Work life in the pandemic era has created new challenges for professionals in the donation and transplantation community including the stress of working closely with families who are grieving in isolation, fatigue, and labor shortages. Those challenges have made participation in a mentorship program more important and valuable than ever for both mentees and mentors. In celebration of National Mentoring Day on October 27, The Alliance will open enrollment to its Mentorship Program for the donation and transplantation professional community. Participants in the program will have access to an immersive online learning and collaboration platform at no cost. New enrollments are welcomed through November 29, 2021.
“It can be extremely helpful to connect with others who know first-hand what you’re going through and can provide additional educational resources to navigate these challenges and build resiliency during this challenging time,” says Deanna Fenton, Program Manager for the Alliance. “People who enroll in the Mentorship program will benefit from training that’s relevant to the current climate of the donation and transplantation field.”
Live training sessions for the mentorship program will be offered to guide mentors and mentees as they navigate their mentorship journeys. These trainings will demonstrate the capabilities of the new online mentoring platform and outline mentor/mentee responsibilities as well as program commitments. Trainings will be offered to new and existing participants on November 1, 8, and 15. “We hope professionals within the community will feel empowered to enroll in the program to engage with their colleagues across the continuum and take advantage of the new comprehensive learning platform,” says Fenton. The sessions will also be made available on-demand.
The new online platform makes it easy for mentees and mentors to schedule time to connect with each other through a calendar integration functionality where individual availability can be shared. The platform also provides agenda templates for discussions, sample goals, and topical articles, videos and exercises. While reading an article online, it’s possible to take notes and ask questions through a shared discussion forum that will guide future mentor and mentee discussions.
As an added benefit, topics on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have been added to the online platform and include:
- Attract & Retain Talent
- Collaboration Skills
- Cross-Cultural Collaboration
- Cross-Cultural Intelligence
- Cultivating Innovation
- Leading Change
- Mitigating Implicit Bias
- Racial Equity & Inclusion
Additional topics with accompanying educational resources in the platform’s resource library include:
- Building Effective Teams
- Coaching Skills
- Giving Constructive Feedback
- People Leadership
- Strategic Thinking
- Time Management / Work-Life Balance
Nearly 500 people have participated in the Alliance’s mentorship program since it began in 2017 and now there are three ways to participate in the program:
- One-to-one mentorship: Get connected to a mentor/mentee for an ongoing relationship for six to 12 months or beyond, for guidance and growth within the mentee’s role;
- Themed Group Discussions: Gain access to a variety of discussion forums that focus on specific topics, challenges or emerging trends impacting the community of practice; and
- Situational Mentorship: Be assigned to a mentor/mentee for a limited time to address a specific skill or issue.
Previous participants in The Alliance’s mentorship program note that it provides mentees with opportunities for foundational education and training from seasoned professionals who can offer their insights to help people advance in their roles. And for mentors, it’s a rewarding way to build and foster the next generation of leaders and contribute to the growth of their mentees.
“Transplant is a unique niche in healthcare with a steep learning curve,” says Lindsay Smith, Transplant Quality Director at Vanderbilt Transplant Center. “The Alliance mentorship program provides new transplant members an instant connection to the transplant community. It is a fantastic program, and I would recommend it for all new transplant leaders.”
“The Alliance Transplant Mentorship program gives me a way to pay it forward to the next generation of transplant professionals by sharing my knowledge and experience as a transplant professional and transplant recipient,” says Valinda Jones MSN, RN, Alliance Program Consultant.
Mentorship matches for the 2022 cohort will be announced on January 6th, 2022 in celebration of “I am a Mentor” Day, which is part of National Mentoring Month.