Why Northwell Health is once again a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®!
Northwell Health has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the second year in a row, ranking 19 on the prestigious annual list. We are also the only New York health system ranked, recognized for our commitment to employee health amid COVID-19 crisis.
With a workforce of more than 76,000 based at 23 hospitals and 830 outpatient facilities throughout New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, Northwell was selected from among thousands of companies nationwide.
Ninety percent of Northwell’s respondents reported being “proud to tell others” where they work and 84 percent said that “taking everything into account, they would say it is a great place to work.” The responses given during the ongoing pandemic reflect that Northwell team members feel more supported psychologically and emotionally, believe that Northwell cares about creating a good working environment, and that executive leadership embodies the best of Northwell.
A commitment to employee health and safety!
Another major factor contributing to the ranking included our commitment to employee health, both emotional and financial. For example, recognizing that frontline employees were under immense pressure, the health system created tranquility spaces using tents outside hospitals during the surge. Behavioral health professionals were available free of charge, as well as chaplaincy services, well-being resources and more. This provided safe and calming environments for employees to reflect, meditate, or pray before or after a shift.
The tents have now been replaced with indoor spaces as a permanent feature at Northwell hospitals.
To mitigate the worry many employees had of bringing the coronavirus home to their families, Northwell established partnerships with IHG Hotels, Ronald McDonald House, and various universities to provide housing so employees could physically distance from loved ones. Those who found alternative accommodations outside of this program were reimbursed for their expenses. Northwell also partnered with a transportation company to provide dedicated shuttles, so no one had to worry about potentially infecting other public transit passengers or being infected themselves.
Supporting families through a crisis
To aid employees with young children the health system offered crisis care reimbursement and a subsidized in-person childcare program for the 2020-2021 school year to help offset financial strain on families.
Recognizing the need for additional help, the Northwell Heroes Caregiver Support Fund was created to provide resources to employees who were financially impacted by the pandemic, such as a spouse’s job loss or a family member’s death. To date, the fund has disbursed $1,056,208.
In addition, the health system set up the Northwell Heroes Memorial Fund to support the families of employees who died from COVID-19, including help with funeral expenses, memorials, and other related expenses. The fund has raised more than $323,000 to cover salary and benefits that affected families continue to receive.
Delivering the COVID vaccine
On December 14, 2020, Northwell was the first health system in the United States to immunize its frontline workers against COVID-19, and has continued to roll out its vaccination efforts to team members.
While Northwell is focused on protecting team members, it is also at the forefront of the vaccination effort throughout the communities it serves with partnerships with county agencies, other health care providers, and community and faith-based organizations the vaccine is reaching as many as possible.
Northwell’s Best Companies to Work For recognition comes on the heels of the health system being named to Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care & Biopharma list, earning the No. 2 spot for the category of large health care organization.
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Helping our new hires get ready for their Northwell career journey
At Northwell Health, we strive to provide the best experience for our incoming team members to ensure they are fully prepared to start and experience a career well cared for.
Our pre-boarding and onboarding teams in the Talent Acquisition Department support our new hires from the moment they accept a job offer through their first day. They aim to provide a smooth transition from candidate to team member with guidance along the way.
Steps these teams help our future team members complete include:
Health and pre-hire appointments for medical clearance and required onboarding paperwork
A visit to security and human resources for certain requirements and an ID badge, as well as other verification processes
Preparing for our Beginnings orientation to help our newest team members be set up for success in their new career with us.
There is a great deal of coordination to ensure everyone is ready to begin in their new role at the right time.
Meet some of our amazing team members from our pre-boarding and onboarding teams :
Deziree Brandi, Supervisor, Talent Acquisition
Deziree has grown into her career at Northwell since starting as an admin support associate with FlexStaff in 2018. As a supervisor for talent acquisition in Human Resources, she supports the talent acquisition onboarding team by providing guidance for various projects and processes, ensuring that start dates are met, and helping to integrate new technology. “I always love working hand-in-hand with the candidates to provide them with the support and understanding of what is needed to start their new positions and future with Northwell,” says Deziree.
Deziree has also been able to grow her career at Northwell. “My previous and current managers have supported my growth by providing me with the tools and guidance to take on stretch assignments, develop professionally, and to build my confidence so I was ready to move into the next stage of my career,” says Deziree.
Aaron Weeks, Associate Talent Acquisition Program Manager
As a talent acquisition associate program manager for the Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) team, Aaron helps facilitate a smooth and efficient onboarding experience for new ACP hires by partnering with medical staff services, hiring managers, and organizational leadership. “Interacting with the new hires is my favorite part,” says Aaron “I’m passionate about the customer service I provide, and I love making a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or small.”
Aaron has also grown his career here at Northwell. “Northwell has been impactful to my growth and development in many ways,” says Aaron. “My colleagues and leaders played the biggest role in my growth and development because they challenge me to be my best daily.”
Jeniece Devita, Talent Acquisition Representative
As a talent acquisition representative, Jeniece’s role is ensuring new hires are prepared for their appointments and verifying work experience, education, and credentials. Once the new hires have completed all of their requirements, she ensures they are set up for Beginnings, which is our new hire orientation, site orientation and any additional trainings required for her new team member journey. “There are many things I enjoy about working in onboarding,” says Jeniece. “I’m someone who likes to understand how what I’m doing fits into the bigger picture. It’s one of the things I find rewarding in my role. I can see how the work we do as HR professionals enables employees and the overall organization to reach their objectives.”
How Northwell is caring for our environment with the GreenBERG
April is Earth Month and we’d like to share how our team members are making a difference in our environment by being part of our Green Business Employee Resource group (BERG).
Each year we celebrate Earth Day we reaffirm our commitment to help protect our planet and work to address climate change. Many of our team members strive throughout the year to be environmentally conscious and make positive changes through our own actions of conservation, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint.
With the impacts of climate change becoming more and more urgent, there’s never been a better time to learn about Northwell’s GreenBERG, a group of Northwell team members who are motivated to improve the environmental impact of Northwell’s operations by advancing sustainable and socially responsible efforts across the organization. Our GreenBERG members are working together to advance positive environmental actions in our communities. Being part of our GreenBERG also keeps you connected with colleagues, helps you build your professional network and be part of meaningful changes made by our organization. Here are some of the top ways they are making an impact.
They take an active role in managing Northwell’s environmental impact in the workplace and in our communities.
Northwell’s GreenBERG is a group that focuses on the environmental impact of our operations and has a real voice in making decisions on how our organization prioritizes sustainable and socially responsive initiatives in the workplace and in our communities. The GreenBERG focuses on energy and emissions; waste; climate change impacts; recycling and a sustainable supply chain.
The GreenBERG helps us achieve important environmental goals that will help ensure our future.
Among the overall goals of Northwell’s GreenBERG, they aim to enhance recycling and waste optimization, improve transportation in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint—including establishing a fleet of “green” ambulances and charging stations—and improve energy efficiency within our workplace, marketplace and the communities we serve.
A priority for 2021 is to expand GreenBERG membership and awareness of the initiatives underway. The group is incredibly proud to be partnering with our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) group and committing to important goals including reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and our electricity usage by 10% by 2027; obtaining 15% of our electricity from renewables by 2030 and increasing Northwell’s recycling volume to 25% of total waste volume by 2027. Other priorities include reducing regulated medical waste and incorporating sustainable and socially responsible products into our dietary menus.
One of the group’s most exciting plans for this year is a partnership with our Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR) BERG to clean and restore locations where military monuments are displayed. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative where two BERGs join together honoring our veterans with a clean environment.
Our members are proud to be part of a group that has a history of getting important work done.
Northwell has placed first in the annual Car Free Day Long Island event for the past eight years – including last year during the pandemic. And members were able to continue to honor Earth Day during the pandemic by providing team members with tips on how to reset their daily habits to be more environmentally conscious.
Northwell removes and recycles 200 tons of cardboard from our supply chain annually and has converted to using biodegradable K-Cups—we use 2.5 million a year!—across our footprint. We also have installed 44 electric vehicle charging stations across our sites and effectively preserved nearly 19,725 acres of forest land by installing high-efficiency equipment throughout our facilities.
Network with team members across Northwell.
Northwell’s GreenBERG has nearly 600 members. That means our members have the opportunity to work with hundreds of team members across the organization, develop new relationships and share the pride that comes with advancing our environmental goals.
Broaden your horizons by working toward a common goal.
Being part of the GreenBERG makes you part of a group of like-minded colleagues. You may all have different professional skill sets and responsibilities, but you are joined together to realize a common goal. The connections you make by being part of this group could lead to opportunities you may not have thought of before and help you make connections that will have benefits both personally and professionally. And it will definitely result in your own satisfaction in contributing to your organization and your community in a very positive way.
Connecting COVID patients to their families with the support of the community
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maureen Hayes, an ICU registered nurse at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), proposed a brilliant idea of knitting pairs of hearts for COVID patients and their families. One of the hearts would be given to a patient and the other to a family member, allowing them to feel connected although they are apart. She brought the idea to nursing leadership who thought her idea embodied Northwell’s value of being Truly Compassionate and was excited to see it come to life. This was the beginning of the Connected Hearts Project.
The support of our community and teamwork
Both Maureen and her assistant manager, Andrea Freudenberg, were excited about the Connected Hearts Project but needed help getting started. That’s when Andrea reached out to the community for help in creating as many “connected hearts” as possible. Andrea was already a member of the Facebook group ‘The Islip’s Feed Southside Hospital Employees’ and during the height of COVID, their members donated money and ordered from local restaurants to help feed the staff at South Shore University Hospital, formally known as Southside Hospital. She knew this group would be more than willing to lend a hand with this effort.
The response was overwhelming. The outpouring of love and a united community was incredible. Once the hearts began to pour in, the team members in the ICU were able to distribute them.
“Since its launch in April 2020, our Connected Hearts Project has taken on a life of its own,” says Andrea. The Connected Hearts Group at SSUH has monthly meetings with ICU nurses who continue to come up with ideas to support and comfort their patients. This group not only distributes hearts to COVID patients and families but also to other families who are unable to see their loved ones.
The Connected Hearts Project is still new, but it has created a positive impact on our community, patients, families, and our team members. Members of the Facebook group have commented: “It helped me to feel useful during tough times” and “I was happy to be a part of this project.” SSUH team members have also commented that they love having the ability to provide family with a connection to their loved ones.
At Northwell Health, we’re dedicated to supporting team members’ interests above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. It allows team members to be creative while delivering compassionate care to their patients and partnering with the community.
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Northwell Health remembers and spreads the light of our fallen heroes due to the COVID-19 pandemic
This March marked one year since Northwell treated the first case of COVID-19. While it has been a challenging year for all of us, the perseverance of our frontline heroes, the power of science, and the hope of ongoing vaccinations and innovative treatment plans brings us comfort for the path ahead.
The most difficult challenge has been coping with the grief associated with the loss of our colleagues, friends, family members and those in our communities. From March 9 to March 14, Northwell held remembrance activities to “spread the light” for our fallen team members and those who we have lost due to COVID-19. New York City – the epicenter of this pandemic – has also declared Sunday, March 14, as a Day of Remembrance to honor everyone we’ve lost.
To spread the light throughout our remembrance week, team members were encouraged to wear blue in memory of those who worked at Northwell and as a show of solidarity for our Northwell community. On site, our chaplains hosted moments of silence and remembrance circles to help our team members find meaning, hope, connection and comfort through togetherness regardless of religious affiliation. Spread the light activities were also available at our facilities, allowing team members to reflect by writing messages on remembrance boards, prayer cards, and lighting luminary bags to symbolize fallen team members.
Team members and their families also continued to spread the light in our communities over the past week as they organized light parades in their neighborhoods, created luminary bags and took a moment to pause to reflect with their loved ones.
During our remembrance week, Northwell also held an organization-wide Town Hall featuring our President and CEO, Michael Dowling, and other senior leaders, to connect our 75,000 team members and speak about the strength and sacrifice of our healthcare heroes. In addition to honoring those we have lost, it also recognized the efforts and unwavering dedication of our team members throughout the pandemic. From March 12 to March 14, our corporate headquarters in New Hyde Park, New York was illuminated in blue to honor our fallen team members and recognize the enduring courage and spirit of our Northwell community.
Throughout these challenging times, Northwell has also supported our team members by expanding benefits, offering prayer groups and providing well-being resources from our Team Lavender, a program at Northwell that provides staff with an opportunity for timely emotional, spiritual and physical support. These resources, such as Tranquility Tents, which offered areas of respite for our hospital workers during their shifts, and opportunities for 1:1 counseling through our Employee Assistance Program, have allowed for us to care for our team members as they delivered care to our communities. A 24/7, free and confidential, emotional support call center for all team members and their families also provided emotional well-being experts to answer their questions, provide additional resources, or just listen.
At Northwell Health, we will continue to battle this pandemic, look forward to brighter days, and support our team members.
We will always remember our brave fallen team members and their families. Join us as we spread the light.
Northwell Health named one of Glassdoor’s best 100 places to work
At Northwell Health, we’re committed to creating careers well cared for and fostering a culture that makes our 75,000+ team members love coming to work. That’s why we’re proud to announce we’ve been honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, ranking among the 100 best companies in the nation to work for in 2021.
To determine winners of this award, Glassdoor looks not to nominations but instead directly to the people who work there. Winners are chosen based on the feedback offered voluntary and anonymously on their site, one of the largest job and recruiting sites in the world. Reviews range from topics such as leadership, the job itself, benefits, work environments and more.
We’re so grateful to our team members for sharing their valuable feedback that helped us receive this award. It is their commitment to the communities we serve that makes us a best place to work.
“This award is truly a significant achievement for Northwell Health and is a testament to our dedicated 75,000 employees,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “For nearly a year our entire workforce has banded together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with our team making significant sacrifices of themselves and their families to treat the 128,000 coronavirus patients to date at our facilities throughout the region. It is remarkable that the health system and its employees would be recognized with a Best Place to Work award during these unprecedented times.”
In addition to the positive feedback that has led to our company rating of 4.3 out of 5, with 5 being the highest score, constructive comments help us to further grow and develop programs that our team members need. Northwell is committed to ensuring our benefits and culture grow alongside our organization. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve provided a special bank of time off to frontline workers and other staff members to use as needed.
Additionally, in support of their well-being, we created tranquil spaces at hospitals for team members to take a moment to rest and recharge outside of the clinical setting. Recognition of their tireless work was never more important and team members, first responders and community members alike organized grand clap outs to thank our team members and keep morale up.
Along with well-being support, development support was just as essential. In 2020, we launched a new human resources platform that created processes that will help team members to continue to grow and develop professionally through conversations with their management and increased internal mobility.
The Glassdoor recognition follows a series of accolades Northwell has received, each aimed at employee recognition, workplace safety and trust and leadership. Recently, Northwell was:
But don’t take our word for it! Read through some of the reviews left on our Glassdoor page:
“I’ve never worked for a company that cares so much about their employees. Management is always pushing you to do your best and never holds you back from growth opportunities like I’ve seen in other companies. They will always advocate for you if they feel it’s in YOUR best interest.”
“Strongly Recommend! Amazing place to work! Many Events and job opportunities, So many opportunities for growth and education. I am beyond proud and love to work for this company. I started as a staff nurse and have grown to this position. Through tuition reimbursement I have earned my bachelors and masters degrees! It’s an honor to work for this organization. Keep encouraging and pushing for internal growth for employees”
“Best place I’ve ever worked. Northwell Health has been a great place to work considering the work-life balance is perfect for my busy lifestyle. Driven by CEO Michael Dowling, the health system’s leadership has a proven direction the organization is heading in. Ongoing support and career advancement also make it a very attractive place to grow.”
“With 23 hospitals, 800 outpatient facilities and multiple corporate offices, Northwell Health has jobs and careers in nearly every profession it takes to run a modern, large and complex health system. Combined with a good benefits package and competitive salaries, opportunities for career growth and a corporate emphasis of excelling in whatever you do, it is a good choice for long term employment.”
“They really take time out to ensure patients and employees have a positive experience through Northwell. You can see changes from upper management with regards to concerns you may have and they are actively working on bettering the company and working experience. They are big on giving employees the opportunity to move up. Work life balance is great.”
“Northwell as a whole truly cares about their employees and makes this very clear. I enjoyed coming into work everyday. Always surrounded by brilliant minds that encouraged me to work harder.”
“So many opportunities at Northwell Heath. Leadership development programs and opportunities that enable you to reach for your greatest potential and goals, either as a clinical or non-clinical person.”
“Well structured organization. Looks out for the best interest of patients and therapists. Ability to grow within organization. Directors and supervisors are continually supportive of helping you grow in your career.”
“Northwell is a wonderful company and they really understand the way patient care is supposed to be delivered. Being able to be part of that experience is one of the best feelings.”
An Appointment With: David Gill, AVP, Experience Strategy
Since David Gill, PHD joined Northwell Health in 2012, he’s been committed to making Northwell a great place to work by listening to our team members and ensuring they feel supported both professionally and personally.
Roles he has held during his tenure at Northwell include manager of Workforce and Patient Engagement, director of Talent Management and Engagement, and most recently, AVP of Experience Strategy, which he became in 2017. In this role, he is responsible for informing, designing and shaping a holistic experience for everyone in our organization.
David and his team’s efforts have helped elevate Northwell’s employee engagement, and today the organization is a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
We sat down with David to discuss the vital work of our Experience Strategy team.
What is the Experience Strategy team?
The Experience Strategy team is focused on creating the best team member experience from hire to retire. Our team’s goal is to deliver a world-renowned team member experience by driving a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and well-being to empower our team members to redefine the future of healthcare.
There are three interconnected groups within the Experience Strategy team that bring the vision to life.
Listening and Insights is the team solely focused on always listening to team members by obtaining their feedback whether it is through an annual workforce and physician engagement survey, targeted listening sessions or even social media.
Strategic design is the team that leverages the results from our listening methods to build tools and resources for our leaders and team members to help create an environment that fosters engagement. An example of their work is the development and implementation of our Employee Promise, Made for this™. This group had responsibility for rolling out the activities that exemplified what it is like to work at Northwell.
Awards and Recognition is the team that builds monumental experiences that reconnects team members to purpose while recognizing, and celebrating team members by telling their story. This group oversees our recognition programs like the President’s Award, the Innovation Challenge, the Truly awards, as well as Northwell’s myRecognition platform. They have the responsibility of infusing recognition within every stage of the team member’s career journey. Additionally this team manages our application process for Fortune 100 Best Companies to work for.
Why is employee experience vital to Northwell as an organization?
In 2013 Northwell established a goal of becoming a best place to work on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list as well as being at the 90th percentile for team member and physician engagement and patient experience based on third party measurement from Press Ganey. For us to achieve those goals, employee experience had to become a strategic imperative. We had to look at how we were understanding our team members’ needs and how we were providing them with the resources for them to be most successful in their career and then importantly, how we were recognizing them for all of the great work that they did on a day-to-day basis. It is essential to create an environment for employees/team members to feel that they contribute to something greater than themselves, have an opportunity to grow within their career, and feel like a valued member of the organization.
For Northwell, it is critically important to create an exceptional experience for our team members, because we want them to create exceptional experiences for our patients and customers.
In this critical time, what extra steps are your team and Northwell taking to make sure that our healthcare heroes on the front lines are feeling appreciated and recognized?
Amid COVID-19 at Northwell, we were hyper-focused on ensuring that our team members had what they needed. Specifically, we were focused on ensuring that our team members were aware of the bountiful resources available to them to support their holistic well-being. For example, the Emotional Resource Call Center, which was recently implemented by Total Rewards, provides one telephone number for team members to call to meet their well-being needs. If a team member would like to speak with a chaplain, a member of the wellness team, an employee and family assistance program counselor, or other behavioral health practitioners from the Stress Trauma centers, they can reach them through that call center. In partnership with many groups across the organization such as the Office for Patient and Customer Experience, Total Rewards, and Behavioral Health, we stood up Tranquility spaces at many of our facilities. These spaces were designed to build awareness, provide team members with an opportunity to receive a light refreshment, as well as a place of respite activities which are critical during this period.
Lastly, we cannot forget recognizing our team members for their bravery, for their compassion, and for the focus on making our communities well. The recognition efforts were done in strong partnership with the marketing and communications team, the Office and Patient and Customer Experience, the Employee Experience team and HR to provide collateral and support in the form of what we call clap in and clap outs—which are a show of appreciation for team members during shift changes.
What is on the horizon for employee experience at Northwell?
When I look to the future of employee experience and even specifically the work our team is doing, I look toward four focus areas, listening, growth and empowerment, well-being, and life-long affinity. By focusing on always listening to our team members and partnering to build a simple, transparent work environment, this creates trust in leaders and the organization. The employee experience team will capture feedback more frequently from team members, through other methods of listening, not just an annual survey. Genuine engagement can not occur without a focus on growth and empowering team members to be their best selves. The employee experience team will focus on education and hands-on experiences that provide leaders with the necessary skills to foster an environment where team members feel empowered to own their careers and feel psychologically safe to share their innovative ideas. Team members should feel that working at Northwell Health helps them be well. Well-being is the responsibility of all teams. The employee experience team will work on training leaders on how to engage their teams through recognition and appreciation. Lastly, the focus on lifelong affinity is building pride for Northwell, and the work that we do even after a team member’s career journey has ended. Specifically, the employee experience team will develop an alumni program that will keep former team members engaged and lifelong promoters of Northwell’s team member experience.
Beyond the PPE: Two nurses help patients and staff connect during COVID
Lulette Infante and Antonella Farrell, registered nurses at Northwell Health and lifelong friends, came together during the COVID pandemic to identify a solution for our clinical team members so they could maintain that personal connection during patient care. These two incredible nurses wanted to ensure that our patients would still be able to see the identities of our healthcare heroes, whose faces were covered by their personal protection equipment (PPE), so they created photo badges for our clinical staff to wear over their PPE.
The idea was prompted after reading a New York Times article featuring Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s Senior Vice President Dr. Schlein who acknowledged his gratitude to the frontline workers who saved his life from COVID, but he had no idea who they were because of their PPE. Thus, Project Unseen Heroes was formed so patients would be able to see the smiling, caring faces of our frontline workers.
A career journey that surpasses two decades
Both Lulette Infante, MSN, RN, CPON, and Antonella Farrell, BSN, RN, began their careers more than two decades ago as a student nurse intern from Adelphi University at CCMC in 1996. They advanced their careers at Northwell throughout their journey, holding a variety of roles and responsibilities along the way. Today, Lulette is an ambulatory nurse specialist and ambulatory administrator at Northwell where she focuses on quality and optimization for pediatric practices, and Antonella Farrellis is a pediatric Hematology/Oncology, pediatric sickle cell nurse coordinator at CCMC.
One small idea leads to big results
Lulette and Antonella first introduced the large photo badges at CCMC and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, receiving numerous positive responses from leadership, staff and patients. Lulette notes patients even commented, “so that’s what you look like!” Eventually they were able to guide other hospitals, including Northern Westchester, Lenox Hill, Huntington Hospital and even external hospitals such as Elmhurst Hospital, to develop photo badges for their team members.
“The staff is reporting back that they felt it is truly helping their patients now that they can see the smile behind the mask,” Antonella says. The staff has been sending Lulette and Antonella pictures of themselves in the PPE with their badges. Having the large picture badges enabled our frontline workers to maintain that personal connection while caring for their patients while being fully secured under their PPE at the same time.
“We could not even start without the incredible support we have received from our leadership and their commitment to continually enhance patient experience and promote compassionate care,” Lulette says.
Project Unseen Heroes was a success due to Lulette and Antonella’s teamwork. Patients feel more comfortable in the hospital seeing the badges on the nurses and doctors, knowing who is taking care of them.
Lulette and Antonella are true examples of Northwell Heroes. Are you ready to become a Northwell Hero? Join our team.
Delivering moments of peace on the front line with Tranquility Tents
As the rest of the nation stayed home to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare heroes at Northwell Health continued to come in each day, fighting against the outbreak on the front lines of our hospitals. Their unwavering dedication and commitment to keeping our communities healthy had them delivering compassionate care, no matter the circumstances.
Seeing firsthand the tireless work of our team members, Northwell leadership immediately understood the importance of reflecting that same compassion back to our team members to meet their mental, physical and emotional needs. Working in health care, so much of your day can be devoted to giving to others and forgetting to take time for yourself. Our Employee Engagement team partnered with Human Resources, Wellness, Chaplaincy and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) teams across our health system and created Tranquility Tents at all of our hospitals to give team members a place to press pause.
These Tranquility Tents are designated spaces for our team members to find moments of peace and reflection, to recharge as they continue to push through these days to care for patients who need it the most. Beyond offering respite, these centers provide access and information for all the resources Northwell has to support them through this unprecedented time. Whether it’s a tired nurse looking for a quick recipe to make dinner after a long shift or a team member in need of 1:1 counseling with a behavioral health representative after a loss of a patient, Northwell’s Tranquility Tents have what they need.
EAP members are on site to help team members talk through what emotional support they might need along with providing printouts of the diverse resources offered. Wellness posters provide new tips each week including meditation guides, recipes and stretching suggestions to ensure our team members are taking care of themselves physically as well as emotionally. The Chaplaincy team performed blessing of the hands, hosted prayer circles, and created prayers and messages to deliver words of encouragement and to connect with team members spiritually.
“The Tranquility Tent started as an idea and a vision from our corporate HR partners and has truly taken on a life of its own in terms of providing emotional, mental, physical and spiritual support for our healthcare heroes,” says Lisa Khavkin, VP of Human Resources at Huntington Hospital. “They have become a place our team can rely on to find a shoulder to cry on, a place to pray, to stretch, listen to music, or paint a stone to memorialize their feelings. While the journey is still ahead of us all, the tranquility tent has become a place of solace and healing.”
Along with support resources, our Tranquility Tents also offer opportunities for team members to take self-care moments. From hiring a barber to give haircuts to arranging for live music to be played, our Tranquility Tents are becoming safe havens for team members to feel good together.
Other activities at the tents may include:
Gratitude Rock Gardens: a therapeutic exercise for team members to reflect on what they’re thankful for during this time, memorializing their thoughts and gratitude while painting rocks to add to the site garden.
Nametag Making Stations: where team members can design their own nametags to help bring a human element back to their personal protective equipment (PPE).
Message of Hope Boards: a reflective exercise for team members to add inspirational messages while reading the heartfelt sentiments other team members have left behind.
Color by Number Art Installations: that are allowing our Northwell team to ‘leave their mark’ by coloring in this interactive art piece. This small moment of art therapy will also transition into a lasting legacy of the impact they’ve had as the art is displayed at each site upon completion.
As we move forward as an organization from fighting against COVID-19 to recovery, these spaces will transform to continue to provide the resources our team needs. “Tranquility spaces will become permanent places within our facilities to enhance the recovery and resilience of our team members. We must continue to adapt our offerings to meet the needs of our team members” says David Gill, AVP of the HR Employee Experience team. As part of this commitment to support, a well-being survey was sent to all our team members to gain insight on what they need not just today, but in the future. This feedback is being utilized by a well-being work group that will continue to evolve the resources available to ensure our organization feels engaged and together.
Though our team members are facing an unprecedented battle on the front lines, we know that we can heal and move forward to a brighter future Truly Together.
Emergency room nurse helps patients recovering from COVID-19 feel right at home
When you think of excellent patient care, endless opportunities, and extraordinary teamwork, Northwell comes to mind. Ashley Sells, a registered nurse at Lenox Hill Hospital in the Emergency Room, exemplifies all of these qualities. She continually practices outstanding patient care and teamwork and especially during the critical times of COVID-19. It is during this time where Ashley went above and beyond for our recovering patients to help them feel at home by starting a “Pick-Me-Up-Pillow” fundraiser.
Ashley’s career journey
Ashley started her nursing career with Northwell eight years ago at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) as a medical surgical nurse, where she served for one year before transferring into the Emergency Room fellowship. Ashley spent two years at LIJMC there before transferring to Lenox Hill. “It was always a dream of mine to live in New York City and work in an ER and Lenox Hill was my ultimate goal,” she says.
Throughout her years at Northwell, Ashley has made a positive impact on leaders and team members as her career has developed. “I am proud to work for an organization that promotes self-growth. Personal input and ideas are always welcome, and leadership continues to assist on any way that they can,” she says. Ashley’s favorite thing about working in emergency medicine is that there always is the ‘unknown’ factor and an element of surprise. She states that, “Every day is a new day, a new learning opportunity. As a nurse, I am challenged each day that I step into work.”
Putting patients first always
During COIVD-19, Ashley took the initiative to raise money selling pillows to help patients feel as comfortable as possible while on the road to recovery. She was inspired by an unfortunate situation when her colleague was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was then admitted into the hospital. She wanted her colleague to feel as much like home as possible while recovering, even down to the pillow she was using. That prompted Ashley to bring her two of her own pillows.
“A simple pillow made her day!” Ashley says. After her colleague was discharged, she donated the two pillows to another patient who was in need. “After recognizing that a pillow could put a smile on a patient’s face, I developed the “Pick-Me-Up-Pillow” fundraiser in hopes that every patient could have the same opportunity to have a comfortable pillow while fighting COVID-19,” she says.
“We often say that the little things make the biggest difference,” Ashley says. Ashley’s fundraiser has raised $5,000, enabling her to purchase 1,200+ pillows that were delivered to Lenox Hill Hospital patients. “This initiative has made me feel proud. This is something that I was personally able to accomplish because of the generosity of others,” Ashley says.
Ashley’s work embodies the Truly Compassionate care that Northwell values. “The outpouring of support our community has shown during this time has been so valued by the Northwell staff. The endless food donations, the letters of encouragement, the 7 PM clap has truly helped to motivate and inspire our team,” says Ashley.
Ashley is a healthcare hero, showcasing her willingness to go above and beyond for our patients. Are you Made for nursing careers? Join our team of heroes.
Celebrating acts of kindness among our family of Northwell heroes
Though we span across 23 hospitals and more than 750 ambulatory locations, our Northwell Health team is one big family. And as a family, our team members are committed to not only delivering the best patient care, but caring for each other and our communities.
Check out these stories of our clinical and non-clinical team members alike working to bring moments of positivity, hope and support amid COVID-19.
Finding Connections Hospital to Hospital, Unit to Unit
Kindness is connecting our teams across Northwell through video messages, photos, cards and other countless examples of ongoing support and humanity. For example, Krista Griffin, a patient access team member at Southside Hospital, raised money with her family to have catered food delivered to overnight workers in the ED. Also, the NICU team at Cohen Children’s Medical Center created and delivered care packages to other Northwell hospitals, and our nutrition and dining services teams baked fresh cookies for workers to bring home after a long day.
Bringing the Grocery Stores to our Team Members
Hospitals across Northwell realized the need to help support our healthcare heroes get the necessities they need at home. Hospital cafes have turned into temporary grocery stores, where our nurses, environmental services workers, physicians, therapists, transporters, techs and others can safely shop to stock their pantry or choose a freshly prepared meal to take home.
Stitching for our Heroes
Gloria Medina, a booking clerk at one of Northwell’s endoscopy practices, posted a call to action for all stitchers to help create artwork for our heroes. These custom portraits are being delivered to our healthcare heroes on the front lines as a way to say thank you and make them smile.
Finding Inspiration at Glen Cove Hospital
The 1 South Rehab team at Glen Cove Hospital created an Inspiration Tree within the hospital to leave small tokens of wisdom and motivation for team members and patients. These messages help them to find optimism and the importance of what matters most.
Chalk Art Acts of Kindness
Throughout the health system, chalk art has been popping up outside our hospitals. Messages from team members and our communities are being drawn to thank our workers and give them something bright and cheery to look at as they walk in and out of work.
Take 5 for YourSELF Fridays
The Employee Wellness team collaborated with myHealthBody to start a weekly series to encourage team members to take five minutes to care for themselves with “Take 5 for YourSELF Fridays”. The weekly videos and printouts include guided stretches and exercises to help relieve tension and grant wellness benefits that last all day.
We are all filled with gratitude for our wonderful Truly Together team. Their passion, dedication and kindness inspires us daily. To all healthcare heroes here and everywhere – THANK YOU!
#EachforEqual: Northwell Health celebrates International Women’s Day 2020
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women while also reinforcing equality everywhere. At Northwell Health, we’re committed to championing our team members regardless of gender or gender identity by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality.
In celebration, hear from some of Northwell’s amazing women on how they are helping empower women.
Northwell Health teams give back to their communities
As the largest healthcare provider and private employer in New York State, Northwell Health is committed to giving back to the communities it serves across the greater New York area. Throughout the year, different team members at Northwell Health will dedicate time to volunteer for the local communities we serve. From service projects and fundraising to soup kitchens and clothing drives, our Northwell family is giving back in a rewarding way.
Two recent teams who spent time giving back to our communities were our Center for Emergency Medical Services (CEMS) team and our Talent Acquisition (TA) team.
CEMS team launches Packages of Hope initiative
The CEMS team, through the launch of Packages of Hope, created care packages for homeless men and women to help take care of them during winter months. The Packages of Hope are distributed throughout NYC, Nassau and Suffolk Counties by our CEMS crews. The team donated items and their time to put together the care packages which included feminine products, warm socks, blankets, water, hand warmers and snacks.
Members from all over the department including EMTs, paramedics, the medical director and even children of team members came together to help make over 100 packages for initial distribution. The first event was such a success that there is already another day scheduled.
Seeing the difference volunteering makes has strongly impacted the team members. “I had the opportunity to hand out one of the packages,” says one CEMS team member. “His response to a small token of items was tears in his eyes and thank you as he walked away. What an awesome idea!”
“Giving back is a part of who this department is,” says Bernard Robinson, MHA, regional director at CEMS. “Not only does teamwork increase every time we volunteer, we’ve also seen an increase in new ideas and suggestions from our staff and occurrences of them taking the initiative to go above and beyond to serve our communities.”
Talent Acquisition volunteers with Long Island Cares
TA’s leadership team also recently gave back to our community volunteering with Long Island Cares during a recent team building initiative. The TA team prepared bags of groceries for the senior population in the Long Beach area who Long Island Care serves. The groceries are then delivered to seniors who can’t drive, leave their homes, or can only drive limited distances.
Working together, the team was able to prepare over 300 bags of groceries in just one afternoon! It was such a rewarding experience to give back to our community that the team is already planning to make volunteering a routine event.
“Volunteering at Long Island Cares was an honor and it offered the leadership team an opportunity to fulfill the Northwell employee promise and contribute to something greater than ourselves,” says Patricia Brown, Assistant Vice President of TA. “It gave us a great sense of achievement to be able to play our part in contributing to the well-being of the community Northwell serves. The opportunity to give our time and to be in service of others does wonders for team bonding on an emotional level and helps us grow as a group on a personal level.”
Are you Made for caring and giving back to our patients and communities? Explore jobs.
Meet the winners of Northwell’s Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. Regional Spirit Award
Northwell’s Center of Equity of Care awarded its first-ever Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Awards. This system-wide award recognizes team members who are making a difference in our communities, locally or abroad, through service.
Four winners were chosen from nominations that came in from all around Northwell telling stories of goodwill, humility and compassion. Nominators highlighted how each team member embodies Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “D.R.E.A.M:”
D – Dedicates time and talent to projects that fulfill the needs of underserved communities
R – Respects all people and advocates for diversity, inclusion and health equity
E – Embodies our Northwell values: Truly Compassionate, Truly Innovative, Truly Ambitious, Truly Together and Truly Ourselves
A – Attitude that displays kindness and compassion for others
M – Mentors and inspires others to pay it forward
The winners were recognized at a special reception and awarded $1,000 to be donated on their behalf to an organization of their choice!
Josephine “Josie” Guzman has volunteered her time as a co-chair of the Bridges LatinX BERG and member of the Diversity and Health Equity System-Site Council. She has developed and implemented programs at Lenox Hill Hospital, such as the “Vida SI, Diabetes NO!” (Life YES, Diabetes NO), a bi-lingual, long-term health program designed to address diabetes. In partnership with her BERG co-chair and members, Josie recently coordinated “Rise Against Hunger,” a global service initiative where team members across the organization gathered and packed over 20,000 meals to be served to various communities across the world.
Beyond Northwell, Josie spends her time volunteering, preparing 200+ meals a week to distribute to homeless individuals in Manhattan and coordinating a Christmas event to feed and provide gifts to over 1,500 individuals who are either homeless or living in shelters. She’s also a member of RAIN, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide services for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and physically challenged.
Bernard Robinson, Regional Director, Center for Emergency Services
Bernard Robinson dedicates most of his time with projects that fulfill the needs of underserved communities through charity and education. Every year, Bernard organizes annual food and winter clothing drives within Northwell’s Center for Emergency Services (CEMS) department to serve charities in Nassau County and Queens. During Thanksgiving, the entire CEMS team also partners with a church in Hempstead, NY to prepare and serve meals. His work experience also led him to starting an Explorer’s Post in Hempstead Village that allows students from the Village to train with, learn and be mentored by EMTs and Paramedics. It was also Bernard who presented the idea for Northwell’s Bridges African American/Caribbean Business Employee Resource Group to participate in the African American Heritage Parade in Harlem, NY.
Bernard embodies all of Northwell’s values on a daily basis. Through his innovation, his department’s leadership is able to communicate with their staff of over 800 EMTs and Paramedics through weekly meetings via a livestream platform. He has also established a “virtual suggestion box” which gives each team member a voice by allowing them to give feedback through a link which is then sent directly to leadership. In addition to his community outreach, he has also organized CEMS’ “Bring Your Child to Work Day.”. Bernard often says, “As an EMS agency, we should be a part of the communities we serve.” He works extremely hard at establishing relationships throughout his region and encourages his team members to do the same.
Nicholas Hernandez, MD, Northwell Plainview Hospital, Academic Hospitalist, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Dr. Hernandez is the true definition of a caring, compassionate and empathetic physician with a genuine passion for helping others. This passion is not limited to patients in the hospital, but extends to communities at large through his volunteering and community service. Though born and raised in New York, he has always maintained a strong connection with his ancestral home of Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria struck, Dr. Hernandez was dedicated to becoming a part of the Northwell team deployed to Puerto Rico to assist those devastated by this disaster. He spent two weeks selflessly providing patient care under dire circumstances at the Caguas Hospital in San Pablo, Puerto Rico. Dr. Hernandez participated in the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program sponsored by the Zucker Hofstra School of Medicine for underrepresented students interested in a career in health care. This program is designed to provide exposure to the numerous career paths available in the healthcare industry while enhancing the skills that will set up students for success. Dr. Hernandez was also invited to be the keynote speaker for the closing ceremony for the NERA-HCOP Program, designed to assist college minority students in becoming more competitive applicants for medical school by providing various enrichment courses.
Josie Ruiz, Executive Assistant, North Shore University Hospital Administration
Josie Ruiz has been a vital component to the success of Northwell Health’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program. In her role as co-chair, she has supported the Center for Equity of Care in coordinating program logistics, managing entertainment and guest speakers, and leading volunteer efforts throughout the program. Josie has been a huge advocate for all team members at North Shore University Hospital. Her annual efforts of organizing Adopt a Family, a holiday program designed to support families in need who have experienced a tragedy or crisis during the past year, have gained the support and participation of over 3,000 team members at her site. She has even been known to have donated her own time and money to assist families who were not selected through this program. Josie was selected by the Center for Equity of Care’s senior leadership team as this year’s recipient.
The winners of this year’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Awards not only embody the spirit of his dream but exemplify Northwell’s values. We thank them for their tireless commitment to our Northwell team and our communities.
Designing a life of advocacy and creativity at Northwell Health
Weaving together a life of creativity, dedication to community and entrepreneurship takes talent, focus and plenty of energy. Adrian Morel, an outreach worker at the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment (CART) in Manhasset, spends his time working for Northwell out in our local communities educating folks about HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and providing free and confidential rapid HIV testing while balancing a career as a clothing designer.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Adrian has long been committed to helping others, serving in a variety of volunteer positions prior to joining Northwell Health.
“I’ve always been involved in LGBTQIA+ volunteer work, especially on behalf of Latinos,” explains Adrian. “It was natural to move from volunteering to working at Northwell Health, where I continue to help the community. Being a proud Latino Gay man, I add a different perspective to the HIV advocacy work done at CART. Not only do I get the opportunity to educate people in my community about their sexual health, I am also taking part in the efforts to end the HIV epidemic.”
Adrian’s work spans beyond helping patients at Northwell. He also is a highly creative designer and artist who uses his talents to further his advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community. He first became interested in costume and fashion design while in high school. This led to obtaining degrees in design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and the California College of the Arts, prior to working in theater.
“Here at CART, my coworkers and managers have encouraged and supported the differences of all individuals on our team,” says Adrian. “I’ve always been celebrated for my cultural and creative background. Being able to use my strengths towards things I’m passionate about has been very rewarding. Northwell allows me as an employee to be personable and utilize my interests to encourage people. Being allowed to be myself opens the door for me to humbly appreciate the individual uniqueness of others.”
During his college years, Adrian honed his creative skills, designing many costumes for drag performers and other artists who appreciated his ability to create show-stopping costumes. This led to him launch his own costume design business called Adrian Morel which he continues to run today.
Adrian’s business makes custom looks focused on creative and innovative designs. His clients look forward to a design consultation with Adrian followed by several fittings from the conception of the look to the final product. His website and Instagram page give visitors a clear idea of his talent and creativity.
As both an outreach worker and a designer, Adrian is busy, but appreciates the opportunities he has found to support his community while being able to utilize his artistic talents. Recently, this included designing costumes for “Drag Me to Brunch,” an event sponsored by Northwell Health.
“I’m passionate about my work,” says Adrian. “It’s work by day, and costume design by night. It’s what I love.”
At Northwell Health, we’re excited to have the privilege of working in some of the most culturally diverse communities. By creating a space that is welcoming to all, no matter race, religion, or creed, we’re fostering an inclusive workplace where we can accomplish amazing things being truly together.
For two years in a row, our organization has been recognized for our commitment to diversity and inclusion by Great Place to Work for demonstrating excellence throughout our diversity initiatives. Here are 10 reasons why we’ve been named to the Best Workplaces for Diversity’s list for 2020:
Here are 10 reasons why we’ve been named to the Best Workplaces for Diversity’s list for 2020:
We’ve been named one of the nation’s top health systems for diversity according to DiversityInc’s Top Hospitals & Health Systems for Diversity for the seventh year in a row, ranking us second nationally and first in New York State.
We have a commitment to veterans and have been named A Military Friendly® Employer for six consecutive years, and a top 10 employer for the past two.
Team members have the opportunity to join one of our many Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) which enhance engagement, innovation and talent development while promoting an inclusive culture by celebrating our differences and commonalities.
Our Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) and Center for Equity of Care (CEC) partner together to create training and education programs that foster cultural humility, critical thinking and self-awareness. These trainings contribute to a more inclusive environment in which team members from every background can feel comfortable.
We have been a recipient of the National Association of Colleges & Employers Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award.
Our Emerging Leaders Diversity & Inclusion Council champions voices within our organization to ensure we are effectively prioritizing and focusing our efforts in the right ways.
We partnered with NYC Pride to showcase our support of the LGBTQ communities and ensure each member, regardless of sexuality feels comfortable within our family.
Our Path to Inclusion program offers an integrated and comprehensive approach to training, hiring and supporting individuals with disabilities by driving mutual understanding.
We believe in advancing women in their careers within the health community. Our Women’s Mentorship Program has seen participants receive promotions while creating strong professional bonds between mentees and leadership.
When it comes to being Truly Ourselves, our spirit of caring and celebration is there for every holiday. From legal holidays to meaningful religious observances to national days, our team members make a point to make each holiday special.
Benefits with your health and financial well-being in mind
As New York State’s largest employer, Northwell Health is committed to offering their team members and their dependents a comprehensive benefits package that’s been designed to provide health and welfare options that optimize their health and financial well-being.
Northwell offers multiple medical plans which include a plan that provides our team members with additional savings when utilizing in-system providers and services. We also offer a plan that makes it affordable to go out-of-network for healthcare needs.
In addition to the medical plans, Northwell offers:
Life insurance plans
Flexible Spending Accounts
To complement the cost of our medical plan Northwell offers medical plan participants the opportunity to earn up to $1,560 in pay credits in exchange for four healthy actions through the Well-being Credit Program.
Saving for the future
Northwell offers a robust retirement package, designed to encourage saving smart through access to free, one-on-one retirement consultations, an automatic saving escalation feature, and employer contributions.
The 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and 409A plans allow team member contributions to grow tax-deferred until withdrawn at retirement. Newly hired team members are automatically enrolled in the plan for 3% of their annual pre-tax salary 30 days after their date of hire. To receive the maximum employer matching contribution (which starts after one year in which the employee worked at least 975 hours), they must contribute at least 6% of their annual salary to receive the match.
We have a strong commitment to the professional growth and development of all our team members through our Center for Learning and Innovation; nationally recognized for leadership in workforce development and as a model provider of continuous organizational learning. We also offer a robust offering of other educational resources such as our Tuition Reimbursement program, multiple scholarship programs, loan forgiveness and student loan refinancing.
Northwell offers all team members access to fun and engaging online resources focused around health-related challenges, such as virtual walks and competitions to get and keep our employees healthy. Teamwork is encouraged with the opportunity to earn valuable rewards points redeemable for big ticket items and recognition in return for a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
We also offer organized sports leagues throughout the year, encouraging friendly competition and teamwork.
In addition, Northwell offers a suite of free well-being benefits that will enhance a participant’s physical and emotional persona through online coaching and education.
All team members, and their family members, have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP). Staffed by licensed behavioral health experts EAP offers short-term, goal-directed coaching and counseling designed to help resolve problems that have an impact on a team member’s work and/or home life.
We’ve also worked hard to support employee work/life balance with special services that provide back-up child and elder care, financial assistance for adoption and home buying, and banking. National and local discounts are offered on a rotating basis lowering the cost of gym memberships, entertainment, car purchasing and repairs, and so much more.
From unique health care and wellness to financially sound retirement plans with generous matching to educational and professional development support that takes your career growth to a new level, we are always looking for ways to ensure that our employees are truly well cared for.
Northwell Relay: The big bike ride — from tragedy to positive action
In health care, we face the realities of life and death every day — it’s what we’re made for — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us. In June 2019, employees in the Department of Population Health lost a colleague, friend and member of the Northwell family.
Their team member passed away at the age of 38, leaving behind three young children. While many knew about her health condition, the news was still a shock for her colleagues for whom she’d been a part of daily life for over five years.
Honoring a legacy and building a better future
While her colleagues struggled with this tremendous loss, they were soon inspired to take positive action.Three senior leaders set up a sponsored bike ride from Northwell’s corporate office in New Hyde Park, NY, to Montauk, to raise funds for Northwell’s Employee Assistance Program, which helps employees and their families in times of need.
Kris Smith, MD, Northwell’s senior vice president of Population Health joined forces with Michael Gitman, MD, medical director of North Shore University Hospital and David Hirschwerk, MD, executive vice chair of Clinical Operations for North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center Department of Medicine. Together they rode the 120-mile trip as a tribute to Fabiola and to show What matters most and what Northwell is made of.
Inspiring others to go above and beyond
The ride inspired team members across Northwell to get involved. “Our Northwell family pulls together to support one another,” says Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO. “Even in the worst of times, we find a way forward and take positive action.”
Kris says, “Going the extra mile (or 120) is an intrinsic part of who we are. It was a challenge, physically and emotionally, but we wanted to demonstrate to the organization that after we grieve, once we reflect — we pick ourselves up and fight on.”
Northwell’s What matters most employee giving program offers our employees a variety of ways to advance Northwell’s mission — all while providing critical support to the area that matters most to each individual employee donor.
Northwell Relay: Casual for Cohen – turning small change into big results
Each year, thousands of employees choose to give back to Northwell by participating in Casual for Cohen, a fundraising event where you can wear jeans to work for one or two days, for the donation of $5 per day. What some may consider small change adds up to big results for Cohen Children’s Medical Center — a cause very close to all of our hearts, including Dotti Ward’s, operations manager in Northwell’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Personal connections, professional pride
Dotti’s connection to Cohen Children’s stems from her personal experience, when her daughter became very ill with a virus at three years old. She was treated at the hospital and as Dotti remembers, “The level of empathy, compassion and professionalism was exceptional. I walked through those doors with a very sick child – now she’s a very healthy, happy young woman. I almost lost her. They saved her life.”
Dotti leads the employee activity committee in Information Services. She spends a lot of her time coordinating fundraising initiatives and over the years has seen her colleagues go above and beyond many times. “Our department is very supportive, they’re 100% behind us and they do everything they can,” says Dotti.
Last year, the department held a charity basketball tournament around the same time as Casual for Cohen, so Dotti spoke to the team captains and they all agreed to donate the proceeds to help Cohen Children’s. For Dotti, that’s what employee giving is all about, connecting people and spreading the message — why it matters and what fundraising can achieve.
What matters most
Dotti regularly sees huge acts of generosity at Northwell, which she puts down to the “absolute pride and honor of doing what we do for our patient community.” It’s the same mix of professional pride and personal empathy she experienced from the hospital staff. They’re leaders in pediatric care, but they’re also mentors and friends.
As a nonprofit organization, to keep doing what we do, we rely on the support of our communities. We already go the extra mile, for colleagues, patients and families, but together we can make things even better. Through What matters most, our employee giving program, we can develop more life-changing treatments, strengthen morale and meet our collective mission.
We’re currently spreading that message across the organization with the What matters most Relay in the run-up to employee giving day on December 3. Clinicians can show support by wearing blue accents — socks, a tie, jewelry or any accents that align with departmental protocols.
When you work at Northwell Health, you’re not just getting a job – you’re getting a career. We’re proud to have cultivated a culture that focuses on our team members from diversity to recognition and wellness to giving back to our community. Watch our videos below to discover what it’s like to be a part of our Northwell family.
Northwell Relay: Employee’s passion to honor a colleague gives birth to a new labor and delivery room
Over the span of six weeks, follow along with us during our first-ever Northwell Relay. Hear stories from our team members who are passionate about giving back to Northwell to support what matters most and making a real difference in patients’ lives.
Marianne DiStefano never counted the number of babies she delivered in her 30-year career, but it’s safe to say there were thousands. Everyone she encountered — coworkers, patients and families — recognized how much she loved her job as head nurse in labor and delivery atStaten Island University Hospital. It brought her indescribable joy.
This spring her coworkers honored her passion through the 2019 Northwell Health Walk at Staten Island. After Marianne’s passing in February 2018, her colleague Linda Spadafina set a team goal of raising $25,000 to name a labor-and-delivery room in Marianne’s honor within the new Gruppuso Family Women & Newborn Center, slated to be open late 2021.
“Marianne was a mentor and leader to many nurses during her career at Staten Island University Hospital,” says Laura Wenzel, senior director of maternal and child nursing. “It was heartwarming to see Linda and the staff collaborate with Marianne’s family to keep her legacy alive. Marianne continues to live on in the hearts of the nurses and families she impacted over the years.”
A star fundraiser raises the bar
Since the inception of the Northwell Health Walk at Staten Island in 2016, Linda Spadafina has been an exemplary committee member and team player who is made for unwavering support. As captain of Team Baby Steps, Linda raised more than $34,000 in the walk’s first three years to benefit Staten Island University Hospital. From “Taco Tuesdays” and “Waffle Wednesdays” to hosting big-ticket raffles and events, Linda’s fundraising tactics exemplify her creativity.
With 2019’s walk goal to honor Marianne, Linda took ownership of the challenge, bringing the hospital community together. “Even though we are part of a large hospital system, Staten Island University Hospital is still very much a community hospital,” Linda says. “The support that was shown at that walk in May is certainly proof of that.” With her persistence and dedication, and support from the walk committee, fellow employees and community members, the team surpassed their goal, raising nearly $30,000.
Employee generosity benefits our communities
Linda and her team exemplify the dedication that Northwell Health employees bring to their patients, each other and the places they work.
Northwell’s employee giving program —What matters most— offers team members additional ways to help us meet our $1 billionOutpacing the Impossiblecampaign goal. They can make a one-time gift, enroll in payroll deduction or contribute their myRecognition points to support the program or hospital of their choice.
Through their generosity and passion, Northwell Health employees like Linda are leading the way in helping push boundaries and redefine health care.
“Simply put, it’s a labor of love,” Linda says. “I do all of these crazy things because I love raising funds for this hospital and the community it supports.”
Northwell Relay: Northwell runner races for caregivers in TCS New York City Marathon
Over the span of six weeks, follow along with us during our first-ever Northwell Relay. Hear stories from our team members who are passionate about giving back to Northwell to support what matters most and making a real difference in patients’ lives.
Our employees support the mission of Northwell Health every day with their energy, their enthusiasm and their expertise. On November 3, 2019, some will also support our mission with their feet.
As an official charity sponsor of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, Northwell Health secured 15 guaranteed entries for employees who wished to run the marathon as part of Team Northwell. Runners support Northwell by raising at least $3,000, designating the funds for What matters most to them. In addition, this year we are expanding Team Northwell. Employees who received their own lottery entry to the marathon are also eligible to join Team Northwell and fundraise for an area close to their heart.
First-time marathoner Michael Goldberg, MBA, MS, executive director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, shared with us what inspired him to take up the challenge:
What’s the best part of your role at Northwell Health?
The best part of being the executive director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ) at Northwell is the opportunity to interact with team members, patients and families, and the community. Each day I’m inspired by the accomplishments our team members share with me throughout the hospital. I see the pride they have in their accomplishments and in health care that represents a meaningful impact we’ve made in someone’s life.
This is further reinforced when I speak with the patients and their families, and they validate and share with me how our teams impact their lives. Seeing the results of our actions to constantly make how we deliver health care better makes this role at Northwell so rewarding.
What inspired you to run the TCS New York City Marathon?
Running the TCS New York City Marathon is recognized as a significant physical and mental challenge. I’m determined to run and finish the New York City Marathon because of how difficult it is. I’ve never been a runner, nor do I enjoy running; however, it’s the idea that I can work to achieve something so difficult that interests me. When I complete in the New York City Marathon, I want to show my daughters that with hard work and focused effort anything is possible.
Why is it important to you to give back to Northwell?
I’m proud of Northwell Health and the ways in which our organization makes an impact in the lives of so many. Over the past 19 years, I’ve had the opportunity to grow from an intern in the finance department to now serving as LIJ’s executive director, and for that I am forever grateful. Northwell offers our team members jobs that enable them to have a rewarding career and provide for their families. Additionally, Northwell invests in many ways to make our community a better place. I can’t think of a better organization to give back to.
What area are you fundraising for at Northwell Health? Why does this area matter most to you?
I’m running to help fundraise for and raise awareness of the need to expand the resources we provide to caregivers. Working at LIJ Medical Center, I see caregivers throughout our facility. They accompany a loved one to the Emergency Department. They occupy our waiting rooms while their friend or family member is in surgery or having a procedure. They are a patient’s ride to an appointment, they are their advocates and they are the ones by the bedside hoping for everything to be OK.
Most of what we do centers around the clinical services we offer to our patients, and I think we have an obligation to create a greater service to those who generously give their time, energy, and sometimes financial support to their loved ones.
Celebrating diversity, culture and traditions through the Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration in Asian culture of hard work, harvest and family. This year, Northwell Health’s Bridges Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) led celebrations throughout the health system for our team members to connect with each other and our patients.
We talked to two of the BERG leaders to learn a more about the Mid-Autumn Festival and the importance of creating a workplace where all holidays are celebrated.
Hoi-Sze (Suki) To, practice administrative manager, Colorectal Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital and co-lead, Bridges Asian BERG, Western Region
What is the Bridges Asian BERG?
The BERG was created to enhance engagement, innovation, talent development, and promote an inclusive culture ensuring the delivery of culturally and linguistically sensitive, quality patient care. The Asian BERG nurtures a diverse, inclusive workforce that aligns with Northwell’s mission, values, business practices, and objectives.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of the Bridges Asian BERG?
It provides the opportunity for professional development and networking, a collective voice, a role in fostering community support, and most importantly, broadening cultural awareness throughout Northwell and the communities we serve. I joined the group because there is a need to address the importance of cultural diversity when providing patient care.
There are many Chinese American patients from the Asian communities Northwell serves and it is critical for us to create a comfortable and culturally-sensitive environment. For example, one of Lenox Hill Hospital’s prominent colorectal surgeons, Dr. Joseph Martz, would proactively translated the medical consent forms into the Chinese language and also recruited bilingual support staff in order to communicate effectively with his patients. Our BERG now helps with these needs.
How do you celebrate the festival?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a chance for families to spend time together, just like Thanksgiving. One of the most common ways to celebrate is by eating moon cakes. Moon cakes are a dense, sweet pastry that’s baked or steamed and typically enjoyed with tea. You can also find moon cakes in other flavors such as green tea and chocolate. Many communities also celebrate by lighting paper lanterns because the lanterns serve a practical purpose of lighting the way as friends and family stay up to appreciate the full moon late into the night.
Yue (Lulu) Liu, senior administrative manager, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital and co-lead of the Bridges Asian BERG, Western Region
Why is the Mid-Autumn Festival important to Northwell?
The Mid-Autumn festival is important to Northwell because this is a holiday that is celebrated throughout Asia and by many of our employees. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated at Lenox Hill Hospital. The celebration was a collaboration with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Lenox Hill Hospital’s Human Resources, and the Lenox Hill Department of Food and Nutrition Services. The event was very well received and brought patients, hospital staff and leadership together.
Why did you become a member of the Bridges Asian BERG?
Prior to becoming a member of Bridges Asian BERG, I noticed there was a shortage of culturally and linguistically sensitive patient materials. My team and I would spend hours translating the pre-procedure and post-op care instructions over the phone with our Asian patients. After joining the Bridges Asian BERG, I started to collaborate with the Chinese Language Advisory Board (LAB), where we would help procure this information for the Northwell Health Physician Partner practices when they were providing care to the Asian American population.
How do you celebrate the festival?
During the moon festival my family and I always enjoy a meal that ends with sampling a of moon cakes and a special tea my mom selects to pair with the moon cakes. For me, the most important part of the moon festival is spending time with my family, being appreciative of our loved ones, creating new memories, and maintaining the bonds that we have.
The Northwell Health President’s Awards program honors and celebrates employees who truly represent the very best of Northwell. Each year, these awards recognize team members who not only surpass our expectations and standards of excellence, but also those who drive innovative business outcomes throughout five distinctive categories Nurse of the Year, Leader of the Year, Teamwork and Exceptional Patient/ Customer Experience and Physician of the Year. Get to know this year’s winners and their incredible stories.
Leader of the Year
Ryan J. Guda, RNNurse 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.
Watch Ryan’s Made for this story.
Nurse of the Year
Jeffrey Rosa, RNSurgical 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.
Watch Jeffrey’s Made for this story.
Nurse of the Year
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.
Watch Alexa’s Made for this story.
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 ECMO-TO- 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.
Watch ECMO-TO-GO’s Made for this story!
Exceptional Patient Customer Experience
Adrian MazurChaplain, 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.
Watch Adrian’s Made for this story!
Physician of the Year
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 ImprovementCoordinating 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.