UCHealth group rebrands, continues to support professional growth

The Young Professionals @ UCHealth create opportunities for employees to network and develop skills through regional and system events
Jan. 17, 2016

UCHealth’s young professionals’ group continues to help employees grow in their jobs, but in its second year, it’s rebranding.

The steering committee spent the last few months of 2015 reviewing results from a survey of employees. What they found is that people wanted to continue with the group’s networking events and speakers, but were confused by its name and felt the group needed a clearer mission statement.

Young Professionals @ UCHealth, formerly the Young Professionals Affinity Group, has homed in on its purpose: engage, develop and connect.

“We wanted to meet the individuals where they are in their career, make it convenient for them to be involved, and help them realize the benefits of networking,” said Courtney Hoffbauer, Young Professionals @ UCHealth steering committee member from UCHealth Colorado Springs.

The grassroots group kicked off in October 2014 with a system-wide event at the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion at UCHealth Metro Denver. The meeting included UCHealth’s newly hired president and CEO Liz Concordia. Throughout the year, the group held many other events, both system-wide and regionally, that included speakers and social networking opportunities.

“We want to continue to support UCHealth’s young professionals through networking and professional development but make sure we improve upon our first year,” said Jill Zamzow, steering committee member from UCHealth Northern Colorado.

The group has set guidelines that provide flexibility among the three regional chapters but still maintain an overall unified purpose. There will be one system-wide event held each year, and each chapter is required to do at least six regional events annually.

“At Memorial, the biggest thing we heard from our members was that they wanted to be able to network, so we set up our events around that idea,” Hoffbauer said. Event ideas her chapter discussed included a speaker who focused on maximizing millennials in the workplace, happy hours and volunteer opportunities with the Special Olympics.

The Northern Colorado chapter also is focusing on volunteer opportunities, as well as additional ways to connect to the community, such as outreach to other young professional groups, said Chris Lowe, steering committee member from Northern Colorado. The group will continue to forward emails that offer up volunteer opportunities or seats at UCHealth-sponsored community events.

“We need to get UCHealth out of our doors and into the community,” he said. “Community service is another way to connect.”

The Northern Colorado group also will continue to have socials and guest speakers, as will the Metro Denver chapter.

“We really tried to put the young professionals of UCHealth in the center of everything we do,” said Mallory Thompson, steering committee member from Metro Denver. “Here we found that people liked the frequent informal happy hour networking events, so we’ve been doing those lately.”

There is still more to come, she added. The committee will continue to gather input and develop its program based on what works best for members, and they encourage others to join so they too can benefit professionally.

The Young Professionals @ UCHealth has an informal membership, with no fees or commitment required. However, there are opportunities for even more involvement than attending events, such as leading an initiative or program area within the group. Group events are open to both clinical and nonclinical employees, and there is no age cap. The “young” in its title means that members are looking to develop their skills, networking connections, and knowledge within their profession.

For more information, contact a steering committee member in your region:
Northern Colorado: Jill Zamzow, Tyler Trum and Chris Lowe
Metro Denver: Mallory Thompson and Mandy Ellefson
Colorado Springs: Kitso Branch and Courtney Hoffbauer

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.