John Myers and Kortney Wassam understand the HYPE—and by that we mean the Healthcare Young Professional Empowerment (HYPE) organization that introduced them as a mentor and mentee duo. Myers, Chief Operating Officer for Mercy Springfield Communities, and Wassam, Executive Director of Revenue Cycle Performance for Mercy SWMO Region, meet at least once a month to catch up and discuss each other’s personal and professional development. “Every time we meet I learn,” Wassam says. “It’s been great just to have a little insight into what’s going on in our organization because so many times you just get caught up in your silo and what’s going on in your own area.”
In July, Myers and Wassam were paired together in HYPE’s mentorship program—Myers as a mentor and Wassam as a mentee. As busy as work gets, it can be difficult for Myers to focus on the diverse needs of everyone, and that’s where Wassam comes in. “I learn a lot about what’s going on in various parts of the organization,” Myers says. “And then the connection she has with the other HYPE members, she brings that perspective from a larger group too.” For Wassam, this mentorship is about learning how to be a good leader and setting herself up for future success in her young career.
One way Myers has helped Wassam in their mentorship is by reevaluating direction and setting new expectations for Wassam’s team. “The department I am over has a very large and broad scope, and I needed help defining what my team’s role as a whole was,” Wassam says. Myers helped her redefine her department’s purpose and taught Wassam how to build a framework to achieve that purpose.
Besides appreciating the opportunity to take a break every few weeks to chat about work and life over coffee, Myers and Wassam recognize the significance of their mentorship meetings as a piece of the HYPE program’s puzzle. It paves the way for a new generation of mentorship pairings in the program. “We started [HYPE] to connect our young professionals throughout the organization with each other and with our other leaders,” Wassam says. “We’re really focused on the professional development of our young professionals, and also just growing them in their career.”
Mentorships are an important aspect of every successful career. When it comes to advice for other mentors or future mentors, Myers affirms the importance of being attentive. “Listen and acknowledge what the challenges are professionally and personally. You don’t have to have an answer for everything,” he says. Wassam seconds that sentiment, echoing the importance of an open dynamic. “For mentees, just to be open and bold to ask the questions—whatever they are,” she says. “I think it’s such a special opportunity to get to have the ear of an executive leader in your organization.”