The power of connection for veterans at Northwell Health
After serving as a Sergeant (E-5) in the US Army, Matthew Scanapico joined Northwell Health as a per diem journeyman II maintenance mechanic at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH).
Matthew credits his time in the military for providing him with the discipline and leadership skills that were instrumental in developing his career at Northwell. Starting with a per diem position in 2008, Matthew enjoyed a flexible schedule that allowed him to go back to school. There he earned a BS in Construction Management and Engineering from SUNY Farmingdale in 2016.
Choosing a career in the healthcare industry, Matthew felt he was a part of an industry that shared many of the same core values as he found in the military. For him, these shared values made his transition easier to navigate.
And importantly, this new career path at Northwell also helped Matthew to feel like he was part of a team again. “Transitioning from military service is never easy, but being hired by Northwell Health provided me with the stability needed to start this new chapter of my life,” he says. “Both my leadership and my peers were aware of the hardships I faced overseas and provided me with the support I needed to be successful in both school and my career. For that, I will always be grateful.”
From his start in 2008, Matthew’s career has flourished and today, he’s a project manager for Northwell Health’s Western Region ambulatory sites. Along with overseeing practice operations, environment of care, and safety at approximately 200 locations, Matthew manages practice renovation and refresh work. He’s also a proud member of our Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR) business employee resource group (BERG). In addition to talent development and recruitment, VALOR serves our military personnel, veterans and their family members by connecting them to resources that support their physical and psychological wellbeing.
“Northwell is a great organization for veterans looking for careers outside of the military whose core values are like that of the military, no matter which branch you served in,” says Matthew. “Between the Military and Veteran Liaison Service and the VALOR BERG, Northwell continues to develop and adapt programs that better serve our veteran community.”
Matthew knows firsthand how integral a stable work environment can be for military veterans during their healing process. Being able to connect with Northwell’s vast network of veterans has provided him with a support system throughout every step of his career while giving him a new way to serve his community.
“Northwell prides itself in being more than just a health system, it’s a family. Here you are able to be part of something greater than ourselves by serving our patients, communities and each other,” says Matthew. “This value is one of, if not the most, important foundation to a veteran’s life. Joining Northwell gives veterans an opportunity to be a part of that bigger picture again.”
Serving as a leader in the U.S. Marine Corps and at Northwell Health
Sean Christensen’s 20 years of honorable service in the U.S. Marine Corps developed him into the leader he is today as manager of Distribution Operations at Northwell Health’s Core Lab in New Hyde Park. In his role, Sean manages a team across two separate warehouse locations and is responsible for planning and implementing process and quality improvements, process redesign, benchmarking, and educating teams on the distribution operations process.
Retiring as a Captain from the Marine Corps in 2017, Sean held many roles throughout his service, including Mortarman, Rifleman, Infantry Platoon Sergeant, Infantry Instructor, and Logistics Officer. Once he retired, Sean still felt the call to protect and serve people and he knew pursuing a healthcare career was the perfect opportunity for him to continue to better serve society. “I needed a job that allowed me to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself and to give me a purpose, just like the Marine Corps had provided me,” says Sean. “Working in the healthcare industry provides me with the opportunity to continue to serve my local community.”
And serving in the military developed skills in Sean that made a career in healthcare the perfect next step. While he gained knowledge in planning and logistical operations in the Marine Corps that he utilizes now, Sean believes the leadership skills he gained are even more valuable. “Being able to work and lead a diverse group of people in any environment is the most sought out skill in any industry,” says Sean. “You can always learn the specifics of a job or role over time, but an individual who has leadership experience with various group sizes and cultures helps bring their team to the next level.”
Sean also feels he benefitted greatly from training with other militaries and interacting with citizens from around the world, having been deployed to over 20 countries, whether it was during peacetime, war, or for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It’s an experience that he likens to being able to work as one of Northwell’s healthcare heroes. “They would look to our country and our military to help provide safety and relief whenever they are in a time of need,” says Sean. “Just as those who reside in the U.S. look to our first responders and hospitals to do the same for them when they need help.”
Now at Northwell, Sean has found a new team where he loves working among a group where everyone has a deep desire for continually improving how we provide services to customers and patients. Since Sean’s started, his team has restructured their receiving process and are currently restructuring their shelving system to better utilize the space available for storage of their more than 1,100 inventory line items. Along with implementing a new inventory system, they are continually changing and improving current processes to ensure the most efficient and effective workplace for the whole team. Sean feels that working at Northwell provides a collaborative environment where everyone’s voice can be heard as we all strive to better our organization.
“I would definitely recommend other veterans look to Northwell for their next career as this is a great place to grow your career and meet your professional goals,” says Sean. “Northwell looks out for their employees and is a very welcoming place to work for all.”
How Veteran Lenore Brathwaite uses skills she learned in the U.S. Army at Northwell Health Laboratories
Lenore Elizabeth Brathwaite, who is a six-year Army Reserves veteran, two years deployed during Desert Storm, and today is a project manager of Hospital Laboratory Integration and Operations at Northwell Health.
Lenore gained vital skills in the military that help shaped her civilian career today. In the U.S. Army, she held many roles such as a Sergeant, blood transfusion coordinator, and phlebotomy supervisor. This helped her to learn skills ranging from. communications and leadership, to the ability to work under pressure and problem solve . “The military taught me to handle change and adapt to new situations in a short amount of time,” says Lenore. “My flexibility to adapt to changing environments allows me to stay productive and positive. As a section Sergeant I always had to remain calm and be confident in my leadership decisions to lead my team.”
Transitioning into healthcare
Lenore’s interest in healthcare sparked when she was in high school and witnessed her mother undergo chemotherapy treatments. She saw how important it was to be the voice for the patient and to always have empathy and patience. This is what she practices with her team now as she helps lead projects.
She started her Northwell journey in 2012 as a point of care supervisor (POCT) at Long Island Jewish Hospital. This role gave Lenore the opportunity to coach her team to provide quality care. Throughout the years she has grown into her career in hospital laboratory operations and in her current role as a project manager, Lenore coordinates with senior leadership, assists in projects, and prepares financial and quarterly reports as a project manager. And as a clinical laboratory technologist, Lenore’s experience helps her lead and enabled her pitch and help her team when necessary, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her time serving the country and working in healthcare enabled Lenore to become a great team member. “Northwell has many great leaders. I had the pleasure to work with and learn from a few of them during my past years,” she says. Lenore is inspired by Northwell’s President and CEO Michael Dowling and his dedication to veterans in addition to his leadership motivates her to work harder.
In addition to learning from her leaders, Lenore is also a member of Northwell’s veteran-focused Business Employee Resource Group VALOR (Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration). Being a part of this group allows her to connect with other members of the military, veterans and their families. “VALOR has great resources to help veterans transition. We are a BERG comprised of fellow veterans from all roles across the organization. Who better to understand the hardship of transitioning from military to civilian status but us,” Lenore says.
Lenore feels supported, encouraged, and honored at Northwell as a veteran and encourages fellow veterans to explore the limitless opportunities that are offered!
Protecting our country as a veteran and communities as an Environmental Service Worker
For Nelson Martinez, a supervisor in Environmental Services (EVS) at Plainview Hospital, a commitment to helping and protecting others led him to a lifelong career in healthcare and in the U.S. Army Reserves.
It was an unexpected career journey for Nelson, who back in 2004 hadn’t planned on an EVS career. “Over the years I’ve learned a lot from being in the healthcare environment and really became excited to pursue it,” says Nelson. “It’s so rewarding being in a field where you can help the community and people all around you.”
The reward of helping others was also one he found while serving in the Army Reserves, which he first joined in 2007 and continues to serve in today. As an engineer operating heavy equipment, Nelson has been deployed twice: once in 2010 for 14 months and again in 2014 for nine months.
“Northwell has shown me great support while I’ve been at work and whenever I have had to go on deployments,” says Nelson. “My management team has also been very supportive and has always asked if there’s anything I need or if they can help.”
Developing leadership skills in the Reserves
Throughout his training and deployment, Nelson has developed skills that he’s been able to bring back to his work at Plainview Hospital. “Serving in the military has taught me leadership skills, how to train others and the ability to adapt to any situation as they occur,” says Nelson.
Adaptability and leadership skills were especially vital to Nelson this year during the COVID-19 pandemic where our EVS team members played a vital role in keeping our patients, team members and facilities safe. Having just grown into his supervisor role at the start of the pandemic, Nelson relied on his leadership experience to stay on top of their new responsibilities, to make sure his team members and the patients were being safe and to ensure a thoroughly and properly cleaned environment.
Within the hospital, he has found a team environment where he has enjoyed being able to partner with various departments where each team member serves an important role in our united mission to deliver compassionate care. He also loves being able to build rewarding moments with patients and visitors, many of whom he is able to connect with over a shared experience of having served in the military.
At Northwell, Nelson has found an organization with diverse opportunities. “Northwell is an awesome place to build and pursue a career,” says Nelson. “There are so many different fields to choose from, just like in the military.”
Former homeless veteran turned nursing hero is giving back to our communities during COVID-19
Overcoming his own adversities, veteran and registered nurse Andy is now giving back and caring for those who need it most.
Antranik “Andy” Garabedian, RN, BSN, is a registered nurse at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital (LIJVS) who uses his compassion to not only deliver care to our patients, but to our communities.
Prior to becoming a registered nurse, Andy first served in the U.S. Marines as a Private. “I think that people often forget that military missions are usually based off humanitarian issues first and that is why many military members join healthcare teams,” says Andy. “It’s a common thread, that leads to a common goal and the delivery method is embedded as a team. Northwell has been great to everyone I know who is a veteran across many different facilities because of the inclusivity. It is a feeling of belonging and that you matter at Northwell.”
After receiving a medical discharge from the Marines in the early 2000s, Andy later decided to find a new way to serve people as a nurse. “Nursing is a passion of mine because of my grandmother,” says Andy. “My grandmother became ill in 2004 and passed away. I took care of her for the last few weeks of her life and every patient interaction reminds me of her and why I am here. I came into nursing with her in my heart, the drive of a warrior and the passion for being there for those who need us.”
Today Andy still uses the vital experience he gained in the Marines while working as a nurse. “In the Marines I learned the ability to adapt to almost any situation and to press ahead and complete the tasks ahead – skills that have been invaluable to me as a nurse. What makes me a better team member is that I will jump in and help anyone who is struggling or needs that extra hand.”
Giving back beyond the bedside
On top of working at LIJVS as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andy was inspired in another way to help those struggling in our communities. “One random April day, I went into Manhattan to see how empty the city was at the height of the pandemic. Nobody was there except the homeless and hungry. I was homeless myself in my early twenties for about three years and I know how tough it is on a regular day, but add in a pandemic and the homeless people I encountered were really struggling.”
Doing what he could that day, Andy purchased meals, water bottles, drinks, socks and more, for the individuals he encountered but he knew there was more that could be done to help take care of our communities. Within 24 hours, Aggregate Hearts was born – a charity created to focus on supporting the sick, hungry and homeless during the pandemic.
Andy co-founded Aggregate Hearts with Dawna Scheich, a registered nurse with FlexStaff, and since their start they’ve felt support at Northwell. “Leadership has really been great,” says Andy. “In addition to helping me raise money, donating clothing and items, several members of the management team have physically joined us and came to deliver food and items with me. The overwhelming support of my colleagues and coworkers has been tremendous, from ideas of how to serve these individuals, to raising money.”
In addition to helping those in need, Andy and Aggregate Hearts have been sourcing food from several local businesses regularly to help support local and small businesses in our communities as well.
The power of teamwork from the U.S. Navy to healthcare recruitment
Teamwork. Loyalty. Problem solving. These are all traits that Michael Ellis, MBA, SPHR, learned in the military that he uses today as a manager in Talent Acquisition at Northwell Health. Serving in the U.S. Navy for 22 years, Mike developed both leadership and recruitment skills that have set him up for success as a Senior Chief Petty Officer and in the recruiting world.
Whether it was learning the vital importance of teamwork while being stationed on a nuclear submarine or learning to think quickly on his feet to identify solutions, the experiences Mike learned in the Navy were invaluable. “In the Navy, I learned how to be loyal to my country, my command and subordinates,” says Mike. “I bring that same level of loyalty to Northwell and the people that work with me. To be successful we all have to work together to achieve common goals.”
Mike has the opportunity to lead our Staten Island recruitment team in finding top talent that helps to deliver exceptional care to patients in their most vulnerable times. And Mike knows firsthand the power that healthcare heroes can have for patients. “I recently was that patient looking for help and had the kindest, most professional and knowledgeable healthcare workers taking care of me. I definitely feel a sense of wanting to give back. I wanted a career in healthcare because I truly want to help people.”
At Northwell, Mike is able to let his own talents shine, all while doing something he loves. “The interactions you have with hiring managers, candidates and the Talent Acquisition team makes this the best job around! It is rewarding to me to help Northwell grow by finding the perfect team members to take care of our patients.”
It’s also here where Mike’s able to combine his passions for giving back, recruitment, and the military within a united workforce that reminds him fondly his time in the Navy. “The Navy was a melting pot of cultures, and I had the opportunity to work and live with individuals who were all different. It has made me think differently about situations, our world and made me a better person, work colleague, husband and dad. At Northwell, I get to continue to work with amazing people from all different cultures.”
It’s a natural fit, and though Mike hasn’t been at Northwell long, he’s already seeing his future here where he is valued as a team member and a veteran. “Being at Northwell has made me feel at home,” says Mike. “There are a variety of resources for veterans to make the transition easier such as the VALOR Business Employee Resource Group (BERG), a dedicated Military and Veteran Liaison Services Office and a Veteran Talent Specialist to assist veterans during the recruitment process. I have made several friends with fellow veterans during my first three months at Northwell and it’s clear the camaraderie exists in the civilian sector.”
Beyond the call of duty: answering the call to deliver care
When it comes to veterans finding careers at Northwell Health, during or after their service, the opportunities are limitless. Take Stephanie Leibman, a registered nurse at Northwell and a member of the Army Reserves. She began her journey here in 2016 and quickly discovered this was the place she was meant to be.
Starting as a patient care associate (PCA) at Glen Cove Hospital while in nursing school, Stephanie experienced an accommodating and supportive environment that encouraged her professional growth and helped her discover a different mission that she was more than ready to accept.
“My nurse manager was always very accommodating with my school schedule, and all of the nurses that I worked with were always willing to teach me what they knew,” she says. “Northwell was constantly holding career-related events which eventually helped me move from PCA to nurse.”
What she details is just an example of the programs we have available to help develop our talent. Following her transition from a PCA to a registered nurse, Stephanie first gained experience in pain management before accepting an RN position at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in the Labor and Delivery department.
Although still new to the labor and delivery team, she’s quickly made herself at home within a department she’s dreamed of since her first day of nursing school. “Even though I’ve just started in labor and delivery, I love it,” she says. “I love the friendly and helpful environment, and how there is constant learning opportunities. I love being a part of such an amazing process and assisting women and their families through it.”
Her time serving the country, functioning as a healthcare specialist, provided her with a unique skill set that easily transferred to the work we do every day at Northwell. “In the Army Reserves, I’ve received a great deal of fast-paced trauma training which I find useful every day of my career. It really helped teach me how to function in high-stress situations,” she says.
Everyone who joins our team with a passion for redefining healthcare will find many opportunities for development and career growth. Northwell’s culture has tremendous revere and admiration for our veterans and reservists who have sacrificed so much to protect and keep our country safe. As Stephanie knows, there is always a place on our team. “I’d definitely recommend other veterans and military members to work for Northwell. The organization appreciates the work we do, and is flexible to reserve/army schedules.”
From delivering care in the US Army to Zucker Hillside Hospital
Before Laren Lamonaca delivered care as an assistant nurse manager at Zucker Hillside Hospital (ZHH), he delivered care in the U.S. Army.
In the U.S. Army, Laren served as a combat medic with an LPN identifier from 2005 until 2011. It was there where his medical skills grew, exposing him to experience in the ICU/CCU. As part of the 1 First Surgical Team, Laren worked under the leadership of two doctors who work at Northwell Health.
But his time in the Army provided Laren with much more than just technical skills. “The Army taught me leadership and the importance of duty to my country, my unit and my peers,” says Laren. “It taught me that giving respect is as important as getting respect.”
After he returned from deployment, Laren went back to school to become a registered nurse to further his healthcare career. Upon graduation, he accepted a nursing position that was a mixture of emergency and behavioral health nursing.
“Behavioral health nursing found me,” says Laren. “I fell in love with the behavioral health portion of my job and was then offered a job at Zucker Hillside Hospital. The rest is history.”
Laren started his ZHH career as a staff nurse in the acute geriatric psych unit and it’s a population he still loves working with today. “The stories they share of their lives are amazing. It’s very rewarding work,” he says. “Seeing a patient go from depression back to themselves after treatment is very heart warming.”
It was while he was working as a registered nurse at ZHH that Laren’s leadership saw his potential. He was promoted to an assistant nurse manager position where he continues to deliver compassionate care while helping lead his unit, a position he’s comfortable in after being in charge of new recruits in the army.
“I would highly recommend other veterans look for positions at Northwell,” says Laren. “I love working here, the environment is great. My coworkers really care for the patients we see on a day-to-day basis and the administration team is very supportive and engaging. I cannot say enough great things about working for Northwell.”
Northwell Health named a top 2020 Military Friendly organization
Northwell Health has been selected as a 2020 Military Friendly organization in four categories – top 10 employer, supplier diversity, brand and company – as one of the nation’s top organizations for military veterans.
As New York State’s largest health system and biggest private employer with more than 70,000 employees, Northwell also is one of the largest employers of veterans and offers a host of programs that support service members and their families, from jobs fairs and educational opportunities to behavioral health programs in concert with the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We’re proud to support our veterans and their families by providing resources and career opportunities throughout our health system,” said Michael J. Dowling, Northwell’s president and chief executive officer. “Over the past two years, we hired more than 500 veterans into the health system, a commitment to those who served and a smart business decision on our part. Hire a veteran and you’ll understand what I mean. Few people are better motivated or equipped to contribute to the workforce than veterans.”
Among the veteran initiativesNorthwell Healthhas enacted:
By partnering with 160 organizations that work with veterans, Northwell hosts various recruitment, networking and interview days as well as its homegrown Barracks to Business Workshop to educate transitioning veterans regarding resume building.
A veteran-focused business employee resource group, known as Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR), provides an increased sense of community to these heroes and a chance to gain insight from each other and share their experiences. VALOR helps veterans with employment and medical care.
Employees returning from deployment receive checks representing the difference between their military pay and the regular salaries they would have received had they not taken military leave.
A first-of-its-kindUnified Behavioral Health Centerin Bay Shore – jointly operated by Northwell and the Northport VA Medical Center – helps military veterans and their families cope with the emotional burdens they face when they return home.
Extending its commitment to service members beyond the organization, Northwell created“Side By Side: A Celebration of Service,”a day-long celebration of military service in Manhattan that coincided with Fleet Week in May 2019. Northwell plans to host the event again in 2020.
Organizations must meet Military Friendly’s rigorous criteria
“It’s our distinct honor and privilege to deploy our administrative and clinical capabilities to improve how our military access services, employment and support,” said Juan Serrano, assistant vice president of Northwell’sOffice of Military and Veterans Liaison Services and himself a Marine veteran. “In 2019, we proudly provide the most health care to active duty members, veterans and their families in New York.”
Military Friendly weighed companies based on six criteria: Hiring and Onboarding, Opportunity and Advancement, Culture and Commitment, Support and Retention, Policies and Compliance, along with Recruiting and Sourcing. Northwell Health greatly exceeded the standard in each.
“We are proud to support transitioning veterans in finding their next mission,” said Cheryl Davidson, senior director of Workforce Readiness at Northwell. “Our programs were developed to ease their assimilation from military service to civilian careers.”
Meet a true leader and humanitarian: John Kelly, LMSW
We’re proud to introduce you to care coordinator, John Kelly, LMSW who works in Northwell’s VetConnectNYC Coordination Center (CC).
As a Marine Corps Veteran and licensed social worker, John Kelly is helping veterans, military members, and their families access a wide range of supportive services (such as emergency housing, employment, healthcare, legal, and more). John served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Specialist Chief based out of Camp Lejeune, NC. He was deployed to Libya on a combat mission and, notably, on a humanitarian mission to provide aid in Haiti following the devastating 2011 earthquake.
Today, John’s responsibilities as a care coordinator involve screening, evaluation, and triage of incoming referrals and assistance requests. He works with the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services (NYC DVS) VetConnectNYC Network providers to identify, address, and remove barriers to care for the veterans that utilize our services. VetConnectNYC (formerly known as NYServes-NYC) is part of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) AmericaServes collaborative in partnership with the NYC DVS who “owns” the New York City Market. John is a crucial piece of the Northwell Team who operates the Coordination Center for VetConnectNYC.
In John’s view, serving as a Marine was a time of strong personal and professional growth. “What I valued most was being a member of a team, a part of something larger than the individual. I believe that honor, courage, and commitment never leave the Marine as they move into a civilian career.”
Northwell’s support for veterans and military members reflects our commitment to their well-being and our respect for the talents and character they bring to their roles. “I’m part of an organization that holds those that have served, or continue to serve, in the highest regard. It is my passion and my guiding principle to provide hope and assistance to those that have sacrificed so much of themselves when they are in need,” says John.
He encourages fellow veterans to explore the potential that Northwell can offer for their career development and growth. “Northwell Health values Veterans as a resource that can strengthen the system as a whole. I would say to my fellow veterans: Look North. I doubt you will ever look back.”
From the Marine Corps to Human Resources: Jose’s career journey
Jose Rivera served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps before starting his Northwell career in 2005. Today he is a senior HR manager at the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation.
It was in the Marine Corps where Jose learned key skills that helped him thrive throughout his career at Northwell. Throughout his Northwell career, Jose held several manager positions at different locations, including LIJ Medical Center and Southside Hospital, before moving to the Orzac Center.
“I learned skills in the military which have helped me throughout my healthcare career,” says Jose. “I learned to be adaptable to change and resilient during tough times. Most important, I learned the value of being an engaged and approachable leader.”
For Jose, he knows that the transition from the military to a civilian career can be a difficult and stressful time for service members. “Hiring veterans is our commitment to these heroes,” he says. Jose has seen firsthand that veteran team members help our organization flourish: “Veterans bring a wealth of knowledge from their individual work ethic to innovative spirit and skill set. They are also committed to Northwell’s mission.”
Working at Northwell was the perfect next mission for Jose, allowing him to utilize the values and passion for leadership that had served him in his military career. It’s the team spirit and commitment to serving the community that makes him proud to come to work every day. “My favorite thing about working at Northwell is our people. I have met the most amazing, kind and fantastic people during my tenure with Northwell,” says Jose. “We have fantastic caregivers and I am proud that as an HR professional, I care for the caregiver.”
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.”
How attending Northwell’s Veterans Hiring Event jump started Edens’ career
Edens Louis knows the versatility of military skills. And as a veteran, Edens was eager to apply his experience to the healthcare industry for a rewarding career. “Serving in the military as a human resources specialist provided me with the computer, customer service, and communication skills that I needed to accomplish any daily mission.”
With these skills and the determination to start a full-time career, Edens attended one of Northwell’s hiring events for veterans. “I had a wonderful experience attending the veterans event,” says Edens. “The Northwell team was extremely friendly, professional, helpful, and heartwarming in how welcoming they were with us veterans before, during and after the event.”
At Northwell, we’re committed to providing opportunities to veterans for a rewarding civilian career. Along with our hiring events, Northwell provides careers workshops, networking opportunities, newsletters and more in support of this mission.
Edens and other veterans who attended the event got to meet with recruiters, hiring managers and even met with Northwell’s president and CEO, Michael J. Dowling. Events like this allow for veterans to get their foot in the door and showcase their unique skills for jobs across our health system. The event gave Edens the drive he needed for his career, “I left the event feeling as if I were already hired and a member of the team.” And after attending the event, Edens worked with Northwell recruiters to schedule interviews to find him his perfect position.
Today, Edens works as a security officer at Zucker Hillside Hospital where he takes pride in giving his all as part of Northwell’s mission to make a difference in helping our communities. He loves going to work every day and is thankful for the support he received throughout his application process from Northwell’s Veteran Program Manager Lyndon Chichester. “Most importantly,” he says, “I get to be a member of a team that is enuring the safety of not only the employees but our patients.”
And for other veterans? “I would definitely recommend other veterans to work at Northwell – it is veteran friendly, the pay and benefits are great, and the other team members are welcoming.”
Delivering critical care from the front lines to the Cardiothoracic ICU
For Jared Singer, a career in the military fueled his passion to help people in critical situations.
Jared, now a Cardiothoracic ICU registered nurse at Lenox Hill Hospital, served active duty in the United States Air Force for five years following high school. During his time in the military, he was exposed to various forms of emergency medicine training. His dream: to ultimately become a flight nurse and perform emergency medical evacuations out of helicopters.
With this goal in mind, Jared earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing after his service. But to become a flight nurse, Jared knew he’d need critical care experience from a hospital. After applying to numerous ICU units across the five boroughs with no response, Jared’s professor recommended Northwell’s Critical Care Nursing Fellowship.
Following his professor’s advice, Jared attended a military veteran career event so he could meet with recruiters. “No hospital would take a chance to invest in me besides Northwell Health,” says Jared. “The military veteran career event let me promote what I could bring as an individual to recruiters, directors, and I even personally met Northwell’s President and CEO Michael Dowling. I felt a part of the team as soon as I walked into that event.”
Meeting with Northwell team members gave Jared the opportunity to showcase the skills that his unique experience as a veteran brought to nursing. “Not even a week after that event, I was sitting down with the manager of the Cardiothoracic ICU in Lenox Hill Hospital–my dream job.”
Finding a new mission in the Critical Care Fellowship
From there, Jared’s career as an RN in the Critical Care Fellowship at Lenox Hill Hospital began. In Phase one of the program, he learned the systems, pharmacology and equipment specific to the ICU. With help from his educators, the simulation lab, and hands-on experience, Jared was given the foundation nurses need to be comfortable, as well as the critical thinking and theory necessary to thrive in such a high-speed environment.
Jared’s skills are continuing to grow as he works as a nurse on the floor during Phase two of the fellowship program. As part of his fellowship, he cares for critical patients and works hand-in-hand with nurses, PCAs, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, surgeons and others – and there is something to learn from everyone. “I was able to stand in during a seven-hour surgery and was blown away with the technology, professionalism, and skills every individual had in performing such intricate procedures. My eyes were wide open in absolute awe of what we’re able to accomplish as a team for each patient we interact with.”
And for Jared, the Critical Care Fellowship is only the beginning of his career at Northwell and the new adventures he seeks.
“I have climbed Mt Fuji; I’ve been interviewed on live TV Christmas morning; and I’ve even jumped out of a plane 14,000 feet above the Hawaiian shores, but nothing compares to the rush and feeling of the satisfaction I get when I make medical interventions that can be the difference in the outcomes of my patients.”
Starting my next chapter after the military at Northwell Health
Written by: Matthew Scanapico
This Memorial Day, Matthew Scanapico, Project Manager of Ambulatory Operations in the Western Region, reflects on his time as a Sergeant (E-5) in the US Army and how he found a new way to serve through his job at Northwell Health.
My military experience provided me with the discipline and leadership skills that were instrumental in developing my career at Northwell Health. Striving to live my best life every day for the ones whose lives were lost too soon is what keeps me going. Although I struggle from time to time, I do my best to honor their memory.
After my military service, I was hired as a per diem employee at North Shore University Hospital. This gave me the flexibility to be a full time student at SUNY Farmingdale and made me feel part of a team again. In that role, both my leadership and my peers were aware of the hardships I faced overseas. They provided me with the support I needed to be successful in both school and my career and for that, I will always be grateful.
Witnessing the loss of friends, the stress of combat, and the hardships of war, instilled in me the belief that life is too short and fragile to let the “little things” get in the way. Transitioning from military service is never easy, but being hired by Northwell Health provided me with the stability needed to start this new chapter of my life.
For our nation’s veterans, having a stable work environment is integral to their healing process and with Northwell’s vast network of veterans, support is never out of reach. We do incredible things as an organization to hire transitioning veterans.
Northwell prides itself in being more than just a health system, it’s a family, and it’s being a part of something greater than ourselves to both its patients, communities and each other. This value is one of, if not the most, important foundation to a veteran’s life and gives an opportunity to be a part of that bigger picture again.
An Appointment With: Juan Serrano, Director, Military and Veterans Liaison Services
As director of the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services, Juan Serrano leads Northwell’s mission to provide military veterans and reservists with the resources they need to make a successful transition to civilian life including partnering with Talent Acquisition for career opportunities. Northwell is proud to employ thousands of military veterans, and reservists.
A veteran himself, Juan served in the Marines for nine years before he was medically discharged in 2009. From there, he continued his education before joining Northwell as the administrator manager of the Queens World Trade Center Health Program in 2012. In 2015, he started in his current position to help lead and develop innovative programs to serve the veteran community.
We sat down with Juan to discuss his career and the services Northwell offers military veterans.
How has your experience in the military prepared you for a career in healthcare?
My experiences in the military provided me with the skills necessary to pursue and succeed in the civilian sector in a number of ways. Being in the military puts you in situations where you not only have to learn to follow, but learn to lead. It prepares you to work under pressure, to adapt and overcome, and to be innovative. In the military, there’s no task too big and no task too small. Everything is about attention to detail, responsibility, and taking pride in what you do. I think that veterans from all branches of the military possess important skills that are fundamental to the success of an organization across industries. If a veteran is presented with an opportunity, they will thrive.
What are some of the exciting things happening in the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services in 2019?
We have migrated all veteran services into one centralized location to make it easier for veterans and active duty personnel to gain access to healthcare and other resources such as housing, advocacy, community engagement, as well as a direct connection to our recruitment team for employment opportunities. Northwell Health is committed to providing veterans with resources and solutions that help make their lives better. We stand side by side through every stage of their reintegration process post-military career.
What should military veterans and reservists know about working at Northwell Health?
At Northwell, we offer more than just clinical careers – we provide a variety of opportunities where individuals can thrive such as finance, IT, security, culinary, and administration. Our goal is to change the way companies and communities view veterans and inspire other organizations to do more. Outside of the VA, we provide the most healthcare opportunities for veterans, including at the Rosen Family Wellness Center in Queens which is dedicated exclusively to caring for veterans, first responders, law enforcement personnel and their families. We also have a pay differential which has awarded $1.7 million total to employees to ensure they are continuing to receive their Northwell salary while out on military leave. My career advice to veterans is to never turn down a job opportunity and to always approach your career search with an open mind.
Our history of standing side by side with our community has led us to the creation of this pinnacle event during NYC Fleet Week. Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ is a two-part concert that honors Northwell Health’s commitment to veterans and their families, and celebrates their service and sacrifice throughout the years. It’s not just about the celebration itself, it’s about never forgetting.
Taking place on May 25th, 2019, the day event will be held at 31 Rockefeller Center. During the afternoon program, we will hear inspirational stories from veterans and see special performances from artists that include Gavin DeGraw and Boyz II Men, as well as the Broadway casts from Jersey Boys and Wicked. The second portion of our event is a concert at Radio City Music Hall with Imagine Dragons. The concert is completely sold out but Northwell has made tickets available for veterans through VetTix.org. Throughout both events, we will be joined by active duty personnel who are visiting for NYC Fleet Week.
What are some of the ways you stay connected with the Marines?
I will be preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. this October. It will be the first time I do it after my injury in 2004 and I’m excited to be running again.
Trust, honor and dedication – All in a day’s work for physical therapist and veteran Leslie Rudin
If you had to describe members of the US military, the adjectives brave, selfless and strong probably come to mind. It’s no surprise that many who leave the service go on to equally as inspiring careers — including many who work in healthcare. This is certainly true of Leslie Rudin, a physical therapist at LIJ Valley Stream Hospital and proud US Navy veteran.
Stationed at the former Naval Air Station Miramar, widely known as the setting of the movie Top Gun, Leslie served as a plane captain, launching and landing fighter jets. Honorably discharged as a YN3 Petty Officer 3rd Class, she returned to New York and completed a bachelor’s degree at Queen’s College before launching a career in advertising.
During this time, Leslie also married and started a family. When her middle son was diagnosed with autism, she found herself drawn to pursue a new career in healthcare. Goal-oriented and never afraid to tackle a challenge, she obtained her doctorate degree in physical therapy before being hired at LIJ Valley Stream.
Leslie finds that many of the skills and habits she learned while in the military have served her well as a physical therapist.
“It started from making beds in the military,” says Leslie. “It stays with you. I’m very thorough and time-efficient. In fact, I still use military time.”
Leslie also finds that being a veteran enables her to connect in a unique way with the patients she helps every day – especially those who also have served in the armed forces. She believes that it fosters a level of trust and connection that helps her excel in her role.
“I learned respect and dignity in the military,” says Leslie. “This has carried over to how I treat patients.”
When not focusing on helping Northwell patients regain their strength, balance and mobility, Leslie continues to advocate for her son while enjoying quality time with family and friends.
Northwell Health is sponsoring Side by Side: A Celebration of Service™, a special, first-of-its-kind event honoring our veterans, active duty military and their families. This two-part event, taking place on May 25 in New York City, will feature exciting musical performances, exhibits and inspirational stories from true heroes. Learn more.
This post is part of a blog series highlighting Northwell Health’s Advanced Clinical Providers (ACP). Each Northwell Health employee was nominated by their manager as an individual that exemplifies a central Northwell Health value. This month, we’re proud to introduce you to Chris Summers, PA, QA, education coordinator and critical care specialist, who is a “Truly Compassionate” member of our team. Here’s why:
At Northwell Health, our Advanced Clinical Providers have the resources and support they need to follow their passions, wherever they lead. Chris Summers’ passion for delivering Truly Compassionate care led him from a career in the Coast Guard to one as a physician assistant in the operating room, the classroom, and into disaster areas throughout the world.
Chris started his career as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard where he was mostly involved in maritime search and rescue as well as counter-narcotic operations in the high seas of the North Atlantic. After the Coast Guard, Chris became a paramedic on the streets of New York City, eventually studying to become a physician assistant (PA). At Northwell Health, he found an environment where veterans were especially valued for their experiences and values. “Northwell Health is very pro-veteran. The health system values their experience and expertise and understands how that can translate into a veteran becoming a superior member of our healthcare team. Northwell has many programs available to assist veterans to integrate into the civilian healthcare sector and there are many veterans who are valued team members in every level of the organization,” says Chris. The healthcare experience Chris has built along his career path across a variety of Truly Compassionate positions led him to Northwell Health.
His journey with Northwell Health began in 2006 when he was hired right out of PA school to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ). In this position, he was assigned to the CTICU where he cared for critical patients who required cardiothoracic surgery or were recovering from surgery. Chris then transitioned to the operating room, where he learned how to assist in all aspects of cardiac and thoracic surgery as well as advanced bedside procedures. “In the operating room, I am a valued member of the surgical team and directly contribute to the positive outcome of our patients,” says Chris. “It’s very gratifying to be able to apply my knowledge and skills to advance the healing and treatment of our patients and to work within a supportive team environment.”
Chris enjoys that ACPs in the cardiothoracic surgery department can work at the very top of their license and are given a large amount of responsibility. They can be found anywhere from the operating room assisting in the most complex surgeries, to the floors managing the daily needs of recovering patients.
Once he became a critical care specialist, Chris felt the call to share his knowledge with his peers. Northwell recognized Chris’ gift for teaching with a promotion in 2016 to Quality Assurance and Education coordinator, which included coordinating various aspects of staff education such as a lecture series for the Thoracic Surgery service line.
Chris’ Truly Compassionate nature takes his work outside of Northwell and into the world to care for people in the most critical situations. Chris is the co-founder of NYC Medics Global Disaster Response, a team that provides a rapid expeditionary style of emergency care in disaster zones throughout the world. NYC Medics travel into remote regions by whatever means necessary to set up clinics and assist those in need, treating tens of thousands of patients of hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. “I’ve spent most of my career in some form or another in service to others and have taken care of people in a wide variety of situations. These experiences taught me that whether on a sinking ship at sea, in a disaster zone in some far-off country, on the streets of NYC or in an operating room, we all are equally susceptible to disasters, disease, trauma and the suffering these bring.”
For Chris, Truly Compassionate patient care is always at the forefront of his mind and helps him to be a better PA.
Veteran Rose Powers’ Revenue Cycle Career of Duty at Northwell Health
For the fifth year in a row, Northwell Health has earned a Military Friendly® Employer designation! We’re celebrating by speaking to veterans like Rose Powers, RN to get their perspectives on working with us and the opportunities for veterans and reservists at Northwell Health.
To Rose, her job is her duty. It’s been that way since she left active duty as an Army Specialist. In the following days and years, Rose noticed an evolving concept of duty, an Army core value, and it was leading her to a strong need to do more to help people. So, Rose left her marketing career to go to nursing school and become an emergency room nurse. But her sense of duty was still calling. She wanted to look at the bigger picture. That’s when she took a role as a consultant, assisting hospitals who were in dire straits financially. Rose remembers, “I thought, sure, I could help people in the ER but I could also help communities by working to get healthcare organizations financially stable enough so they could focus on providing quality care with all of the necessary tools.”
That’s how Rose came to the Revenue Cycle Team. She’s now the director of Revenue Cycle Management, a position that impacts both the patient population and employees of Northwell Health. The revenue cycle starts when patients first schedule an appointment or walk into a facility. For staff, a highly functioning revenue cycle protects the financial health of the organization so we can all continue to grow, both geographically and clinically. Rose says, “revenue cycle allows for us to staff the hospitals appropriately, upgrade equipment, implement new technologies, and continue our mission to bring state-of-the-art treatment options to the people within our community and beyond.”
Now, Rose’s sense of duty is expanding beyond our system. Northwell Health is partnering with other hospitals in our community to provide them with best in class revenue cycle practices so they can continue to strive for financial success. And Rose will be leading the charge. “My role here is to work with our alliance partners in all boroughs in the NYC metro area, providing them with advice and assistance to optimize areas of their revenue cycle. This not only provides Northwell with additional revenue but also contributes to the organizations and level of care provided to people within our community.”
Rose is excited for the future of her Truly Innovative department. One of her favorite trends in Revenue Cycle is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to increase efficiencies. She explains, “the use of AI often worries people within an organization, with the thought that it will replace staff, but it couldn’t be more the opposite. Instead, the AI functionality will allow our staff to focus on the tasks that require a human element, moving away from menial tasks and shifting to assignments that will continue to help the organization focus on the ever-changing healthcare revenue cycle environment.”
Rose’s team shares her sense of duty and her drive at work. She’s grateful that “after working with more than a dozen hospitals in my career, the people within the ranks of the Revenue Cycle here at Northwell Health are by far the most intelligent, driven, and innovative that I have encountered. Working for and with such a great group of people in an area that truly impacts the entire organization makes me feel as though I am making a difference in our community.”
Here, Rose feels the support she needs to follow her calling. “Northwell provides its employees with the ability to fulfill our sense of duty through the endless opportunities and services, everything from clinical research, marketing, food services, and finance. I believe this truly is an organization that will foster its employees’ need to evolve, both professionally and personally.” Rose feels this especially applies to veterans. “Northwell’s commitment to veterans is nothing short of exceptional. Everything from job fairs, webinars, workshops, and an active community fosters an environment that not only welcomes veterans but provides a platform to thrive in the civilian world.”
Hiring for success at Northwell Health’s Veterans Day Interview Day
In honor of Veterans Day, Northwell Health recently hosted a Veterans Day Interview Day: Hiring for Success. This event was to honor and give back to veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country. More than 40 veterans were invited to attend this event to hear from senior leadership, meet with hiring managers to discuss potential job opportunities, and network over lunch.
At Northwell, we’re committed to providing veterans with opportunities to make a successful transition to a rewarding civilian career. Veterans align to our values and bring strong skill sets from their experience. Being mission driven, knowing the importance of community, thinking strategically and working closely on a team are important skills for all Northwell employees to possess. “I am so proud to work for an organization that is committed to helping veterans who have sacrificed so much. Hiring Veterans is the right thing to do, plus the great skills they possess are an asset at Northwell,” said Cheryl Davidson, MPS, senior director of Workforce Readiness, one of the teams who helped to launch the event.
The day started with a keynote from Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mark thanked the veterans for their service and commitment to our country, while also speaking to the importance Northwell places on hiring veteran employees. Veterans were even surprised with a visit from our president and CEO himself, Michael Dowling! Michael spoke at the event and met with the attendees during the networking session.
After hearing from Mark, Michael and Lyndon Chichester, Northwell’s veteran inclusion specialist and United States Air Force Veteran, veteran attendees were invited to network with Northwell leadership over lunch. Attendees also met with our recruiters who then matched them to speak directly with the appropriate hiring managers and regional leadership to discuss job opportunities.
“Our Veterans Interview Day was an amazing event,” said Lyndon, “We had 43 very sharp veterans attend, all excited to join the Northwell Health team. This event and others like it will hopefully lead to more Veteran hires throughout our award winning health system and it also strengthens our relationship with Veteran student organizations and Veteran service organizations throughout the region.”
Northwell Health is committed to our veterans, their career transition, and their growth. If you’d like to learn more about our veterans programs, please visit jobs.northwell.edu/veterans.
Northwell Health military veterans share their best advice for veterans looking for healthcare careers
One of the many things we’ve learned from listening to the former military members on our team at Northwell Health is the power of working together with others who share your goals and mission.
We talked with several military veterans on our Northwell Health team to get you the best advice on how to take your military skills and apply them to a civilian job in healthcare. They reminded us just how valuable their military training has been to their careers and reinforced our unyielding commitment to supporting veterans.
Hear advice directly from military veterans who have been in your shoes! We asked our team members for their best tips on making the most of your military skills in civilian careers.
“Being organized and disciplined” is critical in any endeavor, says Melonie C. Pernice, RT (R), MBA. “Having the ability to follow through on assignments, even in difficult or stressful situations” is one way the military prepared Melonie to shine in her role here as administrative director of radiology and cardiology at our Plainview and Syosset Hospitals.
Cynthia LaRocca, DNP, RN, director of nursing education and professional development, knows the value of following the chain of command, but tries always to “lead with a heart and try to remember that things are not always just black and white.”
Mergers & acquisitions director Andrew Roberts cautions that “transitioning out can be tough, it takes courage to ask for help, but don’t shy away from that.” His advice on taking your military training to the next level in a civilian career? “Find your passion outside of the workplace, the connections you’ll make there are invaluable.”
And we couldn’t agree more with our veterans! If you’re ready to connect with an opportunity like no other – one where your unique skills can continue to make a life-changing difference – join the Northwell Health team.
How one day changed everything for career transitioning veteran Nancy Banks
It took one event, one meeting and one conversation to convince Nancy Banks that Northwell Health was the right place for her.
A while back, Nancy attended a veterans career fair. Though there were many employers present, she didn’t connect with any of them. That is, until she happened to pass the Northwell Health booth on her way out. There she met Lyndon Chichester, Northwell Health Veteran Program Specialist and fellow U.S. Air Force veteran. Nancy recalls, “We talked about Northwell and the benefits of working for an organization that cares deeply for their patients and their employees. He told me to go online, find three jobs that matched my qualifications and send him the information. I did and within a week I had an interview.”
Today Nancy is an Administrative Manager at Northwell Health ambulatory facility, Lenox Hill OBGYN. The job is varied, challenging and highly rewarding. “I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of our patients and those that work in the office with me,” says Nancy. “I work with an exceptional group of people that love what they do.”
Nancy’s military experience uniquely prepared her for her role with Northwell Health. “The Air Force taught me leadership, commitment, compassion and honor,” says Nancy. “I use each of these, every single day at Northwell.”
Nancy has no regrets about her decision to join Northwell Health. “Transitioning to a new position is one of the most unnerving things I have done, so I wanted to make sure that I picked the right company,” Nancy says. “After working with Lyndon, I knew Northwell would be an exceptional organization, because he was exceptional.” Nancy is living proof of the benefits of Northwell Health being a Military Friendly® Employer for five years in a row.
If you’d like to be part of an organization with an unyielding commitment to supporting veterans, take the first step at the Northwell Health Veteran Interview Day on November 9. Network and interview with hiring managers and executives, hear from keynote speaker Mark Solazzo, Northwell Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and much more.
Nancy would like to remind all those attending the Interview Day that, “the career opportunities at Northwell are endless. You are only limited by your determination and drive.”
How veteran Floyd Harris transitioned into a civilian career at Northwell Health
For the fifth year in a row, Northwell Health has earned a Military Friendly® Employer designation! We’re celebrating by speaking to veterans like Floyd Harris to get their perspectives on working with us and the opportunities for veterans and reservists at Northwell Health.
Floyd is a Route Service Representative, a position where he plays an important part in providing customers with excellent service — and he knows that his work helps to make Northwell Health successful. His favorite part of this work is “providing our customers with the service they desire and the ability to build a rapport with everyone that I meet daily.” So, how did Floyd get this job he loves?
Floyd believes all the credit for his civilian career transition goes to his wife, Keri, of 16 years. A few months into her new job at Northwell Health, she would come home and share her love of her workplace culture. She thought Floyd could find a post-military career here that he’s Made for. So, she reached out to the Northwell Veteran Inclusion Specialist to see how they could help in the hiring process.
Floyd’s wife brought him to the right place. Floyd says, “After retiring from serving our country for 20 years in the Marine Corps, Northwell Health has definitely helped with my transition into civilian life. Thus far it has been a great place to work and it enables me to have a work-life balance.” He also credits his managers, supervisors, and trainers that have assisted him in efficiently getting his job done.
Floyd’s work at Northwell Health will only continue to grow. He emphasizes that “with the unlimited number of opportunities here at Northwell Health, I truly believe that I will have the opportunity to advance at a fast pace.” And he wants other veterans to find a civilian career where they can be Truly Ambitious outside of the military. Take it from Floyd, “Veterans should know that a career at Northwell Health will provide them with a multitude of opportunities. Their support for veterans shows each and every day with the number of military services they provide. There are veteran recruitment events held on a regular basis, as well as job fairs and other webinars that they provide for veterans to ensure that they make a smooth transition into a remarkable civilian career.”
Northwell Health is Made for giving our employees a place where we can all be Truly Ourselves. For veterans, that means giving them the support they need to use the skills and drive they gained in the military in a civilian career through various initiatives and programs. This emphasis on continually helping veterans has earned us a Top 10 ranking for Military Friendly Employers in Health & Pharmaceutical Services.
The circle of service: How Northwell Health benefits veteran and reservist employees at home and on duty
When a member of our team goes on active duty, they shouldn’t take a pay cut. That’s why Northwell Health offers our military team members pay differential that makes up the difference between their military salary and their Northwell salary. It’s this kind of dedication to the military that has earned us a Military Friendly® Employer designation for the fifth year in a row. We spoke to former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Davon Gass for an inside peek at what it’s like to be a veteran or reservist working at Northwell Health.
Davon is a Patient Care Activist (PCA) at Lenox Hill Hospital, a position that has the most direct contact with a patient during their stay and assists nurses, monitors vitals, and reinforces safety precautions among other things. It’s a position that Davon describes as “allowing you to practice empathy in a practical setting.” Empathy isn’t just Davon’s job to give to patients, it’s our job to extend empathy to Davon and his family.
In 2017, Davon was on active duty and was deployed. But he didn’t have to worry about losing his job at Northwell Health because of the benefits Northwell offers its eligible active and reservist Military team members. Since 2008, 37 employees have received more than $1.6 million through the health system’s supplemental pay benefit. Davon wants veterans to know that he “never had to worry about coming home jobless, I transitioned back into things and soon it was as if I never left.”
Northwell Health recognizes the sacrifices veterans and their families make and helps returning veterans reintegrate to civilian life. The benefits for veterans at Northwell Health are, in the words of Davon, extensive. “Northwell Health honors our military, and as a reservist they understand we have to leave for two weeks a year and one weekend a month. They are flexible and they work with you. This really helps out a lot, and there are benefits for education. It’s been great here and I have no regrets. You can, overall, expect a lot of support for veterans [at Northwell Health].”
We’re Made for giving our employees a place where we can be Truly Ourselves. We’re thankful for their service, and work hard to support them while they’re in active duty and after. Veterans and reservists: we can do incredible things when we work Truly Together.
Learn more about our programs for veterans and reservists here.
A passionate commitment to her patients and team has followed registered nurse and Reservist Kelly Mahaffy throughout her career at Northwell Health that spans 30 years. It’s this passion for service that helped Kelly flourish in the OR, whether it be in a Northwell hospital or during her active duty.
Kelly’s career started in Manhasset Hospital as an OR nurse in 1988, following a successful clinical there in nursing school. Here she worked for 17 years on the evening shift, enjoying the diversity the evening shift brought and focusing primarily in neurology. Her desire for travel led her to California in 2005, where she later joined the Army Reserves.
When it came time to come home, Kelly returned to Northwell, accepting a position at Glen Cove Hospital in 2009. “At Glen Cove, we’re very proud of our hospital,” says Kelly, who is still an OR nurse there today, “We know when new surgeons come in, we have one chance to get it right and we do.” We’re proud to be able to have helped Kelly grow in her career with us while she continues to serve in the reserves.
From 2017 to 2018, Kelly worked with other reservists at Womack Army Medical Center in North Carolina. Here she was part of the active duty service, taking care of active duty soldiers. During her shifts, Kelly saw firsthand the sacrifices of those in the military and their families. Working with these soldiers continually inspired Kelly. “It reminds you to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy daily,” she shares.
While at Womack Army Medical Center, Kelly noticed the inherent loyalty and teamwork of the soldiers with pride. “You have to look out for your soldiers,” says Kelly, “you have to look out for the people you serve with.” And she’s proud to see this value reflected in Northwell’s Truly Together employees as well, “The team really pulled together and took care of my job when I went away for a whole year. I knew when I came back, they’ll have kept things running smoothly.”
Veterans like Kelly and the soldiers they serviced have sacrificed so much to serve our country. At Northwell, we’re proud that Kelly chooses to continue this spirit of service with us as a nurse. “I’m proud to serve at Northwell,” says Kelly, “I am proud to have served in North Carolina, and I am proud to still be in the Army Reserves.”
And we’re proud to have been named a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, supporting veterans like Kelly and providing veteran services throughout their time with us, such as pay differentials and flexible scheduling for reservists. We’re committed to our veterans, their career transition, and their growth.