Asian Bridges Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) and sharing their journeys and career experience as Filipino Americans. Originally attracted to Northwell for its many opportunities, focus on innovation, and supportive culture – these individuals both believe Northwell’s commitment to team member development through resources like our BERGs and continuing education has been essential to their career growth.
Christine Mejilla, senior graduate medical education (GME) / training program administrator
Christine Mejilla assists in the management of many surgical programs and oversees surgical residencies and fellowships, including the Colon and Rectal Fellowship and the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency and Fellowship. As a first generation Filipino and a daughter of immigrant parents, Christine’s path to healthcare was most influenced by her mother, a retired registered dietitian. Her time with Northwell began in 2013 as a GME training program administrator in podiatry at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills (LIJFH). Six years later, she transitioned to North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) as a GME training program administrator for the department of surgery. At the end of 2022, she was promoted to her current role and was recently accepted into Northwell’s Mentorship Experience Program.
Over her 10 years here, Christine has witnessed the organization’s growth and achievements – believing that Northwell has been instrumental in her career growth through access to various programs, including our BERGs, tuition reimbursement toward her master’s degree in health administration and participating in the Management Accelerator and Executive Leadership program, a mentorship program designed in partnership with McKinsey and Company.
Christine highlights the importance of our BERGs in fostering diversity, education, and inclusion in the workplace. “Being a member of the Asian Bridges BERG helped provide me with opportunities to participate in the Management Accelerator and Executive Leadership program and make valuable networking connections within our organization.”
Mark Dagan, lead clinical informatics specialist.
Mark Dagan began his career as a registered nurse and transitioned to nursing informatics due to his passion for technology, data and its impact on healthcare in our communities. In his current role as a lead clinical informatics specialist, Mark now assists in evaluating remote monitoring solutions and leads inpatient-focused implementation projects to generate clinical data for organization-wide research.
As a member of the Asian Bridges BERG, Mark participates in community events, receives access to professional development programs, and networks and builds relationships with others across Northwell. “Being part of the Asian BERG has allowed me to meet and learn from other team members who share a similar cultural background and be open to expanding my network with those who have gone through similar experiences.”
At Northwell, we’re proud to showcase the rich stories and experiences of Northwell team members, like Christine and Mark, who share in our mission to advance diversity, inclusion and health equity for all.
Grow in a collaborative environment as part of Northwell’s Vivo Pharmacy team.
At Northwell Health, our team members know a career in pharmacy means having the support to grow and make an impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities. Northwell’s Vivo Health Pharmacy provides specialized pharmacy services for our patients, and our Vivo pharmacy team members, like Talha, Tara and Sophia, share what makes their pharmacy career meaningful at Northwell Health.
Talha Akhtar, PharmD, CSP, Supervisor, Mail Order Pharmacy
Talha was always attracted to the values, commitments and educational support Northwell offers. Spending 15 years in the retail pharmacy industry, he had colleagues and peers that worked for Northwell who told him about how wonderful the environment was – so he knew he wanted to see it for himself. After joining Northwell in 2020 as a staff pharmacist with Vivo Health Pharmacy, Talha quickly recognized that this was a place he could grow his Truly Ambitious career.
Talha was promoted to supervising pharmacist at Vivo Mail Order in 2022 and now holds a pharmacist license in 20 states, so he can give approval for the pharmacy to get licensed and ship medications to multiple states. He is currently pursuing an MBA in Strategic Healthcare Management at Hofstra University and is benefitting from Northwell’s tuition assistance program. “There is something different about working here,” he shared. “Leadership truly cares and wants to make a positive impact on the business and on the frontline team.”
Tara Hutter-Irving, Pharmacy Manager
As a pharmacy manager at Vivo Health Pharmacy, Tara oversees the operations and staff at four of our outpatient Vivo Health Pharmacy locations inside our hospitals. In addition to managing resources needed by the pharmacy department teams to operate efficiently, the most important part of Tara’s job is providing leadership to the team and communicating strategies to achieve department goals.
Tara was always interested in a career at Northwell because of its continuity of care across all specialties — coming together with the common goal of providing the best experience for the patients. “Our providers are one team with the same focused goal — patient care,” shares Tara. “I love that pharmacy is an important part of the whole healthcare team at Northwell. From admission to discharge, we all work together to make decisions and provide the best care.”
Tara was especially drawn to Northwell because she knew it would give her the opportunity to work in a collaborative environment with supportive leadership. “Northwell makes it possible to continue to learn and grow professionally and personally. There is a lot of support from colleagues and leaders, and I am proud of the team that we’ve built.”
Sophia Brutus, Pharmacy Supervisor
Sophia saw the positive impact Northwell has on people’s health and wanted to be part of a team that provides essential healthcare services.
“Becoming a pharmacist at Northwell has opened doors to more diverse career opportunities in both clinical and administrative roles within the healthcare field. It has allowed me to contribute to patient care and make a meaningful difference in our community.”
As a pharmacy supervisor, the most crucial aspect of Sophia’s role is patient safety, which includes counseling patients on proper medication use and maintaining a well-organized and compliant pharmacy. She enjoys the opportunity of leading a team, playing a pivotal role in patient care and engaging with a larger network, which keeps her constantly learning.
“Northwell has supported my professional development through training, mentorship and access to resources. I always feel supported because Northwell prioritizes employee growth and ensures we have the tools needed to excel in our roles.”
Michael Ufholz had many years of experience as a chef in the restaurant industry before joining our culinary team at Northwell Health in 2019. Today, as the executive sous chef at Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Riverhead, New York, he takes pride helping to heal our patients in a different way—with food and nutrition.
When you think of hospitals, nutritious and restaurant-quality food may not be top of mind, but at Northwell, preparing delicious and healthy dishes for our patients is one of our highest priorities. At Northwell, we believe innovation is the key ingredient in promoting wellness and is essential to transforming the healthcare culinary experience for our patients and our team members.
Michael is proud of the work he does and the team he has built at PBMC. With a sense of devotion and passion in all that he does, Michael knows that creating a positive impact on each patient’s food experience is vital to his success. It is the positive impact on his patients and having the ability to improve their experience that led Michael to want to work for Northwell Health.
“If you’re ready to make meals from the heart, this is your place to be,” said Michael. “Food tastes better when it’s made from the heart, and that’s what Northwell’s culinary teams do.”
It all begins with the culinary team in the kitchen each day. Michael’s daily responsibilities include selecting the daily menu for our patients and providing training to our team members, such as teaching cooking techniques. Michael also assists in the management of the cafeteria and catering functions, in addition to preparing all food items appropriate for each meal including starters, entrees, side dishes and more.
Michael believes that making a good quality meal for patients is the most rewarding part of his job. For instance, if a patient is worried about an upcoming test or procedure, a meal prepared by Michael and Northwell’s culinary team can make them feel calmer and more at ease.
“I’m able to see firsthand the impact our culinary team has on our patients,” said Michael. “Our teams work hard to produce the best meals for our patients, and it truly pays off by making our patients happy.”
Michael loves that his current position with Northwell allows him to have a healthy work/life balance. When working in the restaurant industry, it was common for Michael to be at the restaurant into the late hours multiple days a week. Now at Northwell, Michael’s team works just as hard but with flexible shifts to ensure they have time to balance a full-time career with their families at home. This makes a huge difference in his life as he shares, “I used to feel like I lived at work and now I live to truly experience life.” With a flexible schedule, Michael believes Northwell has allowed him to have the opportunity to get even more crafty with his cooking — being creative with recipes that he could possibly add to PBMC’s menu.
Michael feels supported to grow and develop at Northwell. He also welcomes the camaraderie with his fellow culinary teams at our other hospitals with Northwell’s annual chef challenge competition, where each hospital’s culinary team competes to create a three-course-meal for a panel of judges.
These unique, team-focused opportunities provide Michael with learned disciplines, which help him be a better chef. He loves that his work environment at Northwell is more collaborative than any other work environment he’s ever been a part of before.
Be Truly Compassionate and learn more about opportunities in environmental services careers at Northwell Health
Take the first step in a career in housekeeping and be a part of our Truly Compassionate facilities and support services team, as you create a safe working environment for our patients and team members. At Northwell, our housekeeping team members can grow their career within the environmental services team or choose from any number of other career paths from medical assistance to operations and more.
Whether you are just starting out in your career in housekeeping or want to take the next step in your journey with a more senior-level position in environmental services, Northwell offers resources designed to support you in your career journey. Team members across our health system have access to professional growth and development programs, including tuition reimbursement benefits, free educational workshops and courses, mentorship programs and more.
Below, you can learn more about one of the many ways you can grow in your environmental services career; from housekeeping to a director of environmental services. For the complete job profiles of each role, we invite you to visit NorthwellCareers.com or click on the link below to discover a career well cared for at Northwell.
Take your first step toward a Truly Together clinical support career at Northwell Health
Want to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients and communities? Northwell has a variety of clinical support opportunities available across our health system to help you kickstart your career. Candidates with a high school diploma can explore exciting careers in clinical support that require some certification and/or previous work experience and be Truly Together as a team.
Northwell is committed to ensuring our team members have the best career experience while empowering career growth and development within our organization to help everyone reach their goals. We offer a career framework with roles structured into clear career paths, and a GROW model that enables managers and team members to discuss career aspirations openly.
Below, you will find some of the clinical support career opportunities Northwell has to offer that only require a high school diploma and either a certification and/or training program experience.
Clinical Laboratory Careers at Northwell Health, Raise Your Career Expectations
Clinical laboratory science careers at Northwell Health provide opportunities so you can learn, grow and raise your career expectations in a field where you can impact the community by providing important medical information for healthcare decisions. Whether your career journey is just starting out, you’re advancing along your journey, or you’ve begun to explore a new direction, Northwell has the resources to support and guide you on your path.
Below, you will find information on one of the many career paths for a laboratory technologist. For the complete job profile of each role, we invite you to visit NorthwellCareers.com, or click on the link below to discover a career well cared for with our team. There are many ways to grow in a clinical laboratory position outside of this path as well, from quality to education and more.
Check out our open clinical laboratory science positions here.
It is Northwell Health’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all applicants and employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, disability, pregnancy, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital or familial status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, their or their dependent’s sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.
Northwell Health reserves the right to amend all terms of employment.