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.
Change is rarely a smooth transition. For Registered Nurse Eva Galan, the road back to civilian life was a challenge that she felt unprepared to attempt.
Eva had spent 10 years in the Army as a medic and was now seeking a civilian nursing position in the health care world. Though she had skills superior to fellow applicants, she found it hard to compete for local nursing jobs.
That is, until she found Northwell Health.
While attending a veteran-centric job fair at Northwell Health, she met a Veterans Program Specialist who showed her how our health care system has everything she desires to help her get the job she and her family needed for her career post-military.
Northwell Health offers job fairs, veteran recruitment events, and webinars to support each veteran’s transition. In addition to these events, our Barracks to Business webinars and workshops cover practical needs like resumes, interviews, and networking advice with the goal of translating your military skills into career success.
For many veterans, like Eva, the transition to a civilian career is a difficult one and our military services are designed to help veterans understand the job search process and create a strategy to pursue civilian employment while introducing you to vast career opportunities and benefits at Northwell Health.
“Northwell Health offers employment workshops for transitioning service members, partnering with the VA to provide female Veterans much needed women’s services, a dedicated job site that matches Northwell Health jobs with applicants military skills, and even being a leader in new prosthetic technology. I am so very grateful to finally feel like someone out there has my back.”
Veterans: Make the transition from Barracks to Business
At Northwell Health, we’re committed to empowering veterans to succeed in their professional careers. That’s why, since 2013, we’ve been growing our Barracks to Business program, which addresses the need for practical tools to prepare veterans for the civilian workforce.
The Barracks to Business program started as a guidebook to help veterans prepare other veterans for civilian life. But we knew we could do more. We’ve since created in-person seminars that eventually led to Webinars so we could reach veterans no matter their location or situation. Now, veterans don’thave to wait to move to New York to get started on the next step in their civilian careers.
As we expanded the program’s offerings, we extended our reach by partnering with the Department of Labor and various N.Y. organizations and universities. Then the program expanded even further, adding valuable education to Northwell Health employees by creating an internal Barrack to Business program for our recruiters, which armed them with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand the value of hiring veterans.
After five years, Barracks to Business continues to grow and set the precedent for veteran outreach. The network has expanded to over 200 veteran-focused points of contact in the N.Y. region including colleges, organizations and nonprofits. Barracks to Business is offered at college sites and when students are about to graduate, we invite them to our annual student graduation event for veterans. The program and our outreach has grown across the state of New York and, most astounding of all, the number of overall hires since the beginning of the program has grown by 110%!
“Northwelll Health has shown support for my career by holding special events and recruitment sessions for veterans. (Because of one of those programs), I am now in a year-long Operating Room Fellowship which trains nurses new to the OR.” – Anthony Holdorf, RN
We’re constantly developing our own internal programs to better support veterans once they join Northwell Health, focusing on mentorship and networking from within. In the words of Veteran Inclusion Specialist and U.S. Air Force Veteran Lyndon Chichester, “It is an honor and a privilege to work with our Veterans. My goal is to help all of our Veteran applicants gain successful employment with Northwell Health. Veterans bring an unmatched array of strengths and experiences to the workforce including leadership training, integrity, teamwork, working with diversified groups in high-pressure environments and more.”
Redefining the future of health care is a Truly Ambitious endeavor. It requires leadership that is also Truly Innovative and Truly Compassionate.
Katrina Aronoff embodies all of these attributes. As a Chief Radiation Therapist at Phelps Hospital as well as a United States Coast Guard Reservist, Katrina lives out Northwell Health values in all areas of her life.
Katrina recently received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for Outstanding Achievement. The award recognizes meritorious and heroic service to others. She received this prestigious commendation for actions on two separate occasions within a two-week period, while serving with the Coast Guard in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.
Coming off duty on October 28th and returning to her hotel, Katrina noticed a man lying unconscious on the ground. She quickly assessed the situation and had a civilian call 911. Checking the man’s vital signs, felt a pulse and confirmed respirations. She then requested assistance from the USNS Comfort – one of the largest hospital ships in the world – and helped Navy personnel insert an intravenous line and perform an EKG.
On Nov 12th, as she left her hotel, she witnessed civilians lowering an unconscious female to the ground. She asked one of her shipmates to call 911 while she checked for vital signs. The woman was not breathing and had no pulse. She performed CPR and was able to bring the victim back. As she waited for EMS to arrive, the victim lost consciousness four times and her heart stopped beating. Katrina would not give up on her. Two days later, it was confirmed that thanks to Katrina’s intervention, the victim was alive and well.
Whether in her role with the Coast Guard or as a key member of the Phelps Hospital Radiation Medicine team, Katrina Aronoff is a natural leader. She is always ready to take the initiative and do whatever the situation requires to help others and save lives. She is an invaluable asset to Northwell Health.
If you’d like to learn more about Northwell Health’s exceptional women in leadership and the values that inspire them, we’ll be sharing stories from our Employee Lunch and Learn and providing an inside peek at how women in key leadership roles are making a dramatic impact and driving important change!
When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support
Reservists face unique challenges as they balance a civilian job with ongoing military obligations. Just ask Reservist and Core Laboratories Clerk Davesha Taylor. Her Reservist duties include regular training that often involves weekday assignments overlapping her work schedule. We’re honored to be able to help Davesha grow in her career with us while she continues to meet her military commitments.
“I owe a lot of thanks to the kind staff I work with,” says Davesha. “They are very considerate of me whenever I need to take time off for military training.”
We recognize that there’s more to helping our veterans than merely finding them a job. As a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, we’re there to continue to support veterans throughout their time with us – such as offering flexible scheduling and pay differentials for reservists.
For Davesha, her role as a clerk with us is just the start. Her vision and passion is to attend medical school to become a Forensic Pathologist, and we’ll be there to help her make this dream a reality.
“Thanks to Northwell Health, my transition from the military has been smooth and easy,” Davesha acknowledges.
Veterans like Davesha Taylor have sacrificed so much in the service of our country. At Northwell Health, we’re proud that they choose to continue their life of service with us.
A career I’m proud of – why I decided to join Northwell Health’s team after the Military
Written by: Luis Phillips
My decision to enlist in the military emerged for numerous reasons. I grew up admiring my father and his service in the military, saw how certain benefits supported my family and the different educational benefits. I decided to join the U.S. Army right out of high school at age 17 through a waiver signed by my parents, and although the transition from military life to civilian life had the potential to be difficult, the military taught me how to keep calm in the face of chaos. Through my experience, I have learned how to work well under pressure, improvise, adapt and overcome.
Towards the end of graduate school, I began searching for jobs related to my major in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and it was at this time that I learned about Northwell Health. I noticed that they offered many opportunities within my major and I also wanted to join their team due to their recognition as a military friendly organization and their commitment to veterans. I had heard through peers about their reputation for being a great organization that encompasses diversity and professional growth. I discovered that they were hosting a veteran recruitment event for which I applied and later led to an interview.
Following the interview, I was hired and began my career at Northwell in 2014 as a Clinical Practice Plan Representative in the Central Business Office. While holding this position I was recognized as Employee of the Month and also nominated for Employee of the Quarter in 2015. After a little more than a year’s time, I transitioned to a Clinical Practice Plan Analyst on the Revenue Cycle Operations team. Within this role, I acquired a unique skill set, which allowed me to develop analytical acumen through SQL to write queries, as well as become the lead analyst and receive the myRecognition Execution award. With this acquired skill set, a year and a half later I became an Operations Manager for the Clinical Informatics team at the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in 2017.
At the beginning of my career, I was fortunate enough to become a member of the VALOR B.E.R.G (Business Employee Resource Group). Since joining this group I’ve had the opportunity to attend some events and share my experiences and stories with other veterans. VALOR is a program that brings veterans together to give them a chance to appreciate one another while also learning from each other’s experiences in the military and in their current roles within the organization, assisting veterans in gainful employment while promoting well-being.
I take a lot of pride in working for Northwell Health and feel a sense of fulfillment in my role because of everything I mentioned above – they support Veterans through the hiring process. They support Veterans while they are a part of this organization. And they support Veterans throughout the communities. I am currently enrolled in the Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program, have been accepted into the MBA program for Strategic Business Management and will be attending Hofstra University in the fall of 2017 with the help of the organization’s tuition reimbursement program. Being able to work within my field of study and the organization’s commitment to veterans is continuously gratifying. The health systems service to the community, as well as the abundance of genuine people, makes one take pride in being a part of such a rewarding organization.
Photo: Luis and his team after a successful drive for the Ronald McDonald House
“I feel like Northwell Health has given me so many opportunities to further my education and my skillset.”
A commitment to service, a spirit of compassion and a gift for leadership have always defined Desiree Gropp. Joining the Marines young, she matured during her military career while growing her sense of responsibility, dedication and determination. She would soon find how well these skills would transfer to her future health care leadership role at Northwell Health.
Desiree joined Northwell Health in 2014 as a staff nurse on the medical/surgical floor at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). A year later, an opportunity arose for an Assistant Nurse Manager on the unit. Even though she was only a year out of nursing school, she applied for the job – and got it. “I was so stoked and so excited,” Desiree remembers, “I couldn’t wait to start!”
A short time later, Desiree’s director met with her and asked Desiree what her five-year plan was. She responded, “I want to be sitting in your seat.”
As it happened, there was a need for a creative, open-minded and energetic Nurse Manager to drive important change in the Emergency Short Stay Unit while ensuring that care delivery and quality continued to meet our high quality of care standards.
Knowing all of the challenges ahead, Desiree jumped in headfirst. She developed strong partnerships with colleagues while ensuring that the needs of patients and their families were consistently met. With the opening of a new unit at LIJ, she has again demonstrated that she is a positive change agent as she moved her team from an overflow to an inpatient unit, taking on the challenges with pride, grace and dignity.
It’s a highly challenging position, but Desiree’s military background has prepared her well for it. “In the military, I learned to keep calm under pressure,” admits Desiree. “They instill that in you.” In recognition of her achievements, Desiree received the Northwell Health Leadership Award during the recent Nurse’s Week celebrations.
For Desiree and other veterans, Northwell Health maintains a steadfast commitment to supporting them in their return to civilian life. We have been named a Military Friendly® Employer three years in a row, are proud members of Nassau County’s Welcome Back Warriors Program and the Veterans Jobs Mission, are the premier NYServes partner and participate in other programs committed to serving those who’ve done so much to serve us all.
“I’ve always been a go-getter and I’m constantly thinking about what I can do next. I like to set the example and motivate other people.”
Veterans like Desiree have sacrificed so much in the service of our country. At Northwell Health, we’re proud that they choose to continue their life of service with us. If you’d like to learn more about our commitment to your career transition and growth, please visit jobs.northwell.edu/veterans. Connect with our Veteran Program Specialist and learn about our events tailored for veterans by joining our Veteran Talent Community.
Interested in joining our team of nurses? Explore our unlimited career possibilities today.
Each year thousands of Americans graduate from college, and this year we took the step to congratulate a certain group that has already done so much for our country. One of the Veteran initiatives at Northwell Health is to educate Veterans about our many career opportunities. With our Barracks to Business Career Workshops, we have been able to help hundreds of Veterans take their next steps in civilian life by translating their military skills to relate to civilian jobs. By joining our Veteran Talent Community, they can connect with our Veteran Program Specialist, Lyndon Chichester, who will help them discover the many career opportunities we have available. And with our recruitment events, they get to speak directly with recruiters about what they look for in candidates and how they can set themselves apart.That is exactly what happened last week at our Veteran Graduation event. Put together by our Inclusion team, this event connected recent Veteran graduates with our recruiters in
That is exactly what happened last week at our Veteran Graduation event. Put together by our Workforce Readiness Team, this event connected recent Veteran graduates with our recruiters in round-robin format. “It was such a pleasure to attend this event. The size and time period allowed the attendees to connect with the recruiters individually and they were extremely knowledgeable and helpful,” said one of the attendees. With over 2,000 open positions, attendees were able to find a job that matched their Military background with the help of our MOS Crosswalk.
After a nice lunch and some cake, they left with their resumes in our recruiter’s hands and a bond formed with our Veteran Program Specialist. “Our goal is to help as many Veterans as possible. If that means having events like this so they can get in front of our recruiters, then we’ll try to have one every month,” said Lyndon Chichester. Here, we’re committed to helping each Veteran continue their career journey. We’ve been named a Military Friendly® Employer three years in a row, are proud members of the Veteran Jobs Mission and other programs committed to serving those who’ve done so much to serve us all. Above all, we’re dedicated to giving Veterans the opportunity to continue making a difference in peoples’ lives, and our communities.
Picture: From left to right, Lyndon is the 5th person standing near the middle
From the United States Air Force to our Veteran Program Specialist
Each year at Northwell Health we set the goal to help as many Veterans as possible, and without the help of our Veteran Program Specialist, Lyndon Chichester, we wouldn’t have been able to hire over 500 veterans last year alone. It’s with great pleasure that I was able to sit down and speak with him the other day to learn about his transition home and what it means to him to help others who are going through the same process.
On April 24 2001 at Fort Hamilton Military Base in Brooklyn, NY, Lyndon Chichester, with right hand raised calmly uttered “I, Lyndon Chichester, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” With that statement Lyndon began an 8 year journey in the United States Air Force. During this time he was a Computer Network, Switching, and Cryptographic Systems Specialist, stationed in Arizona and Virginia, both during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Lyndon also completed various technical and military training in Texas and Mississippi. He later separated from the Air Force as a Staff Sargent at Langley AFB in October 2008, and received an honorable discharge. Subsequently, Lyndon moved to New York and attended New York University School of Professional Studies, where he earned a BS Degree in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in International Business and Global Management.
When Lyndon graduated in May of 2012 he started applying online to many openings at various well-known companies and was surprised when calls to interview weren’t coming in as frequently as he expected. “I felt like I was the toast of the town when I graduated. I thought that because I was a Veteran with a Bachelors Degree there was no way I would go the whole summer of 2012 without a job offer. However, that’s exactly what happened” Lyndon states. He also recalls, “I went from feeling high to feeling low real quick, and to add to that the financial pressure of maintaining a family was scary and daunting.”
As the season switched to Fall, Lyndon’s friend who was an IT contractor employed with another organization, gave him the business card of the IT recruiter that hired him. “When my friend gave me the business card I was very skeptical of my marketability as a candidate at the time and was expecting another failed attempt at employment. I didn’t know why I was calling this recruiter because my last IT related job was in the Air Force and 3 years had already passed.” The phone call was successful because Lyndon was invited in for a face to face interview at that organization’s Midtown office and was hired as an IT Account Executive, which in 3 months turned into an IT Recruiter role. “My two years at my previous organization was a great learning experience because it is where I learned what employers look for in candidates. I also learned the art of the resume, recruiting, and interviewing.” After four years of IT recruiting experience in the staffing world, Lyndon joined the Northwell Health family as a Talent Acquisition Specialist in June 2016. In December of 2016, Lyndon was promoted and is now the Veteran Program Specialist for Northwell Health. In this role he leverages his background as an experienced recruiter and a United States Air Force Veteran to work with the Veteran community, helping to drive Northwell Health’s Veteran recruitment goals and efforts.
Lyndon said “It is an honor and a privilege to work with our Veterans. My passion is to help all of our Veteran applicants gain successful employment with Northwell Health. Veterans bring an unmatched array of strengths and experiences to the workforce including leadership training, integrity, teamwork, working among diversified groups in high pressure environments which gives them a high level of sensitivity to diversity and inclusion beneficial to productive corporate work environments. Our Barracks to Business Workshop leverages and translates the skills Military members have to civilian resumes that our hiring managers can simply understand. It’s always exciting to learn that we’ve hired another Veteran. That’s the mission.”
Every current service member, transitioning service member, or veteran should know that Lyndon is here for you: your needs will be met, your questions will be answered and you will never be alone in this process. He is passionate and dedicated to assisting Veterans in their transition from Military service to a promising Northwell Health career.
Read about Samantha Rosario’s experience within the Military, and how our Barracks to Business Workshop prepared her for a career at Northwell Health.
Written by: Samantha Rosario
Each branch of the military bears a massive responsibility when training new soldiers. New recruits are trained in hand-to-hand combat, at the weapons range, and how to work together as a cohesive team. Preparedness of soldiers is essential to ensure not only a victory for the mission, but God-willing, a safe return for everyone. Once the solider has returned and his/her term is complete, it is almost as if the weight of responsibility has lifted off the branch’s shoulders and soldiers are given minimal training in their next mission in life, transition to the civilian world.
A popular myth, and one I foolishly believed, was that finding a job, as a veteran, was going to be easy because employers love the skills and discipline veterans possess. While employers appreciate those traits, the real issue is if the applicant cannot communicate his/her skills on a resume. Northwell has recognized this dilemma and has committed itself to be the standard in job preparation training. Over the summer, I was lucky enough to attend one of these training seminars, entitled Barracks to Business, led by Anthony Silvera. During the course of 4 hours, I was challenged to clarify my skillset and experiences, determined my career goals, learned the importance of a job description and gained confidence for an interview. The success stories were inspiring and newly gained knowledge felt invigorating; that night I started revising my resume and focusing on finding a career within Northwell. One of the most significant aspects of seminar was the support given after it ended and with the support of Mr. Silvera and his team, I eventually gained employment with Northwell. I am honored to work for an organization that dedicates so many resources to serve the needs of our country’s veterans and look forward to doing great things in my new role.
Are you, or someone you know, a Veteran who is looking to build their professional skill set?
Register to attend our next Barracks to Business Workshop today.
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.