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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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Blaze the Trail and Lead with Vision

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2018

Trailblazer. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the term trailblazer first appeared in print in 1908 to define “one that blazes a trail to guide others.” Though the term didn’t appear broadly until that date, women have been blazing trails in health care, transforming health, and distinguishing themselves in their respective health careers for quite some time. The path along the way has included challenges. Women trailblazers throughout history have endured, in fact welcomed the challenges with a passion for transformation.

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States; she was courageous and unwavering in following her passion. Her acceptance to Geneva Medical College in New York in 1847 was “deemed by the student body as an administrative practical joke.”1 Blackwell later went on to found the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children in 1857, which stood for more than 100 years, and helped establish the U.S. Sanitary Commission in 1861 under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Imagine the challenges that awaited Dr. Jean Harris, a distinguished Minnesotan, who was born in the segregated South and became the first African-American graduate of the Medical College of Virginia. During her career she advised five presidents on health policy, was a celebrated corporate and public health leader, and Eden Prairie’s first woman mayor. Her remarkable life and achievements speak to the full promise of America and underscore the importance of continuing to inspire leaders and others to shape a world of harmony, peace, and dignity. Dr. Harris’ vision and leadership made her one of the TRUST’s most respected members and led to the TRUST establishing the Jean Harris Award in her honor.

Dr. Jean Harris and other women trailblazers in health care paved the way for deeper representation of women throughout all areas of the industry. The inclusivity and awareness of many views and experiences of the world and living expand the possibilities for health and a vibrant health care industry.

Trailblazers forge a path – big or small – to lead with vision and honor the call to transcend challenges on the path of bold transformation. Trailblazers courageously persevere, and welcome risk in the face of uncertainty. They continuously collaborate and surround themselves with others who make each other stronger. These are traits shared by our very own TRUST trailblazers who have earned the honor of the Jean Harris Award or the 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award. This year’s recipients, Paula Hart and Patsy Riley, have each uniquely demonstrated what it means to be a woman trailblazer in health care. As President and CEO of Volunteers of America – Minnesota and Wisconsin, Paula Hart has sustained the VOA’s 122-year legacy as a health and human services organization with a mission to help those served gain self-reliance, dignity and hope. Patricia (Patsy) Riley, recently retired Senior Vice President and Chief Government Officer, oversaw Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s government health program business, was responsible for more than $4 billion in revenue, and was instrumental in shaping the organization’s diversity, inclusion and health equity initiatives.

TRUST members are leading health care organizations in an increasing variety of roles. Together, TRUST members are bringing additional perspectives and views to the health care industry and changing perceptions of what and how we transform health and health care. While we've made steady, significant progress for which we can celebrate, there are trails yet to be blazed. Let's continue to join together in community and empower the journeys of our future trailblazers.

Sources: 1 Biography.com

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:  21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award  Jean Harris Award  Patsy Riley  Paula Hart  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Power of Courage and Gratitude

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Thursday, April 12, 2018
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The Forum lifted up powerful and inspiring stories of courage of Minnesota women in health care. When we gathered on April 11 we came from all sectors of Minnesota’s health care community, representing diverse career stages and leadership paths. Our common mission that evening was to celebrate women leaders who found the courage within to tackle risk, open themselves to vulnerability, and in that journey transform health and health care. Our common mission increased our awareness, engagement, and liberation through experiencing the potential of an integrated community dedicated to transformation through bold leadership.

The 2018 TRUST Courage Awards celebrated 20 incredible women who showed grit and determination, dared without fear and boldly transformed health and health care in remarkable ways. We are grateful that these courageous women in Minnesota health care chose courage, moved through fear and transcended challenges to inspire countless other women in the industry. Congratulations to the 2018 Courage Award recipients: Khadija Ali, Global Language and Staffing Connections; Jane Anderson, University of Minnesota School of Nursing; Julie Burton, ModernWell; Sara Criger, Mercy Hospital and Allina Health; Jill Davies, GeneMatters; Gina Tallarico Hall, HealthPartners; Lee Jones, Rebiotix, Inc.; Barbara Jordan, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Molly Joseph, UnitedHealthcare Global and UnitedHealth Group; Marie Manthey, Creative Health Care Management; Elizabeth Murphy, Be the Match; Leslie Pitt Schneider, Project Lolo; Jen Rosetta, Allina Health; Uzma Samadani, HCMC; Lisa Schafer, Teva Pharmaceuticals; Trisha Stark, Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice; Martha Turner, American Nurses Association Center for Ethics & Human Rights; Kari Willey, HealthPartners; Ghita Worcester, UCare; and Yvonne Ybarra, Be the Match.

We also celebrated and learned from Forum keynote Ann Bancroft – an exemplar of courage and transformation. Her Minnesota roots helped her link the wisdom of nature and humanity and find the courage to achieve greatness as an explorer, teacher, author and philanthropist. We are thankful Ann shared her stories of courage and breaking down barriers to inspire the Forum audience and motivate women and girls around the world to unleash the power of their dreams.

The evening celebrated the Jean Harris Award presented to Paula Hart and the 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award to Patricia “Patsy” Riley. Paula, President and CEO of Volunteers of America – Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a past TRUST President, was recognized for advancing health care, embodying Jean Harris’s legacy of  inspiring leaders and others to shape a world with hope, honor, and dignity, and exemplifying the vision of the TRUST. Patsy, recently retired Senior Vice President and Chief Government Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, was honored as an outstanding leader who has paved the way for change and transformation in health care. Thank you Paula and Patsy for being exemplary health care leaders and, lifting up women in leadership; and congratulations on your achievements!

And we thank you to our sponsors whose essential support empowered the TRUST in offering a stellar evening of learning and networking for more than 900 attendees. These companies showcase the ongoing leadership in health care that makes Minnesota’s commitment to health renowned on the global level. The TRUST is deeply grateful for all of our Forum sponsors!

My final thank you is to the Forum Committee: Carol Kraft, Theresa Pesch, Dee Thibodeau, Aliza Bach, Christine Bent, Monica Engel, Cheri Jacoby, Kate Lanners, Diane Nanstad, Leslie Parran, Amy Ronneberg, Patricia Salkowicz, Kandace Schuft, Janet Stacey, Sherri Walsh, Mary Welsh, and Candee Wolf. This committee’s unwavering work and heart-driven joy brought the Forum theme to life and lifted up courageous women in health care.

I trust that each of you will accept opportunities to embrace courage, determination and inspiration to manifest your dreams and to transform Minnesota health and health care, planetary health, and most significantly cultivate exciting new directions.

Connie 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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Tags:  21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award  Ann Bancroft  Jean Harris Award  TRUST Courage Awards  TRUST Forum 

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A Time for Renewal and Inspiration

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring is drawing near and it’s a great season for reaffirming, rededicating and reimagining. This is a season of renewed optimism and an ideal time to open up to new ways of thinking and feeling.

Spring is also a sure sign the TRUST Forum is right around the corner. This year’s Forum will be held on April 11. The Forum brings inspiration, renewed confidence, and rededication to the spirit and passion of the TRUST’s support of women leaders in health care. These themes are often echoed in the statements of those who attend the Forum. Here’s what a few people had to say about the TRUST and our 2017 Forum:

  • “I love the camaraderie. I love the inspiration.”
  • “There’s no place other than right here in Minnesota that has a women’s health leadership Forum like we do.”
  • “The Forum is a great way to recognize women and to inspire.”
  • “It’s a superb networking event to meet women from all sectors of health care throughout Minnesota.”
  • “These are pivotal years in health care and the Forum is the perfect place to address this and help share the value of the TRUST.”

It’s so heartwarming to hear women speak of how the Forum inspired them to act. We bring the Forum to you each year because we know it can make a positive impact in the lives of women leaders and spark the innovation and courage to transform the health care industry.

I anticipate this year’s Forum will again inspire action in ways currently unknown. Our theme this year is courage, which we talked about on this blog in January. Courage expands our awareness, our ability to be transparent, our vision to transform, and most significantly, the audacity to act.

The TRUST believes strongly in supporting women leaders in health care to move through fear, choose courage, and transcend challenges. That’s why the 2018 Forum will recognize 20 Courageous Women in Minnesota Health Care who found the courage within to tackle risk and vulnerability with grit and determination. We are excited to celebrate these women who discovered the power of “we” and partnering, and gain inspiration from their courageous achievements. The 20 Courageous Women will be announced on March 9 via the TRUST website and that day’s issue of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

The TRUST is overjoyed to have Ann Bancroft as keynote speaker for the 2018 Forum. I have had the opportunity to meet Bancroft; she is truly dynamic and engaging! At the Forum, she will share her insights as a teacher, author and explorer who has repeatedly demonstrated vulnerability, grit and courage through her incredible expeditions. The TRUST recently talked with Bancroft and we were a bit surprised to hear she doesn’t view herself to be courageous. You can find the TRUST’s Q&A with Bancroft in the February 23 issue of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and on our website.

I hope you will register for the Forum as an individual or as a table of 10, and join us April 11 as we celebrate courageous women and connect with women leaders in health care. One final note on spring — the first day of spring, March 20, is also the International Day of Happiness. May your spring be filled with joy, gratitude, and renewed inspiration!
 
Connie 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:  Ann Bancroft  courage  courageous leadership  TRUST Forum  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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The Power of a Personal Brand

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Thursday, February 1, 2018
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You have a personal brand, whether or not you consciously set out to build one. Your brand is one of your most important assets and it is essential to shape and nurture it. Powerful personal brands have numerous benefits, such as leadership opportunities, greater credibility, higher compensation, more clients, added recognition, rewarding partnerships, and most significantly, impact on the health of your community.

Defining Your Brand

Your personal brand is at the intersection of how you see yourself and how others perceive you. A brand is the value, emotion and reputation an audience attributes to you. In other words, your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. Although you cannot define your own brand, you can influence your brand.

Brand alignment occurs when how you see yourself and how others perceive you are similar. Brands can change as we gain new skills and grow both professionally and personally. There are opportunities to shape and build your brand throughout your career.

Building a Successful Brand

Your brand is constructed like a building – from the ground up. The strength and sustainability of your brand needs your attention and action. Words and actions influence your brand. Are your experiences with others positively building your brand?
Consider these three key components to building a successful personal brand:

  • Authenticity – Be who you are. To be who you are asks you to know who you are. Take time to discern who you are now and who you want to be by gaining greater awareness, clarity and intention. Your brand depends on it. Be true to your True North. Be genuine, be who you are.
  • Visibility – It is nearly impossible for others to form an opinion of you if no one sees you or hears from you. You can enhance your visibility via your presence at work and industry events, publishing articles, speaking at programs and volunteering. Writing on social media channels, such as LinkedIn, is also a way to enhance your visible profile.
  • Consistency – Walk your talk to ensure a consistent brand experience. Ensure consistency of your thoughts, actions and words to build a successful brand that is easy for others to ascertain.

Our TRUST Forum event on April 11 is a great place to showcase your personal brand and build upon it. Treat your personal brand with care and recognize it for the essential asset it is. The work you put into your brand now will pay dividends for years to come.

Connie 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:  personal brand  TRUST Forum  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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