With seven hospitals and twelve freestanding joint ventures, Mount Sinai Health System has a large footprint in the New York metropolitan area, where it strives to provide compassionate patient care and to advance medicine in the many diverse communities it serves. More than thirty-eight thousand people contribute to providing that care and creating the best experience possible for the millions of patient visits the organization sees each year. And a major part of advancing that mission is ensuring that those employees have the best experience possible, which is where Jane Maksoud, the organization’s senior vice president of human resources and labor relations, comes in.
Maksoud, who has been known to share some notable cooking recipes with employees, leads the organization’s people strategy, which is designed to attract, develop, and retain top clinical and administrative talent and is supported by an environment of mutual respect and collaboration for team members. To execute on that strategy, her role includes a wide variety of HR functions, including faculty and employee relations, talent acquisition, learning and development, compensation and benefits, executive and physician compensation, international personnel, recreation, and workforce analytics. Maksoud’s role at Mount Sinai, however, was not always in human resources. In fact, she has seen a broad spectrum of how Mount Sinai delivers care during her more than thirty years with the organization.
Mount Sinai By
multidisciplinary research, educational, and clinical institutes
physicians, including general practitioners and specialists
residents and clinical fellows
outpatient visits to offices and clinics (nonemergency department)
emergency department visits
babies delivered a year
After earning a degree in nursing from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she started at Mount Sinai as a certified clinical research coordinator in 1987. She continued to work in a clinical capacity in a variety of roles, including as a nurse clinician in ambulatory care and cardiothoracic ICU staff nurse. She also held a role as the Maternal Child Health Bureau’s Region II coordinator before transitioning into human resources. After joining the HR team, Maksoud worked in a variety of roles before being promoted to her current position in 2013.
Upon taking the new position, Maksoud led a cross-departmental team of HR, IT, and clinical to launch the Portal for the Education and Advancement of Knowledge (PEAK). The customized learning management system has expanded Mount Sinai’s capacity to deliver learning content and to monitor compliance. In addition to improving learning and development programs at Mount Sinai, Maksoud has markedly improved employee health and wellness with innovative initiatives and hands-on involvement.
One of the organization’s more pioneering programs is its partnership with Off the Scale, a behavioral health intervention program for payers and providers who are at financial risk from populations with lifestyle-driven chronic conditions. Off the Scale aims to ultimately slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic diseases by disrupting behavior choices, including nutrition education, exercise, and psychology. In February 2016, the organizations announced their partnership. “At Mount Sinai, we are creating a pathway for our employees to achieve their professional goals as well as their health and wellness objectives,” Maksoud said in a news release. “We understand that many of our employees have multiple roles and face multiple stressors, but by offering wellness initiatives that focus on self-care, mindfulness, and resilience, our hope is that employees will experience a sense of pride and overall well-being, while recognizing their full potential.”
The partnership has been highly successful. In fact, Mount Sinai announced that it would be extending and expanding the program this past fall. And the team at Off the Scale couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. “Jane has really been a huge help to us,” says Off the Scale CEO Peter Brechter. “We couldn’t have got to where we are without the help of Mount Sinai.”
Outside of her work with Off the Scale, Maksoud is involved with helping all employees at the organization make better lifestyle choices. She hosts healthy cooking classes and has even compiled a recipe book for Mount Sinai employees and patients alike. The book she wrote is dedicated to the inspiring Mount Sinai family who are taking positive steps to care for themselves and those they love. Mount Sinai Fit Cooks! includes five of Maksoud’s personal, easy-to-prepare recipes. Anyone can access the book for free through Mount Sinai’s website.
And Maksoud’s work to improve the employee experiences at Mount Sinai has not gone unnoticed either. HRO Today recognized her this past year as a finalist for CHRO of the Year for her contribution to transforming Mount Sinai’s Beth Israel hospital so that it had fewer inpatient beds but a much larger ambulatory platform. The project required Maksoud to work with major unions to craft agreements that guaranteed that all union employees at Mount Sinai Beth Israel would be offered other union opportunities within the Mount Sinai Health System at equal pay. It was a major undertaking but also a rewarding success.
It’s that type of leadership and dedication that has helped Maksoud thrive for more than three decades at Mount Sinai: the visionary skills to lead major initiatives paired with the commitment and humility to write up and share her recipe for ground turkey ragu and pasta.