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Column | Leadership

Metro NY Chapter honors Nurse Heroes

Column | Leadership

Metro NY Chapter honors Nurse Heroes

When HFMA’s Metropolitan New York (Metro NY) Chapter invited the local Northwell Health Nurse Choir to perform at its 2022 Joseph A. Levi Annual Institute, it was about much more than simply entertaining attendees. It was also a tribute.

“The past two years have been extraordinarily challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic touched every aspect of our lives, tested our region’s healthcare system as never before and shined a bright spotlight on our incredible and dedicated healthcare workforce,” said Alyson Belz, FHFMA, executive director of RCM Services for Change Healthcare in Long Island, New York, and treasurer of the Metro NY Chapter. “In planning our Annual Institute, we strongly felt the need to honor the distinguished service provided by front-line nursing professionals throughout the pandemic.”

Nurse Heroes and the Northwell Health Nurse Choir

Belz said the Chapter also wanted to promote Nurse Heroes — an initiative that works to raise awareness of the rapidly accelerating shortage of nurses and nurse practitioners. It hosts events such as celebrity concerts, nurse choir performances and art contests to inspire people to help create a future where there is no such shortage. Donations raised at the events fund nurse scholarships, training and development of nurse educators, and research fellowships for the advancement of nursing innovation.

The Northwell Health Nurse Choir, a group of front-line nurses from New York’s largest public health system, was established during the pandemic and became the first official Nurse Heroes Choir. It performed as part of the Nurse Heroes Live concert — a star-studded virtual benefit honoring nurses that took place on Thanksgiving 2020 and was viewed by more than 10 million households. Since then, the Northwell choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House and other prestigious venues. It also was a finalist on season 16 of “America’s Got Talent.”

Metro NY Chapter Response

According to Belz, the Northwell Health Nurse Choir was a big hit with attendees of the Annual Institute.

“They engaged the hearts and minds of the audience, while honoring nurses and healthcare professionals everywhere,” she said.

Alex Charlton, chairman of Nurse Heroes, also was invited to speak at the event. He shared the mission and accomplishments of the organization.

“Our attendees were truly inspired by Nurse Heroes’ participation,” Belz said. “They also were delighted to learn about the incredible impact the organization has made on the nursing profession and the communities they serve.”

In response, private individuals and hospital networks that identified themselves as HFMA members donated nearly $50,000 to the Nurse Heroes initiative.

“Everyone’s unique experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with inspiration, left attendees feeling humbled to support Nurse Heroes’ mission,” Belz said. “As healthcare finance professionals, we engage with nurses every day and deeply appreciate everything they do. We’re fortunate to have this opportunity to support them in this distinct way.”

Metro NY Chapter President Sean Smith (left), Nurse Heroes Chair Alex Charlton (center) and Annual Institute Chair Alyson Belz teamed up to feature the work of the Nurse Heroes initiative at the Chapter’s 2022 Joseph A. Levi Annual Institute.

About the Author

Crystal Milazzo

is a senior editor at HFMA, based in Beaverton, Oregon.

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