Dr. Michael Gitman, aNew Hyde Park native and Port Washington resident, was appointed to serve as Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s executive director on Monday.
Gitman, who was born at the New Hyde Park hospital, said his desire to care for patients at a young age led him to pursue a career in medicine. That driving force is, to this day, one of the main reasons he believes he is ready for this new chapter in his life.
“I think I had an interest in caring for patients and that was the primary goal of going into medicine and remains something I love to still do now,” Gitman said in an interview with Blank Slate Media.
After his father, Paul, served as an internal medicine doctor and medical director at the hospital, Gitman reflected on the first-hand volunteer work he experienced by his side.
Graduating from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree and, later, a medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, Gitman completed his residency, chief residency in internal medicine, and nephrology medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Even with all of the prior experience and medical credentials he gained over the years, Gitman said serving as an executive director wasn’t initially his main aspiration.
“I guess I never aspired to this role, but as I’ve had increasing administrative responsibilities, the opportunity to run a hospital is something that I was very interested in,” Gitman said.
In 2014, Gitman was named the medical director at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
In that capacity, he said, his role was ensuring that the quality and safety of care for patients and the appropriate medical staff to provide that care be in place.
During his time as medical director, Gitman was part of a leadership team that spearheaded various clinical programs to expand the hospital’s capabilities, leading to Long Island’s first heart transplant in 2018. Two years later, the hospital performed Long Island’s first liver transplant.
Gitman also gained a unique experience, organizing the hospital’s clinical response as they treated thousands of patients throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
After extensive familiarity with the clinical aspects of a director, Gitman said, his role will now expand to more overarching responsibilities for Long Island Jewish.
“As I transition to the executive director, it’s the clinical aspects I’m responsible for, but also the other operations of a hospital such as employee engagement, patient experience, and all the other aspects of care that you see,” Gitman said. “I think the understanding, the care, the care delivery and having built multiple programs gives me insight as an executive director that you probably only get from being a medical director.”
Aside from his tenure at North Shore University, Gitman is an associate professor of medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, a faculty member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the American Society of Nephrology and an American College of Physicians Fellow.
Gitman’s appointment to the position followed the departure of former Executive Director, Michael Goldberg, who, according to Northwell, left to pursue other opportunities outside of the healthcare realm.
Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling noted Gitman’s local roots to the hospital, touting his previous achievements and accolades.
“Michael Gitman has a rich family legacy of service to the region and to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in particular,” Dowling said in a statement. “We’re proud to promote him to lead one of the significant quaternary care, teaching hospitals in the Northeast.”