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North Shore University Hospital’s critical care units earn top nursing awards


The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) has received a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (ANNC). The hospital's medical intensive care unit (MICU) has also earned a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence. Both awards are valid through 2020.

The national award represents an extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards and dedication to exceptional care of patients and families.

"I am so proud of the staff in the MICU and NICU for the exceptional care they provide and the environment of safety, high quality outcomes, and collaboration that they have attained. This award is well deserved for the incredible staff of these units who are making a difference every day in the lives of our patients and their families by setting the standard for excellence in patient care," said Alessandro Bellucci, MD, NSUH's executive director.

Critical care units that receive the Beacon Award succeed and are measured against national criteria in the following areas: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development and best practices; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement.

"The critical care teams embody the highest level of professionalism, skill and compassion for highly acute and complex patients, from newborns to adults," said Kerri Ann Scanlon, RN, chief nursing officer at NSUH and deputy chief nurse executive at Northwell Health.

The NICU is a 51-bed facility, level 3, regional perinatal center. The NICU provides high level care to extreme premature infants up to full term infants born with illnesses that prohibit them from rooming with their mothers. The NICU has the same team of doctors medically leading the facility as Cohen Children's Medical Center's NICU, ensuring high quality of care. The interdisciplinary team is comprised of physicians, neonatal nurse practitioners, registered nurses, nurse clinician, lactation consultants, dieticians, respiratory therapists, child life therapists, physical therapists and social workers.

"This prestigious award validates the high quality and compassionate care we deliver to our high-risk patients and their families," said Debbie Grabher, RN, nurse manager, Neonatal ICU. "Many of our infants spend months on the unit and our families are supported by our team," said Ms. Grabher, adding, "Some parents keep in touch with heart-warming cards with photos of their college-age children and we are reminded that our impact has been huge."

"Our nursing team in the MICU is very proud to receive the Silver Beacon Award because it reflects the excellent care we give to patients and validates the quality outcomes we provide every day," said Joy Orr, RN, who practiced for 15 years in the MICU and is now director of critical care in neuroscience at NSUH. "It can be rewarding, challenging and humbling to treat acutely ill patients. We know our nursing care makes a difference and being recognized with the Beacon award gives us a great sense of accomplishment."

A 17-bed critical care unit, the MICU team manages the care of complex critically ill patients age 18 and older with pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, metabolic and infectious disorders. The unit's multidisciplinary team includes critical care registered nurses, intensivists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians and respiratory therapists.

In 2016, two other critical care units at NSUH – the Cardiothoracic Unit and the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit received the Silver Beacon Award for Excellence from the ANCC.

To learn more about the Beacon Award of Excellence, visit

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 600 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 63,500 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including 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 for Medical Research. 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

Betty Olt
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