A Life of Service: One U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant’s Career Journey to Northwell Health
Anthony Quintana’s path to a career in medicine was far from conventional and marked by his service in the United States Marine Corps when he made the transition back into civilian life. Explore Anthony’s remarkable journey to healthcare, starting with his military service and commitment to supporting fellow veterans, and learn why he pivoted from an accounting career to his current role as a critical care physician assistant in the Tele-ICU at Northwell Health.
Shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Anthony made the courageous decision to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. During his service, he rose to the rank of Sergeant (E-5) in which his military experience instilled in him a strong sense of discipline, values, leadership and resilience. After completing his military service, Anthony pursued higher education, earning an associate’s degree in accounting. Just after starting his career in accounting, he soon realized accounting was not the right role for him. He felt it was so far removed from what he did in the military, and he needed to look toward a path in something else where the skills he learned in the Marine Corps were more transferrable. He began to volunteer at a nearby veteran hospital and this experience would ultimately set the stage for opening doors toward a new career path within a totally different industry.
While volunteering at a nearby veteran hospital, he crossed paths with one of his future mentors, a physician assistant and army veteran who would play a pivotal role in reshaping Anthony’s career aspirations from accounting to a completely new path. His mentor recognized that Anthony was then driven by a desire to make a difference and to help others, so he encouraged him to pursue higher education in healthcare. When he graduated with a dual degree, earning a bachelor’s in healthcare studies and a master’s in physician assistant studies, Anthony was equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the next step of his career journey into healthcare.
Anthony joined Northwell as a physician assistant in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) before working at another hospital in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) with additional coverage in the Coronary Care Unit. His experiences in these critical care settings helped hone his clinical skills. Today in his current role as a critical care physician assistant in the Tele-ICU at Northwell, Anthony uses telehealth platforms to manage critically ill patients across the entire Northwell system. His ability to adapt to new technologies and provide high-quality care virtually, highlights his commitment to delivering exceptional patient care.
“Northwell has a system of support that allows myself and others like me to succeed,” says Anthony, “Northwell recognizes veterans for their service and commitment to their country and prioritizes resources to give us the support we need.” Anthony completed programs like “Mentoring and Professionalism in Training” and is currently a group leader for a new mentorship program cohort. He’s also nearing completion of the “Essentials of Leadership Course” and was nominated for our 2024 LeadNEXT leadership development program. Reflecting on the organization’s commitment to reinvest in its employees, Anthony plans to pursue an MBA in healthcare analytics with financial assistance through Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program at Hofstra University. In addition to his professional growth, Anthony is an active member of the organization “PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine,” a caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. His involvement emphasizes his dedication to raising awareness about the vital roles physician assistants play in telemedicine.
Anthony’s story serves as an inspiration for all who seek to transition from the military to a fulfilling civilian career. His journey is a testament to his commitment to service and his dedication to making a difference. His experiences in the military and his educational and professional growth at Northwell reflect his resilience and passion for helping others, particularly fellow veterans. Northwell’s support and commitment to its employees have assisted Anthony to thrive and make a meaningful impact in his healthcare career. “I would advise any veteran to continue to serve their community with Northwell, where you know you can make a difference.”
Have you ever considered exploring the night shift?
At Northwell Health, working night shifts has a variety of benefits from having the flexibility in your schedule for childcare and family to pay differential. As PEOPLE’s top 100 Companies that Care, Northwell provides many night shift opportunities in nursing, nursing support, respiratory therapists, clinical labs, ACPs, imaging and more. Learn more about our top reasons below and discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health.
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Starting a successful career with Northwell’s ACP Mentorship Program
At Northwell Health, the goal of our Advanced Clinical Provider (ACP) Mentorship Program is to enhance the skills development process for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) during their first few months as a new team member. Created four years ago with only 20 mentors and mentees in total — today, the program has more than quadrupled in size with participants developing clinical and non-clinical skills, essential to a successful career in healthcare management at Northwell.
Four team members from this year’s program, Annelisa Tucker (PA), Anthony Santos (PA), Jessica Darby (NP) and Noelia MaGowan (NP), shared their experiences about how valuable it was to participate in the ACP Mentorship Program at Northwell.
Annelisa Tucker – Mentee
Annelisa is an ENT (ear, nose and throat) physician assistant at Northwell Health. Before the start of the program, Annelisa shared that she was excited to connect with someone who can encourage her development and advise her through the beginning of her career. “I hope to not only learn ways in which I can advocate for myself in my current role, but also to learn how to advocate for the PA profession.” After completing the ACP Mentorship Program, she was paired with a senior PA in the same specialty and shared that being a part of this program exceeded her expectations and was instrumental for her career growth.
“I appreciate my mentor’s guidance and support throughout the onboarding process at Northwell. She was open to sharing stories from various challenges that she has faced throughout her career and how she managed to navigate and overcome them. I hope to apply her advice if I am faced with similar scenarios.” What surprised Annelisa the most about the program was seeing how many senior ACPs wanted to invest in the development of junior ACPs within the organization. “It was inspiring to see how many mentors wanted to give back and foster the career development of newer ACPs. I hope to become a mentor one day and pay it forward to future mentees at Northwell.”
Anthony Santos – Mentor Anthony is the senior physician assistant in otolaryngology at Glen Cove Hospital. Excited to have been a part of this program, he expressed, “this program is truly wonderful. It is a learning experience for both the mentor and mentee as we build our professional network, support and guidance. As once being a new employee myself, I can understand how tough it can be to join a new health system and not know the ins and outs of my responsibilities or have the direction to build my career. The relationship between me and my mentee is built to last and does not end after the program ends.”
Jessica Darby – Mentor/Program Coordinator
Jessica is a senior nurse practitioner (NP) care navigator with Northwell Health Solutions and the ‘Follow Your Heart’ team, which visits open heart patients at home after they have been discharged from the hospital. Before the start of the program, Jessica shared, “I want to help ease the transition for anyone entering our health system as an ACP.” After first completing the program as a mentor, she found it was valuable for her career growth within Northwell and wanted to continue to give back.
“In my role as a mentor/program coordinator, I am able to help fellow ACPs navigate their mentor/mentee relationship,” she shared. “It was rewarding to witness how dedicated the team of mentors are about ensuring a positive introduction for our new team members.”
Noelia MaGowan – Mentee
As a pediatric nurse practitioner for Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Noelia believes initiatives like the ACP Mentorship Program increases confidence, enhances leadership skills and provides networking opportunities. “Being a part of a mentorship program with a network of experienced professionals at Northwell builds valuable relationships, allows newer team members to gain exposure to different types of healthcare environments and grants us access to resources that enhance our professional growth.”
Mentorship is one of the many ways Northwell can provide an opportunity for team members to grow in their career and create their own success. Become a Health Raiser as an Advanced Clinical Provider at Northwell Health.
From surgical technologist to nursing leadership, discover a Truly Ambitious career in the operating room at Northwell Health
Join our Truly Ambitious team of surgical technologists and take the first step toward a career providing exceptional patient care within our community. Through access to Northwell’s professional development resources and programs, including tuition assistance, fellowships and more, our surgical technologists can grow within our perioperative team toward a rewarding career as an operating room registered nurse and beyond.
Whether you are just starting out in your career as a surgical technologist or want to take the next step in the operating room, 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 workshops, career movement pathways, mentorship programs and more.
Below, you can learn more about one of the many ways you can grow in your surgical technologist career, from associate surgical technologist to nurse manager. 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.
Meet Ashley, Paramedic, Caregiver and Health Raiser
Ashley Vargas joined Northwell Health and began her professional career in 2021 as an EMT at the Center for Emergency Medical Services in New Hyde Park, NY, and two years later in 2023 became a paramedic at the same location.
Today, as a community paramedic, Ashley works directly with physicians to treat patients who choose care at home instead of in the emergency department. By communicating ailments and any changes in the patient’s condition with physicians, Ashley can provide care at home.
This form of community paramedicine is offered to patients in Northwell’s House Calls program. Ashley reduces the strain placed on ambulances and emergency departments by addressing healthcare needs in the comfort of patients’ homes. For example, if there is an urgent change in a patient’s condition, such as COVID-19 or the flu, Ashley is able to treat the patient in their homes. However, there are times when patients may require diagnostic testing with advanced equipment, and we will communicate with the patient, their family, and a physician, on a decision on whether or not to be transported to the hospital.
“My position as a paramedic can be very rewarding. I find joy in delivering proactive healthcare. This role gives me the opportunity to build trust and enduring bonds with my patients, gaining deeper insights into their unique requirements. I can make a meaningful impact in our community,” said Ashley.
Ashley believes Northwell set her up for success from the beginning by offering a comprehensive training program, covering emergency scenarios and how to use the latest equipment. Ashley was first attracted to Northwell since the organization has the largest hospital-based ambulance service in the region. With Northwell’s reputation of excellence, patient-centered approach and collaborative culture, Ashley knew the health system was the ideal place for her to contribute to a team while pursuing her career goals.
Proud of the work she does for Northwell, Ashley is a passionate team member who is glad she became a paramedic and was able to join a company like Northwell that supports her personal career growth and goals. When she first transitioned from her role as EMT to her role as paramedic, Ashley’s team, especially her team leader was very supportive and made sure she was prepared for this change and had access to all the resources she could need.
As a paramedic, Ashley is required to have a current paramedic certification in New York State, plus specialized certifications as needed. Whereas she previously needed a current Emergency Medical Technician certificate in New York state to practice as an EMT. Northwell supported Ashley through this process, and she was able to successfully grow in her career and meet her career goals.
In addition, EMTs operate an ambulance and transport their patients to their destination, with the patient’s safety as their top priority. Whereas paramedics conduct medical evaluations and provide care to patients before they are transported to the hospital. They also maintain equipment and make sure patients are transported in a safe manner.
“I have always taken advantage of each opportunity to grow. My team leader has been helpful in navigating me toward the right direction in my career,” said Ashley.
Another way Ashley has developed in her career at Northwell is by participating in some of the monthly employee workshops. These workshops included the Employee and Family Assistance Program, which provides information on Northwell’s free counseling program. This led Ashley to join a stress management workshop and learn how to recognize and manage the stressors in her life.
When asked if she could offer any advice to those looking to start a career in emergency medical services, Ashley encourages anyone starting their career to prioritize their patients’ well-being along with their own health. She also stresses seeking opportunities for improvement and learning from past experiences.
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