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Excellence In Innovation

 

For Patricia T., working at Northside Hospital means excelling at innovating. 

Patricia, administrative director of our Heart and Vascular Institute, is an integral part of the Northside team that was recently honored with the TCAR Award, recognizing us as a center of excellence for the revolutionary transcarotid artery revascularization technique (TCAR).

This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure helps treat plaque in the carotid artery, which could cause a stroke if left alone. TCAR also allows for the treatment of more patients, including those that previously would have been deemed too risky for surgical intervention.

“You don’t have to have an open surgical procedure, you can help patients avoid stroke without even being under anesthesia, and they can go home the next day,” says Patricia. “Older, sicker patients can actually be treated safer, and with fewer complications. We couldn’t even imagine this years ago!”

Patricia says that at Northside, medical innovations are quickly incorporated into patient treatment, thanks to forward-thinking doctors, nurses and hospital leadership. She credits Dr. Siddharth Patel with being a particular champion of TCAR.

“He had the insight to see that this technique had a huge potential for older and/or high-risk patients,” she said. “He was the one who led our calling to it, and he has been the one out educating the public and primary care physicians about the benefits of this procedure.”

Patricia says one reason Northside earned the award was because of the high number of patients it has treated using TCAR – and the high quality of their outcomes.

“What’s so nice about this technique is that previously, not all patients could have a carotid procedure because they were at high risk for stroke,” Patricia said. “In the past, the answer was surgery, and the next innovation was stent placement via the femoral artery. But for older patients, it was still high risk. TCAR allows us to do this without even putting some patients under general anesthesia.”

Making such an innovative approach commonplace is just one more way Northside sets itself apart from many other health systems. It also showcases how teamwork focused on patient care continually drives us forward, and makes Northside such a special place to build a career.

What you see on our social media pages is true about the environment here – there is a huge sense of collaboration at Northside,” Patricia says. “The focus on the quality of patient care and patient experience makes it a great culture. We can grow our program and focus on patient care and experience, which makes it a unique place to work. As a consultant in my past jobs, I experienced many different health systems across the country. When I came to Northside, I immediately noticed a difference in the environment.”

For Patricia, collaboration, empowerment and a willingness to listen to team members are all hallmarks of the “Northside Difference.”

It is a culture that is focused on quality of care and patient experience. It really makes you proud,” she said. “The sense of family, too…if you have ever walked the halls here, there really is a sense of teamwork. When I first came here, it was noticeable – everyone was smiling, and happy, people were helping families and going out of their way – it was like, ‘is this for real?’ But six years later, I can tell you, it’s real!”

Giving employees the tools, training, and technology they need to succeed helps Northside build a strong foundation of support. For Patricia, however, that combination really works because of the team of people we’ve assembled here.

 “The employees who work at the heart and vascular institute are genuinely great individuals, they care for their patients, they’re highly trained,” she said. “I know that patients are getting great care, I know our operations are being run well, I know our staff members are caring to patients and their families. It allows me to focus on the growth of the program.”

 As she focuses on the growth of her programs, Patricia also is focusing on the growth of her career. It has her excited about what’s on the horizon because she’ll be “continually looking for what is next in cardiovascular patient care, and the procedures that we will offer to our patients. These techniques are innovative, and we’ll keep preparing ourselves for the next ones that will provide expert care for our patients in the future.”

 

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The Northside Difference

 

From compassionate coworkers to supportive leadership, the Northside Difference means many things to experienced Oncology Nurse Megan McCoy. And it has since she began her career with us.

“Northside is where I started as a nurse, it’s where I’ve grown and developed into the nurse I am today,” Megan said. “It really is a home for me to be a part of my unit and continue working there and developing the staff around me, so we can have a really awesome team.” 

Teamwork is one of the foundations that Northside Hospital careers are built on. For Megan, it’s something that sets us apart from many other health systems. Collaboration makes a big difference for her every day and keeps her engaged and empowered.

“I really love the people that I work with,” she said. “That’s a big part of why I’ve never tried to leave my floor or work anywhere else – the people are awesome! It’s an awesome team environment, being around them is awesome, even on the bad days.”

“Bad days” can come with the territory when you work in Oncology, Megan says. The distinguished cancer programs at Northside are first rate and change lives for our patients, but the disease is still a formidable enemy.

Anyone wanting to work in the field of oncology needs to know that it takes special people,” says Megan. “You have to have a really big heart, and there are really challenging days. But the people I work with know how to make you laugh even when you want to cry, and can put a smile on your face. It can be heartbreaking at times, but the fulfillment of working in oncology is worth any bad days.”

Career fulfillment is another key component of the Northside Difference. We’re working hard to build the kind of inclusive workplace that allows our diverse team to flourish. That’s one of the reasons feedback from Northside employees helped land us on the 2018 Glassdoor Best Places To Work list and Comparably’s 2018 list of Best Companies for Women.

For Megan, the support provided by her supervisors and colleagues has helped shape a career path she is proud of.

“From being in a residency as a young nurse, they have helped develop me into becoming a preceptor, training new staff members, they’ve given me opportunities to learn about my specialty,” Megan said. “Anytime I’m looking for a new challenge, they’ve provided me with opportunities with different teams and ways to get involved or be engaged. You’re never bored, and there are lots of opportunities to grow and learn. I recently became a supervisor with my unit, which I have been with since I started at Northside. That really is a tribute to the leadership and opportunities here.”

For those who are looking to starting the new year with a new career at Northside, Megan has some advice.

“Northside has high expectations, so you have to be willing to be on your A-game,” she said. “Everyone is there for you and wants you to grow as an individual, but they also expect the best – that is why we have the reputation we do.”

For those who get called in for an interview with a recruiter or hiring manager, Megan advises that a little enthusiasm can go a long way.

“Just showcase that it’s a place that you really want to be!” she said. “You know that Northside’s reputation precedes itself, and if you can show that you’re an employee who will work hard and build up your team members, then you will fit right in and do well.”

Who wouldn’t do well at Northside? Based on her experience, Megan has some ideas about that, too.

“I think anyone can succeed, but you have to have the right attitude and be flexible and willing to adapt to different challenges,” she said. “Healthcare can be a challenging field, but Northside provides all the resources you need to be successful.”

Those resources will support Megan as she moves forward in her Northside career, something she is already excited about.

“I’m looking forward to my development as a leader for my unit and within the hospital,” she said. “Helping to empower our team on the oncology unit, and continue to see the growth and positive change that I’ve seen over the last four years and make our unit a place that everyone wants to be.”

A place everyone wants to be. A place where employees are valued and empowered. A place where opportunity is everywhere. That’s the Northside Difference.

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Getting Better At What We Do

As 2019 begins, many of us at Northside Hospital are focused on opportunities to improve our skills and our careers. Continuous growth is always encouraged here and everyone is empowered to develop their abilities so they can improve life for our patients as they fulfill their own potential.

With that in mind, some of our team members have set down some career-related resolutions for the coming year with an emphasis on getting better at what they do.

Brieyana M., who works in pre-registration, plans to improve her networking skills and become a Certified Professional Coder. Eboni R., who also works in pre-registration, is setting her sights on continuing to “learn and grow in my new position.”

Like Brieyana, many others are aiming to bolster their professional education. Northside Nurse Dorothy U. wants to keep working on her nursing Ph.D., while her colleague Diana N. wants to become an Oncology Certified Nurse.

Operations Coordinator Tracy W. plans to complete a Ph.D. this year, and Nicole L., who works in the front office, says she wants to finish her “bachelors in Healthcare Administration and hopefully advance my career to a Coordinator.”

Beside education, the Northside community spirit also is evident in the resolutions of our team members.

Markeia W. from radiology pre-registration says her goal this year is simply to “help others,” and Front Office Coordinator Euwonna J.’s resolution includes “volunteering at community events.”

Because caring for patients is the foundation of everything we do, several Northsiders have made that the focal point of their 2019 goals, with Manager Melissa S. saying that she simply wants to “improve patient experience.”

Whether it’s learning new skills, getting a sought-after certification or doing more volunteer work, the Northside Family is excited about the all the opportunities they will have in 2019 to build their careers while working to make our community a better, healthier place.

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An Honor To Be Proud Of

This has been a great holiday season so far for all of us at Northside Hospital! First came the news that we ended up making the 2018 Glassdoor list of Best Places to Work. Now, we’ve learned that Northside Hospital has just made the 2018 list of Best Companies for Women as compiled by Comparably, a culture, compensation and career monitoring website.

We’re humbled by both honors, even more so because they are based on feedback from our team members. Landing on the Comparably list is especially gratifying because Northside has for years been a leader in creating a supportive culture where women can grow, thrive and advance to leadership positions.

The Comparably list took into account the roles occupied by women in companies, said Comparably CEO Jason Nazar.

“The single biggest thing that’s driving inclusiveness for women is having more women in positions of management and leadership,” Nazar told USA Today in an article about the award.

Compensation for women was another key factor in putting the list together. Nazar said Comparably looked for companies whose employees believe “spend the time and effort to make sure they are closing the gender pay gap.”

As proud as we all are of the recent honors, our employees know that Northside is not a health system that will rest on its laurels. Instead, we’ll use these awards as springboards to build an even more inclusive and dynamic workplace that gives all our team members the chance to reach their full potentials and build the best careers possible!

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Hospital Heroes

 

Northside Hospital is renowned for the dedication and skill of its team members. It’s what helps set our entire health system apart. Northsiders work hard and give back because they believe it is the right thing to do, and they would do the same stellar work whether they were being recognized for it or not. We’re so pleased to see the commitment of our employees honored by local, state and national organizations. Three members of the Northside family were recently recognized for their exceptional work and dedication to serve our community.

We are very proud of Trinita Ervin of Internal Medicine Services, who was named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes women who generously share time and talent to demonstrate a sense of social responsibility and make a difference in the Sandy Springs community. Congratulations, Trinita!

We’re also thrilled by Kyle Porter’s selection as a recipient of a Hospital Hero Award from the Georgia Hospital Association. Kyle, a Patient Relations Representative at Northside Hospital Cherokee, was one of only eight people across Georgia to earn this honor. We’re all proud of you, Kyle. 

We’re all also very proud of Northside Oncology Nurse Carol Del Campo, who was named Nurse of the Year in the oncology category by March of Dimes Georgia. Carol currently serves on the Atlanta Cancer Care Survivorship Development team as the survivorship coordinator, where she works alongside oncology social workers and physicians to educate her team on new drugs and treatment protocols. With 30 years in the field, Carol has used her vast experience to help train nurses, and she believes her job is to provide compassion, empathy, guidance and education to each patient and family, no matter the prognosis.

Thank you, Carol, for all you’ve done to make life better for our patients. You truly deserve such a prestigious honor!

Trinita, Kyle and Carol are shining examples of the type of people who make Northside such a great place for patients – and such a great place to work!

 

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The Northside Difference

 

At Northside Hospital’s Child Development Center (CDC), there is plenty of laughter, plenty of growth and plenty of love. There is also plenty of longevity, thanks to the remarkable teaching careers of Barbara, Teresa, Judy, and Sherry, all of whom have been part of the Northside Family for more than 30 years.

 This quartet of educators love what they do, who they do it with and, most importantly, where they do it. They epitomize many of the reasons why Northside’s employees have ranked on the 2019 Glassdoor Best Places to Work list.

 For Teresa, who has been with us 30 years and works with toddlers in the CDC, Northside is a “great place to work, very family-oriented.” For Infant Room Lead Teacher Barbara, whose career spans 31 years, Northside offers “good benefits, stability, and longevity.”

 Judy, a Lead Teacher with older toddlers, moved here from Louisiana 31 years ago. She “did her research and [Northside] is a good, family-oriented place, with good opportunity.” She says Northside inspired her to want to be here and she is grateful to the parents, who she says are nice and always remember her.

 Sherry, a Supervisor with 33 years at Northside, started in Environmental Services before coming to the CDC. She loves her colleagues and, of course, the kids, who she says are her favorite part of the job.

 “They come back after college and still remember you, you know you did something right,” she said.

 Judy also said working with the kids is what she loves most.

 “The children, they are the most wonderful beings,” she said. “They love you no matter what, you can be 100 percent yourself, and they don’t find fault in you.”

 For Teresa, the best part of every day is “seeing the smiles every morning” as the children greet her with hugs and kisses, while Barbara loves watching “her babies” “grow and develop and enjoying the fact that many of them still come back to see her long after they’ve grown up.

 Over the course of three decades, Teresa, Sherry, Barbara, and Judy have racked up their share of fond memories, so many that when asked, they had a hard time singling out just one. For Teresa, the top memory came in 1994, when she was part of the groundbreaking for the current CDC location, which used to be a parking lot.

 Barbara’s best memory is of a parent who still comes each year to mark her birthday, even though his daughter is now 13 years old.

 Judy also loves it when the kids and parents come back, and she is always proud to see how they’ve grown and what they’ve accomplished. She’s also grateful parents commend her for having an impact on their children.

 Sherry’s best memory is a bit more specific. It’s of a young girl who would cry and cry when she come to the CDC, but would stop whenever Sherry walked in. The little girl’s mother is part of Northside’s senior leadership today, and still remembers how Sherry was able to soothe her upset daughter.

 

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“Blessed To Be A Blessing”

For everyone in the Northside Family, getting help to those who truly need it is at the core of our daily mission. Sometimes, it means leaving the comforts of home behind for a while. That’s what three Northside team members – Clinical Manager Katrina D., Charge Nurse Taryn J. and Staff Nurse Ty’Asia W. – did recently when they set off for Uganda as part of a medical team with The Soul of My Footprint, a non-profit group.

The trio helped provide medical care for more than 300 people in several villages and they also helped distribute shoes, dental and school supplies, sanitary pads for teenage girls and food.

The shoes were collected through a Northside Hospital Foundation drive that was sparked by Katrina, who was making her second visit to Uganda. After her first trip, she was determined to raise money, collect supplies and bring along more volunteers – all of which she accomplished.

The experience made an impression on all three of the Northside team members, especially Katrina.

“We are blessed to be a blessing,” she said. “Visiting a third world country, seeing how primitive some people in the world live, reminds us how fortunate we are to have shelter, a bed to sleep in, clothes and shoes to wear, food to eat and fresh running water.”

All of us are proud of the ongoing volunteer work that is a staple of life at Northside and we are very grateful for such far-reaching and impactful efforts such as the one this trio of nurses made in Uganda.

Making a difference around the community and around the world is among the things Northsiders do best!

 

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The Biggest Honor

 

Northsiders have earned a series of prestigious awards in recent years, and we are humbled by them all. However, our most recent accolade is among the most special because it’s an honor bestowed on us by those who matter most – our own employees!

We’re proud to announce that feedback from our team members has helped Northside land on the 2019 Glassdoor Best Places to Work list! Northside Hospital is one of two Atlanta-based companies and the only Georgia hospital included on the list.

This award epitomizes what we strive for here every day: To build a workplace that empowers people to be their best and gives them the tools, training, and support they need to succeed.

With happy and engaged employees comes better patient care, and that in turn leads to more opportunities as our health system grows.

It’s the kind of cycle we do our best to encourage. And it’s reflected among the 880-plus reviews we have on Glassdoor, many of which praise our leadership, commitment to work/life balance and the many career advancement opportunities we’re able to provide.

Being part of this Glassdoor list is a huge honor for all of us, and one we plan to build on for the future. Thank you to all of the Northsiders who gave their input and helped us achieve this incredible recognition.

We plan to celebrate, but we don’t plan to rest on our laurels. We’ll continue working every day to ensure that we maintain the high standards our employees have come to expect as we create a workplace that encourages innovation and rewards dedication.

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The Northside Difference

 

When he finished graduate school a little over five years ago, Bryan McWhorter knew just where he wanted to work.

It was the same hospital where he was born. And the same hospital where his wife will deliver their son this month.

“He’ll be a second generation Northside Baby!” said Bryan, a Manager of Physician Practice. “I really do feel like, when we’re headed to the hospital, the team will be just as excited as we are to be sharing this experience with us.”

For Bryan, coming home to his hometown hospital was a perfect fit.

“I graduated with my master’s in Health Administration and MBA, and started looking at the workforce and where I thought I would be successful and a culture where I would thrive,” he said. “Northside hit all the marks for me.”

His half-decade at Northside has taught Bryan plenty about the Northside Difference and how true teamwork and camaraderie set us apart.

“At the core of what we do, we take care of other people. From the patients that come through our doors, to each other as coworkers,” he says. “For me, having unparalleled access to the leaders of the organization makes it unique, and a collaborative environment. For someone like myself, who started right out of school, I saw a lot of value in being able to develop relationships with people who would mentor me and help provide opportunities to grow within the organization.”

Growth, both personal and professional, is a foundation of the Northside culture. It also extends to our healthcare system and the career opportunities our continued growth is consistently creating.

“We’ve had a lot of growth,” said Bryan, who works primarily with our orthopedic, sports medicine and total joint practices, referring to the recent openings of our 10th sports medicine and eighth total joint sites.

Growth and opportunity, however, are just two of the reasons Bryan loves his job at Northside Hospital.

“Every day is different,” he says. “That’s what excites me. In the outpatient world, my responsibilities include multiple campuses, so to have the opportunity to interact with all three campuses and learn – there is no monotony to the day.”

Bryan says the Northside Family also has supported his career journey in many other ways.

“I wanted a broad exposure to everything and I think I’ve always been challenged but given the autonomy to develop and succeed, and show the value I can bring the organization,” Bryan says. “Northside is a very value-driven culture, and the people around me have always been driven to bring the best out of everyone. I’ve really enjoyed this environment.”

For those who would like to join us here, Bryan says it’s important to understand the dedication and focus that helps the Northside team make such an impact day after day.

“The thing I always tell my team is that we’re very fortunate to be in an organization that provides such a high level of patient care, of technology, and buildings – but at the end of the day the patient will remember how we make them feel,” he says. “I think someone who would have difficulty working here is someone who comes in with a mindset of specific responsibilities and thinks ‘that’s not my job’ – this organization demands that we all are leaders from front-line through senior leadership, and you really have to take ownership in what product we deliver every day to the greater Atlanta community.”

What advice would Bryan offer to job candidates who are looking at a Northside career?

“We’ve got such a terrific team at this organization – if you’re trying to learn about positions or areas of the system, talk to someone that’s here!” he says. “Really understand what being a part of Northside looks like.”

After five-and-a-half years with us, Bryan is looking forward to a future filled with opportunities to learn – and to help others.

“We’re going to continue growing and providing more care in different environments,” he says. “For us, it’s not necessarily taking care of athletes, it’s discussing with patients what their goals are and helping them get back to that. For a grandmother, it might be playing with her grandchildren at the playground, or it might be helping a high school athlete – it’s all about working with a patient to help them meet their goal.”

 

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Quality of Care

From Environmental Services to the Surgical Suites, there is nothing more important to the Northside Family than the safety of our patients.

It’s why we are here, why we come to work every day. It is our mission to provide healing and comfort to our patients and to their families as well.

The sad truth is, however, that mistakes can happen – with sometimes serious consequences. That’s the reason we celebrate Health Care Quality in October. It helps all of us keep a laser focus on the importance of patient safety in every regard.

This year, Northside teams on all three campuses got a special safety incentive by hearing from renowned advocate and author Sorrel King. Her 18-month-old daughter, Josie, died in 2001 because of a series of errors made by the staff at a Baltimore hospital. Sorrel created the Josie King Foundation in the little girl’s memory and has been a relentless crusader against needless deaths resulting from medical mistakes.

It was an honor to have her here, and even though almost 20 years have passed, her pain is still evident. Her message, of course, resonates stronger than ever and the standing room only crowds at each of her talks were visibly moved.

To coincide with her visit, we’ve inaugurated our Patient Safety Hero Awards, which honor the team members who show continued dedication to error-free care.

This year, the awards went to three outstanding members of the Northside Family:

Dara Schmidt, a nurse in the Alpharetta office for Atlanta Cancer Care; Alanna Breckenridge, a pharmacist with the Transition of Care team at Northside Forsyth; and Lesley Tucker, an RN clinical supervisor from Labor and Delivery at Northside Cherokee.

Congratulations to our colleagues and thank you again to Sorrel, who made an impression none of us will soon forget.

While we realize that everyone working in health care is human and mistakes can happen, we’re redoubling our efforts to ensure that Northside keeps providing the best – and safest – care anywhere!