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Michael Dowling
President and CEO
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
Great Neck, NY


Winners of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System’s President’s Award, given for the first time this past July, receive thousands in cash, a cruise, dinner and tickets to Broadway—more than $230,000 total awarded to 18 nominees and one final winner. President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dowling talks about why recognition for exemplary service warrants more than a handshake.

Dowling: What I wanted to do with this award was recognize people who promoted the finest ideals of caring and service. Nominees are judged on their commitment to patient care, teamwork, leadership skills, how they react with their coworkers … people who don’t just do their jobs.

Each entity within the system had to come up with one nominee to compete for the
systemwide award. I asked people from outside the health system to pick the final winner so it didn’t look like anyone from inside the hospital was making the final call.

Each nominee got $5,000 net—we grossed it out so they’d actually take home $5,000. Nominees also got two tickets to a Broadway show of their choice and dinner for two at the restaurant of their choice in New York City. The winner got $10,000 plus a cruise for two wherever they want to go.

If you’re serious about trying to change culture and commend staff who go above and beyond, you’ve got to make the award meaningful. It costs a little bit of money, but it’s an investment in your employees.

—Molly Rowe