Nurse leaders lead the way through Northwell Health’s Magnet® journey
The Magnet Recognition Program® by the American Nurses Credentialing Center designates organizations around the world as nursing leaders in education and development and in exceptional care delivered to patients. Often considered the gold standard for nursing excellence, many of Northwell Health’s hospitals are on the journey to earning this elite status.
We’re proud to announce that as of this month, Northwell now has eight Magnet-designated hospitals in our system. The road to Magnet isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work, dedication, preparation and leadership. It’s an accomplishment that wouldn’t be possible without the nurses and nurse leaders at all of our facilities.
Earning Magnet-designation at Lenox Hill Hospital
Starting as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department (ED), Andrew Wong, MS, RN, AGACNP-BC, CEN, CPEN, CCRN-K, has grown his nursing career at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH). After becoming an ED nurse educator for LHH and Lenox Health Greenwich Village, Andrew’s career continued to grow. Today, he’s a Clinical Impact nurse practitioner with the Critical Care team – a role he helped create himself. When LHH started its journey toward earning the prestigious designation, Andrew’s work played a vital role.
As part of the designation, Andrew’s evidence-based practice project to create a new Clinical Impact NP role earned an exemplar by the Magnet Commission. For Andrew, it was a true culmination of the hard work throughout the last couple of years, as well as a reflection of the support Northwell provides in investing in their team members. This project was a dream for Andrew, who had felt this role was a vital addition to provide resources to his team while improving patient outcomes.
Since the creation of the Clinical Impact NP role, LHH has seen evidence of increased collaboration within the multidisciplinary team and increased standard of critical care to patients who require it. Today, LHH now has two Clinical Impact NPs.
“When I was watching the designation call and heard about the Clinical Impact Nurse Practitioner program being named one of the five exemplars, I immediately reflected on how we got there,” says Andrew. “Through mentorship, scholarship, and transformational leadership, our program was able to be successful and highlighted.”
Growing alongside North Shore University Hospital’s Magnet journey
Tameka Wallace, MSN-RN, CPAN, CCRN-K started her career at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) as a lobby service representative and then as a nursing assistant at NSUH where she was first inspired to pursue becoming a nurse. Tameka embraced her ambition and leadership ability and today is a nurse manager in the PACU at NSUH. As part of NSUH’s Magnet journey, Tameka was proud to serve as a Magnet Champion and Magnet Ambassador.
Both roles played a key importance in NSUH’s designation. As a champion, Tameka acted as a driving force of the Magnet Program at the hospital, utilizing the pillars of the process and implementing them within her units. And as an ambassador, Tameka and her team members networked with leaders from around the country to share best practices from other hospitals.. During the appraisal, Tameka also escorted a member from the appraisal team to different units, helping to showcase the hard work and accomplishments that the units prepared, a big honor during the Magnet review session.
It was these opportunities that helped Tameka to further develop her leadership skills and played a part in her promotion to nurse manager. Now as nurse manager, Tameka believes firmly in transformational leadership for her nurses. “Believing in the vision of the hospital and instilling it in your unit and your team inspires them to embrace it and work for it,” says Tameka. “This journey has taught me that involving clinical nurses at every opportunity is very important. In addition to support and nurse empowerment, as leaders we must ensure agility and the ability to facilitate innovations throughout an organization.”
Now as part of the re-designation team, Tameka is part of NSUH’s team, working to ensure re-designation. “I learned that Magnet is not something you get, but something you are. It’s something to be proud of and recognizes your nursing excellence. That is what makes the journey worthwhile.”
Join the nursing teams committed to delivering excellence at our hospitals. Apply today!
Meet Truly Ambitious NP of the Year, Maureen Hogan
Starting her career as an inspired young nurse following in the footsteps of her aunt, Maureen Hogan, DNP, RN, CCRN, AGNP, would soon find a way to inspire others in the same way. Her passion as a registered nurse in cardiology guided her to Northwell Health, where she became a registered nurse in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) in 1994.
Her career has spanned 26 years and today she’s a DNP in the Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant program at LIJMC. As a nurse practitioner, Maureen is as ambitious as she is kind, working to support her patients and her team members. It’s this dedication to care that has earned her the recognition of being the Nurse Practitioner Association (NPA) New York State NP of the year.
Maureen and her team celebrate her NP of the Year win.
“To be recognized by your peers is an amazing feeling. I am truly humbled and honored that the Awards Committee of the Nurse Practitioner Association (NPA) chose me as the recipient of the NPA State Nurse Practitioner of the year and that the NPA of Long Island chose me as the recipient of the Long Island award. There have been so many wonderfully accomplished recipients before me and I am so appreciative to be included in this group,” says Maureen. “It was also so special when my LIJMC cardiology family had a celebration for me with so many kind comments and well wishes.”
It was working nights in the CCU at LIJMC where she gained the incredible experience and built friendships that would carry through her exceptional career at Northwell. “Working as a nurse in the electrophysiology lab, where they have some of the most knowledgeable nurses I know and working on cardiac research provided a wonderful foundation for my NP practice,” says Maureen.
Wanting to grow her career, Maureen continued her education with support from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and graduated from the Hunter-Bellevue Nurse Practitioner Program as an Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. After she graduated, she was hired at the Massapequa Heart Group, which later became part of Northwell Physician Partners. There she worked with wonderful physicians, NPs and support staff who are still like family.
Even though she is now a veteran of our organization, Maureen still considers herself fortunate to take part in programs at Northwell Health that promote her growth and professional development. It was this support that led her to continue her education again, graduating with her DNP in 2014 with the help of her clinical mentor and our tuition reimbursement program.
It was while earning her DNP that Maureen had the opportunity to co-author publications with clinical advisors and conduct an IRB approved study at Northwell entitled, Testing the effect of a Home based exercise intervention on Older Patients with Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators.
In her current role, Maureen cares for patients in the outpatient heart failure clinic at LIJ with director Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, Dr. Samit Shah and PA Tamara Diazand on the inpatient service when new and current patients are admitted with heart failure. “I continue to learn so much from my fellow nurses, ACPs and doctors on the Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Support and Heart Transplant team,” says Maureen. “It makes me proud to participate in the weekly evaluation and research meetings.”
Having found rewarding opportunities at every turn within Northwell, it has inspired Maureen to help her fellow nurses and team members find their own potential. On top of her duties as an adjunct professor at both Hunter College and Adelphi, she mentors and acts as a preceptor for many students and registered nurses looking to find their way as healthcare professionals. “To have a small part in giving back to the profession is so rewarding,” says Maureen. “It makes me smile when I see them succeeding in their clinical roles.”
And with confidence of her own, Maureen has consistently evolved and demonstrated how commitment, passion and ambition can be the launchpad for taking your career to new heights. “My favorite thing about being an NP at Northwell is being part of a group with so much support and spirit that gives you the feeling you are part of a big 74,000+ member family.”
Discover careers well cared for and explore nurse practitioner and other ACP positions. Get moving at NorthwellCareers.com
At Northwell Health, we’re committed to building an inclusive and safe environment for our team members where we can all be Truly Ourselves. Our Spoken Word event encouraged individuality as team members and their families engaged in powerful self-expression.
Hosted virtually by Northwell’s Social, Belonging & Inclusion Council, this unique night of verbal expression offered team members an opportunity to creatively share what’s on their mind. Employees from all roles and teams within our organization had the opportunity to join and perform artistic pieces that focused on a variety of topics including allyship, COVID-19, diversity and inclusion, recovery, resilience and social justice.
“When we envisioned the Spoken Word event, we were excited to highlight the talent and diversity of our Northwell Health family,” says Dorean J. Flores, senior manager, Human Research Protection Program and member of the council. “Showcasing and attending an event founded in unity and interwoven with artistry invoked a sense of pride in being a part of an organization that exemplifies camaraderie.”
As part of that unity, the event created a space to share a passion from their personal lives with team members – whether that be from the topic they chose or simply the act of performing itself. For Emily Kagan-Trenchard, vice president, Digital & Innovation Strategy, and one of the night’s performers and MC, that meant connecting an artform that has been a big part of her life for over two decades with her friends and colleagues.
“What I love about spoken word events is the way it bridges all divides. It insists that all truths are worthy of an audience but makes no other demands on the shape or form that truth must take,” says Emily. “Because here’s the thing: there is no spoken word without the audience. It requires a speaker and a listener and that makes it a profound tool for building community.”
Another performer, Jeremiah Mallari, a workforce intelligence analyst in HR Operations, was grateful for an outlet to express himself while connecting to Northwell’s community, going on to even share his performance from the night online. “The Spoken Word Event was a beautiful picture of Northwell’s Culture of C.A.R.E (Connectedness, Awareness, Respect & Empathy),” says Jeremiah. “We’re all unique and hearing the different thoughts and passions of our team members perfectly depicts that. Each of the artists that performed showed their true selves and they were each embraced and celebrated.”
The spirit and passion for expression was felt throughout all 12 of the performances, with the night ending in a group virtual dance party. Healing was a continual theme through the night with the pieces allowing team members to get support and feel heard – something especially important as our healthcare heroes recover from COVID-19 in these unprecedented times.
“This event created a moment of connection and vulnerability that felt so necessary, so affirming and so urgent for all of us. The gift of spoken word is not only in the poem or the song or the freestyle that is shared, it is as much in the gift of space to listen,” says Emily. “Because this is how we get better. We sit together with the beautiful and difficult truths about the work we do for our patients, for our communities, and for ourselves to heal.”
Embracing diversity and inclusion to drive effective change
When Andrea De Loney began her career at Northwell Health, she started in a role that would help her gain insight into the variety of roles and opportunities across the organization. Starting as a talent acquisition specialist in 2015, she met countless individuals in different specialties throughout the system and learned about the many ways people were making a difference in the communities we serve.
Andrea transitioned to the HR team at LIJ Forest Hills Hospital where she worked as the strategic alliance and development coordinator. There she managed over 20 Collaborative Care Councils and served as an engagement survey ambassador to help promote employee engagement within the hospital. Andrea also led the hospital’s communication strategy workgroup as they implemented new “Rounding Town Halls” which increased attendance and visibility of executive leadership.
It was her passion for ensuring that the voices of our team members were heard that led Andrea to her next role as a project manager with the Center for Equity of Care in 2018. As project manager, Andrea had a primary focus of relaunching Northwell’s Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) Program. BERGs, and Employee Networks are an essential part of our values, as they were established to enhance engagement, innovation, talent development, and promote an inclusive culture for our workforce and patients alike. Since the program’s relaunch in October 2018, Andrea and her team successfully increased membership by over 85 percent.
“With over 70,000 team members, it is quite easy to feel overwhelmed when seeking opportunities for personal and professional development at Northwell,” says Andrea. “Our BERGs and Employee Networks are designed to bring these experiences to the members, keeping cultural humility and the unique experiences of our workforce in mind.”
With the successful relaunch of the BERGs, Andrea’s responsibilities have expanded to include co-leading various workforce diversity and inclusion projects in partnership with Human Resources, and managing Northwell’s DiversityInc Award application process. Always striving to enhance her skills, she also became a certified Cook Ross Unconscious Bias trainer for the health system, and co-leads the Social Belonging and Inclusion subgroup that strives to even further celebrate Northwell’s Truly Together ideology.
Andrea’s hand in crafting internal and external initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion has helped build a feeling of belonging throughout the organization. She says, “Celebrating diversity and providing spaces for team members’ voices to be heard is so essential because it creates an authentic culture of belonging within any organization and community. How do we maximize the richness of our workforce? Through listening, and being open and receptive, and celebrating each and every contributor.”
With many accomplishments, Andrea continues to find more ways to support the advancement and development of our team members at Northwell. “One of the most powerful things that Northwell has done is acknowledge racism as a public health issue,” says Andrea. “When the reports of the recent deaths due to police brutality and misconduct hit the news, so many of us could not remain silent. We chose vulnerability and shared the raw emotions that exist within the Black community; senior leadership received that and knew, in that moment, something had to be done.”
In response, President and CEO Michael J. Dowling was joined by members of our senior leadership team for a live, organization-wide town hall and Q&A that focused on racial injustice and what we can do individually and as an organization to help fight racism and discrimination“My hope is that all of these efforts reach 100% of our workforce, and that we all play an active role in driving policy changes that will move our communities and society forward.”
Being involved in fighting for systematic change, Andrea is able to help foster an environment that is not only diverse and respectful but encourages its members to bring their best selves to work every day. Andrea says, “What makes me proud to work here is seeing how action-oriented and results-driven we are as an organization, specifically around topics that are generally deemed ‘uncomfortable.’” She continues, “In my almost five and a half years here, I can truly say that I’ve not only been invited to the table, but also given opportunities for my voice to be heard.”
Take a moment with us to celebrate this champion and the incredible, meaningful work she has done and continues to do to elevate Northwell on a local and national level. The example that she sets is appreciated and with confidence, we can say her career is truly well cared for at Northwell Health.
To join Andrea and other healthcare professionals making a difference in New York State’s largest private employer and healthcare provider, view our opportunities here.
A team’s commitment to compassion strengthened through adversity
As COVID-19 restricted hospital visitations across the world, healthcare professionals at Northwell Health worked tirelessly to ensure patients knew they were never alone. With compassion as their motivation, our Northwell heroes on the frontlines quickly developed new ways to help keep patients connected with their families.
Nicole Ciccione, a nurse manager in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, was moved by one of her colleague’s emails about the work being done at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Inspired to act, Nicole and her team brainstormed different ways that they could help their fellow Northwell team members while improving the patient experience. “I reached out to my surrounding community to ask for toiletries to help our patients look, feel and smell fresh, and for different devices to assist with making virtual connections,” she says. The overwhelming response of donations was a refreshing reminder to her of the impact Northwell has made on the community it serves. With the donation of toiletries, iPads and other electronic devices, team members volunteered to not only connect patients with their families, but to spend time connecting with the patients themselves.
“There have been difficult times, sitting with a patient and their family on FaceTime, while the patient takes their last breath, to happier moments of connecting a patient with their family soon after extubation. For team members, it has been very humbling and rewarding to be able to help out not only patients, but also our LIJ colleagues. It’s connected our teams,” Nicole says, “I am proud to be the nurse manager of an extraordinary team that is willing and ready to help when called on.”
Debra Clifford, director of patient care services at Plainview Hospital, worked remotely during COVID where she found new ways to support her nursing staff and connect with patient families. She says, “The COVID-19 pandemic offered me the opportunity to get back at the bedside and help patients and their families in a different way than my current role. Working from home, I started to make calls to families to alleviate the frontline staff of the overwhelming calls that they were receiving from families. I gave daily updates, connected them with other disciplines in an attempt to stay connected to their loved one in light of a unique situation that echoed ‘no visitors.’” It was these moments on the phone delivering comfort to patients’ families that helped her feel connected even as she herself was away from the hospital. “My inspiration for working remotely soon came from the families that I had the pleasure of talking to each day.”
Marcy Hohorst, a family liaison at Plainview Hospital, also found new ways to deliver care as her Perioperative Unit was temporarily converted into an Intensive Care Unit. Having had experience working as a registered nurse in past mission trips, Marcy was uniquely prepared to deliver comfort and compassion as she helped patients connect to their families virtually. “It was and always will be my honor to have been able to connect families with their loved ones during their brightest moments or their darkest hours. This position was simultaneously meaningful, rewarding and heartbreaking. Someday, when COVID-19 is a distant memory, I will be proud to say, ‘I was the nurse with the iPad.’”
A commitment to health never stops and these individuals, as well as other team members across our organization, have demonstrated that nothing can stop them from providing the care patients and their families need and deserve.
Five reasons why you should choose a Perioperative career at Northwell Health
Perioperative services at Northwell Health are growing fast, and with growth comes a wide range of career opportunities. For qualified nurses looking to enter the field, perioperative careers offer a unique chance to be hands-on and collaborate with other dedicated health care professionals working together to have a direct impact on the lives of their patients. While there are many reasons for joining Northwell in a perioperative career, we’ve provided five reasons why this path is a great decision for anyone looking to make an impact in nursing.
You’ll learn new skills with the most innovative technologies.
As new technologies emerge and the need for more advanced care grows, Northwell provides many opportunities to learn new skills, utilizing state-of-art-technology so perioperative nurses can ensure the highest quality of care for their patients. The latest technology can improve outcomes with greater precision and less invasive procedures, and therefore, increase recovery times, especially in robotic surgery, which has become a trusted method for many of our surgical procedures including cardiac, GYN, ENT, thoracic, neurosurgery, heart and liver transplants, and many more.
Your skills and knowledge will grow along with your career opportunities.
At Northwell Health, perioperative nurses have access to unlimited clinical resources and educational opportunities designed to help them advance their careers. Nurses can engage in peer learning, career progression and certification programs that encourage their growth and provide support at every level in their journey. Just ask Karen Rowan, MSN, NPD-BC, CNOR, director of System Perioperative Education at Northwell. As an RN in the operating room, she was happy in her career, but she felt there was more she could do. She wanted to use her skills to teach so when the opportunity presented itself to be a clinical nurse educator, she took it.
Making a move into an educator position presented her with opportunities that would prove to be a catalyst in her success. “This position allowed me to participate in leading the OR fellowship, orientation program and simulations,” she says. Northwell also gave her the opportunity to present two podium presentations at two national conferences. “I have the opportunity to share my passion of perioperative nursing with nursing students,” she says. It’s not only the students who benefit from Karen’s passion, the OR Fellowship is a great opportunity for both new grad nurses and floor nurses looking to get into perioperative careers. And the patients do as well, making her career journey even that much more rewarding. Karen and her Corporate Perioperative Education team continue to build unique educational opportunities and experiences for new and existing perioperative nurses
You’re Made for delivering award-winning care.
Year after year, Northwell Health is recognized for the care our team delivers to patients. Northwell was the first in the nation to receive the Network of Excellence in Robotic Surgery designation from Surgical Review Corporation. Our cardiac surgery programs have been ranked by the Department of Health (DOH) among the best in New York State with cardiology programs being recognized by Healthgrades as America’s 100 best heart programs. And beyond the award-wining care for our patients is the award-winning care for our team members! This year, Northwell ranked as one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®,” the only health care provider in New York State to do so in 2020.
You’ll have strength in numbers. Teamwork is what we’re all about.
No matter the discipline, each role within Northwell’s organization works together to accomplish the same goal, to redefine health care. You’ll gain support across a collaborative network of team members, from surgical technologists and registered nurses to physicians, physician assistants, anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and even central sterile processing technicians. The dedicated team’s combined experience means the delivery of groundbreaking outcomes for each patient that comes through the doors, and you’ll play a vital role.
Your career will be guided and supported by leaders who inspire your success.
As Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN, and Vice President of System Perioperative Services, explains, “The perioperative leaders at Northwell are committed to continual improvement, teamwork, achievement, and obtaining the best results possible for our patients.” The result of that is double fold as it also impacts the careers of those delivering care. Take Kelly for example. She started her career 15 years ago in the operating room and today she oversees 18 perioperative sites within our network. During her career journey, she gained critical support and mentorship from her leaders who created a trusting, collaborative environment that positioned her for success.
As times change the needs of the companies do as well. In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in companies relying on online platforms to conduct candidate interviews. Recruiters actively utilize video conferencing now more than ever to engage and reach a more diverse, global group of prospective hires. For you, the prospective hire, it can give you an advantage if and only if you take it as seriously as you would an actual in-person interview. Northwell Health has prepared a number of tips to help you master the virtual interview so you’re confident and prepared to take on the next step in your professional career.
First things first, considering virtual interviews happen online, it is essential that your online connection is strong. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of explaining why you’re the perfect candidate and the recruiter is met with grainy, pixelated images of you, or worst case, a dropped call. To avoid this, test your equipment beforehand. It may even be helpful to have a friend try a mock interview just so you’re aware of what the person on the other end of the call experiences throughout the process.
Now that you’re all set with your technology, what do you wear? It’s best to dress as if you’re walking into an actual office to conduct your interview. Dressing professionally isn’t only expected, but it also shows the recruiter that though you are home, you made an extra effort to make sure you made a quality first impression. Trust us, that goes a long way.
On to where you take the call. Most interviewees prefer to take the call from home, that way they are able to have more control of their environment than if they were at a coffee shop or even a library. If you do field the call from someplace else outside of your home, be sure it’s someplace quiet. You would hate to repeat yourself for your recruiter because they couldn’t hear you over a coffee grinder or the latest music from your second favorite band playing in the background.
Find the perfect spot. As much as it may be tempting to be as comfortable as possible seeing as most likely you’ll be taking this call from home, sitting at a desk or a table is much better than sitting on your bed. A tabletop provides the feel as if you’re sitting across from the person asking you questions and even helps keep your posture focused and your mindset on what’s in front of you.
Now that you’ve tested your equipment, figured out what to wear, where to go, and where to sit, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared. And though this process may be a bit different from what you may or may not be used to, it’s important you treat this the same as you would a regular interview. Come into the interview with questions you may have about the organization, a brief elevator pitch about your experience, how you feel you can add value to the team, and what you’re hoping to get out of your experience altogether. The more you’ve prepared, the more relaxed and confident you’ll be.
My name is Melissa Black and I have worked in Oncology since I started working at Northwell’s Huntington Hospital in 2008.
When I was 15 years old, my mother lost her battle with lung cancer. Since then, becoming a nurse had always been my mission. I was truly touched by how much my mom loved and cherished her nurses – nurses who cared for her when she was a patient on the same Oncology unit where I now work all these years later. It’s like my life came full circle and I ended up exactly where I was meant to be.
My career journey with Northwell started when I was hired as a CNA. I became a unit secretary in 2010, a position I held for seven years up until I became an Oncology RN in March 2018. I consider myself so lucky to have been able to spend all 12 years growing my skills on the same unit at Huntington Hospital. Being surrounded by the Oncology teammates and managers who have been with me from the start has made my career transitions that much easier. Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program helped to lighten the financial burden as I obtained my nursing degree. The support of my colleagues and leaders throughout school was a tremendous part of my success.
I feel my experiences give me insight when I’m caring for our cancer patients since I can relate to what they are going through. By helping my patients and their families heal and cope with how cancer has affected their lives, I’ve been simultaneously helping heal myself as well.
I became a nurse because I wanted to be that sunshine in a patient’s life while they are in the hospital dealing with some of their darkest days. I wanted to be that someone the patient looked forward to seeing walk through their door, because they know I will try my best to support them through their pain, their sadness, and their fears. This has to be one of my favorite things about my job, knowing that sometimes just my mere presence plays a part in a patient’s healing. I feel lucky to be a part of a patient’s journey.
Becoming a nurse and caring for patients with cancer has made me better able to appreciate how beautiful and fragile life is. It’s a career I chose because I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of my patients, but it’s the impact they make on MY LIFE that truly reinforces that I am exactly who I am meant to be – a nurse!
#EachforEqual: Northwell Health celebrates International Women’s Day 2020
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women while also reinforcing equality everywhere. At Northwell Health, we’re committed to championing our team members regardless of gender or gender identity by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality.
In celebration, hear from some of Northwell’s amazing women on how they are helping empower women.
Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program offers endless opportunities for team members
At Northwell Health, we don’t just support our team members, we invest in their careers. Our team members are the heart of everything we do, and by helping them grow, we’re helping our organization grow.
With endless opportunities to expand their careers, many of our team members benefit from our tuition reimbursement program to take their career in a different direction with a new degree or expanding their skills with continued education.
Meet two of our nurses who have made a difference in their career by going back to school with help from our tuition reimbursement program.
From Patient Care Associate to Registered Nurse: Terrance Duncan
Terrance Duncan, RN, first started his Northwell career as a patient care associate (PCA) at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in 2014. As a PCA, Terrance quickly developed his clinical skills, becoming a champion on his units to help promote best practices in rounding and mobility and a patient experience ambassador. His passion for patient care even earned him a Northwell Health Caring Heart Award.
Though he loved being a PCA, Terrance knew that he wanted to continue his work with patients while expanding his own knowledge. “I wanted to become a nurse because I love that as a nurse I could work in many different career specialties.”
With the support of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement, Terrance went back to school and earned his BSN while continuing to work as a PCA. “Northwell has supported me tremendously throughout my nursing career,” says Terrance. “My nurse manager was very supportive working with my school schedule while the tuition reimbursement program helped me financially.”
Terrance graduated from nursing school in 2019 and accepted a position as a Medical/Surgical nurse at North Shore University Hospital where he continues to deliver compassionate care to his patients.
From Nurse Extern to Senior Clinical Appeals RN: Mariel Hughes
Since starting her nursing career as a nurse extern at Zucker Hillside Hospital in 2014, Mariel Hughes, MSN, RN-BC, has grown her passion for nursing. After graduating from nursing school, Mariel started as a Medical/Surgical registered nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). In 2018, she was promoted to become a Medical/Surgical assistant nurse manager at LIJMC.
As a nurse, Mariel joined the Collaborative Care Council at LIJMC and eventually became co-chair. The Collaborative Care Council builds interdisciplinary relationships among care teams and lets nurses like Mariel have a voice in the decision-making of the hospital. It was in those years as co-chair that Mariel discovered where she wanted her career to grow. “While in this role I really found a love for leadership–being able to advocate for my fellow colleagues and finding fun and interesting ways to improve our overall work environment as a team,” says Mariel. “Once becoming an assistant nurse manager, I had the foundation I needed to continue my education in order to become a great leader.”
Mariel returned to school and graduated in 2019 from Capella University with her Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Administration and Leadership. “Through Northwell I was able to utilize tuition reimbursement which covered 95% of my entire master’s program! I definitely would have not been able to further my education due to the financial burden if it was not for Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program!”
Using her newly developed skillset, Mariel is able to deliver a different kind of care as a senior clinical appeals RN in the Centralized Denial Office. Working within the Centralized Denial Office means Mariel’s job includes writing appeal letters to insurance companies who deny medical coverage for patients who required a hospital admission.
“My favorite thing about being a nurse is being someone’s support system, whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally or even financially now that I work in appeals,” says Mariel. “It is one of the greatest feelings in the world when you make the slightest difference in someone’s day or life that they can carry on with them.”
An Appointment With: Emily Kagan-Trenchard, VP, Digital & Innovation Strategy
When Emily Kagan-Trenchard started her career at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2007, she was responsible for overseeing and modernizing their website with a new look and feel. She quickly saw the critical role that our digital tools play in the way we deliver care to our patients. From there, Emily embraced the opportunity to continue to expand Northwell’s digital footprint, eventually joining our corporate digital marketing team.
Today as vice president of digital and innovation strategy, Emily helps to lead the Digital Patient Experience (DPX) team who are setting the vision for our patient-facing digital tools to enhance their overall experience.
We sat down with Emily to discuss the innovative work of our DPX team.
Tell us about the Digital Patient Experience team and how they impact the organization.
We know that our patients want to access tools and services from Northwell in the same ways they manage the rest of their life – through simple, seamless apps and websites. The DPX team is focused on innovations that help us care for patients in this brave new digital world. We’re a group of architects, engineers, designers, researchers, analysts, strategists and more, all dedicated to building a connected digital experience for Northwell, especially within the ambulatory experience. From booking online to digitizing forms, paying a bill to reaching customer support, we’re making it possible for patients to easily complete these tasks online, and manage their care all in one place.
What are some innovative projects you are currently working on?
We recently launched the Northwell app, which allows patients to manage their personal information, book appointments online with a growing list of doctors, see past and upcoming appointments, pay bills, find care, connect to Follow My Health and more. While this app unlocks essential features for our patients, it’s really just the start of what will be possible.
A few other innovative initiatives include:
Developing a completely virtual check-in process, and already have a pilot program where you can complete your doctor’s office forms digitally at home.
Testing several kinds of biometric identification tools so that one day patients can check into a doctor’s visit with nothing but a selfie – the same way Face ID technology opens our phones.
Developing tools that will help personalize a patient’s visit such as nicknames, hobbies or interests – so they are remembered wherever they go at Northwell.
Why is having a team like this important to Northwell and our patients?
Technology has the potential to make so many complex things simple, understandable and stress-free. The DPX team identifies new technologies and trends, evaluates how technology could help us better care for our patients, and then drives the development of solutions. A critical part of what we do is make sure that patients’ feedback is incorporated every step of the way, and patient feedback is one of our most important measures of success. The DPX team keeps the patient voice at the table, shaping every part of how we care for the patient in the digital world.
What attributes do you look for in your team members?
Our team is a great place for people who like to solve puzzles. There are no easy answers in the work we do, and we are challenged to find clever solutions. Our team looks like many modern software development teams. We have IT roles such as software engineers, architects, systems analysts and QA testers. We have a strong user experience practice that keeps human-centered design at the heart of all our products. These include roles like visual and interface designers, user research and testing. We have analytics and strategy roles such as business and data analysts, who work at understanding how our products perform and identify where we have opportunities to improve or develop new features. And then we have a whole group of team members who ensure that we provide new products and features on a regular basis; these roles include product owners, project managers, and scrum masters.
What is your advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell?
My advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell is that just about anything it possible here. People sometimes think of healthcare as just what takes place in a hospital or doctor’s office but, there is so much that happens behind the scenes both before and after those moments of care, to make it all possible. And because healthcare is at a really dynamic point in its evolution, people who have skills and perspectives from other industries have a real opportunity to bring fresh thinking to the work. I will also say, as a person who has had a long tenure with Northwell, it’s a great place to grow your career. I get to do work that makes a meaningful impact on our communities, and within an organization that’s always looking to be better tomorrow than it was yesterday.
When Marybeth McManus, MPA, BSN, RN-BC started her career at Northwell Health it was a staff nurse at Zucker Hillside Hospital (ZHH). As her career at ZHH grew, Marybeth played an active role in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association where she is currently president of the New York Chapter. Her experiences at ZHH and beyond serve her well in her current role as chief nursing officer (CNO) of ZHH.
Throughout her career, Marybeth’s focus has always been on the destigmatization of mental illness and the development of a therapeutic healing environment for our patients and a healthy working environment for staff.
“The Zucker Hillside Hospital nursing staff is making a positive difference in advancing the mental health of our community,” she says. “To that end it is my priority to support our staff in providing the highest quality care with respect, kindness, and compassion.”
Read more from our CNO Corner interview with Marybeth.
What is one thing you wish people knew about being a behavioral health nurse?
Behavioral health nursing is a profession of the heart. Behavioral health nurses care for patients who have faced trauma and stigma, who are struggling to have their own voice and are particularly vulnerable. ZHH nurses care for the whole patient; their assessments include not just patients’ mental disorders, emotions and social interactions, but also their medical needs. Behavioral health nurses must have particularly astute assessment and critical thinking skills to observe and intervene in the early stages of a crisis and help patients who are struggling to stay in control. They must also use those same skills to identify changes in a patient’s presentation or mental status, which are often subtle signs and symptoms that are indicative of an evolving medical complication. Behavioral health nurses need to manage not just individual patients, but also the therapeutic milieu. ZHH nurses excel on person-to-person connections and instilling hope for patients on their journey to recovery. Patients and their families’ lives are better because of psychiatric nurses.
What exciting nursing initiatives are happening at Zucker Hillside Hospital?
Nursing at ZHH is trauma-informed, evidence-based and collaborative with many disciplines. Our nurses have participated in educational efforts to better care for their particular population. For example, our nurses on the Women’s Unit trained at LIJ Medical Center’s Labor & Deliveryunit to learn more about the signs and symptoms of labor and impending birth, as well as post-partum care. Many were trained as childbirth educators and lactation nurses as well to support our perinatal patients. ZHH is the only psychiatric free-standing NICHE designated hospital. Our two geriatric units have embraced the NICHE program, and many of the nurses are certified in gerontology by the ANCC and are NICHE geriatric resource nurses.
Our nurses on the adolescent and college units have been trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and our nurses on an adult unit are being trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy-Recovery Based. In an effort to advance the patient experience, nurses have taken the lead on self-care initiatives including hiring a cosmetologist to help our patients feel better about their personal appearance. Other patient experience initiatives include the development of a spirituality program for patients and staff under the direction of our newly hired chaplain, coordination with the dietary department to improve the quality and choice of meals for our patients, pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, as well as the initiation of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on the inpatient service.
In addition to improving the experience of patients at ZHH, the Patient Experience Committee also addresses the needs of the staff in order to promote wellness and avoid burn out. Staff wellness programs offer holistic opportunities including reiki, healing crystals and essential oils, as well as their very own “Puppy Love” pet therapy day.
What makes working at Zucker Hillside Hospital unique?
The staff at ZHH are truly “Made for this.” It’s a calling to dedicate your life to the care of the mentally ill, and throughout the hospital you can feel the spirit of dedication, empathy, professionalism and love for our patients and their families. Workforce engagement scores are among the highest in Northwell, and the nursing score of 4.21 is above the national average. Our nursing satisfaction scores on the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators showed that the majority of our units outperform the national average most times and all of our nursing units are either a Tier 1 or 2. Safety is paramount at ZHH; our quality measures improve annually and in 2019 we were very proud to report a 22% decrease in falls compared to 2018. Our falls with injury rate decreased by 78%, patient-to-patient and patient-to-staff aggression both decreased by 32%, and our seclusion minutes were reduced by 27%. These metrics speak for themselves; our staff is engaged, skilled and making a positive impact on our patients and their families.
What makes Northwell a great place to work?
Northwell provides outstanding opportunities for professional growth and advancement, including the Center for Learning and Innovation, encouragement for advanced degrees, leadership development programs, and the Nursing Mentorship Program and the Nurse Residency Program. I have benefited from numerous strong leaders and mentors at Northwell and am so proud to work for a health system that prioritizes the care of patients with mental illnesses!
Benefits with your health and financial well-being in mind
As New York State’s largest employer, Northwell Health is committed to offering their team members and their dependents a comprehensive benefits package that’s been designed to provide health and welfare options that optimize their health and financial well-being.
Northwell offers multiple medical plans which include a plan that provides our team members with additional savings when utilizing in-system providers and services. We also offer a plan that makes it affordable to go out-of-network for healthcare needs.
In addition to the medical plans, Northwell offers:
Life insurance plans
Flexible Spending Accounts
To complement the cost of our medical plan Northwell offers medical plan participants the opportunity to earn up to $1,560 in pay credits in exchange for four healthy actions through the Well-being Credit Program.
Saving for the future
Northwell offers a robust retirement package, designed to encourage saving smart through access to free, one-on-one retirement consultations, an automatic saving escalation feature, and employer contributions.
The 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and 409A plans allow team member contributions to grow tax-deferred until withdrawn at retirement. Newly hired team members are automatically enrolled in the plan for 3% of their annual pre-tax salary 30 days after their date of hire. To receive the maximum employer matching contribution (which starts after one year in which the employee worked at least 975 hours), they must contribute at least 6% of their annual salary to receive the match.
We have a strong commitment to the professional growth and development of all our team members through our Center for Learning and Innovation; nationally recognized for leadership in workforce development and as a model provider of continuous organizational learning. We also offer a robust offering of other educational resources such as our Tuition Reimbursement program, multiple scholarship programs, loan forgiveness and student loan refinancing.
Northwell offers all team members access to fun and engaging online resources focused around health-related challenges, such as virtual walks and competitions to get and keep our employees healthy. Teamwork is encouraged with the opportunity to earn valuable rewards points redeemable for big ticket items and recognition in return for a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
We also offer organized sports leagues throughout the year, encouraging friendly competition and teamwork.
In addition, Northwell offers a suite of free well-being benefits that will enhance a participant’s physical and emotional persona through online coaching and education.
All team members, and their family members, have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP). Staffed by licensed behavioral health experts EAP offers short-term, goal-directed coaching and counseling designed to help resolve problems that have an impact on a team member’s work and/or home life.
We’ve also worked hard to support employee work/life balance with special services that provide back-up child and elder care, financial assistance for adoption and home buying, and banking. National and local discounts are offered on a rotating basis lowering the cost of gym memberships, entertainment, car purchasing and repairs, and so much more.
From unique health care and wellness to financially sound retirement plans with generous matching to educational and professional development support that takes your career growth to a new level, we are always looking for ways to ensure that our employees are truly well cared for.
Northwell Health named a top 2020 Military Friendly organization
Northwell Health has been selected as a 2020 Military Friendly organization in four categories – top 10 employer, supplier diversity, brand and company – as one of the nation’s top organizations for military veterans.
As New York State’s largest health system and biggest private employer with more than 70,000 employees, Northwell also is one of the largest employers of veterans and offers a host of programs that support service members and their families, from jobs fairs and educational opportunities to behavioral health programs in concert with the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We’re proud to support our veterans and their families by providing resources and career opportunities throughout our health system,” said Michael J. Dowling, Northwell’s president and chief executive officer. “Over the past two years, we hired more than 500 veterans into the health system, a commitment to those who served and a smart business decision on our part. Hire a veteran and you’ll understand what I mean. Few people are better motivated or equipped to contribute to the workforce than veterans.”
Among the veteran initiativesNorthwell Healthhas enacted:
By partnering with 160 organizations that work with veterans, Northwell hosts various recruitment, networking and interview days as well as its homegrown Barracks to Business Workshop to educate transitioning veterans regarding resume building.
A veteran-focused business employee resource group, known as Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR), provides an increased sense of community to these heroes and a chance to gain insight from each other and share their experiences. VALOR helps veterans with employment and medical care.
Employees returning from deployment receive checks representing the difference between their military pay and the regular salaries they would have received had they not taken military leave.
A first-of-its-kindUnified Behavioral Health Centerin Bay Shore – jointly operated by Northwell and the Northport VA Medical Center – helps military veterans and their families cope with the emotional burdens they face when they return home.
Extending its commitment to service members beyond the organization, Northwell created“Side By Side: A Celebration of Service,”a day-long celebration of military service in Manhattan that coincided with Fleet Week in May 2019. Northwell plans to host the event again in 2020.
Organizations must meet Military Friendly’s rigorous criteria
“It’s our distinct honor and privilege to deploy our administrative and clinical capabilities to improve how our military access services, employment and support,” said Juan Serrano, assistant vice president of Northwell’sOffice of Military and Veterans Liaison Services and himself a Marine veteran. “In 2019, we proudly provide the most health care to active duty members, veterans and their families in New York.”
Military Friendly weighed companies based on six criteria: Hiring and Onboarding, Opportunity and Advancement, Culture and Commitment, Support and Retention, Policies and Compliance, along with Recruiting and Sourcing. Northwell Health greatly exceeded the standard in each.
“We are proud to support transitioning veterans in finding their next mission,” said Cheryl Davidson, senior director of Workforce Readiness at Northwell. “Our programs were developed to ease their assimilation from military service to civilian careers.”
An Appointment With: Michael Dowling, Northwell Health President and CEO
What does the 2020 vision for Northwell Health look like?
Northwell Health will measure success in 2020 on our ability to maintain a strong financial footing while preserving our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. Achieving that is a significant challenge in the midst of the dynamic, ever-changing environment in which health care providers operate.
There’s growing competition among both traditional providers and new entrants trying to break into the market such as Google, Amazon and CVS, to name a few. Government intervention looms over the horizon. No matter what others are doing, delivering great care should always be our first priority. Our patients are why we’re here.
Taking a stance on issues we believe in is another area we won’t shy away from, whether it’s immigration reform or common-sense gun legislation. We’ll stand up for our beliefs, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. We need to be a voice for the disenfranchised in the communities we serve.
Explain why the year ahead is a crucial one for Northwell’s capital investments.
Beyond preserving our mission in the year ahead, we look to:
increase our investments in basic infrastructure, technology and people;
expand inpatient bed capacity at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University, Staten Island University Hospital and Southside hospitals, which are routinely at or over capacity;
target continued ambulatory growth;
try to maintain a good payer-mix balance; and
achieve a higher operating margin, which would strengthen the health system’s credit rating, enabling us to borrow at lower interest rates as we continue to invest in our future.
I’m excited about the transformation at hospitals happening throughout the health system, from the new Corey Critical Care Pavilion at Peconic Bay Medical Center opening this month to the planned groundbreaking of the Petrocelli Advanced Surgical Pavilion at North Shore University Hospital this spring and the ongoing transformation of Southside Hospital into a regional destination for top-notch care on the south shore. We will continue to work with our Upper East Side neighbors and city agencies to develop a plan that will enable us to move forward with the redevelopment of Lenox Hill Hospital.
In what ways will ambulatory care fuel future growth?
At Northwell, we are well positioned for success in 2020 and beyond, based on the continued maturation of the clinical, academic and research enterprise the health system has built over its 28-year history. Beyond our 23 hospitals, the health system now has 744 outpatient locations – and we’ll have 786 by the end of this year, including:
21 additional primary care practices (increasing the number of practices to 239);
23 additional specialty centers, including seven more kidney dialysis centers (increasing the number of centers to 18);
two additional outpatient cancer centers, including one in Eastern Long Island and another on Staten Island;
three additional urgent care centers (increasing the number of urgent care centers to 55); and
two additional ambulatory surgery centers (increasing the number of ambulatory surgery centers to 18).
Due to our ambulatory patient expansion, it’s noteworthy that Northwell’s revenues, projected at $13.5 billion in 2020, will be a 50-50 split between inpatient and outpatient. By comparison, the inpatient/outpatient revenue split was 70-30 percent in 2005.
The recent addition of Concorde Medical Group in Manhattan and its 23 physicians) and clinical affiliations with two large private physician practices, CareMount Medical and AdvantageCare Physicians, further expands our reach into the communities we serve.
How will the Presidential election impact health care?
If the last decade of health care reform and regulation are any guide, then the outcome of the 2020 President race promises to bring more changes to the industry in the coming years. Regardless of what party controls the White House and Congress, health care will receive more than its share of government scrutiny.
Meeting our patients’ needs poses a whole other set of challenges in this uncertain regulatory environment. On the business side, providers are relying to a much greater degree on government payers like Medicare and Medicaid, as relationships with commercial payers continue to become more complex. On top of all that, there’s a growing push from the federal government for increased transparency, with a push toward greater value, cost containment and increased access to care.
Most importantly, we’ll continue to stand by our values. While it may be coincidental, one week after hosting our first Northwell Health Gun Violence Prevention Forum in December and pledging $1 million toward research, prevention, education and advocacy efforts to combat gun violence, Congress approved $25 million in funding for gun safety research – the first time in a quarter century that it has allocated funds for that purpose.
Why is developing and retaining talented employees important to the health of the organization?
To succeed in this environment requires providers to be adaptable, flexible and entrepreneurial. You need to be comfortable dealing with ambiguity, while relying on a progressive culture and a strong talent base. Educating and empowering our employees along their professional journey is personally important to me, but also essential for the long-term success of the health system.
That’s why Northwell created the Center for Learning and Innovation, rebuilt the foundation of the health system upon its own medical school, the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, as well as the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. These and other educational opportunities allow Northwell and its workforce to grow and stay ahead of the competition in a fast-moving industry.
As health care providers, we also have an obligation to not only treat people when they’re sick or injured, but to promote healthy lifestyles and help people avoid getting sick in the first place. We’ve made concerted efforts to think about the communities we serve in a holistic way. That means gaining a better understanding of the social determinants of health that have caused significant disparities in life expectancy in our most-vulnerable communities, where chronic disease is prevalent. We’re responding to those needs by pursuing problem-solving solutions, whether it’s providing access to fresh produce and nutritious meals through our hospital-based “Food as Health” program, educating people about the importance of HIV testing and Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication for at-risk populations, or training community-based health workers to help local residents adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. It’s all part of our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.
From the Marine Corps to Human Resources: Jose’s career journey
Jose Rivera served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps before starting his Northwell career in 2005. Today he is a senior HR manager at the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation.
It was in the Marine Corps where Jose learned key skills that helped him thrive throughout his career at Northwell. Throughout his Northwell career, Jose held several manager positions at different locations, including LIJ Medical Center and Southside Hospital, before moving to the Orzac Center.
“I learned skills in the military which have helped me throughout my healthcare career,” says Jose. “I learned to be adaptable to change and resilient during tough times. Most important, I learned the value of being an engaged and approachable leader.”
For Jose, he knows that the transition from the military to a civilian career can be a difficult and stressful time for service members. “Hiring veterans is our commitment to these heroes,” he says. Jose has seen firsthand that veteran team members help our organization flourish: “Veterans bring a wealth of knowledge from their individual work ethic to innovative spirit and skill set. They are also committed to Northwell’s mission.”
Working at Northwell was the perfect next mission for Jose, allowing him to utilize the values and passion for leadership that had served him in his military career. It’s the team spirit and commitment to serving the community that makes him proud to come to work every day. “My favorite thing about working at Northwell is our people. I have met the most amazing, kind and fantastic people during my tenure with Northwell,” says Jose. “We have fantastic caregivers and I am proud that as an HR professional, I care for the caregiver.”
An Appointment With: Dr. Dwayne Breining, Executive Director, Northwell Health Labs
Starting his Northwell Health career as the director of Lab/Pathology at LIJ Valley Stream Hospital 13 years ago, Dr. Dwanye Breining held that title at multiple Northwell hospitals before coming to our Core Laboratory. Now as executive director of the Northwell Laboratories, he leads the talented team that coordinates laboratory testing for our new Core Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM), the new Core Microbiology Laboratory at Little Neck Parkway, and the 43 hospital laboratories that rely on our laboratories for reference testing. Northwell Labs is also responsible for testing for physician offices, nursing homes, the Department of Health, clinical trials, urgent care centers and more.
We sat down with Dr. Breining to discuss the growth of careers within Northwell Labs.
What types of careers are available within Northwell Labs?
While I think everyone is aware that we employ many MD & DO pathologists, as well as PhDs, laboratory technologists, and phlebotomists, not everyone knows that we also have people in sales and finance, as well as numerous IT specialists, data analysts, customer service representatives, materials management personnel and many delivery vehicle operators, and even a pharmacist. It is indeed a very big department, and we are a 24/7/365 operation – laboratory services never stop.
What makes our Labs at Northwell unique?
I like to think that we combine the best of both worlds: the high-efficiency of a commercial lab-type setting with the personal touch and hands-on engagement of your local hospital lab that knows you as a patient, and your physician as a colleague. As the largest nonprofit health system lab in the country, we have access to the most advanced medical testing technology available, including the largest Roche chemistry automation line in North America at the CFAM lab and the largest Kiestra automated microbiology system at the Little Neck Lab.
We are recognized internationally as an innovator in the laboratory industry, not just on the technology side but also in the business arena through forming unique partnerships with other health systems such as the one we formed with NYC Health & Hospitals, in which we also serve as the Core Laboratory for their 18 hospitals and affiliated clinics. Another unique innovation we just launched, and are especially proud of, is LabFly. This is an Uber-like app, available for both iOS and Android devices, to have our phlebotomy services come to you, in your home or office at whatever time is convenient, for a low convenience fee. We are seeing rapidly growing interest in this type of service.
Why should Bio/Chem students who are unsure of what they want to do as a career explore the clinical lab field?
The level of fulfillment and sense of purpose one derives from working within healthcare in general, and knowing that the work you do directly affects the well-being of our community, is second to none, as any healthcare professional can attest. In the lab tech arena specifically, you will never be bored, as there are over 30 different tech sub-specialty areas in which to train, which creates many opportunities for career advancement. There is regular interaction with colleagues from all aspects of the lab, and also with physicians, office and hospital staff, and even school students and the general public at times. In addition, many of our Laboratory Information System computer specialists started out as lab techs, and are now trained and regularly installing and troubleshooting the highly advanced medical information systems that make modern healthcare run.
Why is Northwell an employer of choice for lab professionals?
Because of our demanding position within a large, leading healthcare system, we will always be at the cutting edge of clinical laboratory medicine. There are abundant opportunities for career evolution and advancement, and our staff can choose to partake in as much as they like. We work hard to create a comfortable and collegial work environment (after all, we all spend almost half our waking hours at work) because we want to attract and retain the best of the best.
Where do you see the future of clinical laboratory sciences evolving?
The future of the lab industry is incredibly bright. New testing technology keeps coming along faster than we can automate the simpler testing, and it is always a challenge to have enough techs coming on-board to keep up with it. In addition, we are already seeing opportunities for the lab to step more forward in healthcare, and participate in things like patient risk assessment, care coordination and escalation, and population health, especially given an aging population., We expect these trends to continue well into the future.
Day in the life: Central Sterile Processing Technician
Instrument sterilization is a vital step in any surgical procedure, but you may not always think about what goes into the process – or who’s doing it. At Northwell, we know our sterile processing technicians are invaluable members of our operating rooms. These technicians handle the sterilization of our instruments from decontamination to dispatch all inside our new centralized facility in Bethpage, NY. Working in the world’s largest sterile processing center, our technicians provide around-the-clock services using the most innovative technology available.
“Our new central sterile processing facility was built with the comfort of our sterile processing technicians in mind,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, program director of System Sterile Operations. “As we continue to grow and refine our procedures, we listen to their feedback. The work our technicians do every day is changing the way people look at sterile processing and defining the future of where the industry is going.”
Follow a day in the life of some of our sterile processing technicians at our new state-of-the-art central sterile processing facility in Bethpage.
Step 1: Surgical instruments are brought in for the decontamination team
The first step of sterilization is decontamination. With the facility servicing operating rooms from hospitals all across Northwell, it’s important for our central sterile processing technicians in the decontamination room to handle each delivery promptly and efficiently. The technicians soak the trays as they come in, hand washing them before placing them on the cart to go through the automated sterilized washers. “I love working in decontamination because we’re one of the most vital parts of the process of sterilization,” says La’Queen Burrell, sterile processing technician.
Step 2: Instruments are unloaded and tracked through automated systems
After the instruments go through the washing cycle, a sterile processing technician unloads the clean instruments from the machine into the ‘clean room’ which is kept sterile to protect the instruments. Each tray is processed through a barcode system so it can be tracked throughout the sterilization process. “My favorite thing is how organized our team is to keep things running smoothly,” says Libin John, supervisor, central sterile. “It’s also great knowing our work is helping patients even though we don’t have a clinical degree.”
Step 3: Sterile processing technicians sort trays to create priority order
The washed trays are then sorted in priority order. And with the facility’s capacity to handle a maximum of 22 million instruments a year, our technicians know the important role keeping the trays in priority order plays in ensuring prompt delivery back to the hospitals. Caprice Morgan, lead sterile processing technician, places the trays on shelves to mark them for the proper turnaround time. “I love working as a sterile processing tech because you are always learning new things,” says Caprice. “Every day is a new opportunity to grow.”
Step 4: Instruments are counted and passed through a safety test
Once the trays are separated, the instruments are counted, inspected and placed for packing by our technicians. It’s a vital step to make sure that the instruments are not only accounted for, but properly hand-washed and still maintaining their integrity. “It’s great being able to work on the instruments and know that even though you’re not in the operating room, you still are a part of the surgery helping that patient,” says Kevin Vega, sterile processing technician.
Step 5: Team members package the instruments for sterilization
Clean instrument trays are then packaged by the technicians. Packaging the instruments keeps them safe for when they are placed into sterilizers to finish disinfection before their return to the hospitals. The work spaces in the new facility allow for plenty of room for packing the large trays and individual instruments. “At the new Bethpage facility there’s more room to work and more space for everybody” says sterile processing assistant Patty Guess, who transferred to the facility from a Northwell hospital in April.
Step 6: Instrument trays are sent into the sterilization systems
Now that the instrument trays have been packaged, they’re ready for the final step of sterilization. Sterile processing technicians track and check the trays before placing them in autoclaves (which use steam at high temperatures to sterilize) or into low temperature sterilizers (which use low temperatures and gas to ensure missing something here) depending on the needs of the instrument. “This is my favorite spot to work because it keeps me on my toes,” says Gregory Thurneau, sterile processing technician. “I did it for eight years at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and now being able to do it at the Bethpage facility gives me an opportunity to expand my horizons.”
Step 7: Technicians sort the trays for hospital dispatch
Trays are passed directly through the sterilization systems built into the wall moving them from the ‘clean room’ to dispatch. There they are prepared for delivery back to the hospital. Once the trays have been tracked and accounted for, sterile processing technicians sort them into their respective cabinets for the transport teams. “It’s an important part of making sure the hospitals are getting their trays on time,” says Thomas Varkey, sterile processing technician. “Being part of that helps me make sure the patients get the care they need when they need it.”
An Appointment With: Iris Berman, VP, Telehealth Services
From the time she was a little girl, Iris Berman knew she wanted to become a nurse. Helping to care for her friend’s playground scrapes since she was six years old, Iris couldn’t have imagined that one day she would actually be a nurse with a bright future in medicine.
Starting her career as a registered nurse at Glen Cove Hospital more than 30 years ago, Iris worked per diem in a variety of environments before transitioning to culinary care. Discovering her passion for critical care, Iris eventually became a critical care nurse educator. It was as an educator working in stroke improvement where she first learned how Telestroke’s outcomes were bringing advanced care to patients through the power of technology in a way that wasn’t possible before. With this growing interest in Telemedicine, Iris jumped at the opportunity to apply for a job working in Telehealth within Northwell.
Today, Iris is the vice president of Telehealth Services at Northwell Health. “Telehealth highlights the opportunities and ability of our health system to be progressive, agile, and welcoming all at once,” says Iris. “I am one of the fortunate who truly loves going to work every day.”
We sat down with Iris to learn more about Telehealth Services at Northwell Health and how it’s an exciting career opportunity.
What are the benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth uses technology (two-way audiovisual equipment) that enables patients and care providers to connect across distances, such as a hospital, clinic, office or home.
At Northwell, telehealth has grown monumentally in both acute inpatient, outpatient and direct to consumer (DTC) care. We have coverage of nearly 200 critical care beds in our Tele-ICU environment and use that platform to add other specialty care such as intensivist consultation to EDs, Tele-Neuro Critical Care, Telestroke Care, Teletrauma, Telepeds, Telehospitalists, Remote care to Skilled Nursing Facilities (TeleSNF) and the list will continue to grow. In addition we have a number of DTC programs (currently approaching nearly 30 programs) enabling patients to get care and consultation in their home, clinic, hospital and doctor’s office. Some examples include Tobacco Cessation support, Telegenetics consults, Neurology for movement disorders, Coumadin Clinic and more. These programs are helping to expedite time to expert opinion and mitigate complications that come from delays in care.
Why is Telehealth the future of healthcare?
As more people become accustomed to the digital world, they also become used to technology when they purchase services and encounter healthcare. In addition, the advent of improved technology makes this a more convenient way for everyone to access care on the go with a known provider no matter where they are. I believe care and outcomes will improve as we become more efficient in our access and consumption of that care. Telehealth also leverages nursing expertise in a technology-driven environment that is not as physically demanding, which is appealing for many nurses as well.
How can someone build a career in Telehealth?
There are a number of jobs in Telehealth and at Northwell we are continuing to expand our reach. Jobs will continue to grow and will rely a great deal on gaining experience at the bedside. If you like to mentor, Tele-ICU is for you. As we grow, jobs will continue to expand into areas that may include triaging of calls, training, project management and business analytics. NPs and PAs are especially gaining in popularity as part of a remote Telehealth team.
What is the best career advice you have for those looking to get into TeleHealth?
First and foremost it’s important for nurses to get bedside experience. This is necessary in order to become an expert in the field before transitioning into a Telehealth role. If you are interested in informatics and process design, find a way to thread it through your clinical experience. More and more jobs will look somewhat hybrid as we continue to evolve. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. And lastly, be sure that you are comfortable with being on camera if you are looking to be in the patient care arena of Telehealth.
Women’s Equality Day, observed on August 26th, is an annual event that celebrates the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, marking American women’s advancement towards equality with men. This year we celebrate the 99th year of the passage of the amendment which granted full woman suffrage. In honor of this important day, we are featuring some of our Women in Healthcare BERG leaders, members and supporters.
Northwell’s Women in Healthcare BERG is empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities. The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Please join us as we celebrate this important day!
Stacey Rosen, MD – SVP, Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Activists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul were leaders in the women’s rights movement. Their focus was to ensure that women were given a fair and equal right to vote. These women have inspired me to carry their message in my current role. While we have made a lot of progress for women’s equality, women are still underrepresented in business leadership positions. It is known that organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, especially at the leadership level, perform better. This is one of many reasons why I decided to become a co-chair or the Women in Healthcare BERG. Our BERG gives our members exposure to leadership and development opportunities that they may not otherwise have in their current role. Our mission is to create a pipeline of women leaders at all levels in our health system.”
Maxine Carrington, JD – Deputy Chief HR Officer; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“We can never ignore our history and the impact of the past on our present-day thoughts, actions, policies, and systems. Women’s Equality Day and other such recognition days enable us to pause and remember, acknowledge how far we’ve come, and contemplate what still needs to be achieved to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect – as they deserve to be – and that their voices, contributions, and human rights are valued. The tremendous enrollment in and support for our new Women in Healthcare BERG is evidence that there is still much work to be done, but also that our Northwell citizens are committed to the work. Given our mission, values, and the collective power that we have, it’s our obligation.”
Joseph Moscola, PA – SVP & Chief People Officer, Northwell Health:
“Women’s Equality Day is such an important day to pause, reflect and evaluate where we are on the journey to equality for women. It gives us the opportunity to rejoice in the successes while together transparently discussing the opportunities and working hard to put words into action. Together we can accomplish anything, advancing the culture of Northwell and thereby the culture of the communities we serve.”
Kerri Anne Scanlon, RN – System Deputy Chief Nurse Executive, CNO North Shore University Hospital; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“In today’s environment, it is more important than ever to celebrate a day that reminds us not only of how far we’ve come but also how much further we have to go within professional environments to ensure true equality. We are fortunate to be part of an organization that is fiercely dedicated to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and to the elimination of inequities for all. The newly-formed Women in Healthcare BERG is a prime example of Northwell Health’s commitment to the promotion of career progression and advancement, mentoring, and succession planning for women across clinical, administrative, and academic settings. This BERG will serve as a catalyst for change within our organization and create a positive ripple effect, allowing for amplification of our voice across the industry and the communities we serve. On behalf of the Women in Healthcare BERG, I’m proud to celebrate a day of such historical significance, and to stand together to build a future that engages and empowers all members of our diverse workforce.”
Stevania Williams – Credentialing Specialist; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women’s equality is important in today’s society because 1) Women make up more than half of the population in the United States and 2) Women in fact make up the majority of voters in the United States. Women’s equality has come a long way but there is still a lot more that needs to be accomplished. When women’s equality is fully established to its highest potential, we as women can have a better legislation to help push for equal rights and opportunities, which includes economic participation and decision making. “A society cannot operate to its full potential when half of its members do not have an equal voice.”
I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because the gap that is associated with women leadership in healthcare is addressed. This program helps women like myself lean into their careers through mentorship which in return develops a pipeline of women leaders within Northwell Health.”
Elizabeth Alexander – Admin Support Associate; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Generally speaking, women in healthcare tend to forget to advocate for themselves because we are focused on treating patients and taking care of their own families as primary care-givers. It is important for us to get involved in professional organizations, continue learning, volunteer and cultivate a professional network. I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because it’s a great forum for team building, networking and professional development that promotes diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and support fellow colleagues, so that together we can advocate, thrive and inspire!”
Patricia Farrell – VP, Katz Institute for Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women do not want power over men, they want power over themselves” – Mary Wollstonecraft
“The Women in Healthcare BERG empowers women through both educational and networking opportunities encouraging them not to accept the status quo but to be that voice and equal seat at the table, to drive change that impacts not only our organization but policy change and change in the communities we live in.”
From neonatal staff nurse to periOperative leader: Gloria’s nursing journey at Northwell Health
When Gloria Collura, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC started her career at Northwell Health 31 years ago as a staff nurse, she didn’t know where her journey would take her.
Starting as a young nurse, Gloria transitioned to working part-time in the neonatal intensive care unit when she had her first child. But as her children grew, so did her career aspirations. And with the encouragement from her leadership, Gloria was able to focus on developing herself professionally.
“I never had to sacrifice my family or work-life balance at all in order to succeed in my career,” says Gloria. “Northwell really enabled me to grow professionally as well as personally.”
After becoming an assistant nurse manager, Gloria benefitted from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and earned her master’s degree. From there she became a nurse manager before moving into leadership positions in periOperative services.
Today, she’s the senior administrative director II for Patient Care Services/PeriOperative Services at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM). Here, she runs the ambulatory surgery center which operates on over 7,000 people a year and the PST department which sees approximately 21,000 patients a year – quite the journey from her start as a staff nurse!
The transition to become a periOperative nurse was a natural one for Gloria. “As a neonatal nurse, you are in the operating room a lot. With exposure to the OR, I was encouraged by leadership to earn my master’s and get into ambulatory surgery. Using the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in one specialty and bringing it to a new area can have great results.”
Even with all her accomplishments, Gloria knows it’s important to never stop developing her professional skills. In fact, she’s recently earned her Nurse Executive Advanced Certification – an accomplishment she never thought she would be encouraged to earn.
“At Northwell, we’re always told not to be afraid to fail,” says Gloria. “Don’t be afraid to expand your wings, don’t be afraid to be innovative, and don’t be afraid to move forward. I’ve taken leaps that I don’t think I would have taken without the support of the organization and its leaders.”
Northwell launches Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group
Northwell Health is excited to announce the recent launch of our Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group (BERG)! Our newest BERG focuses on empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities.
To do this, the Women in Healthcare members are committed to mentoring and developing women leaders at all levels within Northwell, including the executive level. Members will serve as both mentors and advocates for other Northwell team members, to help them develop professionally and to educate on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Co-executive sponsors include Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Deborah Schiff, executive vice president, Ambulatory Strategy and Business Development, and Kathy Gallo, RN, PhD, executive vice president and chief learning officer while Dr. Stacey Rosen, vice president, Women’s Health, Katz Institute for Women s Health, Maxine Carrington, deputy chief HR officer, and Kerri Scanlon, RN, deputy chief nursing officer and AED, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at North Shore University Hospital serve as co-chairs. Membership is open to anyone within the health system, including team members like Paola Benitez.
Using your career history to support other women in healthcare
Paola is a manager in the Government Rates and Reporting Group within Corporate Finance. Having grown her own career since she was initially hired as an analyst, Paola knows the importance of giving women the resources they need to develop professionally. “I joined this BERG because I wanted to be actively involved in the health system’s effort towards equality and inclusion,” says Paola. ‘I wanted to be part of encouraging more women to aspire to leadership.”
This isn’t the only BERG Paola has joined – she’s an active member of the Bridges LatinX BERG and has participated in community events that helped educate diverse minorities on the importance of access to health care, fitness and nutrition. She is confident that the Women in Healthcare BERG will be as successful within Northwell and its community.
“It is important to create BERG like this because it allows employees to build networks, share challenges and growth, and work together towards professional goals,” says Paola.
And for women looking to start out in their healthcare careers? Paola has the following advice, “Work hard, take risks and fail early. Do not feel that you must check all boxes in a job description – you will learn along the way!”
Throughout her time at Northwell Health, Margaret Murphy, DNP, RN, NE-BC has been an influential leader at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). As Chief Nursing Officer, Margaret knows the importance of providing nurses with educational opportunities to help them grow while igniting their passion for delivering exceptional care. Read more from our CNO Corner interview with Margaret.
Tell us about your career journey at Northwell Health.
Since joining Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) as a director of patient care services in 2006, I have had the privilege of working for an incredible organization. As I think back to my first interview, I am overwhelmed by the exemplary leaders I have encountered along the way and how fortunate to have been mentored by so many of them. I was also fortunate to be afforded the opportunity by Northwell Health to obtain my doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University.
I have been given extraordinary opportunities for professional growth and I believe in paying this forward so that new leaders can have the courage and wisdom to excel. Much of my career has had a dual focus; building a nursing team that is passionate about creating a high-reliability organization and ensuring that patient safety is our ultimate goal as clinical leaders. Having a vision and a strategic plan that include innovation, teamwork, engagement, transparency, and trust, provides a roadmap for organizational success.
What exciting nursing initiatives are happening at LIJMC?
One of our most exciting initiatives for 2019 includes our re-designation for Magnet®. LIJMC continues to outperform all benchmarks with a BSN rate of more than 92% and a certification rate that exceeds the Magnet benchmark with 25% of our nurses receiving clinical ladder designation. Additionally, we have seen great success with the “CNO cabinet” which was established for identifying and developing tomorrow’s nurse leaders.
LIJMC is also always at the forefront of innovation by:
Continuing to utilize collaborative care councils as arenas for shared governance, performance improvement, and organizational growth.
Building a new Oncology Center of Excellence.
Expanding our robotic surgery program, which received a Center of Excellence certification as did gynecological minimally invasive surgery.
Receiving Joint Commission certifications in Total Joint Replacement, Advanced Palliative Care and Diabetes.
Maintaining certification for Nurses Improving Care of the Health System Elder Certification (NICHE).
Launching an acute lung injury center which was created to deliver extra-corporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to patients that are not recovering with conventional “best practice” treatment.
Why would someone want to work as a nurse leader at LIJMC? How can they make an impact on providing exceptional care?
One of the best reasons to be a nurse leader at LIJMC is that there is a true collaborative spirit. Nursing has a voice at the table. There are so many ways to advance your knowledge at Northwell including continuing education conferences, courses at our Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI), advanced degree programs and leadership development programs. LIJMC is participating in the new Northwell Nursing Mentorship Program with a track for novice nurses and new leaders. This program will focus on individualized development, feedback and partnership.
At LIJMC, there are fellowships in specialty areas such as perioperative nursing, critical care, and emergency nursing. There is a residency program for new graduate nurses. Along with North Shore University Hospital, we partnered with Stony Brook University to facilitate obtaining master’s degrees in Nursing Leadership and in Education; whereby developing our nurse leaders and educators of tomorrow.
What is your career advice for nurses to develop in their career?
My career advice to new and experienced nurses is to understand that they must function as leaders regardless of title. From the onset, they should embark on a life-long journey, and commit to excellence as they move along their career trajectory. Early in their career, it is important to identify mentors, to emulate desirable behaviors such as advocacy, accountability, empathy, and professionalism. Nurses at all levels should mentor and coach while building strong relationships and developing excellent communication skills. Being knowledgeable about the changing health care landscape requires nurses to maintain curiosity and serve as change agents. Most importantly, nurses should recognize each day that while their accomplishments today are extraordinary, striving to make tomorrow’s accomplishments better is truly how we make the greatest impact in our patients’ lives.