Young Professionals connect with purpose
Pointing out to Forest Park Parkway, Dan Rothery, president of BJC Home Care and Community Services, says he used to pick up trash on a median right outside the Center for Advanced Medicine when he worked for the City of St. Louis decades ago. That moment, and many others, from the BJC Young Professionals Connection spring social brought the group a little closer in a lobby, an organization and a time when people can feel a little disconnected.
As the new executive sponsor for the BJC Young Professionals Connection group, Rothery introduced himself and shared his journey in hopes that he can inspire and continue to support BJC team members early in their careers. A takeaway he shared with the group is that you will have a successful career if you are competent, confident and caring. Rothery emphasized that working hard and being humble will always help you stand out. He also recommended reading an influential article called “Who’s Got the Monkey” from the Harvard Business Review.
The first 25 people who RSVP’d for the event were included in a drawing to have a professional networking meeting with Rothery. Kurt Kahle, Christian Hospital PI consultant, and Erin O’Donnell, BJC purchasing manager, won the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Rothery.
The Young Professionals Connection group also welcomed Diana Wilhold, BJC School Outreach and Youth Development director, to provide information about her organization’s programs and opportunities to help local children. Attendees learned about the annual BJC Book Brigade and gathered online book donations to further the group’s commitment to community outreach and supporting youth in communities BJC serves. Together, event attendees donated 81 books.
BJC’s Young Professionals Connection group includes BJC team members in the early stages of their careers who, as future leaders, seek to network with peers and management, develop their careers and give back to the communities we serve. All BJC team members, including more experienced professionals and those who consider themselves “young at heart,” are welcome. If you have questions or would like to hear about upcoming events and activities, contact the group’s co-leads, Michael Berg, Barnes-Jewish Hospital language services project coordinator, and Jessica Campbell, BJC supply chain data analytics senior analyst, at YPConnectionGroup@bjc.org.
You can also connect with the group on Workplace, BJC’s social media and engagement tool. If you have yet to join Workplace, learn more now, and then click the red “Getting Started” button to set up your account. Search for the Young Professionals group and join.
Diversity and inclusion are a big part of BJC’s identity, and an important step to inclusiveness is connecting with and understanding one another.
From Student to Serving Patients
Three months after starting his role at BJC, Joshua Jones, BJC health information representative, attended a Young Professionals Connection event and revisited how he started his career path. Jones participated in BJC School Outreach and Youth Development’s career shadowing program while he was a student at Belleville East High School. Attendees at the Connections event learned about that specific program and many others that support area students. When Jones was a student, he was interested in exploring a vocation in dentistry or radiology and says that the BJC program helped him meet people who could guide him and answer questions.
Though Jones didn’t become a dentist or a radiologist, his experience shadowing someone in those medical professions helped him focus on his future. He attended Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and studied exercise science.
“I liked the idea of helping people and was still interested in the fields of medicine, while combining other interests such as coding,” he says.
His connection to caring for people continued after college. Before Jones joined BJC, he was a personal trainer for people with disabilities, and he now contributes to taking care of patients in his current role.
“It feels like BJC wants people to enjoy coming to work,” he says.
He sees that all team members are in this together, and there are opportunities to grow.
The Young Professionals Connection event was a professional development opportunity for Jones. It left him thinking, “It’s not where you start. It’s where you finish.”
In Jones’ case, his path started with BJC, and it’s brought him back.