Each month, SEWI-ATD turns the spotlight on an active member who has been visible in the chapter by attending events and participating in other ATD functions. We are proud to acknowledge the important work of our members, provide additional career exposure within the Talent Development community, and help you to get to know a colleague just a little bit better! If you are interested in nominating another member for the spotlight, contact Lovina Akowuah at Lovina.Akowuah@gmail.com or Meica Hatters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, we are pleased to feature|
Tell us a little about yourself. Include something that many people don't know, or that would surprise us.
I grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and left there for my undergraduate education at Rice University in Houston, Texas. From there I made my way up to Madison, Wisconsin where I completed my master’s degree. I’m in my second decade as a Wisconsinite and can’t imagine living anywhere else now.
Who or what inspires you? Why?
I work in health care and am inspired by the opportunity I have every day to make an impact in other people’s lives, even though my work doesn’t involve direct patient care. I’m even inspired by the messiness of health care in the current era and the opportunities that we have with this generation of health care leaders to influence change in a very broken system and to help pave the way to a more functional system in the future.
Before working at your current job, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I use to be an archaeologist and so that work took me to lots of different places, from the Midwest to England and even to Israel to do different excavations and projects. One of the neatest projects I worked on was an Anglo-Saxon burial ground on the southeast coast of England. Midwestern archaeology is less exotic but no less interesting; native peoples have been living in the Midwest for thousands of years and have left a very intriguing record of what their societies were like over that span.
Looking into your own crystal ball, where do you see your area of TD going?
I hope I’m seeing the right things in the crystal ball because we are already moving in that direction. In our area, we are responsible for training frontline caregivers and leaders throughout the revenue cycle. So that is all the financial aspects of a patient’s care ranging from before they receive service to after they receive service. The rules and necessary skills for what the folks who do those jobs need to know are constantly evolving, so their continued education, not just when they are new to their jobs, is incredibly important. So we’ve been working really hard over these last few years figuring out how to get those people more effectively educated, especially when there are thousands of them over the very large footprint that is Aurora Health Care. We’ve been trying different strategies. Some of those involve making sure we can get trainers on site and making sure we have remote support options. I also think about the classroom education itself, how expensive classroom education is, but also how valuable that human interaction is in the classroom setting. So, what we are working to try to figure out going forward is, how can we augment our current in-person classroom offerings with remote education options, whether it is e-learning or virtual sessions, which we do some of today, but also find ways to build interactive components into those offerings. We actually do a great job with our team creating interactive e-learning that is really engaging. But if we are going to rely on teaching caregivers in places other than in a classroom, we need to find ways to facilitate more engagement between people who are doing the job, with the trainers and other subject matter experts. We are going to need to continue exploring different technologies to bring people together in our system who can’t be physically together.
Why did you join SEWI-ATD?
It was at the request of our team. So when I took this team over in 2014 it was a membership they already had for some time (circa 2004) and really valued. Our team is divided into three different pieces: trainers, training administration who do the administrative/logistical work, and instructional designers. Our instructional designers are experts in revenue cycle and health care, as well as principles of design and certain sub-specialties of adult education. Those folks, in particular, really value having the continuing education opportunities that are outside our walls that SEWI-ATD is able to provide to us. They especially like to network with people from other organizations, some of which are from like organizations and many that are not, to hear what they are doing and bounce what we’re doing up against what they’re doing.
Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
Oooh…Where would I not want to go? I love traveling. I would love to have a bunch of time to travel through Scandinavia and the area around the Baltic Sea. I was very lucky, when I was younger, to travel to Western Europe, but I never made it that far north. My husband’s family has a lot of Scandinavian ancestry and my family has ties to Russia and Romania, so I’d like to see those places.
What's a question I didn't ask that you wished I had?
Q: What do I like the most about working for Aurora Health Care?
A: It is truly gratifying to work at an organization with a mission you whole-heartedly believe in. So the fact that we help people live well throughout the state of Wisconsin, and now, as we merge with Advocate Health Care, deeper into Illinois, too, is something that gets me excited to wake up and go do my job every single day. Having been in other work settings outside of Aurora earlier in my career, I truly appreciate the type of organization that Aurora is, that we do invest in talent and educational development. I am very proud to be a part of Aurora.