How Northwell fulfills its purpose

More than 100 hospitals, maternity wards and health facilities have been deliberately destroyed in Ukraine as Russia invaded the country.

What happens to children with chronic medical conditions?

Northwell Health has a purpose that inspires and guides decision making. As one of the larger health systems in the United States based in New York, Northwell grew rapidly after the war broke out. It used the telehealth capabilities of its Center for Global Health to assist Ukrainian healthcare workers. Within weeks, a nationwide telemedicine support system was created and was able to reach frontline workers throughout Ukraine. It allows doctors around the world to help with patient consultations.

“When healthcare is under attack you don’t just sit back and let it happen, you ask where you can help,” said Northwell CEO Michael Dowling.

In early May, leaders at Northwell Health decided to make a documentary about what happens to children who need routine care when there are few hospitals left to care for them.

The sad outcome is called; “Two Wars”, a 13-minute documentary that shows the impact of this catastrophe on the most innocent of this catastrophe: sick children.

The film shows us up close that there are two wars going on inside Ukraine. One between Russia and Ukraine and the other between Russia and children with chronic medical conditions.

Northwell’s Purpose Activation partner StrawberryFrog partnered with independent film director Rafael Lewandowski and the film Dr. Natalia follows a day in the life of Fedik, a pediatrician who treats hundreds of young patients with little comfort.

Some are either so ill that they can be taken out of the country for further treatment or have complicated cases that require additional assistance.

The documentary is part of the “Rise Health” movement for Northwell, which was created in close collaboration with Northwell’s Chief Marketing Officer Ramon Soto and his team.

“The apparent devastation and humanitarian tragedy that is taking place in Ukraine is the mask of an unseen, deliberate attack on humanity,” Soto said. The purposeful attack on over 100 hospitals is an attempt to inflict an inhumane burden on a society that compels surrender. Anywhere an attack on healthcare is an attack on the most vulnerable. This cannot go unanswered and Northwell is proud to turn to this short documentary to shine a light on this important story.”

This is not the first time that Soto is using innovative media platforms to reach and engage its audience. Through skillful use of streaming channels and smart documentary properties, Soto has garnered hundreds of billions of impressions that would be the envy of other healthcare systems.

A few months before the pandemic, for example, Northwell released “Lennox Hill” on Netflix, a passionate 9-episode docudrama that explores the hidden story of healthcare and the special people providing exceptional care every day.

Then in the midst of the pandemic, there was no better way to exemplify the passion and vitality of Northwell’s staff than with the Northwell Health Nurse Choirs, which made it big on “America’s Got Talent” – 18 acts harnessing the healing power of music. Nurses were invited to perform as contestants to combat the pandemic. He eventually made it to the finals and shared his heartwarming gift with millions of Americans.

Next year, Soto will launch a behavioral health documentary on HBO, showing the challenges and journey of college students who commit suicide as they enter intervention and rehabilitation.

“Now we are starting a ‘war of two’. An engrossing tale of terror and hope through the eyes of Ukrainian doctors and nurses and their patients,” says Soto.

It is Northwell’s hope that people look up to the brave doctors and nurses who put the care of their patients above all else. The demand for health care is impossibly high during a war. By deliberately targeting Ukraine’s hospitals, clinics, maternity wards and other facilities, the pressure on frontline medical workers is unbelievable.

Watch the short documentary here:

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