Leadership | 03.18.21
The Impact of Mentorship on Education
My name is Tonya Folk and I am the Lead Medical Staff Coordinator in Great Plains Health in North Platte, Nebraska, a 116-bed facility in the western part of the state, which is accredited by the Joint Commission.
In 2017, after working over 20 years as the Director of a Domestic Violence Intervention Program in North Platte, I changed careers completely and became the Medical Staff Coordinator at our local hospital. I had big shoes to fill, replacing the previous long-time Medical Staff Coordinator, who had been in the position for over 30 years. In the Medical Staff Office at Great Plains Health, with a staff of 2, we coordinate all of the credentialing and privileging of our medical staff of nearly 320 providers and also coordinate all of the medical staff committees. In 2020, we also began the task of revising our Medical Staff Bylaws, Rules & Regs, Credentials Policy, Practitioner Health Policy, Organization Manual and Professionalism Policy, and other related documents.
Having had no previous experience in working in a health care setting, this was a very challenging career change for me! Oftentimes, our office was faced with questions that we just could not find answers to or that we just needed peer to peer advice on. I was beyond thrilled when I saw that NAMSS was offering the mentorship program! I shared my excitement with my supervisor and the hospital CEO, who were equally as excited about this opportunity. It was nice to also be able to tell them that there was no additional cost for this amazing program!
After enrolling in the NAMSS mentorship program, I was paired with Chris Hinton, CPCS, CPMSM. Chris and I communicated through email initially and then scheduled our first telephone call together. I had prepared a lengthy list of items that I wanted to “run by” Chris and get her opinion on. I had such a sense of relief that I had finally found an expert that I could talk one on one with about all of the many questions I had and to get her opinion on best practices for a variety of matters.
From our first telephone call, Chris has listened patiently to me and then offered her expert advice in a manner that was easy to understand and apply in our organization. She has shared sample policies, bylaws, etc. with me that have been incredibly helpful. She has encouraged me in my work and my goal to obtain my CPCS certification. Chris is very easy to talk to and that helped a lot in making our mentorship pairing a successful one.
I have been fortunate to attend two of the NAMSS national conferences since I began this position which has been very educational and helpful to me. And again, I am very grateful to NAMSS and Chris Hinton for this mentorship opportunity that has been made available. It has been such a positive experience for me and has helped me grow as a medical staff services professional. Thank you NAMSS!