Each year, Northwell’s President’s Awards recognize team members who not only surpass our expectations and standards of excellence, but also those who drive innovative business outcomes.
The Teamwork award recognizes a team who is flexible, hardworking and made for unwavering support. They successfully collaborate to improve quality, financial performance and/or patient-centric care by leveraging and embracing diversity while creating a feeling of belonging. Meet this year’s finalists.
Deliver the Vote Lenox Hill Hospital
A pair of nurses with a strong commitment to upholding the right to vote, and an amazing determination not to take no for an answer enabled dozens of hospitalized patients to participate in the American electoral system.
Their efforts began two years ago when a patient inquired about voting but at that point, they were unable to help. Ahead of the 2018 election, Lisa Schavrien and Erin Smith decided to be pro-active, exploring ways to help their patients be heard at the ballot box. Their inquiries led them to a series of rejections by boards of elections, non-responses from political offices and a trip to a courtroom in Queens.
With the help from other volunteers, they canvassed their hospital for patients who wanted to vote. In one room, a patient facing brain surgery managed to cast her vote before surgery; in another, a patient’s partner was unable to get a ballot for the patient because they weren’t married, but Lisa obtained a ballot for him.
Voting may not seem like an issue clinical team members need to tackle, and they could find no other hospital making the same effort, but thanks to this team that went above and beyond, 75 Northwell patients were able to cast their ballots.
ECMO-TO-GO Long Island Jewish Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, Southside Hospital
Made up of a team of well-honed specialists, ECMO-TO-GO takes its life-saving skills wherever they are needed, elevating the level of care available to seriously ill patients. The team develops its successes with the cardiopulmonary bypass technique through continuity of communication and care delivered by all team members, commitment to continuous improvement and the depth of care provided by experts from across Northwell. The innovative approach of the team traveling to the patient rather than the other way around means a highly qualified, seasoned team is available to the sickest of patients. With a mortality rate of about 50 percent in these kinds of patients, the concept of such a team grew out of the establishment of an acute lung injury program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and the launch of a heart transplant program. Northwell physicians recognized the need to provide stable, quality care as quickly as possible, leading to the ECMOTO- GO program.
The strength of the group comes from their ability to harness their differences in expertise to meet the dire needs of a complicated patient population. They do so with seamless coordination, deep compassion, and deliberate communication ultimately forging something stronger than any individual person.
Food as Health Implementation Team Long Island Jewish Valley Stream
Team members have put reliable access to food at the center of a pioneering effort to improve the health of their patients. After people in multiple departments recognized that some patients had trouble finding affordable, nutritious food when they returned home, a team came together to brainstorm some solutions. Their conclusions: provide discharged patients with the resources to find affordable foods and to prepare meals that would help restore them to health.
The Food as Health (FAH) Program screens patients from the outpatient wound care center, and one inpatient unit for food insecurity. Patients in need with nutrition-related conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, unintentional weight loss) are referred to the appropriate FAH service arm for support. Patients who are mobile and able to cook for themselves are referred to the FAH hospital-based onsite resource center. The patient is provided two days’ worth of nutritious emergency food, nutrition education and counseling, and referrals to community resources.
The collaborative effort of the multidisciplinary workgroup to identify clinical partners, establish workflows, reports and outcomes is a significant reason for the successful implementation of the FAH program. The team continues to work together to identify the outcome measures and establish reporting to demonstrate improvement in patient outcomes and hospital data such as decreased readmissions.
Inpatient Charge Capture (IPCC) Corporate, Revenue Cycle Operations, Medical Group
When a small group of data-savvy professionals began examining the question of whether Northwell was billing and collecting for every professional service provided in hospitals, it quickly became clear that they needed more expertise.
The question of revenue capture is a long-standing one and quantifying it and executing a process across the health system was huge challenge. The team grew to involve several Information Services disciplines and data experts and as it grew, so did the project. Instead of finding a basic report on where to find the revenue opportunities, the team produced much more. They came up with a real-time, web-based tool that allows service lines and/ or individuals to know what the missing billing opportunities are daily/weekly/monthly. It allows the user to filter by service line, hospital, provider and unit. The tool is easy to navigate and provides a weekly “subscription” service for providers.
The deep dive in the collaborative effort also identified a $10 million revenue opportunity for Northwell, the result of experts collaborating and using their own areas of expertise to produce a positive outcome.
Northwell Transfusion Medicine Northwell Health Labs
A team of professionals collaborated to take on the challenge of ensuring Northwell hospitals maintained fresh and adequate supply of platelets to cope with both routine and emergency use. Maintaining a blood product supply is essential to optimal patient care, but daily usage can be difficult to forecast. Platelets, expensive to produce, test and store, have a short shelf life and frequently expire before they can be used.
This team’s bold solution to meeting the need and reducing costly waste was to develop a delivery system that moves blood products throughout the health system, with many ultimately winding up at the hospitals that routinely need them the most. Breaking away from the existing system, the team began with data, figuring out a system to outline a new distribution process. That birthed a “Round Robin” transportation system to reduce supplemental and emergency deliveries. The concept of rotating platelets from the community hospitals to the final destination of one of two tertiary hospitals is based on usage. Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital combined utilize as many as 50 units a day for Cardiac, Trauma, Surgical, Oncology and Transplant services. Through extensive monitoring and trending of patient platelet needs, a dramatic savings of more than $200,000 was realized in 2018 in expiration waste.
School-Based Vocational Services South Oaks Hospital
A committed group of professionals provides students challenged by intellectual and developmental disabilities with services that are tailored to individuals from 27 school districts across Long Island. Students receive coachin g, job readiness training and social skills development in both a classroom and professional setting with more than 100 participating companies with the goal of promoting independence and developing skills to prepare these young adults to enter the workforce after graduation.
The collaboration of these team members led to 64% of the graduating students finding employment post-graduation. On a daily basis, this team manages to touch the lives of more than 200 youths and parents, on Long Island. Nearly all of the team members work remotely and are required to travel throughout their day to meet the needs of the various sites they are working to serve.
The team has been able to create new approaches to learning in school settings by implementing in-school businesses where students can improve work readiness skills. Through personal dedication and putting creativity to work, they are making big differences in the lives of these students.
The Fin Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Experts with a diverse set of skills devised and conducted the first pilot clinical trial of the Fin, a novel 3D-printed swim prosthesis designed for use in a recreational pool setting. The dedicated group was seeking ways to improve recreational opportunities for people with lower-limb amputations, who, according to studies, are less likely to participate in physical activity than the general population.
Often working on their own time, they established protocols to ensure a thorough test that respected each individual’s dignity and needs while examining all aspects of the prosthesis. The most common design for a swim prosthesis has a fixed angle foot (“ankle foot”) that is at 90 degrees with the floor, which, while it is easy to use in the water, is not useful when walking over ground or transitioning into and out of the water. The 3-D printing also significantly lowers the typical cost of the prosthesis.
All participants in the test found the prosthesis easy to put on and take off. The majority (71%) of participants reported being extremely satisfied with the prosthesis.
Every member of the multidisciplinary team brought to the project their passion for wanting to improve the quality of life, participation and inclusion for individuals with lower limb amputations.
Starting my next chapter after the military at Northwell Health
Written by: Matthew Scanapico
This Memorial Day, Matthew Scanapico, Project Manager of Ambulatory Operations in the Western Region, reflects on his time as a Sergeant (E-5) in the US Army and how he found a new way to serve through his job at Northwell Health.
My military experience provided me with the discipline and leadership skills that were instrumental in developing my career at Northwell Health. Striving to live my best life every day for the ones whose lives were lost too soon is what keeps me going. Although I struggle from time to time, I do my best to honor their memory.
After my military service, I was hired as a per diem employee at North Shore University Hospital. This gave me the flexibility to be a full time student at SUNY Farmingdale and made me feel part of a team again. In that role, both my leadership and my peers were aware of the hardships I faced overseas. They provided me with the support I needed to be successful in both school and my career and for that, I will always be grateful.
Witnessing the loss of friends, the stress of combat, and the hardships of war, instilled in me the belief that life is too short and fragile to let the “little things” get in the way. Transitioning from military service is never easy, but being hired by Northwell Health provided me with the stability needed to start this new chapter of my life.
For our nation’s veterans, having a stable work environment is integral to their healing process and with Northwell’s vast network of veterans, support is never out of reach. We do incredible things as an organization to hire transitioning veterans.
Northwell prides itself in being more than just a health system, it’s a family, and it’s being a part of something greater than ourselves to both its patients, communities and each other. This value is one of, if not the most, important foundation to a veteran’s life and gives an opportunity to be a part of that bigger picture again.
An Appointment With: Juan Serrano, Director, Military and Veterans Liaison Services
As director of the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services, Juan Serrano leads Northwell’s mission to provide military veterans and reservists with the resources they need to make a successful transition to civilian life including partnering with Talent Acquisition for career opportunities. Northwell is proud to employ thousands of military veterans, and reservists.
A veteran himself, Juan served in the Marines for nine years before he was medically discharged in 2009. From there, he continued his education before joining Northwell as the administrator manager of the Queens World Trade Center Health Program in 2012. In 2015, he started in his current position to help lead and develop innovative programs to serve the veteran community.
We sat down with Juan to discuss his career and the services Northwell offers military veterans.
How has your experience in the military prepared you for a career in healthcare?
My experiences in the military provided me with the skills necessary to pursue and succeed in the civilian sector in a number of ways. Being in the military puts you in situations where you not only have to learn to follow, but learn to lead. It prepares you to work under pressure, to adapt and overcome, and to be innovative. In the military, there’s no task too big and no task too small. Everything is about attention to detail, responsibility, and taking pride in what you do. I think that veterans from all branches of the military possess important skills that are fundamental to the success of an organization across industries. If a veteran is presented with an opportunity, they will thrive.
What are some of the exciting things happening in the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services in 2019?
We have migrated all veteran services into one centralized location to make it easier for veterans and active duty personnel to gain access to healthcare and other resources such as housing, advocacy, community engagement, as well as a direct connection to our recruitment team for employment opportunities. Northwell Health is committed to providing veterans with resources and solutions that help make their lives better. We stand side by side through every stage of their reintegration process post-military career.
What should military veterans and reservists know about working at Northwell Health?
At Northwell, we offer more than just clinical careers – we provide a variety of opportunities where individuals can thrive such as finance, IT, security, culinary, and administration. Our goal is to change the way companies and communities view veterans and inspire other organizations to do more. Outside of the VA, we provide the most healthcare opportunities for veterans, including at the Rosen Family Wellness Center in Queens which is dedicated exclusively to caring for veterans, first responders, law enforcement personnel and their families. We also have a pay differential which has awarded $1.7 million total to employees to ensure they are continuing to receive their Northwell salary while out on military leave. My career advice to veterans is to never turn down a job opportunity and to always approach your career search with an open mind.
Our history of standing side by side with our community has led us to the creation of this pinnacle event during NYC Fleet Week. Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ is a two-part concert that honors Northwell Health’s commitment to veterans and their families, and celebrates their service and sacrifice throughout the years. It’s not just about the celebration itself, it’s about never forgetting.
Taking place on May 25th, 2019, the day event will be held at 31 Rockefeller Center. During the afternoon program, we will hear inspirational stories from veterans and see special performances from artists that include Gavin DeGraw and Boyz II Men, as well as the Broadway casts from Jersey Boys and Wicked. The second portion of our event is a concert at Radio City Music Hall with Imagine Dragons. The concert is completely sold out but Northwell has made tickets available for veterans through VetTix.org. Throughout both events, we will be joined by active duty personnel who are visiting for NYC Fleet Week.
What are some of the ways you stay connected with the Marines?
I will be preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. this October. It will be the first time I do it after my injury in 2004 and I’m excited to be running again.
7 reasons why we love being a Health Information Professional
We’re celebrating the hard-working health information professionals who are a part of the Heath Information Management (HIM) team at Northwell Health. Our HIM team members work daily to acquire, analyze and protect patient medical information. With such an important job, there’s a lot to love about being a HIM professional! Check out our team members’ top seven reasons!
1. Opportunity to grow
The health information landscape is constantly changing as technology and applications advance. As health data increases, so do the possibilities for health information professionals. There are always new opportunities to advance your skills as a professional through education, state-of-the-art applications, and collaboration with other units within Northwell.
2. Driven by health data
Any information related to health conditions, quality of life, reproductive outcomes, and causes of death for an individual or population is classified as health data. Working as a health information professional allows us to analyze trends and ensure this aggregated health data is shared across our health system. By prioritizing health data, we’re helping to drive positive outcomes and experience.
3. Making a difference for our patients
Working in healthcare means we as employees have the privilege of helping patients without working inside a hospital. Although health information professionals may never meet the patients directly, they are working hard to ensure that they are not only protecting the patients’ privacy but ensuring the accuracy of their healthcare information.
4. Bridge between the hospitals and patients
A patient’s care doesn’t end when they leave a hospital. Collaborating with different units across our health system allows us to bridge a patient to their care. By helping patients get proper and speedy service to obtain their records, we’re helping the patient stay connected to the quality care they received through the completion of their treatments.
5. Continued education
Educational opportunities are promoted by health information leadership who work hard to ensure our teams have the tools and skills they need to be accurate, compliant and successful. With the support to continue our education from leadership, including access to tuition reimbursement programs through Northwell, we’re able to grow with our growing industry.
6. Teamwork and leadership
Health information professionals at Northwell aren’t just a team, we’re a family. Working truly together under the guidance of supportive leaders helps our entire team to succeed.
7. Protecting our patients
Protecting our patients goes beyond just ensuring data security, it’s protecting their care. As health information professionals, we ensure that the patient data is always accurate, secure, and available when they need it most.
An Appointment With: Michael J. Dowling, Northwell Health President and CEO
What does the year ahead hold for Northwell Health?
As we kick off 2019, it’s important to understand that the business of health care has never been more challenging, from navigating state and federal regulation to ever-increasing competition and integrating emerging technologies. These demands make the mission of delivering world-class health care to the communities we serve a test of resolve that requires discipline and focus from everyone at Northwell Health, beginning with the frontline staff on up.
That said, I believe we’re in a good place. There are phenomenal things going on. Very positive things will continue to happen, so long as we continue to adapt and be creative. We are the number one provider of care in New York, with a market share of nearly 30 percent – almost double our next-closest competitor. That’s a credit to the staff and leadership throughout the health system. You can only succeed if you have great passion and a dedicated staff. Because we have both, I’m bullish and optimistic about our future.
How will Northwell meet these challenges?
We will meet these challenges by being innovative, providing the best service and delivering the best quality.
Fundraising and philanthropy need to be an important component for the health system to thrive. In the past, philanthropy accounted for one-third of the funding required for any capital expansion project. Debt and operations made up the rest. That’s no longer the case.
Thankfully, the launch of the health system’s “Outpacing the Impossible” fundraising campaign in October and its $1 billion goal puts us on track to fund the projects that will move Northwell forward over the next decade. Philanthropy is increasingly important, especially for a nonprofit operating on a one percent margin. Our greatest contributors remain the employees. No gift is too small.
Can you explain how Northwell plans to continue to grow?
Our focus is targeted growth. We need to make investments in infrastructure, technology and clinical excellence, including new physicians along with new capabilities. There needs to be an emphasis on building alternative funding streams to offset the continuing reduction in insurance reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial payers, as well as a focus on efficiency and productivity.
Give an example of why investing in capital projects matters?
We suffer from a legacy problem. The health system right now encompasses 17.8 million square feet of real estate with more than half accounting for the hospitals themselves. Most of our hospitals date to before 1950, which means when you try to modernize, you’re doing it in a space that was originally built 70 years ago or even longer.
We currently spend nearly $500 million to maintain our infrastructure with no return on investment – that’s just to maintain our facilities. That money is built into our budget every year. None of the new technologies we take for granted existed when these hospitals were constructed. Obviously, the expectations that existed back then are different than today. The leaders back then who planned these projects couldn’t possibly have anticipated the current state of health care delivery. That’s why we have projects in various stages of completion happening at facilities throughout the health system. Modernization is expensive but necessary to our survival.
Why are partnerships in Brooklyn and with Nassau University Medical Center important?
It’s our civic responsibility to help communities where a lack of access and health disparities exist. These efforts may have any financial benefit to us, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s easy to be successful by being selective and only investing in programs and services that make money, but our mission is to improve the health of our communities, especially those where there’s a high proportion of people at risk for chronic disease and other socio-economic factors that contribute to poor health.
For example, we’re currently lending our support in Brooklyn to help Brookdale, Interfaith, Kingsbrook and Wyckoff hospitals, as well as providing management and operational expertise to Nassau University Medical Center. These are all financially distressed hospitals that care for people in medically underserved communities. We have an obligation to run our own health system well and to be successful as an organization. But we also have an obligation to use our resources to help others who are less fortunate. We can’t walk away from difficult challenges. Other health systems do that. That’s not us. Our mission is imbedded in our culture.
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