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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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Lessons in Courage: Follow Your Heart

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Untitled Document

"Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can't practice any other virtue with consistency." - Maya Angelou

Courage. It’s the theme for this year’s TRUST Forum event on April 11 and it’s a topic we talk about frequently within TRUST programs and communications. Why? We believe strongly in supporting women in health care to move through fear to find their courage to boldly transform the industry.

Definitions of courage often include persevering in the face of challenges and following one’s heart to stand up for what is right despite fear and risk. This is apt because the word courage comes from the French root coeur, which means heart. The heart is our spiritual core, closely linked to the mind, together providing wisdom. The link between the head and the heart is apparent every time our fight or flight drive is engaged. It is at that point we call on courage to stand up or stand down. Many times, the boldest, more courageous move is to take a step back to deescalate a perilous situation.

Courage is woven throughout our lives. At its core the courage to know and be who we uniquely are is ongoing. Courage expands our awareness, our ability to be transparent, and our vision to transform.

Our courage comes from within despite not always feeling bold or brave. It has been said that what you yearn for is who you are. If you yearn to be bold, it doesn’t mean you lack boldness; rather, you have not yet reached your full potential for it. Mary Anne Radmacher sums up this idea of courage by stating: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

The TRUST is here to support women to realize courage comes from within. The TRUST exists to support women leaders in health care and create a collaborative force of women who share insights and expertise to lead within the industry. I hope you’ll join us in sharing your stories of leading courageously in health care.

I also encourage you to join us at the Forum in April as we learn from and honor 20 courageous women in Minnesota health care and hear from Ann Bancroft, one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader. Ann has used her courage to explore the unknown and to inspire women and girls around the world to unleash the power of their dreams.

As we start a new year, may you have the strength to unleash the full potential of your courage for today, tomorrow and the future of health care.

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

Tags:  Courage  Maya Angelou  TRUST Forum 2018  women leaders in health care 

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