Matthew Eagens, MPH, is a Support Services Administrator with Kaiser Permanente in the East Bay Service Area. He shares his insights as a mentor in the Fall 2022 Formal Mentor Program.
Describe your CAHL Formal Mentor program cohort experience.
“It was a beautiful experience between mentor and mentee to truly understand the CAHL’s program
impact can have on other healthcare professionals navigating their journey. Goals were developed
and navigated through dialogue with the mentee to close performance gaps and to help create self-
awareness. There were many questions on navigating complex situations, allowing me to offer a
different systematic perspective on solutions in a safe space.”
What professional career advice that you provided your Mentee resonated the best that has
the most influential impact on their career journey?
“As a growing healthcare system merges with multiple organizations, chaos can ensue as cultures
collide and change management occurs. The advice was to develop a communication strategy for a
growing health system regional leader to create a regional directive in an organized consistent
methodology with multiple hospital site COO leaders on standard work. Having one message,
versus multiple independent discussions, prevents swirling when we set forth to implement a
needed process change as the organization grows. This allows the COO site leaders to hear one
unified message on a standardized process. This type of communication is efficient and allows the
overall group to know there is one standardized process, and this is the way we achieve the task in
a unified manner together.”
Was a blind spot discovered in your Mentee’s leadership strategy that you helped identify and
provide guidance to overcome?
“Yes, as your role expands, your problem-solving thinking needs to develop and grow as well. The
blind spot was using the same thought process, to solve a similar, although a larger problem alone.
This is where the guidance of a mentor perspective is needed. Sometimes when we are consumed
with a problem, the solution seems unattainable, due to the stress of uncharted waters. When I
shared a different perspective, my mentee, responded, ‘I like your idea, and I hadn’t thought about
it in that way before.'”
What do you enjoy the most about mentoring and how has the mentoring relationship been
“I enjoy seeing mentees improving and developing as leaders and managers. When self-
improvement happens and recognition occurs by peers who notice the change, patients, and
people in our community are better served, and a ripple effect is taking place. The other
meaningful impact is that there is an opportunity for the mentor to learn and grow as well. As we
educate and teach others, we learn as well. The exchange is mutually beneficial as we serve others,
we are participating in our own self-development process.”
What advice would you provide to others interested in participating in the CAHL Mentor
Program, and what benefits would you highlight?
“The benefits are many; however, if you enjoy meeting new people, problem-solving, attaining
goals, and wanting to advance or enjoy helping others advance in their careers – join the CAHL
Mentor program. The best of all you get to meet some truly inspiring people in healthcare.”