UW Hospital Works with United Way in Loaned Executive Program

Madison, Wisconsin - In helping the United Way of Dane County reach its 2012 fundraising goals, Deb Tinker was reminded why she so values working at UW Hospital and Clinics.


Tinker, the director of ambulatory nursing at UW Hospital and Clinics, participated in the Loaned Executive program last July.


Instituted in 1983, the Loaned Executive program pairs Dane County executives with United Way programs that will benefit from their expertise and talents. Tinker is the third UW Hospital and Clinics executive to work with United Way via the Loaned Executive program, and she was charged with organizing fundraising campaigns for the 35 groups in her portfolio to help the United Way meet its 2012 fundraising goal of $17.5 million.


That money is used in a variety of ways in Dane County, including helping the homeless find shelter and feeding the hungry.


"The Loaned Executive program is an extraordinary professional development opportunity for any organization in Dane County that can loan an employee for a full-time 17 week assignment," says Bill Monkmeyer, the senior director of campaign for the United Way of Dane County and facilitator of the Loaned Executive program for the past five years. "Loaned Executives are an extension of our staff and help us engage nearly 40,000 donors and over 1,000 organizations. This program is the lifeblood of United Way's work."


"They support programs that have value," Tinker says, adding that she was surprised to learn that the United Way's approach to systemic organization mirrored her work at UW Hospital and Clinics in a particular way. "In nursing and health care, we are very outcomes-driven. Everything you do should have a positive outcome for the health of patients. The United Way requires outcomes for the support they give the community. When they support a program, that program is accountable."


After going through the program's two-week orientation to learn about the United Way's process, mission and values, Tinker devoted the next three months to facilitating fundraising campaigns for her 35 portfolio organizations, serving as both a resource and liaison. She says she was inspired by "working with people who are very enthusiastic, so giving and unbelievably connected to the community," and found that many people with whom she worked paid her full-time employer the same compliment.


"I was very surprised to see how people view UW Hospital and Clinics as a very supporting community organization," she says. "Everywhere I went they were like, 'You work at UW Hospital? Thank you so much for all you do.' To have people who are helping homeless people say thank you is a great thing."


Her work complete the day before Thanksgiving, Tinker says her participation in the Loaned Executive program has compelled her to reassess her position at UW Hospital and Clinics.


"I've worked at UW Hospital and Clinics for more than 30 years. When you appreciate something from the inside, sometimes you don't always understand how things are seen from the outside," she says. "If you had asked me before, I could have described what I did at UW Hospital but I didn't really understand the effect we have on the community as a whole. I never had the opportunity to really see that."


"We have received great people with real talent from UW Hospital and Clinics," Monkmeyer says. "They have brought life experience, professional knowledge, interpersonal skills and enthusiasm to our campaign. We also hope to provide a return to those individuals, and the companies that they return to, in terms of new skills and a better understanding of their community."

Date Published: 03/04/2013

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