When You Think Westchester, Think Northwell Health
Westchester, known for outdoorsy fun and chic shopping hubs in the Hudson Valley, is also home to two award-winning hospitals, each recognized for the care they give and the positive work environment they provide Northwell Health employees: Phelps Hospital (Phelps) and Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH).
Located in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., Phelps holds firm to a credence of going above and beyond medicine, taking into account not only an unwavering commitment to the community’s health, but also the well-being and support the staff needs to minister quality health care. “I would recommend Phelps to any nurse looking for change. You will be supported throughout every aspect of your career,” says Cecil Bonitto, registered nurse at Phelps Hospital. Phelps is proud to be listed by U.S. News and World Report as a High Performing Hospital and is honored for their numerous awards in cancer screening and care, among other highly coveted endorsements, none of which is made possible without the passionate workforce behind the services.
Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH), in Mount Kisco, N.Y., likewise praises its staff for two recent achievements: the designation of its Institute for Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC); and Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence for the third time. NWH’s commitment to improving the health of the people in the community is recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a ranking of #15 on its Best Regional Hospitals list. “I am surrounded by so many amazing individuals who give it their all, day in and day out,” says NWH emergency room nurse Samantha Miness. “It is truly remarkable to be among some of the best in providing care and comfort to our community.”
Both facilities continuously seek ways to create and promote a workplace that inspires the good work they’re known for. Never was this a more pressing need than during the height of the pandemic, when each hospital created a wellness garden as an oasis for employee reflection. These sanctuaries bring the vibe of nature and local community into the hospital setting while providing sources of nourishment for patients and employees. They also serve as a place for personal growth through opportunities to learn about horticulture. “It’s a great and friendly work environment,” says Natalia Avendano, a NHW patient care associate. “It feels like family, and there is always room for growth.”
These two highly regarded, state-of-the-art hospitals factor into Northwell Health’s recognition as a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. Northwell is also devoted to creating an environment that is open to all, where everyone feels like they belong, regardless of their background. In fact, Northwell welcomes the sharing of diverse ideas and voices, which sparks innovation in medicine and care. “I was encouraged to continue my education and I received financial assistance with the Nursing Promise Program offered by Phelps,” says Phelps registered nurse Karla Vallejo.
Both Phelps and NWH embody all that Northwell aims to be: pioneers in both medicine and employee experience. The hospitals strive to impact the quality of life of everyone in the community — whether they live, work or visit Westchester.
So when you think of quality healthcare in Westchester County, you should also think of Northwell Health.
Explore nursing opportunities and discover a career well cared for by taking a look at available Nursing and Nursing Support Roles at Phelps and NWH .
Discover why our OR nurses love working at Peconic Bay Medical Center
At Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Riverhead, NY, registered nurses won’t just find a rewarding career in the OR, they will find the opportunity to help serve their communities.
There has never been a better time to join the PBMC team. We are proud to be certified by the Joint Commission in Total Hip Replacement and Total Knee Replacement Surgery and are always seeking advancements that improve patient experience. As our health services grow, our nurses are able to work in a community setting within a department that is continually being updated and expanded to enhance the hospital stays.
Discover five reasons why our OR nurses love working at PBMC.
1. Career growth opportunities and resources are offered to all team members
PBMC registered nurses and team members benefit from receiving career resources provided by the largest private employer in New York State within a community setting. Some of these resources include our tuition reimbursement program, nurse certification program, and skills-based workshops at the Center for Learning and Innovation. These extensive resources have been put in place at Northwell so our team members can grow their careers while delivering compassionate and innovate care for our patients.
Salone Ayala, BSN, RN, is the perfect example of a career well cared for at PBMC. “I enjoy working at PBMC because there is room for professional growth, and it is encouraged. I started my career as an LPN and I have gone on to complete my RN, an OR fellowship, and this past year my BSN.”
2. Delivering care in new and renovated units
As PBMC grows, so does the ability to expand care to the community. In an effort to provide the best care for our patients and their families, we are building a seventh OR and purchasing a second Da Vinci Robot that will expand services in Advanced Thoracic, GYN and Colorectal procedures. Our remodeling efforts have also recently focused on our patient areas and waiting rooms, which is expected to be completed shortly.
3. The local community offers a unique setting for self-care
PBMC is located on the east end of Long Island and is neighbored by miles and miles of sandy ocean beaches, world-renowned campsites, and unique specialty shops. As part of a self-care regimen, you may find some staff taking in the views and exploring the local cuisine during their breaks and time off. Nestled near downtown Riverhead – a town known for ease of access to several cultural and recreational hot spots – Peconic Bay Medical Center offers plenty of options to relax before or after the work day.
4. Interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork
Our OR nurses work closely with the surgeons, anesthesiologists, and perioperative staff who provide care on a wide range of surgical procedures. Largely in part of the incredible synergy within our OR team, PBMC has received a Level III Trauma Center verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma.
5. The opportunity to support patients beyond the bedside
At PBMC, we know how important it is to educate our patients as they prepare to rejoin their communities and readjust to their lives post-surgery. That’s why we provide resources for our patients prior to the hospital experience to help ease their concerns and ensure smooth recoveries after they leave to minimize postoperative discomfort.
Inspired by the Support from Northwell, Our Northwell Health Nurse Choir Aims to Inspire America
Seeing the Northwell Health Nurse Choir on America’s Got Talent reinforces what so many Northwell employees believe: Northwell is a place that is open to our endeavors be they personal or professional.
These nurses did not know each other prior to forming the choir but found it easy to make a connection through the power of music and a common passion for nursing at Northwell. Joining their voices from across the health system, the Northwell Health Nurse Choir aimed to inspire America – and they have!
“I still cannot believe that I am part of this experience and I have the honor of representing nurses on a national stage. I hope that the joy we show when performing is felt by healthcare providers and anyone else watching us. I hope that the hope we feel when singing can be hope for those watching too, and that everyone can feel our message: that we have survived a dark time together and we are moving into a hopeful next chapter,” says Winnie Mele, director of perioperative services at Plainview Hospital.
The decision to represent Northwell on the national stage was a chance they seized. They knew that the backing from Northwell would be there because of the organization’s commitment to uplifting their employees and the communities served.
Emanuel Remilus, registered nurse, Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), appreciates having the health system behind them citing, “Northwell provided a place where we could take precautions to be protected from COVID and practice together. That was the first time we met each other in person, and it was magic – our voices and personalities came together like we had known each other for years. We come from different towns, hospitals and backgrounds, which is great because it gives us diversity in our sound and an opportunity to learn from each other.”
Fellow choir member and registered nurse, Julieta Hernandez, who works at CCMC, adds, “If we hadn’t had a place to get together and practice singing together, I don’t know that we would have been so successful. Northwell also supported us by giving us time to practice and resources for choreography and vocals. It’s been a great experience because of this support!”
Northwell is a workplace where you don’t feel like you’re checking your personal life at the door in exchange for your professional life. It’s more like walking into your shift with extended family. With initiatives such as the BERGs (business employee resource groups) that bridge our external and internal communities, promoting growth and learning opportunities with a tuition reimbursement program, and the championing of employee interests, such as the nurse choir, an employee’s whole self is embraced into the organization.
That feeling of knowing that your interests are welcomed and supported is something that is sensed from the ground up. Fellow nurse choir member, Gaelle Clesca, pediatric nurse practitioner, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, affirms this: “This opportunity is evidence that Northwell supports its own.” You’ll even hear it often from our President and CEO Michael Dowling: “Our Northwell family pulls together to support one another.”
Be sure to catch our nurses during the live quarterfinal rounds of America’s Got Talent this August! AGT airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. eastern on NBC.
If you’re inspired by the passion that our Northwell Health Nurse Choir has for bringing joy to others, join our team of 18,000+ nurses and discover a career well cared for. Explore nursing opportunities here.
CNO Corner – A conversation with Christine Kippley
Christine Kippley, chief nursing officer (CNO), started her nursing career journey in Chicago, Illinois as a staff nurse on a medical surgical unit. She obtained her MBA at Loyola University and soon became a nurse manager. Christine managed both a medical surgical unit and an outpatient diabetes center where she became a certified diabetes educator. In 2010 she moved to New York where her first job was as a nurse manager at Plainview Hospital on the medical oncology unit, and later she transferred to Huntington Hospital to manage their medical surgical unit.
In 2013 Christine was selected for Northwell’s high potential program and became a Beginnings new hire orientation facilitator, where she obtained her nurse executive certification. From here, she earned a great opportunity to be the director of case management at Huntington Hospital before being selected to lead nursing at Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) as its chief nursing officer.
PBMC, which is located on Long Island’s beautiful east end, is a team of nearly 1,500 caring professionals who are delivering healthcare to Riverhead and the surrounding communities in Suffolk County and Eastern Long Island.
We learned more from Christine about what makes Peconic Bay Medical Center so unique for nursing and a wide variety of careers.
Tell us about the nursing team at PBMC.
The nursing team at Peconic Bay is inclusive of both experienced and novice nurses. This provides a great environment for learning. Over the past few years, PBMC has added many new opportunities for nurses with experience and those new to the profession as we are experiencing significant growth. As our services have grown, our nurses have spread their wings and have been offered new opportunities in the Cath lab, PACU, OB, ED and leadership. Many of our nurses in these specialty areas started at PBMC on the medical surgical or telehealth units.
How does PBMC support growth and development for nurses?
Our nursing councils provide a platform for our nurses and leadership to share information and be involved in decision making. The councils are comprised of nurses from each unit in our facility. We are well on our way to achieving nursing excellence and pursuing Magnet status. We were one of the 16 Northwell facilities that recently achieved American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Practice Transition Accreditation Program accreditation with distinction for our nurse residency program. Many of our nurses are currently enrolled in BSN and MSN programs and certification is highly encouraged.
What exciting nursing initiatives are available at PBMC?
One example is our recent application and acceptance to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Age Friendly facility initiative. This program will provide a framework for us to care for our most vulnerable and largest population. Another example is our oncology services expanding to the east end, and with that, we have designated one unit for our oncology patients. Educational opportunities are provided to the nurses staffing this area to care for this special population.
Why is unique for nurses working at PBMC?
One of the best things about working at PBMC is the friendly community feel of the hospital. Being a smaller community hospital there are endless opportunities to explore new things and get involved.
What advice do you have for nurses either starting their careers or looking to continue to grow?
My advice to any new nurse is to just say YES to any opportunity, both clinical and educational, that comes your way. Don’t be afraid! Every experience will help you grow and prepare you for the next step, wherever that may lead you!
Answering the Call for Pediatric Cardiac OR Nursing
Anthony Bracco started his Northwell career four years ago as a registered nurse for adult open-heart surgeries, but he would eventually answer the call to join the pediatric open-heart team at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) at Northwell Health. When asked about the opportunity to become a pediatric cardiac operating room registered nurse he says, “I couldn’t say no to a chance to help the pediatric population in the specialty I love.”
Working in a pediatric OR often means participating in life-saving surgeries. “I have the privilege of leaving work every day knowing we not only saved the life of a very young patient, but we also relieved the stress on the family,” Anthony says. He’s also excited about CCMC’s new operating rooms, which will offer more families access to the care he and his fellow OR nurses are passionate about.
Anthony says the cardiac OR team runs so smoothly because they all share the same devotion to saving lives. Witnessing that level of teamwork inspired him to pursue this career path, recalling a specific moment in an OR: “It was incredible to watch the scrub nurse and the surgeon move in perfect synchronization to protect the patient from being on the heart-lung machine for an extended period of time. In that instant I knew I wanted to be a cardiac surgery nurse.”
Declaring the operating room “an incredible place to work because you provide immediate patient care and are always learning,” Anthony encourages any nurse considering an OR opportunity to go for it. “Whether it’s removing a tumor, fixing a congenital heart defect or bypassing clogged arteries, the direct outcome you can have on a patient is incredibly rewarding. There’s no better feeling than being able to help a neonatal, infant or pediatric patient by performing life-saving surgery.”
The days are busy, fast-paced and perfect for those looking to make an instant impact on patients’ lives. Anthony says the interdisciplinary teams he collaborates with at CCMC work in tandem, a manifestation of Northwell Health’s value of being Truly Together, which flows without ebb through the halls and ORs at the hospital.
From the moment Anthony joined the CCMC’s cardiac OR, he felt surrounded by professionals with the shared mission of delivering outstanding care to the youngest of patients, a “heartfelt” desire that’s not limited to the OR.
Support from Northwell doesn’t start and stop with your shift — it tracks with your personal and professional aspirations. Through the relationships built and the knowledge gained while working at Northwell, Anthony has felt inspired to continue his education; he’s now enrolled in a family nurse practitioner master’s degree program. CCMC has also granted him the space to innovate and share ideas by supporting his desire to conduct research. “Currently, I am working on a research project to increase communication and teamwork in the operating room by using white boards for communication.”
The nurses at CCMC are driven to excellence, passionate about having a direct and immediate impact in a young patient’s life, and selfless in regard to helping others — whether it’s colleagues or the patients they treat.
Edie Marden, Assistant Vice President of Operations for the Northwell Health Trauma Institute, has a career journey that spans nearly three decades all at Northwell Health
“I have been working at Northwell Health for almost 28 years and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” says Edie Marden, assistant vice president of operations, Northwell Health Trauma Institute.
Edie’s Northwell career comprised many roles, starting in 1993 at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) as a registered nurse in the medical intensive care unit (MICU). She then transitioned to medical oncology where she advanced to become assistant nurse manager. With that leadership experience, she transitioned to nurse manager of various units at NSUH. She then progressed to become the assistant director of Department of Surgery, where she was responsible for quality management, and then assistant director of clinical services. Today she is an assistant vice president of the Trauma Institute and the Department of Surgery.
“My day-to-day role varies and that is what is exciting to me,” Edie says. In her current role, she directs the system-wide development, coordination and administration of the Trauma Institute along with its policies, guidelines, services and programs across the health system. She spends most of her time collaborating and guiding team members at each of Northwell’s seven trauma centers. “I focus on employee engagement to ensure the team gets the support and direction they need from leadership,” says Edie.
The support of Northwell
Northwell provides many opportunities for professional and personal growth. With Northwell’s support, Edie obtained her master’s in healthcare administration at Walden University. She continues to develop her skills and leadership by attending Northwell’s educational courses at the Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) and served as a mentor for Northwell employees. “Northwell has been supportive throughout my career,” Edie says, noting encouragement by her leaders to attend national conferences — she was even a speaker at several events. “The support of leadership is paramount and having leaders I could talk to and get advice from has helped me achieve these goals.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to advance my career without having to leave Northwell,” says Edie. “There are so many avenues to explore and different roles to pursue.”
Continuing her growth and creating unforgettable memories—meet Diane Geraci RN, BSN, OCN
In honor of Nurses Week, which Northwell Health is celebrating throughout May, we are highlighting some of our amazing nurses as they share stories about their careers, growth and experiences. Throughout her 36 years as a registered nurse at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), Diane Geraci has achieved both professional and personal growth.
Continuing her education and evolving her skillset
Diane started her nursing career journey in 1985 as a graduate nurse at SIUH. “It was my favorite hospital to do the clinical rotations,” she says. From her first days at SIUH, she knew she would grow and learn within the same hospital.
“Northwell and SIUH have been very supportive of my growth,” Diane says of a career that’s included roles in rehab/orthopedic surgery, the operating room and ambulatory oncology.
Because continuing education is very important to Diane, leadership encouraged her to enroll in oncology certification courses and offered tuition reimbursement for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the College of Staten Island. “It took four years and a lot of hard work, and I graduated with a BSN—and all thanks to the ease of the program because of Staten Island University Hospital. I’m so thankful for their encouragement and financial support!”
Not only did Diane receive her BSN, she also obtained her nursing certification in oncology and immunotherapy to further her knowledge in her field.
From Harvey to hockey: experiences she’ll never forget
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made a Category 4 landfall in Texas, devastating much in its path. Northwell quickly assembled a medical mission team to assist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. When Diane received the email about the catastrophe, she immediately volunteered to go!
“MD Anderson Cancer Center needed oncology nurses who were certified and who had a chemotherapy/immunotherapy certification, and thanks to SIUH I was certified in both,” she says. “The MD Anderson staff was great to work with, and I met so many cancer patients from all around the world. This truly was one of the highlights of my career.”
When Diane and her team returned home—with indelible memories from the front lines of care—they were greeted with a dinner reception and the opportunity to meet Michael Dowling. “I thank these two hospitals for their generosity to the teams, and for Northwell helping out a devastated community in another state.”
Another unforgettable moment of Diane’s career at SIUH was winning Northwell’s ”Win it Wednesdays” contest, a weekly prize drawing hosted by Northwell’s internal communications team on the Northwell Life Facebook page. What made it unforgettable wasn’t just the fact she won—it was what happened next.
Diane’s prize was a lavender, official New York Rangers hockey jersey. The jersey was too big, so she wanted to give it to a hockey fan. Her floor and nurse manager alerted her that there was a teenage boy—a big Rangers fan—who wanted a jersey as part of his Make-A-Wish request. “He was being treated for lymphoma on the pediatric oncology unit, which was right next to my unit,” says Diane, who met the boy and gave him the jersey!
When the social workers within the unit heard about Diane’s gracious act, they reached out to the team and received box seat tickets for the patient’s family to attend a home game! “It was meant to be,” she says.
Reflecting on her fulfilling career, Diane says, “Northwell is a great place to work! I feel well supported and encouraged to continue my growth with nursing and create more memories.”
What Nicole Natale Learned on the Frontlines During the Pandemic
In honor of Nurses Week, which Northwell Health is celebrating throughout May, we are highlighting some of our amazing nurses as they share stories about their careers, challenges, and experiences. Nicole Natale faced one of her greatest challenges early in her career and her experience on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped friendships, as well as her understanding of what it means to be a nurse.
Currently a registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Nicole Natale began her career in 2017, as a nurse extern at Huntington Hospital. Nicole fell in love with critical care after experiencing the various facets of nursing care while floating from the emergency room and ICU, to the medical-surgical and pediatrics floors during nursing school.
As fate would have it, Nicole was invited to interview with the Neurosurgical ICU at NSUH shortly after losing her aunt to glioblastoma brain cancer just before graduation. The loss of her aunt to brain cancer left Nicole feeling like she was destined to work with neurosurgical patients.
After successfully landing her dream job at NSUH, Nicole’s budding career took an unexpected turn. After she finished the critical care fellowship orientation, the world was suddenly turned upside down as the COVID-19 pandemic began. Being a new graduate in a global pandemic was one of the most challenging obstacles Nicole has ever faced, but she credits the support of her coworkers, her managers, and Northwell leadership for making the experience less tumultuous. As Nicole put it, “Northwell made me feel safe, cared for, and supported, and I am forever grateful to work for this health system.”
Despite the incredible hardships, the experience was invaluable, as Nicole learned so much so quickly. Her coworkers became her role models and her support system as they leaned on one another to survive. “It was such a scary time for all of us. Working in a COVID unit feels like you’re in a battlefield. Working in these conditions brought my work team together and the bonds I have with my coworkers grew so strong that they are like family to me.”
It is this level of support that Nicole cites as one of the many reasons she would encourage anyone to work at Northwell given the opportunity. Examples of the support she receives from Northwell include career growth with clinical ladder and research committees and physical and mental well-being with things like the Lavender Room where staff can relax and unwind. Northwell is proud to advocate for its nurses and all of our team members, at every step of their journey.
Explore nursing opportunities and learn more about a career well cared for at a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®
In honor of Nurses Week, which Northwell Health is celebrating all month long, we are sharing the stories of some of our incredible nurses and their inspirational journeys. For Nicole Martinez, she decided to become a nurse all because of a smile.
It all began when her mother was being cared for at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) for pancreatic cancer in 2005. Although her mother’s outcome was not the one Nicole’s family had hoped for, the amazing nurses, doctors and patient care assistants left a lasting impression. The day Nicole was told her mother only had one week to live, she walked into the room expecting tears but instead found her mother smiling with her nurse. Reflecting on that moment, Nicole says, “To this day I do not know what that nurse said to make her smile, but I remember thinking here is a 46-year-old woman who was just told she was going to die…and someone made her smile.” That moment and that smile was what led Nicole to become a nurse so that she too could help others find comfort during the most difficult time in their lives.
After her mother passed away, Nicole needed to pause her education to help support her family, so she took a position as a receptionist at LIJMC where she worked for two years before applying and being accepted to nursing school. With the support of Northwell, her manager, and her coworkers, Nicole was able to continue working full time while attending school full time with support from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program. Her determination and hard work paid off when she graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing and began working as a registered nurse on the same floor where she was a receptionist. But she wasn’t finished yet. Nicole went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, once again aided by tuition reimbursement and encouragement from Northwell. But she still wasn’t finished. After transferring to the Ambulatory Surgery Unit, (ASU), Nicole again set her sights a little higher and completed her master’s degree. She was then promoted to her current role of assistant nurse manager.
About her amazing accomplishments, Nicole says, “Northwell gave me the opportunities, the strength, the financial support, and the courage that I needed to attain my goals. I tell everyone to this day if you want it, there is no excuse. Thank you Northwell for the past 15 years. Because of you, I am who I am today!”
How We Celebrated Our Nursing Health Raisers During Nurses Week!
National Nurses Week is here and at Northwell Health we are celebrating every moment of it. In fact, we will be celebrating all month long to honor our 18,000+ nurses across Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester. After a year unlike any other, we are stronger today because of our registered nurses’ commitment to raising the standard of care in the communities where we live, love and belong. And as we reflect on the selfless individuals the whole world considers heroes, it fills our hearts with gratitude to call these incredible men and women our colleagues, our friends, our family, and our neighbors.
During Nurses Week, Northwell has many activities planned to honor our nurses including, virtual cooking classes, blessing of the hands, award ceremonies, wellness initiatives such as yoga and wellness retreats, among other activities.
Hear why our nurses in their own words love working at Northwell and how they feel supported.
“Endless opportunities to shoot for the stars.”
“I love working as a nurse with Northwell because its more than a job, it’s a family. The support, the encouragement, the camaraderie, and the overall feeling that you are part of a team making a difference in people’s lives.”
“There are so many opportunities for a nurse at Northwell. Follow your passion and seek new challenges.”
“The fact that I’ve been a nurse at LIJ Medical Center since 1980, way before it was Northwell, speaks of my trust and dedication!”
“I love being a nurse at Northwell because I have the pleasure of working and meeting people with diverse backgrounds to improve the health of our communities.”
“Being a Northwell nurse is like having a second family and a home. Great teamwork, support, a safe place to work and my voice is heard. I like Northwell’s values and commitment to our patients and community.”
“I love being a Northwell nurse because I work with a great interdisciplinary team. Northwell supports my career advancement and continuing education.”
“Compassion amongst team members to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
“I love the ability to work in all different areas of nursing and be able to stay with a system who supports me.”
“I work with a phenomenal group of nurses who never hesitate to help one another, and who I consider to be my friends. We’ve all been working away on the COVID floor, staying strong for our patients and each other.”
“Because you come to realize at some point in your career that nurses are a powerful group that can affect and guide change. Our patients and our communities deserve the voice we can give them.”
Join our team members and discover a career well cared for. Apply today!
Recognizing our skilled nursing facility team members
As National Skilled Nursing Care Week is approaching, Northwell Health would like to recognize the dedicated and compassionate care of our skilled nursing care facilities. Our skilled nurses and certified nurse assistants provide the highest quality care to patients requiring both long-term and short-term care.
Meet some of our team members from the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation:
Alice Caressimo, Registered Nurse
As a registered nurse, Alice’s role is to educate her patients and their families about her patient’s health and help discuss their plan of care. “My work experience with Orzac has been very rewarding,” says Alice. “The compassion and support from the nursing managers and nursing staff I feel is what makes us a great team and contributes to the excellent care we strive to provide.”
Courtney Caldero, Registered Nurse
Working as a registered nurse at Orzac, Courtney not only takes care of rehab patients but she is also a long-term care and hospice nurse. Her daily responsibilities involve wound care, pain management, patient and family advocacy, safe medication administration, and patient safety. She is a proud nurse who loves her job and finds it very rewarding. “You are more than just a nurse,” says Courtney. “You are your patient’s and their family’s sense of comfort–their educator and ears. The profession is not easy by any means but being able to assist and support people through what is the most difficult time of their life is what’s beyond rewarding.”
Nina Bianco, Registered Nurse
As a registered nurse, Nina believes her patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing is priority. She performs an age-specific plan of care based on the individual needs of each patient. Within her first year working as a new nurse during a global pandemic, Nina was supported by her team through every step. “Working together as a team and effective communication are the essentials for providing quality health care and safety.”
Donna Douglas, Certified Nurse Assistant
As a certified nurse assistant, Donna’s role is to provide the patient with the most dignifying care, and assist with their Activities of Daily Living to help them feel strong and confident enough to return to their community. “Working in my facility is extremely rewarding because I gain new perspective on aging. I also get an opportunity to interact with patients daily during a difficult time in their lives when they are away from their family and in a new environment,” says Donna. “I try my best every day to make this tough experience as easy and rewarding for the patient as I can.”
Andrea McDonald, Certified Nurse Assistant
Working as a certified nurse assistant, Andrea provides compassionate care to her patients. Her responsibilities include direct patient care and putting a smile on their face! Her favorite thing about her job is her team who go the extra mile for their patients. “I find working at my facility rewarding because my team is pleasant and competent and I have professional, caring managers,” says Donna.
South Shore University Hospital to open new operating rooms in new Women’s Health Pavilion
Working in an operating room means being on the forefront of innovation and technology to deliver exceptional care to patients in their most vulnerable times. That’s why South Shore University Hospital (SSUH) is expanding its operating rooms and opening new areas, such as a Women’s Health Pavilion, to support patients before, during and after their surgery. It’s an exciting time to join their OR team and take advantage of new opportunities for registered nurses and surgical technologists with OR or OB/GYN experience.
With the opening of the Women’s Health Pavilion comes two new operating rooms at SSUH that will host all our OB/GYN surgeries, including robotic surgery and women’s health related surgeries such as breast surgery and plastic reconstructions. These services are supplementing the already exceptional surgical care our OR team delivers in bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, surgical oncology and more.
The constant innovation of our surgical services also means continued growth for the OR team members at SSUH. Team members have the opportunity to take advantage of career resources from Northwell Health, such as training at our Center for Learning & Innovation or tuition reimbursement for those looking to expand their education. With support from Northwell, our OR team has the potential to do amazing things, and Nicholl Gonzalez, manager of patient care in the operating room at SSUH, is a shining example of what’s possible at Northwell.
Nicholl started her career as a certified surgical technologist at LIJ Valley Stream before becoming a registered nurse and entering our Perioperative Nurse Fellowship Program. “Northwell Health gave me the best opportunity by accepting me into the Perioperative Fellowship Program,” says Nicholl. “Even though I worked in the OR as a surgical tech prior to becoming a registered nurse, my fellowship gave me the confidence I needed as a new grad. I also love the team I work with at South Shore. The entire perioperative team always take care of each other and really know the true meaning of teamwork”
From there, Nicholl’s OR career continued to grow, being promoted to nurse manager at SSUH where she is leading the operating room team through this exciting expansion.
In addition to operating rooms, the brand-new Women’s Health Pavilion will include a new lobby entrance into our Labor & Delivery unit, new labor and postpartum rooms, and a state-of-the-art NICU.
Take a look at what these exciting new areas will look like at SSUH:
Connecting COVID patients to their families with the support of the community
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maureen Hayes, an ICU registered nurse at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), proposed a brilliant idea of knitting pairs of hearts for COVID patients and their families. One of the hearts would be given to a patient and the other to a family member, allowing them to feel connected although they are apart. She brought the idea to nursing leadership who thought her idea embodied Northwell’s value of being Truly Compassionate and was excited to see it come to life. This was the beginning of the Connected Hearts Project.
The support of our community and teamwork
Both Maureen and her assistant manager, Andrea Freudenberg, were excited about the Connected Hearts Project but needed help getting started. That’s when Andrea reached out to the community for help in creating as many “connected hearts” as possible. Andrea was already a member of the Facebook group ‘The Islip’s Feed Southside Hospital Employees’ and during the height of COVID, their members donated money and ordered from local restaurants to help feed the staff at South Shore University Hospital, formally known as Southside Hospital. She knew this group would be more than willing to lend a hand with this effort.
The response was overwhelming. The outpouring of love and a united community was incredible. Once the hearts began to pour in, the team members in the ICU were able to distribute them.
“Since its launch in April 2020, our Connected Hearts Project has taken on a life of its own,” says Andrea. The Connected Hearts Group at SSUH has monthly meetings with ICU nurses who continue to come up with ideas to support and comfort their patients. This group not only distributes hearts to COVID patients and families but also to other families who are unable to see their loved ones.
The Connected Hearts Project is still new, but it has created a positive impact on our community, patients, families, and our team members. Members of the Facebook group have commented: “It helped me to feel useful during tough times” and “I was happy to be a part of this project.” SSUH team members have also commented that they love having the ability to provide family with a connection to their loved ones.
At Northwell Health, we’re dedicated to supporting team members’ interests above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. It allows team members to be creative while delivering compassionate care to their patients and partnering with the community.
Raise Health in our communities where we live, love and work. Apply today!
Five Reasons Obstetrics Nurses love working at Peconic Bay Medical Center
At Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Riverhead, NY, registered nurses won’t just find a rewarding career in obstetrics, they will find the opportunity to help their communities grow with expert family-centered care. Our nurses are there for patients during some of the most important moments of their lives.
And there has never been a better time to join the PBMC team. As our women’s health services grow, our nurses are able to work in a community setting within a department that is continually being updated and expanded to enhance the patient experience.
Discover five reasons why our obstetrics nurses love working at PBMC.
1. Career growth opportunities and resources are offered to all team members
PBMC registered nurses and team members benefit from receiving career resources provided by the largest private employer in New York State within a community setting. Some of these resources include our tuition reimbursement program, nurse certification program, and skills-based workshops at the Center for Learning and Innovation. These extensive resources have been put in place at PBMC so our team members can grow their careers while delivering compassionate and innovate care for our patients.
Jillian Cherry, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, manager of patient care, is the perfect example of what is possible at PBMC. See how she has been able to grow tremendously as a nurse in the obstetrics unit since coming to Northwell in 2018.
2. Delivering care in new and renovated units
As PBMC grows, so does the focus on our women’s health services. We want to provide an enhanced experience for our patients and their families. To that end, we are remodeling our patient areas, waiting rooms and adding a new nourishment center.
3. Continuity of care throughout the delivery process
The obstetrics unit at PBMC is a unique setting as our registered nurses provide care throughout the delivery experience. Our nurses care for patients not only during labor and delivery, but in antepartum, post-partum and the newborn period as well.
4. Interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork
Our registered nurses work closely with the obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatal nurse practitioners who care for routine deliveries and C-sections, as well as unexpected high-risk deliveries at any hour. We also have a midwifery program, a certified lactation consultant and experienced nursing staff certified to care for all special need areas.
5. The opportunity to support patients beyond the bedside
At PBMC, we know how important it is to educate our patients as they prepare for this big moment in their lives. That’s why we provide resources for our patients prior to the hospital experience to help ease their concerns and ensure smooth deliveries. Our registered nurses are also trained to provide education regarding breast feeding, the importance of skin-to-skin, safe sleep, and infant care. Our team is also specially trained for emotional support and bereavement for helping our patients in need. We are also proud to offer telehealth lactation follow-ups for our patients.
Susan Knoepffler, chief nursing officer (CNO) and vice president of Nursing at Huntington Hospital, first started at Northwell Health as a new graduate registered nurse in the Neonatal ICU at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). She gained nursing experience at NSUH and beyond before returning to Northwell in 2008 as the patient care services director at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. From there, her career continued to grow and in 2011, Susan was appointed the CNO at Huntington Hospital.
“As I reflect back, I appreciate what an amazing and deeply rewarding journey my career has been,” says Susan. “My passion for patient care and desire to influence through leadership has led me to where I am today.”
Today, Susan uses the experience she has gained to lead the registered nurses at Huntington Hospital. Read more in our CNO Corner interview with Susan.
What exciting nursing initiatives are planned for 2021 at Huntington Hospital?
At Huntington Hospital, we are continuing the Magnet® journey as we prepare for our fifth designation. Currently, our documents are in final review with an anticipated site visit in the fall. We are incredibly proud of our four consecutive designations. This would not be possible without the visionary leaders, excellent outcomes and collaboration across all hospital disciplines. In our mission to promote and improve the health of individuals, families and communities, there will be a continued emphasis made on nursing research.
How does Huntington Hospital support their team in growth and development?
Nurses represent the frontline of healthcare. We strongly encourage and support personal and professional development, job satisfaction and retention. One example is our nurse mentorship program, established to support growth for new nurses in the hospital and nurses transitioning into a new role. The success of this program at Huntington Hospital is evident by the increase in certifications and advances into leadership positions, as well as newly formed, lasting relationships. This program also served as a foundation for the Northwell Health system-wide nurse leader mentor program.
How has nursing evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as we support our nurses and team members throughout the COVID-19 recovery?
2020 was a year like none other. The pandemic hit Huntington Hospital in March of 2020 and oddly enough (or not so oddly) the World Health Organization had proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, honoring the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Little did we know that we would face an unprecedented crisis.
As healthcare workers we learn about preparing for disasters such as hurricanes and mass causality events, but we never prepared for an event like this. This pandemic struck with speed and an incredibly high acuity. Our nurses arrived to work with the fear of becoming sick and the fear that they would bring it home and make loved ones sick.
It became a time of rapid evolution that lasted for weeks as the volume of COVID positive patients climbed at an alarming rate. Although they did not want to be referred to as heroes, our nurses responded in a way that was “truly heroic.” They fought this pandemic with courage, compassion, creativity and resilience.
For all involved, the pandemic forced us to face the challenging situations and impacted us in countless ways. Some of which we may have yet to be recognized. It made us feel softer but stronger, cynical but more sincere, discouraged but hopeful, saddened but joyful, uncertain but wiser and alone but together. The importance is we stayed true to Northwell’s values: Truly Compassionate, Truly Innovative, Truly Ambitious, Truly Together and Truly Ourselves.
What makes working at Huntington Hospital so unique?
We are a hospital that provides comprehensive medical care in a community setting yet supported by the well-established Northwell Health system. There is an incredible sense of pride among all caregivers. The classic matrix model is evident in the integration and collaboration across the organization. The caregivers at Huntington Hospital truly embrace our mission: to improve the health and quality of life for the people and communities we serve by providing world-class service and patient-centered care.
What advice do you have for nurses either starting their careers or looking to continue to grow?
Follow your heart, seize the next opportunity, and stay open to trying something new. Stop to enjoy the small precious moments when you know that you “made a difference” for a patient or their family member. If you are interested in further development, seek out a mentor. That relationship provides a guiding light for your journey ahead.
An appointment with: Dr. Lily Thomas, VP, System Nursing Research
When Lily Thomas, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, started her career as a nurse educator in nephrology at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in 1983, she hadn’t expected that her career journey would lead to her dream job in nursing research.
“At the time there were no formal positions assigned to nursing research,” says Dr. Thomas. “However, that never stopped me from my vision of creating a foundation for developing nursing research. I felt confident that I could seek mentorship from faculty and experts in the field.”
While working as a nurse educator, Dr. Thomas joined a Ph.D. program, eventually assuming the role of Chair of the Nursing Research Council at NSUH, and later was appointed as Chair of System Nursing Research Council. These roles helped her to build the nursing research capacity across the health system and provided the foundation she needed to take on the inaugural role of vice president, system nursing research.
Read our discussion with Dr. Thomas below to learn about the important role of nursing research and its focus on care delivery and patient outcomes.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work of the nursing research team?
As nursing research and evidence-based practice continues to evolve across the health system, we are focusing on three key areas: Creating new knowledge through research; facilitating evidence-based practice (EBP), and building capacity and competency for research and EBP at the system’s sites. The overarching goal of research and EBP projects are to enhance patient care and outcomes. Our studies focus on patient safety, the impact of nursing interventions, symptom management, identifying and validating observed phenomenon and response to illness and treatment. Currently we are also working on some studies related to COVID-19.
What are some of the nursing research studies focusing on COVID-19?
Our team completed three studies after the initial surge in early 2020 and other studies are in progress. The research team at Northwell’s Institute for Nursing (IFN) and two of our hospitals conducted studies to understand the experiences of nurses and nurse leaders during the pandemic, impact of their deployment, as well as nurses coping during the pandemic.
Studies showed that nurses were motivated to work during the crisis because of their commitment to nursing and overall belief that nursing was a calling. Nurses never felt like they were doing enough for patients especially because they saw little recovery. Fortunately, the front line nurses used different coping mechanisms to remain resilient, and peer and team support mitigated feelings of being overwhelmed and powerless. Most nurses looking back on the care they provided during this period, described ways they had grown both personally and professionally. Quantitative studies are planned to utilize these results to explore programs that will ensure the physical and mental health of nurses.
How is research-based practice benefitting our nurses across Northwell Health?
Nursing research builds the knowledge base and science for practice, promotes excellence in nursing care, and impacts quality health outcomes. Our practice has evolved from a research-based practice to evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP combines the best evidence from research, the tacit knowledge successfully utilized in practice (clinician expertise) and patient values, and is utilized for problem-solving and clinical decision making.
We also have several sites that have Magnet Designation® (Magnet Designation is awarded by the American Nursing Credentialing Center in recognition of nursing excellence); and all the health system sites are on a journey to obtain the Magnet designation or re-designation. Meeting the Magnet criteria for Nursing Research and EBP are essential for this designation; the research team continues to prepare and partner with the sites to meet the criteria.
How can someone get into a nursing research career?
Gaining the appropriate knowledge and experience for nursing research will help in preparing for the role. That may include joining research teams as research nurses to becoming a nurse researcher/scientist, an EBP mentor or research faculty. My recommendation is to start participating in research-related activities as soon as your interest arises. At Northwell, this can be done by reaching out to site nursing research and EBP council members or nurse scientists/researchers. Nursing students can seek the mentorship of their faculty as well. Participating in research activities will give you an opportunity to understand research and assess if the role is right for you. Along with the experience it is essential to complete doctoral preparation for nurse researcher/scientist roles.
Why should nurses want to work at Northwell Health?
Northwell Health provides limitless opportunities for a rewarding career and personal and professional growth. The culture at Northwell is inspiring and empowering with unlimited opportunities for career changes or advancement. There are tremendous learning opportunities at Northwell provided through our IFN, Center for Learning and Innovation, and support for obtaining academic degrees through tuition reimbursement or for mentorship from nursing peers and leaders. My career is an exemplar —in 2013, I was inducted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing because the work at Northwell qualified me to obtain this honor.
What career advice do you have for nurses?
Follow your heart! It is important to find meaning in your work and enjoy what you do. Identify what you want and the preparation you would need to reach your goal. Your dream will help you stay the course. Seek mentorship and create a plan to work toward your goal; however, be open to different paths that could lead you there. Learn to persevere! Never lose sight of your goal and celebrate what you achieve!
Eight reasons you should join the Cardiac Cath & Electrophysiology Team at South Shore University Hospital
South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), formerly Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, has delivered award-winning heart care for years. And they didn’t become one of the best by maintaining the status quo. By investing in their facilities, recruiting top talent, and delivering innovative treatments to their patients, they’ve become the best through transformation—and it was all for the community where we live, love and belong.
With the growth our cardiac program, that means more opportunities for registered nurses and techs to grow their career at Northwell as part of a team that “mends broken hearts.” Currently we are recruiting for team members in the Cath Lab to join the South Shore family.
Why should you join us? Here are eight reasons:
1. South Shore University Hospital provides growth and development
At SSUH, we know the way to provide the best programs and care to our patients is to develop and invest in our team members. Along with offering benefits such as our tuition reimbursement program and training (including at our Center for Learning and Innovation), our team members have the opportunity to grow within our team.
See the growth that Rachael Haddock, MSN, RN, CVRN-BC, and director of Patient Care Services in Cardiology/Interventional Radiology at SSUH, has grown at Northwell.
2. A Level 2 trauma center and home to Northwell Health’s largest Cardiac Cath and EP program in Suffolk county
Along with being a Level 2 trauma center, SSUH is proud to have two Cath Labs, two EP labs and one Hybrid lab that is shared by Cath, Neuro and Peripheral Vascular teams. Additionally, we have a 17-bedded holding space located adjacent to the labs that helps to improve the patient and team member experience.
3. One of the 50 best hospitals in the U.S. for heart surgery, according to Healthgrades
SSUH is proud to have been ranked by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for the past three years, recognizing our superior clinical outcomes in heart bypass surgery and heart valve surgery.
4. Four-year recipient and first hospital on Long Island to receive the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline” Gold Award
Mission: Lifeline is the American Heart Association’s national initiative to advance the system of care for patients with high-risk, time sensitive diseases that could be life threatening, such as severe heart attacks. SSUH achieved this distinction for its fast response time in consistently getting patients to the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab where blood flow can be restored.
5. Among the nation’s best for heart bypass and heart failure, according to S. News & World Report
SSUH was ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s High Performing Hospitals in Bypass and Heart Failure, scoring significantly better than the national average based on criterion including patient outcomes, volume, advanced heart programs and more.
6. Only Suffolk County hospital recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) as being among the state’s best for heart valve repair and replacement surgeries
SSUH has not only been nationally recognized for our heart valve repair and replacement surgeries, but also our surgeons have been ranked among the best in New York.
7. Opportunities to join one of Northwell’s many Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs)
The accolades aren’t the only reason our team members love working at SSUH–they love our culture as well. At Northwell, we foster an environment where our teams feel supported and encouraged to be Truly Ourselves. Our BERGs allow team members to network across our entire organization in groups with specific business priorities that interest them, helping them discover new ways to have a major impact on the communities we serve.
8. Being a part of New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer
There are many benefits to being part of New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer for Northwell’s vast cardiac network of doctors, registered nurses, techs and more. That includes opportunity for career movement across our many hospitals and physician practices who are all working together with the same mission: to Raise Heath.
Discover a career well cared for among the award-winning cardiac team at South Shore University Hospital. Explore our openings today!
U.S. Marine continues to protect our communities as a registered nurse
For Brian Uster, a medical/surgical registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH), nursing was the perfect next step after serving as a U.S. Marine.
“I always felt the urge to help others,” says Brian. “That is why I first joined the Marine Corps and volunteered with the Fire Department. Healthcare allows you the opportunity to directly affect other people in a good way.”
Brian served six years in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as a foreign security force adviser where he helped train and educate foreign militaries while working through interpreters when necessary. He also served as an anti-tank missile-man before being honorably discharged as a Sergeant.
After his service with the Marines, Brian knew that nursing was the next way he could continue to help and protect his community. For Brian, Northwell Health was also the perfect place to pursue this next mission. “I chose Northwell because of the reputation this system has. Northwell has high standards and expects nothing but the best from their employees,” says Brian. “It’s also very veteran friendly. At Northwell, I’ve found a comfortable environment with many different career paths and opportunities.”
And Brian’s experience in the Marines taught him many lessons that he takes with him every day to the hospital. Beyond the reinforcement of the importance of teamwork and commitment, being responsible for creating, managing, and implementing training also provided Brian with leadership skills he uses today as a nurse. But for Brian, one of the most important abilities he gained was the knowledge of how to work in any situation, with anyone. “In the Marines, I learned to work under pressure and in extreme environments,” says Brian. “Working as a foreign security force adviser also taught me how to work with people with all different backgrounds.”
Today, the teamwork Brian experienced in the Marines is something he still feels within his team at NSUH. “I love the environment and the people I work with,” says Brian. “Whenever one of us falls behind, the other nurses help out right away.”
Cardiovascular professionals at Northwell Health never miss a beat
Cardiovascular professionals at Northwell Health work diligently every day to keep our patients’ hearts healthy and strong. Whether they are technologists, EKG or monitor technicians, supervisors, registered nurses or another role, their hard work provides outstanding patient care that creates a positive impact in our community.
As a nurse in a Cath Lab, Maryann assists in performing diagnostic and interventional procedures through continuous patient monitoring, and administration of medications, and patient education. “My absolute favorite aspect of working as a cardiovascular professional at Northwell is how we are as a team,” says Maryann. “We are cohesive, committed to one purpose with a bond that enables us to always optimize our patient outcomes. In addition, we serve our community by providing emergency care 24 hours a day, to prevent life-changing, long-lasting heart disease.”
Suvada Louthan, RN, CV-BC, Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Interventional Recovery Room, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Suvada has grown into her role as a registered nurse in both the Cath Lab and the Recovery Suite for eight and a half years at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In her role, she works in the lab for scheduled and emergent procedures and works in recovery for the pre- and post-patient experience. “Working in the lab can be very exciting,” says Suvada. “Professionally, there is instant gratification when we are in the lab, a vessel is opened, and the patient is no longer having severe chest pain. I am always learning and growing as a professional. It is so rewarding to contribute to the health and wellness of our patients both acutely in the lab and by teaching in the recovery room.”
Michael Kleinschmidt, Supervisor, Cardiac Services, North Shore University Hospital
As a supervisor in Cardiac Services, Michael’s role consists of the day-to-day operation and staffing of the technologists in the Cath Lab, along with scheduling, training, and maintaining equipment quality. “My favorite thing about working as a cardiovascular professional is being able to help people and make a difference in their lives,” says Michael. “Working in healthcare can be one of the most rewarding career choices there is. I consider myself very fortunate to work in a field that is always changing and growing with new technologies, capabilities and ideas.” Michael feels the impact of cardiovascular professionals on the community is indescribable. “The service we provide to the community is second to none. Not only do we help during their procedure, but we can often help post procedure.”
Leslie Pierre, Lead Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist, Adult Cardiac Cath Lab, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
As an invasive cardiovascular technologist, Leslie helps greet patients, set them up in the room and explain procedures. His role includes operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting a variety of diagnostic and invasive equipment. Cardiovascular technologists are tasked with maintaining a sterile field while preparing the table and equipment before and during procedures. “I feel the work we do in the Cath Lab can change our patients’ outlook on their health,” says Leslie. “We have seen patients take that mindset back to their family and friends and become the foundation for them to want to be aware of their cardiac health as well.”
Working as an invasive cardiovascular technologist in the Cath Lab, Kathi works closely with physicians to examine and treat patients with cardiac diseases. She circulates, supports, and assists all aspects of invasive cardiology. “My favorite thing about working as a CVT is being a part of a talented team of individuals who can literally fix a broken heart. The satisfaction that comes along with helping someone get through a nerve-wracking experience is immeasurable,” says Kathi.
Recently opening in September 2020, the Cardiac Cath/EP Lab in Northern Westchester Hospital is a great addition to Northwell. Patricia was initially tasked with opening the lab and developing all aspects related to operations. “The impact on our community has been significant in that our patients can now obtain this care closer to home,” says Patricia. “Additionally, with the implementation of our STEMI program, they can receive emergent treatment at their doorstep, saving time and cardiac muscle.” Patricia explained that her team’s favorite thing about working as a cardiovascular professional is the ability to deliver quality cardiac care utilizing advanced technology to patients and achieving great outcomes.
Northwell nurse newlyweds deliver heartfelt care to our community
When Vanessa Baral, BSN, RN, and Herwyn Silva, BSN, RN, CEN, first met over a decade ago, their shared nursing experience helped them to bond. Today, their love for nursing—now as Northwell employees—continues to complement their love for each other as they begin their married life together.
Though they work in separate Northwell hospitals and units, Vanessa in the ICU at LIJ Forest Hills and Herwyn in the Emergency Department at Lenox Hill Hospital, they appreciate how their shared profession helps them to understand each other on a different level. This unique insight became especially valued as they both cared for COVID-19 patients at their hospitals at the start of the pandemic last March.
“Both of us being RNs is very comforting, especially in these different times. In the ICU and ED, we work with some of the sickest patients and see things most people don’t see or go through,” says Herwyn. “Having that support person at home who knows what you go through at work is very comforting.” Vanessa agrees adding, “We can support each other whenever we have a rough day at work or at home knowing that we have been there and that we are doing it together.”
Hoda Kotb officiates Herwyn and Vanessa’s socially distant wedding live on the Today Show
And while they delivered care to our patients during this unprecedented time, Vanessa and Herwyn also made the difficult decision to put their wedding plans, originally scheduled for May 17, 2020, on hold to ensure the safety of their family and loved ones. Life, however, had other plans in store for them. In a celebration of their work as healthcare heroes on the front-lines, Vanessa and Herwyn were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their wedding ceremony live on the Today Show on June 25th, 2020, ordained by Hoda Kotb herself.
After their wedding, they continued to deliver compassionate patient care and today they also serve in another role as nurses: working at our vaccination sites. Distributing vaccines allows them to deliver hope to patients in the form of a brighter tomorrow while working side-by-side.
“Distributing vaccines is an upbeat and happy moment we share with the community and a break from the difficult situations we sometimes deal with in the ICU and ED,” says Herwyn. “We vaccinated people who were looking forward to finally being able to see grandchildren, to essential workers and group home residents. These moments, full with nerves for some, are also filled with moments of hope and happiness.”
“The past year has been rough for everyone but being a duo has made it easier,” says Vanessa. “From working the frontlines as nurses, getting married live on tv during a pandemic, and now vaccinating our communities, we are happy to share our story with people to just spread joy in times when it feels more needed than ever.”
Northwell nurses deliver care at Henry Ford Health System as part of strategic alliance to fight COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit New York, nurses from around the country came to New York to fight on the front-lines alongside our healthcare heroes. Now as the pandemic surges in other states, the nurses at Northwell are returning that same support.
Recently Northwell Health sent 12 intensive care and medical-surgical nurses to Michigan-based Henry Ford Health System to help the clinicians as they cared for a rising number of patients in their system suffering from COVID. This staff-sharing initiative occurred as part of a newly formed strategic alliance between the health systems. In addition to staff-sharing, this alliance allows for collaborative emergency planning and an exchange of best practices, all in an effort to strengthen our ability to fight the new coronavirus and support the health and well-being of our communities.
Northwell’s intensive care and medical-surgical nurses are the first to participate in staff-sharing under this alliance, volunteering for the program to share their knowledge, skills, and provide a boost of morale and support to the nurses currently delivering care during a resurgence of COVID-19.
Fritz-Gerald Lochard, executive program director with the HR Office of the Chief People Officer, first saw the benefits of staff-sharing when he became directly involved with the clinicians who came to support our health system last spring from University of Rochester Medical Center and Intermountain Health in Utah. When he was offered the opportunity to lead the group of nurses on deployment to Michigan, he accepted immediately.
“I felt it was my duty to ensure that our Northwell nurses would have everything they needed while they were leaving their own families behind for a couple of weeks to help save lives,” says Fritz-Gerald. “The entire experience for me personally was a remarkable one for a number of reasons. The individuals at Henry Ford were spectacular and made sure that the nurses and myself had everything we needed to be successful while we were there. The administrative team and staff we all encountered were welcoming and supportive.”
The importance of strategic alliances has only become more apparent throughout the pandemic. As the disease spread, many health systems were severely impacted by staff shortages to support their clinical needs. Staff-sharing not only provides a way to increase staffing in a crisis quickly and efficiently, but provides vital knowledge sharing in an unprecedented time and a boost of morale for both teams.
“Deploying to Henry Ford Health System was extremely rewarding,” says Gina Zinzi, BSN, RN-BC, an ICU nurse at Northern Westchester Hospital. “It felt great to assist a fellow healthcare team who needed an extra set of hands. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
“I was so excited to be asked to go to Michigan and help out fellow nurses, knowing how much it meant to my ICU when we had nurses from out of state volunteer to come help us,” says Marisa Allen, a registered nurse in Interventional Radiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center who was asked to deploy due to her ICU background. “The staff at Henry Ford Hospital was so welcoming and it was a great experience getting to work at their facility.”
To Fritz-Gerald, strategic alliances like this only serve as proof that our organization is willing to exhaust all options to ensure those on the front-lines had the support they needed day in and day out. “I think in the environment that we are in now with COVID, it can only assist us in how we deliver care to our respective communities while making our organizations innovative and agile,” says Fritz-Gerald. “I truly learned a lot and I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to visit another health system to take it!”
Discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health. Apply today!
Growing as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Northwell Health
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) are an invaluable part of our patient care teams, safely administering anesthetics to patients in our operating rooms. Whether they’re delivering anesthesia inside hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, obstetric units, or outpatient clinics, CRNAs enjoy autonomy and an abundance of opportunity in their professional roles at Northwell Health.
One of our incredible CRNAs is Arlene del Mundo, senior nurse anesthetist at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH) & Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH). Arlene was inspired to pursue nursing at a young age.
“My desire to pursue a career in nursing was influenced by my younger brother’s turbulent battle with leukemia. At the time, my youth prevented me from understanding the extent of his illness. However, I was able to recognize the impact of the nursing team that supported him throughout his treatment,” says Arlene. “The commitment of the nursing team serves as my inspiration to continuously improve healthcare.”
After seven years of oncology and critical care nursing, Arlene pursued a career as a CRNA, seeking a higher degree and more autonomy. Her Northwell journey started in 2019 as a nurse anesthetist at LHH and MEETH where she provided an impactful anesthetic experience to patients during their most vulnerable moments. Now in her current role as senior nurse anesthetist, she enjoys being in a position to leverage the lessons learned throughout her career to provide quality patient care and innovative change in healthcare.
This opportunity came sooner than anticipated with the COVID-19 pandemic surging in New York City shortly after her promotion. To help with the new needs, Arlene transitioned her usual responsibilities to lead the CRNA COVID-19 intubation team and otherCRNAs, and to collaborate with intensive care units to provide advance clinical care at LHH.
“Numerous challenges were faced as we had never seen a pandemic of this magnitude,” says Arlene. “Fortunately, teamwork and dedication permitted beneficial improvisations and the process of resolving these challenges has provided greater insight into the fundamentals of effective leadership.” The experience of pandemic and her role of leadership throughout impacted Arlene, inspiring her to begin the venture of earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 with the support of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program.
Working at the largest private employer and healthcare provider in New York State, Arlene has found ample opportunity and resources to support her desire to continue to grow professionally and she encourages others to do the same. “Our CRNAs provide anesthetic care between LHH and MEETH which are both renowned for premier patient care and innovative medicine. I’m proud to work at these Magnet® facilities that offer a wide diversity of procedures,” says Arlene. “It is an exciting time to join our rapidly expanding CRNA team as we strive to provide high quality patient care driven by innovation and best practices.”
Get moving with a CRNA career at Northwell Health. Apply today!
730+ Nursing students go virtual for our 2021 Golden Ticket Nursing Showcase
Though this year’s Northwell Health Golden Ticket Nursing Showcase may have looked different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to educating and impacting future nursing careers was stronger than ever.
To ensure the safety of our team members, students and communities, the 2021 Nursing Showcase pivoted from our traditional in-person format to an exciting and engaging virtual event. But this wasn’t your typical zoom meeting – the more than 730 junior and senior nursing students from 50+ schools had a full day of interactive events to choose from!
Students used our virtual lobby to navigate through the day’s events.
The morning started in our auditoriums where students heard from senior leadership, including Northwell’s President and CEO Michael Dowling who had a candid conversation with four of Northwell’s nurse heroes. After learning about our culture of nursing excellence and discovering how they could prepare for their own career journeys, students attended panels to learn about our Nurse Externship Program and new graduate nursing careers including our Nurse Fellowship Program with live Q&A. Depending on their year of study, panels connected students with fellow nurses who had worked as externs over the summer or new nurses who had been in their shoes not long ago.
After the morning sessions, students had the opportunity to explore our virtual Careers Expo and Culture Center. In the Careers Expo, students could virtually chat one-on-one with nurses across 24 specialties at our booths. It was a unique opportunity to learn about specialties that aren’t taught in nursing school, such as Perioperative, Teleheath and Home Care, or to discover what it is like to work in areas such as Emergency, Critical Care, Pediatrics, Float, Case Management, Women’s Health, and many more.
And that’s not all! Throughout the afternoon, students were able to attend 11 Breakout Sessions. These optional sessions offered an in-depth look at some of our specialties such as the Perioperative Information Session, informed students how to optimize their resume and interview tips from our recruiters, or explored nursing career journeys from bedside nurse to leadership and more. Our final Breakout Sessions of the day also gave students the unique chance to earn Contact Hours. Through a partnership with our Institute for Nursing team, juniors and seniors alike could earn credits for attending the Navigating as a New Graduate Nurse or Caring through COVID-19 including Emergencies and Codes sessions.
Throughout the day students could also interact with other elements in within the platform. Whether it was visiting our robust video library to watch our team members talk about what it is like to work at Northwell or bringing Northwell leadership directly into their home through augmented reality, there were so many ways to explore nursing within our event. And every action helped students earn points as they competed to win prizes, including gift cards. Additionally, students could submit their photo to our virtual mosaic of attendees – a way to be together despite the unprecedented circumstances.
No matter what the next year holds, at Northwell Health we know the future of nursing shines bright!
Meet Vincent Thorpe OR nurse leader at Glen Cove Hospital
Meet Vincent Thorpe, nurse manager of the operating room unit at Glen Cove Hospital. Vincent’s career growth within Northwell Health highlights the amazing opportunities for personal and professional development possible within our health system.
In 2012, Vincent started his career as a registered nurse in the operating room at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). He was hired for the overnight shift, where he gained tremendous experience and worked for five years. During his tenure, he continued to grow and became a charge nurse from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, he was promoted to assistant nurse manager to cover weekend shifts before he transferred to Glen Cove Hospital in 2018 to work as a nurse manager in their operating room unit, where he works today.
“What I appreciate about Northwell is that I’ve been able to grow within the organization. Northwell provided me with the skills to accept a leadership role and help staff members grow to their potential,” says Vincent.
Vincent’s role as a nurse manager for the operating room consists of supervising nursing staff and overseeing patient care. He assists with interviewing applicants for open positions within the department, coaching new and junior staff, conducting performance evaluations, and coordinating staff schedules. Additionally, Vincent has the important role of ensuring that the operating room is clean, sanitary and properly equipped for surgeries.
For Vincent, his love of the operating room comes from how unique it is in its fast-paced and ever-changing environment. “My favorite thing about the operating room is that it is both challenging and rewarding. I particularly enjoy the detailed nature of the unit, learning about new procedures and seeing firsthand how technology in healthcare continues to transform the way we approach medical treatment. Currently, Glen Cove Hospital is expanding its surgical procedural offerings and I’m excited to be a part of the OR’s evolution.”
Within his current role, Vincent also assists in the professional development of his team. His role allows him to train, challenge, coach and connect with his colleagues to support their professional growth and goals. “Nursing is my calling, it’s a dream of mine to inspire others.” His own experiences as a nurse has allowed him to grow into a leadership position and to help others follow in his footsteps.
“My career has taught me to expect the unexpected. The key to staying grounded is to think critically, communicate effectively and trust in your team’s abilities,” says Vincent. “I am able to plan ahead and emphasize a positive, solutions-oriented mindset. My advice is to always touch base with team members regularly, ensure everyone knows what is expected of them, see the plan of action through and circle back, after-the-fact, to recap in team meetings.” His leadership has helped the operating room at Glen Cove Hospital be recognized on our employee engagement survey as a Tier 1 highly engaged unit in both 2019 and 2020. Also, during the pandemic, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognized Vincent as a Patriotic Employer for his support of employee participation in America’s National Guard and reserve force.
His tireless commitment to improving the operating room and to his team has cultivated asupportive environment to deliver care that is as compassionate as it is innovative. “As the OR nurse manager, I’m proud of the hard work and dedication that my colleagues and I have shown in our professions and our commitment to patient advocacy. As a unit, we come together to provide the best patient care possible.”
Interested in joining the OR team at Glen Cove Hospital? Apply today!
The compassionate care of Northwell’s home care providers
Our home care professionals at Northwell Health provide a comfortable and healing space for our patients and their families. We’re proud to recognize our amazing team of nurses, therapists, aides, social workers and more, who are making a difference.
Meet some of our team members in home care and learn their favorite thing about their career below:
Danielle Walker, Home Care Registered Nurse, Staten Island
As a registered nurse, Danielle provides a full range of care to her patients from educating them on their disease, providing treatment to their wounds and offering emotional support. “I love being able to provide a sense of security and calmness to a patient and their families,” says Danielle. “We provide an “extra set of eyes” and ears for the doctors so that we can continue to provide the care that they need as they return to their home.”
Steven Boym, Registered Nurse and Coordinator of Care, Northwell Health at Home
Working as a registered nurse and coordinator of care, Steven performs initial admission visits to patients for the home care program. In this role he works with physicians and colleagues in the home care interdisciplinary team, such as physical and occupation therapists and social workers to plan the patient’s course of care. “Helping patients to recover from sickness brings the most satisfaction to my work,” Steve says. “I like to assist physicians in treating patients with chronic and complex wounds. Northwell Health has helped me in becoming a certified wound care specialist.”
Thomas Onorato, Home Care Physical Therapist, New Hyde Park
As a physical therapist, Thomas plays a vital role in providing evaluations of function, teaching exercises and skills to better improve movement and activity performance for his patients. “Providing physical therapy in the home is fantastic because of the one-on-one time we spend with patients,” says Thomas. “We see directly the environment with which patients must interact and can make meaningful recommendations to facilitate successful completion of their daily tasks. We work with patients to develop flexibility, strength, balance, endurance and coordination and suggest movement strategies and environmental adaptations to help them achieve what is most important to them.”
Yvonne Foley, Home Care Registered Nurse, Westbury
Working as a registered nurse, Yvonne facilitates a safe transition from the hospital and rehab to the community. She ensures the patient is safe in the home, taking medications correctly, and educates them on their disease and symptoms. “My goal is for all my patients to achieve their maximum independence in a timely fashion,” says Yvonne. “My favorite part of home care is the variety. No two days are ever the same and I have time to develop a relationship with patients and their families. It is extremely satisfying to discharge a patient from home care, and they are able to resume their previous lifestyle.”
Join our team of compassionate home care professionals. Apply today!