"Imagine a hospital that's doing everything in its power to keep you out of the hospital," said Joel Seligman, president and CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital.
While this goal may seem out of the ordinary -- and even a little counterintuitive -- for a successful hospital, NWH's commitment to healthcare means stepping beyond its doors and promoting health in wellness out in the community.
This requires doctors, nurses and staff to bring their clinical expertise into the neighborhoods they serve, offering a wide array of health and wellness programs. "You’ll find us in the schools teaching children how to ‘eat the rainbow,’ how to stress less, how to develop healthy relationships," said Seligman. "You’ll find us teaching chair yoga, speaking about mental health and giving flu shots in senior centers. And you’ll find us working to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community get the care they need regardless of their ability to pay."
Northern Westchester Hospital’s community outreach programs report reaching a total of 2,755 adults in 2018 through their 118 programs at over 25 community based organizations, all free of charge, as well as at community events, farmers markets and health fairs.
“Five hundred forty people got our flu vaccinations and health screenings which included blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and osteoporosis,” said Grace O’Shaughnessy, LMSW, director of Community Health Education & Outreach, “and 1,801 people took at least one of our 91 chair yoga classes!” The school-based programs alone reach more than 10,000 students throughout the neighboring towns annually.
Seligman said NWH takes great pride in the partnerships cultivated over the years with area school districts, community-based organizations and social services to reach all ages and sectors of the population. Adults, seniors and under-served people attended programs offered for free on a variety of health topics, such as heart health, nutrition, skin protection, falls prevention, chair yoga and mindfulness, Lyme’s disease and cancer prevention.
When medical interventions are required, NWH boasts many of the region’s top doctors offering clinical expertise not found elsewhere in the area. For example, "surgeons from across the country are coming to Northern Westchester Hospital to learn how to perform robotic surgery," said Seligman.
Nonetheless, Seligman wants people to know what his staff does outside the hospital. "While it can be humbling to be nationally or even internationally recognized for some of our best practices, we think it's important that the people in our community know the ways in which we can support them and their families," said Seligman.
Visit Northern Westchester Hospital's website or call (914) 666-1200 to learn more.