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.
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