It was an impressive turnout as rabbonim and community leaders from the Five Towns and Far Rockaway gathered in Lawrence for an introductory meeting with Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health which currently operates 18 hospitals in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
The event, arranged at Northwell’s request, was arranged by Chayim Aruchim and Achiezer and was a golden opportunity to build strong bridges between the local Jewish community and senior officials at Northwell. Northwell has expanded rapidly over the years, and its many locations include North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, with Maimonides Medical Center currently coming on board as part of the Northwell Health family.
Following greetings from Achiezer board member and Lawrence Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin on behalf of the elected officials, host Joel Edelstein welcomed everyone to this extremely important meeting.
Chayim Aruchim’s chairman of the board, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, welcomed everyone to the event and thanked Dowling for taking the time out of his busy schedule to meet with the rabbinic and community leaders. Rabbi Weinberger explained Chayim Aruchim’s 24 hour hotline which enables family members of seriously ill patients to get guidance and advice regarding end of life issues from a group of rabbis who are trained to understand complex medical issues and are also versed in Jewish law.
Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz of Chayim Aruchim spoke passionately about the importance of ensuring that Jewish patients receive culturally sensitive, appropriate treatment, especially in end of life situations. Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender of Achiezer addressed the need for ongoing input during a patient’s hospital stay as well as creating an atmosphere that is suitable for religiously observant individuals.
Dowling was accompanied by Northwell’s executive vice president of strategy and analytics, Jeff Kraut, and senior vice president and chief quality officer, Dr. Mark Jarrett. Dowling thanked both Chayim Aruchim and Achiezer for their guidance and input to date and giving him an opportunity to meet with influential members of the Jewish community. Northwell has made a name for itself as a leader in the health care industry said Dowling, and noted that the company has high expectations for Maimonides which will offer patients Northwell’s signature world class service in the near future. Dowling also addressed Northwell’s continuing commitment to excellence and cultural sensitivity and discussed impending changes in the healthcare landscape
After telling participants that he looked forward to continued communication between Northwell and community leaders in order to provide culturally sensitive care and the highest quality service, Dowling and his team mingled with those in attendance, giving everyone an opportunity to have open discussions with the Northwell representatives.