The largest private employer in New York has a culture of serving veterans

Elizabeth Howe
January 16, 2019 - 12:07 pm

Photo courtesy of Northwell Health

Northwell Health is the largest private employer in New York State — and they feel it's their responsibility to create meaningful opportunities and support services for veterans and their families.

"Long Island is home to 150,000 veterans," said Juan Serrano, director of military and veterans liaison services at Northwell Health. "We feel that it is our responsibility to stand behind our veterans and create meaningful pathways into opportunity so we can get them from where they are to where they need to be or where they should be — easing the transition which is not as transparent or straightforward as people may believe."

Photo courtesy of Northwell Health

Northwell Health offers a long list of resources and programs to veterans and their families — some of which are the first of their kind. 

Created by Northwell Health, The Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and their Families offers services to both veterans and their family members with the belief that both are a crucial factor for success. 

"The whole concept was revolutionary because very early on we realized that in order to make any kind of healthcare treatment effective we had to include the family," Serrano said. "We had to make sure every member of the family gets the same kind of service — making it whole."

Northwell Health also offers resources for careers like their Veteran Hiring Initiative, NYServes, The Return, Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR), and a pay differential program.

"If you are a member of the reserves or National Guard and are called up for duty, we will allow you to keep your benefits, seniority and all, and when you come back from deployment, we will make up the difference between your Northwell pay and your salary. We've paid a little over $1.7 million through this program," Serrano explained. 

"To most of us here at Northwell it's not about social responsibility or checking a box. It's a little more personal. We have friends and family who have served, we have served, I served — it's personal. It's become part of the culture," Serrano added.

"We have an obligation to help those who help us," said Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling. "We have an obligation to help the individuals and families who defend this country. I believe every organization should take on the responsibility to do things more than they're doing today."

For resources and job opportunities, visit Northwell Health's veterans page.