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In celebration of National Mentoring Month, MAVEN Project is thrilled to spotlight the wisdom, compassion, and real-world expertise of our physician volunteers. It drives our impact and is changing the American health care landscape—one session at a time.

At El Rio Health, a large clinic in southern Arizona, Nurse Practitioner Lisa Lindsay worked with her mentor, Dr. Tom Norris, for years.

“Before he became my mentor, I was struggling to manage time with patients, and he helped me to shift [my] language to get them ‘on the team’ with me. Dr. Norris even reached out to my supervisor to recommend me for a leadership training program that he thought would be beneficial. He’s so fantastic and caring. Through his guidance, I feel empowered to tackle any clinical and practice issue.”

For ten years, our physician volunteers have imparted their invaluable insight and guidance to hundreds of primary care providers on the front lines of our health care system.

Averaging decades of clinical practice, our volunteers know firsthand that the medical profession contains multitudes: it is both uniquely rewarding and uniquely stressful. Making decisions about patient care under crushing time restrictions and often limited resources will test even the most advanced practitioners.

This is why mentoring is built into MAVEN Project’s services. While all medical workers face daunting challenges, patients in community health settings are subject to higher rates of complex illnesses as well as fewer—if any—options for specialty care. Despite the unique pressures of their roles, clinic providers face the same performance standards as veteran physicians.

In a field characterized by both constant advancement and the life-or-death importance of accuracy, mentors can improve performance, reduce burnout, and lead to more informed and precise patient care in ways no other resource can match.

In turn, patients receive customized guidance from pioneers in myriad specialties—whom even the most privileged Americans would not necessarily be able to consult—via a provider they trust in the familiarity of their own community.

In 2023 alone, our mentors facilitated more than 800 sessions, each one a safe space for mentees to ask questions, seek guidance, and simply connect on both clinical and leadership topics.

Kim Torres, a nurse practitioner at Brevard Health Alliance (BHA) in Florida, notes that her mentor, Dr. Sushma Reddy, helped her develop BHA’s diabetes management program, a critical resource in an area where the disease is prevalent.

“Not only did she provide so much knowledge, but she also connected me with critical contacts for supplies. MAVEN Project has something for everyone, both novice and more experienced providers. It has been life-changing for our patient population—I want to shout it from the rooftops!”

With immense pride and gratitude, we salute our mentors for their indelible impact. Every day, they inspire us to give all we can to improve the lives and health of our most vulnerable communities.

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