New York turns to West Limerick’s Michael

In the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, New York has turned to Knockaderry native Michael Dowling to lead the city’s response to the outbreak. The West Limerick man, who is President and CEO of Northwell Health, employing 73,000 people, answered a call from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead the fightback.
The former Limerick hurler was Director of Health, Education and Human Services for the state of New York in the administration of Andrew Cuomo’s late father Mario, a former Governor of the state.
On completing a 12 year stint in the Governor’s office, Dowling worked in insurance for a couple of months before being recruited to become the Chief Operating Officer of one of New York’s biggest Hospitals, North Shore.
Michael Dowling became CEO in 2001 of what had evolved into Northwell Health and today it has an annual turnover of 11 billion dollars in revenue and is the largest private employer in the state of New York. Northwell Health, now has 23 hospitals, 500 ambulatory outpatient locations, a medical school, a nursing school, a corporate univ-ersity, a big research operation, an insurance company and a major home care company.
The West Limerick native is well placed and experienced to face what is a huge challenge but is optimistic about defeating the scourge as he told a television station in New York. “It will put stress on the health care system, it will stress us to our maximum but we have to respond to that and deal with it. I am an optimist, my view is that no matter how bad it gets, we will respond and respond intelligently because you can only deal with this if you come with the perspective of optimism. We are going to win, it is not going to defeat us. That is the message that needs to come nationally.
The Knockaderry man dismisses the notion that warm weather will impact on the spread of COVID 19. I do not think there is any evidence that the weather had any effect on it. I do not think there is any scientific evidence that it makes a difference, despite claims to the contrary by others.
“Hopefully it will dissipate over the next couple of months but I am not suggesting that is going to happen, I am not suggesting that it may not disappear for a while and then come back, we don’t know. What we do is screen as much as possible, test priority-wise the right way, isolate people and there is one other point. If the public focus on doing the things they should be doing like hand washing and wiping surfaces, because you primarily get it from somebody putting their hand on a surface and you coming along later and touching the surface.
Early education for the man who one day would head up one of New York’s biggest employers and lead the response to one of the biggest health challenges in a century was Ahalin N.S. from where he went to Newcastle West.
Third level education was at U.C.C. where he graduated with an Arts Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education.
On emigrating to the U.S., he entered Fordham University from where he graduated with a Master’s degree and ended up being offered a post on the teaching staff of the college. He went on to become Assistant Dean and then Professor of Social Studies at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
Michael Dowling was Grand Marshal of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2017.