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The Greatest Gifts and a Full Heart

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thursday, December 5, 2019
TRUST Blog Post, November 2019

“When life gives you a gift, receive it with all your heart.” – Enid Ivanov

This past year has been such a gift that I welcomed with a full heart! My time as TRUST President is coming to an end and it truly has been one of the greatest gifts to serve you all.

As the year comes to a close, I think of a few Women’s Health Leadership TRUST highlights from 2019:

  • 40th Anniversary – We toasted the TRUST’s 40th anniversary and looked creatively to envision how we can shape the next 40 years.
  • Forum – Nearly 900 attendees of the 2019 Forum heard from keynote speaker and health care industry expert, Archelle Georgiou, MD, as she shared insights on how to intentionally re-invent oneself. And we presented awards to 19 women who are positively impacting health care in Minnesota, the nation, and in some cases, across the globe.
  • Inaugural Well-Being Retreat – Our first annual well-being retreat featured more than a dozen presenters on a comprehensive range of topics related to mindfulness, movement and well-being. This event was extra special for me as it was a vision I had when I joined the board. Thank you to everyone who made it an amazing experience!
  • Impact! Mentoring Program – We reformatted our popular mentoring program and collaborated with Menttium, a local company led by TRUST member Lynn Sontag
  • Voice of the Customer – We actively listened to you, our TRUST members, to look carefully at the ways we gather information from members and non-members as we plan all of the TRUST’s efforts. As part of this work, a new member survey will be used.
  • Refreshed Mission – We updated our mission to better summarize why we exist. Our refreshed mission is: The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST is an inclusive network whose members support, inspire and offer insights to women leaders in health care.
  • Collaborative Women Leaders – We engaged with fellow women leaders and organizations determined to elevate women along their leadership journeys. One such example was partnering with TeamWomen Executive Director Katy Burke and Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Market President and Publisher Kathy Robideau to present at the TRUST Annual Meeting in October.

And there are far more accomplishments from the year as the result of the unwavering dedication from the TRUST Board members and committee members who created inspiring events and experiences for members.

It has been a true pleasure to serve the members of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST and to serve alongside my esteemed Board members. My great thanks to Leslie Bodell, our incoming TRUST President for 2020, for all she has done since joining the Board in 2017. It has been my privilege to serve with her and I welcome her leadership as President next year.

Gift boxAs I end my term as TRUST President, I hope you’ll take this advice to heart: Cherish every moment you have. Seize unique opportunities. Realize the gifts you are given and accept them with an open heart. And perhaps most importantly, for every gift you are given in life, take the time to give something back and you will be better for it.

Thank you all for your friendship, dedication, and service to the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST!

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  TRUST Forum  TRUST Mentoring Program  women leaders in health care  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Grateful for the Wonderful Things in Life

Posted By Monica Engel, Friday, November 8, 2019
TRUST Blog Post, November 2019

The season of Thanksgiving is especially a time for gratitude and counting our blessings, big and small. This November I have much to be grateful for as I prepare to wrap up my term as President of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST at the end of this year.

I am honored to have been President of the TRUST. It has been such a pleasure to serve the more than 500 members of the TRUST and to work closely with a wonderful group of women on the Board for several years. It is with a joyous heart that I’d like to express my appreciation for the experience I’ve been given this past year.

The amazing women on the Board set priorities throughout the year that will drive the future of our organization. Thank you to our returning Board members: Tracey Armstrong, Deb Bauman, Rhoda Beaird, Christine (Chris) Bent, Julie Dekker, Amy Dewane, Stefanie Lenway, Diane Nanstad, Lori Nelson, Rachel Nelson, Allison O’Connor, Kim Perry, Joy Plamann, Laura Reed, Amy Ronneberg and Mary Welsh. And I will dearly miss the Board members completing their service to the TRUST at the end of this year: Connie Delaney, Sharon Gabrielson, Beth Honkomp, Jana Johnson and Theresa Pesch — our deepest thanks for giving of your time and expertise on behalf of the TRUST.

The TRUST has many volunteers bringing leadership, experience and passion to their service on a number of committees. There are too many to personally name here; however, I am extremely grateful for each and every volunteer who works collaboratively to build on our past successes as we lead into the future to embolden women as an influential force for change.

The TRUST would not exist without its members. Thank you to our members who guide the work we do and the evolution of the TRUST. Everyone who serves the TRUST does so to support the voice of our members so please continue to share your voice so we can improve our offerings for you.

The networking, support, relationships and work we do within the TRUST have made an important difference in the lives of many. I know this because I hear it directly from TRUST members at networking and programming events. Thank you all for making 2019 an exciting year filled with accomplishments. The TRUST is in great hands going forward to continue its work as an inclusive network whose members support, inspire and offer insights to women leaders in health care. I hope to thank many of you in person at the TRUST Holiday Party on December 17 and raise a glass to the wonderful things in life we have to be grateful for.  

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  gratitude  women leaders in health care  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Strong, Determined Women are a Powerful Force

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

At the 2019 Emmy Awards a few weeks back, there was a powerful moment when award-winning actress Alex Borstein dedicated her win to the strength of women and told the story of her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.

“My grandmother turned to a guard. She was in line to be shot into a pit and she said, ‘What happens if I step out of line,’ and he said, ‘I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will,’ and she stepped out of line, and for that I am here, and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line.”

There was incredible strength in that story. Her grandmother knew the answer to the question, ‘What happens if I stay in line?’ The question of ‘What happens if I step out of line’ brought apprehension, but it also brought hope. Her determination brought the opportunity to forge a new path, whatever the consequences.

Stepping out of line
At some point in our lives, we find ourselves on a line we don’t want to be on, though the stakes are rarely as high as they were in Alex’s story. Maybe we chased the unfulfilled dreams of family members rather than our own. Perhaps we followed in the footsteps of friends because it was a comfortable path. Or we lost our way and are unsure how to return to the road we were originally on.

Stepping out of line can be frightening; however, so is staying in a line that aims to defeat you instead of elevate you. Are you taking advantage of opportunities to step out of line, either collectively with other women or singularly? What will happen if you step out of line? What happens if you don’t?

You're not alone
It’s important to know you’re not alone. If you’re a member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, you know you’re a member of a strong group of women creating opportunities to enhance and advance each other. The TRUST and other groups like us are determined to elevate other women throughout their leadership journeys and to help women step out of line to confidently forge their new paths. We believe passionately in this mission and are joining with TeamWomen and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women’s Leadership Council to share our commitment to embolden women as influential forces for change and for each other. We hope you will join us October 29 at the TRUST Annual Meeting for this engaging discussion.

There is strength in numbers and determined women are a powerful force. Imagine what we can accomplish if we all step out of line and challenge the status quo.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  Alex Borstein  step out of line  TRUST Annual Meeting  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Seasons of Reflection

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, September 11, 2019

There’s something about the transition from season to season that invites reflection. Is it because we can see, hear, feel, smell and taste the changes around us? The calendar shifted to September, and seemingly overnight, the days are crisper, the leaves have more hues and pumpkin spice lattes are once again the order at the coffee shop.

The natural flow of seasons
There is a natural flow of the seasons as they tell the story of the year. Summer’s chapter focuses a great deal on warmth and abundance, which invites reflections of gratitude. Fall’s chapter is mellower as life slows in anticipation of winter’s quiet. I find fall’s reflections to be grounding as we plan ahead for the next year.

Just as September brings the end of summer and the start of fall, I find myself giving thanks for the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST and how it has inspired me for many years, and I envision the TRUST’s future.

Reflections of gratitude
So many members of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST have reflected on their gratitude for the organization and its members during its 40 years. I read back through a few of the TRUST’s Member Spotlights and wanted to highlight some of their reflections:

  • My intention is to gain self-confidence and develop as a leader through the role models in the TRUST.
  • I have been so grateful for the openness of others to offer their counsel and camaraderie.
  • I’d never have had the life and career I have had if it weren’t for a number of amazing people along the way who gave me the confidence and often courage to forge my own path.
  • Many organizations want you to volunteer — the TRUST wants you to engage by sharing your time, talent and treasures.
  • I look forward to learning from other women leaders in health care who are passionate about making a difference in the health and lives of patients.

I personally find a great deal of value in shared expressions like these as a way to learn more about my fellow TRUST members and as a means of measuring the TRUST’s impact. I also appreciate personal reflection, the kind that isn’t necessarily shared, but is deep, special and markedly meaningful. The TRUST’s Your Journey to Well-Being Retreat in October promises ample time for personal contemplation, which fits well with all seasons of reflection.

Looking ahead
And for others like me who are also looking ahead, I hope to see you at the TRUST’s Annual Meeting on October 29 as we take a look at the organization’s plans for 2020, revisit what we accomplished in 2019 and hear from an outstanding panel of women leaders. May you see your world with fresh eyes during this season’s reflections and find growth personally and professionally.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  reflections of gratitude  TRUST Annual Meeting  TRUST Well-being Retreat Event  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Mindful, or Mind Full?

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Is your mind full of thoughts about work, home, family, health and friends? Or are you mindful and focused on the present moment? It can be challenging to remain in the moment when life hands us countless balls to juggle; however, there are many positive benefits of practicing a life that is more mindful.

We all know daily life can get hectic.
There’s laundry to deal with, date nights with your spouse, early morning and evening work meetings, kids who need rides to activities, friends to catch up with on social media and in real life, and aging parents to stay connected with. Maybe you try to multi-task on the way to work by listening to an audiobook or podcast. Or you watch your favorite show on Netflix while also keeping an eye on Facebook. Or you check your work emails while having dinner at home. We lose the present moment when we do or think about things outside of that connection. Having a hand in different activities and thoughts all at once keeps us in chaos, rather than calm. We think we can decrease stress if we can just get it all done; however, it often leads to an increase in stress.

Enter mindfulness.
You are being mindful when you focus your attention on the present. Practicing mindfulness has been researched and found to reduce stress and increase happiness. We can be fully engaged when we’re mindful and “in-the-moment.” This allows us to be completely present and focused on those we’re with at that time. Not planning the grocery list. Not responding to the work email. Not checking our phones.

Mindfulness is tied closely with health and well-being. Those who practice mindfulness — really focusing on the present moment — tend to worry less about the past or future, and they’re able to form deeper connections with others. And it’s easy to see how mindfulness can help relieve stress, which can in turn reduce anxiety, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and aid other health conditions.

The art of mindfulness can be especially beneficial at work as it can allow us to improve focus. Our work can suffer when we bounce endlessly from the task to task. When we train ourselves to be aware of what’s going on around us as well as our emotions in that moment we learn to become more focused in all we do — and are better able to see amazing opportunities around us.  

Now is a perfect time to create a well-being and mindfulness journey thanks to greater research and insights into the topic. That’s why the TRUST is excited to introduce our inaugural two-day event focused on the many facets of well-being, including mindfulness, movement and engagement. Your Journey to Well-Being: A TRUST Inaugural Retreat will be held Thursday, Oct. 3 and Friday, Oct. 4 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska. We have many great sessions and experiences, and I know attendees will leave with several takeaways from the two days to aid their path toward being mindful rather than mind full.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  mindfulness  TRUST Inaugural Retreat  well-being  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Take the Risk and Rise

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thursday, July 11, 2019

Are you an energetic risk taker who thrives on leaping into the unknown? Or does your fight-or-flight response kick in when you merely contemplate risk? For many of us, the answer is dependent upon the situation; however, far fewer women are taking big risks when it comes to their career growth.

According to a Women’s Leadership Study1 from KPMG, 69% of women are open to small risks, but only 43% are open to bigger risks associated with career growth. The same study also revealed that a woman’s willingness to take risks decreases as she gains years of experience.

Why is this important? A recent article2 regarding risk-taking noted it can be beneficial for career growth, while being risk-averse and playing it safe can have the opposite effect. It feels safe in the short-term to avoid risk; however, in the long-term, it can diminish career advancement opportunities if you avoid risk too often. If you view yourself as cautious and deliberate, others may perceive you as lacking courage and confidence — traits that are not generally associated with leadership.

So, how do you start to take risks?

Practice, Practice, Practice. A great way to start is by starting small. Practice makes things easier and risk-taking is a task like any other that can be practiced. Speak up in meetings. Introduce yourself to new people. Make that sales pitch you’ve been putting off. Test the limits of your comfort zone to embrace new opportunities!

Look and Leap. It’s also important to remember that risk-taking does not need to involve a blind leap. You can take some time to look and leap. The next time you contemplate taking a risky course of action, list out the pros and cons. You’ll likely find the right course of action is readily apparent.

Volunteer and Give Back. This sounds easy, but many of us put off giving back to the community or organizations we serve because we don’t know how to get started, or are shy about trying new things and meeting new people. The TRUST has an upcoming Summer Service & Networking event on August 8 at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan followed by happy hour at The Mason Jar Kitchen. This is a perfect time to practice taking a small risk while giving back to our local community.

Participate in a Mentoring Program. A mentorship program such as the TRUST’s IMPACT Mentoring Program provides numerous opportunities to stretch outside of your comfort zone in a collaborative and safe environment. The roles of mentor and mentee both require some vulnerability and risk. It’s also a great way to demonstrate leadership, take ownership of professional development and ask program participants how they tackle risk-taking. The IMPACT Mentoring Program will begin the application process for the second cohort in late summer/early fall. Consider being a mentor or mentee and stretch those risk-taking skills!

It’s a personal journey for each woman leader to explore risk-taking. The good news is that a majority of women believe their companies empower women in the workplace1 and the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST is here to aid that journey as well. Take the risk and be ready to reap the rewards.

1KPMG, “Women’s Leadership Study
2Financial Times, “Taking Risks Early in Your Career Pays Off Long-Term

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 MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  KPMG Women's Leadership Study  risk taking  TRUST IMPACT Mentoring Program  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Give Back and Gain More in Return

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thursday, June 6, 2019

This year’s summer networking program is focused on making new connections and giving back through service. We’ve heard many TRUST members and non-members express interest in partnering together to give back to the community. So, on August 8 the TRUST will volunteer at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan for an event in a fun, relaxed environment where all attendees can get to know one another through a collaborative activity.

This service event is sure to inspire! I’m a firm believer that we gain more than we give when we’re involved in philanthropic and humanitarian giving. Here are several reasons why giving back is important.

  • Gaining Gratitude – When we give to others it creates feelings of compassion and reminds us how much we have to be grateful for.
  • Stronger Communities – We strengthen communities when we unite together for a common cause as people. This encourages conversations and interactions many people would not ordinarily experience.
  • Culture of Giving – A moment of giving can spark a broader spirit of giving. We are often inspired by others in our communities who give in a variety of ways, which creates ripple effects as we give back and inspire others. 
  • Building the Future – When you give back by donating or volunteering, you are helping to build a better future for someone else. Perhaps you are helping to feed, house or clothe a child or family. These actions are essential building blocks for creating better tomorrows for those in need.
  • Health & Well-being Boost – Those who give back tend to increase health and well-being benefits due to increased feelings of happiness, lower stress levels, boost in morale and a sense of a greater purpose in life.
  • Grow as a Person – It’s nearly impossible to give back to others and not be touched by an increase in emotional awareness as well as consideration for others. As we’re exposed to new and different people and experiences, we grow more in touch with our humanity.

There are profound benefits, immediate and long-term, for both the giver and the recipient when we give back. There is great potential for creating stronger, kinder communities and individuals. Hopefully you have found some added inspiration to give back in your own life and to join the TRUST on August 8. I hope to see you then as we give back to the community at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan, followed by additional networking afterward at the Mason Jar!

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 MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  Feed My Starving Children  philanthropy  volunteerism benefits  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Breaking Glass Ceilings and Rising Together

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I had the pleasure of attending the recent Team Women Annual Leadership Conference, and I was reminded of how many strong women-based organizations were formed, especially those based here in Minnesota, over the years. In addition to Team Women and our very own Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, organizations such as the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women’s Leadership Council, Women Business Leaders, Women in Networking, WomenVenture, Sister Spokesman, WeMN were created by women, for women who sought to grow professionally and personally, and connect with like-minded women.

Together, these organizations share a spirit of collaboration and support for one another. Their members often reap the benefits of friendships made among these sister organizations. In fact, I know Kathy Robideau, Women’s Leadership Council, and Katy Burke, Team Women, both attended last month’s TRUST Forum and have been strong supporters of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST.

Some may view these other organizations as competitors. I view them as fellow trailblazers focused on continual support of professional women. How we all do this looks a bit different for every organization; however, we’re united in creating vibrant member communities and nurturing leadership in its many forms.

For anyone new to the TRUST, we’re a professional network of women leaders in health care. Together, we create opportunities to network within the health care industry, enhance leadership skills, provide educational programs, and advance the careers of women in the field. And, this fall we will expand our reach into well-being.

The women who started the TRUST 40 years ago sought to network within health care and work together to break the glass ceiling in the field. Maureen Acosta was one of those founding TRUST members; she acknowledged how far the organization and women leaders in health care have come and was also thankful to see the work of the TRUST will continue on for decades. We have indeed come a long way thanks to trailblazers like our founding members, Jean Harris Award recipients, 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award recipients, Board members through the years and countless others — women and men — who trusted in what the future could be.

Let us also acknowledge and give thanks to our sister organizations who similarly envision a present and a future where we can all rise together. Collaboration and support for all women is vital, and the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST looks forward to seeing the future we can achieve together.

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 MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women's Lead  Sister Spokesman  Team Women  WeMN  Women Business Leaders  Women in Networking  Women's Health Leadership TRUST  WomenVenture 

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Strength of Women Leaders

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Minnesota is filled with strong women leaders in health care and we saw that firsthand at the TRUST Forum on April 9. It was so inspiring to honor dynamic women leaders in Minnesota health care who have built partnerships, advanced health and well-being, innovated technological advances, volunteered to advance health initiatives and been recognized as exceptional leaders. Congratulations to the 2019 TRUST Award recipients: Maria Christu, Children’s Minnesota; Susan Gunderson, LifeSource; Jennifer Hoff, Capella University; Susan Jeska, UnitedHealth Group; Katy Kirchner, CentraCare; Marna Canterbury, Lakeview Health System/HealthPartners; Shanda Demorest, University of Minnesota School of Nursing; Chris Freytag, Get Healthy U; Deneen Vojta, UnitedHealth Group; Kimberly Hansen, UnitedHealthcare; Susan Jepson, Hennepin Healthcare; Anne LaFlamme, M Health/Fairview; Rajni Shah, MyMeds; Kay Greenlee, CentraCare; Helen Kim, Hennepin Healthcare; Carolyn Porta, University of Minnesota School of Nursing; Nikki Shultz, UnitedHealthcare; Annie Ballantine, The Soul of Style; and Mary Beth (MB) Dondelinger, Optum.

We also celebrated the stellar achievements of Jan Malcolm, recipient of the 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award, and Theresa Pesch, recipient of the Jean Harris Award. Theresa, VP of Philanthropy and President at Hennepin Healthcare Foundation, 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. Jan, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner, was honored as an outstanding leader who has paved the way for change and transformation in health care. Thank you Theresa and Jan for being outstanding health care leaders!

Attendees left emboldened to navigate their next chapters thanks to a lively keynote from Archelle Georgiou, MD, as she shared insights on how to intentionally map out one’s future. Her stories of following one’s dreams were deeply inspiring!

And as the TRUST celebrated 40 years, we acknowledged we would not be where it is today without the support and accomplishments of those who came before us to bring the TRUST forward as the thriving organization it is today. We continue to build on our foundation to create an even stronger association and engage our work in health care for generations to come.

I would also like to take the time to thank our sponsors for helping make the Forum a stellar evening of camaraderie and celebration. These companies showcase the ongoing leadership in health care that makes Minnesota’s commitment to health renowned.

And a big thank-you to my fellow members of the Forum committee: Carol Kraft, Theresa Pesch, Dee Thibodeau, Aliza Bach, Rhoda Beaird, Christine Bent, Amy Dewane, Kate Lanners, Leslie Parran, Patricia Salkowicz, Holly Scholl, Sherri Walsh, Mary Welsh and Candee Wolf. This group worked diligently for nearly a year to create an uplifting Forum event for all.

The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST is proud to have maintained our mission to support women leaders in health care for the past 40 years and we are committed to doing so well into the future. We hope you will continue to join us for the journey!

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 MN 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. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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

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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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Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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