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Meet Richardson Joseph

Oncology RN and Nurse Residency Program Graduate

Richardson Joseph, RN, BSN, began his journey to a nursing career many years ago. He was introduced to Memorial Healthcare System as a high schooler who visited the ER for medical care. Even at that early age, he was impressed at how well he was treated as a patient.

Richardson soon went off to college, playing soccer at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri. During his time there, however, his mother became ill. He made the decision to move back to South Florida. A short time later, he found himself admitted to Memorial Hospital West. It was there that he met a male nurse for the first time. It was a surprise to him that men could be nurses.

This nurse, Jermaine, talked to him about pursuing a nursing career. “He educated me as to what nursing is. He told me that it was about being a caregiver and a caretaker,” Richardson recalls. “He explained nursing to me in a way I could understand as a young athlete. That it is a team activity, and you have to train hard to be a starter. He allowed me to see myself as someone I was inspired to become. I still keep in touch with him today.”

Richardson had intended to continue on with his college athletic career after coming back to Florida, but instead made the decision to go to nursing school. He enrolled, received a scholarship from Memorial, and did his some of clinicals here. Soon, he started interviewing and joined our Nurse Residency Program in late 2018.

“Being at Memorial has been great for me,” says Richardson. “You have to come in with an open mind and want to grow. The Nurse Residency Program is going to stretch you, stretch your mind. You will see what you learned in nursing school come to life. This Program is here to groom you, to help you understand who you can become.”

“I looked at all of the other local residency programs,” he continues. “But I picked Memorial for the leadership and guidance I would receive. Not only are you being exposed to different units, but you are also being mentored and cross-trained. You work with specialty veterans and they want you to ask questions and learn from them. You gain your ‘nursing instinct’ and learn to trust your clinical judgment.”

Richardson chose to specialize in oncology because of the prevalence of cancer in his own family. He sees it as a way to serve the next generation and understand why certain cancers are so predominant in the African American community. “Each person I see on the oncology unit at Memorial Regional Hospital is different,” he says. “My job is to be present for that person. And I learn from them. It’s like being in a library and every person is a book. They share stories and I soak in that information. I just feel honored to be in their presence.”

Aside from his nursing duties, Richardson also participates on the Nurse Residency Program Committee and the Curriculum Committee for the Program. He wants prospective nurse residents to know that the most important thing they can do is to believe in themselves.

“You have to believe in yourself. You did the groundwork; you have some knowledge. If you believe in yourself, other people start to believe in you too. They will give you more resources and opportunities. I am grateful to be someone from a small island, from Haiti, who has a voice at Memorial and has been so welcomed here.”

You can create your own story at Memorial too. Applications for the next cohort of our Nurse Residency Program will be open from November 19 to December 4, 2020. See how you can join us.

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The Memorial Nurse Residency Program

A Bridge Between Academia and the Real World

That’s how Anthony G. Gonzalez, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, Director – Nurse Residency Program describes the Program – as a bridge to the future.

“Just like any bridge, they are all designed differently,” explains Anthony. “Our bridge is based on three key elements – structure, synergy and engagement. These elements are built into our mission statement for the Program.”

The first element of structure sets written goals and clear expectations for nurse residents. The next piece, synergy, focuses on group cohesion, which gives the residents a support system where they can benefit from each other’s growth and experiences. The final element is engagement and a feeling of belonging to something special.

“Our culture has a strong passion for growth,” says Anthony. “One of the main characteristics I look for in any prospective candidate is that desire to grow. I look for somebody who is willing to make an investment in themselves. A proactive learner who wants new experiences and sees mistakes as learning opportunities.”

Anthony’s own experience is a product of this culture, which is hallmarked by clinicians who always want to do better and do more. “I started my own nursing career here, as an ICU nurse at Memorial Hospital West,” he says. “I left and then came back as a nurse educator for Memorial Hospital Pembroke. In 2018, I was offered this opportunity to become the systemwide director for our Nurse Residency Program.”

What makes the Memorial Nurse Residency Program truly unique is that Anthony and the other leaders understand that no two nurse graduates are alike. “We take the individual into consideration when supporting them through this transition,” he explains. “Each nurse creates a learner profile that outlines their clinical experiences as a student and asks what their learning preferences and expectations are. It gives us a better perspective in providing a personalized onboarding experience.”

Curriculum is also designed to reflect the nurses’ needs at different points of the Program. Early on, nurses learn about care coordination and delivery, which includes time management, professional communication, prioritizing and delegating.

Content on resiliency is shared at the six-month mark when nurses are the most challenged in their new career. Memorial makes the effort to reinvigorate and remotivate their nurse residents to continue on toward their goals. Then, at the tail end of the Program, nurses have an opportunity to focus on professional growth. They learn about Memorial’s clinical ladder and specialty certifications, as well as how to network and advance throughout the organization.

Anthony believes that nurse residents can provide a fresh perspective to the System, as well. “During our evidence-based projects, I like to tell them that it is an opportunity to ‘sell their passion.’ They can offer new and innovative ideas, but they need to have the evidence to back it up and be able to sell their thinking. I always use the mantra ‘sell your passion,’ which gives them the enthusiasm to make a significant impact.”

Most of all, Anthony wants nurses to choose the Nurse Residency Program that is right for them. “It’s important to make an informed decision and gather all the facts. You are going to be investing your time, energy and commitment to an organization that is going to commit to you in return. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to see which Program is going best meet your personal goals for success. If Memorial is the best fit, we will do everything we can to support you.”

Applications for the March 2021 Nurse Residency Program cohort open on November 19, 2020. Learn more about the requirements and application process now.


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A Special Message from Maggie Hansen, Chief Nursing Executive

When I was promoted to CNE in 2016, I came to the executive table with a vision for Memorial Healthcare System to be THE destination for nursing. We developed our first-ever systemwide Nursing Strategic Plan, the outcomes of which have been well noted and celebrated.

From there, we have expanded – and continue to expand – a nursing culture hallmarked by a dedication that has only grown stronger during the pandemic. The critical incident nurses who we brought in during the surge have remarked that all healthcare systems should function like Memorial. Having worked all over the country, they certainly have the perspective to make that validation.

Our nurses are respected as the most influential caregivers in the patient and family experience. We have removed barriers so that nursing professionals can practice at the top of their license. There is a high level of accountability for producing quality results, and we support that by providing Memorial nurses what they need. That includes education, coaching, supplies and encouragement!

We created our Nurse Residency Program to help attract new nurses to our high-performing team. Our Program adheres to the AACN-accredited Vizient Nurse Residency Model in which nurses work together to solve problems, share ideas and complete evidence-based projects. Many of these projects are implemented, with nurse residents making a direct contribution to the profession and our organization.

Memorial leadership is very appreciative of the Program, and our nurse residents can expect a collaborative relationship with the medical staff. However, what is most impressive about the Program is that we maintain a 97% first-year retention rate for new RNs. That is far above the national average of 82%.

It’s because we look for nurses with a BSN who align with our culture. We invest in nurses who want to become leaders in healing at the bedside—which is the most important role that a nurse can hold. At Memorial, nurses are genuinely able to experience the joy that our profession has to offer.

Our Program produces better nurses and better patient outcomes by providing a proper transition from academia to the nursing world. If you are a new graduate, I encourage you to continue reading to learn more about becoming a nurse resident at Memorial. Our next cohort starts in March 2021 and I would love to see you there!




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Environmental Services Ramps Up Their Efforts

Making people feel comfortable and safe.

William Lubin joined Memorial Healthcare System about 15 years ago and has been happy here ever since. Today, he is Director of Environmental Services at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital where he believes that his staff is the backbone of the organization – keeping patients, employees, and families safe.

“We take pride in what we do. I tell my team that what they do is as valuable and as important as any doctor or nurse,” says William. “We make sure that we are providing an environmental care that is safe and clean for our stakeholders. A clean environment is the foundation for keeping patients, visitors, and employees safe. We are here for our patients and visitors. Wiping down things constantly, having hand sanitizers available throughout the facility, making sure people can feel comfortable and safe.”

When COVID-19 first emerged, William had the infection control team speak to his employees. They learned not only what they needed to be doing at work, but also what they needed to do to keep themselves safe in the community. “I emphasized what we do and why,” he explains. “I would never ask them to do anything unsafe. We follow all the CDC guidelines, wear our N95 masks and proper PPE.” We always use best cleaning practices. With COVID-19 employees are utilizing methodical cleaning and disinfecting so as to not overlook anything. The path to a cleaner and safer hospital starts and ends with a clean environment and the Environmental Services Department at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will continue with the task to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Memorial’s culture of patient- and family-centered care, William encourages his team to have a sense of ownership. “I tell them, see it, own it, and take care of it. If you see something wrong, you can intervene and if in doubt call me. We make sure we do everything in our power to keep the little ones safe. We do it for the parents and the children.” I motivate the team by being here with them, having sincere, open communication, listening to their complaints, and providing them the tools and the education necessary to keep them safe.

The rewards of the work are many and include opportunity and longevity. “If someone is looking for growth, this is it. Job seekers will find that MHS offers a strong service culture of excellence, opportunity for growth. We have six hospitals and many other sites. This is a place to fulfill your dreams,” William stresses. “Do your best and you can move up. But you must be able to work at a fast pace. We are saving lives without ever sacrificing quality.”

“You will learn our way,” he continues. “What we do is important. We work with honesty, teamwork, and empathy. You should be able to make the team better. Ask yourself what you can bring to the team and how you will treat your brothers and sisters in the Memorial family. I cannot teach you what is inside yourself.”

If you have what it takes to be in service to others and are ready to be the best at what you do, search our Environmental Services jobs and apply online now.

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Food & Nutrition Services Adapts to New Challenges

Pulling together in the face of adversity.

Melissa “Missy” Santoro, Director of Food & Nutrition Services at Memorial Regional Hospital, has been leading teams here for more than 20 years. She is made for this moment, saying that she is the type of person that “runs toward the fire, rather than away from it.”

Missy has called on her experience and her fortitude in recent months, as the pandemic forced her team to adapt and change quickly. “We had to rethink how we got food to COVID patients and to the COVID unit workers, as well as how we operated our cafeteria and the physician dining rooms,” she explained.

It was important to keep clinical staff well-hydrated and satiated with grab-n-go meals. Grab-n-go also replaced self-service food bars in the cafeteria. Tables needed to be removed to adhere to social distancing guidelines, and there had to be limits put on the capacity of people in dining areas.

“We have an incredible team. In the face of adversity, it’s amazing how quickly they pull together,” says Missy. “I am always so proud of them. It stems from being open and communicating – whether it’s one on one or in small groups – and giving them the facts.”

“That comes from our executive team. The transparency of telling the employee what they need to know. Being up front and honest. This executive team and administration look at the big picture. They ask for input and make decisions with the employees in mind.”

Communication is especially important as the Food & Nutrition Services team ranges from entry-level kitchen workers to registered dietitians with master’s degrees. Missy must “connect the dots” as to how a situation impacts each of them and their families, as well as the patients and their multidisciplinary care teams.

“Nurse managers and clinical managers see Food & Nutrition Services as a part of the team that is helping patients get better,” Missy explains. “Patients can choose their food for the most part unless they have specific dietary needs. We need to be ever evolving and up on the newest and greatest food trends, while also being culturally and clinically appropriate.”

“This is a rewarding job if you’re an individual who likes change and creativity. Being able to provide a culinary service really makes us shine. We have the ability not to be doing just one thing as there are so many facets of the environment.”

That’s why Missy looks for people with the right attitude. Someone who can work in a high-volume setting and be accountable for always putting the patient first. Candidates who want to learn, have a strong commitment to quality, and believe in doing the right thing can find growth at Memorial Healthcare System.

Missy stresses that Food & Nutrition Services can be a great stepping stone to a healthcare career. It’s a way to get a foot in the door and experience what it is like to work for a not-for-profit health system. You can learn more now when you search our jobs and apply online.



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Aurelio at his desk

A look at our heroes behind the scenes.

We’ve heard a lot about healthcare heroes over the past few months, seeing images of doctors and nurses in their PPE. But there are many others who have escaped the public eye. This issue of our career e-newsletter is dedicated to some of those people: the essential workers on our Support Services teams.

Food & Nutrition Services and Environmental Services employees are rarely in the spotlight, yet they are vital to maintaining the health and safety of our patients, employees and families. They are feeding our patients, visitors, and frontline workers. Keeping rooms and public areas clean and sanitized. Taking care of our basic needs so we can focus on our jobs.

The work of Support Services has always been important, but it has taken on greater significance during COVID-19. In the following stories, you will read about the extra effort and personal sacrifice of our teams. You’ll also read about the rewards that come with being part of Memorial Healthcare System.

Whether you want to advance your career, or to get your foot in the door in a healthcare role, our Food & Nutrition Services and Environmental Services areas have growth opportunities available. I invite you to explore our openings and apply online today.

Apply online today.

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Aurelio at his desk

Letter from the CEO


June 1, 2020

Dear Memorial Caregivers:

We continue to face unprecedented times in our country and community. As we grapple with the consequences of a global pandemic that has impacted us all very personally, we now face the turmoil and unrest in our communities across the country following the callous death of George Floyd. Heartbreaking, devastating, and unjust are a few of the words that capture the collective sentiment of our caregivers and as we wrestle with the shock and despair, we contemplate how and why this can happen in our present day?

As caregivers and healers. there is only room for compassion and respect in our hearts, and we must not be overcome by the senseless violence and darkness following recent events. We must be agents of change in this world, and I am urging every Memorial caregiver to lead by example in these unprecedented times with courage, integrity, love and respect for all. More than ever. we must be voices of reason, a collective helping hand, and a beacon of light toward progress and peace.

As a Memorial family, we extend our condolences to the families who have suffered incomprehensible loss and stand united for equality and justice. We know through collaboration and conversation with our entire community, we can inspire peace, and restore and rebuild the hearts and minds of those we touch. Let us make this commitment to each other and most importantly to our children and grandchildren. There is no better time to connect with a shared sense of healing and empowerment to confront and overcome deep rooted racial inequalities and injustice. Together, we can make a change.

While we stand together for what is right. let us not forget the compassion we need for each other. We cannot take for granted the collective toll of our experiences these last few months. Our resiliency and human connection is the key to overcoming any adversity and challenge.

Please take every precaution to stay safe, communicate with your teams and reach out for help when needed. Take advantage of the programs we have available for you.

On behalf of our Board of Commissioners and our entire Memorial leadership team, I want you to know that your overall safety is our greatest concern during these unprecedented times. We support you and stand together with you.

With much sincerity and respect,
Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE
President and Chief Executive Officer

3501 Johnson Street, Hollywood, Florida 33021 I 954-265-2000 I MHS.net I JDCH.com
South Broward Hospital District

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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week!

As we celebrate another Nurses Week this year, we take deep pride in the fact that for 18 consecutive years, nurses have ranked as the most trusted professionals in America. From what I have had the privilege of witnessing, this is especially true of the nurses here in the Memorial Healthcare System. Ethics and honesty drive the wonderful care that is provided to our patients and families, and the results have simply been superb. This year was extra special as we celebrated the honor of receiving the highest award for quality bestowed by the Florida Hospital Association for the exemplary MHS Nursing Strategic Plan, which has been put into operation so effectively that the nursing sensitive outcomes produced as a result are second to none. Our team rocks. Our patients benefit.

The theme of this year’s Nurses Week: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health” is more appropriate than ever. It will be a memorable year. Nurses are literally impacting millions of lives across the world as the COVID-19 virus wreaks its havoc. At the center of care for those seriously affected are the nursing professionals who must maintain a prolonged physical and emotional closeness with their patients at a time the world at large must practice social distancing. While most current conversations are filled with references to having no guide, playbook, or roadmap to address the crisis, nurses have quickly adapted their scientific knowledge and their art of compassion in different ways to meet the needs of those entrusted to their care. They are creating the guide and writing history that will beneficially impact nursing care in the future.

And yet, even with all the hardship thrust upon them, these unprecedented times have not stopped our nurses from quickly adjusting or reshaping the basic tenets of their practice known to produce healing and reduce unnecessary suffering. We see evidence of nurses’ adaptability and perseverance everywhere we turn. In the ICUs for example, nurses now carefully thread the high touch, high tech equipment through a patient’s door to reduce the risk of viral spread. Nurses are also deploying and troubleshooting technological innovations to counter and work around the patient visitation restrictions, to continue facilitating much-needed family and social connections. They celebrate their patients’ milestone achievements in full personal protective gear with as much enthusiasm as they did in easier times.

Just as importantly, nurses also extend care to each other by weaving humor into their workflow in order to lift each other’s spirits and keep everyone in flight. They volunteer to step out of their comfort zones to help their sisters and brothers in hospitals across the healthcare system. There is simply no challenge too large for Memorial Nurses to overcome.

This year we will collect special memories, on which we will surely reflect for many years in the future. We are blessed with the best nurses, the best epidemiologists, and the best resources to be able to see the blue sky ahead through the clouds of our current situation. I am forever grateful to have the privilege of being a nurse on your team, the Memorial Team, and for the opportunity to witness your selfless dedication to our patients, our families, and to each other.

Happy Nurses Week 2020!

With Pride, Hope, and Gratitude,

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Aurelio at his desk

Good people are more important than ever.

It has been an unprecedented time for healthcare professionals working on the front lines of patient care. I can’t tell you how much I admire and appreciate the dedicated and tireless work that I am seeing from our interdisciplinary team here Memorial Healthcare System. Everyone has a unique role to play and we are stronger together than ever before.

Amid the disruption, however, we continue to look for talented people to join us – with Imaging professionals in high demand.

We take pride in being a top employer in South Florida, and are able to offer the most advanced CT, MRI, 3D mammography, ultrasound and digital imaging technologies available today. We also invest in your training and education, always encouraging career growth and development at every level of expertise.

What makes our opportunities truly unique though is what we call the Memorial Experience. A focus on patient- and family-centered care delivered within a supportive culture built on service, teamwork and trust.

Registered and licensed Technologists will find a wide variety of opportunities at our outpatient centers and hospital campuses. I invite you to explore our Imaging careers and apply online today.


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Imaging Careers at Memorial

Grow within a culture of excellence.

Joel Olano, Director of Imaging Services, Memorial Hospital West, is enthusiastic about opportunities for Imaging professionals throughout Memorial Healthcare System. He started his career here as an intern in 2011, was hired as a part-time Echocardiographer and advanced steadily into his current position.

“Once I started at Memorial, I realized there was a willingness to help me grow and advance into a leadership position. I saw that there was some real opportunity here. Leaders would ask ‘are you in interested in growth, do you want a new responsibility?’ I was surprised by how much growth was encouraged,” says Joel.

One thing that is consistent across all Memorial locations is the commitment to a culture of excellence within the Imaging practice. “We hold ourselves accountable to having a low error rate and doing the right thing for the patients,” Joel states. “It’s rewarding when you perform an exam and you go out of your way to dot every i and cross every t, and you follow up to see that the result of your work altered patient treatment for the better.”

As a system, Memorial invests in having the most advanced technologies for CT, MRI, x ray, ultrasound and nuclear medicine. “We are doing interventional radiology with guided procedures, all of your typical diagnostics, and a variety of surgical navigational procedures. We also have a robust OB/GYN ultrasound practice that is one of the largest in Broward County,” Joel lists off. “There is some exciting work coming out of MRI and CT in surgical guidance too. We keep pushing the envelope, especially in cardiac studies.”

When it comes to hiring Imaging Techs, Joel welcomes new graduates as well as experienced candidates. “We hire based on personality,” he stresses. “We look for people who are dedicated to putting patients first, dedicated to working well within a team atmosphere. There is also an expectation to a commitment to excellence. We expect people to be open-minded, be ready to assimilate and fully engross themselves in training.”

“We have a robust training regimen when we hire someone. After that, we support continued growth with our Imaging Mentorship Program and opportunities for Imaging Techs to work into higher modalities. If you start in x ray, we offer intern positions and pay for courses for you to move up to CT, MRI or Nuclear Medicine,” he explains. “My advice is to put your head down, work hard and be vocal about what you desire out of your job. When I started, I told my leaders that one day I’d like to be sitting where they were. The System was more than supportive in helping me achieve my goals. The opportunity is there.“

Memorial is proud to promote from within and values Imaging professionals who embrace our mission of patient- and family-centered care. We put patients first in everything we do, including our involvement in the community as a whole. If you are interested in working in a culture of excellence, alongside people who really do care, we encourage you to search our jobs and apply online now.