An Appointment With: Iris Berman, VP, Telehealth Services
From the time she was a little girl, Iris Berman knew she wanted to become a nurse. Helping to care for her friend’s playground scrapes since she was six years old, Iris couldn’t have imagined that one day she would actually be a nurse with a bright future in medicine.
Starting her career as a registered nurse at Glen Cove Hospital more than 30 years ago, Iris worked per diem in a variety of environments before transitioning to culinary care. Discovering her passion for critical care, Iris eventually became a critical care nurse educator. It was as an educator working in stroke improvement where she first learned how Telestroke’s outcomes were bringing advanced care to patients through the power of technology in a way that wasn’t possible before. With this growing interest in Telemedicine, Iris jumped at the opportunity to apply for a job working in Telehealth within Northwell.
Today, Iris is the vice president of Telehealth Services at Northwell Health. “Telehealth highlights the opportunities and ability of our health system to be progressive, agile, and welcoming all at once,” says Iris. “I am one of the fortunate who truly loves going to work every day.”
We sat down with Iris to learn more about Telehealth Services at Northwell Health and how it’s an exciting career opportunity.
What are the benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth uses technology (two-way audiovisual equipment) that enables patients and care providers to connect across distances, such as a hospital, clinic, office or home.
At Northwell, telehealth has grown monumentally in both acute inpatient, outpatient and direct to consumer (DTC) care. We have coverage of nearly 200 critical care beds in our Tele-ICU environment and use that platform to add other specialty care such as intensivist consultation to EDs, Tele-Neuro Critical Care, Telestroke Care, Teletrauma, Telepeds, Telehospitalists, Remote care to Skilled Nursing Facilities (TeleSNF) and the list will continue to grow. In addition we have a number of DTC programs (currently approaching nearly 30 programs) enabling patients to get care and consultation in their home, clinic, hospital and doctor’s office. Some examples include Tobacco Cessation support, Telegenetics consults, Neurology for movement disorders, Coumadin Clinic and more. These programs are helping to expedite time to expert opinion and mitigate complications that come from delays in care.
Why is Telehealth the future of healthcare?
As more people become accustomed to the digital world, they also become used to technology when they purchase services and encounter healthcare. In addition, the advent of improved technology makes this a more convenient way for everyone to access care on the go with a known provider no matter where they are. I believe care and outcomes will improve as we become more efficient in our access and consumption of that care. Telehealth also leverages nursing expertise in a technology-driven environment that is not as physically demanding, which is appealing for many nurses as well.
How can someone build a career in Telehealth?
There are a number of jobs in Telehealth and at Northwell we are continuing to expand our reach. Jobs will continue to grow and will rely a great deal on gaining experience at the bedside. If you like to mentor, Tele-ICU is for you. As we grow, jobs will continue to expand into areas that may include triaging of calls, training, project management and business analytics. NPs and PAs are especially gaining in popularity as part of a remote Telehealth team.
What is the best career advice you have for those looking to get into TeleHealth?
First and foremost it’s important for nurses to get bedside experience. This is necessary in order to become an expert in the field before transitioning into a Telehealth role. If you are interested in informatics and process design, find a way to thread it through your clinical experience. More and more jobs will look somewhat hybrid as we continue to evolve. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. And lastly, be sure that you are comfortable with being on camera if you are looking to be in the patient care arena of Telehealth.
Women’s Equality Day, observed on August 26th, is an annual event that celebrates the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, marking American women’s advancement towards equality with men. This year we celebrate the 99th year of the passage of the amendment which granted full woman suffrage. In honor of this important day, we are featuring some of our Women in Healthcare BERG leaders, members and supporters.
Northwell’s Women in Healthcare BERG is empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities. The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Please join us as we celebrate this important day!
Stacey Rosen, MD – SVP, Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Activists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul were leaders in the women’s rights movement. Their focus was to ensure that women were given a fair and equal right to vote. These women have inspired me to carry their message in my current role. While we have made a lot of progress for women’s equality, women are still underrepresented in business leadership positions. It is known that organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, especially at the leadership level, perform better. This is one of many reasons why I decided to become a co-chair or the Women in Healthcare BERG. Our BERG gives our members exposure to leadership and development opportunities that they may not otherwise have in their current role. Our mission is to create a pipeline of women leaders at all levels in our health system.”
Maxine Carrington, JD – Deputy Chief HR Officer; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“We can never ignore our history and the impact of the past on our present-day thoughts, actions, policies, and systems. Women’s Equality Day and other such recognition days enable us to pause and remember, acknowledge how far we’ve come, and contemplate what still needs to be achieved to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect – as they deserve to be – and that their voices, contributions, and human rights are valued. The tremendous enrollment in and support for our new Women in Healthcare BERG is evidence that there is still much work to be done, but also that our Northwell citizens are committed to the work. Given our mission, values, and the collective power that we have, it’s our obligation.”
Joseph Moscola, PA – SVP & Chief People Officer, Northwell Health:
“Women’s Equality Day is such an important day to pause, reflect and evaluate where we are on the journey to equality for women. It gives us the opportunity to rejoice in the successes while together transparently discussing the opportunities and working hard to put words into action. Together we can accomplish anything, advancing the culture of Northwell and thereby the culture of the communities we serve.”
Kerri Anne Scanlon, RN – System Deputy Chief Nurse Executive, CNO North Shore University Hospital; Women in Healthcare BERG co-chair:
“In today’s environment, it is more important than ever to celebrate a day that reminds us not only of how far we’ve come but also how much further we have to go within professional environments to ensure true equality. We are fortunate to be part of an organization that is fiercely dedicated to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and to the elimination of inequities for all. The newly-formed Women in Healthcare BERG is a prime example of Northwell Health’s commitment to the promotion of career progression and advancement, mentoring, and succession planning for women across clinical, administrative, and academic settings. This BERG will serve as a catalyst for change within our organization and create a positive ripple effect, allowing for amplification of our voice across the industry and the communities we serve. On behalf of the Women in Healthcare BERG, I’m proud to celebrate a day of such historical significance, and to stand together to build a future that engages and empowers all members of our diverse workforce.”
Stevania Williams – Credentialing Specialist; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women’s equality is important in today’s society because 1) Women make up more than half of the population in the United States and 2) Women in fact make up the majority of voters in the United States. Women’s equality has come a long way but there is still a lot more that needs to be accomplished. When women’s equality is fully established to its highest potential, we as women can have a better legislation to help push for equal rights and opportunities, which includes economic participation and decision making. “A society cannot operate to its full potential when half of its members do not have an equal voice.”
I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because the gap that is associated with women leadership in healthcare is addressed. This program helps women like myself lean into their careers through mentorship which in return develops a pipeline of women leaders within Northwell Health.”
Elizabeth Alexander – Admin Support Associate; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Generally speaking, women in healthcare tend to forget to advocate for themselves because we are focused on treating patients and taking care of their own families as primary care-givers. It is important for us to get involved in professional organizations, continue learning, volunteer and cultivate a professional network. I joined the Women in Healthcare BERG because it’s a great forum for team building, networking and professional development that promotes diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and support fellow colleagues, so that together we can advocate, thrive and inspire!”
Patricia Farrell – VP, Katz Institute for Women’s Health; Women in Healthcare BERG member:
“Women do not want power over men, they want power over themselves” – Mary Wollstonecraft
“The Women in Healthcare BERG empowers women through both educational and networking opportunities encouraging them not to accept the status quo but to be that voice and equal seat at the table, to drive change that impacts not only our organization but policy change and change in the communities we live in.”
From neonatal staff nurse to periOperative leader: Gloria’s nursing journey at Northwell Health
When Gloria Collura, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC started her career at Northwell Health 31 years ago as a staff nurse, she didn’t know where her journey would take her.
Starting as a young nurse, Gloria transitioned to working part-time in the neonatal intensive care unit when she had her first child. But as her children grew, so did her career aspirations. And with the encouragement from her leadership, Gloria was able to focus on developing herself professionally.
“I never had to sacrifice my family or work-life balance at all in order to succeed in my career,” says Gloria. “Northwell really enabled me to grow professionally as well as personally.”
After becoming an assistant nurse manager, Gloria benefitted from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and earned her master’s degree. From there she became a nurse manager before moving into leadership positions in periOperative services.
Today, she’s the senior administrative director II for Patient Care Services/PeriOperative Services at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM). Here, she runs the ambulatory surgery center which operates on over 7,000 people a year and the PST department which sees approximately 21,000 patients a year – quite the journey from her start as a staff nurse!
The transition to become a periOperative nurse was a natural one for Gloria. “As a neonatal nurse, you are in the operating room a lot. With exposure to the OR, I was encouraged by leadership to earn my master’s and get into ambulatory surgery. Using the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in one specialty and bringing it to a new area can have great results.”
Even with all her accomplishments, Gloria knows it’s important to never stop developing her professional skills. In fact, she’s recently earned her Nurse Executive Advanced Certification – an accomplishment she never thought she would be encouraged to earn.
“At Northwell, we’re always told not to be afraid to fail,” says Gloria. “Don’t be afraid to expand your wings, don’t be afraid to be innovative, and don’t be afraid to move forward. I’ve taken leaps that I don’t think I would have taken without the support of the organization and its leaders.”
Northwell launches Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group
Northwell Health is excited to announce the recent launch of our Women in Healthcare Business Employee Resource Group (BERG)! Our newest BERG focuses on empowering women across all levels of Northwell as well as in our communities.
To do this, the Women in Healthcare members are committed to mentoring and developing women leaders at all levels within Northwell, including the executive level. Members will serve as both mentors and advocates for other Northwell team members, to help them develop professionally and to educate on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
The Women in Healthcare BERG aims to not only promote growth for women and foster greater employee engagement, but it is also a key part of our mission of transforming the future of healthcare.
Co-executive sponsors include Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Deborah Schiff, executive vice president, Ambulatory Strategy and Business Development, and Kathy Gallo, RN, PhD, executive vice president and chief learning officer while Dr. Stacey Rosen, vice president, Women’s Health, Katz Institute for Women s Health, Maxine Carrington, deputy chief HR officer, and Kerri Scanlon, RN, deputy chief nursing officer and AED, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at North Shore University Hospital serve as co-chairs. Membership is open to anyone within the health system, including team members like Paola Benitez.
Using your career history to support other women in healthcare
Paola is a manager in the Government Rates and Reporting Group within Corporate Finance. Having grown her own career since she was initially hired as an analyst, Paola knows the importance of giving women the resources they need to develop professionally. “I joined this BERG because I wanted to be actively involved in the health system’s effort towards equality and inclusion,” says Paola. ‘I wanted to be part of encouraging more women to aspire to leadership.”
This isn’t the only BERG Paola has joined – she’s an active member of the Bridges LatinX BERG and has participated in community events that helped educate diverse minorities on the importance of access to health care, fitness and nutrition. She is confident that the Women in Healthcare BERG will be as successful within Northwell and its community.
“It is important to create BERG like this because it allows employees to build networks, share challenges and growth, and work together towards professional goals,” says Paola.
And for women looking to start out in their healthcare careers? Paola has the following advice, “Work hard, take risks and fail early. Do not feel that you must check all boxes in a job description – you will learn along the way!”
Throughout her time at Northwell Health, Margaret Murphy, DNP, RN, NE-BC has been an influential leader at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). As Chief Nursing Officer, Margaret knows the importance of providing nurses with educational opportunities to help them grow while igniting their passion for delivering exceptional care. Read more from our CNO Corner interview with Margaret.
Tell us about your career journey at Northwell Health.
Since joining Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) as a director of patient care services in 2006, I have had the privilege of working for an incredible organization. As I think back to my first interview, I am overwhelmed by the exemplary leaders I have encountered along the way and how fortunate to have been mentored by so many of them. I was also fortunate to be afforded the opportunity by Northwell Health to obtain my doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University.
I have been given extraordinary opportunities for professional growth and I believe in paying this forward so that new leaders can have the courage and wisdom to excel. Much of my career has had a dual focus; building a nursing team that is passionate about creating a high-reliability organization and ensuring that patient safety is our ultimate goal as clinical leaders. Having a vision and a strategic plan that include innovation, teamwork, engagement, transparency, and trust, provides a roadmap for organizational success.
What exciting nursing initiatives are happening at LIJMC?
One of our most exciting initiatives for 2019 includes our re-designation for Magnet®. LIJMC continues to outperform all benchmarks with a BSN rate of more than 92% and a certification rate that exceeds the Magnet benchmark with 25% of our nurses receiving clinical ladder designation. Additionally, we have seen great success with the “CNO cabinet” which was established for identifying and developing tomorrow’s nurse leaders.
LIJMC is also always at the forefront of innovation by:
Continuing to utilize collaborative care councils as arenas for shared governance, performance improvement, and organizational growth.
Building a new Oncology Center of Excellence.
Expanding our robotic surgery program, which received a Center of Excellence certification as did gynecological minimally invasive surgery.
Receiving Joint Commission certifications in Total Joint Replacement, Advanced Palliative Care and Diabetes.
Maintaining certification for Nurses Improving Care of the Health System Elder Certification (NICHE).
Launching an acute lung injury center which was created to deliver extra-corporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to patients that are not recovering with conventional “best practice” treatment.
Why would someone want to work as a nurse leader at LIJMC? How can they make an impact on providing exceptional care?
One of the best reasons to be a nurse leader at LIJMC is that there is a true collaborative spirit. Nursing has a voice at the table. There are so many ways to advance your knowledge at Northwell including continuing education conferences, courses at our Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI), advanced degree programs and leadership development programs. LIJMC is participating in the new Northwell Nursing Mentorship Program with a track for novice nurses and new leaders. This program will focus on individualized development, feedback and partnership.
At LIJMC, there are fellowships in specialty areas such as perioperative nursing, critical care, and emergency nursing. There is a residency program for new graduate nurses. Along with North Shore University Hospital, we partnered with Stony Brook University to facilitate obtaining master’s degrees in Nursing Leadership and in Education; whereby developing our nurse leaders and educators of tomorrow.
What is your career advice for nurses to develop in their career?
My career advice to new and experienced nurses is to understand that they must function as leaders regardless of title. From the onset, they should embark on a life-long journey, and commit to excellence as they move along their career trajectory. Early in their career, it is important to identify mentors, to emulate desirable behaviors such as advocacy, accountability, empathy, and professionalism. Nurses at all levels should mentor and coach while building strong relationships and developing excellent communication skills. Being knowledgeable about the changing health care landscape requires nurses to maintain curiosity and serve as change agents. Most importantly, nurses should recognize each day that while their accomplishments today are extraordinary, striving to make tomorrow’s accomplishments better is truly how we make the greatest impact in our patients’ lives.
Discover the PeriOperative teams on the forefront of cardiac surgery
When it comes to cardiac surgery, Northwell Health is at the forefront of innovation and exceptional care.
In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) has recently ranked Northwell Health cardiac surgery programs among the best in New York State. And exceptional cardiac care wouldn’t be possible without the hardworking nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists who join surgeons in the operating room.
“Being in the cardiac operating room can be demanding but extremely rewarding. It requires a compassion for your patients and love of the operating services and Cardiology,” says Karen Cary, associate executive director at Staten Island University Hospital. “Always come ready to learn and be voracious in your thirst for knowledge.”
Learn more about some of our cardiac surgery programs across Northwell Health:
North Shore University Hospital (NSUH)
Operating room professionals looking to join the cardiac PeriOperative team at North Shore University Hospital would work alongside high-performing, talented team members who are committed to exceptional patient care. NSUH is home to the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital and has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for cardiac surgery in 2017 and 2018 by Healthgrades.
Featuring one of New York’s largest cardiothoracic surgery programs, the Heart Hospital has become the first and only full-service destination for heart transplantation in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, New York. The DOH report has also recognized the Heart Hospital for having the state’s best outcomes for certain types of open-heart surgery.
Staten Island University Hospital
Staten Island University’s Heart Institute is known for its cutting-edge techniques, procedures, and skilled health care professionals. The DOH has even ranked their cardiologists, interventionalists, and catheterization and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) teams in the top 5% of the nation. Growth continues within this impressive Cardiac PeriOperative Department as it works to perform a full spectrum of increasingly innovative procedures, such as the recently created TAVR program which has already seen success.
Joining the Heart Institute gives PeriOperative professionals the opportunity to work with a compassionate team with a passion for cardiac services. Close collaboration in the operating room and hospital floor ensures the absolute best care for patients and their families.
Lenox Hill Hospital
The award-winning cardiology department at Lenox Hill Hospital has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 best heart programs four years in a row. Lenox Hill is always looking for innovative ways to treat patients; innovation that has led them to performing groundbreaking procedures – such as angiograms and minimally invasive heart surgery.
At Lenox Hill, the cardiology team offers advanced cardiac services in a variety of areas, including electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and heart failure. Nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists will join the skilled PeriOperative team in a brand-new clinical area.
An Appointment With: Edward Fraser, VP, Community Relations
Since joining the health system in 2006, Edward’s career has evolved from his role at Southside Hospital within the Human Resources department to Nursing Education, and then to the department of Community Relations. He has grown from director of community relations at Southside Hospital to, vice president of Community Relations for the entire organization.
In addition to his role as VP, Edward is Co-Chair of Northwell’s EXPRESSIONS Business Employee Resource Group (BERG). Beyond Northwell, he’s also an active member of many community organizations and is currently enrolled in the Energeia Partnership Program at Molloy College. Throughout every step of his career, Edward has been known for his deep and abiding commitment to his family and to the many communities he serves.
We sat down with Edward to talk about the work of Community Relations and Northwell’s EXPRESSIONS BERG.
Tell us about the work of Northwell’s Community Relations team.
The Community Relations team handles community outreach, corporate sponsorships and promotes employee engagement initiatives for the health system. I’ve worked to build a dedicated team that connects with the communities surrounding our hospitals to bring education and build partnerships with local businesses, faith-based organizations, school districts and charitable organizations. We also manage two immediate care centers on Fire Island, acting as their premier health care provider.
Another big initiative we oversee along with finance is Community Benefit. Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment and/or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs. They increase access to health care and improve community health. Community Benefit tracking is required for all not-for-profit hospitals seeking to maintain their tax-exempt status, as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Tell us more about the impact your team is making on the communities we serve.
With team members being active members of many community organizations including many Chambers of Commerce, Splashes of Hope, as well as Islip Food for Hope. Inc., we’re able to keep an eye on how trends are impacting our community.
How has the EXPRESSIONS Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) evolved?
Northwell’s EXPRESSIONS BERG is an LGBTQ Employee Diversity group. EXPRESSIONS has grown to be comprised of more than 400 Northwell team members who identify as members, or are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. EXPRESSIONS was created to ensure our employees have a voice and the opportunity to be heard. It’s initiatives like this that led to Northwell being named among the 50 employers recognized for fostering an inclusive workplace for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and ranking second nationally and No. 1 in New York State as a top health systems for diversity on DiversityInc’s top Hospitals & Health Systems for Diversity list.
Additionally, we oversee is the annual system-wide survey with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) which is the national benchmarking tool evaluating healthcare practices and policies as related to the equity and inclusion of our LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. Northwell just scored 100% on all 25 surveys that were submitted for this year.
What activities does Northwell Health have planned to celebrate Pride Month?
The EXPRESSIONS BERG is participating in many exciting festivals and marches throughout the month of June to celebrate Pride month. As part of Northwell’s commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community, the health system has partnered with NYC Pride to serve as a principal sponsor of events tied to WorldPride 2019 and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Northwell’s platinum sponsorship with the nonprofit Heritage of Pride, Inc., the organization that produces New York City’s official LGBTQIA+ Pride events, the March, PrideFest and Family Movie Night. We’ll also have a presence at Westchester Loft Pride, Rockland County Pride, Queens Pride, Long Island Pride and Cherry Grove Pride. If you are in the area, join us!
College students gain first-hand, non-clinical healthcare experience through summer internships
A summer internship provides students with the experiential learning, skills, and connections they need to build a future in their desired industry. Northwell Health’s programmatic internships are the perfect stepping stone to starting a non-clinical career in healthcare.
Students interested in non-clinical careers in healthcare had the opportunity to apply for a diverse selection of unique internships this summer – and potentially lay the groundwork for becoming a full-time employee.
Learn about some of our non-clinical internship programs below:
Hospitality in Healthcare Internships
Our hospitality interns will focus on a holistic approach to enhancing the patient and customer experience. Working within the Office of Patient & Customer Experience (OPCE), interns will explore how a great patient experience can drive meaningful results to patient care.
At the end of the comprehensive internship, students will have worked on projects including coordinating surveys for improvement opportunities, working with volunteer programs, and training and on-boarding team members on patient experience.
If you have a passion for making a difference through philanthropy efforts, then an internship with the Northwell Health Foundation is for you. During this extensive program, interns will get to experience working in a healthcare development office and gain professional skills.
Development interns will get to work on various projects such as frontline fundraising, operations, communications and stewardship, special events and direct marketing and annual giving campaigns.
Students looking to become immersed in the business-side of healthcare might be interested in the Corporate Summer Internship Program which spans across many non-clinical departments. As an intern, students will be provided with exceptional educational opportunities, including a specialized Learning & Engagement series that’ll cover topics from organizational awareness to resume writing and interview skills. To complete their development, they’ll work in groups on capstone projects throughout the summer before presenting them at the end of the program.
As a corporate intern, students may be assigned to a variety of departments including but not limited to:
Office of Legal Affairs
Center for Emergency Medicine
Center for Learning and Innovation
Information Services Internships
College students can help bring Information Technology and Services to life with an internship at Northwell. During their internship, students discover how Health IT capabilities are critical to our ability to deliver exceptional care. Through hands-on learning, interns gain skills in strategic planning, management, deployment, coordination and integration.
IT interns can gain exposure to technology areas like:
Application and Business Solutions
End User Services
IT Security and Risk Management
For those looking to get into healthcare operations, the Healthcare Management Program provides ambitious college juniors with the opportunity to work on operations, finance and patient experience projects. Learn more about the HMP internship here.
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Northwell Health
Written by: Bridges Asian BERG co-chairs
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions that generations of Asian Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture.
In honor of the heritage month this May, we are featuring the stories and work of a few of our Bridges Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) members at Northwell Health.
Also featured, is an Asian Pacific American physician leader at Northwell Health, who is partnering with Bridges Asian BERG, to make broader connections and develop new ideas to help transform some of the amazing work spearheaded by this leader.
Please join us, as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May!
I’ve been working at Northwell for about 2.5 years as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) Manager within the Human Research Protection Program at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. My job is to support, facilitate and promote the ethical and safe conduct of clinical research at Northwell Health. We oversee IRB review for all 23 hospitals and facilities throughout Northwell Health that serves to protect research participants’ rights, safety and welfare.
Why did you join the Asian BERG?
I joined the Northwell Bridges Asian BERG in 2017. I have a passion to be a part of that bridge between our health system and local communities, and one of the ways that I serve in that capacity is being the Chair of the BERG Chinese Language Advisory Board (LAB). Our LAB is made up of other dedicated BERG members who are fluent, native speakers who provide consultation to service lines, departments and facilities on optimal methods of communication for the Chinese communities. We also provide feedback on the quality of translated materials by certified vendors to ensure that the messaging is appropriate and clear. By providing advisory services and partnering with Language Access Services from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity we are working to enhance patient experience, customer service and better connect with our diverse communities.
What do you like about working for Northwell?
I feel so lucky to be recognized for my efforts and it encourages me to continue working harder and to be more innovative. I am proud to use my language capabilities and skillsets as a Chinese American to further the causes of our organization and the diverse communities that we serve.
What advice would you give about mentorship?
Mentorship is always important. However, within this organization of 68,000+ employees, mentorship from successful higher-level leaders is not only critical, but it will help individuals advance in their careers quickly. By encouraging mentorship, we are building our leaders of tomorrow.
In 1995 I started at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) as a registered nurse and in 2005 I became a nurse practitioner in Cardiology.
Why did you join the Asian BERG?
I wanted to actively support my community. Many Asian community members want to come to Northwell Health for its great reputation, but due to the cultural and language barriers it may be difficult for them to navigate our facilities. My contribution to close this cultural gap was to be a part of the committee that introduced the Korean seaweed soup (miyuk gook) for mothers who just gave birth at NSUH. In 2008 I started a free monthly health clinic for the Korean community and have continued my efforts to keep the clinic going since then.
Can you tell us more about the Korean health clinic?
Through my years at NSUH, I observed numerous Korean patients being admitted to the hospital due to the lack of healthcare either because they couldn’t afford it or because they didn’t know how to obtain it. Patients would have very serious conditions but did not have a primary doctor, medical or prescription insurance to recuperate and maintain their health. Various professionals such as physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and acupuncturists, volunteered to provide preventive medical services monthly and our team was formed. Since the start of this program, 2,000 patients have been cared for with various conditions, some critical such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, breast cancer, unstable angina, laryngeal cancer, hypertensive emergencies and others. The social workers assisted patients in signing up for Medicare/Medicaid and our team helped coordinate care for further medical treatment and follow up.
What is your advice for others?
We need to care for our families and neighbors. No one can live alone. We need to volunteer our time, support each other’s ideas and use our professional skillsets to help the community become healthier. Many Asian Americans want to help their families and community and can do so in this way. Furthermore, many employees may not know about the BERG, which helps us internally network and externally bridge with communities.
Santhosh Paulus, MD
Santhosh Paulus, MD, site director of Huntington Hospital’s family medicine residency program, is also Northwell Health Human Trafficking Response Program System Taskforce Leader. In 2014, he founded Cycling For Change, a not-for-profit organization, with a mission to cycle, raise awareness and fundraise to support organizations on the front lines of battling human trafficking.
What began as a personal action to raise awareness about human trafficking, “it is a public health issue where individuals are abducted or deceived into servitude and exploited for profit, it is a modern-day form of slavery and the social justice issue of our generation”, said Dr. Paulus.
Dr. Paulus has been appointed as Northwell Health’s Human Trafficking taskforce leader, where he spearheads a human trafficking response program at Huntington Hospital, which currently includes more than a dozen staff members who have been trained by Restore NYC, an anti-trafficking organization, to identify victims and assist human trafficking victims and provide care to survivors. Dr. Paulus is working collaboratively with the Bridges Asian BERG on furthering the mission of the taskforce.
Northwell Health has been named one of the nation’s top health systems for diversity, ranking second nationally and No. 1 in New York State, according to DiversityInc’s top Hospitals & Health Systems for Diversity list.
This achievement marks Northwell’s seventh straight year making the list, jumping up the rankings from last year’s No. 5 placement. DiversityInc’s extensive annual survey yields an empirically driven ranking based on talent results in the workforce and management, senior leadership accountability, talent programs, workplace practices, philanthropy and supplier diversity.
“America has gained strength from the generations of immigrants who have assimilated their cultural beliefs and unique skills into the fabric our country,” said Michael J. Dowling, Northwell Health’s president and CEO. “At Northwell, we also believe that our strength as an organization comes from the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve. This recognition is testament to our commitment.”
This is the second such honor in recent months for Northwell, which was named a FortuneBest Workplace for Diversity. Northwell ranks 80th on the annual 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity list, a partnership between Fortune and Great Place to Work that measures how well organizations create inclusive cultures for women, different cultural and ethnic communities, the LGBTQ community, older employees and workers with disabilities.
DiversityInc’s recognition reaffirms our approach to be representative and inclusive of all the communities the health system and its 68,000 employees serves.
“Receiving this recognition validates Northwell Health’s commitment to integrating the tenets of diversity, inclusion and health equity into our health care delivery model and essential to customizing care to improve health outcomes,” said Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, chief diversity and inclusion officer and senior vice president of the health system’s Center for Equity of Care. “Providing culturally-sensitive healthcare and fostering an inclusive workplace is integral to the partnership with our patients on the journey to improved health and wellness.”
The latest DiversityInc rankings reflect new metrics tied to questions that connect talent programs and workplace practices to desired talent results. The analysis also addressed the intersectionality of race by analyzing women and men representation of each race/ethnicity separately, rather than combined. Northwell also was ranked in the top 50 employers recognized for fostering an inclusive work place for members of the LGBT community.
“As a health care organization, we at Northwell health live our values – we are truly ourselves, and in doing so, seek to build trusted partnerships with our diverse patients and communities,” said Michael Wright, Northwell’s vice president of diversity and health equity.
An Appointment With: Winnie Mack, SVP, Health System Operations
When Winnie Mack started her career as an OB registered nurse, she never expected where her career would take her. Since joining Northwell Health in 2002 as associate executive director at LIJ Valley Stream Hospital, her journey has led her to becoming associate executive director at two Northwell facilities, chief operating officer and nurse executive at Southside Hospital, executive director at Southside Hospital, and into regional executive director positions.
Today, Winnie is senior vice president of health system operations. In her role, Winnie is responsible for system periOperative services, the development and implementation of policy and procedure, senior leader adviser to Human Resources for Labor Relations, oversees Community Relations, and works with strategic planning on different programs. Up next, Winnie will become interim president and CEO of Nassau University Medical Center as part of their multiyear agreement with Northwell Health. “In all of the things that I have done in my career, the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do was make a difference,” says Winnie, “I want to have a positive impact on patient care, on employees and on the community. I think this new position will afford me again the opportunity to help a distressed hospital and help stabilize it.”
We sat down with Winnie to hear about her impressive healthcare career and what’s still to come.
While at Southside, you helped fortify its position in Suffolk County and become a tertiary hospital. What initiatives did you lead there to help strengthen the hospital?
The mission at Southside Hospital was always to provide exemplary medical care with compassion and expertise to all in need. When I came to Southside as both chief operating officer and nurse executive, it already offered many services but they needed to be improved and upgraded. Holding both jobs allowed me to really familiarize myself with the staff. To go in and make the right organizational changes to positively impact the hospital, you have to get to know the staff.
One of the major accomplishments Winnie was a part of was starting an open heart program, opening and a large part of that was thanks to the support of the community. To gain that community backing, we started building out a community relations team. Our community relations team went out everywhere we could to talk about Southside, to talk about the changes we were making and to talk about the direction we were going
Along with getting the open heart program, we were able to get CARF accreditation for our extensive rehabilitation services, improved our medicine and surgery programs, received the Gold Stroke Award, built one of the busiest orthopedic programs in the system, and achieved a zero infection rate! We also brought in new trauma surgeons and became a level II trauma center and became the most eastern Northwell tertiary hospital.
How has your experience in a clinical career as a nurse helped prepare you to work in the corporate environment?
I started my healthcare career as a registered nurse in OB and went through several specialties that gave me a well-rounded clinical background. This clinical experience helped me to understand as an administrator in a hospital what issues could evolve and what needed to be done about them. I understood where clinical team members were coming from and was able to listen and relate to them. Having been a nurse in dialysis, medical/surgical, transplant, and critical care among other specialties, also allows me to utilize my clinical expertise to develop protocols. Understanding clinical operations, for me, has become an important piece of how I am able to be successful in administration.
Could you talk a little bit about Ideas at Northwell and how it is helping drive innovation across the health system?
I was given the opportunity to develop the new program called Ideas at Northwell that’s built to help drive innovation among Northwell’s team members. This is a tremendous program that’s taken a year in the making. As an employee engagement program, Ideas at Northwell creates a platform for team members to share their ideas in a challenge-based format to help improve efficiency and potentially save the health system money in operations. These ideas are first crowd sourced, then put to an employee vote and then go through expert review. Our goal is to help employees in their respective places of work within the organization to do their job better. Ideas at Northwell gives them a venue to share their ideas for improvements in processes to help us help them. Whether the ideas are for a better management of conference room scheduling or to remove certain processes that are extraneous, we want our employees to have a space to have their ideas heard. Our launch for our first system-wide challenge is May 6th.
What advice do you have for aspiring leaders?
One of the things that is really important is to lead with your heart. What do I mean by that? Do the right thing. If you always have in the back of your head to do the right thing, you can never go wrong. When you’re in a leadership position, you also have the opportunity to work with your team to energize them and inspire them to move up in their careers. Don’t micromanage – set the goal and let your people be creative and develop their own style to get you there.
It’s also important to always trust and champion your boss and to create the environment that your team is always on the same page. You may disagree, and that’s okay, but you want to remain a united team. Part of that unity is that I don’t say work for me, I say work with me. From the house cleaner to an associate executive director – this is a team, we work together. I also encourage leaders to keep their doors open unless they’re on a call or in a meeting. It’s important for anyone to have access to you and you can help short circuit big problems with visibility. Be visible and be available and you get a whole lot more.
EDIT: Since this interview has been conducted, Winnie has moved into her position of overseeing Nassau University Medical Center as president and CEO of NuHealth.
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.