Like Dr. Oz, Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres is a cardiologist who is dedicating much of her life to getting the public involved in their own good health. She is developing ways to reach out to the diverse cultures on Long Island, partnering with community leaders, supermarkets and pharmacists to get people to take a 50-50 team approach with their doctors to stay healthy.
Last November, Mieres took on the role of senior vice president of community and public health at North Shore-LIJ Health System, where she oversees the new Katz Institute for Women's Health, health and wellness community education and health-care access programs, and corporate social responsibility, while remaining the health system's chief diversity and inclusion officer, and medical director of the Center for Learning and Innovation. She wrote "Heart Smart for Black Women and Latinas," and, in 2011, won the distinguished Louis B. Russell Jr. Memorial from the American Heart Association.
What does it take for a health institution to become culturally competent?
It begins with education . . . We highlight the fact that we are dealing with people from all different parts of the world and cultures and beliefs . . . So, for example, if someone comes in and they don't speak English or they have a cultural belief that they're against taking a certain medication and you do not incorporate that, and go ahead and treat them, they're not going to be compliant and then you could have a catastrophic effect.
What trends do you see in institutions like LIJ in approaches to health care, or employee/employer-related issues?
We will really see our health systems and hospitals truly partnering with the community to keep [people] out of the hospital. We will also see a focus on employee wellness. We just launched a wellness campaign . . . You get $10 per paycheck if you enter your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your body mass index, and an extra $10 if you don't smoke or you've signed up to quit smoking.
How do you stay on top of new information?
I use Google Alerts . . . there are daily news updates on the American College of Cardiology. On my iPad I have this app called Instapaper, where when you read something you can just catalog it. When I'm traveling or have some down time I have it readily available.
What are some ways people can prepare for a doctor's visit?
You prepare for your doctor's visit just like you prepare for a job interview. If you have noticed chest discomfort or decreasing exercise tolerance . . . keep a log book: time, place, location, how often, how many times a week . . . It's your body; discuss your risks of different diseases with your doctors and then ask "What lifestyle changes do I make?"
NAME: Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres, senior vice president, Office of Community and Public Health at North Shore-LIJ Health System, Great Neck. Also serves as medical director of North Shore-LIJ's Center for Learning and Innovation, and associate professor of medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
WHAT THEY DO: The nation's second-largest, nonprofit, secular healthcare system, with 15 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory care centers throughout the region. "We have nearly $4 billion in capital projects -- including new construction and IT investments -- planned for the next five years."
EMPLOYEES: 43,000 total, with 30,000 full time and 4,600 part time on Long Island
REVENUE: $6.5 billion