How one day changed everything for career transitioning veteran Nancy Banks
It took one event, one meeting and one conversation to convince Nancy Banks that Northwell Health was the right place for her.
A while back, Nancy attended a veterans career fair. Though there were many employers present, she didn’t connect with any of them. That is, until she happened to pass the Northwell Health booth on her way out. There she met Lyndon Chichester, Northwell Health Veteran Program Specialist and fellow U.S. Air Force veteran. Nancy recalls, “We talked about Northwell and the benefits of working for an organization that cares deeply for their patients and their employees. He told me to go online, find three jobs that matched my qualifications and send him the information. I did and within a week I had an interview.”
Today Nancy is an Administrative Manager at Northwell Health ambulatory facility, Lenox Hill OBGYN. The job is varied, challenging and highly rewarding. “I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of our patients and those that work in the office with me,” says Nancy. “I work with an exceptional group of people that love what they do.”
Nancy’s military experience uniquely prepared her for her role with Northwell Health. “The Air Force taught me leadership, commitment, compassion and honor,” says Nancy. “I use each of these, every single day at Northwell.”
Nancy has no regrets about her decision to join Northwell Health. “Transitioning to a new position is one of the most unnerving things I have done, so I wanted to make sure that I picked the right company,” Nancy says. “After working with Lyndon, I knew Northwell would be an exceptional organization, because he was exceptional.” Nancy is living proof of the benefits of Northwell Health being a Military Friendly® Employer for five years in a row.
If you’d like to be part of an organization with an unyielding commitment to supporting veterans, take the first step at the Northwell Health Veteran Interview Day on November 9. Network and interview with hiring managers and executives, hear from keynote speaker Mark Solazzo, Northwell Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and much more.
Nancy would like to remind all those attending the Interview Day that, “the career opportunities at Northwell are endless. You are only limited by your determination and drive.”
Meet the Sherlock Holmes of solving claim errors: Northwell Health’s Anthony McCallum
Give him a mystery.
Northwell Health’s own Anthony McCallum, CPC-I, CIRCC, CPC, CCS received the 2018 Omar Brito Life Achievement Award from the Roxbury Institute for Medical Management in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional achievements. Here’s how he got here.
Anthony pursued coding over twenty years ago, starting with the CPC credential. He worked as a coder and coding consultant and then joined the Revenue Integrity Operations (RIO) team with Northwell Health in 2005 as an Outpatient Revenue Coding Specialist. “After a few years into my coding career and having worked for many years as a patient access representative, I was looking to return to a part-time position at Northwell,” Anthony said. “During the application process, the hiring manager picked up on my revenue cycle experience and felt I would be a good fit for RIO. From there I was interviewed, tested and ultimately offered the greatest opportunity of my life.”
While in RIO, he received three additional prestigious coding certifications, a B.S. degree in Health Care Management and an M.B.A. in Health Administration. “Northwell has provided a platform in which I have been able to advance. There is so much growth in this field and Northwell has provided an environment which encourages that growth. This has had a direct and positive impact on my career and job satisfaction.”
So what is the revenue cycle? According to Anthony, Revenue Cycle includes clinical and administrative functions which contribute to the capture, management, and collection of patient service revenue. RIO has the rare opportunity and skill of analyzing claims in their entirety and assuring that the medical record documentation supports every line item on that claim appropriately. The comprehensive analysis of claims and medical record documentation in conjunction with knowledge of charge capture processes allows RIO to identify the root causes of claim errors. Claim errors can be due to an array of issues; coding, charging, documentation, registration, and software application failures to name a few. RIO directs claims correction and works with the appropriate departments in an effort to mitigate future errors. Anthony feels like “in a sense, we are the Sherlock Holmes of solving claim error mysteries.”
Anthony is dedicated to providing continuous coding education with integrity and intelligence, and his contributions have also been recognized by the health information management community. “I was approached by Frank Chisena, the president of the Roxbury Institute for Medical Management; he explained that the award was given to prior students deemed to have excelled in the profession and he wanted to present me with the 2018 award due to my advancement in healthcare revenue cycle.”
Anthony’s greatest award is a rewarding career. “RIO is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve the organization’s bottom line is the most rewarding aspect of my job,” Anthony said. “It is particularly rewarding when RIO has identified additional revenue opportunities while mitigating claim errors and compliance concerns. It is gratifying to know that our work directly impacts the financial health of the organization, enabling Northwell to fulfill its mission.”
Written by: Laura Wood, MSN, RN, AGNP-C, Palliative Care, Southside Hospital
While all the other girls in my high school were stressed preparing for their sweet 16, I was handling the stress of preparing for an admission to the hospital. To say living with chronic illness isn’t a struggle would be a lie, but you learn how to adapt when you have no other choice. It was around Thanksgiving in 2005 when I was diagnosed with Lupus (SLE) and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). Multiple admissions to and from Cohen Children’s Medical Center along with weekly home infusions would cause any 16-year-old to feel angry and hopeless.
The details of my hospital stay are hard to recall but until this day I have never forgotten how the nurses made me feel. The feeling of vulnerability as a patient is difficult to explain until you have personally experienced it. Lonesome, angry, and hopeless; all words to describe the vulnerability overwhelming my emotions.
During my time of despair, I had encountered a nurse who I will never forget. This nurse didn’t know it, but she had changed my life forever. Maybe it was the way she listened to me, made me feel like I wasn’t alone, gave me support, and hope. She made me laugh, made me forget I was sick, and made me remember that despite my situation, I was still a 16-year-old girl who deserved to have fun and celebrate my sweet 16 like every other girl at school.
There was one thing I knew for sure leaving that hospital: I wanted to make others feel how this nurse made me feel during the hardest time in my life. I wanted to be just like her; it was in this moment that I realized my calling: I’m a Nurse and nothing will hold me back.
Fast forward to 2 years later I started my first position at Northwell’s Plainview Hospital as a patient representative in the admitting and discharge office. I spent 4 years in this position while enrolled at Molloy College for my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation I continued to work at Plainview as a Registered Nurse for 7 years while simultaneously achieving my Masters Degree as an Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner from Molloy College.
Today as I look back I’m proud to say I have come a long way since I was in that dark, anger filled, hopeless place from 14 years ago. My current role as a Nurse Practitioner is in Palliative Care and I have never felt so much fulfillment in my life.
Being diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses, most of which are considered invisible disease, has forced me to push and work harder in order to achieve the same accomplishments as a healthy individual. I always remember back to when I was 16 and how vulnerable I felt – if I have the power to make just one person feel less vulnerable, advocate for them, decrease their pain, and increase their comfort then I have no other option but to continue my calling. Palliative Care is exactly where I belong because I am able to help those who are like myself. In each and every patient I see a reflection of my 16-year-old self staring back at me.
At the end of the day before I lay my head down to sleep I can say with full confidence that what I do with my life isn’t a job, but a calling. Jobs are made with tasks for people to complete, but callings are for people whose task is never complete. The experience of the care is ongoing and is carried with both the nurses and patient for the rest of their lives. Nursing is my calling. I was Made for this.
Northwell’s Kyle Nevins is a Top Five Finalist of ASCP’s 40 Under Forty. Here’s Why.
We’re proud to announce that Northwell Health’s very own Kyle Nevins was selected as a 40 Under Forty Top Five through a combination of public voting and committee selection by American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). This program recognizes members under the age of 40 for their achievements and leadership qualities that are making an impact on pathology and laboratory medicine. We have no doubt Kyle was acknowledged for her Truly Ambitious work!
Kyle’s ambition began at a young age. “As a child, I have always loved and excelled in math and science,” she stated, “After winning the school science fair in 4th grade and getting the opportunity to visit the Brookhaven National Laboratory, I was hooked and knew a path in science was for me.”
Prior to joining Northwell Health, Kyle worked as a per diem Medical Technologist with a Northwell employee, who encouraged Kyle to apply to Northwell. “I have been fortunate in my career at Northwell and have had the opportunity to work among extremely insightful and knowledgeable mentors.”
Following that advice, she joined Northwell Health in January 2016 as a QA/QC Specialist in the New Patient Testing (Point of Care) department at Core Laboratory. There, her team of 5 specialists managed the laboratory oversight for 150+ physician office labs, imaging centers, patient service centers and urgent care labs. During this time, Kyle grew in her position. She advises anyone starting off their career to, “be a sponge, take in as much insight and advice that others are willing to give to you. Everyone has something to share and teach, provided you are willing to learn and listen.”
In December 2016, Kyle’s ambitions grew stronger as she advanced to the Laboratory Supervisor position in the new Management Services Organization (MSO) group. The MSO group’s primary responsibilities relate to performing laboratory audits at the 20+ Northwell Health laboratories where they help ensure readiness for all upcoming regulatory inspections and provide laboratory management oversight and consulting services for contracted non-Northwell facilities.
Kyle has found success and growth inside of Northwell Health labs. “From creating posters for presentation at conferences such as AACC and ASCP, to helping validate and open a new Ebola testing laboratory, and participating in nationwide CAP inspections, the opportunities for growth are endless.” We are proud of Kyle’s recognition as a 40 Under Forty Top Five, and look forward to seeing how she continues to push the limits of the labs at Northwell Health.
Find your place inside Northwell Health’s labs here.
How veteran Floyd Harris transitioned into a civilian career at Northwell Health
For the fifth year in a row, Northwell Health has earned a Military Friendly® Employer designation! We’re celebrating by speaking to veterans like Floyd Harris to get their perspectives on working with us and the opportunities for veterans and reservists at Northwell Health.
Floyd is a Route Service Representative, a position where he plays an important part in providing customers with excellent service — and he knows that his work helps to make Northwell Health successful. His favorite part of this work is “providing our customers with the service they desire and the ability to build a rapport with everyone that I meet daily.” So, how did Floyd get this job he loves?
Floyd believes all the credit for his civilian career transition goes to his wife, Keri, of 16 years. A few months into her new job at Northwell Health, she would come home and share her love of her workplace culture. She thought Floyd could find a post-military career here that he’s Made for. So, she reached out to the Northwell Veteran Inclusion Specialist to see how they could help in the hiring process.
Floyd’s wife brought him to the right place. Floyd says, “After retiring from serving our country for 20 years in the Marine Corps, Northwell Health has definitely helped with my transition into civilian life. Thus far it has been a great place to work and it enables me to have a work-life balance.” He also credits his managers, supervisors, and trainers that have assisted him in efficiently getting his job done.
Floyd’s work at Northwell Health will only continue to grow. He emphasizes that “with the unlimited number of opportunities here at Northwell Health, I truly believe that I will have the opportunity to advance at a fast pace.” And he wants other veterans to find a civilian career where they can be Truly Ambitious outside of the military. Take it from Floyd, “Veterans should know that a career at Northwell Health will provide them with a multitude of opportunities. Their support for veterans shows each and every day with the number of military services they provide. There are veteran recruitment events held on a regular basis, as well as job fairs and other webinars that they provide for veterans to ensure that they make a smooth transition into a remarkable civilian career.”
Northwell Health is Made for giving our employees a place where we can all be Truly Ourselves. For veterans, that means giving them the support they need to use the skills and drive they gained in the military in a civilian career through various initiatives and programs. This emphasis on continually helping veterans has earned us a Top 10 ranking for Military Friendly Employers in Health & Pharmaceutical Services.
The circle of service: How Northwell Health benefits veteran and reservist employees at home and on duty
When a member of our team goes on active duty, they shouldn’t take a pay cut. That’s why Northwell Health offers our military team members pay differential that makes up the difference between their military salary and their Northwell salary. It’s this kind of dedication to the military that has earned us a Military Friendly® Employer designation for the fifth year in a row. We spoke to former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Davon Gass for an inside peek at what it’s like to be a veteran or reservist working at Northwell Health.
Davon is a Patient Care Activist (PCA) at Lenox Hill Hospital, a position that has the most direct contact with a patient during their stay and assists nurses, monitors vitals, and reinforces safety precautions among other things. It’s a position that Davon describes as “allowing you to practice empathy in a practical setting.” Empathy isn’t just Davon’s job to give to patients, it’s our job to extend empathy to Davon and his family.
In 2017, Davon was on active duty and was deployed. But he didn’t have to worry about losing his job at Northwell Health because of the benefits Northwell offers its eligible active and reservist Military team members. Since 2008, 37 employees have received more than $1.6 million through the health system’s supplemental pay benefit. Davon wants veterans to know that he “never had to worry about coming home jobless, I transitioned back into things and soon it was as if I never left.”
Northwell Health recognizes the sacrifices veterans and their families make and helps returning veterans reintegrate to civilian life. The benefits for veterans at Northwell Health are, in the words of Davon, extensive. “Northwell Health honors our military, and as a reservist they understand we have to leave for two weeks a year and one weekend a month. They are flexible and they work with you. This really helps out a lot, and there are benefits for education. It’s been great here and I have no regrets. You can, overall, expect a lot of support for veterans [at Northwell Health].”
We’re Made for giving our employees a place where we can be Truly Ourselves. We’re thankful for their service, and work hard to support them while they’re in active duty and after. Veterans and reservists: we can do incredible things when we work Truly Together.
Learn more about our programs for veterans and reservists here.
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.”
Director Cindy Ryan and Project C.A.R.E. Bring Wellness to New Heights!
Director Cindy Ryan started at South Oaks Hospital 25 years ago, and says there has always been a focus and emphasis on wellness for its staff and the surrounding community. Now as part of Northwell Health, Cindy has found amazing opportunities for her team at South Oaks to bring Northwell Health’s dedication to wellness to the great outdoors through Project C.A.R.E. (Cooperative Activities Ropes Experience) and to South Oaks employees as a Wellness Liaison.
Since 1994, Project C.A.R.E. has been offering adventure-based workshops, facilitating groups to work, think, and learn together! These programs involve a variety of activities including group cooperative challenge problems, outdoor adventure low and high ropes course elements, and other physical elements. The level of participation is, at all times, up to the individual. “We refer to this as Challenge by Choice,’” Cindy explains. “Project C.A.R.E. offers a non-traditional experiential opportunity for participants to problem solve, learn to trust themselves and each other, understand strengths and weaknesses they possess within a group and how to succeed by working as a team.”
So how does Project C.A.R.E. do it? Let’s say a Northwell Health team is struggling with effective leadership or communication and is looking to schedule a program day at Project C.A.R.E. A Project C.A.R.E. team member begins the process by completing an assessment of their needs. Some questions we ask include – What is the familiarity amongst the participants with each other? Do they work directly together? What are the goals the client hopes to achieve? What are the strengths of the team? What are the opportunities for growth and development? The information we get from this assessment allows our C.A.R.E. team to create a customized experience. This experience includes selected initiatives/activities that foster opportunities for tools and strategies of effective teamwork to present themselves. The learning occurs through group briefings, metaphors and evaluative reflection to make concrete connections between the participants’ experience and the application to other aspects of their lives. “Aha” moments can present themselves for the individuals and the team as a whole.
The wellness initiatives don’t stop with Northwell Health employees. Project C.A.R.E. extends its outreach to other corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, youth programs, church groups, and camps. “Northwell Health’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of the individuals within the communities we serve,” Cindy added. Northwell Health has made wellness a priority for the entire health system, and that emphasis starts at the top. “Whether it be the Virgin Pulse platform that we’re using to help staff establish a level of sustainability for wellness goals, to the connection and support from corporate wellness,” Cindy said. “I really do feel, especially recently, our current internal infrastructure has been very proactive and supportive of promoting opportunity for employees to work on their personal wellness. They are 100 percent behind those initiatives. I feel I have a significant amount of support from executive leadership.”
Though there’s tremendous institutional support, Cindy believes that it’s up to individuals to utilize the resources at their fingertips and contact their onsite liaison — each Northwell Health site has one — with their wellness needs. “There is great opportunity for someone coming into the system from a wellness perspective. The Northwell Health system makes a number of resources available whether you need to focus on wellness in spirituality, fitness, nutrition, and even finance. Northwell Health has afforded its employees many opportunities and resources to make effective change.”
How Assistant Director Jim Wescott is Bringing Northwell Health’s ED to Innovative Heights
Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine Service Line Jim Wescott has built his career in the ED and now he’s bringing his lively, passionate, and innovative leadership to the entire Emergency Service Line at Northwell Health. We sat down with Jim to see the ED through his eyes:
How did you get your start at Northwell Health?
I started at Southside Hospital ED in 2004 as a Staff Nurse where I stayed for 14 years. Shortly after that, Southside Hospital became a part of Northwell Health. From there, I progressed with the health system from Staff Nurse, to Charge Nurse, to Preceptor, and in 2012, I became an Assistant Nurse Manager. In 2015, I became a Nurse Manager and was integral in the expansion of the emergency department. Under my leadership, the ED progressed from an 11,000 capacity ED to 30,000. After construction, that number reached 60,000! Now, I’m Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine Service Line.
How did you know that coming to Northwell Health was the right career move for you?
I knew immediately that Southside ED was for me on my first walk through in 2004. There was a buzz and energy that was occurring in this small ED. I hadn’t even had an official interview and I was ready to jump in and start working! When Southside Hospital integrated with Northwell Health, the system did an amazing job of committing to projects and improving processes. It’s such an innovative health system! There’s just this incredible commitment to moving forward at Northwell Health and I believe it’s because the senior executive level has a passionate vision that they’ve implemented in the mid-level leadership team and disseminated throughout the entire system.
Tell us about your current role:
The Emergency Medicine service line works collaboratively with hospital executive leadership to oversee clinical operations, quality, patient experience, finance, employee investment, community benefit, teaching and research, and market growth in the system’s emergency departments. The service line drives the sharing of best practices, standardized measurement and analysis of efficiency and quality metrics, and streamlined administrative practices by partnering with site ED leadership. Additionally, the EMSL assists our sites with redesign ED workflows, coordinates with system emergency preparedness departments, and is growing the Northwell footprint through a joint venture with GoHealth Urgent Care.
We also work with sites on career development and the (this is a mouthful, sorry!) ED Service Line Clinical Leadership Development Program. It’s a terrific opportunity for our ED clinicians, ACPs, and RNs! Created in conjunction with other leaders at the service line level, program participants attend an expert-led class every month. One month might focus on emotional intelligence, another on finance, and another on business strategies. This is a unique program that’s geared toward Emergency Medicine and it’s an exciting program because you don’t traditionally get these courses in healthcare work. Our SVP and executive director, Dr. John Deangelo recognized the enormous benefit of this investment in our clinical leadership teams along the service line and through his trailblazing vision, brought it to life. The program will be kicking off its fourth class this July. As a proud alumnus of this program, I can share with you firsthand how the content of this program augmented my own career development.
How does Northwell Health encourage employees to move around within the organization?
Moving within the organization is very well received and encouraged. I was at Southside Hospital for a long time and had successful upward career mobility. There are definitely pros to progressing and growing at one site. You know the culture, you know the players, you know what to expect day-to-day- even in an ED where the landscape is unpredictable! There are also cons to staying at one site. When you take on a new role, there’s a lot to learn and I think it’s beneficial to start that new role at a different location. Each culture is different. You’ll augment your own growth by being exposed to different processes and different patterns of thinking with new leaders. Northwell Health does a great job of offering these opportunities for upward mobility throughout the system.
Have you had a great mentor at Northwell Health? What did you learn from them?
Narrowing down my mentors at Northwell Health is difficult! Senior Director of Emergency Medicine Service Line Kate O’Neill is a dynamic person. When I was a Nurse Manager, I was expanding the department to three times its size. It was a very stressful time, I could share my experiences and challenges with Kate and she was the reassuring voice I needed. Even if I knew what to do, receiving validation from her level was integral to my growth. She always had a calming presence to her and you knew she was really listening, a trait that’s a hallmark of any great leader.
There’s also Paula Fessler who has championed my career and been a mentor for years. When you look at someone like Paula, her personality and the presence she has- it’s very inspiring. She reminds you of how inclusive Northwell Health is as an organization and how they build a real culture of care from top to bottom.
Finally, there’s Jason Philip, the Administrative Director of the emergency department at Southside Hospital. I’m very passionate about leadership, coaching and mentoring. I want to teach others the lessons that I’ve learned, especially emotional intelligence- a skill that’s vital for innovative leadership. I can’t think of anyone that I’ve ever worked with who has a stronger emotional intelligence than Jason. He is ridiculously engaged in all of the many moving parts of the emergency department. You wouldn’t expect someone who’s on the MBA executive route to really get down into the weeds of clinical operations. But from his first day, Jason has fully integrated himself. He’s also the Administrative Director of the ED at Peconic Bay Hospital and he does the same thing there! I’m just amazed by his ability to listen- that’s an art that I’ve tried to perfect in my career.
What advice do you have for people just starting out in their careers?
Don’t be afraid to fail! I’ve learned so much more from trying and failing than anything I have succeeded at immediately. So to all of you starting your careers, I say this: Northwell Health is the greatest health system in the world to work for and I would go toe-to-toe with anyone who would challenge that. Shoot for the moon and don’t worry about failing while trying. In a just culture like Northwell Health, if your intentions are good and you tried your best, you won’t be berated or beaten down for it. You’ll learn from it!
Any innovative changes or growth happening in the future we should know about?
One of the numerous innovative projects our team has developed and continues to augment are real-time dashboards. Historically in health care, measuring your performance was a manual, rigorous, work exhaustive endeavor. If you were able to obtain any information it was seldom actionable as it was always a retrospective review of things you could have done better, say a few weeks, months, or even a year ago, and rarely could you benchmark these results to others. Today, our service line team utilizes real-time data with a laser focus on throughput efficacy, quality metrics, and patient experience to name a few.
By leveraging this technology our clinical leadership teams along the service line can drill down to the granular level on such things as length of stay in the ED by the hour, day, mode (walk-in or ambulance) of arrival, and truly drive sustained performance improvement by understanding the challenges and opportunities this powerful information provides our teams.
Jim Wescott is just one great example of the innovation, passion and creative thinking that is making our emergency department a trailblazer in health care. Interested in joining our incredible team in Northwell Health’s ED? RSVP here for our hiring event on August 7th!
A passionate commitment to her patients and team has followed registered nurse and Reservist Kelly Mahaffy throughout her career at Northwell Health that spans 30 years. It’s this passion for service that helped Kelly flourish in the OR, whether it be in a Northwell hospital or during her active duty.
Kelly’s career started in Manhasset Hospital as an OR nurse in 1988, following a successful clinical there in nursing school. Here she worked for 17 years on the evening shift, enjoying the diversity the evening shift brought and focusing primarily in neurology. Her desire for travel led her to California in 2005, where she later joined the Army Reserves.
When it came time to come home, Kelly returned to Northwell, accepting a position at Glen Cove Hospital in 2009. “At Glen Cove, we’re very proud of our hospital,” says Kelly, who is still an OR nurse there today, “We know when new surgeons come in, we have one chance to get it right and we do.” We’re proud to be able to have helped Kelly grow in her career with us while she continues to serve in the reserves.
From 2017 to 2018, Kelly worked with other reservists at Womack Army Medical Center in North Carolina. Here she was part of the active duty service, taking care of active duty soldiers. During her shifts, Kelly saw firsthand the sacrifices of those in the military and their families. Working with these soldiers continually inspired Kelly. “It reminds you to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy daily,” she shares.
While at Womack Army Medical Center, Kelly noticed the inherent loyalty and teamwork of the soldiers with pride. “You have to look out for your soldiers,” says Kelly, “you have to look out for the people you serve with.” And she’s proud to see this value reflected in Northwell’s Truly Together employees as well, “The team really pulled together and took care of my job when I went away for a whole year. I knew when I came back, they’ll have kept things running smoothly.”
Veterans like Kelly and the soldiers they serviced have sacrificed so much to serve our country. At Northwell, we’re proud that Kelly chooses to continue this spirit of service with us as a nurse. “I’m proud to serve at Northwell,” says Kelly, “I am proud to have served in North Carolina, and I am proud to still be in the Army Reserves.”
And we’re proud to have been named a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, supporting veterans like Kelly and providing veteran services throughout their time with us, such as pay differentials and flexible scheduling for reservists. We’re committed to our veterans, their career transition, and their growth.
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.”
Bringing families together through the power of compassion
Sometimes, the most heartbreaking situations grant the greatest opportunity for us to provide genuine compassionate care. This was the case recently at North Shore University Hospital where care providers across several units and two hospitals worked together to help a father and daughter reunite as a family for one last time.
A fifteen-year-old girl came into the Emergency Department at North Shore with asthma exacerbation. Due to the circumstances that surrounded her condition, she needed to be transferred to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. However, while she was still in the ED, her care providers learned that her father was a patient at that same hospital with a terminal condition.
Not knowing how much time he had left, the patient wanted to be able to visit her father before her transfer. It took teamwork from staff at both hospitals to act quickly in order to make one girl’s wish a reality.
At Northwell Health, being Truly Compassionate is more than just a figure of speech or a slogan on a wall. It is an everyday commitment. The ED Attending, RN staff and leaders at North Shore and an RN from Cohen Children’s work together to escort the girl – with telemetry monitoring and oxygen in place – to her father’s room. There the staff remained with them to maintain her care so the patient could visit her father for two hours.
Nurses proved Northwell’s values with their dedicated care, going above and beyond by remaining well past the end of their shifts to ensure a daughter shared precious time with her father. The hospital teams worked as one to bring their patients comfort and assurance during life’s most difficult times.
It was an emotional scene, and one that reminded care providers why they went into their fields in the first place. “This is an event that will stick with many of us for a long time to come,” said Marissa E. Tang, BSN, RN at North Shore University Hospital, “I personally know I will be remembering and speaking of this event myself.”
Following her time with her father, the patient was transferred to Cohen Children’s to receive the care she needed. The patient and her family showed immense gratitude that thanks to the teamwork and compassion from both staffs, a girl was able to spend time with her father who passed away the next day.
Her nurses consider it a privilege to have been able to contribute to their important final visit. Jessica Jardin, RN, BSN, CEN, and Assistant Nurse Manager at the Department of Emergency Medicine, North Shore University Hospital will never forget that day, “I know this situation resonated with my colleagues and myself, and in such a case there is no way we would have denied these two the opportunity to have such precious little time together. The collaborative team effort worked because we all wanted to see the best possible outcome of a painful situation for our patient and her family.”
What’s one way to shatter the glass ceiling? Ask Susan Browning.
Executive Director of Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Forest Hills, Susan Browning, hasn’t just cracked a glass ceiling in the healthcare industry, she’s shattered it. And she has the award to prove it: Susan was among eight leaders to receive the Glass Ceiling Award, which honors women who rose through the ranks in their respective industries. Though there are still plenty of glass ceilings that need breaking, these women have paved the way for many others! We talked to Susan about mentorship, one of her biggest career decisions, and what’s next for her at Northwell Health:
Tell us about your career journey at Northwell Health!
I joined Northwell Health eight months after the merge of what was then North Shore Health System and Long Island Jewish Medical Center. When I was recruited, I initially had responsibility for ambulatory care operations. However, due to the evolution of the health system, I moved into a role within system operations about a year and a half after joining. From that role, I transitioned back into hospital leadership positions, first at LIJ Forest Hills and then at Staten Island University Hospital. Subsequently, I provided administrative leadership within four of our clinical service lines. And, about three years ago, I was asked to return to LIJ Forest Hills as executive director.
What was it like to make the decision about healthcare administration vs. practicing medicine?
I always knew that I wanted a career in health care, and early on I thought that would be as a physician. However, during my undergraduate studies, I met several healthcare executives through various professional experiences. It was through those experiences that I reoriented my interests towards administration, where I was focused on the health of the community and development of services to meet community needs.
What does it take to earn a Glass Ceiling Award?
I view this award as a great recognition of Northwell Health’s focus on building services in the Queens community, which meet the needs of the community. This is an award that is reserved for individuals that have achieved professional recognition, but most importantly, community recognition for their leadership within the community.
Have you had any mentors along the way who made a big difference in your career?
Absolutely. The mentors that I have had (and continue to have), provide extraordinary support, guidance, and objective insights as my career has developed. Having strong, trusted mentors is one of the most important positive factors in one’s career development.
What should women know about working at Northwell Health?
Northwell Health is an extremely innovative health system, with visionary leadership. There is a focus on building diverse talent across the organization, as having diverse voices contribute to organizational decision-making enhances the sophistication of those decisions. The culture is very supportive.
What’s next for you in shaping careers for women in STEM?
I prefer to focus on shaping careers of any young professional interested in STEM, not solely women. There is a great opportunity for talented leaders, and it is up to my generation to mentor these leaders and prepare them for the evolving industry and opportunities that will present.
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.
“I knew that coming to Northwell presented an opportunity for growth and it’s one of best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel appreciated, I feel acknowledged, and I feel my talents are recognized.”
– Edlyn Fernandez, Administrative Director of Radiology, Long Island Jewish, Valley Stream Hospital
Edlyn Fernandez has come full-circle. When she began her career at Northwell Health as a Front Desk Clerk, she used her position to build up her terminology while she went through Radiology school. After graduating from her radiology program with honors, she moved to an X-Ray Technician position and eventually came back to Long Island Jewish, Valley Stream Hospital as a Per Diem Cat Scan Technologist, where she worked for five years while she received her advanced certification in Cat Scan.
Edlyn still had places to go! After four years as a Per Diem Cat Scan Technologist, she was promoted to Cat Scan and MRI Supervisor where she oversaw both modalities in which the department acquired ACR accreditation. She eventually moved into the role of Radiology Manager where she assisted the director in departmental needs such as patient safety and staff scheduling, the ACR accreditation of multiple modalities, IT troubleshooting with PACS and Ris system, the implementation of Sunrise Clinical Manager, and obtaining data for quality metrics such as turnaround time.
Edlyn is putting all of this experience to good use now as Administrative Director of Radiology, the same department she started her career in. Her new role gives her the ability to collaborate with administration, nursing, and the rest of the hospital for timely discharges and lengths of stays, all while performing daily briefs to set expectations and goals for the staff.
“The work you put in at Northwell Health is repaid with opportunities to grow. I’ve always been dedicated and it’s been an honor to be here starting off as a Front Desk Clerk and growing into my current role,” she says.
The Northwell Health values of never settling, relying on each other, and utilizing her ambitious spark make Edlyn an outstanding teammate. Her dedication and career progress make us proud to call her a valued team member. She’s an amazing example of how at Northwell Health, you never know what heights your career will take you.
“When I came here to this very office and interviewed as a Front Desk Clerk, I never thought I’d be where I’m sitting. Now, I look around my office and I’m sitting on the other side of the desk, and I did it.”
At Northwell Health, we love giving our employees the opportunity to grow. Explore how your career can thrive by looking at openings here.
Photo: Lesly is the 2nd man from the left in the front with the trophy
Northwell Health’s Pathway to Inclusion
Written by: Lesly St. Louis
I have been advocating for individuals with disabilities – a group of which I am a proud member – for most of my life. The biggest challenges we have to overcome are not the disabilities, but the stigma surrounding them. As an Inclusion Specialist at Northwell Health, I now facilitate employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. My role provides me with the resources to replace fear with mutual understanding, allowing persons with disabilities to become productive members of society.
My job is especially meaningful to me as I know how it feels to encounter barriers from employers. I was born with a congenital malformation called Spina Bifida, which is a defect of the spine and spinal cord. As a result, my primary way of mobilizing is by use of a wheelchair. But I haven’t let that stop me. Through the support and dedication of my parents, as a child, I began participating in adaptive sports designed specifically for individuals with disabilities just like me. I was embraced by the community and it was empowering. The athletes I met over the years guided me through challenges on and off the court. Because of this experience, I learned that I too had a responsibility to support other individuals with disabilities. I took on a leadership position in my wheelchair basketball team to inspire others to overcome and live better with their disabilities.Northwell Health became the biggest supporter of my wheelchair basketball team.
Northwell Health became the biggest supporter of my wheelchair basketball team. I was fortunate to meet Chief People Officer Joe Moscola, who introduced me to the different employment opportunities Northwell offered.
I will be working to communicate our inclusive workforce vision by connecting with schools, vocational services, and other public forums. Community outreach is key to ensuring people with disabilities are aware of the multiple employment opportunities that exist within Northwell Health. Educating everyone in our organization to work collaboratively on creating dynamic opportunities well suited to both the needs of the individual and those of the organization can result in a successful outcome. Connecting our recruiters and hiring managers to individuals with disabilities through specialized events such as workshops will also foster direct communication, furthering our shared goals of creating an inclusive workforce.
I personally know the difficulties that disabled individuals face when finding a job. I had countless conversations with prospective employers and found a few common themes: they would find multiple reasons why they could not hire this person, or if they were willing to give them an opportunity, why they were not able to promote them within the company. I know that I can play a vital role in helping other disabled individuals find a role here at Northwell Health and can honestly say that the organization is focused on this initiative. It is both my job and my vocation to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. My hope is that through creating opportunities for employment, we can work together to increase confidence within these individuals and inspire them to conquer more challenges and achieve even higher levels of success.
It is both my job and my vocation to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. My hope is that through creating opportunities for employment, we can work together to increase confidence within these individuals and inspire them to conquer more challenges and achieve even higher levels of success.
An Appointment With: Northwell Health President and CEO, Michael J. Dowling
1. Growth has been a big part of Northwell Health’s success over the past years. How do we plan to continue to grow in 2018?
Everybody wants a piece of the health care space, from Google and Amazon to IBM Watson and other tech companies looking to disrupt the status quo. More recent examples include the purchase by Optum of the DaVita Medical Group, and CVS’ proposed acquisition of Aetna.
As New York’s largest health care provider, we’re not going to stand still. There are ongoing opportunities for Northwell to pursue new, innovative partnerships. Most of the traditional consumer transaction companies trying to gain a foothold in our industry are not providers of care, so they will need to be connected to hospitals and health systems that are firmly established in major metropolitan areas. Their goal, like ours, is to improve the continuum of care and make the delivery system as seamless as possible, so there could be synergies and opportunities in the year ahead to pursue ventures that will enable us to compete more effectively in this rapidly changing environment.
2. How will we push the boundaries and be Truly Innovative in 2018?
This era of consumerism forces everybody – including traditional providers – to think about doing things differently. I’m a big believer that competition is good. It’s disrupting. It can give you headaches and lead to sleepless nights, but it’s good because it forces you to work harder and get better. It forces organizations to be more efficient, more productive and more creative. These types of disruptions are occurring in all industries, not just health care. To that end, we continue to look to our employees for innovative ideas on how to do their jobs better, invest in startups that are trying to bring exciting new technologies to market and partner with other organizations to enhance what we’re already doing well.
3. What is your top goal this year for Northwell Health?
Northwell Health will continue to expand its ambulatory network, and focus on ways to further enhance the patient experience. As noted earlier, we will continue to pursue innovative partnerships with other companies within and outside of health care. In keeping with our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve, we will also enhance our efforts in the disease prevention arena by strengthening our focus on promoting health and wellness. We’ll also continue to leverage new technologies that help improve access to care and our ability to monitor patients’ progress by maximizing our use of artificial or automated intelligence and telemedicine. Another important focus will be on strengthening customer loyalty by connecting with people early in their lives, and then meeting or exceeding their expectations during every encounter we have with them thereafter.
As many of you already know, I was at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson last month when they signed an agreement to join Northwell. It was a happy moment for everyone involved. They represent the 23rd hospital in our health system. Mather has a history and tradition of excellence that we’re proud to be associated with. And we bring to them an array of services and expertise they can leverage to help complement their offerings to Suffolk County residents. We are stronger together. We’ll work hard in 2018 to continue to strengthen that value proposition for our customers.
4. If you could give advice to someone interested in joining the Northwell Health family as an employee, what would it be?
Have a curious mind and a belief in the concept of lifelong learning. Your education doesn’t end when you get a degree. Continue to educate yourself on a daily basis. Next, work hard and always try to do the right thing. Always have a sense of humility about your contributions to the organization. Having a positive attitude is one of most important attributes of any employee, as is perseverance. All of us are going to have bad days from time to time. Never give up when times are tough. And lastly, don’t be afraid to fail. As Albert Einstein said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
5. What inspired you to get into health care?
Long before I joined the health system in 1995, I spent more than 20 years working in many different jobs within health and human services, so transitioning into a health care organization seemed like a natural transition. While quite a few people are aware of my background working as director of health, education and human services for former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and as a professor of social policy at Fordham University, I previously worked as an administrator in the Rockland County (NY) Department of Social Services, as a social policy consultant and analyst for the Columbia University School of Social Work, the New York State Communities Aid Association, the National Urban League and the United Church of Christ, and earlier as a caseworker in New York City schools.
In terms of inspiration, certainly my upbringing in a poor, rural area of Ireland was a major factor in why I decided to pursue a career in health and human services. I’ve always been driven by a desire to do the right thing and by the benefits I thought I could deliver to the community-at-large. For me, it has never been about personal benefits, but the whole idea of purpose: do well and do good for others.
6. How do you stay focused and motivated year after year?
By continually pursuing new ideas that help me become a better leader and help the organization become more successful. While a lot of people think stress is bad, it pushes you to be more innovative. To be successful in any leadership position, you have to be a little bit unhappy and always searching for ways of doing your job better. As a former athlete, I always draw a parallel to sports. The only way to become good at any sport is to push yourself to the limit. There’s a big gap between our capabilities and our current level of performance. No matter how good you think you are, you can always get better. Having that personal drive and never being satisfied helps you grow, develop and exceed expectations.
26.2 miles. Twenty-six. Point two. And every step is a battle, a struggle between mind, will and body. Running a marathon demands an incredible personal commitment. Months – and sometimes, years – of road training and dietary preparation. Early mornings and long, lonely runs.
Just getting started requires tremendous motivation. But to finish the race, sometimes you need to exceed even your own expectations. As Northwell Health’s VP and Chief Experience Officer, Sven Gierlinger noted, “With the exception of getting married and seeing my first child born, running the NYC Marathon has been the most incredible and exhilarating experience of my life. I never in a million years would have thought that it is humanly possible for me to be able to do that.”
At Northwell Health, being Truly Ambitious is a core Value of ours, it’s no wonder we had several of our employees enter and finish the recent New York Marathon. Here are some of those were in it for the long run:
For these exceptionally dedicated individuals, it’s a matter of setting goals and going out and achieving them. “It’s about determination. Being ambitious, pushing the boundaries both physically and mentally,” says Patricia Farrell, RN, Nurse Executive. “When you hit that wall, you have to push through it to complete your goal.”
Health and wellness are two big themes Northwell Health has in common with the NYC Marathon. Competing in and completing a marathon will take you to a level of fitness few are able to achieve. But, you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to make positive changes in your life. You can even start by just walking more and see where that takes you. As our President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Dowling says, “There is no limit to your possibilities if you put your mind to it.”
Leading the way in STEM initiatives – Chief People Innovation Officer Elaine Page honored as 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM
At Northwell Health, we aren’t satisfied with settling. We search for innovation in everything we do. That’s why we place such a high value on STEM education in achieving our goal of optimizing the health of our community.
Last week our Vice President of HR, Chief People Innovation Officer and leader of our Workforce Readiness Team, Elaine Page, was honored at the 2017 Million Women Mentors Summit & Awards as the 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM Honoree. Promoting innovation and growing our future workforce is one of Elaine’s passions and she understands that the future success depends upon growing and empowering tomorrow’s health care workforce to take an active interest in learning and innovation. With the changing healthcare landscape and a critical shortage of nurses and other skilled clinical professionals, educating our youth on the opportunities in health care and STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) take on a new and urgent priority.
“As I represent many women leaders receiving this honor, I’m reminded of that sage advice as I say thank you today and reflect on all those successful women who’ve helped me. From my high school teacher who told me I could be anything I dreamed I could be, to my first horrible boss who taught me exactly what not to do when I became a leader…and to the countless women leaders I’ve known who have struggled to make a place in the world for their voice but yet have carried themselves with graceful patience, knowing their time would come. They were and are fierce and I’ve reveled in the lessons I’ve learned from these women and try to impart that wisdom to my own team every day. So I thank you for recognizing the importance of women leaders in technology: for recognizing how we bring creativity and different thought to a traditionally male field. Thank you for highlighting the importance of women supporting other women, lifting each other up. It feels good to know that our powerful voices are shaping our future.” Elaine Page, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Innovation Officer
Northwell Health collaborates with internal and external partners to host system-wide STEM career programs, providing teacher education opportunities and fostering transformational education through the creation and support of Career Academies – while our student programs promote the wide scope of STEM-focused career paths and opportunities available within health care. Take a look at some of our initiatives:
Medical Marvels – In partnership with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Medical Marvels hosts a competition for 9th & 10th grade students to engage educators and students in exploring, understanding and preparing students for the broad spectrum of STEM career paths.
The Spark! Challenge – This is a system wide STEM career awareness program for 11th and 12th grade students. The program highlights high growth and less known careers in healthcare. The Spark! Challenge has hosted over 1,300 students at more than 50 Northwell Health sites.
Top Minds Meet webinar series – This interactive webinar series introduces students to key Northwell Health leadership as it highlights various pathways to a successful career.
Medical Scholars Pipeline Program – The Hofstra School of Medicine and Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation are preparing high school students for health care careers through hands-on training, rigorous academic classes, and mentorship.
Annual Professional Development Day – In partnership with The Feinstein Institute, we’re engaging educators in the broad spectrum of career paths and the skills and education needed to work in tomorrow’s health care.
Long Island STEM Hub – Northwell Health and Brookhaven National Lab are Co-Stewards of this regional effort focused on engaging and aligning business and educational communities to engage and develop students for STEM careers.
International Internship Program – Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation and University College Cork in Ireland are opening exciting opportunities for undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business information systems.
As we continue to push the boundaries we will focus on enhancing our STEM initiatives and try to understand how we can continue to build successful relationships with other companies who are driven by the same mission. For now, help us in congratulating Elaine Page on her prestigious award!
Made for going places – Paula Tortorici-Scheff’s story
Paula Tortorici-Scheff has always enjoyed traveling, visiting new places and meeting new people. And that’s not just in her personal life, it’s with her career as well. Over the years, she has experienced impressive career growth, and all of it at Northwell Health.
Paula started as a Nursing Assistant, and went on to attain her BSN with honors. She earned her New York RN license and was hired as a staff nurse – all within a matter of months. As a driven nursing professional, she became ANCC Medical-Surgical Nursing Board Certified while obtaining Clinical Ladder III status and advanced to Assistant Nurse Manager.
And she was just getting warmed up.
She’s currently an Administrator, Hospital Operations, where she serves as one of the on-site administrators on the evening and weekend shifts. She also provides operational oversight throughout the hospital.
“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity of a full scholarship as a student of the first inaugural class at Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing to obtain my Master’s degree. It is not only an amazing experience, but one that is part of an elite and prestigious program and institution. Thank you, Northwell!”
-Paula Tortorici-Scheff, BSN, RN-BC
For those seeking greater opportunities in their own careers, Paula’s advice is simple – “Go for it!” She recommends taking advantage of the education available to Northwell Health nurses at the Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing. “It’s something that you will be very proud to be part of,” says Paula. “It’s a gift having access to the absolute best faculty, physicians, and clinical experiences — it shines above the other programs. We are also guaranteed job placement with the Northwell Health system. But you have to be driven and determined. You have to want it and keep your focus.”
If you’re looking for a place that encourages and rewards you for being truly ambitious, a career at Northwell Health is made for you. “I am very proud of the opportunities Northwell has given me over the last 21 years,” Paula tells us. “I have built my entire career here and I am far from done.”
When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support
Reservists face unique challenges as they balance a civilian job with ongoing military obligations. Just ask Reservist and Core Laboratories Clerk Davesha Taylor. Her Reservist duties include regular training that often involves weekday assignments overlapping her work schedule. We’re honored to be able to help Davesha grow in her career with us while she continues to meet her military commitments.
“I owe a lot of thanks to the kind staff I work with,” says Davesha. “They are very considerate of me whenever I need to take time off for military training.”
We recognize that there’s more to helping our veterans than merely finding them a job. As a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, we’re there to continue to support veterans throughout their time with us – such as offering flexible scheduling and pay differentials for reservists.
For Davesha, her role as a clerk with us is just the start. Her vision and passion is to attend medical school to become a Forensic Pathologist, and we’ll be there to help her make this dream a reality.
“Thanks to Northwell Health, my transition from the military has been smooth and easy,” Davesha acknowledges.
Veterans like Davesha Taylor have sacrificed so much in the service of our country. At Northwell Health, we’re proud that they choose to continue their life of service with us.
In the wake of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey inflicted upon the Houston area, the need for medical care rose to crisis levels for those impacted by the flooding and who rely on their healthcare providers to manage existing chronic conditions. In response, Northwell Health connected with its counterparts at the Houston–based MD Anderson Cancer Center to offer assistance to match the hospital‘s specific needs. Within 24 hours after requesting help from its clinicians, Northwell enrolled more than 600 employees interested in volunteering. Here is one of our volunteer’s stories.
Written by: Angela Daly
As nurses and healthcare workers, we are there for people at times when they are most vulnerable; we step up when we are needed without a moment of hesitation. I was in nursing school when Hurricane Sandy destroyed my hometown of the Rockaway’s in Queens in 2012. Thanks to the kindness and amazing gestures of so many who stepped up when we needed them the most, my neighborhood made a strong comeback, allowing me to graduate on-time and start my dream job as a float nurse for Northwell Health.
When I heard that Houston, Texas was expecting to be heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey, I immediately stepped up to volunteer. The week that I spent in Houston was an amazing experience that allowed me to give back to the world the same gestures that were once given to me in a time of crisis. I was able to use my talents and training as a Northwell Health Nurse in a way which was valued and so appreciated by so many. I was so proud to be a part of Northwell’s nursing team during that week in Texas as I relieved the nurses and allowed them to get home to their families and to begin the recovery process. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a nurse, and the finest example of how Northwell Nurses and I are Made For This!
Meet Madalyn Frank-Cooper, Director of Patient Care Services at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills. We sat down with her to talk about her career progression and to simply understand why she loves her job. Here is what she has to say.
Why did you fall in love with Emergency Services?
I first fell in love with EMS when I was working as a medical assistant many years ago. One day, while I was working, we called for an emergent transfer for a patient to the hospital. I was in awe of the EMT’s professionalism, their quick and thorough assessment skills, and the transfer of the patient to the hospital setting. I next joined EMS, and a short time later enrolled in nursing school to further my education and become an RN. I began my career at Lenox Hill Hospital in the ED. I was fascinated by the coordinated, quick decision making of the inter-professional team in this fast paced environment. I was a clinical nurse for approximately 5 years and was afforded the opportunity to become a clinical liaison, and next found my path in leadership.
What is your role as Director of Patient Care Services?
My role as Director of Patient Care Services is to ensure the best possible care to our patients and to provide our employees with the knowledge and support to do so. This includes promoting an exceptional patient experience, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and a safe environment. I feel this role is important because enables and promotes avenues for advocacy for patients, families, and staff.
How do you continue to push your employees to provide top quality of care for our patients?
Nursing is dynamic and can drive change. Placing the patient at the forefront, eliciting feedback from the front line, and explaining the reasons why assist to drive quality of care. Structures we have in place to examine our quality of care include Collaborative Care Councils, Committee work, and focus groups. These structures promote shared governance and provide insight for the care we are delivering.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have the Nurse Activated Stroke Code Project, where using specific criteria, the nurses are empowered to activate the Stroke Code at the patient point of entry. This has shown to be successful in decreasing our door to doctor, and door to imaging time. Early recognition and treatment yield better patient outcomes, increasing the likelihood of a full recovery. Next, we are looking to expand this concept to patients with sepsis and initiate a Nurse Activated Code Sepsis, with the goal of improved outcomes.
Initially, it never occurred to me to consider Tech School. I was going to school to become an accountant and during that time I worked in a small radiology facility. I worked with John, the director of an Ultrasound program. My desk faced the wall and our desks were caddy corner. One day, John approached me and said, “Consider Ultrasound school and forget accounting”. In so many words, I told him to leave me alone. He responded, “OK, sit in the corner for the rest of your life”. I will never forget how I felt in that moment. I started to pay more attention to the Tech’s and each modality. Ultrasound interested me because there is an art to it; the probe is your camera. I was hooked and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Ultrasound.
I began my career at Huntington Hospital in 2008. I worked with esteemed Radiologist Dr. Wank and he recruited me to go to Great South Bay Imaging in late 2010 when the practice wasn’t even open yet (I literally wore a hard hat while I interviewed with Bill Brostek). It may sound cliché, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Just like with John, Bill saw something in me that day. He hired me as a staff Technologist and then I was promoted to Ultrasound Supervisor and not long after that, I was promoted to Practice Manager of the facility. Over the course of 7 years, I have seen many changes and growth within our facility. From the earliest moments of my career, the team that I have worked with has solidified the reasons I was drawn to this field in the first place. Technologists graduate with a foundation of knowledge in patient care. It is not until this knowledge is put into practice that a Technologist begins to realize that patient care is the most important part of our job. Even though a majority of my day is no longer spent scanning patients, patient care remains my utmost priority.
I often look ahead to the future. Just as I have evolved and grown within my career, the field of radiology will continue to evolve and grow. Northwell Health continuously provides opportunities that break down barriers so that there are no limitations to the level of success we can all achieve. This fosters an environment in which patients can be part of a health system that is a step above the rest. Northwell Health has afforded me opportunities in my career that I never deemed possible, especially when I look back at myself sitting in the corner all of those years ago.
Many people have not only believed in me but instilled a drive that I didn’t know existed within myself. The moment I wake up each morning, I have a mantra I often repeat – I am part of something greater and I am going to make a difference today. I often reiterate this mantra to my team so that we don’t lose sight of our common goal. Simply put, we all entered this field to help people. Patient care is our #1 priority. No matter what an individual’s role is within the health system, that mantra, along with prioritizing patient care, will only enhance the overall success of our Health System. I wear my Northwell Health hat proudly each and every day.
Photo (from left to right): Emmelyn is the third women in the front of the photo
From Assistant Clinical Analyst to AVP of the Office of Research Compliance – my career journey
Since joining our team in 2005, Emmelyn has taken every challenge and turned it into an opportunity. Learn how her career progressed over the years and how we supported her along her journey.
Why did you want to become a part of Northwell Health?
My passion has always been in research and public health and because of this, I ended up moving to the New York area to attend a graduate program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In 2005, Northwell Health offered an opportunity for me to continue working in research as an Assistant Clinical Analyst, focused on regulatory compliance. It sounded like a great opportunity to learn more about the complex regulatory environment of research and work for a very large health care system. This was an exciting new challenge and I was eager to get my feet wet since I was had only had experience working in smaller medical academic centers in Chicago and Boston.
How has your career progressed over the years?
In 2007 I was promoted to a Manager in the Research Compliance department where I continued to work on developing the audit and compliance program and regulatory education and training for researchers throughout the organization. After a few years, I was promoted to Direct the Research Compliance Department and most recently, became the AVP, Research Compliance and Privacy Officer.
What are the biggest projects you are working on right now?
In Research Compliance we regularly perform audits of research throughout the organization and capture metrics. We’re developing ways to more effectively capture data from our reviews and develop analytical tools that can help us better pinpoint areas that may represent operational gaps or challenges leading to compliance issues or areas in need of further education and training. This data can then be presented to leadership and groups for further discussion or actions. At the end of the day, we want to be able to gauge the level of quality and integrity of the research that’s conducted at our organization. Continually evaluating quality and making improvements allows Northwell Health to continue to be a leading organization in research.
The other area I’m involved in is the Business Employee Resource Group (BERG). I’m one of the co-chairs of the Bridges Asian BERG that launched in October of 2016 and we’ve been working closely with the Center for Equity of Care (CEC) and various Service Lines across the organization on a variety of initiatives that seek to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services and build trust within the communities that we serve. We are working to create a larger impact across the workforce, expand the marketplace and better connect with our communities. This is critical as Northwell Health expands its footprint throughout very diverse neighborhoods and we need to work cross collaboratively to make a substantial impact. I’ve worked in minority health initiatives and research and this has always been another passion of mine. Northwell Health offers an amazing opportunity for its workforce to get involved in organization level projects through BERGs, which is fully supported and encouraged by leadership.
Within your different roles, how did you leverage them to be successful?
I always find value working from the ground up and learning a lot along the way from experience, good and bad. Working my way from an Assistant Clinical Analyst to where I am today took many years with a fair share of challenges, failures, and successes. Over time I’ve learned that it pays to take risks sometimes, be proactive and a self-starter, seek out a mentor and most importantly, to seek and listen to feedback. I was fortunate enough to participate in certain programs within the organization such as the High Potentials Program that exposed me to various management and problem-solving strategies and Corporate leadership. That definitely gave me a different perspective on how our large organization worked and the potential that everyone has within, that could be realized to its full potential with dedication to collaboration, putting in 100% effort, actively networking and seeking mentorship.
In my current role, I’ve found value in communication and being a mentor to others. This includes ensuring a good level of communication with my team, colleagues and with individuals throughout our vast organization. I remember reading an article about how leaders shouldn’t only seek to climb the ladder, but they make sure that they look back and help others up along the way. This rings true as a woman and minority in a leadership position as we definitely have our fair share of challenges in the work place. I always remember the people who have extended their hand to help me along the way to get me to where I am today, and I’d like to do that for others who show the same amount of dedication and enthusiasm working for our organization. I think that truly makes you a successful leader.
Were there any roadblocks you overcame? If so, what are you most proud of?
The hardest thing about career progression is when you advance to the next level. When I was promoted to a Director and had to supervise other employees it was completely new to me and I went through my fair share of trial and error. Fortunately, I had mentors and supervisors who helped me to overcome challenges every step of the way and who serve as role models. Over these years I have worked hard to build the Research Compliance program and expanded the department to where it is today. I am most proud of seeing my staff develop personally and professionally, overcome challenges, and work with me to make the program even better each year.
I have learned so much, met so many people and have grown professionally. Northwell Health has been a terrific place to work and provides so many unique opportunities for the workforce. I’d like to encourage others to seize the opportunities offered at our organization, network and meet with people outside of your department to expand your horizons. Lastly, be engaged and make your career what you want it to be – you are made for this!
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.