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Trust the Future, Trust in Women

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, March 6, 2019

At some point in our lives, we’ve all wondered what the future holds. What will my career path be? What kind of leader will I be? And although there will be uncertainty along our various paths, there comes a point when we start to trust in the future. We trust in those we have surrounded ourselves with. We trust in ourselves as we become confident in our own skin. As pioneering anthropologist Ruth Benedict stated, “We grow in time to trust the future for our answers.”

I trust in the future thanks to women like Ruth who paved the way for other women in science, business, education and a host of other disciplines. Countless women before us stood at the proverbial fork in the road and contemplated which route to take. These strong women made some of these roads easier to travel while some bypassed the options readily available and blazed their own trails — all of which aided women in navigating their own unique paths.

I am especially thankful for the charter members of the 11-15 Club, which evolved into the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. These women started the organization 40 years ago in order to network within health care and work together to break the glass ceiling in the industry. Some charter members stated how they initially wanted to be “like the guys,” but soon realized it was best to navigate their own path.

We have come a long way thanks to countless trailblazers — women and men — who trusted in what the future could be and led a journey years in the making that resulted in strong leadership by women in Minnesota health care. And we still have roads to create, more women leaders to trust as we continue to advance the health care careers of women.

On April 9 at the TRUST Forum, we will celebrate the achievements of our TRUST Award recipients, recognize the Jean Harris Award and 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award recipients, toast 40 years of success for women in health care leadership and look to the future as we shape the next 40 years. And if you’re dreaming of navigating to the next chapter of your journey, be sure to attend and hear from Forum keynote speaker Archelle Georgiou, MD, as she shares her insights on how to intentionally reinvent yourself and map out your future. Be sure to register for the Forum on or before March 13 for early bird pricing for tables of 10 as well as individual registrations for TRUST members, TRUST graduate student members and nonmembers. Join us this year for an extra special Forum event 40 years in the making as we TRUST the Future!

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare & Federal Employee Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Minnesota Council of Health Plans. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  Archelle Georgiou  TRUST Forum  women leaders  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Advancing Gender Balance in Health Care Leadership

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and we’ve seen significant progress for women in health care since the late 1970s. Take a look at the 12 issue covers for Modern Healthcare in 1979 and you’ll see one woman on the cover. With such media representation, it’s easy to see leadership opportunities for women in health care were indeed scarce 40 years ago. We have made so many strides yet women in health care continue to see gender imbalance in leadership positions. Let’s take a closer look at gender gains — and gaps.

Advancements Made

  • Women make up 80 percent of the health care workforce.1 Across all industries, women make up about 47 percent of the workforce in the U.S.
  • Women are increasingly viewed as good business leaders. Approximately 80% of the public views men and women as equally good business leaders. For hospital management, 44 percent say gender doesn’t matter when it comes to running a hospital, 37 percent believe a woman would be a better hospital leader while 14 percent said a man would do a better job.2
  • Women have made significant inroads as board directors. Among Fortune 500 companies in 2018, only 12 lacked a single female board member. This is major momentum in the right direction, considering five years ago 42 of the Fortune 500 lacked women directors and 10 years ago that number was 69.3
  • Women are now more likely to complete college and continue their education. In 1974, approximately 14 percent of women ages 25-29 had a Bachelor’s degree. In 2013, that number rose to 37 percent, which outpaced the percentage of men ages 25-29 by 7 percent. In 2012, women earned 60 percent of all Master’s degrees (up from 46 percent in 1977) and 51 percent of all doctorates (up from 21 percent in 1977). In 2013, women earned 36 percent of MBAs.4

Room for Growth

  • Women remain immensely underrepresented in leadership roles. Although women make up the majority of the health care workforce and graduate from medical school in equal numbers to men, the numbers are less impressive when it comes to leadership positions. Just three percent of health care CEOs are women, three percent are chief medical officers, six percent are department chairs and nine percent are division chiefs. It’s especially surprising these numbers continue to lag given evidence that companies with women in executive management and on corporate boards have shown greater financial performance.1
  • Women continue to earn less than male counterparts, on average. The 2018 Nursing Salary Research Report revealed men in nursing earn more than $6,000 more a year than women in nursing.5 Research from Health Information and Management Systems Society reported male primary care physicians earning nearly 18 percent more than female counterparts while men in health information technology roles earned approximately $23,000 more than women in similar roles.5
  • Women of color face an even wider gap. More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies have no women of color on their boards. Women of color occupy approximately 12 percent of managerial and professional positions — this is across all industries so the percentage is even smaller within health care.6
  • Women continue to lag behind men in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) roles. Thankfully we’re seeing more companies take an active interest in encouraging girls to engage in STEM learning from a young age. For example, STEM toys for computer coding are demonstrating such skills are fun in addition to being educational. We will see the number of women actively pursuing STEM careers increase as more girls and young women are able to envision themselves in such roles through early exploration.

Diversity of gender, age, race and other backgrounds and experiences more broadly represent society and can strengthen organizational performance and value. While we can — and should — applaud the advances women have made, we must recognize there remain significant opportunities for growth. The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST exists to advance the health careers of women by delivering programs designed to enhance leadership skills, providing educational courses and creating opportunities to network within the industry. Together, as TRUST members and health care professionals, we have the ability to play a leading role in empowering and aiding each other to rise as leaders. I hope you will join me at the TRUST Forum on April 9 as we celebrate our successes over the past 40 years and focus on the future to shape the next 40 years!

1 Harvard Business Review
2 Pew Research Center – What Makes a Good Leader
3 Fortune
4 Pew Research Center – Women in Leadership
5 Healthcare Finance News
6 Black Enterprise

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  gender balance  health care  STEM  women leaders  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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New Year, New Dreams

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I love the start of a new year. New dreams. New achievements. Collaborations and innovations ripe for pursuing. Memories waiting to be made.

2019 is an extra special year as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST! We will celebrate this milestone at the TRUST Forum on April 9 as we toast to 40 years of growth and success, and look forward to the next 40 years.

At the TRUST Forum we will also recognize and honor Minnesota women and companies in health care who are advancing efforts to boldly transform the health care industry. We received truly outstanding nominations for the TRUST Awards in five categories: Collaboration & Partnerships, Health & Well-being, Innovation & Technology, Leadership, and Volunteer Engagement. Award recipients will be announced by the end of the month with awards presented at the Forum on April 9.

The TRUST Awards are a perfect example of what happens when women set new goals, dream new dreams, take the courageous risks, and forge new paths. Women nominated for these awards are building internal and external partnerships to address common goals. They are advancing the health and well-being of individuals, organizations and communities, and leading technological advances that improve health outcomes, patient care and/or business impact. They are often unsung heroes who volunteer their time to advance health initiatives. These women are viewed as imaginative, creative, encouraging, exceptional leaders by their teams, peers, superiors and business partners.

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I can’t wait to honor the 2019 TRUST Award recipients who believed in their dreams and turned them into realities. These women are just some of the dynamic leaders in Minnesota health care who are a collaborative force, using their insights and expertise to lead within the industry. I hope you’ll register for the Forum and join me in honoring these women on April 9. I would love to see a record Forum crowd at our 40th anniversary event cheering all of the award recipients on and giving them their well-deserved recognition.

My wish for you in 2019 is to believe in the beauty of your dreams. Prioritize your health and well-being and practice mindfulness to live in the moment. Create the partnerships necessary to fulfill your dreams. Spread your wings and make the bold leap. Dream big. And believe. It’s a new year filled with amazing promise.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  TRUST Awards  TRUST Forum  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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The Ripple Effect of Health and Well-being

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Monday, November 26, 2018

I love this time of year as we celebrate a season of gratitude and giving while also expressing thanks for the past year and welcoming the year ahead. This season I hope you’ll join me in celebrating health and well-being by taking steps whenever possible to make a positive difference for yourself, which in turn, create positive ripples for the world around you.

Health and well-being combined is a way of life. It’s about body, mind and spirit. It’s about knowing that feeling healthy and feeling good is an absolute necessity. Health and well-being is investing in yourself so you can live your best life.

Here are suggestions to help you live a life enhanced with health and well-being:

Connect. Talk with others and listen in return. Be there for others when you can be. Create authentic, energizing relationships with those around you. Connect with people in all facets of your life. Talk face-to-face with colleagues instead of using email. Call a loved one instead of sending a text. Build friendships through volunteer work. Forgive others. Embrace supportive relationships. Attend the TRUST Holiday Party on Dec. 4 to network with other collaborative women leaders in health care.

Be Mindful. Remember the simple things in life that give you joy. Ask for help. Do something you’re good at. Be curious of the world and all of its possibilities. See the beauty around you. Take delight in the unusual. Savor small moments. Reflect on your experiences. Focus on things you can control. Live in the present, not the past. Visualize something positive. Make time for laughter.

Keep Learning. Embrace new experiences. Surprise yourself. Try something new. Rediscover old interests. Sign up for programs or courses like those offered through the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. Take on a new responsibility at work. Try something you’ve always wanted to learn. Do something creative. Teach others and learn through leadership.

Live Well. Move regularly. Go to bed earlier. Pack a healthy lunch. Stay hydrated. Move your mood. Talk about your feelings. Value yourself. Play outside with kids in your life. Take a walk with a friend. Reminisce about good times. Walk around when you’re on the phone. Remember to just breathe. Swap a few coffees for green tea or water with lemon. Recharge each day.

Give. Do something nice for a friend or a stranger. Pay it forward and buy someone a cup of coffee. Care for others. Give not only your time, but your words and your presence as well. Thank someone. Join a group. Smile more. Volunteer with an organization you belong to or support. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. Give someone a compliment. Give yourself a kind word.

Health and well-being is not a bucket merely to be filled, rather it’s a garden to be tended with care. Take the time to connect, be mindful, keep learning, live well, and give, and you will see your efforts create positive ripples within your life and for those around you. Together, we can commit to health and well-being, and further contribute to health care in our communities.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  health and well-being  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Spirit of Appreciation, Season of Gratitude

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Friday, November 9, 2018

Thankful. Grateful. Appreciative. There are many ways to say thanks, not only at this time of year, but all year round. Sometimes when life gets too busy and stressful it is especially important to remember all of those things we can — and should — be thankful for. Things like family, health, jobs, friends, faith and home.

Thankful word artIn the spirit of appreciation, I would like to thank all members of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST and everyone who joins us in supporting women leaders in health care. On behalf of the TRUST, we are so deeply grateful for all of the support we receive:

  • Members who join the TRUST to be part of the collaborative force of dynamic women seeking to share insights, expertise and trusted knowledge to lead within the industry.
  • Volunteers who give their time serving on the TRUST Board and/or committees. You take on these roles in addition to your regular jobs. You bring your passion for making a difference and it shows!
  • Generous sponsors who host programs and/or provide financial contributions so we can continue to bring you monthly events designed to enhance leadership skills, provide educational offerings and advance the health care careers of women.
  • Speakers who donate their time and energy to inspire attendees of TRUST programs. These women challenge others to innovate, lead courageously from one’s true north, be bold and forge collaborative relationships.
  • Those who genuinely lift up other women whether through mentorship, networking or recognition of others such as nominations for the TRUST Forum Awards. Over the years we often hear how mentors and connections made a significant difference in a woman’s leadership. We also hear from women who note that receiving a TRUST award provided validation for their work.
  • TRUST Charter Members who had a vision nearly 40 years ago to support women leaders in health care. These 23 Charter Members included executives, clinicians, policy makers, business owners and leaders who shared a commitment to advance women in health care professions, influence policy and contribute to health care in our communities. Since its founding, the TRUST has grown to more than 525 members who continue to draw on the vision of our founders.

Thank you all for contributing to the success of the TRUST. Appreciation can change a day, a week or a year — it can even change a life. I can genuinely say my life has changed in so many amazing, positive ways due to my involvement with the TRUST and the remarkable women I have met along the way. I am especially appreciative of my fellow Board members who unfailingly serve and support the TRUST mission. In this season of gratitude, I know what I’m thankful for. What are you thankful for?

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  TRUST 2019 Forum Awards  TRUST Board of Directors  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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TRUST the Future

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thursday, October 11, 2018

I am thrilled to share my first blog as TRUST President with all of you! If you attended the TRUST Annual Meeting in late September, you heard us reflect on the past year and focus on the year ahead. We remain committed to the mission of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST to support women leaders in health care as we celebrate the TRUST’s 40th anniversary in 2019.

We are so proud of the accomplishments of those who came before us, especially our founding Charter members, who blazed trails to shape the TRUST into the thriving organization it is today with more than 525 members — a new record! We will build on the foundation of those who came before us to create an even stronger organization. Throughout 2019 we will celebrate 40 years of TRUST history and envision 40 more years of success! To celebrate our past and envision our future, we created two special logos for use in 2019. As you see these celebratory logos, pause to consider how far the TRUST has come and how we can lift us all to new heights.

One way we are adding to the TRUST value proposition is looking at ways to weave in the theme of well-being to our existing pillars of Leadership Development, Education, Networking and Career Advancement. Well-being starts with each of us, how we stay in touch with ourselves. We will address how well-being plays a role in TRUST offerings.

2019 also looks to include even greater richness of programming content and engaging presenters. And new this year — most of our educational content will be provided to TRUST members at no additional cost! We are developing a Voice of the Customer initiative to more actively listen to you, our valued TRUST members, and better utilize the research to inform future programs. We’re also rolling out a new app in late 2018 that will allow you to use your phone or tablet to register for events without having to login every time you visit the TRUST website. In addition, we are excited to relaunch our popular mentor program in collaboration with Menttium. Applications for mentors and mentees are open now with a program launch in January 2019.

I also want to take this time to thank Connie Delaney for her outstanding leadership over the past year during her term as TRUST President. Connie influenced the Board and the TRUST in so many ways. She encouraged us to focus on creating strong processes and to work synergistically so committee leaders were better equipped to carry out the work of the TRUST. It has truly been a pleasure to work closely with Connie over the last year and I welcome her ongoing contributions to the Board.

I also welcome our returning and new Board members. Officers serving as the TRUST’s Executive Committee include: Leslie Bodell, Optum, TRUST President-Elect; Connie Delaney, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, TRUST Immediate Past President; Chris Bent, Allina Health Group, TRUST Secretary; and Amy Ronneberg, National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, TRUST Treasurer. Our full TRUST Board of Directors includes: Deb Bauman, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; Rhoda Beaird, Lurie, LLP; Julie Dekker, University of Minnesota School of Nursing; Amy Dewane, HealthPartners; Sharon Gabrielson, Mayo Clinic; Sheri Henck, Medtronic; Beth Honkomp, CentraCare Health System; Jana Johnson, Anthem Dental; Stefanie Lenway, Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas; Allison O’Connor, Fathom Consulting; Theresa Pesch; Niobus “Nio” Queiro, most recently with HCMC; Laura Reed, Fairview; Francine Savage, 3M Health Care; Sherri Walsh, Prime Therapeutics; and Mary Welsh, UnitedHealth Group.

I look forward to serving as TRUST President and encourage you to reach out with new ideas as we continue our journey as a collaborative force of dynamic women in health care, aligned to share insights, expertise and trusted knowledge to lead within the industry.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.

Tags:  Monica Engel  TRUST 40th Anniversary  TRUST Board of Directors  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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How Are You Spending Your Choices?

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, September 4, 2018

There are many quotes about the passage of time; how it goes by, how it passes, how it flies, how it is a measure of life. Time, a human convention to help us place order and prioritize, does indeed go by each and every day. The one constant through each minute, hour, month and year is we all have a choice in being intentional in how we use our time.

As I reflect on this past year as President of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, I’m grateful for choices we have made and our shared time with bold, like-minded women committed to creating a transformative impact in health care and lifting up the collaborative force of dynamic women aligned to share insights, trusted expert knowledge, and wisdom to lead within the industry.

The TRUST has made great strides in supporting women leaders in health care. Our recognition by Modern Healthcare earlier this summer as an organization boldly making a difference in the lives of people and health care organizations through visionary and empowered women leaders was an honorable moment showcasing our successes. We remain committed to the choices necessary to continue to open pathways for women in health care leadership and increasing opportunities for inclusivity and diversity.

As we start a new TRUST program year, I’m exceedingly grateful to fellow board members, volunteers and members — more than 500 women — who made thoughtful choices to devote their time, energy and strength to give life to the organization’s mission. I have all-embracing confidence that TRUST members will continue to use their voices and abilities to make bold impacts in the health care industry through collaboration, innovation and a courageous spirit with intentionality.

I look forward to continuing my service to the TRUST as Immediate Past President working alongside the deeply talented Monica Engel who will assume the role of TRUST President at the Annual Meeting on September 27. Be sure to register for this event. We will celebrate accomplishments, hear the direction of the TRUST in the coming year and welcome Cindy Kent who will share her inspiring stories of authenticity as the foundation for being fearless. Cindy sees fearlessness as the bold synchronicity at the intersection between authenticity, confidence and capabilities. Cindy is indeed an audacious, brave, fearless leader.

As I share my final TRUST blog, I invite you to remember that when we collectively lead with courage, strength and wise intentional choices we can build a better future for health care and the women committed to transformations in the industry.

Connie White Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

Tags:  Cindy Kent  Monica Engel  TRUST Annual Meeting  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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A Coalition of Professional Allies

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Are you a professional advocate for women leadership and influence in health care? If you are a member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, you are part of a coalition of professionals working to lift up women in the industry. Our work as an association for supporting women leaders in health care has continually been recognized as a unique state asset and has now been acknowledged nationally in a recent issue of Modern Healthcare.

In the Modern Healthcare commentary, also featured on the TRUST website, publisher Fawn Lopez asks whether the health care industry has done all it can to achieve authentic gender equity, diversity and inclusion. She highlights four organizations boldly working to make a difference in the lives of women in health care, including the TRUST.

As Lopez notes, “We must put our money where our values are. Women deserve more opportunities to take on profit-and-loss responsibilities and make decisions about enterprise-wide investments. Why not focus our business or clinical partnerships or investments on organizations that champion the recruitment and promotion of women?”

This is an honorable moment for the TRUST to be recognized for its work spanning nearly 40 years! And we agree with Lopez when she states “there is a long way to go.” We have much work to do to open pathways for women in health care leadership and to increase inclusivity and diversity in its many forms throughout the industry.

Although the number of women on boards has risen, women still only occupy 18 percent of board seats among the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies and just 4 percent of boards are chaired by a woman according to Fortune. In the health care industry, women now represent one-third of hospital executives, yet only 4 percent of health care CEOs are female, reports Rock Health. Women VP or above roles tend to be in human resources, legal and marketing functions while far less are likely to be in technology or operations according to Rock Health.

These statistics demonstrate why the TRUST aims to continue to advance the careers of women in health care. We still need a coalition of professional allies to share advice and collaborate on new opportunities. We need the TRUST to advance one another and support each other when appropriate.

Throughout our professional lives we meet numerous individuals who become acquaintances. These relationships are very common and often consist of people from our day-to-day lives, such as people we meet at a conference or coworkers outside of our departments. Though we seldom interact with acquaintances, these relationships are important to the framework of our overall networks. Rarer — and more rewarding — are the few connections who transform into true professional supporters.

Sustaining relationships to build a network of professional allies takes intent, commitment and a nurturing spirit. I hope you will share your energy with other health care professionals. The TRUST is committed to building a stronger coalition to further our mission to support women leaders in health care. There is a long way to go — the determination of the 500+ TRUST members welcomes the opportunities for transformation as we co-create the future.

Connie White Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

Tags:  Modern Healthcare magazine  professional allies  women on corporate boards  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Lifting the Next Generation of Women

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Do you recall the first time someone helped elevate you in your career? Maybe the moment was quiet, serendipitous, a call-out in front of senior leaders, mentor support, a simple card. We see in our own lives, and those of our colleagues, many moments and events that serve as opportunities to lift up innovation, well-being, our common humanity. We too are committed to lifting up the next generation of women leaders. Consider ways to elevate others:

  • Share Your Story. Your stories enable others to learn how to envision and achieve these roles themselves. Share your story during networking, mentoring or presentation opportunities.
  • Give Positive Feedback. Be generous giving positive feedback openly and publicly. Be specific about what you observed or heard, and what the impact was. When we celebrate great behavior, it is often copied and repeated by the individual and others.
  • Teach. Teaching provides deeper awareness, knowledge and skills, and can boost the careers of up-and-coming leaders. Engage in various seminars, programs and advanced education classes.
  • Listen. Welcome opportunities to be deeply present and listen to others. Listening is mutually gifting — we tend to respond more when we are heard. You will likely enhance your empathy as you listen to others who are different from you.
  • Be a Mentor. A mentor has a great ability to advance the health care careers of women and enhance their leadership skills. Establish a relationship with a mentee and share the leadership traits you observe. Listen to her career aspirations and share advice. Challenge her to be bold and innovative. These close mentor and mentee relationships often facilitate lifelong learning and connections.
  • Shine the Spotlight on Others. Provide the opportunity for others to be lifted up. Give praise for others on social media where the reach is large. Let others present to senior leaders, lead a collaborative group or pitch a new idea. Be the person who opens the gate to new opportunities.
  • Create Connections. Advancing in your career and transforming health care is frequently a combination of skill and connections. Create connections for future leaders by introducing them to others in the field. Enlist the reach of social media. Pay it forward — today’s introduction could be tomorrow’s guiding force for you.
  • Ensure Women on Interview Panels. Support women serving on interview panels. The presence of women on interview panels expands a candidate’s ability to envision a career path at an organization where women leaders are visible and engaged.
  • Advance Service of Women on Boards. Promote and nominate women for board positions. The leadership of women on boards expands women’s contributions to strategy and decision-making. Engage with the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST initiative to advance women for board positions.
  • Encourage Membership in Female-Focused Organizations. Encourage women of all ages to become active members of women-focused groups, like the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, with a mission to advance the careers of women.

The elevation of others is an opportunity to change their lives, and your own life as well. The more we lift each other, the more we rise. Let’s continue to rise together through the TRUST.

Connie White Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

Tags:  mentoring  next generation of women leaders  women on boards  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Learning Is Endless and Transformative

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” Isn’t this true for all of us? We engage in learning through formal education systems resulting in degrees and certifications, informal learning through reading or attending professional development programs, and learning through living life. Learning in its fullness — mind, body and spirit — fosters transformation of self, others and the communities with which we engage.

The synergy among each of us, others and the world invites continuous growth. While we each see areas in ourselves for growth, we also depend on others to show us what we cannot see, to be mirrors showing us opportunities. T. S. Eliot reminds us of the cyclical nature of learning noting, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” This unbroken learning invites us to co-create the future through new explorations, new partnerships and renewed insights.

A love of learning can build knowledge, inspire hope, generate confidence, spark innovation and enhance wisdom. Learning is a conscious act. As Abigail Adams noted, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Lifelong learning and education is one of the TRUST’s four core pillars. Through education we can gain knowledge, new attitudes, skills and experiences necessary to nurture our personal self, professional self and their integration. We invite you to engage in the TRUST to support your learning journey; consider these examples of benefits:

  • Professional and Personal Development — The TRUST offers professional and personal development opportunities that engage participants in cutting-edge topics of importance to women leaders in health care. Our event calendar includes up-to-date programs of interest such as our Special Programs and Pinnacle Leader Dinners.
  • Annual Meeting — Our signature Annual Meeting, held each fall, is scheduled on September 27. This is a wonderful event to share and receive wisdom from fellow women leaders in health care and hear an inspiring presentation. We welcome keynote Cindy Kent, former President and General Manager of the 3M Infection Prevention Division. Cindy will share her insights as a health care veteran with more than 20 years in the industry. Moreover, we will celebrate the TRUST’s accomplishments of the past year and discover what is coming in the year ahead.
  • Accelerate! Mentoring — The TRUST mentoring program is a unique learning opportunity. The newly redesigned, stronger and more meaningful program will be launched in September.
  • TRUST Communications — Blogs, newsletters and social media are regular avenues used to share thoughtful information, data and trends as well as third party articles on topics related to TRUST pillars, our mission and our vision. We learn from each other, and we invite you to like, comment on and share our communications and social media posts.

Learning is your personal journey. Your passion for learning fosters your own transformation as well as that of others. The TRUST is a community of women leaders that creates opportunities to network within the health care industry, offers programs designed to enhance leadership skills, provides educational offerings, and advances the health care careers of women. The TRUST is here to inspire and support you. Most significantly, the TRUST offers the gift of listening to one another in support of learning and transformation. Enjoy the journey.

Connie White Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

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Women's Health Leadership TRUST

1000 Westgate Drive, Ste. 252. • St. Paul, MN 55114
p. 651.366.6085 Email Us
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