LEADERS Women Leaders
Jill Kalman, MD, Northwell Health

Jill Kalman

The Future of Healthcare

Editors’ Note

Dr. Jill Kalman joined Northwell Health in May 2014 as associate medical director in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, and as the associate medical director at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She later served as medical director and then executive director of Lenox Hill Hospital and was responsible for the quality of patient care, safety and day-to-day operations. Dr. Kalman was also the medical director for the office of patient and customer experience for Northwell Health, in which she led the initiative for the physician’s role in the patient experience. She is an expert in congestive heart failure and has published extensively in that area. She began her career on faculty at Mount Sinai Hospital. She also started and developed the Heart Failure Program at Beth Israel Medical Center and was subsequently recruited to New York University Medical Center as Director of the Cardiomyopathy Program and Chief of Cardiac Services of Tisch Hospital. After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Kalman received her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency, chief residency and cardiology fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, including a research fellowship in heart failure and cardiac transplantation.


Northwell Health (northwell.edu) delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, and a visionary approach to medical education, highlighted by the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Northwell Health is the largest integrated healthcare system in New York State with a total workforce of more than 76,000 employees – the state’s largest private employer.

Will you highlight your new role at Northwell Health and what excited you about the opportunity?

I was extremely excited for this new role. When I look at my career, taking on this new challenge was something that I very much aspired to do. The opportunity to lead the physicians, and the clinical and quality strategy across an extremely large health system such as Northwell Health, is a wonderful opportunity. In assuming this role, there is already extensive structure to keep our large and diverse health system connected, and I am fortunate to be able to assume the role with so many important pieces in place. It is critical to listen to all of the stakeholders and to engage in their strategy to hear diverse perspectives and approaches for the ongoing success of the health system.

Northwell Health has been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic. How important has it been to focus on the emotional and mental well-being of your physicians and clinicians who have sacrificed so much during this unprecedented time?

It is our most critical focus at this time. I was running Lenox Hill through the first year of the pandemic and the way our frontline physicians, clinicians and all of our team members showed such strength and resilience during this uncertain time was truly remarkable. This crisis also revealed the strength of our entire health system and to see what we were able to accomplish, never running out of PPE and ventilators, and always being there to serve patients and keep our staff safe, was a testament to what Northwell Health stands for and how we live our mission.

The strength of our health system in its ability to provide the central vision and strategy for battling COVID and for the local hospitals to effectively carry out that strategy is what makes Northwell so special. The challenge going forward is to take the lessons learned from our physicians, clinicians and all frontline staff to ensure that we are approaching the future in the most thoughtful and effective way.

What do you see as the role of the hospital in the future in order to most effectively address the challenges in healthcare?

We want to deliver care in the right place at the right time and to bring services to patients outside of the hospital when possible in varied settings, whether that is ambulatory centers, clinician offices, or care in the home. This enables patients in the hospital to have the appropriate services focused on them. When we look at the hospital of the future, one of our lessons learned from the pandemic was the need to be prepared for unprecedented events and to have the innovation and creativity to deliver care differently depending on the situation. It is all about delivering the right care in the right place when the patient is in need.

How critical is it for the workforce of Northwell Health to mirror the diversity of its patients and the communities it serves?

There is extraordinary diversity in the communities we serve and the geography that we cover. Northwell Health has an extremely diverse workforce, but this is an ongoing focus and there is always more work to be done. It is vital that our workforce at all levels look like the patients we take care of and the communities we serve. This is a commitment from senior leadership.

Northwell Health has a long history of addressing societal issues and being a force for good in society. Will you discuss Northwell’s culture around giving back and making a difference?

We are one of the largest workforces nationally and internationally and we have the ability to make an impact on the most critical issues, whether it is gun violence prevention, immigration, insurance or other policy issues. I am very proud that we take on the tough issues and help drive the conversation around how to solve them.

Did you know at an early age that you were attracted to medicine and that this was how you wanted to focus your career?

I dissected a frog in ninth grade and that was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I grew up on Long Island and I still think about trying to find my ninth grade teacher to let him know how much that moment impacted my future career. That formative moment was the start of my path to pursue medicine and to fulfill my passion of taking care of patients and delivering great healthcare.