A recipe for culinary success — Northern Westchester wins Northwell Health’s 2021 Chefs Challenge
Each year at Northwell Health, we host the Chefs Challenge, where our chefs and their team members collaborate and create unique, healthy dishes that may be offered to their patients in the near future.
This year six Northwell Health hospitals recently competed in the 2021 Chefs Challenge at Glen Cove Hospital. Chefs, cooks and registered dieticians assembled to prepare healthy and delicious three-course meals within five hours — and using an assigned set of ingredients, in the style of an Iron Chef competition!
Northern Westchester Hospital was awarded first place in the competition. The winning menu included a butternut squash and shrimp wonton appetizer; entrée of braised lamb osso buco (shank) with spring vegetables, Yukon gold potato and slow-roasted cherry tomato; and caramelized pineapple upside-down cake dessert. South Shore University Hospital placed second, with a menu featuring butternut squash noodles carbonara, and Lenox Hill Hospital, whose meal included an herb and pistachio crusted rack of lamb, placed third.
Why join our culinary team?
When people consider hospital dishes, they usually don’t picture restaurant-quality three–course meals. Northwell Health believes in redefining hospital food because food is medicine, and our culinary departments strive to provide patients with the same level of nutritional care as the clinical care they receive altogether.
Our culinary department and chefs raise the standard of hospital food by designing meals with fresh ingredients, including herbs and vegetables harvested from Northwell Health’s gardens. Northern Westchester donates food from its recently opened wellness garden to discharged patients leaving who are food insecure or vulnerable, while Lenox Hill’s Victory Greens garden is New York City’s only hospital-based, organic rooftop garden.
In addition, our teaching kitchens partner chefs and registered dietitians together to share healthy recipes, basic culinary skills and nutrition education with team members and patients.
Northwell Celebrates: A series of events and experiences celebrating and thanking our healthcare heroes and their families
It’s not often that we’re faced with taking on challenges on a global scale such as was the case with the pandemic. In moments such as those, it’s important to pull together to raise each other. That is exactly what employees at Northwell Health did. They raised health, raised communities, and through it all they raised each other.
A simple thank you wasn’t enough. Northwell wanted to celebrate and thank all employees for their courage, determination and dedication throughout the pandemic and every day. Northwell Celebrates was launched as a multi-faceted token of appreciation. It is a series of events, activities and experiences curated for the enjoyment of employees and their families throughout the year.
Included in these activities are pop-up gratitude stations at various Northwell facilities where executive leaders from across the health system participate to give their personal thanks and offer a well-being gift box to employees. David Gill, assistant vice president of Employee Experience, was among the leadership present at the Syosset Hospital gratitude pop-up. David says, “It’s a way for us to provide in-person recognition and appreciation for the work our team members continue to do every day to make Northwell a great place to work and receive care.”
Inside each gift box are essentials to self-care such as a candle, a weekly reflection journal, a mindfulness coloring book with colored pencils, among other items. Such a gift was not taken lightly by employees like Elise Yan, lead lab technologist at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, who took to Facebook: “Thank you Northwell LIJ Forest Hills! Love it, can’t wait to start using them!”
Other events are planned throughout the summer, like drive-in family movie nights, a family fun book, concerts and an invitation to have six free chef-prepared meals from Freshly delivered directly to employees’ homes. The Freshly deliveries were a huge hit, with employees like Audrey McCullough, assistant director of patient care services for the Division of Nursing, who hopped on social media to say, “Thanks, Northwell, you really have my heart. Just received my 6 free and healthy, chef-cooked meals delivered right to my doorstep by Freshly!!”
At Northwell, all employees are valued and their hard work never goes unnoticed.
Five Northwell Health hospitals are competing for a chance to be named the winner of the 2019 Chefs Challenge on May 23rd. Tasked with cooking a healthy and nutritious meal, each team will have 90 minutes to prepare a one-of-a-kind meal with a salmon appetizer, filet mignon entree, and an apple dessert. Each team will have three chefs and one certified dietitian who will work together to prepare a meal for guest judges. Meet the teams competing at the Chefs Challenge!
The Southside Hospital team is excited to be able to cook healthy, high-end restaurant quality food that they serve in our hospitals. They are also looking forward to seeing the variety of creative healthy dishes being prepared and presented by the other culinary teams.
Executive Chef, 4 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh herbs
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 15 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Avocados and baby spinach
Cook, 3 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Good olive oil, cauliflower, quinoa, carrots, garlic and cilantro
2nd Cook, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Broccoli and Quinoa
The LIJ Valley Stream team is most excited about showcasing their talents. Executive Chef Patty Sobel says, “I really want to showcase how improved my team at Orzac Rehab and LIJ Valley Stream Hospital has become. I have worked with this team for 18 months and they are rising with culinary skills like the mighty phoenix!”
Executive Chef, 5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: fresh ginger, fennel, oranges, earthy spices like turmeric and cumin, fresh basil, lemon verbena
Chief Clinical Dietitian, 18 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fresh vegetables, fruit, and fresh herbs
Cook, 20 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Salmon with yellow and julienned red peppers, fresh herbs, chervil parsley, chives, tarragon and fresh garlic
Cook, 4 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Grains- quinoa & farro and fresh grouper with kale swiss chard or spinach
The North Shore University Hospital team is most excited about getting to showcase the culinary abilities they learned in previous culinary experiences and apply them to a healthcare setting.
Chef de Partie, 9 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fermented soybean paste
Laura Zelenka Dufresne
Registered Dietitian, 28 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Asparagus
Chef de Partie, 14 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Brussel sprouts
Sous Chef, 20 months at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Turmeric
The Lenox Hill Hospital team is excited to collaborate and create dishes that are appetizing, appealing, and healthy enough to fit the Northwell Healthy Choice criteria! These are challenges we come across every day so we continuously educate and put into practice strategies for adjusting diets to be nutritious and enjoyable. This competition gives us an opportunity to think outside of the box and prepare meals that will leave patients feeling healthy and satisfied.
Robert Della Badia
First Cook, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Any type of grain is a great healthy ingredient that can be used for many delicious preparations.
Registered Dietitian, 2 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Pine nuts & quinoa.
Claudio Natalio Bistro
Cook, 2.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Red quinoa and tofu.
First Cook, 4.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish and mango salsa.
The Huntington Hospital team is excited to see the delicious dishes the Chef teams have compiled. They are also excited to work and compete with a group of extremely talented chefs that they can all learn and draw expertise from, while serving people great healthy food when they need it most.
Executive Chef, 1 year at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: There is no one ingredient, but I love to prepare dishes using great quality, seasonal ingredients
Registered Dietitian, 1.5 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fruit, herbs, and potatoes.
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Fish, Fresh Vegetables
Chef, 7 years at Northwell
Favorite healthy ingredients to cook with: Butternut squash, greek yogurt, tomatillos and chicken thighs
Hiring for success at Northwell Health’s Veterans Day Interview Day
In honor of Veterans Day, Northwell Health recently hosted a Veterans Day Interview Day: Hiring for Success. This event was to honor and give back to veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country. More than 40 veterans were invited to attend this event to hear from senior leadership, meet with hiring managers to discuss potential job opportunities, and network over lunch.
At Northwell, we’re committed to providing veterans with opportunities to make a successful transition to a rewarding civilian career. Veterans align to our values and bring strong skill sets from their experience. Being mission driven, knowing the importance of community, thinking strategically and working closely on a team are important skills for all Northwell employees to possess. “I am so proud to work for an organization that is committed to helping veterans who have sacrificed so much. Hiring Veterans is the right thing to do, plus the great skills they possess are an asset at Northwell,” said Cheryl Davidson, MPS, senior director of Workforce Readiness, one of the teams who helped to launch the event.
The day started with a keynote from Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mark thanked the veterans for their service and commitment to our country, while also speaking to the importance Northwell places on hiring veteran employees. Veterans were even surprised with a visit from our president and CEO himself, Michael Dowling! Michael spoke at the event and met with the attendees during the networking session.
After hearing from Mark, Michael and Lyndon Chichester, Northwell’s veteran inclusion specialist and United States Air Force Veteran, veteran attendees were invited to network with Northwell leadership over lunch. Attendees also met with our recruiters who then matched them to speak directly with the appropriate hiring managers and regional leadership to discuss job opportunities.
“Our Veterans Interview Day was an amazing event,” said Lyndon, “We had 43 very sharp veterans attend, all excited to join the Northwell Health team. This event and others like it will hopefully lead to more Veteran hires throughout our award winning health system and it also strengthens our relationship with Veteran student organizations and Veteran service organizations throughout the region.”
Northwell Health is committed to our veterans, their career transition, and their growth. If you’d like to learn more about our veterans programs, please visit jobs.northwell.edu/veterans.
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.”
We’re redefining health care with IT. Join us at our Virtual Career Fair!
Making health care better is a big deal, and it takes the sharpest minds and most tenacious technology leaders to make it all happen. Our IT team is an impressive group of more than 1,500 skilled professionals implementing and supporting advanced clinical and technological systems for one of the nation’s largest and most forward-thinking healthcare organizations.
Astrid Tucker is one of these amazing people. She attended our IT Virtual Career Fair last year. At this unique event, Astrid was able to visit a wide variety of “booths” where she could explore the many different IT careers available at Northwell Health. At these booths, she spoke with IT staff and leadership and even secured an interview. “I was approached immediately and connected with a manager,” Astrid recalls. “After that, they scheduled a phone interview for me.”
It wasn’t long before Astrid became a key member of the Northwell Health IT team.
“I am currently working in Information Security Governance,” Astrid tells us. “It’s a great team and it brings me in contact with many others throughout the organization.”
Starting on September 27th, we’ll be holding another IT Virtual Career Fair. Astrid encourages anyone interested in an exciting career in IT to register to attend. “Take a look at all the information on Northwell’s IT Virtual Career Fair site”, Astrid advises. “You’ll see that IT is making a big impact on patient care at Northwell Health.”
At this event, you will be able to explore how our IT team helps protect our employees and our patients. Our top IT leaders and staff will be there to answer your questions. And so far, we have over 18 booths ranging from Risk Management to Project Management Applications and Clinical Application Support.
Astrid adds, “If you like technology, you’ll want to attend the Virtual Career Fair. It is a platform to interact with other top tech people and get the opportunity to chat with a possible future manager.”
Well actually, 350 nursing students from 21 nursing colleges and universities received a “Golden Ticket” to the 2nd Annual Northwell Health Golden Ticket Nursing Showcase. Previously known as the Student Nursing Dinner, Northwell Health has been connecting thousands of students to our nursing staff and leadership for 9 years – and this year was no different. Kerri Anne Scanlon, Deputy Chief Nurse Executive, Northwell Health & Chief Nursing Officer, North Shore University Hospital said, “Each year we bring together the top 10% of nursing students from the best colleges and universities because we want to hire and train the top talent of tomorrow to help drive our mission forward.” Scanlon goes on to say that, “We don’t have to do the Showcase to recruit new graduates or nursing students. We do this event to expose the students to the Northwell Healthculture, our exemplary nursing programs and have one-on-one time to learn and hear from our service line staff and leadership.”
Students were eager to start the day and by the time we opened our doors at the Crest Hollow Country Club at 7:30am, they were lined up to check-in. Receiving a goodie bag and raffle ticket, students were on their way to start their session. With two sessions – one for juniors and one for seniors nursing students – students were exposed to many facets of Northwell Health’s Externship, Fellowship and new graduate opportunities. Presentations from senior leadership including Northwell Health’s Chief People Officer, Deputy Chief Nurse Executive & Chief Nursing Officer, VP of System Nursing Education, and Senior Vice President & CNO, Maureen White spoke about their experiences, our nursing programs and how anyone at Northwell Health can achieve a career dream with the resources and educational opportunities available to employees. In the junior session 6 previous externs, and in the senior session 10 nurses, spoke about their experience and had Q&A with the audience.
Ellen Lorenz, Nursing Fellowships and Recruiting Program Manager said, “The Golden Ticket Showcase is such an amazing event. Students have the unique opportunity to not only hear about our programs but to meet our Nursing Leaders, Educators and Registered Nurses. I am so proud of our team and am delighted to have been part of this special day.”
The sessions concluded with hundreds of Northwell Health employees participating in a Nursing Expo from 6 hospitals including North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center,Zucker Hillside Hospital, Staten Island University Hospital,Lenox Hill Hospital, Southside Hospital, and Cohen Children’s Medical Center.We also had 12 different service lines ranging from ED, Perioperative Services, Behavioral Health, to Oncology and Med/Surg, where team members spoke about their facilities and units. Our recruitment team was on-hand to talk about job opportunities as well and give pointers on resume writing. One of the attendees said, “As a current student, it was incredibly exciting to hear about the nursing opportunities [at Northwell Health] and the impact that the system and its professionals have had on the greater community. The event was not only an informative opportunity to learn more about Northwell, but it was also an incredibly well-thought out welcome to those who are most excited to enter the profession.”
The day was filled with endless information, Northwell swag, and way too much food. Our attendees were also able to take a break at our photo booth where they posed with their friends and our employees to create lasting memories.
After 8 hours of fun, the students embarked on their journey’s home, our employees organized the resume’s they received, and we celebrated another successful Golden Ticket Showcase. We are excited that we are able to partner with such great universities and colleges who grow and develop the next generation of nurses – they will be the hands that make a difference, the minds that challenge us, and the hearts that will never stop caring for those in need.
The winner for Innovation, MindFULL C.A.R.E., developed a new model of geriatric-specific patient care to help the growing elderly population, which accounts for more than 46% of hospital stays on average.
The team integrated the disciplines of nursing, psychology, psychiatry, internal medicine, and geriatric medicine to build the program’s structure, process and outcomes. This enabled employees to optimize a safe and therapeutic environment to deliver geriatric-specific quality care. The program started with redesigning an existing unit to include flat-screen TVs, a common area to cultivate socialization and fewer walls to facilitate an open and friendly space. They also incorporated the addition of patient engagement specialists, who were educated on de-escalation and redirection to contribute to a restraint-free environment, decreased risk of de-conditioning and a decrease in use of behavioral medications.
The team approach has not only improved outcomes for these patients, but has also significantly reduced the exorbitant costs associated with one-on-one care. This unit accomplished all this while increasing patient satisfaction. It has earned a 100% HCAHPS score this year, after an average of 77 percent the previous three years. The program has reduced readmissions and eliminated the need for patient restraints.
The implementation of a MindFULL C.A.R.E. Model incorporates Connectedness, Awareness, Respect and Empathy for our elderly population. It’s not only what we need to do, it’s the right thing to do.
It is Northwell Health’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all applicants and employees equally regardless of their age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, pregnancy, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital or familial status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.
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