[People] 21 Years and Counting: Char Baum Shares her Journey at HealthPartners

char

If you’ve been inspired by the positive note on OHPE Office’s white board at 8170 10th floor, you have Char Baum to thank.  A habit she developed many years ago when she began her career, teaching children — Char inspires many to start their day right with a positive note every day. She’s a Program Associate with the Office of Health Professional Education and has been a part of HealthPartners for 21 years.

Tell us about your journey through HealthPartners:

21 years ago, I started in an administrative role in the cardiology department at the Riverside Clinic. Soon after, I joined the Center for Organizational Excellence and began working more closely with education. As a result of organizational restructures and many changes, I became involved with recruitment and development — eventually becoming a part of HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education (IME).

I supported the administrator of IME and the Continuing Medical Education team, working with several leaders. I became involved with various aspects of education and helping administer the newly formed Knowledge Bank Fund.

My role at IME morphed into my current role at OHPE when the Institute merged with Research then Park Nicollet to become HealthPartners Institute. I began helping with onboarding of students and many aspects of Advanced Practice.

What do you enjoy the most about your current role?

I enjoy the people I work with. I have always enjoyed working as a team. It gives me joy to look at problems and find solutions as a team — looking for different ways to improve the process. I also like the communication aspect of it, being able to connect with the people that we’re serving.

Tell us about yourself:

I was born and raised in St. Paul. I acquired a teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin. I always wanted to work in education; I used to teach in early childhood education before I joined HealthPartners. I was the first from my father’s side of the family to graduate from college.

I love kids — I have 6 grandchildren who are all 13 and under, and one on the way. I love spending time with them, especially playing sports with them. I have camped since I was young and now enjoy going to my family’s cabin and riding my bike on the trails with friends and family.

Share some lessons and insights you’ve acquired over the years:

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you can’t do everything by yourself — you really need a strong team to rely on. Everyone has a skill set and individual strength, and we can all help each other.

I’ve also learned that you should never be afraid to learn new skills and be flexible about embracing new tools and techniques. To grow, you have to embrace change with a positive attitude. You have to just dig in and start somewhere.

What do you like about working at HealthPartners?

I appreciate the flexibility that HealthPartners offers for its employees. Mary Brainerd is a great leader and always has the community’s best interest in mind. I also like the culture of respect, gratitude, and appreciation. There are always challenges and frustrations but when you have a great leader, it makes a difference.

Share a fun fact about yourself:

I taught Mary Brainerd’s daughter, Mary when she was in kindergarten. She is about the same age as my daughter!

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