Having lived in Woodside for 30 years, and then moving to Long Island after marrying, Susan Browning has returned to her roots, leading Northwell Health’s newly renamed Long Island Jewish Forest Hills hospital. And the “system” has invested millions to renovate and add new services to the hospital now under her leadership.
Having a brilliant college career at Barnard where she earned a BS and then getting her Master’s Degree from the prestigious Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, she concentrated on health policy and management while working full time at Methodist Hospital in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn and her passion for hospital administration was born, as well as her aspiration to lead a hospital as executive director.
Having practiced her craft in Brooklyn, Browning held several leadership roles at Northwell Health, including at Staten Island University Hospital which was in the process of realigning services and programs.
As a Senior Vice President, she managed the integration and operation of the multiple practices at the major hospital on Staten Island that is growing in influence and serves almost half a million people. She has become an expert on integrating specialists with current staff and has been the administrative Vice President of Northwell Health’s neurosurgery, neurology, ENT, head/neck and ophthalmology services, working to further expand programs at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, and Huntington Hospital, to name a few.
Wisely, Northwell finally made her goal to lead a hospital as executive director come to fruition, turning to her to lead the expanding LIJ Forest Hills hospital in a diverse borough of over 2.2 million people.
Browning has cut several ribbons, opening new services at the hospital, and expects to expand the ER in the near future. She has created a state-of-the-art imaging center. She can call on her staff on site to read X-rays but now thanks to a sophisticated electronic system, they can be read by the over 150 radiologists in the Northwell system.
When I met with her recently in her tenth floor office overlooking the skyline of Queens and Manhattan, her eyes sparkled as she spoke about the major renovations going on, creating 10 cutting-edge postpartum maternity rooms.
“We will be able to offer private rooms and reduce our three-bed rooms to two persons with lots of privacy,” she explained. “And as a celebration for the new parents, we will even offer catered meals from local restaurants,” she continued.
Susan Browning spoke with pride in her voice when discussing the additional new doctors serving the hospital’s patients as well as multiple community sites like the one at 95-25 Queens Blvd. “We can access Northwell’s wealth of top doctors in every category of health needs,” she said. “And I’m adding world-class trained specialists. We want to make LIJ Forest Hills a destination hospital and with the rapid growth of the community, it’s my challenge to grow the staff and the hospital. We might have to expand the footprint too to meet the need and demand for our services.”
With her parents still living in Woodside, she said with a smile, “I get fan letters with thanks from my parents’ neighbors. They know how much I care about giving them state-of-the-art medical care.”
With an eye on each day to deliver the finest medical care, Susan Browning also,has an eye on the future and the needs of the diverse communities she serves. Welcome back home. She’s made her parents proud and the community, too.