Bayside nursing agency keeps city healthy

Bayside nursing agency keeps city healthy
By Phil Corso

They’ve become known to their clients as “the Bayside company,” and at the beginning of their 20th year, nursing agency Specialty Professional Services founder Marianne Hedberg Allyn said they’re still kicking.

One step into the group’s office, at 218-14 Northern Blvd., is enough to understand how engaging Specialty is, both in and out of the office. Employees work in an open room instead of being separated from each other by offices or cubicles. The setup makes room for the family-like atmosphere that Hedberg Allyn said made their services unique.

“It’s very mom-and-pop-like,” Hedberg Allyn said. “The culture is very good here, and it isn’t a corporate environment.”

Specialty Professional Services is a Bayside-based nursing agency that works to staff hospitals in the metropolitan area with high-quality nurses. They recruit nurses through advertising and networking and provide them with work throughout the five boroughs and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.

When hospitals in the area, particularly Queens, need nurses, Hedberg Allyn said she is the one they call. And her experience in the field means she can speak in a language that her clients understand, Hedberg Allyn said.

Before starting Specialty Professional Services, Hedberg Allyn worked as a staff nurse at Columbia Presbyterian and Bellevue hospitals in Manhattan and also worked for a current competitor in staffing.

“I still try to fight for the nurse,” Hedberg Allyn said. “I’ve seen the bad side of this business and I wanted to do it better.”

Hedberg Allyn said that aside from being a locally based group, her company’s higher standards that set it apart from competitors, most of which operated out of Manhattan.

Vasken Aznavorian, director of business development, said Specialty provided local nurses with opportunities they would not get at other nursing agencies.

“They work with us because we offer them flexibility,” Aznavorian said.

Nurses looking for work apply to Specialty and are subject to a screening process that the company cites as evidence of its higher-standard approach.

Over time, Hedberg Allyn said Specialty’s identity has grown into a Bayside-driven staffing agency. She said hospitals would often refer to them as “the Bayside company” while doing business with them.

“The Bayside identity had a life of its own,” Hedberg Allyn said. “We’re like a Queens employer and give local nurses more options when they’re looking for work.”

Aznavorian said the company’s longtime staffers spoke of the friendly atmosphere that keeps nurses coming back.

Senior Staffing Coordinator Peggy Iacovone lives in Bayside Hills and started with Specialty about 15 years ago. She said it is a job she has enjoyed waking up for each morning.

“They’ve always been flexible,” Iacovone said. “It’s a casual environment that helps us find the best quality nurses for hospitals throughout the city.”

Hedberg Allyn said her staff worked as one family unit and fostered lengthy tenures with the company.

“I’m blessed to have people with tremendous longevity here,” Hedberg Allyn said. “We have staffers with 15-plus years here.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.