As an official charity sponsor of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, Northwell Health secured 15 guaranteed entries for employees who wished to run the marathon as part of Team Northwell. Runners support Northwell by raising at least $3,000, designating the funds for What matters most to them. In addition, this year we are expanding Team Northwell. Employees who received their own lottery entry to the marathon are also eligible to join Team Northwell and fundraise for an area close to their heart.
First-time marathoner Colby Povill, MSN, RN, nurse manager at South Oaks Hospital, shared with us what inspired her to take up the challenge:
What’s the best part of your role at Northwell Health?
As a nurse manager at South Oaks Hospital, the best part of my role is directly and indirectly treating patients with mental and behavioral health issues. Mental and behavioral healthcare workers often treat those who do not want, or believe they need, help. This is challenging work, and it fills me with a sense of pride to watch my team deliver care in the most compassionate and professional way possible, every day. It’s satisfying to see so many of our patients return to their highest levels of functioning and to their optimal states of mental and physical health.
What inspired you to run the TCS New York City Marathon?
I have always dreamed of running a marathon, and what could be better than participating in the TCS New York City Marathon? Furthermore, what’s better than running it for Northwell and South Oaks Hospital, where I have grown so much, both as a professional and as a person?
Why is it important to you to give back to Northwell?
Northwell has afforded me so many opportunities for professional development and personal growth. I was able to become a competent manager and leader in mental and behavioral health nursing. Working at South Oaks as a psychiatric nurse has given me such a sense of pride and fulfillment. It has been my privilege to work here for the past eleven years, and I am honored to be able to give back.
What area are you fundraising for at Northwell Health? Why does this area matter most to you?
I am raising money for patient activities in the adult service area at South Oaks Hospital. South Oaks is a behavioral health facility that treats patients from all walks of life and who experience varying conditions. In the adult service area we see many people suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse and significant life stressors.
Many of our patients are in such a fragile and vulnerable state that they do not want, or believe they need, our help. So it is important to establish strong rapport with our patients and to maintain a comfortable environment that fosters recovery. Our goal during their hospitalization is to make our patients’ stays as comfortable and as healing as possible. While they are in treatment, we try to incorporate the activities and comforts that most people have at home. Basically, we try to bring a little bit of normalcy to their days, incorporating holiday decorations and celebrations, sporting event parties, movie and popcorn nights, and even "paint and snack" nights! I know how important it is for our patients to receive and take part in these little festivities in order to feel human and to feel hope, which is essential for their recovery.
How did you inspire others to donate to your fundraiser?
I hope people will feel inspired to donate when they know that their contributions will be used to keep all of the activities and events that are so meaningful to our patients going. Their generosity will brighten the lives of so many of our patients, who will be facing some of their most difficult and trying days. I hope to personally inspire people by doing my very best to run all 26.2 miles of my very first marathon. I am part of Team Northwell Health and if we at Northwell and South Oaks Hospital have it in us to help so many people heal and live their best lives, what’s stopping me from finishing the TCS New York City Marathon? Nothing!
Employees throughout the health system have gathered around Team Northwell Health to help them meet their marathon fundraising goals. And Northwell’s What matters most Employee Giving Program offers our employees a variety of other ways to enable the mission of Northwell Health to advance — all while providing critical support to the area that matters most to each individual employee–donor.