Think Hospitality. Think Healthcare. Getting students ready with our Hospitality in Healthcare Internship at Northwell Health
Healthcare may not be the first thing that comes to mind for hospitality majors; however, patient care extends well beyond just providing clinical care. At Northwell, it’s about a patient’s all-around wellbeing that is necessary for their recovery. Sven Gierlinger, Chief Experience Officer and Senior Vice President of the Office of Patient & Customer Experience (OPCE), joined Northwell Health in 2014 from the hospitality industry to transform and innovate the patient experience at Northwell. As part of this mission, he introduced the Hospitality in Healthcare Internship in 2017.
The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is an eight-week, paid program geared toward college juniors and seniors who are passionate about making a difference. It allows students to expand their knowledge of hospitality and apply it in a different way that has more of a meaningful impact. During the program, students partner with mentors who are patient experience leaders at Northwell and shadow hospital-based services such as: patient- and family-centered care, environmental services, food and nutrition, concierge, chaplaincy, marketing, IT, and security.
Upon the close of the program, each intern completes a project assignment, challenging them to focus on one specific patient-centered care opportunity at Northwell. They are tasked with creating a proposal for implementing performance improvement tactics to hospital leadership. These projects help the students think strategically within a large organization, while enhancing their communication, presentation, and project management skills.
“The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is proof that you don’t have to be clinical to make a difference and our interns experience that firsthand,” says Leah Petrosino, Associate Patient and Customer Experience Specialist. “This opportunity allows interns to explore different areas of healthcare, exposing them to various projects and services that enhance the patient experience. The impact this has on the intern, our patients, patients’ families, and our colleagues lasts far beyond the program because it truly proves that every role, every person, and every moment matters at Northwell.”
Growing His Career as an HR professional: Meet Shane Oommen
Working in human resources (HR) for a health care provider is a unique and rewarding career: you contribute to delivering care to our patients by caring for the employees who care for them. Our team members in HR help redefine healthcare in a way that supports efforts to increase employee and patient satisfaction.
“Human resources in health care is different from other industries because the patient and team member are at the center of every decision,” says Shane Oommen, associate executive director of HR at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream and Forest Hills Hospitals. “Everything we do begins and ends with the patient through our team members, and I feel empowered to make a difference.”
Shane has been with Northwell since 2008 and has had opportunities to grow within his role while making a difference every day to support our team members and the organization. Although he works in a non-clinical capacity at the hospital, he ensures patient care is a top priority. “Working in health care allows you to have an opportunity to build relationships with remarkable people who truly care,” he says.
“During the past 13 years I have been fortunate to work with both leaders and team members who have helped shape my career at Northwell,” Shane adds, noting that the guidance he has received helped him develop into a strategic HR business partner. “The culture at Northwell allows team members to think differently, gain new experiences, and grow your career.”
As associate executive director, Shane focuses on three key areas of HR: organizational development, human capital management, and relationship management. “As a HR professional, you need to be a people person,” he says, “and at Northwell we have a great team of HR professionals who understand our team member and candidates.”
How COVID-19 Shaped Shane and His Team
During COVID-19, Shane and his team worked tirelessly to ensure the HR organization was prepared to continue delivering the highest levels of service. “At the height of this pandemic we were all living our values and I knew that I could depend on my colleagues when we needed each other the most. Developing and executing plans and strategies to ensure our patients were cared for during and beyond this difficult time has been rewarding.”
When you join Northwell Health you are a part of a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® as well as a community that creates change. “Working for an organization where I am supported and cared for is also an important part of my job,” Shane says. “I am humbled by that and proud to be part of this amazing HR team.”
Our Transitional Care Management Team Delivers Compassionate Patient Care—After A Hospital Stay
When you consider a career in health care, you’ll likely picture patients being treated by nurses and doctors at a hospital or doctor’s office. But what about the care provided afterward? At Northwell, ensuring a patient continues on the road to good health following discharge is just as important as treating them during their stay — and that’s when the Transitional Care Management (TCM) team steps in.
As a TCM senior program manager, Chris Choi knows that “it takes a multifaceted team, which even includes the patient and family, to help guide those in need to step ‘north’ along the path of wellness.” That passage north is charted with the careful teamwork of roles ranging from nurses and doctors to social workers and care management coordinators.
TCM teams follow up with patients after they leave the hospital to ensure they stay the course toward wellbeing and rejoin their communities. The work of TCM also impacts organizational goals such as reducing patient readmission, which is critical for a health system caring for more than 2 million people annually within 23 hospitals and nearly 800 outpatient sites. “I coordinate the implementation of organization-wide strategies designed to meet operational objectives,” says Chris, “as well as provide hospitals with data and analytics to support their process-improvement efforts.”
Chris began his Northwell career journey as an intern in 2017, and it was then that he realized the direct impact his work would have on patients. His internship project was to develop a self-management workbook for patients recovering from a cardiothoracic procedure. According to Chris, “At the end of my internship, I was able to visit the patient recovering at home. It was amazing to know I had made even a small impact on the life of this patient!”
From his days as an intern to his current role, Chris always loves working directly with the teams treating our patients. “Although I am not involved in direct clinical care, I love that I am still able to contribute toward the health care of thousands of patients though our transitional care programs.”
Throughout the growth of his Northwell career, Chris was encouraged by leadership to expand his knowledge of what it means to work in health care by receiving opportunities and resources to be creative. He believes the care the organization shows not only to patients but also to employees is just one part of what makes Northwell Health a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. Chris continues to see opportunities ahead of him, and he feels confident about forging ahead on his career path: “I know that in every position, within every portfolio of work, the organization will help me excel and guide me to always be patient-centered. My managers and leadership support me by the way they communicate, teach and lead by example.”
Chris recommends a career in health care –whether in clinical or non-clinical roles–to anyone who understands “it’s important to stay humble. We learn from both our own experiences and from our team members. It’s a process of constant discovery that offers ways to support patients.”
Redefine what you think it means to work in health care and discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health.
The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Northwell Health
At Northwell Health, our mission is to serve and care for the entire community, which is why corporate social responsibility (CSR) — the idea that a business or organization should contribute to society at large — is very important to us. CSR can broaden our leadership role, activities and investments, and we understand that success and responsibility work in tandem to make the health system a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
We spoke with Jordana Zangwill, assistant vice president of CSR, to learn more about Northwell’s CSR initiatives.
Why is CSR so important to Northwell?
At Northwell, we are committed to making a difference in the communities we serve – it’s who we are. CSR is about choosing to put people and the planet first – making sure that we operate in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. As the largest healthcare system in New York, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to make real impact. Providing the highest quality of care and transforming healthcare means broadening our role.
We have 77,000 team members with 77,000 different passions. Our CSR strategy puts us in a position to support these passions while also finding ways to focus, integrate and amplify our efforts.
What are the main pillars or areas of focus that make up Northwell’s CSR program — and why those areas?
At Northwell, our mission and understanding of what transforms health has led us to broaden our role, activities, and investments over the years — including, for example, taking on the challenges of food insecurity and gun violence. While CSR-related work was already happening throughout the health system, we envisioned evolving toward a fully integrated and optimized Northwell CSR strategy.
In an effort to centralize and manage the work being done into one comprehensive strategy and approach, we formed our CSR committee by bringing together a diverse group of individuals from throughout the health system, including representatives from Community and Population Health, Human Resources, Northwell Health Foundation, Finance, Procurement, Communications and more.
Throughout 2020 we worked together to assess our current state, gather input from key diverse internal and external stakeholders and take a systematic and holistic approach to developing our strategy and goals. Many of our leaders and team members played a key role in the development of our CSR strategy through their participation in our stakeholder interviews and survey.
Based on the data gathered, we developed key pillars and focus areas centered around community partnership and well-being, excellence and equity in care, environmental responsibility and team member wellbeing, equity, diversity and inclusion.
What are Northwell’s CSR plans and initiatives?
Examples of some current and past key CSR initiatives at Northwell Health include:
Our commitment to veterans — We’re working to improve mental and physical health and economic and social well-being through high-quality coordinated care, hiring veterans into the health system and pay differential programs for employees currently serving in the reserves and called to active duty.
Center for Gun Violence Prevention — Led by Dr. Chethan Sathya, this is an initiative calling for the critical need to implement evidence-based firearm injury and mortality prevention strategies in health care, especially within at-risk communities.
Tackling COVID-19 in the community — Led by Dr. Deb Salas-Lopez and the Community and Population Health team, Northwell began partnering with trusted community- and faith-based leaders to mobilize a massive campaign focused on delivering diagnostic and serology testing and vaccinations within devastatingly impacted communities, such as vulnerable, low-income communities largely comprising African-American and Latinx people.
Food insecurity — We continue to focus on food insecurity as a major issue impacting our community and team members. We donated more than 20,000 food items to Island Harvest, City Harvest and Eastchester Community Action Partnership food banks through our virtual food drive in 2020 and early 2021.
Green initiatives — We have many green initiatives in place centered on reducing energy and emissions, climate change and waste. We’re actively evaluating potential energy-efficiency projects for electric, gas, steam and oil reductions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.
Helping our new hires get ready for their Northwell career journey
At Northwell Health, we strive to provide the best experience for our incoming team members to ensure they are fully prepared to start and experience a career well cared for.
Our pre-boarding and onboarding teams in the Talent Acquisition Department support our new hires from the moment they accept a job offer through their first day. They aim to provide a smooth transition from candidate to team member with guidance along the way.
Steps these teams help our future team members complete include:
Health and pre-hire appointments for medical clearance and required onboarding paperwork
A visit to security and human resources for certain requirements and an ID badge, as well as other verification processes
Preparing for our Beginnings orientation to help our newest team members be set up for success in their new career with us.
There is a great deal of coordination to ensure everyone is ready to begin in their new role at the right time.
Meet some of our amazing team members from our pre-boarding and onboarding teams :
Deziree Brandi, Supervisor, Talent Acquisition
Deziree has grown into her career at Northwell since starting as an admin support associate with FlexStaff in 2018. As a supervisor for talent acquisition in Human Resources, she supports the talent acquisition onboarding team by providing guidance for various projects and processes, ensuring that start dates are met, and helping to integrate new technology. “I always love working hand-in-hand with the candidates to provide them with the support and understanding of what is needed to start their new positions and future with Northwell,” says Deziree.
Deziree has also been able to grow her career at Northwell. “My previous and current managers have supported my growth by providing me with the tools and guidance to take on stretch assignments, develop professionally, and to build my confidence so I was ready to move into the next stage of my career,” says Deziree.
Aaron Weeks, Associate Talent Acquisition Program Manager
As a talent acquisition associate program manager for the Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) team, Aaron helps facilitate a smooth and efficient onboarding experience for new ACP hires by partnering with medical staff services, hiring managers, and organizational leadership. “Interacting with the new hires is my favorite part,” says Aaron “I’m passionate about the customer service I provide, and I love making a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or small.”
Aaron has also grown his career here at Northwell. “Northwell has been impactful to my growth and development in many ways,” says Aaron. “My colleagues and leaders played the biggest role in my growth and development because they challenge me to be my best daily.”
Jeniece Devita, Talent Acquisition Representative
As a talent acquisition representative, Jeniece’s role is ensuring new hires are prepared for their appointments and verifying work experience, education, and credentials. Once the new hires have completed all of their requirements, she ensures they are set up for Beginnings, which is our new hire orientation, site orientation and any additional trainings required for her new team member journey. “There are many things I enjoy about working in onboarding,” says Jeniece. “I’m someone who likes to understand how what I’m doing fits into the bigger picture. It’s one of the things I find rewarding in my role. I can see how the work we do as HR professionals enables employees and the overall organization to reach their objectives.”
Celebrating Health Care Human Resources Week at Northwell Health
Happy Healthcare Human Resources Week to all of our HR professionals at Northwell Health! Our HR professionals play an important role in caring for our team members as they care for our patients. Click through the photos below to meet some of the professionals who work across a variety of team to support our organization and learn why they love working in healthcare HR.
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Meet Marina Gizzi, manager of operations in the Emergency Department at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). Starting at LIJMC as an A/R (accounts receivable) clerk, Marina didn’t just find a career opportunity here at Northwell, but a new confident outlook on her professional life.
“I always had a hard time in school, I struggled academically for many years and didn’t graduate college when all of my friends did. This affected my outlook on what the future would hold for me,” says Marina. “It wasn’t until I started working at Northwell that I was given the confidence I needed to continue pushing myself and my career goals.”
And push herself, she did. Since starting at LIJMC in 2013, Marina has gone on to earn her Bachelor of Science and Master in Business Administration, both with the help of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program. It was something she only imagined for herself after gaining confidence in her own potential. “I have been so blessed, from day one, to be part of Northwell because I can genuinely say they have gotten me to where I am today – two degrees and now four job opportunities later. With Northwell’s wonderful tuition reimbursement program and with the support of my ED family, I learned that it’s never too late to achieve your goals.”
Marina continued to develop her skills not only through continued education but in each of her roles on her journey. Her career has grown from A/R clerk to senior secretary to admin support associate before finally becoming manager, all within the ED.
Today, Marina manages concierge, the discharge lounge, ED unit receptionists, and case management assistants among others. Additionally, Marina works with position control, our recruiters and helps manage appreciation celebrations for our team members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Marina also helped organize the influx of generous donations our community members sent to the hospital, a memory she holds as one of the most rewarding parts of her job so far.
It’s a role that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her leadership and her family – both her Northwell family and her immediate family. “My ED leadership team and mentors at LIJMC are always encouraging us to better ourselves. The message that they have instilled in me is: never settle for anything less than what you deserve,” says Marina. “The support and opportunities that this organization provides are unlike any other. I know I will continue to learn and push myself because my future at Northwell will continue to be bright.”
Find a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Turning a passion for wellness into an impactful career at Northwell Health
An integral part of our success as an organization, especially as it relates to providing our patients with care that empowers them to lead healthier lives, are the healthcare professionals on our teams that lead healthy lives themselves. One person in particular who has been extremely impactful in this regard during her time at Northwell Health is Mystique Haynes, PTA, AAS, a physical therapist assistant at ORZAC Center for Rehabilitation.
Thirteen years ago, Mystique received her license as a physical therapy assistant (PTA), a move that would direct her steps on a path toward a rewarding career. Driven by her passion for health and wellness, she soon discovered incredible opportunities for growth at Northwell Health. “As a PTA in the sub-acute rehabilitation setting I work closely with nursing and medical staff to follow the patients’ prescribed treatment plans,” says Mystique. “I have had the opportunity to rehabilitate patients recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, joint replacements, fractures, amputations and much more.”
Now, as she approaches a decade as a dedicated and valued member of our staff, Mystique has found even more ways to bring her passion and purpose together though Northwell’s commitment to team member well-being. In 2018, Mystique was chosen by the Human Resources department to be on the wellness committee, and after only a few months in the role, she became the Lead Wellness liaison and spearheaded the facility’s program.
Encouraged to bring her own passion to her work, Mystique leveraged what motivates her to be at her personal best to drive impactful change within our company culture and her department at the ORZAC Center for Rehabilitation. With her hands-on approach and eagerness to help the lives of others, she began to introduce programming at Northwell that further pushed both her goal and ours of promoting healthier lifestyles. By educating on wellness and providing resources that team members can use to improve their overall health, Mystique believes it all comes down to one word: consistency. “Consistency is the key to longevity of the heart,” says Mystique, and her heart for the health of those around her couldn’t be more evident in her day-to-day.
As the lead wellness liaison, Mystique has developed and hosted activities like health and wellness fairs, walking trails, weight training, Zumba classes, line dancing, and self-defense training. Her work has helped encourage and incorporate a healthy lifestyle into the work culture of Northwell Health and lead our team members to a better version of themselves. And as a result, our patients also benefit as our team members are then able to pass that knowledge on. As Mystique explains, “We only get one body and wellness is a major source of determining our quality of life.”
Additionally, Mystique has created a space for team members at ORZAC to benefit from organic health produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). CSA is an upfront investment in a local farm, which then provides weekly “shares” of the farm harvest. This promotes farm to healthy table eating by delivering a variety of seasonal vegetables, herbs and some fruit directly to ORZAC.
The work she does in wellness goes far beyond our facilities and overflows into the communities and lives of people she interacts with in her personal life too. “I try to pass along health tips, credible information, and encourage everyone around me to start where they are and to just keep moving depending on each individual person and what their needs are,” she says. “Being a wellness liaison is my opportunity to give back to Northwell to say thank you for investing in me, my co-workers and my family.”
Discover a career that invests in your passions at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Making the transition from clinical care to healthcare administration
Christian Jocelyn always knew he wanted to work in the healthcare industry so he could help others. He was uncertain which career path to take, so he became an emergency medical technician (EMT) after college, which provided him with his first healthcare career opportunity delivering frontline care. His career journey at Northwell over the years brought Christian to his current role as director of operations in the Department of Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH).
A few years after starting his career journey as an EMT, Christian became a paramedic and began to get involved in performance improvement projects. These projects not only helped leadership realize Christian’s potential and that lead him to be promoted to paramedic supervisor. This also helped Christian discover where he wanted his Northwell career to go.
“In my role as a supervisor, I was responsible for the day-to-day field operations for one of the largest hospital-based EMS departments in the country. I had the opportunity to view the health system through a unique lens,” says Christian. “I came to understand the importance of caring for patients across all care settings and the strength of an integrated healthcare delivery system. This experience motivated me to go back to school and obtain my Masters in Health Administration and to begin the transition from clinician to administrator.”
While working toward his master’s degree, Christian transitioned out of EMS into a role as a manger of Financial and Operations Management at NSUH. It was this administrative foundation along with his education that enabled Christian to develop the skills he needed for his current role as director.
At Northwell, Christian has been able to build a rewarding career that utilizes his skills on the frontline to impact patient care through operations. Christian enjoys being able to take his experience and understanding of care outside of the hospital into designing programs within the hospitals. It is an opportunity he feels he was able to reach thanks in part to the mentors who supported his transition from clinical care to the administrative side of healthcare by removing barriers and helping him tap into his potential.
“One of the most important factors in my growth at Northwell has been my good fortune to have excellent mentors and sponsors along the way,” says Christian. “These individuals invested time, effort, and energy in me. They have set the example of what it means to be a leader and have provided the foundation I continue to build my career on. I would not be in the role or the person I am now without the expectational guidance and support by my mentors at Northwell.”
And for those looking to make a similar transition as Christian, he offers the advice of focusing on developing meaningful relationships in the organization and to not be afraid of taking risks. “Make it a point to collaborate with folks in other departments, step outside of your comfort zone and learn about a part of the organization that is unfamiliar to you,” he advises. “The beauty of Northwell is that we touch the entire continuum of care and with that comes an unparalleled learning opportunity.”
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Creating a new form of patient advocacy at Northwell Health
At Northwell Health, we have the perfect career for everyone. Just ask Susan Marelli, executive program director in System Administration.
Starting her career more than 20 years ago, Susan had never imagined herself pursuing a healthcare career. That is until her mother, who was receiving treatment at the time, had noted what a nice place it seemed to work as they sat in North Shore University together. At the time, Susan believed healthcare careers were limited to just nurses and doctors and never thought her background in administration would create opportunities for her. However, with her mother’s encouragement Susan applied and it was that exact skillset that made her a perfect fit for her first role of executive associate to Michael Dowling, Northwell’s President and CEO.
Working as an executive associate, Susan began to find herself becoming an unofficial patient ambassador. She would receive phone calls from trustees, executives from other businesses, team members, and patients looking for assistance. They would call her not knowing who else to reach out to and Susan would listen to their challenges. With no guidebook for this role, she took it upon herself to make calls and figure out the best person in the system might be able to help them.
“Whenever I wasn’t busy with my responsibilities, I was on the phone helping people. Mr. Dowling would hear this from inside his office and one day he asked me, ‘would you like to do this for me full time?’” says Susan. “There’s such an emphasis in our organization to put patients first, and Mr. Dowling wanted me to have the opportunity to work exclusively on helping those who needed it.”
Now as executive program director, Susan uses Northwell’s network of team members to help support her patient advocacy work. In addition to speaking with patients and their family members on the phone, Susan visits them at the hospitals and helps them feel connected to the health system. She loves being able to meet new people on these visits, and that includes not just our patients but her colleagues as well.
“The only way I’m able to do my job is because of the wonderful teams that are in every office and every hospital,” says Susan. “Because of them, I’ve never had to tell someone ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you.’ They are always willing to go the extra mile and together we are able to find a solution.”
Along with the assistance of clinical teams, Susan has worked closely with the patient and family relations teams across our system to make a difference in so many lives. It’s an emotionally rewarding role, and she cherishes the letters and thank you cards she’s received from patients and families. “It’s always so unexpected because the doctors, nurses, and everyone else in our facilities are the ones who deserve that. Without them no care is being delivered. I’m just the one making the connections.”
But it’s that connection to patients, families, and team members alike that has helped Susan’s work as a patient ambassador truly shine. Every day she helps to reinvent the patient experience, and it’s her compassion that brought her recognition with an award in patient excellence from the health system.
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Carol Battaglia, AVP of Benefit Operations continues to grow her career with Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program
No matter what stage of your career, there’s always room for continued growth and development. Just ask Carol Battaglia, AVP of Benefit Operations, who is currently benefiting from Northwell Health’s tuition reimbursement program to earn her master’s degree.
Since starting here 18 years ago as the team lead of Benefits, she’s grown her Human Resources career with a passion for helping others. Throughout the years, she has overseen Benefits, the HR Service Center, HR Processing and the myRecognition program, which all help to engage and reward our team members.
Today, Carol is responsible for the oversight and management of the benefits, retirement, leave of absence, tuition and physician/executive total rewards teams, where she strategizes new ideas to enhance processes and techniques to improve the overall experience. In addition to her daily operations, she is also responsible for the employee discount program, system-wide-blood drives and child care offerings.
Continued growth at every step of her career
Benefiting from the programs she helps develop, Carol is currently enrolled in a Human Resources master’s program at St. Joseph’s College. “Obtaining a master’s degree has been top of mind and something I always wanted to accomplish,” says Carol. “Pursing this degree will provide a sense of personal accomplishment.”
Beyond tuition reimbursement, Carol has also been able to participate in various programs unique to Northwell, such as being a culture leader and participating in the High Potential Program that develops future healthcare leaders. She plays an active role in our Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) as co-chair of the GreenBERG and recently became chairman of the Caregiver Support Fund, which provides resources to team members in need including programs and services related to emotional, psychological and financial well-being. She was also published in Closing the Engagement Gap-How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential for Superior Results, a book about how organizations can inspire, inform and reward employees in order to get superior results.
For Carol, earning her master’s degree is just one more way to better serve our team members. “With this degree, I hope to grow my career and broaden my knowledge within HR. I’m always looking to attend workshops and conferences to stay on top of best practices and look for new ways to enhance the team member experience. Knowledge is power.”
Her passion for continuous learning is something she hopes will inspire others. “There is so much opportunity within Northwell to advance your career. My advice would be to learn what you love, enhance your skillset and connect yourself with leaders across the organization. Get involved in all that Northwell has to offer even it if may be out of your comfort zone. Learn more about the organization and understand how you can make a difference.”
Get moving with a career that grows with you at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Join the next generation of leadership at Northwell Health
Meet Ralph Thomas, a program manager for Clinical Transformation who is responsible for implementing strategic initiatives focused on process improvement, operations and performance across our organization.
First starting at Northwell as an intern with our IT Project Management Office in 2015, Ralph collaborated closely with cross-functional teams and received a great introduction to tech project management in healthcare – an introduction that would make a lasting impression on him. After gaining experience elsewhere, Ralph knew he wanted to return to Northwell and to the work that we are doing here every day to make a difference in our communities.
Accepting a position as a project manager on the Clinical Transformation team in 2017, Ralph had the opportunity to successfully advance clinical programs such as his work on the Sepsis Taskforce which works to reduce sepsis mortality within the organization. Ralph also plans and coordinates two internal learning sessions a year to gather all task force members to discuss and report out on breakthroughs. Since the inception in 2008, the task force has successfully decreased Northwell’s sepsis mortality rate by 64%. It’s an important project that Ralph still works on in his role as program manager.
And as program manager, Ralph is continually creating and implementing new clinical programs that help increase the skills of our team members and the efficiency of our facilities in innovative ways. Recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ralph developed and taught the first virtual improvement science program for the Behavioral Health service line that included educational sessions, interactive activities and coaching.
Building leadership skills at Northwell
Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) also played a major role in teaching him new skills and developing the leadership qualities his own manager saw within him. CLI provides development courses for all our team members, including project management classes and programs Ralph enrolled in such as LEAN, Six Sigma, Intro to Project Management and the Change Acceleration Program. He credits these programs for teaching him processes that help him identify opportunities and barriers in a project and effectively brainstorm to create new solutions.
Along with providing Ralph important tools and methods for project management, CLI’s programs gave him the opportunity to work on projects within the organization. As part of the Six Sigma program, Ralph was assigned to co-lead a project at Glen Cove Hospital that created a standardized discharge process for patients from inpatient to subacute rehabilitation facilities. Ralph and his team used the tools he had learned in the Six Sigma course to work on this project which successfully led to a decrease in unnecessary transfers to the ED and readmissions while improving patient satisfaction.
According to Ralph, in order to succeed we must always be continuously learning. “Northwell has a wonderful resource for employees to develop their skills in the Center for Learning and Innovation. These classes were beneficial to building my professional skillsets along with learning the organizational structure.”
Connecting Northwell to our communities
Beyond leading projects, Ralph is co-chair of Northwell’s African American/Caribbean Business Employee Resource Group (BERG). Open for all team members, the role of our BERGs is to provide resources to ensure we have an inclusive environment where all feel accepted and respected. For Ralph, one of the most exciting parts of being a co-chair is being able to cultivate a trusting and safe work environment for all.
Beyond supporting diversity and inclusion within our organization, Ralph is passionate about the work our BERGs do to organize and drive events for the individuals we serve within our regions. “Being a co-chair of a BERG allows me to be a part of a bigger initiative that directly impacts our communities in and out of the workplace,” says Ralph. “I suggest all team members join a BERG to engage with others across the organization while making an impact on disparities in our communities.”
The experience Ralph has gained at Northwell has expanded what he does outside of our organization as well. Ralph not only serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair for Healthcare Leaders of New York but is an active member of the National Association of Health Services Executives, a prominent non-profit association of Black health care executives. Last summer, he participated in the Greater New York Hospital Association Summer Enrichment Program where he mentored a graduate student through a 10-week program to discuss professional development, work/life balance in the healthcare industry, and future planning.
“Healthcare and our world are changing every day, and I am part of the next generation of leaders that will elevate the delivery of quality healthcare services,” says Ralph. “I’m proud to work for a truly patient centered organization where we think about the communities near our hospitals and the NYC metro region as a whole.”
Day in the life: Sourcing specialist in Talent Acquisition
Meet Bridget Hanley, sourcing specialist in Talent Acquisition (TA) at Northwell Health. Focusing on perioperative, labor and delivery, and emergency nursing, among other specialties, Bridget identifies top talent for much needed roles across the organization using a variety of sourcing strategies and recruitment tools. As one of many roles in Human Resources, sourcing specialists are focused on finding the best talent to join our organization to deliver the best level of care to our patients.
Bridget, like many of our non-clinical team members, had to adapt to a new way of working remotely due to COVID-19 to ensure the well-being of our team members and their families. As one of Northwell’s department wellness liaisons, Bridget played a particularly important role since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure wellness was top of mind for all of our talent acquisition team members during this challenging time by providing tips, strategies and opportunities to stay healthy both physically and mentally while working from home in this new environment.
Follow a day in her life working remotely as a sourcing specialist:
Starting her day with morning stretches, Bridget then fuels up with a smoothie and coffee. She reads the news, checks professional social media accounts , and keeps an eye out for any recent healthcare trends—all to help her better connect with candidates for careers at Northwell. “One reason I enjoy working remotely is more ‘me’ time in the morning. I can start my day with different healthy habits, which is a welcome change from the daily commute,” says Bridget.
As a member of Talent Acquisition, Bridget uses different tools and strategies to find potential candidates and engage with them.. Beyond available shifts and locations, Bridget helps educate them about all the benefits and resources that come along with working within our organization, a Fortune 100 Best Places to Work. Here she is speaking with a nurse about one of Northwell’s major perks – tuition reimbursement!
As a Northwell wellness liaison, Bridget shares daily emails with the team highlighting wellness programs, healthy recipes, exercise tips and more. Taking a five-minute break, she practices a daily stretch recommended by our Employee Wellness team in collaboration with the myHealthyBody app that our team members have access to use. “Our department can be very fast-paced and I love providing tips and resources to help us remember to focus on our own wellbeing.”
Beyond sourcing, Bridget partners with other teams across Northwell to help educate candidates on best hiring practices. Volunteering for Northwell’s new Career Development Certificate Program, Bridget presented on how to build your personal brand, including networking and social media tips. “Over 400 students and professionals attended the live session, and I was impressed with the engagement and questions they presented during the Q&A session. I’ve already had someone thank me on LinkedIn for helping them be prepared for their Northwell interview!”
Presentation over, it’s back to sourcing. Enjoying the warm weather, Bridget steps outside for a few scheduled calls with interested candidates. What is Bridget’s favorite part of her job? “I enjoy meeting and speaking with new people and helping them in their career. Every candidate I talk to has their own story and teaches me something new. Sharing the opportunities Northwell has and figuring out how the candidate will best add value to our organization is exciting. I feel lucky to play a part in their journey.”
As Bridget’s role has expanded, so have her responsibilities. In addition to sourcing, her afternoon often involves testing new Human Resource systems, piloting sourcing tools and recruitment platforms, and enabling for an improved candidate and recruiter experience through new technology. Working with recruiters across the health system from Westchester to Riverhead also means weekly phone calls and team meetings are necessary to stay updated on candidates, staffing requirements, and anticipating hiring needs within Northwell.
Work day over, Bridget embraces Northwell’s commitment to wellness by engaging in physical activity. Running has the added benefit of helping her prepare for Northwell’s next Walk To.. step challenge where Northwell teams compete to reach a step goal to win prizes.
Embracing diversity and inclusion to drive effective change
When Andrea De Loney began her career at Northwell Health, she started in a role that would help her gain insight into the variety of roles and opportunities across the organization. Starting as a talent acquisition specialist in 2015, she met countless individuals in different specialties throughout the system and learned about the many ways people were making a difference in the communities we serve.
Andrea transitioned to the HR team at LIJ Forest Hills Hospital where she worked as the strategic alliance and development coordinator. There she managed over 20 Collaborative Care Councils and served as an engagement survey ambassador to help promote employee engagement within the hospital. Andrea also led the hospital’s communication strategy workgroup as they implemented new “Rounding Town Halls” which increased attendance and visibility of executive leadership.
It was her passion for ensuring that the voices of our team members were heard that led Andrea to her next role as a project manager with the Center for Equity of Care in 2018. As project manager, Andrea had a primary focus of relaunching Northwell’s Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) Program. BERGs, and Employee Networks are an essential part of our values, as they were established to enhance engagement, innovation, talent development, and promote an inclusive culture for our workforce and patients alike. Since the program’s relaunch in October 2018, Andrea and her team successfully increased membership by over 85 percent.
“With over 70,000 team members, it is quite easy to feel overwhelmed when seeking opportunities for personal and professional development at Northwell,” says Andrea. “Our BERGs and Employee Networks are designed to bring these experiences to the members, keeping cultural humility and the unique experiences of our workforce in mind.”
With the successful relaunch of the BERGs, Andrea’s responsibilities have expanded to include co-leading various workforce diversity and inclusion projects in partnership with Human Resources, and managing Northwell’s DiversityInc Award application process. Always striving to enhance her skills, she also became a certified Cook Ross Unconscious Bias trainer for the health system, and co-leads the Social Belonging and Inclusion subgroup that strives to even further celebrate Northwell’s Truly Together ideology.
Andrea’s hand in crafting internal and external initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion has helped build a feeling of belonging throughout the organization. She says, “Celebrating diversity and providing spaces for team members’ voices to be heard is so essential because it creates an authentic culture of belonging within any organization and community. How do we maximize the richness of our workforce? Through listening, and being open and receptive, and celebrating each and every contributor.”
With many accomplishments, Andrea continues to find more ways to support the advancement and development of our team members at Northwell. “One of the most powerful things that Northwell has done is acknowledge racism as a public health issue,” says Andrea. “When the reports of the recent deaths due to police brutality and misconduct hit the news, so many of us could not remain silent. We chose vulnerability and shared the raw emotions that exist within the Black community; senior leadership received that and knew, in that moment, something had to be done.”
In response, President and CEO Michael J. Dowling was joined by members of our senior leadership team for a live, organization-wide town hall and Q&A that focused on racial injustice and what we can do individually and as an organization to help fight racism and discrimination“My hope is that all of these efforts reach 100% of our workforce, and that we all play an active role in driving policy changes that will move our communities and society forward.”
Being involved in fighting for systematic change, Andrea is able to help foster an environment that is not only diverse and respectful but encourages its members to bring their best selves to work every day. Andrea says, “What makes me proud to work here is seeing how action-oriented and results-driven we are as an organization, specifically around topics that are generally deemed ‘uncomfortable.’” She continues, “In my almost five and a half years here, I can truly say that I’ve not only been invited to the table, but also given opportunities for my voice to be heard.”
Take a moment with us to celebrate this champion and the incredible, meaningful work she has done and continues to do to elevate Northwell on a local and national level. The example that she sets is appreciated and with confidence, we can say her career is truly well cared for at Northwell Health.
To join Andrea and other healthcare professionals making a difference in New York State’s largest private employer and healthcare provider, view our opportunities here.
For Nirva Matteis the key to success at Northwell Health has always been an eagerness to learn and grow. During her 10-year career here, Nirva has worked in multiple jobs and locations throughout the organization and has gained experience that has led her to become the senior administrative manager for the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders at the Hearing and Speech Center.
As senior administrative manager, Nirva is responsible for the daily administrative operations of a multi- physician practice along with managing all non-clinical personnel and supporting revenue cycle, quality and service excellence initiatives. Excelling today as a leader, Nirva started her Northwell career as a food service worker at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) while obtaining her undergraduate education.
Growing at Northwell Health
From the beginning, Nirva has utilized a variety of different opportunities that Northwell provides to support her professional development. Classes at Northwell’s The Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) were an endless resource for her to learn new skills and participated in their Applied Leadership Effectiveness and Development Program which is a one-year program that is designed to develop skills and knowledge among current and emerging leaders. In addition, she also benefitted from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and earned her master’s degree.
But one of the biggest assets to helping her grow at Northwell has always been her mentors. “I have grown by leaps and bounds both professionally and personally as a direct result of my mentors ,” says Nirva. “Northwell does a fantastic job with encouraging team members to seek bigger and better opportunities within the organization. For that, I am eternally grateful.” From working on the Food & Nutrition team at NSUH to becoming a supervisor within the System Call Center, Nirva receives advice from her mentors that helped her flourish.
It was through her mentors and experience at the System Call Center that Nirva found out about the opportunity to work on the Otolaryngology team after falling in love with the way their work was improving lives. “Fielding thousands of calls for head and neck surgery and cochlear implant patients allowed me to gain insight on the challenges people face when dealing with life-changing diagnoses,” says Nirva. “My ability to empathize to create a memorable experience as a result catapulted.”
In addition, Northwell’s commitment to health equity and access to care for all members of the communities we serve is something Nirva feels strongly about. She feels she can make an impact in her current role in a patient-facing setting.
Nurturing the talent of tomorrow
As Nirva continues to grow her own career, she also has the unique experience of being able to help others follow in her footsteps. As an active member of the BRIDGES Business Employee Resource Group (BERG), which represents the cultural diversity across the organization, Nirva has enjoyed being able to expand her network and make long-lasting connections. “The BRIDGES BERG is a clear indicator that Northwell has its finger on the pulse of its employee’s aspirational needs,” says Nirva. Within the BERG, she’s been able to connect beyond her work location, creating a resource that spans the entire health system and fosters cross-functional collaboration.
And it’s these connections that Nirva believes are what makes working here so special. “Northwell is exceptionally skilled at identifying and nurturing talent. Our senior leadership mentors team members in a way that creates a pipeline of high-caliber, healthcare champions, ready to take on the challenges of an ever-changing industry. I am proud to be a part of the team responsible for revolutionizing healthcare as we know it. To play a small part in Northwell’s success is an honor.”
Five non-clinical careers to explore within healthcare
No matter what your major is in school, there’s a healthcare job for you. While students may first think of the doctors, nurses, and other clinical professionals working directly with our patients inside our hospitals, there are also many non-clinical career opportunities that students can explore. From working in Human Resources supporting our team members on-site to helping produce our next television commercial, the wide variety of jobs available at Northwell Health may surprise you.
Take a look at some of the non-clinical careers you can explore within the healthcare industry.
Human Resources is a perfect job field for empathetic individuals who want to help to continue to make Northwell a great place to work. These problem solvers use their people skills and data to have a direct impact on the work environments within our organization. Our diverse HR teams manage benefits, compensation, talent acquisition, employee experience, compliance, and more as they work towards a common goal of promoting engagement, inclusivity, and a fair and happy workforce.
If you are interested in a career in HR, you may want to pursue a degree in human resources management, labor and industrial relations, health care or business management, or psychology.
Carpentry, Engineering and Construction
Trade skills like carpentry, engineering and construction are an important part of keeping our facilities running smoothly. In addition to repairs and refurbishments, our team members have the exciting task of building out our new units and hospital additions. And with Northwell constantly growing and evolving, that means plenty of opportunity to work on innovative projects within the healthcare industry while having a direct impact on the care our clinicians are able to provide.
If you are interested in a carpentry, engineering or construction career, you may want to pursue a degree from a trade or vocational school.
Interested in a unique finance or customer service career that allows you to have an impact on patient care and experience? Revenue cycle may be the department for you! These non-clinical professionals perform a vital role within our healthcare organization by handling all billing and collecting of hospital receivables. From our customer service team members who are handling patient registration and patient financial counseling in our hospitals, to those working in non-patient-facing areas such as insurance verification or health information management, they’re working together to improve the experience of our patients and to secure financial strength for our organization to continue to grow.
If you are interested in a revenue cycle career, you may want to pursue a degree in health information management or healthcare, business or public administration and complete coding specialist or registered health information technician certifications.
Administration and Operations
If you’ve got a business-oriented mind and a talent for managing details, working in administration and operations is a great opportunity to explore. Working in healthcare operations allows team members to have a direct impact on how a hospital is functioning. From managing budgets to ensuring quality and efficiency, our administrators are ensuring hospitals and practices are running smoothly for both employees and patients. They also have the exciting opportunity to lead facilities with the development of new projects and programs that are improving processes, services, and experiences.
If you are interested in a career in administration and operations, you may want to pursue a degree in healthcare administration and operations, finance, business administration, or public health.
Marketing and Communications
Behind every social media post, press release, or television commercial, is our Northwell marketing and communications team. These non-clinical professionals work behind-the-scenes to help raise awareness of Northwell and the many services we offer to the communities we serve. Creativity and strategy are key within this team as their initiatives pique interest, engage, and build trust with our patients. Joining this team means working on Facebook Lives with doctors, developing branding for the organization, fostering public relations and much more.
If you are interested in a marketing career, you may want to pursue a degree in marketing, public relations, graphic design, or communications.
You don’t need to be a doctor or a nurse to work in the healthcare industry. There are many non-clinical roles that provide a career that’s equally rewarding both emotionally and developmentally. Every team member across our 72,000+ team members contributes to ensuring our patients and communities get the care they need to lead healthy lives.
Four-hour blood transfusions used to tax 14-year-old Akayllah McEwan’s mind as much as her body. While the healthy red blood cells pumped into her body treated her sickle cell disease, she struggled with the scourge of adolescence: boredom.
Then Child Life Specialist Sammy Sherman taught Akayllah to make “Blood Soup,” mixing water, red food coloring, marshmallows, red hot candies and toffees in mason jars to illustrate sickle cell disease’s effect on a cellular level and what the transfusions do to help her.
“I wanted to eat the food,” Akayllah giggled, then acknowledged, “I always kind of understood why I needed the transfusions. Sammy made it specific for me.”
Over the past decade, Delta has contributed more than $2 million to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. “Child Life is one of the programs not covered by health insurance,” explained Tricia Rumola, Delta Air Lines’ general manager of Community Engagement. “We hope our support will help families and patients have a sense of comfort going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives.”
Helping kids overcome fear and embrace hope
Delta’s sponsorship of Sammy’s position helps kids overcome fears and anxieties and learn to cope with challenging medical experiences. “My goal is to empower patients and families,” said Sammy, who holds a master’s degree in child life.
She uses Surgi Dolls and makes treatments more relateable to patients by helping them understand hospital equipment through therapeutic activities. Sammy also supports kids when they receive a terminal diagnosis, giving them space to enjoy time with their family, and feel like kids who happen to be sick — not sick kids.
“Sammy has an extraordinary ability to connect with children,” said Cynthia Rodriguez, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program director. “While they may think they are just having fun with Sammy, she is undoubtedly teaching them, supporting them, and helping them to learn how to navigate their journey successfully.”
Sammy also connects patients with each other since they have limited opportunities to socialize with other kids. She started a monthly newsletter where they can submit jokes, stories and artwork to express themselves.
“Sammy is my go-to person at the hospital,” said Akayllah. “She takes my mind off of the transfusion and makes the hospital a normal area where I can be myself.”
“Sammy is really doing the work that is her life’s calling,” said Tricia. “Delta couldn’t be prouder to have our name connected to Sammy and the work she is doing.”
Why Joseph chose finance at Northwell over Wall Street
When Joseph Baglio accepted a position in Northwell Health’s Administrative Fellowship in 2003, he was walking away from a job on Wall Street.
“The same week I was offered a fellowship at Northwell, I was offered a job on Wall Street as an analyst,” recounts Joseph. “I did some soul searching and thought I wanted to invest my time in healthcare. I made the choice to come to Northwell for a year-long program and I’ve been here ever since.”
Today Joseph has advanced his career from starting as an administrative fellow to associate executive director of finance at Plainview Hospital and Syosset Hospital. In his role, he is responsible for the finance and operations management for both hospitals. Along with making sure his team have the resources they need to provide the best experience for our patients, Joseph manages the hospitals’ annual operating budgets, monitors patient volume, and develops capital and business planning. Joseph is also a mentor in Northwell’s 10-week Healthcare Management Program internship where he pays it forward to provide someone the education and experience he received starting his career.
It was his background in the Administrative Fellowship program that Joseph feels provided him with the experience to succeed in a role that balances operations alongside finance. “I’ve been exposed to different areas at Northwell which helped me prepare for the future,” says Joseph. “When you look at other organizations and roles in finance, they spend a lot of their day primarily only on finance. At Northwell, we’re the finance role of the future that’s just as much operations as it is finance. It makes for a career that’s not just emotionally fulfilling but intellectually stimulating.”
That is why he encourages other business majors to join the Northwell finance team. “There are so many opportunities here for those who are interested in finance. From hospital operations to corporate finance such as, accounting and financial reporting, it gives an individual a good foundation of how a healthcare organization operates from a numbers perspectives. Working in healthcare also means Joseph’s job is never boring: “Every year we are faced with many new challenges as the health system grows with the ever-changing industry.” It keeps the job from becoming routine and lets him use his experience and knowledge to help make sure our operations are fiscally viable.
But at the end of the day, it’s still all about having the ability to help people. “At Northwell, I am able to deal with a lot of day-to-day challenges that I would deal with in the market in a traditional finance role but I can feel good about my job because I’m helping people. It’s rewarding because I get the balance of being close to patients while still being on the business end of things.”
And Joseph’s work at Northwell isn’t over yet. “For me, I feel that not only has the organization invested in me through the fellowship program and other educational opportunities, I’ve invested a lot of time here too. It’s a two-way street, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
Are you Made for a finance career at Northwell? Apply today!
Aldony’s journey to leadership at Northwell and in the Military Reserves
Growing up, Aldony “Al” Fernandez always dreamed of serving our country and being a soldier.
“I had the mindset that one day I would join the military and become an officer to not only serve our country, but also help guide, lead, and mentor others,” says Al.
This goal of helping to protect our country came true after Al had already started his Northwell career journey. After joining the organization in 2015 as a talent acquisition (TA) specialist, Al joined the US Army National Guard in 2016.
Today, Al has become a leader in the Reserves, and at Northwell as well. Along with his promotion to manager for the ambulatory region in 2018, Al has recently been promoted to a Lieutenant in the Army.
“Northwell is the most military friendly company that I know of,” says Al. “I have felt nothing but support and respect through my time at Northwell. Everyone has been not only understanding of my need to balance my work life, Army life and personal life, but also proud and thankful of my service.”
When he began his Northwell career, Al had the drive to keep learning. As a TA specialist, he worked on a number of projects both inside and outside of his department, took classes at Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI), and read self-development books. Since his promotion, Al has continued his CLI training with the Leadership Essentials Sessions.
But it was while training to become a Lieutenant where he found invaluable lessons in leadership.
“As I was attending the Army Officer Candidate School to become a Lieutenant, I took many leadership, counseling, and tactics classes. This plus the intense training helped me understand the value of leading rather than just managing,” shares Al. “It has truly defined what the word ‘team’ really means and the great accomplishments that working together as a unit can allow us to achieve.”
Northwell’s continued support of Al’s military leave has enabled him to continue to thrive both in the office and in the Army.
And serving in the Reserves has only made Al happier in his position at Northwell: “It has been a tough road, but definitely rewarding – today I am proud to call myself a Lieutenant in the US Army National Guard. It’s made me prouder of our organization and who we are, and it has helped me become selfless and a better leader here at Northwell.”
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.
7 reasons why we love being a Health Information Professional
We’re celebrating the hard-working health information professionals who are a part of the Heath Information Management (HIM) team at Northwell Health. Our HIM team members work daily to acquire, analyze and protect patient medical information. With such an important job, there’s a lot to love about being a HIM professional! Check out our team members’ top seven reasons!
1. Opportunity to grow
The health information landscape is constantly changing as technology and applications advance. As health data increases, so do the possibilities for health information professionals. There are always new opportunities to advance your skills as a professional through education, state-of-the-art applications, and collaboration with other units within Northwell.
2. Driven by health data
Any information related to health conditions, quality of life, reproductive outcomes, and causes of death for an individual or population is classified as health data. Working as a health information professional allows us to analyze trends and ensure this aggregated health data is shared across our health system. By prioritizing health data, we’re helping to drive positive outcomes and experience.
3. Making a difference for our patients
Working in healthcare means we as employees have the privilege of helping patients without working inside a hospital. Although health information professionals may never meet the patients directly, they are working hard to ensure that they are not only protecting the patients’ privacy but ensuring the accuracy of their healthcare information.
4. Bridge between the hospitals and patients
A patient’s care doesn’t end when they leave a hospital. Collaborating with different units across our health system allows us to bridge a patient to their care. By helping patients get proper and speedy service to obtain their records, we’re helping the patient stay connected to the quality care they received through the completion of their treatments.
5. Continued education
Educational opportunities are promoted by health information leadership who work hard to ensure our teams have the tools and skills they need to be accurate, compliant and successful. With the support to continue our education from leadership, including access to tuition reimbursement programs through Northwell, we’re able to grow with our growing industry.
6. Teamwork and leadership
Health information professionals at Northwell aren’t just a team, we’re a family. Working truly together under the guidance of supportive leaders helps our entire team to succeed.
7. Protecting our patients
Protecting our patients goes beyond just ensuring data security, it’s protecting their care. As health information professionals, we ensure that the patient data is always accurate, secure, and available when they need it most.
Meet the Sherlock Holmes of solving claim errors: Northwell Health’s Anthony McCallum
Give him a mystery.
Northwell Health’s own Anthony McCallum, CPC-I, CIRCC, CPC, CCS received the 2018 Omar Brito Life Achievement Award from the Roxbury Institute for Medical Management in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional achievements. Here’s how he got here.
Anthony pursued coding over twenty years ago, starting with the CPC credential. He worked as a coder and coding consultant and then joined the Revenue Integrity Operations (RIO) team with Northwell Health in 2005 as an Outpatient Revenue Coding Specialist. “After a few years into my coding career and having worked for many years as a patient access representative, I was looking to return to a part-time position at Northwell,” Anthony said. “During the application process, the hiring manager picked up on my revenue cycle experience and felt I would be a good fit for RIO. From there I was interviewed, tested and ultimately offered the greatest opportunity of my life.”
While in RIO, he received three additional prestigious coding certifications, a B.S. degree in Health Care Management and an M.B.A. in Health Administration. “Northwell has provided a platform in which I have been able to advance. There is so much growth in this field and Northwell has provided an environment which encourages that growth. This has had a direct and positive impact on my career and job satisfaction.”
So what is the revenue cycle? According to Anthony, Revenue Cycle includes clinical and administrative functions which contribute to the capture, management, and collection of patient service revenue. RIO has the rare opportunity and skill of analyzing claims in their entirety and assuring that the medical record documentation supports every line item on that claim appropriately. The comprehensive analysis of claims and medical record documentation in conjunction with knowledge of charge capture processes allows RIO to identify the root causes of claim errors. Claim errors can be due to an array of issues; coding, charging, documentation, registration, and software application failures to name a few. RIO directs claims correction and works with the appropriate departments in an effort to mitigate future errors. Anthony feels like “in a sense, we are the Sherlock Holmes of solving claim error mysteries.”
Anthony is dedicated to providing continuous coding education with integrity and intelligence, and his contributions have also been recognized by the health information management community. “I was approached by Frank Chisena, the president of the Roxbury Institute for Medical Management; he explained that the award was given to prior students deemed to have excelled in the profession and he wanted to present me with the 2018 award due to my advancement in healthcare revenue cycle.”
Anthony’s greatest award is a rewarding career. “RIO is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve the organization’s bottom line is the most rewarding aspect of my job,” Anthony said. “It is particularly rewarding when RIO has identified additional revenue opportunities while mitigating claim errors and compliance concerns. It is gratifying to know that our work directly impacts the financial health of the organization, enabling Northwell to fulfill its mission.”
Under the bold and delicious vision of Northwell Health’s VP of System Food Services Corporate Michelin Chef, Bruno Tison, the recipe for hospital food as you once knew it has changed. Michelin Chef Tison, along with other award-winning Michelin chefs like Andrew Cain, is helping Northwell Health redefine the culinary experience for patients, their families, and Northwell employees.
“I want to help cook better food for people who really need it,” says Chef Tison, “Northwell Health is a pioneer for redefining hospital food for 23 hospitals.”
A recipe for culinary success.
A native of northern France, Chef Bruno Tison began his culinary education at Belgium’s prestigious Institut Technique Des Metiers De L’Alimentation, where he graduated with highest honors and was awarded first prize for excellence in culinary achievement. His more than 30 years of experience includes serving as Executive Chef of the legendary Plaza Hotel in New York City. Chef Tison’s nouvelle cuisine has earned critical acclaim. Most recently, his leadership enabled the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa in California to receive the celebrated Michelin Star recognition for three consecutive years.
Chef Andrew Cain started working under an executive chef at the age of 15, received a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and went to work at the Fairmont with Chef Tison 10 years ago. They’ve made a great team ever since. This relationship is now helping to dramatically elevate Northwell Health’s food experience.
The two believe that crafting delicious meals shouldn’t change by location. “Whether it’s a patient in a bed, or a person in the restaurant,” says Chef Cain, “when it comes to cooking great food, you truly have to care about it.”
Redefining the culinary experience.
Having reached the pinnacle of the culinary profession, Chefs Tison and Cain were looking for a new challenge and the opportunity to bring the highest level of culinary expression not just to people who could “afford it” but to people who truly needed it, people whose lives could be changed by a world-class food experience.
That’s why Chef Tison joined Northwell Health and later brought Chef Cain onboard, with Chef Tison stating, “I came to Northwell because they are very serious about making this shift in the healthcare food industry happen.”
Chef Tison has championed a number of important initiatives for Northwell’s culinary efforts:
Bring outstanding talent from the outside and retrain existing chefs.
Having worked with Chef Tison for 10+ years, Chef Andrew Cain shared his passion for elevating the food experience for people who genuinely need it. With a background in Four- and Five-Star restaurants in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Chef Cain is helping Chef Tison bring a Michelin-inspired sensibility to Northwell Health. Northwell is also partnering with the Culinary Institute of America to attract the next generation of great chefs.
Knowing that Northwell is a place known for the most innovative clinical technology, Chef Tison is bringing this same commitment to modernizing the food service area.
Higher quality food.
This includes fresh, locally-sourced food instead of frozen, replacing instant coffee with fresh coffee, getting rid of candies/sugar and eliminating processed food.
Chef Tison’s ultimate goal is to deliver restaurant-quality food to patients, families and staff. “It’s a new frontier,” says Chef Tison, “and that’s exciting for new and tenured chefs alike.” He even has an eye on applying for inclusion in the Michelin Guide!
Helping patients take the next step: Discover the Clinical Coordination Center
The continuum of care is incredibly broad, and for patients looking to navigate this alone, the process can at times become overwhelming. That’s why at Northwell Health we created the Clinical Coordination Center, which takes patient referrals from our physicians and helps them discover what the next step should be in their path toward better health.
The Clinical Coordination Center consists of experts who are capable of addressing the needs of a patient and coordinating their access to care. They take into account the urgency of patient needs, their location, physician availability, and many other nuanced factors that play into providing the best possible care. Clinical Coordinators work at the center of Northwell, gaining insight into nearly every aspect of the health system. It’s the sort of role that attracts high-level intellectual caregivers, and fosters collaboration. The results of this team have been astounding. Patient satisfaction is through the roof reaching a whopping 95%, and physician satisfaction is at 93%.
The rewarding reception to the work being done at the Clinical Care Center is matched by a rewarding work environment. Clinical Care Coordinators benefit from a bright room, flexible hours, fun activities and, above all, a team of enthusiastic colleagues.
“There are no wrong numbers in this office. If you call us by accident, we’ll never steer you away. We are the yes people. Yes, we can!” – Ronda Gross, Assistant Vice President, Clinical Coordination Center
Northwell Health is excited to offer new opportunities to join this dynamic team in the following roles:
As a Patient Care Coordinator, you will be the eyes and ears of the Clinical Coordination Center. As the first line of defense, you will triage patients to determine the next step in their care and what the patient needs.
To qualify you must have:
Associate’s Degree required, Bachelor’s preferred
A minimum of three years clinical experience. Candidates with experience in careers such as, but not limited to, LPN, Medical Assistant, CNA, PCA, OR & ED Tech are encouraged.
Looking to work beyond the bedside? Join a team where you will have an even greater hands-on approach to patient care. In this role, you will help take patients through their entire care journey from triage to referral to outcome discussions and future follow up visits.
We’re seeking Registered Nurses or Nurse Practitioners with:
BSN and a Master’s Degree (MSN, MPH, MBA, etc.)
Clinical care experience required
Grow your expertise of our world-class health system while guiding patients, physicians, and a multitude of other departments toward a more seamless health journey.
Inside Northwell: How to Stand Out While Applying for Jobs in 2018
At our first Inside Northwell Facebook Live session, we sat down with members of our Talent Acquisition team who gave the best tips for candidates looking to join our team in 2018. Check it out!
1. How can candidates stand out while applying for jobs in 2018?
My best piece of advice would be to only apply to positions that you meet the minimum qualifications for. With the volume of applications we receive we can’t contact everyone and we are contacting only those who most closely match the department’s specific needs. If you don’t hear from us, you will remain in our database and we can contact you for other positions you are suitable for. Just because you were not the right match for one, does not mean you wouldn’t be the right match for another so don’t lose faith – the needs vary from department to department.
2. How can they make their resume stand out throughout the bunch/mix?
Your resume is a living breathing document so you can make changes as you learn or develop new skills sets throughout your career, even if you are not currently looking for a new job. Make sure you mention the special project that you have taken and the impact to the organization because it’ll show you ambition to make a direct impact. If you are looking for a new job, always remember, the job description is your friend – use the information provided to help you craft your resume and use the keywords they have listed within the job description in your resume too. If your previous experiences don’t exactly match the job you are looking for, don’t forget to add the transferable skill sets you’ve learned. (ie: “Customer Service” is really “Communication Skills”)
-Arthur Beechman, Clinical and Non-Clinical Recruiter, Talent Acquisition
Remember to add keywords. We have advanced technology that we are using to source through a variety of candidates. If you have the keywords within your resume our searches will be able to match with yours and pull up your information before someone else’s. Also, remember to send the final version of your resume. You wouldn’t believe the amount of resumes we receive with a coworkers/family members/metors edits on them. Always double check!
If you’re updating your resume, as you should be all the time, make sure that any past experience is referred to in past tense. If it looks like current tense language for a position you held 3 years ago, we notice that and it shows less attention to detail. Also remember to quantify information. If you work for an organization that we aren’t familiar of, it’s very helpful to a recruiter to have some sense of how large that organization is, adding the number of direct reports (if any) you have, if you’ve saved the organization any money and how you achieved that – this will help us quickly understand who you are and what you do for what type of organization.
-Esther David, Director, Talent Acquisition
3. What makes a candidate “made for Northwell Health”?
4. What are the most appropriate ways for them to follow up with recruiters?
5. What is your last piece of advice for our candidates?