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Courage & Arctic Exploration: Reflections from the 2018 Women’s Leadership Health TRUST Forum

This year, I attend­ed my first-ever Women’s Health Lead­er­ship TRUST Forum, held at the Min­neapo­lis Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Wednes­day, April 11, along with my col­league and TRUST mem­ber, Hye­di Nel­son. The TRUST is a high­ly-regard­ed pro­fes­sion­al net­work for women in health care, which was found­ed in the Twin Cities near­ly 40 years ago. The Forum is a cel­e­bra­tion of TRUST mem­bers’ hard work over the past year, and hon­ors many of the incred­i­ble women in the local health space. This year’s theme was courage, a top­ic that is fresh in women’s minds as our soci­ety grap­ples with issues around gen­der equality.

Imme­di­ate­ly upon arriv­ing at the Forum, I was blown away by the sound of hun­dreds of women con­vers­ing, net­work­ing, shar­ing in each other’s goal and chal­lenges echo­ing through­out the space. This was just the begin­ning of the inspi­ra­tion flow­ing through­out the event.

After every­one sat down and shared a meal togeth­er, the evening’s keynote speak­er, Ann Ban­croft, took the stage to share her incred­i­ble life’s jour­ney as an Arc­tic and Antarc­tic explor­er. All along the way, peo­ple have ques­tioned why she’s inter­est­ed in going on such wacky adven­tures, and yet she had the courage to nev­er waver from pur­su­ing her pas­sion and interests.

Ann has suc­cess­ful­ly bro­ken records and bar­ri­ers as the first female Arc­tic explor­er, and has worked tire­less­ly to edu­cate and inspire a new gen­er­a­tion of explor­ers. She recent­ly co-found­ed the Access Water ini­tia­tive with fel­low explor­er Liv Arne­sen, bring­ing aware­ness to water qual­i­ty and social issues by trav­el­ing along rivers on six con­ti­nents, engag­ing with local com­mu­ni­ties along the way.

A few key take­aways from her speech include:

  • Use every­thing at your dis­pos­al — all of your tal­ents, skills, inter­ests, pas­sions and expe­ri­ences — in your day-to-day work: you nev­er know when it will come in handy.
  • Some­times blaz­ing a trail is a dif­fi­cult endeav­or, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it.
  • There is great free­dom in team­work: every­one is work­ing togeth­er toward a shared goal, but they don’t all need to arrive at the fin­ish line in the same manner.

The theme of courage is also appar­ent in our work every day as women in the Min­neso­ta health indus­try. In our chang­ing land­scape, step­ping up and hav­ing our voic­es heard is more impor­tant than ever. I am proud to be a part of our state’s health com­mu­ni­ty and am excit­ed to see what we will accom­plish togeth­er before the next TRUST Forum in 2019.

Johan­na Hol­ub is a mem­ber of the Bell­mont Part­ners Health Prac­tice Group. For more infor­ma­tion about the Health Prac­tice Group, vis­it health.bellmontpartners.com.

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