Quick read: Northwell cranks out COVID-19 book

Men of few words: Co-authors Charles Kenney (left) and Michael Dowling wasted no time writing "Leading Through a Pandemic," their latest collaboration.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Well that happened fast: Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling and his favorite literary collaborator have churned out a book chronicling the health system’s experiences at the COVID-19 epicenter.

“Leading Through A Pandemic: The Inside Story of Humanity, Innovation and Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Crisis” (Skyhorse Publishing, August 2020) is slated to hit virtual shelves Aug. 25, written by Dowling and Northwell Health Senior Vice President Charles Kenney, billed here as the health system’s “chief journalist.”

The 187-page hardcover discusses the administrative and clinical struggles and triumphs of New York’s largest healthcare system (by number of patients and number of providers), which “saw a record volume of severely ill patients,” according to Dowling, when COVID-19 rampaged across the Empire State between March and May.

In addition to detailing Northwell Health’s real-time crisis response, the book – with a forward by Emily Fawcett, an RN who floated between COVID-19 wards, through the teeth of the pandemic, at Northwell’s Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan – reviews years of emergency-preparedness groundwork that had the New Hyde Park-based health system ready and able when the novel coronavirus struck.

Read all about it: Pandemic, Northwell-style.

Dowling, nearing two decades as president of Northwell Health, termed the March-May stretch “an extraordinary experience” and said he hopes the book will serve to inform the response of other healthcare administrators to COVID-19 and future emergencies.

“[The book] highlights lessons learned and offers guidance on how other hospitals and health systems can prepare more effectively for such viral threats,” the CEO told Innovate LI in a written statement.

The rapidly produced manuscript is not the first collaboration between Dowling and Kenney, nor the last.

Skyhorse Publishing is due to release “After The Roof Caved In: An Immigrant’s Journey From Ireland to America,” written by the CEO and his personal author, in October. The biography traces Dowling’s personal history from a childhood of abject poverty in rural County Limerick to the States to CEO of a 68,000-employee healthcare network.

Prior to these new releases, the collaborators teamed up for “Health Care Reboot: Megatrends Energizing American Medicine” (ForbesBooks, 2018).