Traci Haglund, licensed nursing home administrator at Wakefield Health Care Center, is giving back to a program that helped her grow her own skills to support aging Nebraskans as a health care leader. 

Haglund was a member of the Nebraska Health Care LEAD Class V. LEAD, which stands for lead, excel, advance and develop, equips professionals to positively shape the future of health care in Nebraska, benefiting the local communities and the organizations they work for. 

The year-long program is designed to develop a workforce of leaders who can meet the health care needs of Nebraska’s aging population, especially those served by nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Each member is paired with a mentor who has completed the program and participates in virtual and in-person gatherings, book discussions and can create connections with state and national leaders. 

After graduating from Nebraska Health Care LEAD, Haglund became a mentor with the program to encourage other health care professionals to help implement and lead health care changes in their communities.  

“As a mentor, we really create a feeling of camaraderie because we’re all fighting the same battles,” Haglund said. “The LEAD program helps us feel connected with other health care professionals and empowered to bring issues and concerns to our state and federal representatives.” 

Haglund pointed out that leadership is always a journey, saying that most members go into Nebraska Health Care LEAD with some leadership skills, but the program helps develop and take them to the next level. The skills they develop help support and strengthen the organizations they work in and Nebraska’s health care workforce overall.  

“As a champion for the health and well-being of our members and the communities we serve, Blue Cross is proud to support the Nebraska Health Care LEAD program through its Health of Nebraska Sponsorship,” said Jay Warren-Teamer, director of diversity and inclusion at BCBSNE. 

“The future is in our hands,” Haglund said. “With the support of Blue Cross and Nebraska Health Care Foundation, we will continue to provide great care and leadership for the people touched by senior care.” 

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