In her career, Irene Macyk, PhD, RN, NEA-BC has always aspired to do more, “when I get comfortable in a role, I feel compelled to change it. Although there was no premeditation to lead, I was always the person to raise my hand to try something new.”
This drive to take on new challenges has led to Irene’s impressive 10-year career at Northwell. Irene started as a director of nursing education at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), and has held various leadership positions throughout the health system. The energy and enthusiasm that she experienced in that first interview at CCMC inspired her desire to be part of the Northwell team. Today, Irene is the chief nursing officer and associate executive director for patient care services at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH), Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat (MEETH), and Lenox Hill Greenwich Village (LHGV). Read more from our CNO Corner interview with Irene.
In what areas are Lenox Hill Hospital, MEETH and Lenox Hill Greenwich Village experiencing the most growth in nursing?
Nursing at LHH, MEETH and LHGV are experiencing growth is so many ways. Looking at quality, safety, patient experience and nurse engagement, we are in the top half of the nation for the past two years. Our professional footprint is strong with BSN rates at 93% and RN professional certification rates at greater than 40%.
Could you talk to the exciting things happening in your surgical services departments?
Over the past few years our surgical services have grown and received national recognition for excellence. We have a very active cardiothoracic program, a comprehensive neuro surgical service and a mature and well-respected orthopedic presence. Additionally our general surgery and GYN programs are continuing to innovate and challenge the status quo by implementing our enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols.
What are some key nursing initiatives in 2019 at your hospitals?
Key nursing initiatives in 2019 for LHH, MEETH and LHGV all involve continuing our evolution as a culture of excellence. In its third year, our shared governance model continues to mature and nurses are the key decision maker in how nursing practice is conducted. We have nursing quality, evidence based practice and research, education, recruitment and retention and an advance practice council. In these councils, clinical RNs and leaders work together to create a healthy, professional work environment and drive the professional image of nursing. In 2018 alone, we had over 28 evidenced based, process-improvement projects that were completed and are in different stages of dissemination. With the desire to celebrate nursing accomplishments, we put in our application for ANCCs Magnet® recognition, and this year we are gathering the sources of evidence and documenting the stories to showcase.
How can nurses take advantage of growth and professional development opportunities at LHH, MEETH and LHGV?
As members of Northwell Health, we have an entire community of support for professional development. Clinical RNs can take advantage of guidance from clinical experts in the nursing education department at LHH, or seek professional development for the various programs offered at Northwell’s Institute for Nursing (IFN) and Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI). Nurses can also become a mentor or mentee in our mentorship program or take advantage of the generous tuition reimbursement by continuing their education at a master’s degree level.
What is the most important quality to have as a nurse?
Resilience. Nursing is hard work but we are privileged to work with people in a very vulnerable time in their lives. The ability to think critically, re-prioritize at a moment’s notice and stay calm under extreme pressure are key qualities of a nurse. In any given day we laugh, we cry, are a sounding board for the frustrated and a shoulder for someone grieving. This privilege can deplete one’s empathy banks and challenge one’s spirit. Resilience is the ability to maintain one’s core purpose and integrity among unforeseen shocks and surprises, the ability to bounce back, to regain strength and come back strong.
What is the best advice you’ve learned over the course of your career?
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
Are you Made for a nursing career at Northwell Health? Apply today!
An Appointment With: Jaclyn Schindler, Clinical Director, Medicine Service Line
Just as Northwell Health’s Medicine Service Line continues to grow so has Jaclyn’s career within the organization over the past 16 years. Today she serves as the clinical director of the Medicine Service Line, which includes more than 100 internal and family medicine practices across the New York metropolitan area..
Throughout her career, including her start as an RN patient education coordinator, Jaclyn has always felt encouraged to spread her wings by her senior nursing leaders. Nominated into the High Potential Program, she gained exposure to health care experts, skills and concepts that helped her develop professionally.
The experience Jaclyn gained throughout her tenure at Northwell has helped her lead tremendous growth in ambulatory care since 2017. Learn more from her about the Medicine Service Line and advantages of working in ambulatory practices.
Tell us about the growth of the Medicine Service Line.
Since I joined this team in 2017, the outpatient Medicine Service Line has grown in both size and scope, and today is spread geographically across Suffolk and Nassau counties, Queens and Manhattan, with partnerships in medical outpatient groups in Staten Island and Westchester.
We have doubled the amount of nursing staff, both registered nurses and nurse practitioners, as these roles have become essential to effective patient management and facilitation of access to care.
Our team is highly structured to provide support to individuals and keep everyone connected. Communication is valued and opinions are sought from all. Talent is welcomed from all areas, and existing team members are encouraged to grow through opportunities for promotion.
Could you talk about the various types of Medicine Service Line practices and locations?
The majority of Medicine Service Line practices are centered on primary care in internal and family medicine. Many specialties exist within the service line, including: endocrinology, rheumatology, GI, pulmonology, gerontology, hepatology, nephrology, infectious disease, and occupational health.
Services include preventive health measures, annual assessments, treatment of acute illness, and overall health promotion. Scope has expanded during the past decade as the focus of medicine has shifted to promoting wellness rather than solely treating illness. More care is delivered out of the hospital, and attention given to lifestyle changes and holistic measures.
A portion of our practices support academic partnerships. Medical residents treat patients in supervised clinics and participate in ongoing grant and research activity.
Thus, Medicine is the largest and most diverse service line within Northwell Health!
What types of positions are available within the Medicine Service Line?
The ambulatory team is centered around the office site, whether a two-person or 30-person practice.
The team is typically led by a practice manager, with physicians and advanced care providers (NP, PA, CNM) treating patients. Other positions include medical office assistants, licensed practical nurses, practice office associates, front desk staff, billers, and other support functions. On-site teams may also include registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists, and behavioral health coaches.
The role of the registered nurse is shaped in ambulatory locations to add value to the patient visit and facilitate achievement of health care goals. RNs practice at the top of their license; they administer medication, provide patient counseling, and enable care through medication/treatment renewals, referrals, and preventive care services. Patients may also have “Nurse Visits” which capitalize on expertise in nursing science and allow enhanced access to provider appointments. These visits allow patients to receive care directly from nurses and may include Coumadin management, blood pressure checks, vaccination, and diagnosis-specific education.
And, there is a huge amount of behind the scenes support in the areas of project management, finance, leadership, quality review, and business development.
What are some of the advantages of working in an ambulatory practice?
Ambulatory is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for career and skill development.
Smaller teams than inpatient counterparts mean that the work environment is truly collaborative, and all disciplines learn from each other.
Relationships developed over time with patients and their families contribute to professional reward and purpose, where one can see the effect of invested effort.
All staff have a great impact on quality output, patient experience, patient empowerment, improved health outcomes, and quality of life for our customers.
Cognitive and critical thinking skills, as well as engagement of technological advancements, are essential to success.
Ambulatory setting provides work-life balance for those who wish to make a difference in health care yet have personal home and/or family obligations to juggle.
Schedules tend to be more regular, without overnight shifts, most major holidays are off, and the weekend and evening obligations are reduced, depending on the site.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into internal medicine?
Understand the environment. Visit a practice if you can and note what you think works or does not work. We are always looking for new solutions.
Nurses can check out the Ambulatory Nurses’ Association (AAACN) website. Ask colleagues or interviewers to describe the differences between inpatient and outpatient settings. If you are looking for a supportive role, achieve certification if offered, such as for a medical assistant.
We look for individuals who have a passion for people, and demonstrate creative thinking, excellent customer service, and the ability to work well with team members.
We’re growing! Explore the new additions we’re making at LIJ Forest Hills Hospital!
Exciting things are happening inside LIJ Forest Hills Hospital! We have brought several major programmatic expansion and facility modernization projects to our community and the patients we serve over the last couple of years. This means more career opportunities in a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical areas. Check back often for the latest openings.
Here are some of our newest developments:
Breast Health and Mammography Program
Our brand new revolutionary mammography program led by Dr. Daniel Settle, board-certified radiologist, and mammographer, provides quality breast imaging to our community. Designed with our partners in Northwell Health’s Imaging Service Line, we’re working Truly Together from referral to mammography reading (completed by board-certified radiologists, fellowship trained in mammography) with additional procedures including Ultrasound and/or MRI if necessary. Our mammography suite is equipped with state-of-the-art mammography equipment and our entire program will soon be accredited by the American College of Radiology. Our director of breast surgery, Dr. Susan Lee, is available for immediate consultation and/or surgery, should that be recommended.
New Life Center (Labor & Delivery, NICU, Post-Partum Unit)
Our already Baby-Friendly designated hospital has recently undergone a total renovation. We’ve built a brand new post-partum unit, creating an amazing environment for patients and families, and renovated our well-baby nursery and Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit.
Telehealth and telestroke programs
Telestroke is a telemedicine technology that utilizes a computer screen and video camera to allow our board-certified, fellowship trained stroke neurologists to quickly evaluate patients presenting with stroke symptoms, even though those stroke neurologists may not be on-site. Through this technology, patients, families, and our health care teams in the Emergency Department can speak to Northwell Health specialists via the computer screen/camera, who can readily evaluate a patient with stroke symptoms to determine the best course of care. This is just one part of our continuous goal to renovate our Emergency Department to be on the forefront of medical advancements.
In 2019, LIJFH opened its non-denominational meditation center with the input and help of chaplains from our community. This quiet space in the hospital provides an area for staff, visitors, and patients to reflect. This meditation center will also offer services from different community-based spiritual leaders who dedicate their time at the hospital.
What Makes us Human Makes us Made for This: How Northwell Health is helping battle burnout with the Schwartz Rounds Program
The discussion of burnout is a hot topic in today’s career landscape and this is especially true in healthcare. Operating in a high-stress and emotional work environment, healthcare professionals give so much to patients. At the same time, patients need professionals who deliver high-quality, personalized experiences from the staff that treats them. At Northwell Health, this is what our Culture of Care is built upon. We spoke with Pam Klatman, Director of Social Work, Cohen Childrens Medical Center about what our Patient Experience Team is doing to find the balance between great patient care and avoiding caregiver burnout.
As Caregivers in a large hospital system, our Culture of Care speaks to the way we provide care and go above and beyond for our patients and their families. We are taught to ‘find the yes’ and always use ‘LAST’ and ‘CONNECT’” says Pam, “This is easy when we have patients and families who are willing to allow us in but many times we have families and patients, especially in hospitals, that are angry, upset or frustrated.”
Patients and their families come to us in their most vulnerable state and often that evokes all kinds of feelings for those who treat them. Those emotions can have a serious effect on a health care professional’s mental wellbeing as well as their quality of work which is why our patient experience team is focused on the mental wellbeing, burnout, and resilience of every one of our valued employees. So what are we doing about it? Enter The Schwartz Rounds.
“Schwartz Rounds provides a confidential space for all caregivers to talk about the way a patient and their family made the caregiver feel or how a particular situation made them feel,” explains Pam, “It is important that when we have these feelings we process them and work through them so that we are able to handle the next obstacle that comes our way.”
This system-wide program gives our employees a regularly scheduled time during their fast-paced work lives to openly and honestly discuss these issues, to feel supported, and to properly process. Through this sharing, caregivers are better able to make personal connections with patients and colleagues when they have greater insight into their own responses and feelings. It’s a place to be themselves and to take care of their own emotional needs so they can go and continue to deliver excellent care to our patients.
And Pam knows that the effect of the Schwartz Rounds program doesn’t end there, “by showing compassion to our colleagues and supporting one another we take care of each other and in turn, take care of ourselves. It is a way to ‘recharge our batteries’ and feel more equipped to handle the challenges of the coming days.”
At Northwell Health, we believe that when we can share our experiences with each other and thus become better caregivers, coworkers, and people. What makes us human, is what makes us Made for this.
This post is part of a blog series highlighting Northwell Health’s Advanced Clinical Providers (ACP). Each Northwell Health employee was nominated by their manager as an individual that exemplifies a central Northwell Health value. This month, we’re proud to introduce you to Sharon Hasfal DNP, ANP-BC., who is a “Truly Compassionate” member of our team. Here’s why:
It’s hard to find an Advanced Clinical Provider who provides more Truly Compassionate care than Sharon Hasfal. Sharon is a nurse practitioner (NP) in the medicine service line, where she plans and participates in many of the team building/engagement activities that help keep our team working well, together. But Sharon’s compassion goes way beyond the call of duty, and she does so with a humbling grace that shows, no matter the challenge, she’s Made for this.
Sharon was born to be an NP. Blessed with, as she claims, “the gift of gab,” she uses her skill to speak with her patients and takes time to let them know what their plan of care is for the day. She remembers a dedication that struck a chord in her career early on, “a colleague of mine on 3 DSU instilled into her nurses the importance of sitting with your patients and taking the time to speak with them and help them understand what is going on.” This lesson stuck with Sharon.
On her most rewarding day at Northwell Health, she joined the senior case manager and social worker of her hospital and medicine hospitalists to work with patients with an excessive length of stay. As a team, they took the time to speak with patients and their families to learn the ins and outs of what was affecting the patients’ hospitalizations. “I felt I was effective in helping patients make very difficult decisions like advanced directives or arrangements for a safe discharge to home. Good teamwork makes a big difference in providing good care for our patients and working with this team was great.” Speaking of volunteering, Sharon co-chairs every nurse practitioner event that takes place in her hospital. The planning is done on her own time and she usually comes in on her day off to allow herself to fully focus on the success of the celebration. Sharon says, “I enjoy being a nurse practitioner. I believe if you do not enjoy what you are doing you will not be able to be an advocate for your patients and their families.” Her goal is to celebrate nurse practitioners and ensure they have a fun, memorable time- and it’s definitely been accomplished! She’s organized a Hawaiian Luau, a Carnival, a Tea Party, a Beach Party, a Mardi Gras and many more! And that’s just her own hospital. Sharon also serves as the chairperson for the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island (NPALI) annual conference, a volunteer position where she organizes a full day educational conference for nurse practitioners throughout Long Island!
Sharon’s compassion is shown in how she cares for people in her workplace, in her community, and in the world. She volunteers for medical missions in underserved countries, using her vacation time and her own money to travel to the needed destination. She does not want or expect anything in return. Her reward is the knowledge that she was able to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s a job she loves. It’s a career she’s Made for. “As an NP I will continue to be true to my patients, their families, along with my peers,” said Sharon. “I will continue to keep my patients informed while they are in the hospital; take the opportunity to educate patients, their families and my colleagues both inpatient and outpatient; and my missionary work. It’s how I can make a difference as an NP.”
Are you Made for working with exceptional Advanced Clinical Providers like Sharon?
Explore your career opportunities at Northwell Health here.
We’re helping employees to understand the facts about their own health — and improve it!
Every day, Northwell Health employees work to improve the health of our patients and communities. But who is looking out for their health? The Northwell Health Employee Wellness team is spreading the word about myWellness, an online platform for employees (also available on the Virgin Pulse mobile app). The tools on myWellness help employees build personal healthy habits, manage stress, sleep better, plan care for long-term illness, and so much more… Here’s a snapshot of this robust tool that’s Made for supporting our employees’ well-being:
Health Risk Assessment Tool
The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) is open to every Northwell Health employee who joins myWellness, not just those with the company’s health insurance plan. The HRA asks about current mental and physical health, family history, habits, and nutrition to determine a lifestyle score and heart age. The assessment is then broken down to show where someone is doing well, where caution is needed, and where it is time to take action. There’s real value in taking this assessment, since both the lifestyle score and heart age provide a snapshot of overall health, a snapshot that can help determine what kind of health plan works best, what lifestyle changes should be made, and what can be done to seize control of personal health and wellness.
A Personal Experience with Northwell Health’s Stress Management Tool
Stress can be a major driver of how we make day-to-day decisions that ultimately impact our health. Often, we develop unhealthy habits as a way to cope, such as overeating or excessively worrying. That’s why we incorporated stress management tools into our health benefits. This includes a guided meditation program, where employees can create a playlist, save favorite sessions, and set goals. Sessions on Mindfulness 101, Emotional intelligence 101, and Yoga 101 can also be taken through this platform.
Here’s AR Clerk, Patient Accounts China Lankford on her experience with one of our stress management tools, guided meditation:
“First, let me say that I have never done meditation in my life. I needed to find a way to release elements of stress and anxiety hurting my body and mind, and the meditation class helped me. I felt so relaxed and my body was at ease. In other words, I felt like a new person. We go through so much on the job and meditation helps me to get through my day — I feel more relaxed than ever at my desk doing my work.”
Employees* enrolled in the Value, Buy-Up or High Deductible employee medical plans have access to:
Wellness Credit Program
Northwell Health Solutions
In-system providers, services and facilities at a low cost
And the benefits are always growing! In 2019, several new well-bring programs will be launched for medical plan participants to support physical and emotional growth.
Learn more about what else we’re doing in wellness at Northwell Health here.
*Union employees will receive benefits based on their CBA.
An Appointment With: John Bosco, SVP and Chief Information Officer
The role of Information Technology in healthcare is ever more important in delivering outstanding care that patients can trust. Whether it be delivering real-time access to patient information or helping consumers access Northwell services in a convenient mobile environment, Northwell’s IT department is leading the way. As a leader within Northwell since 2004, John Bosco serves as the senior vice president and chief information officer. Overseeing the information technology function of the largest integrated healthcare network in New York is no small task. We caught up with John to hear about how the IT department is continuously growing and how it’s a department that’s Truly Innovative.
How has Northwell’s IT department grown over the past few years and how will it continue to grow?
Northwell’s IT department has grown and continues to adapt to the changing landscape in healthcare delivery and financing. Our priorities have shifted as a result of new care models, new payment models, the move toward personalized medicine, consumer demands, and the acceleration of new, innovative technologies that are starting to take hold. For example, we expect artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will help drive improvements in clinical care, operations, or financial performance, providing better clinical decision support to clinicians, making the systems more efficient for them to use, and helping to automate repetitive tasks. There is a new device or app invented multiple times every day. It’s our job to understand how to take advantage of these emerging technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of care.
As Northwell continues to grow and expand, so do the technologies and staff needed to support our health system. We are very focused on building a connected, integrated health system, where clinicians have real-time access to the information they need to treat their patients. Every Physician practice, hospital, imaging center, ambulatory surgery center, and our many other care venues, are connected together through our Health Information Exchange technology so all data about a patient can be delivered where and when it is needed.
Providing easier and more convenient access for consumers to access Northwell services is a major focus right now. We have got to make consumers feel we know them and their preferences when they come to us, make it easy to get an appointment through an app on their smartphone, and reduce the burden for them to provide the information we need to collect in order to treat them and produce a bill for our services. We want patients to visit our health system from the time they are born and throughout their lifetime.
The protection and safeguarding of our patient’s data is one of our most important responsibilities as a health system. With all of the cybersecurity problems happening today that you can read or hear about in the media almost every day, we continue to invest in people and technologies that prevent hackers and malicious software from entering our networks and systems. Training all Northwell employees on safe practices, such as not responding to potentially malicious emails, is paramount to our effort to protect our technology environments.
Are there any areas in IT that are helping to drive current or future growth?
The changes and innovations taking place in health IT require me to find new skills in the marketplace. Software developers used to shun healthcare given that we traditionally purchased commercial software systems and focused on implementations -but the rapid changes in healthcare delivery, and the innovations taking place, now enable us to develop innovative software that is not available in the market to purchase. IT Security engineers are one of the hottest jobs in the market. Data scientists who can comb through large databases to find insights into how we can improve quality and efficiency are another hot, and difficult skill to find. Software developers and support people who know how to operate in the ‘cloud’ environment are also very valuable to us.
Healthcare IT is going through some big changes industry-wide. How is Northwell being Truly Innovative with technology to stay ahead of the curve?
The three vectors changing the healthcare landscape include consumerization, mobility, and “uberization” of our technology infrastructure. These three vectors are empowering the patient to manage their data, and get access to the right care giver, at the right time, and at the right place. The increase in the tech savvy consumer population has pushed technology towards a consumer model. Smart phones used to belong to a privileged few, now the value of two way real-time voice, data, and video communications has resulted in there being a super computer in the hands of every citizen. Phones have become the camera, the recorder, the guide, and a healthcare access device.
With the arrival of the ‘cloud’, transmission, storage and retrieval of information made the mobile ecosystem whole. Traditional locked-down regimented data centers and applications are in the evening of their life. Cloud is available to the consumer on an as needed basis with a pay as you use model. Uberization has engulfed the technology infrastructure.
Northwell is in the eye of this paradigm shift affecting all facets of healthcare and the care delivery model. Innovation is the art of thinking that leverages this paradigm shift and enables care delivery effectively. With consumerization, mobility, and uberization of information technology, Northwell is on a journey to be a health buddy to our patients throughout the continuum. Agility is our accelerator that enables a real time interface with our patients, providers, administrators, payers and regulators to provide actionable clinical information.
We have invested in people, tools, and new processes that will enable us to be more innovative and quicker to market with new technologies. It is hard work to shift from older technologies and ways of doing things that have existed for decades. We are deploying systems architected on open industry standards such as web, HL7, FHIR, and other standards. Handshakes with external systems are enabled by employing open application programming interfaces (API) stacks. Applications are developed using an agile framework with hybrid-cloud back end, enabling the transmission of data to the right environment to enable mobility and scalability. The overarching strategy is to move data from creation to destination to retrieval in the most effective and economical manner.
Northwell IT is positioned to optimize opportunities resulting from these paradigm shifts in the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies. The future is exciting and holds the promise of a vastly different way of our consumers and clinicians interacting with each other.
How is Northwell IT innovating its workforce practices?
As one of the most innovative healthcare systems, we want to ensure that our technology culture is progressive and attracts and retains top talent. The workforce of the future is more mobile and want new ways to work. In response to this shift, the Information Services department has a group of leaders working on what the future of our workforce will look like and how to keep them engaged and productive.
We see more opportunities to increase collaboration and knowledge sharing across internal departments. Using more virtual workers and work-from-home programs presents an opportunity for us to bring down our labor and office space costs, while increasing employee satisfaction by providing the flexibility they may need and want for work-life balance. It’s also possible we will look toward an IT office in another state in order to find enough talent for our projects.
In addition, the jobs of the future at Northwell must become increasingly centered around the consumer, and some IT workers may not require as much healthcare expertise as they currently require.
We also see an opportunity for using external and internal crowdsourcing to solve problems and innovate.
Northwell IT is already making progress to be ready for the future of our workforce from a leadership perspective, now we are more focused from an organizational and talent perspective.
Our goal is to become an employer of choice and best place to work. In order to meet this goal, we need to respond to the changing labor demographics which in turn allows us to expand our talent pool and retain the best. It’s a win-win for both employer and employees!
What role will Data play in the future of Healthcare IT and here at Northwell?
Northwell has a long history of utilizing the vast amounts of data available to assess our performance and drive clinical improvements, operational efficiencies, and improve financial performance. We continue to grow our capabilities to enable more and more sophisticated analytics with the implementation of an enterprise data warehouse that combines clinical, operational and financial data and cutting edge visualization tools that enable both enterprise-level and department-specific analytics. The next iteration of this will be the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to begin moving toward more predictive analytics to improve clinical care and financial outcomes. Northwell will compete on our data in the future. Our ability to mine the vast amounts of data we possess will be our differentiator, very much like how Amazon revolutionized the consumer experience of buying goods online.
What is an interesting fact that people should know about you?
I don’t know that I’m all that interesting of a person! My priorities are my family, my friends and my career. I love working at Northwell with so many people who share the same passions I do for excellence in everything we do. I am thankful to work at such a great health system where helping people is always our highest priority. I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker and truly believe New York is the center of the universe! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
How Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital worked truly together to deliver life-changing care
When Gina Neri needed life-changing care, she turned to the teams at Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital to determine the best course of action. At a time in Gina’s life that should have been the happiest she received news shortly after finding out she’s pregnant, that she was diagnosed with colon cancer. The collaboration of two hospitals, three doctors, and countless nursing and support team members, allowed Gina to carry and deliver her daughter to term while receiving the care she needed to treat cancer.
Gina had been an OB/GYN patient of Sarina Distefano, MD, of Phelps Hospital for many years, through the birth of her two sons as well as for routine care. When the exciting news of her pregnancy was followed a few days later by a colon cancer diagnosis, Dr. Distefano guided Gina through the process of choosing the best care option for her and her baby.
After consulting many surgeons and hospitals, Gina was at a loss. Surgery without terminating her pregnancy didn’t seem to be an option until Jerald Wishner, MD, of Northern Westchester Hospital, suggested an innovative way to treat her through robotic surgery. There were still risks, but this truly innovative plan would allow Dr. Wishner to remove the tumor while Gina was still pregnant. “We had to really tailor our plan as specifically as we could to make sure we had two healthy patients, not just one,” says Dr. Wishner.
Her care didn’t end after the completion of her surgery. Francene Gallousis, MD, a doctor of Maternal Fetal Medicine who specializes in high risk pregnancy care at both Northern Westchester and Phelps, helped bridge together Gina’s recovery plan. Under the dedicated service of both hospital teams, Gina was able to deliver a healthy baby girl and continue her therapy post-delivery.
Throughout it all, it was important to her care providers at Northwell that Gina received care that went the extra mile for her needs. A commitment to care that went beyond just her doctors.
“What people don’t see or hear is the beautifully orchestrated symphony that went on in that operating room in absolute silence. Everyone knew their role and needed no direction. That team was the most experienced team she could have and I was honored to be a part of it,” says Christina Jaeschke, a Hyperbaric Safety Officer at Northern Westchester Hospital. “As stressful as that day and procedure may have been, it was equally rewarding and, every time I hear her and her family’s testimonial, I am reminded of the impact we have every day on every patient.”
“I remember all of us nurses rallying around her and offering only positive support. Gina always praised us nurses, and she knew most of us by name,” recalls Suzanne Mullins, BSN, RN, EFM, and one of Gina’s nurses at Phelps. Suzanne’s passion for her patients is a sentiment for all of the nurses at Phelps and Northern Westchester. Working closely with patients in their community, some multiple times over the course of years, allows these nurses to build strong connections and relationships with the individuals they’re caring for. This dedication to serving their communities makes it even more rewarding when they’re able to deliver patients the care they deserve. “I remember her last day on the maternity ward, she left us with such hope and positive feelings,” says Suzanne and it’s a memory that’s left a lasting impression on her career.
Caring runs through everything we do, and we act with passion to ensure our patients feel at home in our hospitals while they receive the care they need. Just ask Johanna Daprile, BSN, RN-BC who was one of Gina’s nurses at Northern Westchester, “that’s how the atmosphere is: home. The patients we take care of, our co-workers, everyone treats each other as family. And you don’t find that everywhere. It makes it easy to go to work every day.”
Thanks to the collaboration of the teams at Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital, Northwell was able deliver Gina life-changing care during her surgery and throughout the remainder of her pregnancy and chemotherapy. Working truly together allowed for care providers to ensure that Gina was in good hands through every step of her journey.
“I feel so blessed to have been an instrument in this miracle and grateful to have a team of colleagues who not only have amazing clinical skills but the ability to individualize care to the patient’s medical and emotional needs,” says Dr. Distefano.
If you could look up “healthcare leadership” in a dictionary, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a picture of Terry Pando, RN. As the chief nursing officer and associate executive director for patient care services at Staten Island University Hospital, Terry pursued leadership roles from the very beginning, becoming a Nurse Manager after just one year into her nursing career.
Throughout her 30 years with Northwell Health, Terry has been consistently recognized for her strong leadership skills. She received the Northwell Health Nursing Leadership Award while at LIJ Medical Center as well as Northwell’s Award of Excellence. In addition, her work in advancing the Patient-Centered Model of Care Redesign and Throughput Initiative earned her team Northwell’s prestigious President’s Award for Teamwork.
How are you innovating the nursing practice at Staten Island University Hospital?
Our leadership is focusing on employee engagement, particularly our team members that are on the front line directly caring for our patients and their families. They are our key partners for innovation, programs and initiatives. I am passionate about supporting and encouraging nurses and giving them a voice.
What is your leadership vision for nursing?
I want to make sure that our leadership team, RNs and PCAs all feel empowered and supported to do what it takes to deliver the best care. It’s very important to model the behavior that we expect from them and communicate clearly the improvement we are hoping for. We are also committed to nursing professional development by supporting those pursuing advanced degrees and providing mentorship to leaders to continue their professional growth.
What are some key nursing initiatives in 2018 at your hospital?
At Staten Island University Hospital, we’re continuing to focus on improving quality outcomes. We’re also working across the system to enhance our patients’ experience and provide an environment of peace and quiet at night. Of course, continuing the development and growth of our staff is a top priority.
What training and education is available for new nurses?
We have so many opportunities for nursing advancement. The Center for Learning and Innovation offers opportunities to network, take courses, be exposed to best practices and be inspired by leaders from across the system. Our Institute for Nursing (IFN) provides an exceptional RN orientation and conferences for nursing specialties. We’ve opened an outstanding graduate nursing school at Hofstra University. And of course, we provide generous tuition reimbursement. For me it’s all about empowering the nurse to be the advocate for the patient and their most trusted resource.
What is the most important quality to have as a nurse?
Integrity – always focusing on doing the right thing. And keep the patient at the center of every decision that you make.
What is the best advice you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The responsibility to mentor and support the growth of our employees is and should be our guiding principle. I believe that is the essence of a true leader and where the greatest personal satisfaction comes from. When you facilitate someone else’s career development, that’s a great opportunity. The importance of that responsibility as a leader, I’ve learned from my role models including Maureen White and Kerri Scanlon.
If you’re looking to make the most of your passion, vision, and ambition as a nursing professional, Northwell Health will help you reach your true potential.
An Appointment With: Dr. Lewis Teperman and Northwell’s New Liver Transplant Program
Being Truly Innovative is in our blood at Northwell Health, and Dr. Teperman is leading the way in our liver transplant services at North Shore University Hospital. From the start of his Northwell career in 2016, Lewis Teperman, MD, FACS, was helping to lay the foundation for Long Island’s first adult liver transplant program. Housed at NSUH, this program will provide convenient care not only for NSUH’s liver patients but to all patients with liver disease who are currently commuting into Manhattan throughout their long liver transplant process. We sat down with Dr. Teperman in this edition of Appointment With…. to learn more about his career and the new liver transplant program.
What is your career history and why did you decide to continue your career with Northwell Health?
I have been involved in transplant for my entire professional life. While in medical school my roommate’s mother needed a liver transplant and the technology was considered experimental. She was not afforded care and she expired. I have spent the last 35 years of my life helping to make organ transplant access easier for all populations. I was Chief of Transplant at another hospital for the last quarter of a century. It became clear after Hurricane Sandy that their patients were going to remain on Long Island. 45% of the transplant list in the State of New York comes to Northwell’s catchment area so they wanted to start a world class comprehensive Transplant Program. It was a perfect fit for my move.
Can you talk about the new adult liver transplant program being developed at North Shore University Hospital?
Northwell has always needed a Liver Transplant Program and as they say, timing is everything. The state approved our CON application and we have hired world class faculty and support staff. We are building a brand-new state of the art Transplant Intensive Care Unit and intend to open one of the most competitive and innovate programs on the Northeast coast in the first quarter of 2019.
Will this new program offer new career opportunities with Northwell Health?
The foundation of any successful transplant program is Acute Care Practitioners. We are hiring nurses, NPs, PAs, and Social Workers to complement our already outstanding and robust staff. We are looking for SICU registered nurses, inpatient, as well as outpatient, Transplant Coordinators with Transplant and liver experience. We are lucky to have Donna Campbell, NP as our AVP of Transplant who helps supervise our team members. She has been a legend in the Transplant Community and came to Northwell with me from my previous job.
Why should an NPs and PAs be excited to join this program?
We have a culture of innovation, education and warmth. All of our ACPs are afforded the opportunity for a rigorous orientation program and continuous education. New and innovative technologies and care measures are constantly brought to the forefront. The environment is rigorous, collaborative and friendly. They are an integral part of the Transplant Team.
Can you talk about the new state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit that will be housing the new Adult Transplant Service?
The 8 Tower state-of-the-art transplant ICU is housed at North Shore University Hospital. It has the newest technologies including eICU capability. No expense has been spared, however it is only as good as the outstanding people who work in it.
Getting to North Shore University Hospital and our brand new unit is easy. We are right off the LIE and Northern State Parkway by car and we are easily accessible by train to the Great Neck or Lake Success train stations. From there we offer a free Northwell inter-campus shuttle for our employees. We are also accessible by bus and there’s a stop right at our entrance.
How is this new program helping deliver better care to transplant patients?
The new transplant program relies heavily on coordinators and ACPs. The Transplant Coordinators will be afforded the ability to keep in touch with their patients through our telemedicine initiative. A dedicated outpatient transplant facility was completed in 2017 and houses the transplant clinic.
What’s one fun thing you did this summer?
I held a party for 100 of our employees and their family members in East Marion, NY. The highlight was taking our staff’s kids out on the banana boat!
For our first This is Healthcare video, we got an inside look at what it’s like to work at Northwell Health Foundation. Follow Alexa Tiven, Assistant Director, Special Events and discover some of the amazing things the Foundation team is doing. Check it out!
Vivian Buccino, BSN, Charge Nurse, South Oaks Hospital
Vivian is committed to taking care of patients on the behavioral health unit at South Oaks Hospital, caring for the female adolescent population. She begins each shift rounding, ensuring her patients are treated with respect, regardless of their illness. While she provides clinical care, she also builds trust with her patients and demonstrates that she personally cares. Sometimes when patients have no visitors for lengths at a time Vivian will come in on her day off with cupcakes.
Vivian’s caring demeanor manifests itself in every interaction with patients and their families – exceeding what is expected to ensure everyone feels safe and secure. She is a role model for the girls on her unit, as well as her peers. Vivian always says that South Oaks Hospital is where she needs to be because her patients need her. It’s as simple as that.
Many moments in Melonie’s life led her to her career in healthcare. From witnessing the tragic events of 9/11 to her service in the U.S. Army working in a Combat Action Support Hospital, Melonie knew helping others was her calling.
While serving our country Melonie was assisting a critically-injured soldier who had been hit by a bomb. She soothed the soldier during his last moments of life by holding his hand and talking. Devastated by the loss, she found a letter to his family in the pocket of his uniform, and made it her mission to personally ensure the soldier’s family received this letter.
During her nine-year military tenure and leadership experience, Melonie has served as a role model for her staff, developing a strong sense of admiration amongst her team members. Overseeing radiology and cardiology for Plainview and Syosset hospitals, her list of achievements is vast, and because of this, she directly contributes to the success of Northwell as a thriving environment. Her colleague shares, “From her time as a soldier stationed in Iraq to now, her spirit has remained constant, influential and inspiring. We are lucky to have her.”
Watch Melonie’s Made for this story.
Teamwork- Project Search, Southwest Region
Team lead: Anne Marie McDonough
Team members: Joy Barone, Jai Sada, Anthony Mantuano, Antoniette Arcamone, Laura Longo, Dir, Rory Bradley, Nora Goldberg, Ralph Grimaldi, Joann Compitello
Launched at Staten Island University Hospital, Project Search is an innovative national program used to diversify a hospital’s workforce while minimizing high turnover in entry level jobs. The transition training program is for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who have completed academic requirements and would benefit from internships and employability skills education. The program’s steering committee identified entry level positions, performed job task analysis and created a recognizable presence for program participants. Ten applicants were selected, and classes began at Staten Island in September 2017. Led by special educators and a job coach, students attended daily classroom academic sessions and spent the remainder of their day with their mentor in their internship.
By the end of the year, students rotated through three non-paid internships that provided real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills. Staff became role models for the students, and the transition program has had far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about hiring people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful. There is significant potential for rolling this program out within the entire organization.
Watch Project Search’s Made for this story!
Exceptional Patient Customer Experience
Urszula Monaco, Lobby Service Representative, Center for Advanced Medicine
Fighting cancer is frightening, stressful and challenging. Fortunately, patients at the Center for Advanced Medicine Department of Radiation Medicine have someone like Urszula on their side. As the department’s lobby service representative, Urszula is the first face patients see when they come to the department where they are welcomed with her warm greeting and smile. Seamlessly, Urszula maintains the patient flow, helping to keep patients informed and reassured if there are any delays. This is no easy task when you consider that she sees over 120 patients and their families daily.
Urszula literally wears out the tread of her shoes moving from waiting room to waiting room, all while attending to the needs of patients. In 2017, Urszula walked approximately 3,276,000 steps which translates to more than 1,400 miles. While that seems like a tremendous distance to travel, Urszula would gladly go twice as far it if meant that she could comfort another patient. If you ask her if she gets tired of walking so much, her response would be, “Not at all. I just need a new pair of shoes.”
In addition to supporting patients, Urszula helps the department by spearheading creative ideas for improvement. She was heavily involved in rolling out the “Gong Ceremony” to help patients celebrate the important milestone of finishing treatment. Urszula wants to make sure no patient no patient goes through their diagnosis alone.
Watch Urzula’s Made for this story!
Physician of the Year
Tarek Zetoune MD, Hospice Physician, Hospice Care Network
Dr. Zetoune holds a unique understanding of the true meaning of comprehensive care and is committed to delivering quality end of life care to both adult and pediatric patients. Driven by the belief that every day matters, he demonstrates his pledge to connectedness, awareness, respect and empathy to his patients, their families and his coworkers. His decision to work in end of life care was in part motivated by his belief that it is a facet of medicine that, as a society, we often choose to ignore. In his words, “When there is no longer an option for cure, there is even more work to be done.”
“Born in Syria, Dr. Zetoune is committed to working with refugees, as well as hospice patients. Following the end of his fellowship program, he traveled to Greece as a pediatric volunteer to help displaced refugees. “If you are in the presence of a man or woman who is talking about his or her loss, whether in a hospice setting or in a refugee camp, you don’t have to say anything. Just listen. Our presence with that patient is what is most important, not our words,” says Dr. Zetoune.”
An Appointment With: Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System Perioperative Services
When it comes to PeriOperative careers at Northwell Health, there’s an environment for everyone! With 23 hospitals and more than 665 outpatient practices, nurses have the flexibility to choose the right shift and specialty opportunity. Just ask Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System PeriOperative Services. As a nurse for more than 20 years, Kelly grew her career with Northwell to her current position where she oversees 18 periOperative sites. We sat down with Kelly to discuss her history as a nurse with Northwell, the innovative technologies changing perioperative services, and the different career opportunities that are available for nurses looking to grow their career in perioperative nursing.
Why did you come to Northwell and what is your role today?
I started my nursing career at Franklin Hospital which is now known as Long Island Jewish at Valley Stream in 1987. I grew up in Franklin Square and knew that I wanted to work someplace close to home. For the first year of my career, I worked on a Medical/Surgical floor where I took care of many postsurgical patients. At the time this was a requirement for all new staff nurses that were hired. In nursing school, I had decided that I would really enjoy working in the operating room.
After my year of Med/Surg experience, I requested a transfer into the OR. I worked as a staff nurse for about six years and then was promoted to the Director of PeriOperative Services. I later moved to CFAM Ambulatory Surgery as Senior Administrative Director and then to Regional Director of Northwell’s PeriOperative Services. Next, I was promoted to the Associate Executive Director at North Shore University Hospital and then to VP of System PeriOperative Services. In my current role, I have oversight of 18 periOperative sites.
How is Northwell’s PeriOperative Services redefining health care with truly innovative technology?
The pace of medical and surgical innovation continues to increase. A wide range of new technologies are changing the way that surgeries are performed – while improving patient safety and outcomes and reducing health care costs in the process. Northwell works to be at the forefront of innovative health care as the deployment of new technologies in surgery creates many opportunities to provide our patients with better outcomes and a faster return to their everyday lives.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into perioperative nursing?
Candidates interested in periOperative nursing must be energetic, have good people skills and a great attitude. PeriOperative nurses love the fast-paced environment and the fact that no two days are the same. In one shift, you have multiple patients facing different surgeries. Nurses also enjoy the environment because it’s a specialty area in which they typically become close with their team members and enjoy the camaraderie.
PeriOperative careers offer a great deal of flexibility. There are many different shifts that are offered to fit anyone’s schedule and there are opportunities in a variety of periOperative settings such as the main hospital, an ambulatory surgery center or even a surgeon’s office. Northwell Health has 18 main surgical sites giving nurses a variety of opportunities to choose from. There are also a multitude of opportunities for growth in this specialty area. Nurses can choose to pursue leadership or educational roles within perioperative services. Career progression/certification is encouraged and supported at every level in periOperative services.
How is Northwell committed to keeping our employees engaged?
Northwell Health System has made employee engagement a top priority. The system continuously strives to improve employee satisfaction and workplace commitment. To accomplish this the leaders at Northwell clearly define and articulate our mission and vision, communicate effectively and often, coach employees for success, and strive to provide the most trusting and respectful work environment for all employees. Along with ongoing dialogue with our employees regarding Northwell’s achievements and opportunities, perioperative services holds an annual retreat specifically for our surgical services leaders and staff.
The periOperative leaders at Northwell are committed to continual improvement, teamwork, achievement, and obtaining the best results possible for our patients.
Northwell recently became the first health system to receive the Network of Excellence in Robotic Surgery designation from Surgical Review Corporation. Can you tell us more about Northwell’s robotic surgery technology?
Since it first started to gain traction about 15 years ago, robotic surgery has become increasingly common for many different types of surgical procedures, and is rapidly expanding in cardiac, GYN, ENT, thoracic, and neurosurgery, to name a few specialties. At Northwell, there’s a continuous movement to be truly innovative, adopting the latest technology to ensure the best care for our patients. Robotic surgery has results in greater precision while also providing enhanced visualization via video images. Providing our highly skilled surgeons with robotic surgery technology results in improved outcomes with faster recovery times.
Northwell’s surgical services has grown tremendously over the past few years. How are we continuing to grow in the future?
Northwell’s periOperative services is growing fast and we continue to enhance our extensive capabilities. We strive to continue to build top-notch interdisciplinary surgical teams and professionals. Northwell continues to add operating rooms with hybrid technology and constantly invests in state-of-the art technology. We have added kidney and liver transplant to those services provided and opened a world-class heart transplant center in 2018.
Calling all NPs and PAs: Meet our brand-new ACP Leadership!
We’re excited to announce our new Advanced Clinical Providers (ACP) initiative at Northwell Health! With the appointment of a new leadership team, innovative structural changes, and an updated approach that joins Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, we’re excited to share the changes that will bring ACP’s to the next level of employee engagement and patient care. Those new changes start with our recently promoted leadership, Assistant Vice Presidents Jason McGrade, PA and Jennifer Laffey, NP.
The exciting new ACP initiative includes an updated strategy and structure that brings NPs and PAs together. “Both Jason and I came from the same arena where NPs and PAs work together and there was no differentiation as we all shared the goal of providing quality care,” Jennifer explained. Jason elaborated, “We really are aligned in our goal to recruit and develop the talent and qualities of Advanced Clinical Providers. Understanding their individual passion, drive, quality, and acumen.” Senior leadership has appointed ACP physician leaders to each service line to help support and foster growth and alignment amongst our NPs and PAs.
We couldn’t have better individuals leading this change! After graduating as valedictorian from PA school, Jason spent ten years at Lenox Hill Hospital before becoming Chief PA at Manhasset in 2011, where he eventually became Director of his service line. After Jason started his MBA in 2017, he knew he wanted to become involved in creating the design architecture for an ACP community. He’ll get that opportunity in his new role as Assistant Vice President for the ACP’s.
Jennifer started in health care as an ICU nurse before she got her Master’s degree, after which she moved to North Shore University Hospital. There, she found many opportunities to develop her career such as preceptorship, mentorship, leadership and program development. Before moving to Health Solutions where she assumed a leadership position. Jennifer helped develop a team of four ACPs into a multi-disciplinary team of 50 spanning Long Island and began teaching for the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies NP program. Now, she’s the NP, Assistant Vice President.
When it comes to joining our team of ACPs, there couldn’t be a better time than now!
“This is a great time for growth and opportunity. We are the most supported we’ve ever been and we’re continuing to develop and grow our programs and our staff,” Jennifer said. With a system as vast as Northwell Health, ACPs can achieve career advancement, explore different areas of expertise, work on exciting projects, and enjoy a true work/life balance.
Both Jason and Jennifer see the new ACP strategy as a continuation of Northwell Health’s commitment to the future of health care. “Health care is evolving and health care delivery, access to patient care, and access to service has changed over the years and certainly it’s been identified that PAs and NPs are the best vectors of that high-quality health care delivery,” Jason said. Both professions have experienced tremendous growth with the support from Northwell Health. According to Jennifer, ACP’s are answering a need in the health care community, “The real goal is elevation within the roles and that impacts overall health care delivery. Especially as health care changes and the landscape changes, we fill the gap to deliver the highest quality of care.”
The new ACP vision and initiatives are an exciting new addition to Northwell Health and will have support from the largest health system in New York State (that’s us!). Creating an innovative program like this is a challenge that we’re Made for. Jennifer puts it best, “We are a leader in providing transformational care and management to patients. There are a lot of opportunities to advance.”
Are you Made for redefining how we deliver care? Check back soon for some more exciting announcements about our new ACP initiative.
A Pulse Check on Healthcare Careers: Q&A with our SVP & Chief People Officer Joseph Moscola
For the first time in history, healthcare was the largest source of U.S. jobs for the last quarter in 2017. With job opportunities in healthcare surpassing both retail and manufacturing, there’s never been a better time to start your career with Northwell. We checked in with our SVP and Chief People Officer Joseph Moscola to see how and where Northwell’s careers are booming amidst the growing demand across the industry.
Careers: With unemployment at 4.1%, Northwell Health is still hiring over 200 people each week ranging from clerical to clinical administrative. Why does Northwell’s career opportunity continue to be so prevalent?
Joseph Moscola: I think we are seeing two factors at play. The number of jobs in healthcare is growing, a trend that has continued for the past couple of years and will continue in years to come. As the Baby Boomers reach their senior years and the population ages, there are going to be more and more opportunities in healthcare. The second factor is the growing brand of Northwell as well as our growing reputation as an employer of choice. In 2018, we were named one of Fortune’s Best Places to Work in Health Care and BioPharma.
C: In March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that healthcare added 22,000 jobs and that the biggest gain was in ambulatory health care services. At Northwell, our ambulatory care is growing. Why does ambulatory continue to be a top need, what positions are we looking to hire for and how is it impacting care and careers in our communities?
JM: Care continues to shift out of the hospital and into the ambulatory space. This is a result of better technology, less invasive treatment options available to patients and healthcare plan incentives. We’re always looking for RNs, Revenue Cycle roles, Medical Office Assistants and Advanced Clinical Providers (ACPs). We’re able to take a more holistic approach to the patient and bring the highest quality of care to our communities, including our own team members. It also opens up more opportunities for different careers within the community.
C: What are some other growing areas at Northwell that candidates should watch out for and why?
JM: We continue to see growing opportunities for ACPs, RNs, home health aides and roles in perioperative care. As care continues to transition from the hospital to ambulatory facilities and to the home, we will continue to see a growth in support service type roles. Also, with advancements in technology and a focus on finding data driven solutions, roles in healthcare IT will be more in demand. There will be more and more of a need for analysts, data scientists, software engineers and computer programmers.
C: For students looking to go into healthcare sector, what are the jobs you recommend they consider?
JM: There are some really great opportunities to start your career in healthcare before you’ve earned your college degree. If you are looking to enter the workforce sooner, you can begin with a “Middle Skills” position, including specialty technicians such as EEG, EKG, surgical techs, sterile processing techs, radiology techs and careers as medical assistants and phlebotomists, etc. There are many benefits to starting your career in one of these high-demand jobs and opportunities for advancement and different career paths you can take from initial hire.
C: How does Northwell retain employees and allow them to grow within the health system?
JM: We retain our team members and encourage their growth by creating a positive and rewarding work environment where team members are empowered to challenge the status quo. This is not a normal 9 to 5. Our team members are flexible, hardworking and not afraid to push boundaries to go the extra mile for our colleagues, our patients and their families. This is a calling and our team members truly feel that when they are at Northwell.
C: One piece of advice for anyone looking to go into a healthcare career.
JM: Healthcare is the one industry where all types of professions have the common goal of caring for people, patients and communities. Whatever you want to do, whatever path you choose to take, can be done in healthcare. Most importantly follow your passion!
Are you Made for a career at Northwell? Explore current job opportunities across our healthcare system.
Veterans: Make the transition from Barracks to Business
At Northwell Health, we’re committed to empowering veterans to succeed in their professional careers. That’s why, since 2013, we’ve been growing our Barracks to Business program, which addresses the need for practical tools to prepare veterans for the civilian workforce.
The Barracks to Business program started as a guidebook to help veterans prepare other veterans for civilian life. But we knew we could do more. We’ve since created in-person seminars that eventually led to Webinars so we could reach veterans no matter their location or situation. Now, veterans don’thave to wait to move to New York to get started on the next step in their civilian careers.
As we expanded the program’s offerings, we extended our reach by partnering with the Department of Labor and various N.Y. organizations and universities. Then the program expanded even further, adding valuable education to Northwell Health employees by creating an internal Barrack to Business program for our recruiters, which armed them with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand the value of hiring veterans.
After five years, Barracks to Business continues to grow and set the precedent for veteran outreach. The network has expanded to over 200 veteran-focused points of contact in the N.Y. region including colleges, organizations and nonprofits. Barracks to Business is offered at college sites and when students are about to graduate, we invite them to our annual student graduation event for veterans. The program and our outreach has grown across the state of New York and, most astounding of all, the number of overall hires since the beginning of the program has grown by 110%!
“Northwelll Health has shown support for my career by holding special events and recruitment sessions for veterans. (Because of one of those programs), I am now in a year-long Operating Room Fellowship which trains nurses new to the OR.” – Anthony Holdorf, RN
We’re constantly developing our own internal programs to better support veterans once they join Northwell Health, focusing on mentorship and networking from within. In the words of Veteran Inclusion Specialist and U.S. Air Force Veteran Lyndon Chichester, “It is an honor and a privilege to work with our Veterans. My goal is to help all of our Veteran applicants gain successful employment with Northwell Health. Veterans bring an unmatched array of strengths and experiences to the workforce including leadership training, integrity, teamwork, working with diversified groups in high-pressure environments and more.”
How to start your career in health care before you’ve earned a college degree
You don’t need a college or advanced degree to begin a rewarding healthcare career that can really take you places. Whether you’re not sure if a traditional four-year degree is for you, or you would like to enter the workforce sooner, you can begin your career journey in a middle skills position at Northwell Health. There are huge benefits to starting your career in one of these high-demand jobs, and that’s why we’re spreading the word about these opportunities.
“Middle skills” is defined as anything above a high school diploma but lower than a baccalaureate degree including certifications, trade schools, associate degrees and certain licensing. Opportunities include specialty technicians such as EEG, EKG, surgical techs, sterile processing techs, radiology techs and careers as medical assistants and phlebotomists, nursing assistants and more.
A middle skills position offers you opportunities to create a robust career. From initial hire, there are multiple career pathways available– complete with competitive pay and benefits packages. Imagine this…
You begin your career as a central sterile technician, ensuring surgical equipment and instrumentation is sterile, and begin to gain essential work experience in the healthcare industry. You decide that you want to work directly in the operating room, and pursue education as a surgical technician (did you know Northwell offers tuition reimbursement for qualified employees?!). After that, you decide to go back to school to study nursing, and eventually, you could put all this experience and education into becoming an OR nurse. Perhaps you decide that’s not the direction for you and continue to management in your particular role. We’ve seen it happen!
The real attraction of working in middle skills is the demand. There is a shortage of people working in these essential jobs across the country and these positions are critical to the healthcare workforce. Starting in a middle skills job can give you the experience, the network, the demand, the education and the opportunity to succeed in the health care field without a college degree.
About Workforce Readiness
We’re spreading the word about middle skills opportunities through Northwell Health’s Department of Workforce Readiness, which partners with educational institutions and creates initiatives to support the workforce of tomorrow. We work collaboratively on local, state and national levels to increase awareness and address the STEM workforce gap. We provide a collaborative voice between industry and education.
Photo: From left to right, Dr. Allen Toles, Dr. Janna Andrews, Zacharie Saintyl
Black History Month: My role as a leader at Northwell
At Northwell, we are Truly Ourselves and we stand united, proud and respectful, always celebrating our differences, together. February is Black History Month, and we sat down with some of our leaders to learn about their history, their dreams, and their career aspirations. With an ever-changing health care landscape, their leadership is critical to our organization’s success because of their unique backgrounds. Check it out.
1. Can you please describe your ethnic background and/or family origin?
Dr. Allen Toles: My ethnic background is African American.
Dr. Janna Andrews: I am African American and my family originates from Alabama and Georgia (and I am very proud of my southern roots). My family moved to Queens when my mother was a child but as many of them get older they all eventually return home to the south.
Zacharie Saintyl: I am originally from Haiti. My family came to this country in hopes for a better future. My parents always told us about the United States being the land of opportunity. They always have high hopes that my siblings and I would become important figures in society through a good education, and their hope was realized when my siblings and I became the first generation in our family to graduate high school and to graduate college. Thanks to my parents, today we each are able to live our dreams.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be a healthcare professional?
Dr. Allen Toles: I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to be in healthcare having been exposed to it, essentially, from birth, and because my mother is a pediatrician who trained at Harlem Hospital and serviced the Greater Jamaica Queens community for more than 40 years. So, it was a natural transition for me as I advanced through my undergraduate and ultimately Medical School years.
Dr. Janna Andrews: I knew I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was five. My goal was first to go to the Olympics in Gymnastics then spend the rest of my career as a physician. After I hit a serious growth spurt at 16 my Olympic aspirations were put aside. I wasn’t anywhere near Olympic quality but I do appreciate that gymnastics taught me how to compete. I should also say that I was fortunate to grow up watching the Cosby show where I got to see very positive images of black professionals that convinced me that becoming a physician was something I could achieve. After gymnastics I then began to focus on what I needed to do to go to medical school and I looked at the journey as just training for another competition. I always had a very deep interest in healing whether it was mentally or physically and what that entailed.
Zacharie Saintyl: It had always been my passion since I was a little boy growing up in Haiti to help others. I was always involved in community service at church and I would always visit the sick at hospitals, brought them food and prayed with them. When I came to the United States I was presented with an abundance of opportunities and education that helped my passion become a reality. As I grew older I became more passionate about working in the medical field as I watched my family members, especially my mother, struggle with sickness. I wanted to be in a position where I can provide professional health to them and that’s when I found my passion in Nursing. I started as a nursing assistant at Northwell Health and after finishing my studies, I continued to set higher goals for myself. I took advantage of every opportunity that was presented to me and I am now a Nurse Manager at LIJ Valley Stream.
3. What’s the best part of being a leader here at Northwell Health?
Dr. Allen Toles: The best part of being a leader here at Northwell, is that I have the opportunity every day of breaking down barriers and stereotypes, and being a role model for other employees and my community.
Dr. Janna Andrews: The best part of being a leader at Northwell is having a platform to make a difference. I’ve been extremely fortunate to sit down with some great mentors that have really opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist at Northwell, but also to the impact that I can potentially have. I feel like it is my job to pass this information and these opportunities along. I’m currently serving as a co-chair for the BERG (Business Employee Resource Group) that focuses on employees of African American and Caribbean descent. We are just getting started, but collectively we are committed to ensuring that these employees are aware of opportunities that exist for themselves or their families at Northwell. We are also committed to hosting health initiatives that will have a positive and lasting impact on the communities of color in the surrounding areas.
Zacharie Saintyl: The best part of being a leader at Northwell Health is being able to contribute to the Northwell mission. I am grateful to be a member of a great health system that invests in its mission and vision to improve and promote healthcare across diverse communities. I am truly honored to have this platform to be inspired and I am fortunate to be surrounded by great leaders that I can learn from. I’m presently a member of one of our BERG’s serving as a co-chair. We work to enhance communication and patient experience while serving the diverse communities within our health system.
4. What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month?”
Dr. Janna Andrews: When I think about Black History Month, I very much think about those that came before me and created this space and opportunity for me. I am very aware that I stand on their shoulders and I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve and overcome. There is more work to be done and that is ok. I live my life through the affirmation- to whom much is given, much is expected, and I am happy to carry the baton until it is my turn to pass it. For now, I will roll up my sleeves and ask how I can be of service.
Zacharie Saintyl: When I think of Black History I think of the time that we celebrate all the accomplishments and the accolades of black people worldwide. The first black president of the United States was in my lifetime. That is an amazing feeling to experience. This accomplishment and others inspire me to also become a great role model, not only to my children, but also to those who look up to me. Knowing about the great achievements of black people through history motivates me to never give up. I become more confident in knowing that I too can accomplish great things such as the people who came before me and created this opportunity for me.
5. Is there a specific leader from history that inspires you? What about a figure from today?
Dr. Allen Toles: It may sound cliché, but Martin Luther King, continues to inspire me, because I was well aware of his presence and actions during my adolescence and was able to witness firsthand, the cataclysmic change that he brought about in American Society. In this 21st century, I have been inspired by many people, but I think for most people of color, Barack Obama has inspired a new generation of believers, that with hard work and determination, all things are possible.
Dr. Janna Andrews: Harry Belafonte inspires me. His legacy as a social activist and devotion to the ongoing fight for our civil rights is tremendous. Harry Belafonte has passed the baton from his mentor Paul Robeson and I have so much respect for someone that recognizes and uses their platform for social good. Mr. Belafonte has shown up, he has written checks, and he has stayed politically engaged his entire life. He has been passionate and outspoken as a humanitarian and I can only hope to accomplish a sliver of what he has but he certainly gave those of us that follow in his footsteps a foundation to stand on. I think ultimately Mr. Belafonte will pass the baton to the actor/social activist Jesse Williams. Already an established social activist in his right, I can’t wait to see what Williams is able to accomplish.
Zacharie Saintyl: Barack Obama is my inspiration. When faced with adversaries and tribulations, he was never shaken – he was a man of character. He has received unprecedented opposition and disrespect, yet he dealt with them peacefully and gracefully. As a father and a husband, he inspires me to be a great leader – to lead with positivity, and to never give up when facing adversary.
6. Why, more than ever, do we need to reignite humanism in healthcare?
Dr. Allen Toles: There is a tectonic shift that is happening ethnically and culturally in this world and right here within our own communities, and as health care providers we need to be exquisitely sensitive to this shift. We are no longer a homogenous population; we are a “melting pot” of such diversity now, with the breaking down of bias, stereotypes, and ignorance. People are in relation with one another, and as a result, families are now multicultural, multiracial, bringing forth more heterogeneity than ever. To this end “Humanism” has to be primary when delivering healthcare, so that one can understand the whole person – what makes them who they are, and therefore, have a better insight, into their health challenge, and develop the best approach to heal their body, mind, and spirit.
Inside Northwell: How to Stand Out While Applying for Jobs in 2018
At our first Inside Northwell Facebook Live session, we sat down with members of our Talent Acquisition team who gave the best tips for candidates looking to join our team in 2018. Check it out!
1. How can candidates stand out while applying for jobs in 2018?
My best piece of advice would be to only apply to positions that you meet the minimum qualifications for. With the volume of applications we receive we can’t contact everyone and we are contacting only those who most closely match the department’s specific needs. If you don’t hear from us, you will remain in our database and we can contact you for other positions you are suitable for. Just because you were not the right match for one, does not mean you wouldn’t be the right match for another so don’t lose faith – the needs vary from department to department.
2. How can they make their resume stand out throughout the bunch/mix?
Your resume is a living breathing document so you can make changes as you learn or develop new skills sets throughout your career, even if you are not currently looking for a new job. Make sure you mention the special project that you have taken and the impact to the organization because it’ll show you ambition to make a direct impact. If you are looking for a new job, always remember, the job description is your friend – use the information provided to help you craft your resume and use the keywords they have listed within the job description in your resume too. If your previous experiences don’t exactly match the job you are looking for, don’t forget to add the transferable skill sets you’ve learned. (ie: “Customer Service” is really “Communication Skills”)
-Arthur Beechman, Clinical and Non-Clinical Recruiter, Talent Acquisition
Remember to add keywords. We have advanced technology that we are using to source through a variety of candidates. If you have the keywords within your resume our searches will be able to match with yours and pull up your information before someone else’s. Also, remember to send the final version of your resume. You wouldn’t believe the amount of resumes we receive with a coworkers/family members/metors edits on them. Always double check!
If you’re updating your resume, as you should be all the time, make sure that any past experience is referred to in past tense. If it looks like current tense language for a position you held 3 years ago, we notice that and it shows less attention to detail. Also remember to quantify information. If you work for an organization that we aren’t familiar of, it’s very helpful to a recruiter to have some sense of how large that organization is, adding the number of direct reports (if any) you have, if you’ve saved the organization any money and how you achieved that – this will help us quickly understand who you are and what you do for what type of organization.
-Esther David, Director, Talent Acquisition
3. What makes a candidate “made for Northwell Health”?
4. What are the most appropriate ways for them to follow up with recruiters?
5. What is your last piece of advice for our candidates?
Photo: Lesly is the 2nd man from the left in the front with the trophy
Northwell Health’s Pathway to Inclusion
Written by: Lesly St. Louis
I have been advocating for individuals with disabilities – a group of which I am a proud member – for most of my life. The biggest challenges we have to overcome are not the disabilities, but the stigma surrounding them. As an Inclusion Specialist at Northwell Health, I now facilitate employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. My role provides me with the resources to replace fear with mutual understanding, allowing persons with disabilities to become productive members of society.
My job is especially meaningful to me as I know how it feels to encounter barriers from employers. I was born with a congenital malformation called Spina Bifida, which is a defect of the spine and spinal cord. As a result, my primary way of mobilizing is by use of a wheelchair. But I haven’t let that stop me. Through the support and dedication of my parents, as a child, I began participating in adaptive sports designed specifically for individuals with disabilities just like me. I was embraced by the community and it was empowering. The athletes I met over the years guided me through challenges on and off the court. Because of this experience, I learned that I too had a responsibility to support other individuals with disabilities. I took on a leadership position in my wheelchair basketball team to inspire others to overcome and live better with their disabilities.Northwell Health became the biggest supporter of my wheelchair basketball team.
Northwell Health became the biggest supporter of my wheelchair basketball team. I was fortunate to meet Chief People Officer Joe Moscola, who introduced me to the different employment opportunities Northwell offered.
I will be working to communicate our inclusive workforce vision by connecting with schools, vocational services, and other public forums. Community outreach is key to ensuring people with disabilities are aware of the multiple employment opportunities that exist within Northwell Health. Educating everyone in our organization to work collaboratively on creating dynamic opportunities well suited to both the needs of the individual and those of the organization can result in a successful outcome. Connecting our recruiters and hiring managers to individuals with disabilities through specialized events such as workshops will also foster direct communication, furthering our shared goals of creating an inclusive workforce.
I personally know the difficulties that disabled individuals face when finding a job. I had countless conversations with prospective employers and found a few common themes: they would find multiple reasons why they could not hire this person, or if they were willing to give them an opportunity, why they were not able to promote them within the company. I know that I can play a vital role in helping other disabled individuals find a role here at Northwell Health and can honestly say that the organization is focused on this initiative. It is both my job and my vocation to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. My hope is that through creating opportunities for employment, we can work together to increase confidence within these individuals and inspire them to conquer more challenges and achieve even higher levels of success.
It is both my job and my vocation to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. My hope is that through creating opportunities for employment, we can work together to increase confidence within these individuals and inspire them to conquer more challenges and achieve even higher levels of success.
In the wake of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey inflicted upon the Houston area, the need for medical care rose to crisis levels for those impacted by the flooding and who rely on their healthcare providers to manage existing chronic conditions. In response, Northwell Health connected with its counterparts at the Houston–based MD Anderson Cancer Center to offer assistance to match the hospital‘s specific needs. Within 24 hours after requesting help from its clinicians, Northwell enrolled more than 600 employees interested in volunteering. Here is one of our volunteer’s stories.
Written by: Angela Daly
As nurses and healthcare workers, we are there for people at times when they are most vulnerable; we step up when we are needed without a moment of hesitation. I was in nursing school when Hurricane Sandy destroyed my hometown of the Rockaway’s in Queens in 2012. Thanks to the kindness and amazing gestures of so many who stepped up when we needed them the most, my neighborhood made a strong comeback, allowing me to graduate on-time and start my dream job as a float nurse for Northwell Health.
When I heard that Houston, Texas was expecting to be heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey, I immediately stepped up to volunteer. The week that I spent in Houston was an amazing experience that allowed me to give back to the world the same gestures that were once given to me in a time of crisis. I was able to use my talents and training as a Northwell Health Nurse in a way which was valued and so appreciated by so many. I was so proud to be a part of Northwell’s nursing team during that week in Texas as I relieved the nurses and allowed them to get home to their families and to begin the recovery process. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a nurse, and the finest example of how Northwell Nurses and I are Made For This!
Picture: From left to right, Lyndon is the 5th person standing near the middle
From the United States Air Force to our Veteran Program Specialist
Each year at Northwell Health we set the goal to help as many Veterans as possible, and without the help of our Veteran Program Specialist, Lyndon Chichester, we wouldn’t have been able to hire over 500 veterans last year alone. It’s with great pleasure that I was able to sit down and speak with him the other day to learn about his transition home and what it means to him to help others who are going through the same process.
On April 24 2001 at Fort Hamilton Military Base in Brooklyn, NY, Lyndon Chichester, with right hand raised calmly uttered “I, Lyndon Chichester, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” With that statement Lyndon began an 8 year journey in the United States Air Force. During this time he was a Computer Network, Switching, and Cryptographic Systems Specialist, stationed in Arizona and Virginia, both during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Lyndon also completed various technical and military training in Texas and Mississippi. He later separated from the Air Force as a Staff Sargent at Langley AFB in October 2008, and received an honorable discharge. Subsequently, Lyndon moved to New York and attended New York University School of Professional Studies, where he earned a BS Degree in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in International Business and Global Management.
When Lyndon graduated in May of 2012 he started applying online to many openings at various well-known companies and was surprised when calls to interview weren’t coming in as frequently as he expected. “I felt like I was the toast of the town when I graduated. I thought that because I was a Veteran with a Bachelors Degree there was no way I would go the whole summer of 2012 without a job offer. However, that’s exactly what happened” Lyndon states. He also recalls, “I went from feeling high to feeling low real quick, and to add to that the financial pressure of maintaining a family was scary and daunting.”
As the season switched to Fall, Lyndon’s friend who was an IT contractor employed with another organization, gave him the business card of the IT recruiter that hired him. “When my friend gave me the business card I was very skeptical of my marketability as a candidate at the time and was expecting another failed attempt at employment. I didn’t know why I was calling this recruiter because my last IT related job was in the Air Force and 3 years had already passed.” The phone call was successful because Lyndon was invited in for a face to face interview at that organization’s Midtown office and was hired as an IT Account Executive, which in 3 months turned into an IT Recruiter role. “My two years at my previous organization was a great learning experience because it is where I learned what employers look for in candidates. I also learned the art of the resume, recruiting, and interviewing.” After four years of IT recruiting experience in the staffing world, Lyndon joined the Northwell Health family as a Talent Acquisition Specialist in June 2016. In December of 2016, Lyndon was promoted and is now the Veteran Program Specialist for Northwell Health. In this role he leverages his background as an experienced recruiter and a United States Air Force Veteran to work with the Veteran community, helping to drive Northwell Health’s Veteran recruitment goals and efforts.
Lyndon said “It is an honor and a privilege to work with our Veterans. My passion is to help all of our Veteran applicants gain successful employment with Northwell Health. Veterans bring an unmatched array of strengths and experiences to the workforce including leadership training, integrity, teamwork, working among diversified groups in high pressure environments which gives them a high level of sensitivity to diversity and inclusion beneficial to productive corporate work environments. Our Barracks to Business Workshop leverages and translates the skills Military members have to civilian resumes that our hiring managers can simply understand. It’s always exciting to learn that we’ve hired another Veteran. That’s the mission.”
Every current service member, transitioning service member, or veteran should know that Lyndon is here for you: your needs will be met, your questions will be answered and you will never be alone in this process. He is passionate and dedicated to assisting Veterans in their transition from Military service to a promising Northwell Health career.
Why I chose Northwell Health 27 years ago, and continue to choose it today – a Q&A with Jill Donnelly, Nurse Manager at Huntington Hospital
Q: How long have you been working here?
A: I have been a Registered Nurse with Northwell Health since February 13, 1989. I started working at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ) and transferred to Huntington Hospital June 17, 2013.
Q: What positions have you had since being in the health system?
A: When I started at LIJ I worked as a Labor and Delivery RN. I stayed in that position for 12 years and in December of 2000 I worked as a Pain Management Nurse within the anesthesia department on labor and delivery for the labor patients. In January 2012, I changed positions to Quality Management at LIJ and I was responsible for core measures and also supported the quality measures within the anesthesia department. In June of 2013 I transferred to Huntington Hospital as a Quality Coordinator and at that time was supporting the OB/GYN/PEDS and Anesthesia departments in their quality program.
Q: Has Northwell Health provided you with any career growth opportunities?
A: When I transferred from pain management to quality at LIJ, I had the opportunity to attend Beginnings. This was extremely inspiring to me because our President and CEO, Michael Dowling, gave a presentation and asked each of us in the room where we would like to be in 5 years, or even 10, and inspired me to return to school for my Master’s degree in nursing administration. At this time I have only 2 more classes before I complete my Master’s degree and this has allowed me to climb the ladder with my career here at Huntington Hospital. In February, I was chosen to become the Manager of the Nursery/Special Care Nursery and in September I became the Nurse Manager of the maternity unit as well. This has been a wonderful experience to grow my career. I have been involved in many leadership classes at the eastern region level and also at the system level at the Institute for Nursing and at the Center for Learning and Innovation. I was also able to attend graduate school because the health system pays, encourages and is supportive of nursing higher education. I am grateful for the opportunities the health system offers and I would not have been able to attend the program if their support was not available to me.
Q: What do you love most about working in nursing at Northwell Health?
A: I love all the opportunities available to nurses that allow us to continue to be a lifelong learners. I am proud to work for the largest private employer in New York State, and when people ask where I work I proudly say Northwell Health at Huntington Hospital. So many of things I previously stated are the reasons I LOVE working for the system. I have worked here since I am 22 years old, going through many milestones in my life, and I have always felt that this organization is supportive of their nurses and honored home/work life balance. Not only am I proud to be a nurse in the system, but I have encouraged all new nurses that I meet to apply and work in a Northwell hospital. I am extremely passionate about having people come to one of our hospitals that I even encouraged my daughter, who was actually born at LIJ, to seek employment and she now works in labor and delivery at LIJ. I am truly grateful for the opportunities Northwell has provided for me over all these years, and am excited to see what the years to come have in store for me.
Picture: This group photo shows Jill (From left to right, she is the 5th woman in the back row) and some of the nurses in her unit.
Explore our unlimited career possibilities at Huntington Hospital.
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.