Amidst the pomp and circumstance of a full color guard, Northwell Health’s leadership gathered with veterans and high-ranking military officials to honor members of the military, recognize their sacrifice and hear from former Army Undersecretary Patrick Murphy. The event took place at Aspire One World Trade Center on Thursday, May 24th.
Since the event took place during Fleet Week, Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling made sure to recognize “all Marines, sailors and Coast Guard service members” who performed naval service, as well as saluting “all of our soldiers and airmen.”
Northwell Health has worked to address the issues facing returning veterans and their families for more than a decade, serving as both a treatment provider for veterans and their families, and as a major employer of veterans that values the skills they bring to their jobs.
Juan Serrano, director of Northwell’s Office of Military and Veterans’ Liaison Services and a fellow veteran of foreign conflict, spoke to the importance of providing tangible commitments to those who serve. “Recently, we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of our Military and Veterans Liaison Services unit. We have so much to commemorate and to be proud of. With this event, we continue to reaffirm and reinvigorate our dedicated health and employment services to our local heroes and their families. It is vitally important that we renew our vows to serve this community through continued education of our own employees, while spreading community awareness that this population deserves the highest quality of care that we can offer.
“We served, our families served, and it’s a privilege to continue to support our nation’s heroes...not just on Memorial Day, but every day of the year.”
As part of that ongoing pledge, for the eighth consecutive year, Mr. Dowling presented five veterans with checks representing the difference between their military pay and the regular salaries they would have received had they not taken military leave from their jobs at Northwell Health. They were:
*Katrina Aronoff, chief radiation therapist at Phelps Hospital who served in the U.S. Coast Guard for five years and holds the rank of third-class petty officer and boat swain mate.
*Ming Chan, a security officer at Long Island Jewish Medical Center who served as a mechanic in the U.S. Army for five years.
*Davon Gass, a patient care associate at Lenox Hill Hospital who served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy for six years.
*Kelly Mahafly, an operating room nurse at Glen Cove Hospital who had the same role in the U.S. Army for six years.
*Joseph Altidor, a food service worker at North Shore University Hospital who served in the Marine Corps for eight years, including a tour in Kuwait as a sergeant.
The initiative recognizes the financial sacrifice veterans and their families make and helps returning veterans reintegrate to civilian life. Since 2008, 37 employees have received more than $1.6 million through the health system’s supplemental pay benefit.
Mr. Dowling acknowledged the hard work and sacrifices made by our military personnel and their loved ones.
“I don’t think we do enough for veterans,” he said. “And, I don’t think we appreciate their sacrifices enough. They serve as an example to all of us, and that is to show the same level of compassion and teamwork as they do.”
If you or someone you know is a veteran interested in learning more about Northwell Health’s Military and Veterans’ Liaison Services, call: 516-719-3125.
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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals and 645 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 4,000 physicians, including 3,100 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.