The Island Now

Barbara Osborn is vice president of public relations at Northwell Health, New York’s largest health system and private employer.

Osborn, of Rockville Centre, oversees all media relations, thought leadership and strategic communications for Northwell Health, including the health system’s 23 hospitals and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Since January, Ms. Osborn has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting the media with Northwell’s clinical and non-clinical experts to provide an inside view of the crisis.

“Barbara Osborn’s deep knowledge of the health system and media landscape made her an ideal fit to take on this leadership role at a challenging moment in our history,” said Michael J. Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO. “Her ability to clearly and transparently communicate with the public what’s happening at our hospitals has never been more vital than during this pandemic.”

Osborn assumes her new position after spent 18 years at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she advanced in positions with progressive responsibilities from media relations manager to assistant vice president of regional public relations for Northwell’s Western Region, which encompasses Manhattan, Westchester and Staten Island.

During her tenure, she directed the public relations team, managing media relations, crisis communications and content development. She also led communications strategy for large systemwide initiatives such as The Fin, Northwell’s innovative amphibious prosthetic, and the new Netflix docuseries, “Lenox Hill,” which chronicles the daily life of four Manhattan-based clinicians.

Prior to Lenox Hill, Osborn served as director of public relations for John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where she oversaw all public relations for the hospital. She began her career as a journalist in the news departments of both Fox News Channel and News 12 Long Island.

Ms. Osborn, a mother of three, graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in English and journalism.

• What is the best advice you have received that has made an impact on your business? Stay true to yourself and play to your strengths. Hone your communication skills and leadership development. Raise your hand in meetings. Speak up, and be heard.

How do you define success?
I am incredibly passionate storyteller. Instead of conforming to the widely held belief of what a successful leader looks like I have discovered that it is important to have confidence in myself and the skill sets that brought me to where I am today and trusting my own voice.

• What are the most significant challenges you have as a woman in your industry?
Work-life balance. Earlier in my career, I found it difficult to balance work with my personal life especially with young kids at home.

Over time I have learned that rather than being a separate part of my life, work is a genuine and vital part of it. I’ve tried to set realistic career and personal goals that work together to create a healthy lifestyle that works for me and my family.

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