By Northwell Health President and CEO Michael J. Dowling
On August 25, Skyhorse Publishing will publish what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls a “riveting account of the COVID-19 experience” that “captures the essential lessons for how to prepare for likely surges in the months ahead.”
As head of a health system that treated more COVID-19 patients (70,000+) than any other provider in the nation, Northwell Health President and CEO Michael J. Dowling and co-author Charles Kenney provide an inside look at what it was like at the epicenter of the pandemic. With the federal response lagging during the early weeks of the public health crisis, a limited understanding of best approaches to treating the virus, and severe shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and nasal swab kits needed to perform diagnostic tests, the book chronicles the clinical and administrative leadership strategies that sustained Northwell’s hospitals, outpatient facilities and laboratories as they saw a record volume of severely ill patients in need of intensive care.
From the hospital front lines to the Northwell C-suite, Leading Through a Pandemic: The Inside Story of Lessons Learned about Innovation, Leadership, and Humanity During the COVID-19 Crisis details the preparation and response that enabled New York’s largest health system to treat more than 15,000 hospitalized patients, as well as over 55,800 individuals seen in emergency rooms, urgent care centers, physician offices and other outpatient locations from early March through mid-July.
Governor Cuomo, who has relied on Mr. Dowling as one of his most-trusted health care advisors throughout the public health crisis, said, “Leading Through a Pandemic is a riveting account of the COVID-19 experience at New York’s largest health system. More than anything else I have read, this account captures the essential lessons for how to prepare for likely surges in the months ahead. It brilliantly captures the emotion of the COVID-19 pandemic while offering a clear-eyed analysis of how to prepare for and respond to ongoing and future emergencies. It’s a clarifying, must-read in these uncertain times.”
Leading Through a Pandemic offers guidance on how hospitals and health systems throughout the country can prepare more effectively for the next viral threat. The book includes dramatic stories from the front lines at the peak of the viral assault and lessons of what went well, and what did not. The authors draw upon Northwell’s experience to prescribe changes in US health care for the next pandemic. Beyond the need for larger medical stockpiles is the far more challenging task of transforming the culture of American health care to enable robust emergency response in hospitals and health systems of all sizes nationwide. This is a must-have resource for health care professionals, policy-makers, journalists and citizens whose curiosity demands deeper understanding of modern-day pandemics.
Michael J. Dowling is president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health. Dowling grew up in Limerick, Ireland. He earned his undergraduate degree from University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, and his master’s degree from Fordham University. He also has honorary doctorates from Hofstra University and Dowling College. He played hurling with Limerick and won a National League medal and a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with UCC. Before his public service career, Dowling was a professor of social policy and assistant dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services and director of the Fordham campus in Westchester County. Afterwards, Dowling served in New York State government for 12 years, including seven years as state director of Health, Education and Human Services and deputy secretary to former governor Mario Cuomo. He was also commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services. Charles Kenney serves as the Chief Journalist at Northwell Health and Executive Editor of the Northwell Innovation Series. He is the author of many books, including The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement Is Transforming Medicine, which the New York Times described as “the first large-scale history of the quality movement.” He serves on the faculty of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts.