2019 President’s Award Finalist- Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience
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 Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience award recognizes an individual who is Made for Northwell Health: made for caring and protecting our patients and communities – made for leading innovation and change that inspires our colleagues and turns tomorrow into a breathtaking opportunity. Meet this year’s finalists.
A football injury that could have ended his collegiate football career instead inspired Sal Dimatteo to the profession of physical therapy, where he leads a practice filled with compassion for patients. As a physical therapist supervising rehabilitation at the STARS Huntington location, he overcame his disappointment at low Press Ganey patient scores the office was receiving by reaching out to colleagues and coming up with distinctive and fresh ways of encouraging team members and patients to provide feedback.
Sal’s approach led to a huge surge in responses and improved scores. Under his leadership, STARS Huntington was ranked in the 98th percentile nationally (a score of 98.5) for Likelihood to Recommend for 2018. This was the highest ranking for all STARS locations as well as the Northwell Outpatient Rehabilitation Network.
His hands-on style nurtures a team approach to provide patients with the best care. And Sal’s leadership brings out the best in his team — bringing them together as a cohesive unit and empowered to provide the best possible service. His upbeat, positive style and work ethic encourages the team member to perform at a high level and bring the best possible care to patients.
Kacey Farber, LMSW Social Worker, Huntington Hospital
Kacey Farber went from a teaching career to one of social work and a transformative role as a leader in helping families cope with the loss of a baby. Dissatisfied with the resources available that would allow her to assist grieving families, she decided to create her own.
Kacey connected first with the Star Legacy Foundation, which works to increase awareness about neonatal loss and increase family support. She then established the Huntington Hospital
Bereavement and Support Group. Working with a network of families who had lost babies led to a plan to create a perinatal bereavement garden, a warm and comforting space to memorialize lost children. She coordinated fundraising to support the garden, which opened last fall.
As a dedicated problem solver, Kacey identified a need and fixed it through research, planning, networking and fundraising. She also helps manage the bundled orthopedic patients and has become an expert on providing transitional care. In addition, she was the first-ever mentor for Master level social work candidates in the Case Management department. Kacey is also the certified intern supervisor for the department’s three social work interns. She is an incredible mentor and has motivated others to become a certified social work intern supervisor.
Bulah Martin Lead Phlebotomist, Northwell Health Labs
As lead phlebotomist, Bulah Martin has a knack of turning an unpopular but vital task into an experience that makes people smile. Having their blood drawn is rarely a happily anticipated event. With Bulah, her skills at minimizing the unpleasant aspects of the service, combined with her cheery personality, make for successful outcomes.
Bulah often works with special needs or very sick children where making the procedure go smoothly can be a challenge. She frequently has physicians asking for her by name. By decorating two rooms with playful decals of animals and nature, she minimizes the presence of medical equipment. Bulah has her equipment ready when the patient enters the room, gives small gifts to young children, which she pays for out of her own pocket, and eases the worries of parents who in turn, are able to calm their children. Her creative solutions ensures the necessary work of blood collection happens successfully.
Phlebotomists at Northwell Health Labs provide blood collection services for more than one million patients every year — in many cases after taking into consideration and resolving the fears and resistance of patients. Bulah teaches techniques for collecting blood samples from children and infants, and mentors phlebotomists all over the health system to show them “how it’s done,” leading patients with a positive sense of the quality performance that Northwell represents.
Adrian Mazur Chaplain, Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Chaplain Adrian Mazur has chosen to work in the midst of medical crisis, supporting the smallest patients and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as they try to cope with life threatening illnesses. It is his empathy that others quickly notice as he helps fearful, weary and distressed parents who are trying to cope with some of the worst days of their lives.
Adrian, who came to the ministry from a career in finance and volunteer work with an orphanage in Ukraine, works with adolescents in pediatric hematology/oncology. There he helps to establish a connection and genuine trust as the young patients face their own mortality, changes in their appearance and an overall loss of health and stamina.
Often, Adrian plays a significant role in the lives of families that ultimately lose their child to illness. In one instance, he later drove through a snowstorm to be with one such couple at the birth of another child. It is through his presence, compassion, dedication, prayers and listening ear that he helps patients and parents redefine their hopes and maintain their dreams. Adrian’s presence brings a vitality to the hospital and all those he touches.
Kelly Ann Moed MSN, RN-BC, CSPHP Development Instructor, Staten Island University Hospital
Kelly Ann Moed turned an idea she developed during graduate studies into a program to safeguard the well-being of hospital staff through the prevention of injuries. Taking care of patients starts with making sure our team members are well. Her Safe Patient Handling Program has led to a significant decline in the number of workforce injuries. Kelly Ann’s passion, caring and knowledge are the driving forces that have made this innovative program a success.
She has been the driving force in making sure hospital team members are properly trained and educated on the use of equipment to move and transfer patients.
Her program took a creative turn recently with Workforce Safety Olympics. It was a fun way for the team members to demonstrate their Safe Patient Handling expertise and the use of equipment to transfer and lift patients. These groups were presented with various scenarios where, within a specific time frame, together they needed to exhibit the proper choices in equipment, communication with each other and the patient, and appropriate transfer technique. The Staten Island University Hospital team members took home the gold trophy.
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 Innovation award recognizes team members who were finalists in the Innovation Challenge. Northwell’s Innovation Challenge empowers team members to come up with the next big health care innovation in areas such as revenue through new or existing channels, improve patient experience, improve quality of care, positively impact health outcomes and so much more. As an organization, we understand that our people are the ones who bring our patient care to the next level, and this program gives them an opportunity to share their big ideas. Meet this year’s finalists.
AccuLABeler represents a proprietary middle-ware solution that interfaces with existing robotics machinery and a lab information system (LIS) to more efficiently relabel tubes referred to the lab for analysis from non-system sources. At Northwell, the current workflow requires 12 FTEs who perform accessioning and relabeling of these tubes. The total available market encompasses reference laboratories in the United States and abroad.
Bedside Voice Assistant
The Bedside Voice Assistant (BVA) involves the continued development of an existing prototype of a bed-side Alexa based voice assistant created by members of the Northwell Innovation Center. This innovation represents a developed software product which is cloud based, HIPAA compliant and will be agnostic to EMR system for integration and scalability.
EDCAP aza-Peptide Building Blocks for Preferred Drug Characteristics
Many pharmaceutical drugs are peptides, small fragments of proteins. When carefully chosen, peptides offer the advantage of selectivity toward a target coupled with minimal adverse side effects. However, peptides suffer from a very short half-life, and their effect can be very short lived because they are destroyed in seconds in the blood. The EDCAP technology offers a general solution to this stability issue through changing the labile peptide bond to an alternate bond that is resistant to peptidases (stable for hours in the blood).
LabFly: Mobile Phlebotomy App
The proposed innovation reflects the development of a mobile blood drawing solution for patients and caregivers. As developed, LabFly would serve as the patient facing application, and integrate with LabFly Phleb, a phlebotomist facing application. The applications have been reviewed by the Northwell OCIO, OCIO security review, penetration tests and a QM validation. Future development of the application could support on demand appointments for flu shots and strep testing, and/or integration with care delivery within emergency rooms.
Real-Time Actionable Data (RAD)
The RAD invention represents a data analysis and reporting tool which provides real time, actionable data related to ED utilization and the allocation of clinical resources. RAD addresses an unmet need in many if not all emergency rooms by supporting data driven, patient specific, decision making. This product builds upon the work conducted over the past several years within the Northwell Emergency Medicine service line.
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.
2019 President’s Award Finalist: Leader of the Year
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 Leader of the Year award recognizes an individual who is made for Northwell Health because Northwell was not made for just anyone. It’s their spark and instinct to care that changes lives. This leader always acts with intent, with heart and with passion. They communicate openly while providing empathy and support, gains and shares expertise with others, acts honestly, professionally, and consistently achieves high-level results. Meet this year’s finalists.
Mary Brennan, RN Associate Director, Nursing Education, North Shore University Hospital
Mary Brennan’s dedication to improving the lives of patients inspires colleagues and many well beyond Northwell. She is a worldwide thought leader on wound and ostomy care, improving on the prevention and treatment of skin wounds, and teaching others how to help patients and their families avoid suffering.
Her work combating pressure wounds has led to the naming of a medical condition in her honor . Working with Nurse Manager Kathy Trombley, the pair identified the differences between pressure injuries and terminal tissue injury. This research has yielded a tool that assists nurses in identifying patients who are in the last hours of life, which allows team members to empathetically communicate with family members.
A Wound Care Symposium first proposed by Mary has turned into an interdisciplinary two-day conference at Hofstra University that attracts both physicians and nurses. Her leadership includes publishing papers on wound care, as well as building and overseeing a North Shore University Hospital team of more than 100 skin care champions. Her creative strategies have contributed to the success of this program, keeping others engaged and involved in identifying best practices to reduce incidents of pressure injuries. Thanks to her efforts, hundreds of team members at Northwell and thousands of others around the world know how to prevent and treat thiscomplex clinical problem.
Ryan J. Guda, RN Nurse Manager, Dialysis Services, Ambulatory
Building on his array of experiences in different fields, Ryan Guda has rebuilt a workplace that adapts to change and established a culture of respect with dramatic effects on the quality of care.
Shortly after joining Northwell in 2015, Ryan met with each team member to hear their opinions about their work environment. By listening and acknowledging his team’s feelings, he was able to re-direct negative behavior in a nonjudgmental manner and win their trust. Even his adept computer skills helped during a transition to electronic record-keeping.
Ryan quickly became an agent of change that has improved the work environment and directly affected the quality of services delivered to patients living with end-stage renal failure. He was successful in turning the team members’ fear of change into hope.
Marcia Hall, RN Director, Patient Services, Northwell Health At Home
Marcia Hall is known for her enthusiastic, even disposition and willingness to step up to assist team members. She has a talent for connecting with patients and staff alike. As a leader in a busy business unit, Marcia sees her role as the person who supports, teaches and always tries to lighten the load of those in the office and out in the field. By making herself available to patients and team members alike, she is able to allay concerns and offer encouragement to those who need it.
Marcia was an early adopter of “Leader Rounds,” an innovative approach more difficult to accomplish with patients in the community, and advises supervisors to take time each day to assess what they are seeing in patient care, to spot trends or potential problems.
As a leader determined to spread positivity, Marcia looks to motivate people to be their best, whatever the challenge. She stands by team members who might feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for patients in the field. Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations is a key part of the Health At Home program and requires attention to detail. Above all, she demonstrates a strong ability to connect with patients and their families, a calming force to those facing a difficult situation.
Robert Kerner Jr., JD, EdD, RN, EMT-P, CHSE Assistant Vice President, Patient Safety Institute, Assistant Professor, Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies
Dr. Robert Kerner engages his team through reflective questions, allowing team members to self-direct on projects and listening to them in a style that makes everyone feel that they’re a valuable part of the team. He demonstrates concern for his colleagues, both personally and professionally, strengthening their connection to their profession and their colleagues. Dr. Kerner is committed to educational and clinical innovation and regularly puts forth new methods to meet the needs of our customers.
His ability to bring innovation in education from PSI to the units has been instrumental in allowing team members from Northwell to benefit from these efforts. Dr. Kerner has and continues to nurture relationships with both new and seasoned customers, as well as serve outside communities. Leaders from across Northwell reach out to Dr. Kerner to assist with projects that will enhance communication, situational awareness and competency skill sets in a variety of venues.
Paula McAvoy Senior Administrative Director, Hospice and Palliative Care, University Hospice, Staten Island University Hospital
Compassion and a set of values that includes connectedness, awareness, respect and empathy guide the work of Paula McAvoy. She is 100 percent committed to caring for those facing the end of their lives. She ensures that her team members feel valued and engaged as they apply those beliefs to their patients and each other. Paula believes in an open-door policy to make sure open lines of communication are maintained.
Despite her heavy workload, she sets an example for colleagues with her commitment to professional development. She leads a session “Building High Performance Teams” as part of Northwell’s Leadership Essentials program.
In nearly 30 years at Staten Island University Hospital, she has excelled in any number of roles, where she began as an on-call hospice nurse, and has become a recognized expert in the field of end-of-life care.
A deeply held concern for the suffering of refugees, victims of war and poverty has stirred Nina Ng to travel the world to deliver compassionate care to those in need. Nursing was the career she chose and for the first few years, she focused on learning all she could to develop her career. Then a trip to Haiti to care for orphans after a hurricane refocused her priorities and has nurtured a desire to take a leadership role in health care by helping the underserved, underprivileged, abused and forgotten people of war-torn and destroyed countries. After several trips abroad, including into a war zone, Nina has a desire to continue to expand her influence locally, regionally and globally, and continues to find new ways she can positively affect the lives of others.
Nina’s desire to lead isn’t limited to the world stage. She insists on accountability and recently published an article in the Journal for Emergency Nursing about workplace bullying.
Nina also has taken the initiative to reduce pressure wounds in patients with enhanced collaboration between the Emergency and Inpatient departments.
Northwell and Syosset Hospital benefit from Nina’s leadership and compassion, and her actions represent a total commitment to our values.
2019 President’s Award Finalists: Nurse of the Year
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 Nurse of the Year award recognizes a nurse who is made for going the extra mile for his or her patients, families and colleagues. Exemplifying our Northwell values and behaviors, this individual delivers high-quality clinical care and a compassionate patient experience. Meet this year’s finalists.
Angela Daly, RN Physician Partners, Cardiology at Southampton
Inspired by the extra efforts she saw nurses and others doing to take care of her mother, Angela Daly knew nursing was what she was meant to do. During the course of her career, she’s demonstrated efficiency and compassion, finding the small ways in which nurses can have a major impact on patients’ lives. Angela has solved problems, finding ways to improve how nurses were deployed throughout the Cardiac service line and how information was conveyed.
Taking a creative approach, Angela developed a telephone triage and patient education guide for her Flex Pool to demonstrate the best workflow in addressing patient calls, elevating patient concerns to providers and educating patients in a way that they can understand. Her guide is used throughout Northwell’s Cardiac service line. Angela also sends letters to every doctor that her patients see to ensure interdisciplinary communication is intact and that the patient’s treatment course with an investigational drug product is considered in the spectrum of their care. When she saw some information wasn’t making its way to all inpatient team members, she worked to develop chart notes that would be delivered to those who need them. And after realizing that more nurses were needed in the Cardiac service line, Angela worked to create a “Float Pool,” and recruited more than 90 nurses, trained them to cover the practices and developed guidelines so that the nurses would have the tools they needed to care more efficiently for our patients.
Alexa Damone, RN Medical Surgical Unit, Glen Cove Hospital
Alexa Damone’s passion for her work is evident to her patients and colleagues by constantly learning new skills to improve medical care.
Alexa has the ability to relate to patients and their families through her caring manner and attentive demeanor. Her deep commitment is evident to her patients and her colleagues and was recognized by the hospital when she was honored in the hospital’s first “Breakfast with the Stars.” She is empathic, compassionate, an excellent communicator, possesses solid clinical and problem-solving skills and serves as an advocate for her patients.
Her commitment to helping peers is inspirational. Upon returning from a sepsis conference, Alexa shared her newly developed knowledge with her peers to improve the identification and prompt treatment of sepsis. She was a part of a project on infection control that led to better hand hygiene and infection control practices on the unit. Alexa is involved in another project aimed at improving the patient experience. With diabetes becoming increasingly prevalent, especially among the elderly, she attended a two-day workshop recognizing the importance of diabetes knowledge, management and education, enabling her to become a unit champion and valuable resource for her peers and patients.
Maryann Portoro sets a calm tone for patients and team members who, in the sometimes chaotic emergency care environment, need reassurance and compassion. She has devoted 45 years of her nursing career to caring for patients requiring emergency interventions. Maryann’s nursing role is characterized by her philosophy “Don’t worry, I’ve got it.” She is noted for her quick assessment and innovative interventions to support excellence in patient care. She demonstrates her leadership skills by taking charge while not losing her compassionate approach in the Emergency Department, sometimes rocking babies, other times holding the hand of an upset or frightened patient.
Maryann’s care doesn’t stop with patients; she provides timeouts to ease a team member experiencing grief after a loss.
Her sensitivity to people’s needs is in real time with positive, thoughtful recognition. She uses her abilities to think quickly and creatively in any situation, de-escalating a crisis by knowing just what to do to calm and control a situation. Her dedication extends to finding and implementing ways to improve new nursing care delivery models.
Dominick Pugliese, RN Northwell Health At Home
Dominick Pugliese represents the future of Northwell Health nursing care. As a young RN he has already impressed his supervisors with his ability to learn quickly and with his commitment to caring for those in need. Joining Northwell Health At Home just a little over a year ago, he made the switch from a hospital Respiratory Care Unit to Home Health because he wanted to work with patients as their primary nurse in their homes. He had been inspired by his involvement with Project Hope on Staten Island. He was among the part-time team member who went door-to-door to provide crisis counseling to families who were suffering from the fear, anxiety, anger and helplessness after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He rode on a medical bus, which was run by nurses.
At Northwell Health At Home, he mixes an interest and skill in using technology, such as the telehealth program, with devotion to hands-on care that depends on personal attention to a patient’s needs. Dominick’s potential led to his appointment to a task force that created Northwell Health At Home’s Heart Failure program, which was recently certified by the Joint Commission.
Jeffrey Rosa, RN Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Passion for his patients and awareness of the complexities of navigating the emotions and needs of those in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit drive the care provided by Jeffrey Rosa. He witnessed the excellent care provided to his grandmother, and, later, as a paramedic, responded to the horrors of the Sept. 11 attack at the World Trade Center, which solidified his determination to become a nurse.
At Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), Jeffrey is known as “the go-to player,” someone who has made it his business to know everything he needs to know about every patient in a unit where extra compassion, understanding and respect for what patients and families are going through are crucial. He is completely dedicated to inspiring and teaching new nurses to share his passion and expertise. He coaches, mentors and serves as a role model for his peers. Jeffrey lectures the hemodynamics portion of the nursing fellowship curriculum and shares his passion for work he does daily.
Jeffrey participates in countless committees, including the Magnet task force, and as co-chair of the Surgical ICU’s Collaborative Care Council, he facilitates the agenda and pushes LIJMC nursing units to share innovative solutions and champion new ideas and processes.
2019 President’s Award Finalists: Physician of the Year
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 Physician of the Year award recognizes a physician who is made for going the extra mile for his or her patients, families and colleagues. Exemplifying our Northwell values and behaviors, this individual delivers high-quality clinical care and a compassionate patient experience. Meet this year’s finalists.
Santhosh Paulus, MD Hospitalist, Director, Family Medicine Residency, Huntington Hospital
Dr. Santhosh Paulus turned a personal crusade against the abuses of human trafficking into an innovative program at Northwell. He began his Northwell career at the Glen Cove Family Medicine Residency program and is now site director for Huntington. In that role, he strives to meet three challenges: to teach the art and science of family medicine, to advocate for the best interest of his learners, and to be the quintessential role model of diligent attention to patient care, humanistic practice and lifelong learning.
In 2014, Dr. Paulus’ passion for caring for those in need grew. He saw a presentation on human trafficking and realized that his four daughters were of the same age as many victims in the presentation about forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation and sexual slavery in the US today. He joined a team and biked across the country to raise funds and awareness about human trafficking. Then he created “Cycling for Change,” an organization which has raised more than $55,000 to increase awareness about human trafficking and help survivors. Still, he wanted to do more. After talking with senior leadership at Huntington Hospital, he assembled a team to create the first Northwell Health Human Trafficking Response Program to identify and assist human trafficking victims and care for survivors. To date, the Task Force has trained more than 2,700 caregivers with 13 potential victims identified.
Yili Huang, DO Medical Director, Pain Management Center, Phelps Hospital, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Dr. Yili Huang has drawn on his empathy for the suffering of others to become a leader in treating pain on the individual and community level. In his pain management center, Dr. Huang meets with individual patients and finds creative ways to address their suffering. He delivers education to his team of physicians, nurses, and medical assistants, which has led to an improvement of pain scores at Phelps Hospital. He successfully performed an ultrasound-guided fascia iliaca nerve block recently to relieve intense pain in a patient with a hip fracture and a high tolerance for pain medications, controlling her suffering in preparation for surgery.
Dr. Huang’s commitment to his patients doesn’t stop there.
He is in the forefront of tackling a significant national problem: opioid addiction. He shares his knowledge with other physicians to reduce the use of opioid prescriptions by substituting other interventional modalities for long term relief, producing an immediate effect as many of these practices saw a dramatic decline in opioid prescriptions by their physicians. Dr. Huang also co-chairs the practice guidelines workgroup within the Northwell Opioid Task Force. He created practice guidelines, controlled substance agreements, and other tools to facilitate best practice opioid use. Those tools are being used across all the communities that Northwell serves to systematically confront the opioid epidemic and helps Northwell Health lead the nation in combating the epidemic in a compassionate and thoughtful way.
Carmen Rodriguez, MD, FACOG Voluntary Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
An excellent bedside manner and the care she provides to her patients distinguishes the work of Dr. Carmen Rodriguez and moves many people to say, “She’s the best.” Regarded as reliable, dependable and talented, she is also humble and unpretentious. Dr. Rodriguez leads by example for all clinicians and team members. And her contributions go beyond kindness and compassion. She is known to take on some of the most difficult gynecological challenges via laparotomy, laparoscopic and robotic modalities. Dr. Rodriguez will always fight to defend the reproductive rights of her patients.
Dr. Rodriguez also plays an active role in the affairs and governance of the hospital. She is the associate chair of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center – Performance Improvement
Coordinating Group (LIJMC PICG). She is also a member of the OBGYN department PICG. Dr. Rodriguez finds the time to participate in performance improvement initiatives because she believes that everyone benefits when better care is rendered, mainly for the patient and the community at large, but also for the clinical and administrative team member. She is the president-elect of the LIJ Medical Team member Society, making her the first woman to hold this distinguished position in the history of LIJMC.
Andre Reyes, MD Hospitalist, North Shore University Hospital
Dr. Andre Reyes has repeatedly impressed patients and team members with his deep commitment to providing personal and compassionate care and setting high standards for others. He has spent countless hours with his patients, making them feel comfortable and at ease regarding their care and the time they will spend in the hospital. Dr. Reyes is known for having dropped to a knee to console the weeping wife of a patient who had taken a turn for the worse, giving her time to compose herself. His commitment to patients contributes to the success of the Care Model Program, which engages all clinical partners in improving patient experiences in the unit. Beyond the emotional value of his compassion, statistics support his approach.
Under his leadership, ratings on clinical quality scorecards, and communication, have risen significantly. Dr. Reyes is also devoted to fostering our medical student education and Internal Medicine Residency program. He is involved in creating and standardizing expectations for residents with regards to their daily rounds and documentation, and sets a personal example by visiting his patients multiple times a day.
Dr. Reyes also took part in the hospital preparation for Magnet certification. He took the initiative to inform himself further on Magnet accreditation standards and met with Magnet evaluators.
Tara Liberman, DO Associate Chief, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
While she has worked in almost every area of health care – post acute, outpatient practice and inpatient care — Dr. Tara Liberman has driven change in geriatric services. She is a proven leader at Northwell, spearheading several initiatives across the heath system to ensure that high-quality, patient-centered care is standard operating procedure. Dr. Liberman’s commitment to patient care began with her Northwell internship year in 2001.
She completed her internal medicine residency and Geriatric Medicine fellowship at North Shore University Hospital. When Palliative Medicine was established as a medicine subspecialty in 2010, Dr. Liberman became board certified in Palliative Medicine as well. In 2010, she received the academic title of assistant professor.
Dr. Liberman has piloted two programs to improve the care and medical literacy of the rapidly growing geriatric population. In response to the “Silver Tsunami,” she began the Geriatric ED program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC), which caters to older adults who arrive in the ED by aiming to prevent unneeded hospital admissions. The ED at LIJMC now has a geriatric-specific social worker to help these patients and their families connect with Northwell resources in the community to ensure appropriate levels of care that are in line with the goals of the patients and families. Dr. Liberman has continued this work to provide specialized care to this vulnerable population in all Northwell EDs by working towards a Geriatric Emergency Department certificate accredited by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Brian McGinley, MD Voluntary Physician, Orthopedic Surgery, Mather Hospital
Dr. Brian McGinley takes his orthopedic skills beyond his practice, into an underserved community on Long Island and beyond.
He is part of the medical mission team for Blanca’s House, a local nonprofit organization that brings much-needed, quality medical care to countries and communities throughout Latin
America. During several missions to Ecuador, Dr. McGinley performed more than 75 knee replacement surgeries. In addition to his pro bono medical services, he raises funds for Blanca’s
House by assisting in generating thousands of dollars in philanthropic support to these trips.
On Long Island, he helps at an orthopedic clinic, treating patients who can’t afford care. In his free time, Dr. McGinley volunteers for the local Three Village community sports leagues and has served as a coach and team doctor. He serves president of the Port Jefferson Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), a consortium of 19 area physicians and Mather Hospital, and was named PGA physician for the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2004.
In 2016, Dr. McGinley was the first surgeon worldwide to perform robotic-assisted total knee replacement with the NavioTM Surgical System, which allows for smaller incisions, less or no cutting of muscles, and no preoperative CT scan. His contributions are limited only by the number of hours in the day.
Northwell’s commitment to employee wellness goes all the way to Rome, Italy
1,900+ teams made up of over 18,000 Northwell employees are competing in the Walk to Rome challenge for a chance at the grand prize – a FREE trip to Rome! The walk is one of the many fun ways that showcases Northwell’s commitment to employee wellness across the organization.
“Everyone’s path toward wellness is unique, made up of various reasons, objectives and outcomes,” says Valerie Gundersen, manager of Employee Wellness. “The annual challenge offers a special opportunity to unite all of our paths into one shared journey toward wellness.”
Here is how the Walk to Rome works: During this innovative employee step challenge, teams of 10 will walk the distance from Dublin (the destination of last year’s challenge) to Rome, totaling approximately 3.9 million steps in eight weeks. Participants track their physical activity to unlock virtual destinations throughout the journey. Teams of ten who successfully go the distance will be entered into the grand prize raffle for a trip to Rome, Italy.
Teams inspire each other to get moving by planning walks during lunch, encouraging each other to take the stairs, and hosting even more walking activities outside of work hours. With a new interactive chat feature and friendly virtual competition against rival teams, there are plenty of ways to stay motivated during the challenge.
Last year’s Walk to Dublin challenge totaled more than 7.4 billion steps by the end of the eight weeks. An amazing 1,200+ teams completed the challenge and were eligible for the grand prize raffle.
Employees reported that because of the Walk to Dublin challenge, they had more energy, lost weight, engaged in teamwork, felt healthier and remained highly motivated to continue taking care of their health after the challenge was over.
And the benefits go beyond physical wellness! “The Walk to Dublin challenge was a great chance for me to become a part of the community at Northwell,” says Jonathan Bateman, an ED associate, “I was a new employee when it started and getting to be on a team helped me build relationships with my co-workers faster than I might have otherwise.”
With even more teams competing this year, Northwell employees are excited to ‘step’ it up to win big—and maybe even celebrate with some well-earned pasta and gelato in Rome.
Five Northwell Health hospitals are competing for a chance to be named the winner of the 2019 Chefs Challenge on May 23rd. Tasked with cooking a healthy and nutritious meal, each team will have 90 minutes to prepare a one-of-a-kind meal with a salmon appetizer, filet mignon entree, and an apple dessert. Each team will have three chefs and one certified dietitian who will work together to prepare a meal for guest judges. Meet the teams competing at the Chefs Challenge!
The Southside Hospital team is excited to be able to cook healthy, high-end restaurant quality food that they serve in our hospitals. They are also looking forward to seeing the variety of creative healthy dishes being prepared and presented by the other culinary teams.
Executive Chef, 4 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh herbs
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 15 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Avocados and baby spinach
Cook, 3 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Good olive oil, cauliflower, quinoa, carrots, garlic and cilantro
2nd Cook, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Broccoli and Quinoa
The LIJ Valley Stream team is most excited about showcasing their talents. Executive Chef Patty Sobel says, “I really want to showcase how improved my team at Orzac Rehab and LIJ Valley Stream Hospital has become. I have worked with this team for 18 months and they are rising with culinary skills like the mighty phoenix!”
Executive Chef, 5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: fresh ginger, fennel, oranges, earthy spices like turmeric and cumin, fresh basil, lemon verbena
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 18 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh vegetables, fruit, and fresh herbs
Cook, 20 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Salmon with yellow and julienned red peppers, fresh herbs, chervil parsley, chives, tarragon and fresh garlic
Cook, 4 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Grains- quinoa & farro and fresh grouper with kale swiss chard or spinach
The North Shore University Hospital team is most excited about getting to showcase the culinary abilities they learned in previous culinary experiences and apply them to a healthcare setting.
Chef de Partie, 9 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fermented soybean paste
Laura Zelenka Dufresne
Registered Dietitian, 28 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Asparagus
Chef de Partie, 14 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Brussel sprouts
Sous Chef, 20 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Turmeric
The Lenox Hill Hospital team is excited to collaborate and create dishes that are appetizing, appealing, and healthy enough to fit the Northwell Healthy Choice criteria! These are challenges we come across every day so we continuously educate and put into practice strategies for adjusting diets to be nutritious and enjoyable. This competition gives us an opportunity to think outside of the box and prepare meals that will leave patients feeling healthy and satisfied.
Robert Della Badia
First Cook, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Any type of grain is a great healthy ingredient that can be used for many delicious preparations.
Registered Dietitian, 2 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Pine nuts & quinoa.
Claudio Natalio Bistro
Cook, 2.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Red quinoa and tofu.
First Cook, 4.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish and mango salsa.
The Huntington Hospital team is excited to see the delicious dishes the Chef teams have compiled. They are also excited to work and compete with a group of extremely talented chefs that they can all learn and draw expertise from, while serving people great healthy food when they need it most.
Executive Chef, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: There is no one ingredient, but I love to prepare dishes using great quality, seasonal ingredients
Registered Dietitian, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fruit, herbs, and potatoes.
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish, Fresh Vegetables
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Butternut squash, greek yogurt, tomatillos and chicken thighs
18 ways LIJ Forest Hills Hospital is Made for this
Located in Queens, LIJ Forest Hills Hospital offers a unique place to work within Northwell Health. This fast-paced hospital is deeply connected with its community. With exciting growth in clinical and non-clinical areas and a passionate team serving our diverse community, there’s never been a better time to work there.
We talked to the close-knit team to hear why they love working at LIJ Forest Hills and what makes them Made for Northwell Health.
Find out what our LIJ Forest Hills team members are Made for:
Nurse Practitioner, Gastrointestinal
"I‘m Made for making a difference. It’s very rewarding to me to help someone and see the positive changes in their lives."
"I‘m Made for teamwork. Any department or any position that needs my assistance, I don’t mind going out and helping because we are a team here at Northwell."
Registered Nurse, Med/Surg and Hospice
"I‘m Made for laughs because I like to see my patients smile even when they’re in tough situations."
PCA, Emergency Department
"I‘m Made for smiling because I want to ensure that when the patient comes in, they’re always greeted with a smile. A smile goes a long way. It gives patients hope and comfort."
"I’m Made for helping people. I love for patients to be comfortable and to learn from me and the other staff on how to care for their new babies."
"I‘m Made for resiliency. Being in the operating room is an adventure every day. It’s a stressful place to be but at the same time, it‘s rewarding. You’re able to help the surgeon accomplish their mission.
Registered Nurse, Critical Care
"I’m Made for being a team player. I like to boost the morale of my coworkers and push them to the max of their capabilities."
Turnover Tech, OB
"I’m Made for helping people at Forest Hills Hospital."
Nurse Practitioner, Internal Medicine
"I‘m Made for patient centered care. Every patient is unique and if you don’t look at patients as individuals, you won’t be able to do the best job you can in treating the patient as a whole."
PCA, Med/Surg and Telemetry
"I‘m Made for helping. Helping is so much more than it sounds - it’s a skill. It’s seeing the big picture and filling in where needed.You have to know when to help, where to help, and how to help."
Registered Nurse, Emergency Department
"I’m Made for advocating for my patients. A lot of the patients we see in New York might not have family with them and need someone to advocate for them."
Registered Nurse, Labor and Delivery
"I‘m Made for preparing new moms. My job is to welcome mom into Labor and Delivery and explain to her all of the benefits of the care she’s going to receive while she’s in her labor process."
Registered Nurse, ICU
"I’m Made for communication. Communication is one of the most important aspects of working at a hospital.
"I‘m Made for staff development. Staff development is important to me because it’s essential for every nurse to do what they’re best at and what they love the most. I get to know all of my nurses and find out what their goals are because I love that collaboration in getting them to where they want and need to go."
Ludney Jean Baptiste
"I’m Made for happiness. Whenever I enter a room, I make sure the patient has a smile on their face."
Registered Nurse, ICU
"I‘m Made for compassion. My compassion makes me able to put myself in the shoes of my patients and their family’s. This truly lets me provide the best care I can."
Assistant Nurse Manager, Cardiac
"I’m Made for teamwork. I want to ensure all my staff work as a team in taking care of patients to give the best quality care."
"I‘m Made for love and respect. I love people and respect people’s opinions and that is what LIJ Forest Hills Hospital is all about."
Recipe for Success: Northwell’s teaching kitchens provide nutrition education for employees
At Northwell Health, we’re committed to the health and wellness of not only our patients and the communities we serve, but our team members as well.
Food is a foundation for maintaining good health, preventing sickness and maximizing clinical benefit. To help our staff learn the power of healthy food, Northwell has established free teaching kitchens across our healthcare system.
Making Nutrition Fun
Teaching kitchens combine culinary instruction with education to help participants learn which foods they should be eating more or less of and the best techniques for cooking them. Our nutrition education covers various topics including heart health, low refined sugar and high fiber. Team members are encouraged to use the same healthy and whole ingredients that Northwell chefs are using in our hospitals’ kitchens.
Employees who attend receive hands-on instruction from Northwell chefs and have the opportunity to sample a variety of nutritious food. These chefs partner closely with Northwell’s registered dietitians to host events that are not only informative but also fun. Samantha Gitlin, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital, says: “Northwell’s teaching kitchens provide the staff and community with exciting and interesting ways to include fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients and new cooking techniques into their daily lives.”
And these aren’t your typical meals! Recipes include everything from one pot Italian quinoa to Asian lettuce wraps with avocado cilantro slaw.
Bringing People Together
“We receive a lot of positive feedback,” says Katrina Hartog, MPH, RD, CDN, CHES, clinical nutrition manager, “but the most satisfying is when a participant says they’ve never tried the featured food or item, then walks away with the recipe to make it at home and sends their colleagues to participate!” The teaching kitchens have grown in popularity, and are also leveraged for for internal team building events as well as community outreach.
These lessons are just one of the education tools organized by the Food & Nutrition teams to expand cooking confidence and nutrition education for Northwell employees. Other initiatives include recruiting and developing chef and dietitians, implementing Northwell Healthy Choice nutrition criteria and staff education.
“My favorite thing is seeing how it brings everyone in the hospital together. We get participation from doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, dietitians, food service workers, and various ancillary staff,” says Bethany O’Dea, RD, CDN, CNSC, assistant clinical nutrition manager, “it is fun seeing everyone get excited about nutrition.”
#BalanceforBetter: Northwell Health celebrates International Women’s Day 2019
March 8th marks International Women’s Day to celebrate women everywhere. At Northwell Health, we’re committed to fostering a diverse work environment that champions its team members regardless of gender or gender identity and where everyone can be Truly Ourselves.
In celebration, hear from some of Northwell’s amazing women and the women that inspire them daily.
At Northwell Health, we know how important the holidays are for our patients. We take pride in being able to help our patients, their families, and our employees celebrate all season long across the health system! By delivering holiday cheer, our team members help patients and employees alike get into the spirit of the season.
“The holiday events that we host here at Cohen Children’s Medical Center bring such joy to the children at our hospital,” says Danielle Young, special events and donations coordinator of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program at CCMC, “These are just a few small ways that we can put a smile on the faces of the patients and brighten their day.”
And it’s not just children who get excited to celebrate! “Creating a holiday light show not only impacts the patients we care for, but also impacts the staff caring for this special population,” says Melissa Anne D’Agostino BSN, RN, Child and Adolescent nurse manager at South Oaks Hospital, “It brought tears to our eyes when an adult patient told us she was so happy to see the light show as she was recently admitted and away from her child for the holiday. Another little boy was using the fake snow to make snow angels and walked around with the snow on his face, telling staff he was Santa. It was an amazing event for all!”
Check out a quick recap and pictures from just some of the amazing events Northwell hosted this holiday season!
Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Macy’s Santa Visit with AFLAC – December 5th
Macy’s Santa comes with AFLAC and visits with the children, delivering the gift of AFLAC toy ducks.
North Shore High School Holiday Performance – December 21st North Shore High School comes and does holiday songs in the atrium for patients and families.
Violin performance – December 6th
A group violin performance in the atrium for patients and families.
SISCO Santa Event – December 14th
CCCM turns an office into the North Pole and kids can skype with Santa to let them know what they want for Christmas. Santa also has gifts for each room.
South Oaks Hospital
Holiday Campus Tree Lighting – December 3rd Holiday campus tree lighting for employees and their families.
Winter Wonderland Light Show – December 19th The courtyard is decorated with lights and blow up decorations for the holidays. Holiday music is played and there is even a snow machine (that both the kids and adults love!) to create snow while patients are served hot cocoa and cookies.
Lenox Hill Hospital
Annual Employee Children’s Holiday Party – December 14th Lenox Hill employess are invited to bring their children to this festive event, which features face painting, kiddie rides, seasonal treats and decorations and, of course, a chance to meet Santa Claus.
Annual NICU Reunion Holiday Party – December 14th Each holiday season, children who spend time in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) are invited to come back to LHH and to spend time with the doctors and nurses as well as other patients who were here during the time they were.
North Shore University Hospital
Holiday Parade Around 4 Cohen
4 Cohen hosted a Holiday Parade where in collaboration with PT and OT, patients and family paraded around the unit to holiday music
Winter Wonderland Event The NSUH Winter Wonderland is a multi-session, appreciation event for employees and their children led by NSUH Administration, Human Resources and Engineering Department. The Engineering Department uses their incredible talent and skill to transform the entire Rust Auditorium into an amazing winter-themed display, complete with lighted trees, animated figurines, giant inflatables and fake snow for employees and their families to view the display, take their picture with Santa Claus and enjoy traditional winter treats. Additionally, fun entertainers include therapy dogs, Frosty the Snowman and face painters.
College students (including a NSUH volunteer) from local Acappella groups come in and sing to help deliver holiday cheer to the patients.
Visit from the Brotherhood from Temple Beth El For the past 46 years the Brotherhood from Temple Beth El in Great Neck has been coming in to spread cheer at North Shore University Hospital. About 45 members come in and are divided into 3 groups. 2 groups go up on the units and sing for patients, visitors and employees. They are equipped with guitars, bells and tambourines. The other group works with our Rabbi to create 800-1,000 Bikkur Cholim Boxes which are handed out to Jewish patients by volunteers every Friday.
Holiday Gifts from the Auxiliary of North Shore University Hospital The Auxiliary of North Shore University Hospital pays for holiday gifts to be handed out to every patient in house. The gift is a picture frame which is wrapped in ribbon and has a card attached. It is hand delivered by members of our Auxiliary and also other North Shore University Hospital Volunteers.
Northwell Health team members race to the finish line at the NYC Marathon
This year, more than 50,000 runners gathered to compete in the world’s largest marathon and Northwell team members were no exception! At Northwell, one of our values is being truly ambitious and taking on the challenge of running the 26.2 mile New York City Marathon is one our employees are up for conquering. We caught up with some of our Northwell employees on what it felt like to finish the race last month.
Among our dedicated racers, members of the official Team Northwell Health raised over $30,000 for Northwell initiatives. These passionate team members included Joseph Moscola, Kevin Bock, Pat Farrell, Matthew Moore, Rakijah Galloway-Haskins, Sven Gierlinger, Kevin Beiner and Anghielinne Schwarting.
Hear from members of Team Northwell Health along with other Northwell employees who have raced to the finish line both this year and years prior!
Janine Sullivan Sr. Secretary 2, Nursing Education and Professional Development, Cohen Children’s Medical Center
“The TCS NYC Marathon was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I still cannot believe that I ran 26.2 miles! It is truly NYC’s biggest party! All the people, all the music throughout all the boroughs who come out to cheer us on, as well as my family being in Queens and Manhattan, was amazing! I couldn’t stop smiling the entire run! It was such a beautiful day!”
Jennifer K. Svahn, MD, FACS Assistant Professor of Surgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Director, Vein Surgery at Union Square Northwell Health Physician Partners
“Long distance running, and particularly marathon running, is an opportunity for my husband, Dr. Jeff Nicastro (VP, Clinical Services Surgery Service Line; Vice Chairman Surgery NS/LIJ; System Chief, Acute Care Surgery Northwell; Executive Director Northwell Health Trauma Institute), and I to share something we are both passionate about. It provides us with “together time” outside of the challenges of life as surgeons and the parents of two busy teenage boys. As physicians, optimizing and impacting the health of our patients in a way that allows them to enjoy their best lives is our entire focus. It’s important that we are just as committed to prioritizing our own health and fitness so that we can set an example not only for our patients , but for our colleagues as well. By ensuring our own good health and the mental calm that running provides, we are able to serve our patients better. The rigor, sacrifice and even occasional suffering that are all part of marathon training and running only serve to make the experience of crossing the finish line all the more exhilarating. Running and representing Northwell Health are a perfect partnership – setting lofty goals, taking the steps required to reach those goals, prioritizing health thru action (and not just thru words) are all ways that we can best embody and put into action the Northwell #madeforthis motto.”
Rakijah Galloway-Haskins Manager, Lab Quality Management
North Shore University Hospital
“Completing the run was surreal; I was exhausted, excited, but yet, empowered! All the pain, sweat and tears were gone and just like that, it was over and I did it! The many mantras for the NYC Marathon were : It will Inspire you, It will Empower you, It will Move you, It will Reward you…. I could not help but see Northwell’s intonations embedded in there as well; truly compassionate, truly ourselves, truly ambitions…and of course MADE FOR THIS!!! In the past I have felt conflicted on whether or not I am made for this. Now I know and truly believing that I am. I’ve had several employees come to me congratulating me on completing that 26.2 mile run and state that I have inspired them as well. In fact many want to join the next go around and that is what it is all about! Next year I want to do it again, and bring as many as possible along with me on the journey!”
Cohen Children’s Medical Center
“I’ve run the NYC marathon 2 times (once in 2016 and once in 2017). Ironically enough, the first time I ran it, it wasn’t for Northwell. It was for the YMCA. However, it was my work family at Northwell (specifically Cohen Children’s Medical center) that rallied around me, accounted for more than half of the fundraising donations I received and not to mention how site HR worked with Materials Management to don me in Northwell/Cohen’s swag, specifically a running T-shirt that read “26.2 mile dare. Challenge accepted, Cohen’s cares”. The race itself was amazing. There’s nothing like being on the Upper East Side and hearing a bunch of screaming New Yorkers yell “Go head Northwell. Go head Cohen’s Children. Keep going You can do it.” It’s just the push one needs when they’re exhausted from running the 59th street bridge and bracing themselves to take on The Bronx and central park. The second time I ran the marathon, I was officially on the Northwell Health team. I got to fund raise directly for the organization and it was a great experience. I’d love to do it again.”
And while the race is a time for Northwell team members to shine for their own accomplishments, they’re passion for care remains an ever present value in their lives. This was proven when this year an Northwell physician paused his own race to help provide care for another runner. Dr. Theodore Strange, vice chair of primary care of Northwell Health and the vice president of medical operations of Staten Island University Hospital,wasn’t thinking about his own finish time when he heard a woman cry for help, he was only thinking about how he could help. Dr. Strange stopped mid-race to perform CPR on the unconscious runner and worked together with emergency responders to deliver care. After assuring the woman was being safely treated and transported to a hospital, Dr. Strange continued running and went on to finish the marathon.
Congratulations to all the Northwell Health employees who have participated in the marathon!
At Northwell, we’re flexible and not afraid to push boundaries. So, the forecast and eventual onset of rain that showed up at the finale of this year’s employee Rally didn’t stop our team members from making unforgettable memories together and celebrating the “Story of us.” There was nothing but sunny and smiling faces at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Saturday, July 21 when thousands of Northwell team members gathered for this incredible event.
This year’s Rally was all about storytelling and started at the Wellgate, our healthy version of a tailgate. In the “Story of Us” zone, guests could visit “Did You Know?” tents to learn about different initiatives for Northwell team members– such as myWellness, the Gift of Life (Northwell’s organ donation partnership program) and the work of our Foundation (we are a non-profit after all).
It was in this zone that Northwell even beat a world record! Rally guests worked together to help Northwell break the Guinness World Record for the most color by number contributions. 829 participants colored in a giant mural depicting our health system, beating the previous record of 455 participants.
In the “Story of Life” zone, Rally guests experienced the power of connection. Here guests could taste healthy choice recipes crafted by 12 Northwell chefs from our hospitals. They also discovered the healing power of pet therapy, getting the opportunity to meet with Northwell’s furriest team members. Poetry was also part of the day, with poets writing a personalized haiku for guests based on their own stories.
Rally guests could then walk through the different features highlighting our “Stores of Curiosity”. Guests could participate in training in an ambulance simulator or support one of Northwell’s next innovations by signing the “What if” wall which gave an inside look into some of our health system’s next big ideas. The zone’s Hall of Innovation was another big hit at the Rally. From a telehealth bike that gives patients access to supervised pulmonary rehabilitation therapy remotely, to a Northwell Health skill for Amazon Alexa that delivers current wait times for our patients, Northwell’s team members are developing innovations that will help shape the future of health care.
Other featured initiatives included: the Fin (the first 3D-printed, amphibious, prosthetic leg that allows amputee swimmers to navigate in and out of the water), Bottle Cap (an app that provides patients with automated text messaging and online coaching to learn about and reduce their consumption of alcoholic beverages,) and Project Polaris (a multi-year journey to reimagine HR processes).
In our “Stories of Celebration” zone, we celebrated our diverse and growing team of more than 66,000, including the stories of our President’s Awards winners and finalists, service awards recipients, and those who volunteered for service in last year’s Hurricane Harvey and Maria relief efforts. Our employees are so much more than their scrubs and stethoscopes and Rally guests were able to look, listen, touch and feel the exceptional stories of their fellow team members in our immersive display celebrating Northwell’s every day heroes.
Finally, at the Activity Stage, employees moved to the beat at the Zumba class led by a Northwell team member, Daniel Manalo, and danced to the music of the Hot Seeds, our very own physician band.
After the Wellgate experience, attendees entered the amphitheater for the main show, an experience that won’t soon be forgotten. From a guest speaker to President’s Awards Winner tributes to the grand prize drawing of our employee walk challenge to special performances, team members danced and cheered all night long.
It of course wouldn’t be a Rally without Michael J. Dowling, Northwell’s President and CEO. It’s not often your CEO make their big entrance on a boat! His remarks, as always, inspired everyone in attendance and he reminded team members to continue to innovate for our patients and our community.
Advancing Northwell’s spirit of innovation was the Rally’s guest speaker, Mick Ebeling. Mick founded Not Impossible Labs and works hard to expand the possibilities of technology to provide solutions for fundamental human needs, causing waves in and out of the world of healthcare. His powerful speech inspired Northwell employees to continue to view the world differently and to challenge the idea of impossible.
Closing the 2018 Northwell Rally was a spectacular performance from Michael Elroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices and a moving display from The Silhouettes.
The excitement in the air was contagious, with team members feeling reinvigorated for what lies ahead. Of course, the excitement was never higher than when it came time to announce the big winners for the Walk to Dublin employee step challenge. The winning team was announced, with all ten members receiving a free trip to Dublin. But that wasn’t all – as a surprise, two more teams were awarded the grand prize for a total of thirty employees headed to Dublin!
As the event came to a close, there was one impassioned thought running through the crowd: we can’t wait to see what the Story of Us brings next year!
Vivian Buccino, BSN, Charge Nurse, South Oaks Hospital
Vivian is committed to taking care of patients on the behavioral health unit at South Oaks Hospital, caring for the female adolescent population. She begins each shift rounding, ensuring her patients are treated with respect, regardless of their illness. While she provides clinical care, she also builds trust with her patients and demonstrates that she personally cares. Sometimes when patients have no visitors for lengths at a time Vivian will come in on her day off with cupcakes.
Vivian’s caring demeanor manifests itself in every interaction with patients and their families – exceeding what is expected to ensure everyone feels safe and secure. She is a role model for the girls on her unit, as well as her peers. Vivian always says that South Oaks Hospital is where she needs to be because her patients need her. It’s as simple as that.
Many moments in Melonie’s life led her to her career in healthcare. From witnessing the tragic events of 9/11 to her service in the U.S. Army working in a Combat Action Support Hospital, Melonie knew helping others was her calling.
While serving our country Melonie was assisting a critically-injured soldier who had been hit by a bomb. She soothed the soldier during his last moments of life by holding his hand and talking. Devastated by the loss, she found a letter to his family in the pocket of his uniform, and made it her mission to personally ensure the soldier’s family received this letter.
During her nine-year military tenure and leadership experience, Melonie has served as a role model for her staff, developing a strong sense of admiration amongst her team members. Overseeing radiology and cardiology for Plainview and Syosset hospitals, her list of achievements is vast, and because of this, she directly contributes to the success of Northwell as a thriving environment. Her colleague shares, “From her time as a soldier stationed in Iraq to now, her spirit has remained constant, influential and inspiring. We are lucky to have her.”
Watch Melonie’s Made for this story.
Teamwork- Project Search, Southwest Region
Team lead: Anne Marie McDonough
Team members: Joy Barone, Jai Sada, Anthony Mantuano, Antoniette Arcamone, Laura Longo, Dir, Rory Bradley, Nora Goldberg, Ralph Grimaldi, Joann Compitello
Launched at Staten Island University Hospital, Project Search is an innovative national program used to diversify a hospital’s workforce while minimizing high turnover in entry level jobs. The transition training program is for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who have completed academic requirements and would benefit from internships and employability skills education. The program’s steering committee identified entry level positions, performed job task analysis and created a recognizable presence for program participants. Ten applicants were selected, and classes began at Staten Island in September 2017. Led by special educators and a job coach, students attended daily classroom academic sessions and spent the remainder of their day with their mentor in their internship.
By the end of the year, students rotated through three non-paid internships that provided real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills. Staff became role models for the students, and the transition program has had far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about hiring people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful. There is significant potential for rolling this program out within the entire organization.
Watch Project Search’s Made for this story!
Exceptional Patient Customer Experience
Urszula Monaco, Lobby Service Representative, Center for Advanced Medicine
Fighting cancer is frightening, stressful and challenging. Fortunately, patients at the Center for Advanced Medicine Department of Radiation Medicine have someone like Urszula on their side. As the department’s lobby service representative, Urszula is the first face patients see when they come to the department where they are welcomed with her warm greeting and smile. Seamlessly, Urszula maintains the patient flow, helping to keep patients informed and reassured if there are any delays. This is no easy task when you consider that she sees over 120 patients and their families daily.
Urszula literally wears out the tread of her shoes moving from waiting room to waiting room, all while attending to the needs of patients. In 2017, Urszula walked approximately 3,276,000 steps which translates to more than 1,400 miles. While that seems like a tremendous distance to travel, Urszula would gladly go twice as far it if meant that she could comfort another patient. If you ask her if she gets tired of walking so much, her response would be, “Not at all. I just need a new pair of shoes.”
In addition to supporting patients, Urszula helps the department by spearheading creative ideas for improvement. She was heavily involved in rolling out the “Gong Ceremony” to help patients celebrate the important milestone of finishing treatment. Urszula wants to make sure no patient no patient goes through their diagnosis alone.
Watch Urzula’s Made for this story!
Physician of the Year
Tarek Zetoune MD, Hospice Physician, Hospice Care Network
Dr. Zetoune holds a unique understanding of the true meaning of comprehensive care and is committed to delivering quality end of life care to both adult and pediatric patients. Driven by the belief that every day matters, he demonstrates his pledge to connectedness, awareness, respect and empathy to his patients, their families and his coworkers. His decision to work in end of life care was in part motivated by his belief that it is a facet of medicine that, as a society, we often choose to ignore. In his words, “When there is no longer an option for cure, there is even more work to be done.”
“Born in Syria, Dr. Zetoune is committed to working with refugees, as well as hospice patients. Following the end of his fellowship program, he traveled to Greece as a pediatric volunteer to help displaced refugees. “If you are in the presence of a man or woman who is talking about his or her loss, whether in a hospice setting or in a refugee camp, you don’t have to say anything. Just listen. Our presence with that patient is what is most important, not our words,” says Dr. Zetoune.”
Administrative Manager and Wellness Liaison Janet Schaetzle has been with Northwell Health for 12 years managing Northwell Health Physician Partners, Neurosurgery and Spine at Great Neck and Lynbrook. But don’t think she’s managing from afar as Janet’s on the floor with her staff and she doesn’t want to leave. In order to keep her staff in top shape, wellness is a major focus. For Janet, Northwell’s culture and wellness is connected to many aspects of her life — inside her office and outside in her community.
Inside the office, Janet’s staff members focus on wellness through healthy lunches and Zumba. Janet’s staff also participated in the Walk To Dublin. They embraced their love of competition and formed a team. “We monitored each other and we still do weekly step-offs and weekend rumbles. I’ve met people and made friends in other departments through the wellness challenges,” says Janet.
That emphasis on wellness and the impact of Northwell’s culture extends from her office doors out into her community. Janet is a part of the Northwell Life Facebook group that connects employees throughout Northwell Health. From Suffolk County, to Westchester, to New York City, employees are using social media to work together on community service projects in their spare time. For example, Janet’s office donates to Meals on Wheels with four other departments. In addition, the staff will take time on a weekend to serve families at the Ronald McDonald house and share a day creating a dinner for over 80 people every year for the past 3 years. “Northwell does so much with communities to raise money for brain aneurysms, breast cancer, and more problems that affect my patients. There’s a sense that you belong to an organization that really does care,” she adds.
Janet has personally benefited from Northwell Health’s focus on employee wellness. And that begins with leadership. “Northwell brings people in from the wellness department and the EAP works with us in dealing with stress, sleep, and staying energized,” says Janet. “The staff is so into it and I’ve joined a gym since this wellness program started.” That dedication to wellness includes providing resources to help employees grow professionally. “We have so many opportunities to advance. Through the Center for Learning Innovations (CLI), we can take classes, and Northwell Health will help pay for you to continue your education.” From Dealing with Stress Management to Emotional Intelligence for Leaders to Business Writing and Computer courses, Northwell Health provides employees with classes that help them advance and nurture their professional careers.
The emphasis of community has allowed Janet to see her staff at Northwell Health as family. Many of them have been working with her for 5-10 years, with one staff member who has been with her for 23! Now, Janet’s actual family has joined her Northwell Health family. Janet’s son Josef works for LIJ Hospital. “I am so proud of his contributions that he has given in only his first year with Northwell. At Northwell Health, you’re recognized for doing great things. There really is a culture of care here and shows that we are all Made for This.”
For years, she’s collected shoes and drawn sneaker designs that she posts on her wall at work. Last year, at Levitt Pediatric’s Christmas gift exchange, she received a sneaker coloring book from one of the nurse practitioners.
“I’ve always dreamed of designing them,” says Gabrielle Serrano, Northwell Health Administrative Supervisor, “I’ve drawn and colored them and posted pictures around my desk.”
Another one of her passions? New York City. It was the first city her grandmother ever traveled to and she never left. Gabrielle loves the people that make up New York City and the melting pot of diversity that comes with that. “Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn, uptown, downtown,” explains Gabrielle, “You can literally travel all over the world without leaving New York.”
Gabrielle is also a street photographer, a homeless advocate, and an artist. She is Truly Innovative which is one of Northwell’s core values and loves finding, capturing and communicating the diversity and dynamic spirit of New York’s unique people.
Recently, all of her passions came together as she entered a contest to design a new sneaker for Nike. The Nike On Air Shoe Competition was the chance for Gabrielle to bring together her many interests so that she could communicate with the world who she really is. This is how the Air Max 98 “La Mezcla” was born.
Gabrielle’s goal was to bring all the diversity of New York City, the character of its people, its melting pot heritage and infuse it into her sneaker design. “I wanted to showcase all the different types of skin tones of different types of people,” says Gabrielle, “But I wanted to make sure I represented it the right way – not just to show my city, but to show myself.”
Gabrielle not only entered the contest… she was one of six winners representing countries from around the world!
As an Office Associate in one of Northwell Health’s Pediatric Practices, Gabrielle’s many talents and interests make her an even more valuable employee. That’s why Northwell Health is so proud to support Gabrielle’s interests away from work. Support that helped push Gabrielle closer to her dream, “Northwell sent an email to all employees and posted on social media and everyone shared. People I didn’t even know voted for me.”
Northwell truly believes that employees are much more than just their professional abilities. We are better together when we are Truly Ourselves. “It’s awesome to work for a company that is so supportive of me,” says Gabrielle, “both at work and in my personal passions.”
If you’d like to be part of an organization that values diversity and empowers and inspires people to express their individuality to the fullest, take a look at Northwell Health careers.
At Northwell Health, we already stand out as one of the Best Workplaces™ in Health Care and Biopharma. Now we’re aiming to be the healthiest. Our leadership is focused on food and nutrition as well as fitness and mental wellbeing initiatives to build a healthier workplace for all our employees.
“In the past few years, we’ve been able to do more in food and nutrition to create a better, more effective infrastructure for wellness at work and it’s because we’ve had a lot of great support from leadership.”
–Michelle Milgrim, Employee Wellness Manager
It all starts with the ingredients. Over the past two years, we’ve worked to ensure that our chicken, turkey and beef burgers are 100 percent antibiotic free. Our fish is sustainably sourced and harvested and we work, as much as possible, with local farms across Long Island, NJ and the Hudson Valley to source local produce. Through Community Supported Agriculture, employees are given the opportunity to get local produce – freshly harvested that morning — delivered weekly to their offices.
With great ingredients, we need great chefs. Northwell Health has four Michelin Star chefs that are driving chef talent development including our new AVP, system food services Bruno Tison. Our new partnership with the Culinary Institute of America’s fellowship program is going to bring culinary students into our pipeline of talent.
Now that we have put wellness on our plates and in our kitchens, we’re focusing on wellness in other areas. For starters? We want employees to be eating well at home. So, we’ve invested in teaching kitchens and work in close collaboration with chefs and registered dietitian teams to create hands-on demonstrations that have become a popular, accessible tool for staff. And we’re supporting these initiatives by providing healthier options throughout our facilities, not just the patient and cafeteria menu. We’re updating our coffee shops, gift shops, and vending machines so that the default options at our facilities will be healthy ones.
Though these changes are already making an impact to our employees’ wellness, they’re not the only lifestyle initiatives that we’re putting in place to support the wellbeing of our people. We’re putting our best foot forward through on-site stairwell and fitness campaigns and corporate walking challenges like our Walk to Dublin contest. As we pursue promoting wellness for our bodies, we also seek wellness for our mental health. We offer opportunities for stress management at our sites through guided meditation and reiki, and simply giving our employees time to unwind. We’re also making our facilities mom-friendly. By August, all of our sites will be equipped with dedicated lactation rooms to make pumping at work more accessible and comfortable for mothers.
At Northwell, every role matters, every person matters and every healthy moment matters. We’re invested in our employees’ health, inside and out and we continuously strive toward making our facilities a more nutritious, fit-friendly and welcoming place to work.
Be part of this transformation. See where you fit in here.
Going the extra mile: Why Northwell Health was just named one of the Best WorkplacesTM in Health Care and Biopharma
Fortune and Great Place to Work® have named Northwell Health as one of the Best Workplaces™ in Health Care and Biopharma! In the newly released nationwide survey of healthcare employees, Northwell Health, New York’s largest health system, ranked 13th nationally. But, what does this actually mean for a potential employee?
At Northwell Health, you’ll find a close-knit work family. Based on a strong sense of mission and camaraderie among our 66,000 employees, we ranked second in the Northeast! This sense of purpose extends from inside our system out to the community. We’re making an impact and of our surveyed employees, 90 percent feel good about the ways we contribute to the community. These numbers only reinforce our ongoing commitment to community outreach.
So let’s get into our numbers: 83 percent of Northwell Health’s 700 respondents say their workplace is great. But what makes this place so great? When someone sets out to work in health care, they’re joining an industry unlike any other. Eighty-eight percent of our surveyed employees found that their work here has special meaning, that this is not “just a job” and 86 percent feel that they make a difference here.
“There is purpose in everything we do and the results are often life-saving,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “That can be incredibly stressful at times. But it is always rewarding. Keep in mind that we are in the people business. We put our patients first, but to do that we need to take care of our employees and ensure a workplace that’s safe, life-affirming and team-oriented. Everyone at Northwell Health is connected by the common bond of service to our community.”
Along with this distinction as one of the Best Workplaces™ in Health Care and Biopharma, Northwell Health ranked No. 55 on Fortune’s annual Best Workplaces for Diversity list in December and was recently highlighted as a leader in LGBTQ healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2018. We’re excited about all of these distinctions and they encourage us to keep making our health system a great place to work.
Learn about opportunities to join one of the Best Workplaces™ in Health Care and Biopharma.
When you’re Truly Ambitious, you don’t let anything stand in your way
What makes a great leader? To some, tenacity. To others, grit. To others, a vision. At Northwell Health, we believe that what makes a great leader isn’t necessarily one specific trait, it’s the culmination of all of these ideals with time, experience and determination. Which is why our recent panel highlighting some of our most ambitious female leaders, was so uniquely inspiring. It takes an exceptional level of leadership to redefine health care while creating tomorrow’s health system.
Despite adversity throughout their careers, these women have created real change in our health system, inspiring their peers and motivating their department teams to do the same.
Panelists discussed their career progressions, the challenges they’ve faced and the inspiring women who helped them along the way.
In particular, each participant drew from her own career to offer a piece of advice for overcoming adversity to those looking to be leaders themselves. Their answers, much like their careers, will inspire you:
“Seek to become a change agent. Do not fear adversity as it usually manifests itself in your life to challenge you, to build your resiliency, to help you evolve and achieve greater goals. Always seek to participate in something greater than yourself, something with a community or global impact. The effects will be powerful and meaningful. Don’t just wait for change to happen, lead the change and make it what you want it to be.”
— Emmelyn Kim, AVP, Research Compliance and Privacy Officer – Office of Research Compliance
“Stay grounded in who you are. Be confident and authentic. Those who approach the world with bias have a smaller world than those who approach the world through a lens of possibilities. Remember, the bias speaks about who they are, not who you are. You are the architect of your own destiny! Stay true to who you are and learn from the mistakes of those who are biased.”
— Mary Comerford-Hewitt, AVP, Talent Acquisition
“Women continue to make extraordinary contributions in healthcare leadership roles. To continue to do so, we need to believe that everything is possible – we are limited only by our imaginations. Seek out role models and mentors. I love the quote from the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, ‘We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.’’
–Penny Stern, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACOEM
“My advice will be the same advice my mother gave to me, which was why are you letting other people define you? If you know what you want to do, then do it”
–Tochi Iroku Malize, MD, MPH
We’re proud to call these Truly Ambitious women part of the Northwell Health Family. If you’re looking to make the most of your passion, vision and ambition, we have opportunities that offer the autonomy and support you need to reach your true potential. Watch the full diversity lunch and learn below and learn more here.
At Northwell Health, we’re always up for a challenge and our innovative 2018 employee step challenge, Walk to Dublin, is no small feat. Teams of 10 will compete in a virtual journey from New York City to Dublin (approx. 3.7 million steps!) by tracking their real physical activity and unlocking remarkable virtual destinations throughout Ireland all along the way. All teams to virtually reach Dublin together will qualify to win an ACTUAL trip to Ireland. The inspiration for our Walk to Dublin comes from our Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling, who has instilled a passion for wellness throughout our organization.
We asked the manager of Employee Wellness Niha Malcomson for her take on Northwell Health’s employee wellness goals: “This is something that our leadership emphasizes and we practice and share it: we want employees to say they’re healthy because they work here, and that they can improve their health because Northwell Health supports their goals.”
We’re so passionate about the health of our patients, but their success depends on the health and well-being of our people. That’s why we’re so excited to see 1100 teams as of today ready to focus on their own wellness while challenging themselves, working as a team, and having fun! AND there’s that grand prize…
Just as we rely on each other to do our best work for our patients, we are Truly Together in our goal to be a Healthiest Place to Work by 2022. Wellness is a team effort, and from our Walk to Dublin step challenge to creating healthier environments for all, we can only accomplish these goals together. Sure, some of us are focused on weight loss or running marathons, but as a team, we’re focused on engagement and fun for all employees!
We’re excited to take the first steps on our walk to Dublin! Stay tuned to meet our winners and see what we accomplish when we all work together to reach our wellness goals!
Photo: From left to right, Dr. Allen Toles, Dr. Janna Andrews, Zacharie Saintyl
Black History Month: My role as a leader at Northwell
At Northwell, we are Truly Ourselves and we stand united, proud and respectful, always celebrating our differences, together. February is Black History Month, and we sat down with some of our leaders to learn about their history, their dreams, and their career aspirations. With an ever-changing health care landscape, their leadership is critical to our organization’s success because of their unique backgrounds. Check it out.
1. Can you please describe your ethnic background and/or family origin?
Dr. Allen Toles: My ethnic background is African American.
Dr. Janna Andrews: I am African American and my family originates from Alabama and Georgia (and I am very proud of my southern roots). My family moved to Queens when my mother was a child but as many of them get older they all eventually return home to the south.
Zacharie Saintyl: I am originally from Haiti. My family came to this country in hopes for a better future. My parents always told us about the United States being the land of opportunity. They always have high hopes that my siblings and I would become important figures in society through a good education, and their hope was realized when my siblings and I became the first generation in our family to graduate high school and to graduate college. Thanks to my parents, today we each are able to live our dreams.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be a healthcare professional?
Dr. Allen Toles: I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to be in healthcare having been exposed to it, essentially, from birth, and because my mother is a pediatrician who trained at Harlem Hospital and serviced the Greater Jamaica Queens community for more than 40 years. So, it was a natural transition for me as I advanced through my undergraduate and ultimately Medical School years.
Dr. Janna Andrews: I knew I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was five. My goal was first to go to the Olympics in Gymnastics then spend the rest of my career as a physician. After I hit a serious growth spurt at 16 my Olympic aspirations were put aside. I wasn’t anywhere near Olympic quality but I do appreciate that gymnastics taught me how to compete. I should also say that I was fortunate to grow up watching the Cosby show where I got to see very positive images of black professionals that convinced me that becoming a physician was something I could achieve. After gymnastics I then began to focus on what I needed to do to go to medical school and I looked at the journey as just training for another competition. I always had a very deep interest in healing whether it was mentally or physically and what that entailed.
Zacharie Saintyl: It had always been my passion since I was a little boy growing up in Haiti to help others. I was always involved in community service at church and I would always visit the sick at hospitals, brought them food and prayed with them. When I came to the United States I was presented with an abundance of opportunities and education that helped my passion become a reality. As I grew older I became more passionate about working in the medical field as I watched my family members, especially my mother, struggle with sickness. I wanted to be in a position where I can provide professional health to them and that’s when I found my passion in Nursing. I started as a nursing assistant at Northwell Health and after finishing my studies, I continued to set higher goals for myself. I took advantage of every opportunity that was presented to me and I am now a Nurse Manager at LIJ Valley Stream.
3. What’s the best part of being a leader here at Northwell Health?
Dr. Allen Toles: The best part of being a leader here at Northwell, is that I have the opportunity every day of breaking down barriers and stereotypes, and being a role model for other employees and my community.
Dr. Janna Andrews: The best part of being a leader at Northwell is having a platform to make a difference. I’ve been extremely fortunate to sit down with some great mentors that have really opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist at Northwell, but also to the impact that I can potentially have. I feel like it is my job to pass this information and these opportunities along. I’m currently serving as a co-chair for the BERG (Business Employee Resource Group) that focuses on employees of African American and Caribbean descent. We are just getting started, but collectively we are committed to ensuring that these employees are aware of opportunities that exist for themselves or their families at Northwell. We are also committed to hosting health initiatives that will have a positive and lasting impact on the communities of color in the surrounding areas.
Zacharie Saintyl: The best part of being a leader at Northwell Health is being able to contribute to the Northwell mission. I am grateful to be a member of a great health system that invests in its mission and vision to improve and promote healthcare across diverse communities. I am truly honored to have this platform to be inspired and I am fortunate to be surrounded by great leaders that I can learn from. I’m presently a member of one of our BERG’s serving as a co-chair. We work to enhance communication and patient experience while serving the diverse communities within our health system.
4. What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month?”
Dr. Janna Andrews: When I think about Black History Month, I very much think about those that came before me and created this space and opportunity for me. I am very aware that I stand on their shoulders and I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve and overcome. There is more work to be done and that is ok. I live my life through the affirmation- to whom much is given, much is expected, and I am happy to carry the baton until it is my turn to pass it. For now, I will roll up my sleeves and ask how I can be of service.
Zacharie Saintyl: When I think of Black History I think of the time that we celebrate all the accomplishments and the accolades of black people worldwide. The first black president of the United States was in my lifetime. That is an amazing feeling to experience. This accomplishment and others inspire me to also become a great role model, not only to my children, but also to those who look up to me. Knowing about the great achievements of black people through history motivates me to never give up. I become more confident in knowing that I too can accomplish great things such as the people who came before me and created this opportunity for me.
5. Is there a specific leader from history that inspires you? What about a figure from today?
Dr. Allen Toles: It may sound cliché, but Martin Luther King, continues to inspire me, because I was well aware of his presence and actions during my adolescence and was able to witness firsthand, the cataclysmic change that he brought about in American Society. In this 21st century, I have been inspired by many people, but I think for most people of color, Barack Obama has inspired a new generation of believers, that with hard work and determination, all things are possible.
Dr. Janna Andrews: Harry Belafonte inspires me. His legacy as a social activist and devotion to the ongoing fight for our civil rights is tremendous. Harry Belafonte has passed the baton from his mentor Paul Robeson and I have so much respect for someone that recognizes and uses their platform for social good. Mr. Belafonte has shown up, he has written checks, and he has stayed politically engaged his entire life. He has been passionate and outspoken as a humanitarian and I can only hope to accomplish a sliver of what he has but he certainly gave those of us that follow in his footsteps a foundation to stand on. I think ultimately Mr. Belafonte will pass the baton to the actor/social activist Jesse Williams. Already an established social activist in his right, I can’t wait to see what Williams is able to accomplish.
Zacharie Saintyl: Barack Obama is my inspiration. When faced with adversaries and tribulations, he was never shaken – he was a man of character. He has received unprecedented opposition and disrespect, yet he dealt with them peacefully and gracefully. As a father and a husband, he inspires me to be a great leader – to lead with positivity, and to never give up when facing adversary.
6. Why, more than ever, do we need to reignite humanism in healthcare?
Dr. Allen Toles: There is a tectonic shift that is happening ethnically and culturally in this world and right here within our own communities, and as health care providers we need to be exquisitely sensitive to this shift. We are no longer a homogenous population; we are a “melting pot” of such diversity now, with the breaking down of bias, stereotypes, and ignorance. People are in relation with one another, and as a result, families are now multicultural, multiracial, bringing forth more heterogeneity than ever. To this end “Humanism” has to be primary when delivering healthcare, so that one can understand the whole person – what makes them who they are, and therefore, have a better insight, into their health challenge, and develop the best approach to heal their body, mind, and spirit.
When our employees or their family members are sick and unsure of the next steps, it’s a comfort to know someone is there to help, someone who can answer questions and give important assistance, any time of the day or night. If you’re a Northwell Health employee covered by one of the United Healthcare benefit plans, the Clinical Call Center is a new benefit that will provide that assistance. And it’s just one of the benefits that we provide to help our employees feel their best.
“Our highly-trained nurses are available to help 24/7. They are dedicated and caring professionals who provide the highest quality telephonic nursing care when our callers need it most.”
–Karen Abrashkin, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Call Center
When a Northwell Health employee or their covered dependent calls the Clinical Call Center, they will be directly connected with an experienced Northwell Health RN who is certified in emergency care. The best part is our Clinical Call Center is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Be assured that all communications are confidential.
“The Clinical Call Center nurses utilize evidence-based protocols to determine a recommended level of care for our callers. Our call center is the second Accredited Center of Excellence for Emergency Communication Nursing in the world awarded by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.”
–Debra Tomassetti, Program Director, Clinical Call Center
What kinds of situations can the Clinical Call Center address?
Urgent health questions or concerns
Changes in health condition
Whether or not a trip to the emergency room is needed
Questions or concerns regarding medication
“At Northwell Health, we are continuously looking for opportunities to take better care of our employees and their families. The Clinical Call Center is a great example of that.”
–Greg Bennett, Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Business Development