North Shore-LIJ Honors Veterans, Receives Recognition for Behavioral Health Center

honoring veterans
North Shore-LIJ Health System President and CEO Michael Dowling chats with Bridget Riley, RN, who was honored this week for her service in the US Navy

BAY SHORE, NY – In advance of Memorial Day, the North Shore-LIJ Health System held its annual luncheon thanking employees returning from active military duty, while also receiving recognition from the RAND Corp. for its innovative partnership with the US Veterans’ Administration (VA) at the Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and Their Families in Bay Shore, NY.

            According to the just-released RAND Corp. publication, Public-Private Partnerships for Providing Behavioral Health Care to Veterans and Their Families, North Shore-LIJ’s collaboration with the Northport VA Medical Center  is the “only program” of its kind. “To our knowledge,” the report says, “this public-private partnership is the only program that targets both veterans and their family members in a collaborative, family-centered care model, where veteran and family providers work collaboratively to share information and expertise.”

            The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

North Shore-LIJ has shown support to veterans in many ways.  The health system pays all staff on military leave the difference between their military and health system salaries, and runs a number of programs to help veterans ease back into the civilian workforce.

            On Thursday, May 21, at the health system’s third annual Military Memorial Luncheon held at Leonard’s in Great Neck, two employees were honored with gifts and a check from North Shore-LIJ President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dowling to make up the difference in pay. Bridgette Riley, RN, works in the Lenox Hill Hospital Emergency Department. A lieutenant in the Navy, she served a tour in Afghanistan 2013 and the following year in Germany.  Guzal Kalimullina, a senior patient care associate at Staten Island University Hospital North, is a Marine Corps sergeant who served in Africa, was also honored but did not attend the luncheon.    

            To date, more than $804, 900 in pay differential has been awarded to 26 North Shore-LIJ employees who have served their country.“If you serve your country to protect the rest of us,” said Mr. Dowling, “you should not suffer a financial calamity.”

About North Shore-LIJ Health System
One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 19 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,400 beds, employ nearly 11,000 nurses and have affiliations with about 10,000 physicians. With a workforce of about 54,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State.  For more information, go to


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