PORT JEFFERSON, NY ― Mather Hospital’s team took the top spot in Northwell Health’s third annual Safe Patient Handling Olympics, a competition designed to highlight proper safe techniques for nurses and other staff.

Mather’s team scored 377 out of a possible 380 points, according to Northwell Safe Patient Handling Mobility Coach Louis Palumbo, who is based at Mather along with Erin DiCandia, DPT, a clinical injury specialist. The pair works with the hospital staff and trained the Mather team. Five-member hospital teams from throughout the Northwell system competed in two scenarios with patient actors – a patient fall and moving a patient from bed to chair.

Judges’ comments included “Best team to date. By far,” and “In my three years of coming here and being one of the ‘patients’, no one has made me feel as safe and cared for as you guys.”

Safely lifting and moving patients is a core function for health care providers. Doing it properly is not only vital to delivering a positive patient experience, but for the well-being of the workers themselves. In an effort to share best practices and raise awareness for an important everyday task, Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation and Patient Safety Institute hosts the annual event where teams throughout the health system showcase their skill and dexterity in safe patient handling. The event was designed to be a fun and creative way to demonstrate safe and proper patient handling techniques that benefit both patients and health care workers. One in three injuries to health care workers are caused by moving, and the majority of those involve the back, according to the Department of Labor.

In 2014, New York State passed the Safe Patient Handling Law that requires health care facilities to establish safe patient handling programs. The law recognizes that safe patient handling programs can reduce the risk of injury, protect patient dignity, improve quality of care, increase patient satisfaction and enhance caregiver morale.


Pictured (l to r) are Megan Croniser, DPT; Victoria Coto, RN; Anthony Cobb, CNA; Alyssa Swenning, CNA; and Joe Hein, CNA.




About Mather Hospital

Mather Hospital is an accredited 248-bed, non-profit community teaching hospital dedicated to providing a wide spectrum of high-quality healthcare services to Suffolk County residents, showing compassion and respect and treating each patient in the manner we would wish for our loved ones. Mather has earned the prestigious Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Mather has received 14 “A” ratings for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group. No other hospital in New York State has received more top ratings. For further information about Mather Hospital, visit www.matherhospital.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/matherhospital.


About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, about 750 outpatient facilities and more than 13,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 70,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.