At Northwell Health, we already stand out as one of the Best Workplaces™ in Health Care and Biopharma. Now we’re aiming to be the healthiest. Our leadership is focused on food and nutrition as well as fitness and mental wellbeing initiatives to build a healthier workplace for all our employees.
“In the past few years, we’ve been able to do more in food and nutrition to create a better, more effective infrastructure for wellness at work and it’s because we’ve had a lot of great support from leadership.”
–Michelle Milgrim, Employee Wellness Manager
It all starts with the ingredients. Over the past two years, we’ve worked to ensure that our chicken, turkey and beef burgers are 100 percent antibiotic free. Our fish is sustainably sourced and harvested and we work, as much as possible, with local farms across Long Island, NJ and the Hudson Valley to source local produce. Through Community Supported Agriculture, employees are given the opportunity to get local produce – freshly harvested that morning — delivered weekly to their offices.
With great ingredients, we need great chefs. Northwell Health has four Michelin Star chefs that are driving chef talent development including our new AVP, system food services Bruno Tison. Our new partnership with the Culinary Institute of America’s fellowship program is going to bring culinary students into our pipeline of talent.
Now that we have put wellness on our plates and in our kitchens, we’re focusing on wellness in other areas. For starters? We want employees to be eating well at home. So, we’ve invested in teaching kitchens and work in close collaboration with chefs and registered dietitian teams to create hands-on demonstrations that have become a popular, accessible tool for staff. And we’re supporting these initiatives by providing healthier options throughout our facilities, not just the patient and cafeteria menu. We’re updating our coffee shops, gift shops, and vending machines so that the default options at our facilities will be healthy ones.
Though these changes are already making an impact to our employees’ wellness, they’re not the only lifestyle initiatives that we’re putting in place to support the wellbeing of our people. We’re putting our best foot forward through on-site stairwell and fitness campaigns and corporate walking challenges like our Walk to Dublin contest. As we pursue promoting wellness for our bodies, we also seek wellness for our mental health. We offer opportunities for stress management at our sites through guided meditation and reiki, and simply giving our employees time to unwind. We’re also making our facilities mom-friendly. By August, all of our sites will be equipped with dedicated lactation rooms to make pumping at work more accessible and comfortable for mothers.
At Northwell, every role matters, every person matters and every healthy moment matters. We’re invested in our employees’ health, inside and out and we continuously strive toward making our facilities a more nutritious, fit-friendly and welcoming place to work.
Be part of this transformation. See where you fit in here.
At Northwell Health, we’re always up for a challenge and our innovative 2018 employee step challenge, Walk to Dublin, is no small feat. Teams of 10 will compete in a virtual journey from New York City to Dublin (approx. 3.7 million steps!) by tracking their real physical activity and unlocking remarkable virtual destinations throughout Ireland all along the way. All teams to virtually reach Dublin together will qualify to win an ACTUAL trip to Ireland. The inspiration for our Walk to Dublin comes from our Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling, who has instilled a passion for wellness throughout our organization.
We asked the manager of Employee Wellness Niha Malcomson for her take on Northwell Health’s employee wellness goals: “This is something that our leadership emphasizes and we practice and share it: we want employees to say they’re healthy because they work here, and that they can improve their health because Northwell Health supports their goals.”
We’re so passionate about the health of our patients, but their success depends on the health and well-being of our people. That’s why we’re so excited to see 1100 teams as of today ready to focus on their own wellness while challenging themselves, working as a team, and having fun! AND there’s that grand prize…
Just as we rely on each other to do our best work for our patients, we are Truly Together in our goal to be a Healthiest Place to Work by 2022. Wellness is a team effort, and from our Walk to Dublin step challenge to creating healthier environments for all, we can only accomplish these goals together. Sure, some of us are focused on weight loss or running marathons, but as a team, we’re focused on engagement and fun for all employees!
We’re excited to take the first steps on our walk to Dublin! Stay tuned to meet our winners and see what we accomplish when we all work together to reach our wellness goals!
When our employees or their family members are sick and unsure of the next steps, it’s a comfort to know someone is there to help, someone who can answer questions and give important assistance, any time of the day or night. If you’re a Northwell Health employee covered by one of the United Healthcare benefit plans, the Clinical Call Center is a new benefit that will provide that assistance. And it’s just one of the benefits that we provide to help our employees feel their best.
“Our highly-trained nurses are available to help 24/7. They are dedicated and caring professionals who provide the highest quality telephonic nursing care when our callers need it most.”
–Karen Abrashkin, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Call Center
When a Northwell Health employee or their covered dependent calls the Clinical Call Center, they will be directly connected with an experienced Northwell Health RN who is certified in emergency care. The best part is our Clinical Call Center is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Be assured that all communications are confidential.
“The Clinical Call Center nurses utilize evidence-based protocols to determine a recommended level of care for our callers. Our call center is the second Accredited Center of Excellence for Emergency Communication Nursing in the world awarded by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.”
–Debra Tomassetti, Program Director, Clinical Call Center
What kinds of situations can the Clinical Call Center address?
Urgent health questions or concerns
Changes in health condition
Whether or not a trip to the emergency room is needed
Questions or concerns regarding medication
“At Northwell Health, we are continuously looking for opportunities to take better care of our employees and their families. The Clinical Call Center is a great example of that.”
–Greg Bennett, Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Business Development
Our employees are. If you’re up to date with what’s happening at Northwell, than you’d know that we recently updated our myWellness platform – and our wellness team hasn’t stopped there. They have been working hard to create new programs, challenges, and partnerships to make sure our employees have the best tools and stay motivated in their wellness journey. These tools are available to them at any time through our desktop platform, or if they’re on the go, on the Virgin Pulse mobile app. Here are the top resources our employees have access to support them throughout their journey:
1. SelfHelp WorksLIVINGLEAN – This video coaching program was designed to help our employees beat cravings and change their habits. We’re challenging them to open their minds to something new so they begin to feel control — over what, when, and how much they eat! Several Northwell employees who completed Living Lean report a shift in how they are eating as well as successful weight loss and maintenance. (And this comes at no cost to our employees!)
2. Virgin Pulse Nutrition Guide – If our employees create a nutrition profile using the Nutrition Guide, they’ll receive free health tips and a recipes enewsletter from Zipongo. Through the Nutrition Guide, our employees maximize features in myWellness that track calories, healthy habits and weight – plus, they will have access to hundreds of healthy recipes. (Another great tool that is free for our employees!)
3. Weight Watchers – Have you heard about the new Weight Watchers Freestyle Program? Looking for a Weight Watchers At-Work program? Our employees receive a discounted rate and 50% reimbursement for a covered Weight Watchers program when they meet the attendance requirements.
4. The Center for Weight Management – Northwell Health offers a multi-disciplinary approach involving medical, psychological and nutritional assessments followed by an individualized treatment plan. Our team consists of a physician, psychologist, and nutritionists who work with each patient to teach goal setting, medically-supervised weight/behavioral management, planning skills, and problem-solving. (Employee insurance plans are accepted.)
All of these resources are accessible to our employees through the new myWellness program, where they can also explore other tools and programs! Are you ready to crush your fitness goals this year?
An Appointment With: Orthopedic Physician Assistant Rachel Zawodzinski
Welcome to An Appointment With, where we sit down one-on-one with our Northwell Health colleagues. Today we’re meeting Orthopedic Physician Assistant (PA) and marathoner, Rachel Zawodzinski.
Why did you choose a career at Northwell Health?
I’m from Buffalo and I wanted to move to the city. I had heard that Northwell Health was a great place to work and that they provide great education to the staff and PAs. Everybody’s happy here because Northwell Health really supports you. Being a Physician Assistant, you learn a lot on the job and since it’s a learning institution with residents and fellows, there’s always an opportunity to learn.
Tell us about your role as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant.
I work with Dr. Hepinstall in adult reconstruction. I started a year ago last April and it was my first job out of PA school! I alternate days between the office and the OR, and in the office I see patients alongside the doctor as well as my own patients. We have an elderly population, as our focus is in total hip and knee replacements. I assist in the OR, which I love. When you are in surgery, you get to see exactly what you’re doing so when patients ask you questions, you can answer them more clearly because you were there — you know what happened. It’s a great environment to experience and learn the best practices.
What should people know about working at Lenox Hill Hospital?
It’s a very close-knit team that we work with regularly which allows us to work together very well. We enjoy each other’s company which also means that we try to make the job as fun as it can be.
How does your job affect your ability to stay active and how does this translate into your work?
One of the hardest things in this field is time management, so it can be hard to maintain an active lifestyle outside of work. I am a runner, so I try to run or work out in the morning before work. When you’re in surgery, you never know how late the day will go. But exercise is something I enjoy and I feel better after doing it — I am a more productive person when I am active, so I prioritize it.
In our field, everyone always wants to achieve something and likes to train for something, whether it be a marathon or to be better in their career. Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves and likes to work toward a goal. We see the complications every day that people can have if they’re not healthy, and that makes you want to be healthy and promote a healthy lifestyle to your patients.
Are you training for a marathon right now?
I continue to run to stay active and plan to do a half marathon in the spring and hope to do another marathon next fall.
What kind of person would be great at being an Orthopedic PA?
Someone who is motivated. A lot of people in ortho are active people and they like the variety between the office and the OR. You have to be flexible and work with change because you can always uncover something unexpected in the OR!
Do you have any advice for people who are looking to become an Orthopedic PA?
It’s a great field to work in and I really love what I do. It’s a great career being a PA in general, so if you want to go down that path, then just work hard and have that goal in mind. When you have the opportunity to learn from the people around you – doctors, techs, nurses – take advantage of it.
We have exciting Orthopedic PA opportunities in new, state-of-the-art facilities in Greenwich Village and Long Island. Like achieving success in a marathon, it starts with one step. Take it here.
The top 3 things you need to know about our new Wellness program.
1. We have a new partner
Virgin Pulse purchased ShapeUp in 2016. As the new partner for myWellness, they have numerous enhanced functions compared to the previous platform and are the leading vendor in their class. Northwell Health is passionate about keeping our employees and the communities we serve, safe and well. The new myWellness program is an excellent tool to support total well-being based on upgrades to content and resource accessibility. The best part about registering for the new platform? A free personal activity tracker along with a robust mobile app for easy access to tracking on personal devices.
“We believe that caring for our patients begins with caring for our people. We strive to offer resources such as myWellness to support our vision of the healthiest workforce in healthcare.”
-Niha Malcomson, Manager, Employee Wellness
2. It provides so much more
The new myWellness platform is highly interactive. Each day, members earn rewards points daily for tracking healthy habits like hours slept, steps, drinking water and much more. The refreshed program incorporates three basic steps to support behavior change to help employees reach their wellness goals. Step 1: Get specific. Step 2: Make it easy. Step 3: Trigger the behavior. When we focus on building tiny habits, we increase the likelihood of making lasting change. All of our employees are encouraged to take the 100% confidential, voluntary Health Risk Assessment to receive feedback on their current well-being status and to drive the creation of personalized content in the myWellness program. Personal challenges – ranging from getting more steps to tracking sleep with friends on the platform – are easy to create and yield additional ways to earn reward points. The PROGRAMS page on myWellness is a valuable tool for employees to centrally access a wide range of health and well-being resources available to them throughout Northwell Health.
3. And our employees are pumped
Since the launch of the upgraded myWellness program on August 1, there are nearly 25,000 Northwell Health employees registered, and the number continues to grow each day. Approximately 45% of the registered users were registered in the previous platform, the remainder are new users of myWellness. The interactivity and gamification, customized content, individual and enterprise-wide challenges, will all play a role in keeping employees engaged with their health through this program. Our partner, Virgin Pulse, also provides content updates periodically throughout the year to keep the content fresh.
Keeping our employees happy and healthy is one of our top priorities. We understand that the balance between work, life, wellness, and everything else is a tricky one, and we want our employees to feel support within each area. That’s why our employee wellness team continues to enhance our programs and will be on the road visiting sites throughout September and October encouraging our employees to take the next step in their health and to join our newly refreshed platform.
Take a look at how we’ve helped our employees so far:
Motivated to stay healthy – how our annual Wellness Challenges have benefited our employees
A healthy employee is a happy employee. Did you know that each year we have Wellness Challenges for our employees to keep track of their personal health? These challenges involve tracking your healthy and unhealthy habits, reducing stress, or simply encouraging you to move around more. Last year at our annual employee barbeque our President and CEO, Michael J. Dowling, awarded prizes to the challenge winners who were all secretly hoping to win the grand prize, a trip to any one of our seven destination options, ranging from Peru to China to Thailand.
Last year alone, Mr. Dowling handed out 14 prizes to employees who completed all 3 challenges. One winner, Imee Sarmiento, recently took her trip to Rome with her husband. Wanting to get in on the fun, Imee’s sister Lulette (who also works for the health system) decided to plan a trip at the same time.
Throughout their trip, they got to visit many famous cities such as Florence and Siena, but one sight they didn’t expect to see under the Tuscan sun was former United States President Barak Obama and the Air Force One Leaving the Rome Airport.
“Winning this trip was an incredible experience! It was an enticing incentive for employees to promote health and wellness as well as encourage camaraderie amongst its employees,” said Imee. These sisters have been a part of our nursing family for 14 and 20 years respectively.
“We don’t really know any company that granted their employees any wellness challenges and incentives such as the experience we just had. It’s amazing and totally reinforced Northwell Health’s dedication to be a forefront in leading and promoting employee satisfaction,” said Lulette.
Here at Northwell Health, we are always looking out for the health of our employees. Our wellness initiatives not only allow our employees to maintain their health outside the workplace, but while working as well. Over the past few years, we have continued to put the health of our employees first by providing healthy food options at the cafeterias throughout our facilities and snack options in our vending machines. So far these challenges have helped hundreds of employees lose weight and change their lifestyle.
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.
Northwell Health is an Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who may need assistance with navigating the application process, please contact us by completing the Contact Us form.