The Uplifters
The Uplifters
The Healthcare Activist

The Healthcare Activist

How Dr. Helen Arteaga-Landaverde changed the world by fixing one block

Happy New Year, Uplifters!

This big, beautiful, interconnected world of ours can sometimes feel irrevocably broken. If things are going to get better, it will be because Uplifters started tiny fires of change that spread throughout their communities and moved throughout the world. It’s why Dr. Helen Arteaga-Landaverde’s father told her as a little girl, “You can't fix the world, but you can fix this block.”

Dr. Arteaga-Landaverde is the CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, one of the nation’s largest, and most lauded, public hospitals. She's the first woman of color and the first Latina in this role. Under her leadership, it became the first public hospital ever named to US News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list. More than that, she’s led a transformation of healthcare outcomes in one of the poorest and most diverse districts in the nation.

But, before becoming its leader, this hospital was the place where she witnessed the death of her beloved father due to their inability to access quality healthcare as recent immigrants, and where eventually Helen fought for her own life in the early days of the pandemic.

Please listen to her extraordinary story to hear:

  • How a patient experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and addiction ultimately saved three other lives, thanks to the generous care of the uplifting team under Helen’s leadership.

  • The challenges and sacrifices that come with being a CEO, mother, and community leader.

  • How Helen navigates self-doubt and finds strength in family, community, meditation, and therapy.

  • How Helen approaches motherhood, emphasizing that while she may not fit traditional expectations, she prioritizes being present for her children in the ways that matter most to them.

  • How Helen and her team navigate cultural differences as healthcare providers in the most diverse district in the US.

  • What Helen hopes her children will remember her for.

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About Dr. Helen Arteaga-Landaverde

She has served as CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, a 545-bed Level 1 Trauma and Academic Medical Center with over a million patient visits a year, since February 2021. She is the first woman of color and the first Latina to lead the hospital’s executive team. Under Helen’s leadership, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst has been recognized as one of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Regional Hospitals” and one of the nation’s "High Performing" hospitals in 9 individual service areas, including Heart Failure, Heart Attack, Stroke, Hip Fracture, Kidney Failure, Orthopedics, Pneumonia, and COPD. Helen has also led Elmhurst Hospital’s efforts to improve clinical quality measures and patient satisfaction scores. In September 2023, The Joint Commission recognized Elmhurst as the first hospital in New York State to achieve a Health Equity Gold standard certification, based on the facility’s dedication to reducing disparities in healthcare access, outcomes, and experiences. Helen has also spearheaded the hospital’s efforts to obtain Planetree Silver Level Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care and has worked closely with the hospital’s healthcare providers as they reached major milestones such as recognition from the American Heart Association for providing outstanding care to patients with chronic disease conditions and the AACN’s Beacon Awards for excellence in providing nursing care within intensive care units. Before her role at Elmhurst, Helen served as Assistant Vice President, Queens Network and Executive Initiatives at Urban Health Plan, a network of NYC-based community health centers. In partnership with Paloma Hernandez, the President and CEO of Urban Health Plan, she founded Plaza del Sol Family Health Center in June of 2009.

The Uplifters
The Uplifters
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