All employees at Northwell participate in brief huddles on a Culture of C.A.R.E. topic provided each week.  Through the sharing of real patient stories, storytelling and discussion starters, our employees are able to share and correlate their roles to the patient and customer experience.  Communication and sharing grounded in respect and empathy are key drivers to successful huddles.

Patient & family partnership councils

At Northwell Health, we not only listen to the ‘voice’ of our patients and caregivers, but we value and respect their thoughts, concerns and ideas.  Together, in partnership, we will drive health care forward.

Patient and Family Partnership Councils (PFPC) provide a collaborative forum for open dialogue and idea sharing by members of the health care organization and patients, family members and/or caregivers to discuss patient and family centered care delivery.  It allows for understanding between health care professionals, patients and caregivers to ensure that services meet patient needs, priorities and expectations.

Every quarter, representatives, including staff and patients and families from across the organization, meet to discuss a variety of topics and share best practices.

Patient & Customer Experience and the PFPC shared work team created a PFPC Toolkit for added value.  Among many topics, the toolkit includes bylaws and information on member roles, recruitment, process, best practices for sustainment and more.

This PFPC toolkit was highlighted at the May 2016 Cleveland Clinic Empathy and Innovation Summit as a national best practice.

If you’re interested in joining a Patient & Family Partnership Council, please call (516) 321-6944.

PFPC Site liaisons

Cohen Children’s Medical Center Amanda Filippazzo (718) 470-3000
Hospice Care Network Nan Toelstedt (516) 224-6453
Huntington Hospital Cheryl Miranda (631) 351-2000
Long Island Jewish Medical Center Amanda Suleman (718) 470-7000
Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Michelle Rossetti (516) 256-6000
Monter Cancer Center Barbara Thiem (516) 734-8900
Northern Westchester Hospital Maria Hale (914) 666-1200
North Shore University Hospital Nicole Benincasa (516) 562-0100
Otolaryngology Service Line Linda Glazer (718) 470-8631
Peconic Bay Medical Center Samantha Vigliotta (631) 548-6821
Plainview Hospital & Syosset Hospital James Baker (516) 719-3000
Southside Hospital Katheryn Metzger (631) 968-3000
Staten Island University Hospital Michelle VanPelt (718) 226-9000

Relationship Centered Communication Course

Effective communication is essential in health care. Northwell Health has partnered with the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) and the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health to create a customized physician communication course.  The experiential curriculum focuses on using evidence-based communication skills to enhance provider-patient/family conversations. Courses are led by Northwell Health physician and patient experience leaders. One physician participant reflected, “I took the course and it was transformational.  It has significantly changed the way I talk to patients and family members.”

Caring for our Northwell Health employees

Team Lavender

Our 66,000 Northwell caregivers are able to provide our patients, families and customers with exceptional quality care because we support and value them.  Our goal is to continue to sustain this practice though programs such as Team Lavender.

Team Lavender is comprised of interdisciplinary members, with disciplines and skill sets that complement one another when providing a holistic approach to emotional support for our dedicated staff.

Team Lavender was created in 2013 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.  Team Lavender provides an opportunity to provide timely emotional, spiritual and physical support, discuss feelings, explore coping mechanisms and extend additional resources for support continuum, if needed.  This fosters an environment that promotes self-care, self-reflection and emotional support to reduce compassion fatigue and burnout.

Receiving this support also enables providers to better look after and empathize with patients, enhancing the Culture of C.A.R.E.   Members of Team Lavender may include social workers, physicians, nurses, culture leaders, chaplains, patient and family relations members, holistic and integrative therapy practitioners and employee assistance program team members. They are visible within the organization, helping staff to develop rapport and ongoing relationships with the team members. 

Patient & Customer Experience developed a toolkit which contains best practice recommendations for implementation and sustainment of Team Lavender.  The toolkit is comprehensive with training materials, logistics considerations, intervention algorithms and case studies.  

The Team Lavender model has been proven to be transferable and deemed a national best practice at the 2014 Cleveland Clinic Empathy Summit, 2015 Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference and 2015 Press Ganey National Patient Experience Conference.  

Team Lavender has been implemented in multiple sites within Northwell Health and will continue to expand.

Schwartz Rounds

“This is a time when health care providers talk about how caring for patients or their family members made them feel.  Everyone tells their part of the story and how hard it can be to be giving of yourself.”
– Agnes Barden, RN, DNP, VP, Patient & Customer Experience

As part of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, Schwartz rounds bring health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, case managers and administrators together to discuss and debrief on the emotional aspects of caregiving, as opposed to the clinical, quality of care aspects.

Through Schwartz rounds, caregivers gain insight into the social and emotional aspects of patient care. Participants leave Schwartz rounds reinvigorated for patient care and refocused on compassionate care. Because they are founded in interdisciplinary conversation, communication and appreciation for colleagues increases along with teamwork.

Schwartz rounds are a powerful forum for open dialogue and sharing of personal thoughts, ideas and raw emotions. Based in storytelling that fuels connectedness, Schwartz rounds further support our Culture of C.A.R.E. and will continue to be implemented throughout Northwell Health.

To learn more about Schwartz rounds, visit

Share your experience

We want to hear from you, our patients and customers. Your care experience is important to us.  

Call for an appointment

Call us to make an appointment weekdays from 8:00a.m. to 8:00p.m. and weekends from 9:00a.m. to 5:00pm. You may also leave a voicemail message after regular business hours, and we will return your call.