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UNMC & Nebraska Med Launch ERG

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UNMC and Nebraska Medicine Launches Emerging Professionals Program

Like many other successful companies, Nebraska Medicine and UNMC know firsthand that the millennial workforce can be a huge asset. In fact, 51 percent of Nebraska Medicine’s employees are Millennials. A young workforce can point to a bright future, and while there is a strong presence of Millennials, the program is designed to be inclusive to all colleagues and students between Nebraska Medicine and UNMC.

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A year and a half ago, six colleagues from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine embarked on a journey to create the Emerging Professionals Program (EPP), which would unite the two organizations and provide new opportunities for students and staff that didn’t previously exist. After gaining support from senior leadership and following an initial planning period, the program was introduced to employees in April 2017. In its first three months, nearly 300 colleagues from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine joined the program.

The Emerging Professionals Program was created to connect and engage colleagues while providing opportunities for professional and personal growth. Its goals include building relationships among colleagues, facilitating ways to give back to the community and providing its members educational opportunities. The EPP has three main purposes:

  • Connecting emerging professionals with organizational leaders and peers, resources, community recognition and volunteer opportunities
  • Engaging emerging professionals through networking and EPP-sponsored events
  • Enabling growth while building long-lasting relationships

“There are more than 8,000 colleagues at Nebraska Medicine alone. In such large organizations, silos sometimes form, and we miss out on the opportunity to network with other departments,” says Meghan Bunger, Nebraska Medicine talent acquisition sourcer and current president of Emerging Professionals Program. “Through the EPP, we wanted to give colleagues and students a chance to meet people they wouldn’t normally interact with, with an ultimate goal of building stronger ties not only to our organization but to the Greater Omaha Area.”

While the EPP team has strong support from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine leadership and a team of six advisors, the plan is for the program to be driven by its members, who are currently applying for co-chair positions in each of the program’s four pillars: membership, communication, events and community engagement.

We want our emerging professionals to determine what they want out of the program,” says Emily Lasky, UNMC special events/community relations associate and vice president, EPP. “They will have a big say in what development opportunities we provide and which activities they would enjoy participating in.

The Emerging Professionals Program held its kickoff event June 29, as it hosted a bags tournament and food truck for those who have either joined the program or were interested in finding out more about it. More than 100 people attended and twenty-four teams of two participated in the single-elimination tournament, held in the UNMC Student Life Center. It also included live music and raffle drawings for attendees.

We were incredibly energized by the turnout,” says Lasky. It shows that our colleagues and students really are interested in getting to know each other better and make this an even better place to work. We are excited about the future possibilities for the EPP.

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UNMC and Nebraska Medicine is one of the first health care organizations in Omaha to create an emerging professionals program of this size, and through their experience, hope to help other health care organizations launch their own groups.

For any questions about the Emerging Professionals Program at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, please feel free to reach out to epp@nebraskamed.com.

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